Music

John Mayer – Sob Rock

Keeping things spicy over here by introducing a new artist to the classic Salty Ju feature where I recap an album track by track and relate every song back to my own personal experiences. And then I judge those songs based on absolutely 0 musical expertise. JOIN ME, WHY DON’T YA?! It’s John Mayer’s first album since 2017 and it’s a short one but I welcome it with open arms because who doesn’t love an 80’s cassette player aesthetic and a breakup album. For those of you who are in the know, J.May’s 2006 album Continuum is the greatest breakup album of all time and though it will never be topped, I feel like this is the first time John has inched back to the genius of that all-time classic both musically and lyrically speaking. So let’s hop right in and sob our faces off (shout out Taylor Swift and John for really coming in hot with the soundtracks to our hearts being shattered into a million pieces this year.)

 

  1. Last Train Home.* John’s first single off of Sob Rock and what a musical snack it is. When it was first released I tweeted this:

And I still stand firmly behind that. Guy’s clearly got a thing for trains but thank God he went for the uppers this time around when using locomotive imagery. We’ve got a little Toto’s Africa vibe to it with the funky instrumentals and it just makes you want to wiggle your hips. Simple song with a nice hopeful message that Johnny boy will find his wifey and ride that train right on into a home filled with kids. I guess kinda sad because he’s pushing 45 and clearly wants to settle down now but certainly not as sad as Stop This Train which is about how we all die and he doesn’t want to. So, like I said, much more of a bop in the train category of tunes. Plus… there’s only about 3 seconds at the very end of Maren Morris doing backup vocals, which is really all we need. Thank you for your time, Maren.

Best Lyric: “I’m not a fallen angel, I just fell behind”

Here’s the music video, which was absolutely nothing special and could’ve been much better but further gives off that throwback vibe to set the tone for this album.

2. Shouldn’t Matter But It Does.* Oooohh baby, this is a great little ditty to really get in your feels with. You wanna know the WERST part of a breakup? That you feel ALL of the things and you can’t do anything to stop it. All anyone wants to do is not care afterward and yet it’s actually SUPER hard to not care. Show me a person who says they’re carefree and I’ll show you a liar because that person does not exist This is a lovely slow jam with a dose of real talk lyrics about all the things that you feel or think about after a breakup that you want to not feel or think about but that’s life, man…no control I tell ya. There’s all kinds of kinds when it comes to breakup songs and as we’ve seen with the popularity of Olivia Rodrigo’s “Good 4 U” the post-breakup rage is alive and well. But sometimes after your twenties, you need a little more lowkey rage and you just wanna listen to something a scooch more mellow passive aggressive and text your ex: hey, this shouldn’t matter but I’m listening to John Mayer on my bathroom floor at 3 am with a bottle of wine and guess what it DOES matter.

Best Lyric: You shoulda been sad instead of being so fucking mean. (BURN CITY TIMES A ZILLION.)

3. New Light. I was a little thrown off when I was giving Sob Rock my first blind listen that he included songs he released literally three years ago. Kinda a boner kill when you’re excited to discover new songs and you hear one that not only has been out for several years but also kinda stinks. Never been a huge fan of New Light. It’s a little *too* experimental with what I can only imagine are computer-generated sounds in the background. John, my love, you’re a phenomenal guitar player – you do not need all these bells and whistles to make a song “breezy.” Although I am a real sucker for a groove break, which this song has right before John rips a tasty solo lick. I do love that John’s more recent music is embracing the fact that he’s old as hell and yet still in the dating world dealing with all the bullshit us fellow singles are dealing with. He’s out here getting friend zoned…John Mayer. Friend. Zoned. Just makes him even more relatable, especially after his very un-relatable outing for being a semi-abusive douchey boyfriend in Jessica Simpson’s memoir–people don’t forget!

Best Lyric: Pushing 40 in the friend zone. (Yoikes, rough look)

And his super weird 80’s music video for this one back in 2018:

4. Why You No Love Me. This is a sad mariachi song. As soon as I heard the first grammatically incorrect “why you no love me” I was equal parts confused and hysterically laughing because I pictured John in a Mexican restaurant singing this while wearing a large sombrero. Other than that very dramatic chorus, the rest of the lyrics were legit and I mean come on, the album is called sob rock…this certainly fits the bill. The end of this song sounds like a 90’s TV show theme song coming to a close. Oddly specific but that’s exactly what I thought of, like oh ok Growing Pains is about to start.

Best Lyric: Hurt me once, I let it be / Hurt me twice, you’re dead to me / Three times makes you family. WHAT A GREAT PLAY ON WORDS HERE. No one hurts you like family does so guess you’re part of my family now, bitcc!

5. Wild Blue. Your jazzy insert to this album. Groovy beat and all about that jam band life but kind of an eh song overall. Since I don’t have much to say about this song, I’ll tell a fun story. This past week I was rehashing to my dad how my staff meeting zoom call got all sorts of awkward when an impromptu game was added to share what’s on your desk at home that you would bring to your desk at work. There was minimal sharing and a whole lotta dead air, and my dad’s response was “you should’ve said check out my Steely Dan.” And I was like why would I randomly bring up 70’s rock band Steely Dan during my staff meeting. And my dad goes you know how they got their name right? Obviously I did not. It was the name of a vibrator. YA LEARN SOMETHIN NEW EVERY DAY I TELL YA. Not only is that a fire flames name for a battery operated boyfriend but ALSO a great band name. Win, win for all. Can confidently say I will not be bringing vibe talk to the table amongst my work colleagues but what a fun piece of music trivia to insert into this blog that should be passed along for generations to come as we’re reelin’ in the years. (wink.) Also, if you didn’t enjoy my story, enjoy John dancing awkwardly to this song via his Tok.

@johnmayer

In the words of the great @rejectedjokes – Dance small. Listen big. #wildblue #sobrock #newmusic #music #dancesmalllistenbig

♬ original sound – johnmayer

Best Lyric: This entire verse is art: All the tears I meant to cry / Dance across the evenin’ sky / And in my sorrow, I can see / That missing you belongs to me

6. Shot In The Dark.* A catchy tune and wOrLd’S cOLLiDiNG, it is *heavily* rumored that several of the lyrics in this song are nods to Taylor Swift. I don’t subscribe to the belief that John Mayer is nearing his 50’s and is looking back wistfully on Taylor Swift hoping for a second chance. But I do believe that he loves pop culture and appreciates a nod for intrigue or chatter. I think Taylor was probably young and naive and John Mayer is a reputable star and when they worked together, they hooked up and Taylor took it much more seriously than it was and was heartbroken and John was casj and cool as a cuke about it. Taylor wrote Dear John which was most obviously about him right down to featuring guitar that sounds like a John Mayer song. It was not subtle. I definitely don’t think Dear John keeps J.May up at night but he did look like a real creep after it came out, so if intertwining his music with Taylor’s again clears his name, I’m sure he’d be willing to give it a shot. Taylor’s song Getaway Car has the lyric “we never had a shotgun shot in the dark” so this could potentially be a play on that. Regardless of if there’s any intentional wordplay here, it’s a bangerang of a song. John was killin em with smoove lyrics about love and breakups way before Taylor ever was and he’s reaffirming that with this album.

Best Lyric: I’ve loved seven other women and thеy all were you.

Enjoy this music video featuring some quality and highly entertaining John dance sequences:

7. I Guess I Just Feel Like. Another cheat song originally released two years ago. This one I like better than New Light probably because I’m such a Positive Polly. That was sarcasm, guys…this song is depressing AF. It’s basically a stream of consciousness or a classic diary entry of like everything in the world sucks now, I have too many worries and I’m alone. YOIKES. This is a song exclusively for days when you have a real aggressive case of the poor me’s. Listen to it, nod your head soulfully, then shake it off and go find a butterfly or something nice to remind you why you’re not on suicide watch. At least the end of the song has a hopeful spin. John’s like HAHA it’s ok guys no need to do a wellness check, I just felt like giving up but I’m gonna find my way so don’t you worry about me. ALL GOOD!

Best Lyric: That love’s gonna save us from a world that’s gone mad.

8. Til The Right One Comes.* Oh jeeze we needed this pick me up after that debbie downer. Classic rock vibes here as John tells us that he’s actually not going to die alone. He’s just waiting for the right lady. He’s not going to just dive into bed with whoever these days, he’s looking for that forever kind of love and she’s just around the damn corner so everyone just reeeelaxxxxxxx. I admire John’s positivity here and also may I take a moment to really appreciate how guitar heavy this album has been. I feel like pop, rock, and country songs rarely include an instrumental bridge and it’s refreshing to have a moment in each of these songs to just bop right along.

Best Lyric: As if I woke up lonely one morning / Looked around and decided I would stay that way. AND Headed the wrong way down that highway of dreams. (I couldn’t choose just one, sue me.)

9. Carry Me Away. Apparently this was released in 2019. Honestly I don’t think I’ve heard it. Also can we make it a law going forward that if you’re going to do a BIG lead up to an album drop, lots of press, merch, a tour, etc. the album has to be 100% new songs. None of this recycling shit. If I’m going to get hyped up this hard I want 10 brand spanking new unheard songs. I know you can sit down and write a smash-hit breakup song in a few hours, so this was just a lazy move here. This song is decent but didn’t knock my socks off. It’s certainly no Ravioli Shoes and I think we all can agree.

Best Lyric: You’re just the kinda crazy I’ve been lookin’ for.

10. All I Want Is to Be with You.* Strong finish with a fresh jam. I would’ve been MAD online if he closed out the album with a recycle. I love him singing in the lower register here and the way he breaks up/the cadence of “All I Want Is to Be with You.” I’m sure there’s a real fancy musical term for this, but you get what I’m saying right? The way he sings it with the guitar strums matching up is chef’s kiss. Also just in general the low guitar notes here. It feels kinda like Johnny Cash song and I’m here for it. Full disclosure, I called my dad at 9:30 last night to ask if this was a guitar or a bass because I didn’t want to be like damn he’s really slappin that bass and it sounds amazing and be completely wrong. So moral of the story is the efforts I put in (and really my dad puts in) to make this blog accurate are top tier. You’re welcome.

Best Lyric: I dance alone with deja-vu / But all I want is to be with you.

Overall Sob Rock Note: I know I gave J.May a lot of shit for bringing back old songs but I assume he did so because of the theme of this album and the cohesive story he wanted to tell. It’s not often that you can listen to an album front to back anymore and I feel like he really nailed it with this one. I listened to it on repeat all weekend and never pulled a skiperoni, plus it was rainy as shit this weekend so honestly the mood lined up perfectly. It’s like John Mayer knew this summer was going to be gloomy and depressing and was like ASSEMBLE, TEAM, IT’S TIME FOR SOB ROCK. It’s also not lost on me that Sob could stand for Son of a Bitch, which the press has really made John Mayer out to be over the years (the press and Jessica Simpson.) He’s had quite the reputation as womanizer controlling pee-drinking crapface…I may have gone a little off the cuff there but I think the older John gets, the wiser he gets when it comes to relationships and love. Yeah breakups are literally the pits, but that shouldn’t stop you from finding the right one but maybe proceeding with caution. FIND THAT LAST TRAIN HOME, JOHN! We’re rooting for you.

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Music

taylor swift – evermore.

Taylor Alison Swift looked 2020 directly in the eye and said I’m going to make you my bitch. Musically speaking, of course. She kicked things off with folklore in August, surprising us all with a real woodsy vibe and easily her best songwriting to date. Then she puts out a live performance on Disney + in a recording studio that is like an hour away from me and I’m mad as hell she didn’t notify me of her vicinity. And here we are, closing out 2020 with evermore because she “just couldn’t stop writing songs.” She calls it a birthday gift to us as she turns 31 but really the gift is that she rolled out back to back sadgirl albums in the WORST year of my life. I feel SEEN. Let’s dive in.

1. willow. I was very heated about the music video for this song. Mostly because Taylor typically adopts a specific look for each album era and the one she has chosen for this one is unfortunately bangs. Curls and bangs don’t go together. They just don’t. And now we’ve extended this era for double the time and WE MAY NEVER KNOW WHEN THE FLUFFY BANGS WILL GO AWAY. Plus she added pilgrim fashion on top of that for the video and it’s a statement I wasn’t in love with. HOWEVER, without the visual, I could focus much harder and this is definitely one of my favorite songs off this album. folklore had a kickass start with the 1 and now evermore has a solid opener with this enchanting ditty. Also I would be remiss to not include that one of her psycho fans went back in time to the “mean” era and found the word willow in the music video so apparently Taylor was calling her shot back in 2010, while wearing the same table linens your grandma uses on special occasions.

best lyric: But I come back stronger than a ’90s trend (she’s speaking directly to me with this.)

2. champagne problems. The start of this song is giving me MAJOR New Year’s Day vibes and I LOVE it. The simple piano and vocals together, I literally had to double check I was listening to the right album the first time it started playing. Except rather than singing about true love lasting long after the party’s over, this one is about true love being set ablaze. A rejected proposal, YOOOOIIIIIKES. Despite the fact that this starts out SUUUUUPER depressing and you feel for this imaginary character who proposes to a girl whose like nah, I’m good…when she changes tune with “one for the money, two for the show, I never was ready so I watch you go,” it’s catchy as hell and THEN we get a GLORIOUS F bomb. Taylor finally put on her big girl pants on folklore and gave us all the curses. It was like the girl in college who was sheltered in high school and never tried drinking then does a kegstand and blacks out at her first frat party. Once the floodgates opened after all these years being PG, Taylor was screaming F bombs from the rooftop and I’m beaming with pride to see that she’s still letting them fly. She’s 31 now. SHE’S ALL GROWN UP. Brings a tear to my eye. Plus, it’s cathartic AF to really hit home on a well-placed swear in these magical tunes.

best lyric: She would’ve made such a lovely bride / What a shame she’s fucked in the head,” they said (I don’t know how Taylor knew what everyone was saying about me but same.)

3. gold rush. Right away you can tell this is a Jack Antonoff song with the beat and the breathy wonder to it. My head was already bopping away and then she hits the speed round with “with your hair falling into place like dominoes.” Wooooo girl. Assumptions are that this is a Joe song because she’s constantly using gold in songs about him and also she thinks everyone’s obsessed with him and trying to steal him but I’m not really sure why. How these two aren’t married yet is the real surprise of 2020. Waiting for that news to drop, surprise style of course.

best lyric: My mind turns your life into folklore / I can’t dare to dream about you anymore

4. ’tis the damn season. It took me roughly 24 hours to abuse the shit out of this phrase. It’s not my fault it’s timely as hell and also sassy. I’ve already used it as an instagram caption and said it to several people. IN fact, I’m actually a little peeved I already sent out my Christmas cards this year because I would’ve 100% used it there too, it really would’ve fit my whole drinking wine solo in front of my Christmas tree mood that I forced into everyone’s homes. On top of just loving this title, the fact that she’s using it to justify hooking up with your ex/hometown love at the holidays makes it SUH much better. It’s like a Hallmark movie but without the lame kiss and happy ending. It’s for bad gurlz who just wanna bang their high school sweetheart on holiday break and wonder what it would be like to stay there and play out the Hally fantasy. No one ever does though because those movies are trash and don’t show what happens AFTER the city girl gives up her corporate job to pop out kids with the hometown guy who drives his truck around the 150 person town. Shot in the dark here, but I’m guessing that story ends in divorce 99% of the time. WOmpP WoooMppppp. Better off getting the nostalgia bang and then skidaddling back to your life in the big city if you ask me.

best lyric: And the heart I know I’m breakin’ is my own / To leave the warmest bed I’ve ever known (damn that one hit hard.)

5. tolerate it. In Swiftie dramatic fashion, there’s special meaning to the 5th track on each of her albums. It pretty much started with All Too Well because of the vulnerability and storytelling and from then on, Taylor made a point to put her most soul-baring songs as track fives. Or, in this case, soul-crushing failed relationship songs. This is a fun ditty about being more in love with someone than they are with you. Just kidding there’s nothing fun about it at all. Unless, like me, you laugh out loud at what a creep she is at the beginning of the song. There’s no non-creepy spin on “I sit and watch you.” It’s right in line with OG Taylor “so I’ll watch your life in pictures like I used to watch you sleep.” I get the sentiment. You love someone, you gaze at them a lot. But alllsoooooo hard not to have some peeping tom qualities to it. Let’s take a beat and put our binocs away on that one.

best lyric: I made you my temple, my mural, my sky / Now I’m begging for footnotes in the story of your life

6. no body, no crime (feat HAIM). This was a real spicy add to all these heartbreaking tales and I welcomed it with open arms and also took some notes. (Never know when you’re gonna need to know how to off a cheater and cover your tracks, yanno?!) Right off the bat I was like ooh baby we’ve got some big Pistol Annies Hell on Heels energy comin thru here. Don’t underestimate us ladies cause we will ERASE YOU FROM THIS PLANET. Jus sayin. You think it’s a coincidence that chicks love true crime? We’re storing all that info away in case we need it one day. Taylor and the Haim sisters may have just been kidding with this song, but I don’t for a second doubt that Taylor could get away with murder in real life. No body, no crime, man. Think about THAT next time you’re f’ing with Taylor’s life, Scooter.

best lyric: Good thing my daddy made me get a boating license when I was fifteen / And I’ve cleaned enough houses to know how to cover up a scene

7. happiness. Leave it to this tricky B to name a song happiness and have it be THE OPPOSITE of happiness. The conundrums are just never ending. During the Disney + special, Taylor talked about My Tears Ricochet and how she became fascinated with writing about divorce and this idea that the person who knows you best is now your enemy and therefore knows exactly how to attack your insecurities and tear you down. She compared it to how she felt with the Scooter/Scott Borchetta drama but also it’s clear she’s still very into this deep dive on the big D. Speaking of the Big D, leave it to me to hear this lyric: “And I pulled your body into mine / Every goddamn night, now I get fake niceties” and IMMEDIATELY assume she’s making a sex reference. Cause that’s how my brain works. Now that I re-read it, she probably just meant cuddling and here I am going right for the penetration comparisons. I guess I was just hoping in addition to all the swears, she might start dropping artfully crafted sexual innuendos as well. Either way, lyrics about getting D’ed down or not, this song is haunting as shit.

best lyric: But now my eyes leak acid rain on the pillow where you used to lay your head / After giving you the best I had / Tell me what to give after that (this entire song is a best lyric, but if I had to pick one…)

8. dorothea. I gotta be real with you guys, this song starts a little bit of a downward slump for me on the second half of this album. There’s a couple snoozy songs back to back in the middle before it picks back up again and I had a hard time staying into it. Right away with this one, we’re using a very old lady name and it’s not really a compelling storyline. It’s about a friend lost, and if you ask the psychos who analyze EVERY SINGLE DETAIL, they’ll tell you it’s about Selena Gomez. I read exactly one article to see where they’re getting this assumption from and it is VERY far fetched. Selena’s favorite movie is Wizard of Oz, and she doesn’t care about fame and she has a beauty line now. OPE, this song MUST be about her! God I’d love to live in a hardcore Swiftie’s mind for the first 12 hours of an album release. Whether this song is about Selena or not, it’s kinda meh.

best lyric: And if you’re ever tired of being known for who you know / You know, you’ll always know me, Dorothea

9. coney island (feat. The National). After drooling her face off about The National so much and writing Folklore with Aaron Dessner, Taylor finally got her long-awaited emo collab. Had a hard time connecting with this one, and not just because the coney (a white spicy hot dog for all you uneducated wieners) gives me diarrhea. JK, I know they’re talking about the trashy pier amusement park south of NYC. I think at one point in life, Coney Island was the belle of the ball. But from what I’ve seen, it’s pretty gross now. I wasn’t kidding about Hoffmann’s coney’s though, those dogs pack a punch. Only try one if you’re near a bathroom. These are the things I yap about when I don’t know what to say about a song because it’s just doesn’t knock my socks off. You’re welcome.

best lyric: If I can’t relate to you anymore / Then who am I related to? (love a good wordplay)

10. ivy. It’s important to note that not only is Taylor free flowing with the F bombz now, but clearly has also taken an affinity to G-D as well. I shorten G-D because it is the one swear that my dad does not tolerate, and he is one of my few loyal readers so I try not to T him off. Although, he did just send me a text to brag about how they were playing Friday Night Lights on TV this weekend knowing that I don’t have cable. So who is the real troutsniffer here?

Anyway, other than my dad taunting me with that babe soda Coach Taylor, this song picks things back up a bit. It makes me want to skip through a field but not in an outfit you would wear to a one room schoolhouse (jk I pull that shit OFF-see below.) Also noteworthy: another song about an affair. SCANDALOUS.

best lyric: My pain fits in the palm of your freezing hand

11. cowboy like me. I knew the first time I heard this song that it was going to be my insta-skip for this album. There’s one every time. A weird song that I don’t vibe with and I immediately want to get it out of my earholes. Last album was epiphany, before that it was nice to have a friend on Lover. This song is like sad 90’s country and honestly it just draaagggsss. Bonus points for another hard F though. GET IT, GURL. EARN that parental advisory.

best lyric: Forever is the sweetest con (daaaaaamn that has some stank on it.)

12. long story short. This was a much needed bopsicle after the cowboy ballad that preceded. Got some 80’s feels to it but I literally would’ve accepted anything to wake me from that heartbreak slumber. Even though this one is also about WAIT FOR IT a breakup. Or at least, a romantic history. Bad times and wrong guys, tale as old as time. Some say this is about Tom Hiddleston, and to that I say buuuuulllllshit. I still believe ole Tommy boy was a publicity stunt and she never actually dated him. WAY too many photographs in such a short period of time. That paparazzi snap of him in the ocean at her 4th of July bonanza wearing an I ❤ TS shirt still lives rent-free in my mind to this day. And also makes me cringe. A wifebeater in the ocean, woof.com. Long story short: Tom Hiddleston was a decoy. Convince me otherwise, I dare you.

best lyric: Your nemeses / Will defeat themselves before you get the chance to swing

13. marjorie. Another toss to the family lineage, Epiphany was about her grandfather’s military experience (also track thirteen on folklore) and Marjorie was her grandma’s name. So obviously her grandma visited her from beyond the grave and was like what am I? CHOPPED LIVER?! And Taylor was like I HAVE TO PUT OUT A SISTER ALBUM FOR GRAMS. Facts. It took me until looking up the lyrics to see that she was saying “what died didn’t stay dead” and not using a weird accent with WHAT I DIDN’T SAY IS. This song is fine. Like I said, I felt like things really went downhill after happiness (for me.) Kinda sounds like her grandma is haunting her and as someone who learned that spirits visit us at certain hours of the night and have been terrified of a post-grave visit ever since, I’m out on ghosts.

best lyric: Never be so politе You forget your power / Nevеr wield such power You forget to be polite (solid advice, Grams)

14. closure. Sassy Tay comin in hawt at the end PLUS a little backbeat to soundtrack this metaphorical FU. Take your letter and shove it up your b-hole cause Taylor don’t need your stinkin’ closure. Since we’re on the topic, closure is crap. No one will ever have closure. It’s one of those made up things we use as an excuse to see someone we fell out with and then you realize that no matter what they say or do, and no matter what you say or do, it doesn’t change things. Thus, CRAAAAAP. You’ll never feel settled about something ending in a way you didn’t want it to end, you’ll just have to get the hell over it. And that’s talkin’ closure from the most bitter ass bitch in the room. Thank you for reading because I feel SO MUCH BETTER NOW having said my peace. Nahhhhhhhht.

best lyric: I know I’m just a wrinkle in your new life / Staying friends would iron it out so nice

15. evermore (feat. Bon Iver). I guess I’m like a whole ass Bon Iver stan now because Exhile slaps and so does this. I’m really getting in touch with haunting piano and whiny vocals in my later years in life. If you ask me, that’s basically this past year in a nutshell so it’s not surprising that I’m getting my depression vibes on with these jams. Starting out with “Gray November, I’ve been down since July” really solidified that as well for me. If you know, we could sub out “July” and tap in “January” in its place. Cause yes November is grey and yes I’ve been down and out since January and probably will be EVERMORE. Another word no one will be able to stop me from using and abusing going forward. Saying something lasts forever? That’s so 2019 back when we had things to look forward to in life. Nah, now it’s EVERMORE. Soooo much more melodramatic. Can’t wait to drop it in everyone’s grillpiece. THIS PAIN WILL BE FOR EVERMORE.

best lyric: I rewind thе tape but all it does is pause / On thе very moment, all was lost

OVERALL album notes: Listen, you come to The Salty Ju, you’re gonna get brutal honesty. I’m a superfan (not a ‘read into signs and guess that Taylor is hiding the fact that she gave birth to triplets based on an obscure tree branch in the background of cover art’ kind of superfan) and yet I can also tell it like it is with Tay. Folklore was kind of a storytelling phenomenon for her. She’s always been a bitchin’ lyricist using highfalutin vocabulary, synesthesia (see? I know big words too), and in-depth imagery. Folklore brought that to the next level because it was no longer about what music will tour well or play on the radio, it was just about writing good shit that tells a compelling story. It seemed like she was trying the least to make a statement and yet all of those songs made a statement. And that’s why I love her. HOWEVER, I feel like there’s a reason artists pick a limited amount of songs to release on an album. If they released every song they ever wrote, we’d be real inundated with a lot of songs that were just ok and maybe there’s a reason they wouldn’t make the cut. And that’s how I feel about evermore. Are there some more great songs on here? Absolutely. But is there a lot of eh? Also yes. I love crying my face off to a breakup song as much as the next sad B, but it comes to a point after several hours of the sobsies that you have to mix a real uplifting bop in or you’ll be on suicide watch. And 32 slow songs about death, loss, divorce, addiction, love triangles, witches, women-haters can seem A WEE BIT OVERWHELMING. Which leads me to my next point: everyone is CONVINCED there’s a third “sister” album coming. Taylor loves a trilogy and there have been little clues here and there that this is actually going to be a three album story and to that I say

I truly can’t take anymore. I know I said before that I feel seen but maybe I feel a LITTLE TOO SEEN. I never thought I’d see the day when I want LESS sad music to smother me this year, but I think this era can comfortably end here. Let’s pep it up for 2021 and pretend things are getting better. So there you have it. evermore can’t top folklore–although I do appreciate it showing up to the party– and “woodvale” should sit this one out. Now excuse me while I continue to drown myself in lowercase letters, while my eyes leak acid rain, as I use these poetic lyrics to describe my own feelings in therapy until the new year. (My therapist will be a Swiftie by the time I’m through with her.)

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JUice

Weekly JUice

Week of 12/7/2020

1. The Year of Taylor.

I mean, I’m not just going to sit back and not yap my face off about Taylor coming in from the CLOUDS and dropping another whole ass album in our laps not even six months after surprising us with folklore. WHAT A MOVE and to get it in RIGHT before the buzzer at the end of the year. Wild. Obviously I was in a tailspin yesterday as I discovered the news and not to brag but I did have my hair in braids at the time so there’s obviously no further proof needed that I was ready for more woodsy in your feels songs. I’m still not over folklore, I still play it several times a week. Spotify gently reminded me how much I’ve played it over the past few months with my year end wrapped…I’m surprised it wasn’t followed up with an email from them asking if I’ll be ok. To which I would say, No I obviously will not. BECAUSE NOW WE’RE GETTING AN ENTIRE OTHER SOBFEST. I also love that Taylor tried to disguise it as a birthday present to us all.

Hey everyone, thanks for buying all of my overpriced merch and going out of your way to get my folklore cd that took an entire month to ship because of covid or whatever, I’d like to give you the birthday present of buying more of my overpriced merch and again going out of your way to buy a cd that may never arrive. If you do, you’ll be rewarded with bonus tracks that you can’t hear anywhere else. SUCHHHHHHH a boss move to be like it’s a gift, cough up your money tho. And you know what, I think I’ll stick to Spotify free listening this time around until I can buy a moderately priced physical cd in person at Target. If I may borrow a song title off of evermore, ‘Tis the Damn Season for me to be broke as a joke buying holiday gifts. HOWEVER should anyone want to gift me with literally anything from the Taylor Swift store, I welcome it with open arms. Anyway, back to the big debut. Obviously I now have my weekend work cut out for me as I’ll need to recap a track by track, which I’ll be publishing on Monday if all goes well. But I did want to at least give you my instant thoughts about the Willow music video, which I stayed up past my bedtime to watch. I also may have been a wee bit overserved, but here we go.

My raw, unadulterated thoughts (remember I watched it AT midnight after a wine and pasta filled evening.):

Starts with that G-D cardigan and a magic piano transforming her into a magical forest. I WANT THAT CARDIGAN. (still obviously holding onto a lot of resentment for all of the influencers and famous friends who were sent cardigans and my mailbox didn’t see a whisper.) WHY ARE WE SUDDENLY WATCHING KIDS.

(I literally started a new paragraph because after being outraged by kids I wanted to move onto the bigger topic at hand) She is literally in a one room school house. Please come back to 2020, Taylor. The 1800’s don’t want you or those bangs. I honestly couldn’t even focus on Willow as a song because I couldn’t get past Taylor as an early English settler creating witch hexes with the original Sanderson Sisters. Let’s relax on fully embracing the fairy in the woods vibe for one hot second, plz. Also the bangs have to go. Double also, that last shot of her in that dress, she IS Grandpa Joe from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. We’ve gone too far. Way too far. I mean, spot the difference. You can’t.

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So that’s where we’re at. Stay tuned to see my thoughts on the whole damn thing come next week. In the meantime, refresh yourself with Folklore in preparation.

2. Open Book, TV Style.

For avid readers of The Salty Ju, you’ll know that I was a hardcore Nick & Jessica should reunite believer RIGHT UP UNTIL I read her memoir Open Book this year and then re-watched Newlyweds from Jess’s perspective and saw that Nick pretty much hated her stinkin guts and was constantly a dick to her. What I once thought was an adorable teen popstar relashe unfolding on MTV full of healthy jabs was actually toxic as hell. Eye opening moment for me in pop culture history. I loved all the juicy goss she dished in her book of BTS deets of each of her very public relationships and to hear that they’re extending this book into a TV show is music to my ears. And even better, it’s on a paid service that I will not have to sign up for in order to watch (lookin’ at you peacock tv for forcing my sister and I to do a free trial just to watch the trainwreck Saved by the Bell reboot.) I’m fully team Jess and I support her return to the entertainment industry especially because she’s coming back with her story and not hawking a dating show where people get married without ever seeing each other. I’m of course referring to dirt Nick Lachey, OBVIOUSLY. (Only people who watched Love is Blind will get that diss and I’m ok with it.)

3. OH NO KHRISTMAS IS KANCELLED.

Breaking news this week, that I read aloud to my friends in my best Khloe Kardashian voice when I saw the headline. Khristmas is Kancelled due to COVID and it’s the first time SINCE 1978. HOW WILL WE EVEN SURVIVE?! Honestly I was reeling from the news. Life just is NOT fair, ya know? And then I remembered that this family who is HEROICALLY cancelling their biggest attention-grabbing event of the year, also are telling us that taking this pandemic seriously IS A MUST. And honestly, we need to listen to them, y’all. No more flying all of your closest friends and family out to an island for a lavish weekend for your 40th birthday. It’s time to REALLY buckle down and PUT OUR HEALTH AND SAFETY FIRST. The Kardashians are a voice of reason and I’m just honestly so in awe of their bravery and leadership. Also, remember when they cancelled their reality show on E? Yeah they’ll be back up with a deal on Hulu in 2021. So let’s all keep our fingers krossed that we won’t miss ONE second of their lives. Prayer hands. Kiss Face. Eye Roll.

4. But I come back stronger than a 90’s trend.

Britney Spears (#FreeBritney) and Backstreet Boys dropped their first ever collaboration in 2020. Cause why the hell not at this point? What I’d like to see is Justin Timberlake’s reaction to this. HE MUST BE ROLLING IN HIS GRAVE. Oh, he’s still alive? WHERE HAS HE BEEN WITH THE NEW MUSIC THEN? Like, Man of the Woods was a lifetime ago. I don’t care if you’re a new dad, Britney and BSB are collaborating in lockdown–with Britney quite possibly being still controlled by her dad as a grown ass adult and Taylor Swift just dropped back to back records like she’s 2005 Nelly dropping Sweat and Suit on TRL. Jus sayin. Get your shit together, JT. Anyway, back to this unholy collab because honestly what a slap in the face to N*SYNC who Britney was smoochin with in the 90’s, literally and musically. This song kinda sucks but for nostalgia sake, I’m down with it.

5. I still L-O-V-E a good music video.

Dierks tossed this video out this week. I already loved the song and then I saw that he played all these different pop culture roles as part of the video and I settled in to watch. I was over at a friend’s house this week and we showed her sister the WAP video because she’s never seen it and rite of passage obviously to let your eyes bleed out to that catastrophe, which then spiraled into us just sitting there watching music videos on Youtube like I was a senior in high school again and it was a Friday night. I know, I was UNBELIEVABLY cool and popular. Either way, we all talked about how we’ve always enjoyed watching music videos even though it’s very much not a beloved thing anymore. Kinda like owning DVD’s. We old. And I still love the art of a good music video, which is why I’ve highlighted two this week. One that I shit on and one that I like. I’m into the idea here and obviously you know that any music video with references to Full House–the classic, not that bubblegum trash they trotted out on Netflix recently–is a W in my book. Well done, Dierks.

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JUice

Weekly JUice

Week of 9/7/2020

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Today is 9/11 and I’m not sure that I’ve ever posted a blog on this day but it feels really cheap to post nonsense about celebrity garbo without at least acknowledging the day. This morning I read the following blog that was written 2 years ago, but I never took the time to read it before. It’s a personal perspective of someone who was working in Manhattan on that day and lost family members and friends and I thought it was really moving and well-written and a reminder of what a big deal that day was because it can often get lost in the years (especially for people like me who do not live in or near NYC) so I’m sharing it with you. CLICK HERE TO READ

1. RIP to E!’s Kash Kow.

The world had begun to believe this day would never come. After TWENTY seasons of Kardashian’s on our TV getting married, divorced, arrested, knocked up, and going on lavish all-expenses paid vacations and then threatening to leave said vacations when there was a slight conflict…the era is officially ending. Once we witnessed as a world the transformation of Bruiser to Caitlyn Jenner…I felt like the Kardashians would dominate our televisions forever. It just didn’t seem like there was anything they wouldn’t film and yet they’ve finally decided that after building E! up and basically creating reality TV as we know it, it’s time for them to move on. They’ve officially become TOO famous for reality TV. As someone who religiously watched this show from its birth up until Kim married Kanye AND someone who wrote an entire research paper my semester abroad on how the Kardashian’s are actually savvy businesswomen (this gives you a little taste of what college is like in other countries…one of my greater pieces of work) I can honestly say that it’s probably time for these a-holes to go. I drank the Kool Aid, I watched all the spin-offs, and then just for shits and giggs I flipped on a recent episode this year to see what they counted as quality TV these days. The episode covered a massive fight between Kourtney and Kim because Kim held a birthday party for North in Mexico, filmed it for the show and Kourtney ended up paying for the crew and security’s flights out there for a birthday party that wasn’t even her own kid’s. And that’s where I draw the line, folks. Reality TV in itself is pure dumpster fire flames hot garbage. It’s called a guilty pleasure for a reason. HOWEVER, when it gets to the point where the show that you’re watching is covering fights about how their production team isn’t paying for their own flights to film the very show you’re consuming? That’s a little TOO real. This should’ve been settled in negotiations. I don’t want to see how a reality show is made. That’s not what I’m signing up for here. ESPECIALLY because all of these people are loaded and a flight to Mexico is equivalent to me buying an ice cream cone for myself. I want to see Kim call her siblings RUDE and hit them. I want to see Scott rip EVERYONE a new asshole, mock Kris Jenner directly to her face and then prank call her later pretending to be Todd Kraines. I want to see Kourtney and Khloe act like 14 year olds together and give me new stupid phrases that I can say or talk about how they put mayo on their vag to make it softer. I want to see a marriage crumble before my very eyes in the most cringeworthy fashion (cough cough Kris Humphries.) And you know what? We’re just not getting that content anymore from the Kardashians. They’ve gone full celeb-mode and can’t be bothered with reality TV. And that’s fine, just get them the hell off of my TV. Make room for the new crew…

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I’m just kidding this show looks awful too. E! just might need to cut their losses here. Their LIVELIHOOD was the Kardashians. I swear you could turn on E! at any point in time and they’d be playing some version of a Kardashian show. It’s either that or Sex and the City. There’s no in between. If E! was really smart, they’d not only rotate their old reality TV shows but also bring a few back. They played a marathon of Married to Jonas the other day and I sat immobile for a solid 4 hours just watching the magic that is Danielle Jonas trying to speak on camera. I also got to remind myself that Kevin Jonas went HAM on some crawfish in Louisiana before a music video shoot and had to leave set abruptly due to a mean case of the crabby runs. All of this brought me great joy. Jessie James and Eric Decker’s reality show? Bring it back. These are the people that are just on the CUSP of mega-stardom that create quality trash TV. They’re willing to do or say anything on camera no matter how dumb it makes them look and these are my peeps. Hell, if E!’s looking, give me a reality show. My sister and I make ourselves pee our pants from laughing at the stupidity of people in this world on the daily. We’ll entertain the masses. Just the other day we jumped in her pool after a few cocktails and she convinced me that because I ate so many clams that day, I’d sink to the bottom like a clam. I was legitimately scared to jump in. See? DUMB PEOPLE THRIVE IN REALITY TV. Anyway, I got carried away there (or did I just pitch a new show?!) Either way, I can’t report this news without drawing attention to the fact that the announcement came from Kim, still proving that the one who starts it all with a sex tape, gets the last word. Never forget “OH SHIT, RAY J” and the sex tape that started with just video footage of her feet at the beach. What a wild ride it’s been. May it remain in our memz foreva, especially if I’ve had a few cocktails.

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2. Nathan Scott Off the Market.

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She said yeah 🙌🏼☺️

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This is only important news to those who grew up wishing Nathan Scott would be their husband (at an unreasonably young age, high school marriages FTW) and would spend the rest of her life watching him make a free throw without looking, to then jump into his arms to celebrate. Underwear Slushee: Population – ME.

Ok, fine obviously James Lafferty is his own person and not a fictional babe soda who plays basketball and got married to a touring singer at 16. Congrats on his engagement, mostly because I approve of his choice, Alexandra Park of The Royals fame. It appears as though Marc Schwann may have been a real dirtbag, but he did manage to put James and Alexandra in the same stratosphere by creating both of their shows. So there’s that. These two have been very hush hush about dating but as a real Grade A internet creep, I’ve known they were boning for years and I support it wholeheartedly. If anyone’s going to have baby James, I’m cool with this Aussie babe. EVEN THOUGH it pains me to break up The Royals ship of Eleanor and Jasper. (Especially because those two have more pics together on social media than who they are actually banging) Yes, I’m aware that I’m far too invested in fictional relationships. That’s what happens when you’re eternally single and have the maturity of a 14 year old girl writing in her diary every night and re-watching teen soaps.

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w/Jim – photo cred Fellini aka @stephencolletti

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I expect none of you to watch the following very obnoxious fan vids for each fictional couple, I’m literally just posting them for my sister because if we’re going to talk about two top notch shows and the couples that made them, I would be a terrible fan to not include some highlights of their best cheesy, smoochy mo’s (yes I abbreviated moments, DEAL WITH IT) set to a dramatic soundtrack.

Wishing these two every bit of REAL LIFE success. Ya know, without cheating scandals, limos flying off bridges on their wedding day, assassination attempts, etc. 

3. Goldberg GLOW-UP.

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I’ve reported on many 90’s child stars who have had extreme run-ins with the law in their adult years. Since I have pointed out their misfortune and wondered why I had such raging childhood crushes on several cast members of The Sandlot who turned out to be wife beaters and various other 90’s gems who took to the hard stuff…I feel it is also my duty to report on when they’ve turned things around. This will be the first time I’ll get to report this to date. As you’ll recall, the funny chubster who farts a lot turned out to be a meth-head tweaker. WELLLLLLL…he’s been living in a sober house, he’s clean, and he’s got a new set of chompers and BOY OH BOY what a difference that makes!

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We’ve got the old Goldberg back, folks! I don’t have to throw out my t-shirt after all! He’s literally a completely different person from the creature pictured above and I’m real proud of him. Keep on keepin on, G-berg. 

4. Fall SUCKS (Pls read in Sandler shouting voice.)

Hi, it’s me. Ya girl who is OBSESSED with summer and would live on a tropical island if it meant that the sun would be baking my skin for every second of my existence and I could listen to the ocean waves and have salty beach waves foreva. When summer begins, I’m the happiest person alive. When summer ends, I’m the saddest person alive. I don’t care about your pumpkin beers or your football or your apple picking. Summer will forever be my jam and I’ll scream it from the rooftop. Score one point for me not being a basic betch. We’re already in that September sweet spot where everyone is yapping about that fall chill and cozy blankets from Homegoods and Pumpkin Spice. And I’m jamming my fingers in my ears and screaming LALALALALA as I strap on my bikini again and continue to go in my sister’s pool even though the temperature is drastically dropping. Why am I going on this rant, you ask? Cause it’s my blog and I do what I damn well please. But also, because I’m real dry on celeb news this week and I’m reaching into the nethers of the internet to come up with this “headline.” We’re already getting a taste of Halloween, because obviously with basic betch Fall comes spooky szn. If we’re being real, Spooky Szn started in March and hasn’t stopped yet. So let’s see how we’re gonna handle going to strangers homes and eating their candy in a pandemic. But regardless, Netflix has a deal with Adam Sandler to keep making his Happy Madison flicks and this one is the latest. I smashed play and got excited for a new funny Halloween movie to add to the mix, then watched this trailer with horror–not the fun H-ween kind.

You’ve got a stacked cast of Sandler’s usual suspects and basically every member of SNL past and present. Oddly missing: Rob Schneider with a lazy eye. Although, potential spoiler alert, he’s probably the creature causing all of the creepy mayhem. So to tack right back onto my shitting on Fall theme, this movie stinks. It’s not even out yet, and it stinks. There is no one on this earth that needs Sandler talking in a weird voice that changes from scene to scene for this Halloween season. Give me a seltzie and the beach and let’s pretend this never happened. 

5. New Beats.

Two parter for “new song Friday”, a feature that I only include when I’m desperado for things to include. The first song courtesy of my girl Demi and the “DJ” that just wears a marshmellow with a face on his head. It’s a fun lil 80’s dance vibe with feel good lyrics. Because when Demi tells me it’s ok not to be ok, I believe her. Thanks gurl. I am very much NOT OK. But you know what? That’s ok right now. Cause Demi said so. The second song was discovered via TikTok (I’m such a youth now) and I immediately grooved my face off to it. Lotta flack for this gent saying it’s not real country, but guess what, not all country needs to be Garth Brooks, so let’s relax. Everyone’s mixing genres these days. Let it happen, bro. Great pool/beach song for when you’re in denial about summer ending like MOI. (As I sit on the couch in pants and a sweatshirt, still cold. FU world.)

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Playlist

The Breakup Boohoo’s

I make a lot of playlists with pick-me-up lyrics or peppy foot stompin’ beats because what I love about music is that it has a real way of lifting people out of the dumps and making you want to groove. But sometimes you very much want to exist solely in those dumps and wallow in their stinkiness. And never a discriminatory playlister, I made this one for you. It’s equivalent to popping on The Notebook when you need a good cry. Get in touch with this playlist when you want to sob your face off and feel sorry for your single-never-gonna-find-true-love ass. Then when it’s done, mop up your snot, take a shower, put on a red lip and pop on over to my Bitch, I’m Limited Edition playlist for a confidence boost.

1. Dreaming With A Broken Heart – John Mayer. I’ve never hidden my very public boner for John Mayer’s album Continuum as a whole piece of art that I want to crawl inside of and listen to on repeat forever. It also, happens to be a breakup album. Turns out ole Johnny boy really hit his stride when he was in heart turmoil. I wish he hit his stride by playing it in full when I saw him in concert last year instead of choosing to play it for dirty NYC instead. But obviously I’m not still holding onto that bitterness (I 100% am.) Every song off of this album is amazing–except Waiting on the World to Change because I’m not a hippie. However, nothing quite screams depression like his very detailed description of what it’s like to sleep when you’re heartbroken and wake up and remember that you lost the love of your life. If you’d also like a visual of that to really make sure your heart feels full of holes, look no further than this performance to it from So You Think You Can Dance (100 years ago.) The male lead in it is now the official DJ of The Ellen (soon to be cancelled) Show.

2. Everybody Hurts – R.E.M. I honestly had forgotten completely about this song until I read a romance novel last night cleverly titled “Beach Read” (10/10 would recommend) and the guy blasts this song at his birthday party and gets roasted by his soon to be love interest REAL hard for how depressing this song is. And it’s SUCH a quintessential cry song. I mean even Dwight Schrute popped this classic on with his windows rolled down in the parking lot when Michael Scott was giving more attention to Ryan the temp. Sometimes when you embarrassingly have tears streaming down your face, it’s comforting to know that EVERYBODY CRIIIIIIIEEEESSSSS.

3. It’s All Coming Back To Me Now – Celine Dion. I’ve never been more confident in my car concert performance skills than I am with this song. I will never ever get the words right no matter HOW hard I try to learn them, and yet people are MOVED by the notes I’m able to hit right up there with my girl Celine. This song is all about emotion. You breathe deep from your belly and let that sadness and regret come screaming out. Crying can certainly be a therapeutic release, but nothing will ever top the buildup of AND I BANISHED EVERY MEMORY YOU AND I HAD EVER MADEEEEEEEEEEE to go back down to a soft sadness of “but when you touch me like this.” I got goosebumps just thinking of it and now I think I’ll need to take my car for a spin down I-90 for a little cathartic Celine solo sesh.

4. What Hurts the Most – Rascal Flatts. Nobody knows heartbreak like country singers and that seems pretty obvious. This one’s a heart-wrenching song about trying to get through each day but the worst part being the regret. Oof. Let that tasty nugget sink in and simmer in your overactive brain before bed. Nope, just me? Cool, cool, cool.

5. I Don’t Know You Anymore – Savage Garden. About 0.01% of you will know this song. In fact, I would go out on a limb here and say about half of this playlist is obscure sad songs. I really dug deep for this. And that’s exclusively because this playlist is subjective and since it’s my blog and I write whatever I feel like writing about, I get to do that! I get to force the songs that I’ve cried to for years right in your faces and say HAH, check out these sobworthy tales that you may have never discovered before. Savage Garden became my crying CD (I believe they only made one) via my sister Nikki. Shoutout to her for passing down the sad. Whenever mom and dad were mean and punished me or a boy tripped me instead of smiling at me when I had a raging crush on him, I smashed play on the ole Savvy G. They just GET me, yaknow?! Just kidding, they just happen to have mellow delicate voices that soothe a sobbing pre-teen into a lull and make her relate her dumb 11 year old problems to adult tales of loss and abusive relationships (Two Beds and a Coffee Machine will make you want to rip your eyeballs out from sadness.)

6. Someone Like You – Adele. Ah yes, the fiery Brit with pipes beyond belief who started churning out breakup songs right out the gate. Nothing will make you sit and ponder life and stare out into the abyss like a deep Adele song. Even though I’m anticipating what type of music glow-up Adele will be releasing into the wild in the near future, this is a nice nod to her early days on the scene. Her voice is like a warm cup of tea that you immediately want to cry into.

7. Happier – Ed Sheeran. Honestly just hearing the beginning notes of this song makes me want to immediately burst into tears. Having someone love you so much that they just want to see you happy is the ultimate thing and YET that’s nearly impossible. WHO THE HELL WANTS TO SEE THAT? I’d rather go blind than see someone I was happy as a clam with being happy as a clam with someone else (probably on social media because that’s where people want to show that they’re SUH hAPpY.) Obviously this is why I’m a terrible human being and Ed is a phenomenal one. He even displayed this selfless unconditional love via puppets and balloons in the music video. A puppet could never date a balloon anyway so it’s for the best that she left his ass.

8. Reminds Me of You – Van Morrison. Normally when I make mixes I sprinkle the sads throughout and what I’m realizing is that having a playlist JUST FULL OF SADS is probably how people end up offing themselves. Please don’t do that. Crying is good. Wallowing with ice cream is encouraged. Watching a movie on Netflix where SPOILER ALERT you know the ending has the lead dying in the twin towers on September 11th (shoutout Remember Me) so you don’t have to see a happy ending is self-care. Listening to the depressing crooning of Van Morrison reminding you that everything in your life reminds you of your ex lover is NECESSARY.

9. You’ll Think Of Me – Keith Urban. This is a nice balance from Keith. It’s a little bit of GFY, mixed in with some feeling down and out. Keith has been cheated on and he’d like to remind this hussy ass ho that one day she’s going to circle back to him with regret and love and he’ll be like HAH no thanks. And that’s a nice mentality to have. An even better mentality to have, is thinking for SEVERAL years that he was singing “take your cat and leave my sweater” and that was HIGHLARIOUS to me. I think I grew to love this song even more just from believing that Keith was telling his girl to kick rocks and take her stupid cat with her too. Since I cannot stand the existence of cats, leaving one behind in a breakup seems like a normal thing to do because cats are assholes and probably would just hiss at you if you ever tried to cry and snuggle with them anyway. Nobody wants that cat. Or, if you finally google the lyrics for accuracy (10+ years later)…nobody wants that cap. Who the hell says CAP anyway?! It’s a hat, Keith. Or for our friends up north, a toque.

10. Breathe – Melissa Etheridge. I was scrolling through my iTunes library and had completely forgotten about this gem of a song. When I refreshed my memory with a play, I couldn’t fathom a boohoo playlist without it. I don’t think there’s ever been a MORE dramatic chorus than “I’m all right, I’m all right, it only hurts when I breathe.” Can you IMAGINE saying that to someone’s face. Like hey how ya doing? Oh I’m alright, it only hurts when I breathe. I LOVE THAT. I LIVE FOR THE DRAMA. This seems like something I would’ve written in my middle school journal. And I KNOW for a fact that I used it as an AIM away message. Everyone buzz off, the act of being alive is hurting me right now.

11. Amnesia – 5 Seconds of Summer. I thought it might be nice to hop from a rock n roll lesbian who my parents can’t get enough of, to an edgy boy band with a variety of shades of neon hair. Something for everyone to get their sad face on to! This song that this band 9000% did not write grapples with the idea of wishing we could just erase our brains completely because having memories makes heartbreak one trillion times worse. A little Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind for your eardrums.

12. Hurts Like Hell – Wrabel. This one can probably go hand in hand with ya gurl Mel. Not only does it hurt when I breathe but it HURTS LIKE HELL. This is for the lingering case of the sads that lasts for several years and WOOF does that suck. Bet Wrabel wish they had amnesia, amirite?!

13. Drunk Me – Mitchell Tenpenny. I try to stay away from substance abuse when I know a stiff breeze could make my eyes unstoppable waterfalls of sadness and Mitchell seems to feel the same way. He’s not really into drinking when he’s going through a breakup because booze brings out all his emotions and also THERE AiN’T nO HaNGoVeR like you, gurl. And ain’t that the truth. Also, I genuinely get crippling hangovers and fun fact: alcohol is a depressant so getting more sad the day after is typically how that bitch ruins your weekend and you end up needing to turn on Teen Mom to see someone who’s struggling harder than you so you can find the strength to get up off the couch and make some Kraft Mac & Cheese.

14. Walking on Broken Glass – Annie Lennox. Yeah I could be shouting out our current lady popstars who know how to twist the knife BUT it seems like today’s generation is much more forgiving and less about the poor me’s. And that’s great and all, good for them, girl power, THANK U NEXT, I needed to LOSE you to LOVE me. But first, I need the wah wah’s. I need to feel V. sorry for myself before I can snap my fingers and declare that everything I need is standing right in front of me as I look in the mirror like Demi Lovato. And that’s where Annie comes into play. Annie’s like this sucks so bad it literally feels like I’m stepping directly onto shards of glass. YES, QUEEN. First we cry and make everyone feel sorry for our hardships, and then we sweep that glass up (when we’re ready and done feeling our feels) and pop in the Kelly Clarkson tell-off anthems.

15. Let Her Go – Passenger. Naturally songs are one of those things that can transport us right back to a place that we heard it first or a time in our life. This song brings me back to Fall of 2013. I had just graduated college and was living in an apt in Saratoga Springs with my dad and I was the MOST unemployed. (Kinda like now, it’s the CIIIIIRCLLEEE OF LIIIIFEEEEE.) Every morning I would get up, make myself a cup of coffee and turn on VH1 because they played music videos in the morning and I would start my job searching for the day. This song was hot to trot in their artsy new releases on VH1 (yes I realize I just admitted being into the morning equivalent of TRL in 2013, but I LOVE MUSIC VIDEOS, SUE ME) and it played quite literally every single day. And every time I heard it I teared up. What a sad ass song and this guy, who I can only assume never released a song again, has the sad ass voice to go with it. Either way, I soaked in the sad as I tried to convince someone to hire me. So whether it’s 2013 or 2020, you’ll find me crooning AND YOU LET HER GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO as my laptop becomes soaked with tears.

16. Incomplete – Backstreet Boys. Historically speaking country crooners have been the best at relaying their heartbreak and typically somehow involving alcohol (cough cough whiskey lullaby) but a hat tip to the boy bands as well, because you’ll be hard pressed to find more dramatic sadboi lyrics than this song right here. Plus, 5 guys singing their hearts out about swimming in an ocean all alone really packs a punch. I think the appropriate way to blubber to this song is on your knees staring up at the sky while it downpours directly into your face. Tears mixing with rain. You’re welcome. Without that visual, your life was incomplete.

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17. I’m Never Getting Over You – Gone West. Gone West put out exactly one album before they broke up as a band and ironically enough, it was two couples who had formed together and one of the couples also broke up. And even more ironically, their album was all about breakups. SO GONE WEST KNOWS A THING OR TWO ABOUT HEARTBREAK. Absolutely recommend giving their album a listen because they’re not all downers (shout out Confetti for being an upbeat breakup tune) and also because you’ll apparently never hear what they sound like as a band ever again. Colbie Callait and her bubbly ass ruined everything and I’ll never get over it.

18. Someone You Loved – Lewis Capaldi. I’d liken Lewis to a little bit of an Ed Sheeran but I’m guessing that offends him. But he is British just like Ed and does have some orange-ish unfortunate looking hair like Ed. And also he’s a phenomenal singer-songwriter. This one became a smash this past summer and made me want to curl up in a ball and die every time I heard it. In all of the good ways, of course. Like when the day bleeds into nightfall and you’re ALONE.

19. Un-Break My Heart – Toni Braxton. This is such a cocky way to be sad and I respect Toni for it. It’s not like ugh my life sucks and I’m walking on broken glass and I’ll probably die alone. It’s like no you better come over here and fix this. You did this. Reverse-REVERSE it. That wasn’t at typo. Ever since the Cupid Shuffle was beaten into my brain at middle school dances and weddings with shitty DJ’s I’ve been physically incapable of saying the word reverse without shouting in my head REVERSE, REVERSE! So now it’s time to get funky with it and un break Toni’s G-D heart and uncry her tears because far too many have been shed and I’m SICK OF IT.

20. The Scientist – Coldplay. I’m not sure if there’s anything that sounds more like giving up than “take me back to the start.” Thank you so much Chris Martin for giving us that gift along with “no one ever said it would be this hard” because you know what? There’s no adequate warning for how much being sad sucks until you’ve lived through it. It’s impossible to go back to the start though (cause, science) so let’s get right in our feelings and sob our way through.

21. Gone – *NSYNC. I’ve used this song on my Boy Bands Slow Jamz playlist (shameless plug, another sick mix of tunes) but it’s so heart-wrenching it deserves to be recycled on here. When you have five guys harmonizing over why you left, you know they must be sad. WHAT DID THEY DO TO MAKE YOU LEAVE?! Seriously though, if you’re all out of tears at this point, the least you can do is nail JT’s howling OHHOHHHOHHHOHHHHHH at the 3:50 minute mark. Make sure you get up in the high register at the end with a little rasp. Never mind…I’ll take it from here. Nothing brings me more joy than playing JT’s part in this song going from depressed as hell to angry and repeating what everyone else is singing with an aggressive tone. SITTIN HERE. TO GET YOU OFF OF MY MIND. MY BEST TO BE A MAN. Ok I’m done. DONEEEE.

22. All Too Well – Taylor Swift. I realize that Taylor just released an entire album of sad and dramatic breakup songs and almost all of them could make this ugly cry list (lookin specifically at exhile and my tears ricochet) and that obviously she’s written a bajillion breakup songs and there’s a reason why everyone thinks she’s just a big ole serial dater crushing hearts left and right…BUT…there is only one breakup song in Taylor Swift world that trumps them all. And there is only one breakup song ever that is quite possibly the greatest masterpiece of all time. And it is All Too Well. The details of falling in love and basically tying it in with the leaves dying in the fall…I mean, she made a breakup a SEASON. And rightfully so. The dramatics of the piano and getting REAL heated and the sadness when she drops back down again to remember it all too well. I could talk about this song for the rest of my life and it still wouldn’t be enough. I’ve performed it solo in my car, hands slamming on the steering wheel even more than I’ve screeched Celine’s flashes of light. I’ve used the lyrics when I wanted to get a dramatic point across. And when I went through my own breakups, I ugly cried my damn face off to it remembering my own moments singing in the car (this song ironically) getting lost upstate–she was OBVIOUSLY singing about upstate NY. This is the pinnacle of breakup boohoo songs, so do yourself a favor and lay there like a crumpled up piece of paper and let the loss of Jake Gyllenhaal (or whatever dum dum who dumped you and will never compare to Jake) course through your veins.

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JUice

Weekly JUice

Week of 7/20/2020

1. folklore.

So, Taylor made laziness during quarantine look like absolute dogshit. She went and recorded an entire-ass record and this announcement popped up yesterday morning like ho hum since I couldn’t tour I decided to just write and record a whole album and also a music video too, Cheers! Extreme Swifties were probably on suicide watch at the fact that there wasn’t months of lead-up with Easter Eggs and clues in her instagram photos. WHAT IS THEIR PURPOSE IF NOT TO DISSECT EVERY PHOTO AND CAPTION SHE POSTS AND PREDICT UPCOMING SINGLES AND ALBUMS?! I myself was scooped on the news, but that didn’t stop me from bouncing back with an obnoxious amount of Taylor Swift content as I prepared for the drop, even tying the throwback Thursday post I do weekly on my dad’s live music Facebook page to her new album cover. My knack for bringing everything back to Tay knows no bounds.

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And here’s my midnight gut reaction to her first video:

We get about 3 seconds in before she climbs into a magical piano and resurfaces in a magical forest, ooo baby we are full on whimsical TAY. Could do without her matronly 1940’s nightgown and little itty bitty pigtail buns but whatever we’ll let it slide as she was styling herself and also creating a whole music video so some things had to slip through the cracks. Welp and then things took a real dark turn and she was drowning in the ocean with a piano, which made me REAL panicky. Kinda wish I hadn’t watched before bedtime. Overall kneejerk video rating: 6–cool effects but generally wasn’t blown away. And as for the song itself, it was like sleepy time music. Definitely a whole different sound and not what I was expecting to hear, seems like she’s really going through a hipster phase especially knowing that Bon Iver will be featured on this album. Kneejerk song rating: solid 6 as well. Sixes across the board. Now excuse me while I listen to the whole album on repeat, get my deluxe edition (I went for the stolen lullabies version), read all rabid fan theories about lyrics and prepare myself to write you an obnoxious track by track review to debut next week.

2. Quar-engagement.

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So apparently when I told my gurl Demi to take it slow on this very blog just a month ago, she didn’t feel the need to listen. And hey, I get it. When you’re in love, your closest friends opinions become garbage because this person has your whole heart. Here’s the bottom line though. Hollywood has shown us (and quarantine especially) that no celebrity relationship is safe. EVERYTHING ENDS. I mean seriously look at Kelly Clarkson. So if Kelly, a mature, responsible and pretty “normal” celeb can’t make her marriage last, how much faith should we have in an engagement that comes a few months after they started dating and exactly two years after she publicly overdosed. (Like to the day…do we think that was planned?) Again, not passing judgment, just looking out for my bestie. I WANT WHAT’S BEST FOR HER. What I will pass judgment on, however, is that rock.

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I’m sorry but that thing is hideous, IMO. It’s a gargantuan piece of costume jewelry. Since US Weekly gave me a rundown on who this Max character is, and his top credits were a soap opera and a duet with the “Friday” chick Rebecca Black…I’m guessing he wasn’t paying for this ring on his own salary. But if he was, WHOA BABY. Anyway, I guess this is just another score for romantics who say things like “I knew I loved you the moment I met you.” Or Megan Fox who was married at the time she met Machine Gun Kelly and told him that he was her twin flame when she first met him and that they are two halves of the same soul. Good for you guys, I guess. I’ll keep on living in the real (super cynical) world where people fall in love and get married to people who annoy them a lot but at least they have each other to binge Netflix shows and snuggle with. This whole soulmate thing seems a little far-fetched. There’s a whole lotta people in the world, and especially in the case of celebs, they seem to find a whole bunch of different soulmates in their lifetime. Jus sayin. BE CAREFUL, DEMI. PROTECT YOUR HEART!!!

3. Our Future Pres.

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This seems to be a touchy subject because of the mental health that’s involved with it and I’ve seen people get condemned about “reporting on it.” HOWEVER, if you’re running for president of our country, I believe that speaking about your outbursts is fair game, whether you are in control of them or not. Also, I feel like it is my duty to report the news that olds like my parents might not always be on top of. For instance, when my mom came into my room the other night and was like what’s the deal with Kanye and Kim getting a divorce? My mom doesn’t have twitter. So I’m just serving the community here by consistently screenshotting tweets that I know Kanye will immediately delete. And there’s a lot to unpack here from just one week. It all started when Kanye held his first candidate rally, because yes he legitimately registered to run for president. In this rally, he ranted about Harriet Tubman not actually freeing the slaves and then worst of all–he admitted that when Kim found out she was pregnant, he was dating other ho’s at the time and immediately wanted her to abort the baby. Apparently they went back and forth for a month or so before God sent him a sign by blacking out his computer while he was trying to work that he should have this baby. So they had North. And then he screamed and cried about how he almost killed his daughter and wanted to and how his father wanted to kill him but his mom saved him. HEAVY stuff. Not to mention, North is now 7 years old. And her father is publicly ranting about how he wanted to abort her. YIKES ON BIKES. Naturally, reports surfaced that Kim was not pleased and then the tweets started rolling in. Here’s a collection of tweets from both nights where he popped off this week (most have since been deleted.)

So basically, Kanye called his wife a playboy whore, called his mother in law an enabler to her whoring, said they both tried to have him committed and they need to back off, accused Kim of cheating with Meek Mill and that he wants to divorce her, then rambled about different celebrities even tossing Bill Cosby into the mix and blaming NBC for his downfall. He also posted a video with Dave Chappelle saying he came to check on him and it was a super cringeworthy several minutes of Kanye forcing Dave to tell him a joke to uplift him and Dave looking very uncomfy. Then Kim spoke out:

Basically asking everyone to respect his disease and the fact that they can’t really do anything for an adult with bi-polar disorder unless he asks for help. The whole thing is just an ongoing shit show. Obviously Kanye is not well mentally. Obviously the entire Kardashian family lives off of having transparent lives and filming their every move for the E! network. These two things do not go hand in hand. Throw in a presidential race and you’ve got total chaos. Kanye, please go quietly into the night, get some help and maybe separate yourself from the Kardashian family because it doesn’t seem like y’all mesh well. Not even Kris can get a handle on this situation. He’s out here calling her Kris Jong-Un. THE DISRESPECT IS REAL. But seriously let’s end this before it gets worse. His poor kids don’t need to be reading about their dad’s manic raves and we certainly don’t need anymore politics drama. The world is angry enough. Cut the shit ‘ye. Also, not for nothing but he announced an album drop mid-rave set for today and I respect the hell out of the fact that Taylor came from the clouds and was like nah, B, I’m gonna drop on album on Friday. BOOYAH. I hope this feud never dies.

4. Secret Baby.

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This is low on the list because I have 0.0 evidence that it’s real. Stories started surfacing at the beginning of the week that Jess just casj had a baby. Obviously we had no idea she was even pregnant and there has been no confirmation from them if it’s true so I guess we have a MAYBE baby? And honestly, damn you Kylie for starting this secret pregnancy shit. I’m so f**king over it. Either publicly have a baby because you have chosen a life in the spotlight or don’t have kids at all. GAWD YOU CELEBS ARE SO SELFISH. It probably wasn’t hard for Jess to hide this pregnancy considering they’ve been quarantined in Montana for 6 months–aka the entire time she would be showing basically, but at the same time, throw us a freaking bone. And not for nothing if this IS true, this is 9 trillion percent a post-cheating makeup baby. Oopsie JT strayed outside the marriage, got caught HOARD, and then they decided another kid might fix their marital problems. Obviously I’m still bitter but at least I can always hang my hat on being prettier than Jess. Also, while discussing this surprise baby with my mom, she told me “good for them, they got through the cheating scandal. A lot of people have little blips.” So basically I learned that my mom is dead to me for supporting their marriage, which I’ve hated since the beginning, but she’s also casj cool about cheating. Celeb gossip bringing out the truth in families all over.

5. This Week’s Reunions.

Apparently Katie Couric is VERY into The Parent Trap…so much so that she felt a reunion was necessary. I will save you all the 30 min watch and give you the recap since these reunions are all the rage now and not everyone wants to watch each one (I know, I’m a godsend for doing the dirty work with all of my free time.) I think probably the most baffling thing about this was how much Dennis Quaid yammered on about how he knew the moment he met Lindsay that she was SO talented and amazing. And honestly, The Parent Trap is a great movie, and all of the awards to Meredith Blake for being such an all-time bitch character and the actress who played her for consistently leaning into it on social media, but we’re not talking about an Oscar-worthy movie here. This is a light-hearted family flick remake. So we can relax with talking acting chops. ESPECIALLY when it comes to Lindsay Lohan. I mean this was the girl who most recently moved to Dubai just because and then had a reality show about a Greek beach club she was “managing.” She has had her talons in any sense of the word fame for as long as I can remember. Even having her mom get in on it with her dating stories and her dad being a real trashmonster. But even so, her family aside, Dennis Quaid was waxing poetic about what a great actress she is. I’m happy to take everyone’s views down a peg with this memory.

And one of my favorite shows of all time and highly underrated, Happy Endings also hopped on the reunite for a good cause wagon and did a bonus zoom episode. I was pleasantly surprised once again at how well they did considering it was all done digitally. Their characters were still intact and the best thing about the show is their snappy dialogue which was not lost in the method. If you have yet to become a Happy Endings fan, I would recommend binging via Hulu as there’s only 3 seasons and they’re quick half hour episodes. You won’t regret it. You’ll also realize that a good portion of the stupid phrases that I use are ripped directly from this show. This bonus material just made me want more. BRING BACK HAPPY ENDINGS!!!

 

BONUS:

This is what the world has come to. Martha Stewart posting a “sexy” (the word is in quotes because I don’t find this sexy but the way she’s half closing those lids and popping that mouth open makes me believe sexy is what she was aiming for) selfie to talk about her concrete pool. I am done. Get me right off of this planet. I don’t want to be here for a second longer.

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Music, Playlist

Bitch, I’m Limited Edition.

This is for anyone who’s having a day (or a life) where they’re feeling down about themselves and need a quick reminder of just how awesome they are. I need this reminder more days than most but let me tell you, a quick rotation of songs that tell me how hot, cool, funny and unique I am, songs that remind me that I can do anything that I put my mind to? That shit works. Just listening to one of these songs gives me a burst of confidence and self-love so there’s no telling what I’ll do after a whole playlist full. Coincidentally, feeling insecure or defeated can sometimes come with a breakup, therefore I’ve peppered in a few dust yourself off breakup songs that I’ve enjoyed and related to over the past year as well. If you’re not going through a breakup, this playlist will still make you do a high kick and want to stunt all over your haters. Regardless of where you are in life, hopefully these songs will reinforce that you’re the bomb.com. OWN IT, ho. (I use this as a term of endearment, I’m really on a hot streak with it ever since I learned via The Last Dance that Michael Jordan repeatedly called his teammate a ho while bullying him to be a better player. MJ might have intended for it to be mean, but it made me laugh and therefore I’m normalizing ho as a name we can call our friends when we’re keeping it real.)

ME! – Taylor Swift Ft. Brendan Urie. Some might say because of my years-long obsession with Taylor Swift and anticipation of this single, I related to it a little TOO hard when it was finally released. I jammed out to it every chance I got and then to take it an annoying step further, would use it as an excuse for why I am the way that I am. If I did something obnoxious that would illicit an eye roll, I would immediately back it up with  well, you can’t spell awesome without me! No one enjoyed it but I felt like it embodied the awkward weird girl who may struggle with confidence and need a reminder sometimes that there’s no one out there like me and THAT’S WHAT MAKES ME GR8! Thanks, Tay. I mean, the song literally starts out with I know that I’m a handful. Like did she write it about herself or about me? So for anyone whose a real dramatic disaster mess, that’s what makes us FUN!

All I Do Is Win – DJ Khaled Ft. Ludacris, T-Pain & Snoop Dogg. This is an all-around feel good jam coming from a place of over-confidence. If you’re ever looking for someone who toots their own horn, look no further than a rapper. They will have no trouble telling you about all of their money, cars and women lining up to bang them. And sometimes, that’s just what you need. You need to believe that you’re rolling in money, winning every single day, even if you’re very unemployed and living with your parents. I’ve used this song on one of my other playlists but it deserves a repeat. Plus, we just taught my 3 year old niece the chorus and I’m happy to give her another opportunity to show her madd skillz in throwing her hands in the air–UP DOWN, UP DOWN, UP DOWN. PS no hotter opening flow than LUDACRIS GOIN IN ON THE VERSE CAUSE I’VE NEVER BEEN DEFEATED AND I WON’T STOP NOW. You TELL EM, Luda!

Bathroom Floor – Maddie & Tae. Here’s a post breakup joint that I discovered while dabbling around YouTube and I’m so glad I did. Although it directly references crying from a breakup, I think it can be applied to anytime you’re knocked down. Get up, wash your face, put on a fab outfit and hit the town. Obviously this doesn’t apply in the current state of affairs but as soon as the world opens back up again, you best be getting up off that bathroom floor, gurl. Also, can confirm this is a great song to dance to.

I Love Me – Demi Lovato. It’s possible that the release of this song is what became the catalyst for making this playlist. Ya girl Demi has BEEN through some shit in the past couple of years and is very open about her struggles, so when we she released “Anyone”, her first song in over a year, about basically her lowest point, it was a very emotional song to listen to (may or may not have cried in the shower a couple times to it.) But then her follow up song is THIS. And I’m like GO OFF, QUEEN. It shows just how easy it is to get into down in the dumpster lows, but you have to remind yourself why you’re great to pick yourself up out of those lows. SAY IT WITH ME: I’m a ten out of ten even when I forget! Basically Demi managed to put a therapy sesh in song form, and for that I am grateful.

Soulmate – Lizzo. Lizzo busted onto the scene a year or so ago in a BIG way. I’m not referring to her size, I’m referring to the size of her confidence, which is what made her so infectious. I could’ve easily put every single song off of her album on this playlist because they all spout self-love, acceptance and badass confidence. There’s a reason people can’t stop captioning their selfies with her lyrics (guilty as charged.) She’s full of catchy one-liners to describe feelin’ ourselves. This song reminds us that if you don’t love yourself first, you’ll be hot garbage in a relationship. Lizzo puts it much more eloquently, of course. For example, “I know I’m a queen but I don’t need no crown.” Tysm, Lizzo.

Love Myself – Hailee Steinfeld. I added this knowing full well that it’s a controversial tune, but it’s 2020 baby, time to embrace it. This song is 1000000% about masturbation. Like there’s no dancing around it, the lyrics are plain as day, this gurl is DJ’ing in her bed singing about how she don’t need a man to orgasm. That being said, it’s a fire song and just so perfectly fits this theme. Although it may be nice sometimes to have somebody else in bed, do you really NEED them? Hailee says no. SCREAM YOUR OWN NAME! Ok, I’ll stop making you all uncomfy now.

***Flawless – Beyonce ft. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. For anyone who’s not already a fan of this song, this is going to be weird to listen to because of all the soundbytes Yonce decided to toss in. Between the announcer voice at the beginning and end and ya gurl Chim giving a Ted Talk on feminism, it’s a lot to handle. But IN THE BEST WAY. This song is powerful as hell and gave us the cocky as shit phrase “I Woke Up Like This.” As soon as this album dropped and all of her pink font merch was appearing, I raced to the closest Etsy page selling knockoffs (I’m not about to pay full inflated price for a black tee with pink letters ironed on–that’s robbery) and ordered myself a tank top that just said FLAWLESS across the boobs. The first tank I received had a hair ironed into the letters. I cried. But when I received the replacement, I wore that tank constantly, usually unshowered and looking less than flawless–something my dad was all too pleased to point out. And you know what? I just flipped my hair and screamed BOW DOWN, BITCHES.

Not 20 Anymore – Bebe Rexha. Beebz has taken a lot of heat through the years about her “curvy” body. Obviously she’s petite & skinny and probably has a six pack but she also got an AZZ on her. As someone who busted a hole in clothing items twice in a six month span just because baby got back, I can very much relate. Bebe has been outspoken about what size she is after designers refused to make her red carpet looks because she’s a size 10 and has tried to create a platform around body positivity for the youths looking up to her. I saw her perform live last summer and was blown away by the amount that girl was dropping it low and bopping all over a stage like it was going out of style. At one point her backup dancer literally kicked her but those thicc thighs of hers were ready to take the hit. So praise her and her body confidence and beating out all insecurities women have about getting old. Twenties are for insecure losers, the big leagues start at 30 when you age like a fine wine and feel comfy in your skin. (I’m using her lyrics to tell you this, because I’m not yet 30 and therefore a very insecure loser…fingers crossed next year I’ll be like OMG YES 30 is the greatest age alive rather than feeling old as dick.) Shoutout to Bebe for also dropping this heater on her 30th. Typically I hate when girls post thirst traps, like we get it, you’re hot (eye roll) but I liked that this was a big FU to everyone who calls her fat. Check out that fAT AzZzZZ.

You Need Me, I Don’t Need You – Ed Sheeran. I think the best part about this cocky “I’m the best” song is that it was one of the first songs Ed even released. He wasn’t the superstar he is now, he was an unknown UK singer/rapper, couch surfing and he’s like I don’t need any of you, I’m THE stuff. And he wasn’t wrong. I like that kind of fiery hot confidence right out the gate. It shows you that confidence is nothing more than telling yourself you’re awesome and then trying to convince others the same. Sounds so easy, right? He was basically Babe Ruth calling his shot on becoming a massively famous musician, selling out stadiums. And then he made it come true. Let that be a lesson, y’all. Also, Ed’s always been a wordsmith but hands down one of his greatest lines comes from this song right here–they say I’m up and coming like I’m f*cking in an elevator. Boom. Roasted.

Limitless – Jennifer Lopez. Shows you just how much of a megastar JLo is that she made this song as basically a throwaway for one of her movie soundtracks and it slaps this hard. I’ve written about this song before because I wanted her to perform it in the Super Bowl, so I don’t want to be repetitive for my super fans who read all of my blogs, but this is just a classic pump yourself up lady jam. Not saying guys can’t enjoy it too but there’s something about “I am a woman who roars” that seems to resonate more with the ladies. If there’s ever a doubt about if you can do something, look directly to JLo for inspiration. She’s 50 and THRIVING, Mama. Never give up.

Nightmare – Halsey. Coming off the high of being limitless, I decided to toss in this bangpiece that doesn’t necessarily directly relate to confidence boosting but should get you real fired up. It’s a little on the dark side, but that’s what we love about Halsey. She’s gritty and she isn’t afraid to tell you to F off. This is a GREAT song to scream sing in the car, I can attest to POPPING off more than once to I DON’T OWE YOU A G-D THING. What a rush that is to tell someone off, even if it’s just the inside of your vehicle.

How To Be Lonely – Rita Ora. Sprinkling in another post-breakup tune that I’ve enjoyed jamming to. Puts a real positive spin on the rock bottom feeling that heartbreak serves. It’s like when people say they feel free after a breakup. Like, I lost a human being who loves me, but now I can really focus on myself and do whatever I want. The bitter bitch in me wants to roll my eyes at things like that, but I’m trying to be less bitter so I’ll give Rita a chance here. Maybe the benefit of losing someone is that you learn to get comfy with being lonely. I’m not QUITE there yet, but I’ll keep working at it and bopping along to this sick beat.

Fight Song – Rachel Platten. Another war cry for anyone who just wants to stop trying. YOU’VE STILL GOT A LOT OF FIGHT LEFT IN YOU. So stop being a wiener and start being a warrior. I think that’s probably what Rachel was trying to say when she wrote this song.

Up – Thomas Rhett. I know this playlist focuses heavily on the *strong and sassy, independent women* tuneage, but I wanted to make sure I was including great male songs too even if they are far outnumbered–it’s only natural that I relate more to the female variety. TR gave us this positive track off his last album and it’s literally impossible to have the Debbie downer feels while listening. Life’s just a big ole rollercoaster and if you’re down right now, get ready to go up. I of course am still waiting for my ride to the top but TR has taught me to appreciate it more when I finally do get there because I REALLY know what it’s like to be in the pits. Seriously, any day now. I am ready and waiting for that skyrocket UP.

Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) – Kelly Clarkson. Kelly Clarkson started her career on single girl anthems and that’s probably exactly why she became a megastar. She kicked that curly-headed f*ck Justin Guarini to the curb and was all Miss Independent. If she didn’t let From Justin to Kelly ruin her career from the very start, what doesn’t kill you truly does make you stronger.

Strip Me – Natasha Bedingfield. I’m not gonna let Natasha only be remembered for creating a song that will forever be tied to LC driving her Mercedes with the Hollywood sign in the background. This is a lesser known Natasha song but a whole lot more powerful than soundtracking a scripted reality show with “the rest is still unwritten.” Obviously she didn’t write the song with Lauren Conrad in mind, but you get the point. It’s another casual feminist anthem about always having a voice. So even if you lose everything else, they can never take your voice. Even if you use it to talk shit about celebrities and put out playlists on the internet.

Titanium – David Guetta Ft. Sia. This counts as another male appearance on the list even though Sia carries the song. This is the almighty goal here–no, not to physically have a robot body–but to care so little what people think or say about you that it just deflects off of you. That’s supreme level confidence and self-love that you don’t give a flying F what people think about you. Fire away, FIRE AWAY!

Castles – Freya Ridings. I heard this song on the radio this past fall and it was a day where I was thinking about how much everything sucked, feeling defeated and it was one of those rare moments that you don’t really get anymore (sorry radio, but you’re a dying medium for music discovery) where a song comes on randomly and it’s exactly what you need to hear. I remember feeling a surge of energy and relating the lyrics back to my broken heart as we all do when we’re being dramatic and feeling all the feels. Oh, what’s that, you’re doing great without me WELL I’M GONNA BUILD CASTLES AND BE MORE THAN YOU EVER THOUGHT I WAS. It was all I needed to feel better in that moment as I told off the pedestrian crossing in front of my car through song. Again, still working out the kinks on building that castle, it’s possible I need a few more rotations before I can really take action on that. But when I finally do, it’s over for you hoes.

Headlines – Drake. Again with the theory that no one brags on themselves better than rappers. Drake has basically made a career out of talking about how great he is, of course sometimes it comes at the expense of others–RIP Meek Mill. This is a throwback to OG Drizzy because I just love to point out when people are “overdosed on confidence” right from the start. It also gives me the opportunity to remind everyone of 2015 when I had an app that just responded to texts with Drake lyrics and boy was that a time to be alive. I wrote a whole blog on it because I too, was overconfident in my early blogging days, writing blogs where I literally texted myself for hours to get the right graphics. Check that out HERE for a giggle and a reminder that every once in a while it’s important to say something douchey like, “drinking every night because we drink to my accomplishments” to remind everyone around you what a boss you are.

Hold On – Wilson Phillips. I mean there really are no words to describe this classic and it’s timeless message. Other than imagining Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph interpretive dancing the chorus in bridesmaids dresses, you should also let the ladies of Wilson Phillips tell it like it is. They understand that life is a dumpster fire sometimes but you just hold on for one more day. And that’s all you really need to remember from this playlist. Having confidence or self love isn’t going to stop bad shit from happening, sometimes you just gotta fake it til you make it and keep waking up each day ready to fight. Whoa. Did I just get real deep?! You bet your ass I did. We all need a boost sometimes. I hope that this collection of tunes for the soul helped even just a little bit.

Also, not for nothing, but I listened to this playlist on my first attempt at a 15 mile bike ride the other day and it was a REAL rough situation between bugs, pollen, heat and going against the wind and there were several times I considered just sitting on a bench for a while or walking my bike back to my car and giving up, but quite literally every single song on this playlist pushed me to keep going. So even if you have confidence through the roof and you’re crushing life all day erreday, at least you know that this playlist can push you through a shitty workout where you want to throw up and die. YA WELCOME.

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Music, Playlist

Quaran-tunez Dance Party

Let’s have some real talk. Things suck right now for a whole lot of people. There’s death and anxiety and uncertainty and for us who are just sitting at home, we’re feeling cooped up but also feeling like we can’t complain about it because there are people out there busting their asses to save lives and make sure the planet isn’t wiped out. It’s a pretty depressing time all around and boy oh boy do I know a thing or two about depression. You know what I also know is a cold, hard fact though? That it is completely IMPOSSIBLE not to smile or laugh while you’re dancing. Dancing is such a weird concept. You flail your limbs around to music and sometimes people just sit there and watch and sometimes people join in and also throw their extremities around. How can you NOT be entertained by that? Ever since I’ve made it my life goal to perfect ONE dance video (read about that HERE), I decided to kick things off with a bangin playlist for a Quarantine Dance Party, because you have to have a GIANT dump in your pants to not feel happier after getting your groove on. It’s scientific fact. PS – I’m no fitness expert but go ahead and count this as a workout because I was VERY sore after learning my first TikTok dance and that has to count for something. JIGGLE TIL IT HURTS Y’ALL.

1. Can’t Stop the Feeling – Justin Timberlake. It is beyond weird to me that this song was created for a children’s trolls movie because it is without a doubt JT’s best dance banger. (Overall best song is Mirrors and it ain’t even an argument so don’t come at me.) I mean it’s literally in the title, I can’t stop the feeling that I want to boogie my face off when this jam comes on. It was released a few weeks before my sister’s wedding and when the DJ played it, I happened to be in the bathroom and I quite literally cleaned up shop and came charging out so I wouldn’t miss a minute of dance, dance, dancing.

2. Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus. Though this song requires much less fancy footwork and much more seaweed arms, it’s still a requirement for every party. Party can’t start in the USA until Miley hops off the plane at LAX. Kicks aren’t required for this dance party but encouraged if it makes you move better without falling because you have hardwood floors or something. Not that I would know from experience or anything. Please don’t sue me if you fall and injure yourself from dancing so hard to my kickass playlist.

3. Come Alive – Cast of The Greatest Showman. It’s no secret if you’ve read this blog before or listened to my pump it up playlist that I have a very large boner for the movie The Greatest Showman. I don’t even like musicals and this one had it all that even a naysayer like me who thinks breaking into song mid conversation is ridic won’t stop talking about it three years later. If I ever need to be in a good mood, I slap on this soundtrack and pretend I’m a performer in PT Barnum’s circus. This one really gets the juices flowing because it’s the beginning of the movie when they’re all excited and ready to rock n roll, just like you are at your dance party. It’ll make you want to snap your way over to a door and kick it right down.

4. Want to Want Me – Jason Derulo. Couldn’t have a dance off without JAY-SuNNn De-ROOOO-LOOOOWWW (sing in autotune voice or get the hell out of my face.) There has never been a more out of place pair than when my sister and I decided to go see Jason for a free concert at the NYS Fair, showed up several hours early to get seats and wait on a disgustingly hot August day, almost got edged out of our seats by concert bullies and then took part in a group learning of his “skeerrttt PULL UP” dance move. You’d think learning moves from Jason himself would make me a natural, but alas, I’m still white.

5. Barcelona – Ed Sheeran. It’s important for everyone to hear this. I revisited Ed’s Divide album the other day on a bike ride and what a PIECE OF ART that thing is. Ed went from dropping irish jigs about his grandparents getting married on the Wexford border, to rapping, to showing his hispanic flair on two tracks and then bringing it way down with some sobsies break up and love songs. Let it be known that Ed has THE MOST RANGE. I went from wiggling my hips off my bike seat, swerving all over the road to feeling like I needed to pull over for a good cry because HE WAS HAPPIER WITH YOU, YOU TROLLOP, AND YOU’RE DATING SOMEONE ELSE NOW! Anyway, got carried away there. The point of that long-winded story is to tell you why I needed this deep cut on my dance playlist. It’s under-appreciated, I LOVE a latin beat I can swing my hips to, and sometimes I just really need a man calling me mamacita to spice things up. Te Amo, Ed. Gracias por esta canción que me dan ganas de bailar. Besos.

6. Queen of the Night – Whitney Houston. OooOhhHh Shit we needed some Whitney to take things to the next level. When I asked my sister which Whitney song to choose, we listened to each one and each one made us want to jive so it was really a tough decision that had to be made. But that’s what I’m here for. To make the tough decisions about what song I should force you to dance to. And Queen of the Night just has that undeniable 80’s beat right from the top. So make yourself the Queen of your kitchen and sing into the slotted spoon while you do the running man.

7. Forever – Chris Brown. I’ve used this on one of my playlists before and typically my hard and fast rule is that I don’t repeat songs across playlists/blogs–and since I’ve been shoving these playlists at you for 5 years, that’s actually become quite difficult. BUT THIS SONG DESERVES A REPEAT. Not because of Chris Brown. He sucks and honestly I wish he didn’t create this masterpiece because we’re supporting a dirtbag by listening to it. But IT IS A MASTERPIECE. It’s pretty much the best dance song of all time and honestly if you get married and don’t have this at your reception, I hope your marriage ends in divorce because that’s what you deserve for leaving out the staple that created the JK Wedding Dance entrance and subsequent parodies, especially Dwight Schrute kicking a bridesmaid directly in the face hole. The end.

8. Please Don’t Stop the Music – Rihanna. It’s no coincidence that the songs are in this order. Get all your CB grooves out and then swiftly move on to the QUEEN. The SURVIVOR. Ri Ri has taken a whole lot of years off and I really think she’s due for a comeback, but also nothing will ever top 2007 Good Girl Gone Bad Ri Ri. Pre-Chris Brown dumping all over her face and her life. She was just releasing dance smashes and over pronouncing umbrella and life was good.

9. What A Man Gotta Do – Jonas Brothers. I like to say that I’m not a huge JoBros fan and all but I genuinely have become one with their comeback. Those bros know what they’re doing and they’re killin the game. This is my favorite song that they’ve released and they probably took a marketing class from Tay because they coincided the release with the height of TikTok and had people learn the video choreography and duet with them. Also they ripped the choreography straight from Grease but that’s neither here nor there. This song is a bangpiece.

10. Shake It Off – Taylor Swift. Since I’m such a Tay stan, I really wanted to go deep here because there’s so many jams that need love that she’s put out in her career. When I sampled some for my sister, a Tay hater, it became clear that I had to do an obvious dance hit or get the hell out of her house. So we had to go with this number. I mean it literally has its own dance move and there’s no way you can deny bopping to Taylor saying F you to the haters, PG style obviously. Related but unrelated fun fact: the weirdest thing I’ve done this quarantine was join Nikki Glaser’s Taylor Swift dance party that was literally just 400 people on zoom dancing to her carefully curated Swifty playlist. Natch, I disabled my video and only joined in hopes that Taylor herself would show up. She didn’t. But I did get to giggle at a lot of strangers dancing and dramatic lip syncing in their living room (and one real exxtra girl do some pole dancing.) Good times all around.

11. Die Young – Ke$ha. I originally had Timber on here because nothing can top the time I ran around the house scream-singing it and almost sprained my ankle but like I said, I’m very strict about my no repeats rule. So let’s love on early, trashy Ke$ha because I feel like that phase is easily forgotten now that she’s taken the dollar sign out of her name and shown us that she can actually sing without auto tune and techno beats. Also, great message here. Live your life and dance away like you’re going to die young. Because if you leave your house there’s a pretty high chance of that. Too dark? Dance it off. Inside.

12. Blinding Lights – The Weeknd. I had to give a nod to the song that my sister and I spent 2 hours learning moves to match the rhythm of LITERALLY 14 seconds. 2+ hours for a 14 second video that we did not nail. But you know what? Memories were made, we believed we got better at dancing and now when we hear this intro we break into cold sweats. WORTH IT. (If you want to dance along and learn the #BlindingLightsChallenge  infinitely faster than us, it goes Dab, sunrise, sunrise, swim, swim, spirit fingers, JUMP.) You’re welcome.

13. Toxic – Britney Spears. I mean there’s really not much I can say about this song. It marked the official turn from teen school girl Disney Britney to I have lots of sex, check out my hot bod in this see-through diamond onesie Brit. Looking back it was probably step one leading to her inevitable breakdown but what a killer classic. Hindsight is 20/20. Toxic is forever.

14. Good to Be Alive (Hallelujah) – Andy Grammer. Ya boy Andy basically took a church hymn and made it pop music. Hallelujah and shake dem hips. It’s a nice message of a song and a reminder that even though things might blow right now, at least you’re alive and dancing and that’s something to be grateful for. Did AG just make me positive?! Whoa. Let that baseline move you and you too, could become a positive Polly.

15. Let’s Get Loud – Jennifer Lopez. I wasn’t going to brag about my close personal texting friendship with JLo and not include one of her heaters. I mean she’s Jenny from the Block. She was a fly girl before she was even a singer. Girl’s got moves. If you’ve ever doubted it, look no further than her CARRYING the Super Bowl halftime show with ease–including a quick core strength upside down pole maneuver just for shits. Anyway, now that I’ve wiped the slobber off of my keyboard just from thinking about that, here’s the only song I wanted her to open with because it’s not only a crowd pleaser, but a party starter.

16. Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) – C&C Music Factory. No dance playlist in the history of dance playlists can exist without this B screaming EVERYBODY DANCE NOW. So just do what she says, yo. If you’re not sweating by this point, you’re not doing it right. I used to have a gym unit that was literally called Jiggle Til It Hurts and the teacher (who called me Maria for all four years of high school, nbd) would nazi-style yell at us to keep moving like it was FM Hornets Boot Camp and not 5th period gym class where girls wear rolled up Soffe shorts and didn’t want to be sweaty or ruin their hair for the rest of the day at school. I hated that block more than anything and guess what Miss Cauley, I’VE BECOME YOU NOW! I want to see you all serving your best dance moves until this music stops OR ELSE.

17. Pop – N*SYNC. I get that I’m kinda double dipping with the JT here but deal with it. Sometimes you just need a beatbox breakdown to catch your breathe because you feel like you’re going to die because you’ve been dancing for an hour straight. This was when N*SYNC got edgy and Justin shaved his head. They were in a CLUB in this music video. What a time to be alive.

18. Dynamite – Taio Cruz. Remember this MF’er?! Taio deserves a shout out and the closer for this playlist because no one knows where he is now but he created the annoying habit of repeating things 4 times in 2010 and that was a whole lot of fun, fun, fun, fun. Just wrapping up our dance party with some good vibes and our hands in the air. Hopefully this playlist made you dance, dance, dance, dance, smile or even just laugh at the fact that you were wheezing after one song like you just ran a marathon. Just me? Whatever.

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Playlist

Millennial Gurl Pop Anthems

It’s been far too long since I’ve made a random playlist, told you to listen to it and written something relating back to myself about each song. I bet you missed it. Don’t lie. Recently I’ve been diving back into the world of 2000’s she-pop music. It all started with JLo and Shakira rocking the halftime show, then Jessica Simpson was like hey y’all I’ve been an alcoholic for my entire life and I wrote a book about it and I was like welp guess I need to start rotating her hits again and it spiraled into a 7 hour playlist of every girl pop song I grooved to from ages 11-19–basically these ladies raised me and I wanted to reminisce on those times. SO NOW YOU GET TO AS WELL! (Guys too. Don’t even for a second pretend you didn’t have these songs in heavy rotation.) To show just how dedicated I am, I busted out the ole CD’s to get into the song selecting mood and also feel like it’s 2005.

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A timely drop for Valentine’s Day because these ladies either sang about being in love or telling their boo to kick rocks so there’s something in here for everyone on this year’s VDay. ENJOY.

1. With You – Jessica Simpson. This was peak Newlyweds (how I’d like to memorialize each of them forever in my memory) and when Jess really started to lean into being a real dum dum. The song was basically about being yourself in a relationship and the video featured all of the things she was directly razzed about from their reality show. Calling a Platypus “plat-amuh-pus”, chicken or tuna, buffalo wings, her boobs getting in the way when she golfed, how she hated cleaning and was a real dirtbag to live with. It’s everything we love about Jess and what made her relatable and WHY THAT SHOW SHOULD STILL BE AIRING TODAY. Rest in Peace, Nick & Jess, Newlyweds Era.

2. So What – P!nk. Ah, another classic music video that tells the exact opposite story as the one before. Pink even references ya girl Jessica Simp in this song–GrL PoWeR! I’ve always had a soft spot for this song because of the story behind it. Pink was known as the badass B who didn’t fit in with the rest of the pop princesses but she was cool as hell with it and then she was dating Carey Hart who was like Bad Boy personified in his motocross lyfe. But then they broke up and she wrote this song and was like whatevs I’m still famous so we’ll be alright. PLOT TWIST THOUGH, she’s actually a softie and when she went to make this video she reached back out to Carey for the first time since they’d broken up and asked if he would be in the video AND HEARTS FLUTTER EVERYWHERE because him appearing in this video led to their reunion. What a great love story. She yells at him in her music video and he’s like k let’s get back togets and now they’ve been married for 13 years. Since I’ve always been a music video nerd I remember watching a behind the scenes (probably on TRL) where Pink was so nervous to have him onset that she had to get a little buzz on and LOOK AT THEM NOW. Also, goes without saying this song bangs.

3. No One – Alicia Keys. Taking it doooooown a notch with the soulful Alicia Keys. Nowadays you can find Alicia using her calm zen voice and piano playin talents to host the Grammy’s but honestly nothing has really changed about her. She wails on the keys and makes you want to close your eyes, bop your head and try to hit the highest of notes. Which obviously, I can. In my car–solo concert style.

4. Behind These Hazel Eyes – Kelly Clarkson. Kelly is queen of the breakup tell-off because that’s basically all she released for her first few albums that I listened to on repeat and just felt so UNDERSTOOD. Justin Guarini must’ve done a real number on her, that curly headed f*ck. This is one of her best numbers to scream sing to and I highly encourage that you do so. HERE I AM ONCE AGAIN just hits harder if you’re screaming at the top of your lungs.

5. If You Had My Love – Jennifer Lopez. Obviously I just did a whole blog dedicated to JLo’s hits and what I wanted her to perform at the super bowl–she performed 4 of those songs so shout out to JLo for reading my blog and being a woman of the people. Regardless, I’m not going to yap about the same songs here because that would just be redundant for my avid Salty Ju followers. Also, I could’ve picked any Jenny song and it would be a homerun. This particular tune is Jenny telling her mans how it’s gotta be because she’s not about to date a sleazeball. Ironically, the video (yes I’m going to reference basically every music video because this was the music video era and they all delivered the drama) is just a creepy guy sitting on his couch watching JLo dance around her house on his computer, watchmewatchu style. Yoikes not a turn I was expecting the song to make when she’s telling you to not mess this up, installing cameras in her house and peeping on her from afar is probably the quickest way to do that, sir.

6. Everything – FeFe Dobson. My homie FeFe wasn’t necessarily a heavy-hitter in the pop world like your Britney’s and your Mandy’s, but she holds a special place in my heart for when I was going through my punk pop phase and therefore I felt the need to give her a shout even though she pretty much disappeared after one album. If you look her up now, she’s apparently still making music but her instagram scared me, honestly and she’s married to a guy whose aesthetic is tattooed alternative cowboy rapper, so I’m out on that. Let’s just focus on the time period when she turned “do do dooooo” into actual lyrics.

7. Cry – Mandy Moore. I guess Mandy Moore does her best work when soundtracking a movie because I was deciding between Center Stage Mandy or A Walk to Remember Mandy for her feature on this playlist. Both wildly different stories and wouldn’t you know I went with the depressing one. Tearjerker classic A Walk to Remember was on TV a few weeks ago and I find myself equal parts ashamed and proud to admit that I could still recite the dialogue out loud word for word. Mostly because there will never be a more cringeworthy exchange than having a guy say I’m going to kiss you and replying “I might be bad at it.” Oh Jamie, you kiss virgin nerd bomber. Thank you for making me feel better as I laugh at you on my couch very much unemployed watching a 17 year old movie in the middle of a weekday. Either way, when Landon stares out at the water in the end SPOILER ALERT and says our love is like the wind, I can’t see it but I can feel it and you hear Mandy begin “I’ll always remember”, that’s a surefire way to have a single tear roll down your cheek. Thank you, Mandy.

8. Whenever, Wherever – Shakira. Even though I boo’ed the TV when Shakira came on first at the super bowl halftime show and I shouted DID JLO CALL IN SICK?! I still love Shakira. I just love JLo more and wanted a full JLo-Bowl with no interruptions. And I think that’s ok. I love Shakira but not like half-time show sort of love. I can still appreciate dem hips and self awareness for small boobs. Shaki paved the way for body confidence noting that it was lucky her breasts are small so they’re not confused with mountains. And you know what, same gurl. I’d never want someone to think my rack is the Alps cause that would be weird as hell.

9. Complicated – Avril Lavigne. You’ll notice that I’ve sprinkled in a few punk pop galz because at the end of the day, no matter how badass they tried to seem, anyone who tried to call themselves punk in the 2000’s were really just popstars who wore more eyeliner. Avril gave us the gift of incorporating a sassy uh-huh into a song and for that we should forever be grateful. But seriously, why ya gotta make things so complicated? Just chill the hell out. AND TELLLLLLLLL MEEEEEEEEE.

10. Hollaback Girl – Gwen Stefani. Ah, this brings me back to my 8th grade school trip to Cleveland (because Cleveland counts as a vacation destination when you grow up in Syracuse) and all my rich friends who had their first iPods bumped this beat on the 6 hour bus ride so we could all flirt by sharing earbuds and spelling bananas. CLASSIC. Also the DJ at Turning Stone popped this off a couple of weekends ago and several adults lost their shit so it’s a timeless jam that I can confirm we ladies still stomp our feet like this to. CAUSE WE AIN’T NO HUSSY HOLLABACK GUUUUUUUUURLZ. (Also lolz to the time period when Gwen only hung out with a Japanese posse called her Harajuku girls. What a time to be alive.)

11. Irreplaceable – Beyoncé. I could’ve included a Bey club beat here, but my heart told me to slow it down and sass it up with this one. This was Thank U, Next before Ariana was just a twinkle in her dirtbag father’s eye. With just one dubz finger pointing movement, Queen B told her man to take everything he own in a box to the left and get the hell out of her house. Before there was Becky with the good hair or BOY BYE, there was TO THE LEFT, TO THE LEFT and I think that’s an important lesson to remember. No matter what age Beyoncé is, she’ll always remind you that she’s a strong goddess and you ain’t shit without her.

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12. Boyfriend – Ashlee Simpson. We couldn’t shout out Jess without Ash, otherwise Ash would get all emo again and be like I’M LIVIN IN THE SHADOW, OF SOMEONE ELSE’S DREAM. Wah, wah, wah. This bop is less I’m jelly of my sister for being more famous, and more shut your face because I didn’t steal your boyf and isn’t that just so much more fun?! Makes ya wanna hop around and shake ya boyfriend-less booty.

13. Beautiful – Christina Aguilera. I’ve been having a real soft spot for the lady slow jamz on this mix. Sometimes you just wanna belt out and be in your feels and nothing puts you in your feels more than whispering “don’t look at me” before singing about how beautiful you are, probably in the mirror after a few hundred glasses of wine. Judge me, I don’t care. WORDS CAN’T BRING ME DOWN.

14. Come Clean – Hilary Duff. I can’t have an anthem playlist without the anthem for rich high school idiots who live near a beach. Just kidding, disassociate this song from Laguna because it’s a heater all on its own and has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with 16 year olds who spring break in Cabo. There’s no nostalgia quite like hearing the beginning weird whistle sounds of this song and knowing that you’re about to let that rain fall down.

15. Lucky – Britney Spears. Brit has had an entire career pre and post shaved head breakdown of smash hits and yet none of them are on the same playing field as Lucky. Lucky is the one song that unites us all. It’s so incredibly stupid and yet it’s the best storytelling song out there, complete with actual knocks on the door. If you don’t act this song out start to finish–beginning with a dramatic AF “this is the story about a girl named Lucky” then I don’t even want to know you as a person.

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Music

JLO-BOWL Top Five

I’ve gotten into a pattern of not blogging when I don’t feel like anything triggers me to fire up the ole laptop and clatter away with my obnoxious opinions. Sometimes I feel like, why take the time to blog if I’m not dramatically heated about it? Well, welcome to 2020 where my calendar recently opened up due to the minor detail of not having a job. Was I planning on blogging today? Nope. But then my girl JLo shot me a text that said “Hi Baby!!!!!! Only one month until the Super Bowl! Which song’s do you want to hear on my set list?! (sparkle emoji, heart emoji)” And thank God for me using her marketing platform as a way to pretend I’m close personal friends with her and laugh at all the texts she sends me because WHAT AN INSPIRATION. I’m not going to text her the songs she needs to perform, I’m gonna blog it. HASHTAG CONTENT. So, baby, hope this answers your question (shooting star emoji, kissy face emoji)!!!

First and foremost, if she doesn’t kick the halftime show off with Let’s Get Loud, she’s dead to me. I’m not even counting it as a number because it’s a given. This song is the ultimate pump up jam and I will not accept any other JLo song to open the show.

5. I’m Real (Remix) Ft. Ja Rule.

I’ve been very passionate and outspoken before about my love for that very short time period when Ja Rule would team up with Ashanti and JLo and make dirrty rap smashes. I dream of the day when that golden era music makes a comeback and honestly if JLo trucked Ja out for the halftime show I would probably pee my pants with excitement. Any song that starts out with “WHAT’S MY MUTHAF***IN’ NAME?!” in that grizzly voice of his is already going to be a W for me. Beyond my obvious love for Ja, this is the BEAUTIFUL day and age when JLo is still just Jenny with a top bun, some gold hoops and juicy sweatsuit (shorts edition, gotta show off those stems, yo). This is my favorite kind of JLo as you’ll learn from this list because her OG hits just have a whole lot more street sass than her new shit. This beat highlights her very strong skillset of sing-rapping. NOW I CAN BREATHE AGAIN, BABY NOW I CAN BREATHE AGAIN!

4. Waiting For Tonight.

It’s impossible to listen to this song and not immediately want to swing those hips. This is Jen’s foray into latin club beats and she knocked it out of the park. Plus, what a poetic love song: “I think of the days when the sun used to set On my empty heart, all alone in my bed.” It’s like she can have such a way with words, and then sing them over a beat while she writhes in a bikini and rubs jungle leaves on her face. WHAT A WOMAN. Also a timely choice because in this music video she clubs her way into the new millennium…exactly 20 years ago. While JLo was grinding it up to green neon lights, my family was popping Welch’s non-alcoholic champagne with both my Nana and my Grandma over because both of those olds were convinced the world was going to end in 2000 and didn’t want to die alone. True story.

3. Love Don’t Cost A Thing.

Sometimes we all need to learn a lesson, and this one is very important. JLo don’t want a mans who just lavishes her with gifts and isn’t around because otherwise those gifts will end up sprinkled along the 405 while she’s busy getting cornrows and dancing in front of a tropical green screen. I mean she even ditched the Benz with the custom license plate SO YOU KNOW SHE’S SERIOUS. Also, not for nothing but she’s rich as hell and can buy all this shit for herself anyway and WILL because she’s a boss bitch. So don’t even, HONAYYYY.

2. Get Right.

Full discloszh, I had an extremely difficult time choosing between this one and Do It Well. What edged Get Right in as the prized pick was that saxophone beat. Ignore this weird video where J was obviously trying to puff those acting chops and show that she could play any Jenny you throw at her and just close your eyes and let that sax influence you to pop, lock and drop it. Preferably in a fur-hooded winter coat (crop top style.) If we’re being real though, I can’t even knock her because if I ever had washboard abs like hers, I wouldn’t wear a full length shirt the rest of my life. So I respect it.

1. Jenny From The Block.

THE GOAT. THE PINNACLE OF EVERYTHING THAT IS JENNIFER LOPEZ. Without Jenny from the Block we wouldn’t have a fully dressed Ben Affleck LITERALLY KISSING HER ASS ON A YACHT. Without the Bronx, we wouldn’t have hoodrat Jenny with her nameplate hoops shouting FROM THE BRONX in the background accompanied by rapper hands. We wouldn’t even know what a mid-music video breakdown into a random song or dance number while wearing a do-rag is. And I for one, am #grateful for all of the above. This song and music video sum up everything that is perfection about ya gurl Jen. She’s humble and knows she came from tha hood but also would like to remind everyone that she can dance, sing, bang hot Hollywood babes and buy herself anything she wants now. KWEEN. I’d be even more excited if Bennifer made an appearance at the Super Bowl but I know that’s not realistic. Jenny, if you’re reading this, know that it would be very hilarious and self aware of you to poke fun at Bennifer while performing this song, which should most obviously be your closer. 

BONUS: Limitless

I feel like I was a little heavy-handed on OG JLo from when she was in the prime of her music career and that’s nothing against her, because she’s proven at 50 that she’s still in her prime and yet I pretty much hate any song she’s released within the last decade. She was leaning into the youths a little too much and I tend to not ~~love~~ that type of music. Also, she had quite a few collaborations with Pitbull and I think that bald little hot tamale stinks because he just shouts the same phrases over and over again. The latina DJ Khaled, if you will. HOWEVER, this song that she made for the movie she was in a couple years ago (Second Act–great flick) slaps hard. It makes me want to put on a red power suit and take over the world. GURL POWER. I wouldn’t hate if she slipped this one into the show somewhere with a potential cameo from her daughter who appeared in the video. Also, a great showcase for her vocals, which I feel like she doesn’t have a lot of songs that feature the pipes she’s got. I’m just lookin out for my BFF Jen, who texts me more than my own friends and family.

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