Music

Taylor Swift – Red (Taylor’s Version)

When we left things in December of 2020, I was at the end of my rope with sad Tay songs. We had just gotten folklore and evermore back to back and there were whispers of a third in woodvale. If you fast forward to the end of my evermore track by track review you’ll find that I said THAT’S ENOUGH. I couldn’t take anymore sobsies. Then a month later she announced Fearless (Taylor’s Version.) We have literally been inundated with Taylor Swift surprise announcements every few months for 2 years now. If you’d like to see my much bitched about rant on this “Taylor’s Version” era, feel free to click HERE and read #5 so I don’t repeat myself for the zillionth time. Down here on earth, I’m a rational fan. I can lose my G-D mind over her releasing a 10 minute version of my favorite song of all time and also be like ok, everyone calm down now. It’s too much. Short films and surprise music videos and her psycho fans are eagle eyeing every TikTok guessing which album will be re-released next. So from an old bird who puts her pajamas on the second she walks in the door from work, here’s a grounded view of Red (Taylor’s Version.)

*It is important to note that Red was released pre-The Salty Ju (so there is no official blog) but it is and has always been my favorite Taylor album. It came out in the fall of my senior year of college, it will forever give me cruising down the thruway in Upstate NY with peak foliage vibes and *not to brag* but I turned 22 that year so THAT SONG WAS BASICALLY WRITTEN FOR ME and anyone who has turned 22 since doesn’t matter and that’s pretty obvious. My age nearly matching up with Taylor has made her albums that much more relatable. Except for the fact that I never had a 3 month whirlwind affair with a Hollywood actor 9 years older than me. But whatevs, my point being that I’ve always been a Red stan and I’ll take any excuse to throw it on rotation and drive around on a crisp fall day singing along. Even though I never originally gave it a track by track review, it wouldn’t be honest to give my gut reactions to these songs I’ve been listening to for 8 years now, also there were THIRTY songs on this album so we will only be breaking down the 9 “from the vault” tracks we’ve never heard before.

Better Man. Alright so there’s two songs “from the vault” (alright, Walt Disney) that were actually written by Taylor and then when she cut them from Red, she sold them off to other country singers to perform. This one was handed over to Little Big Town. So it’s kinda cheating to be like eh this song doesn’t make the cut on my album, sell it to another artist and then circle back and be like I want it now. Total Indian Giver move. If you haven’t been keeping up though, Taylor does whatever the hell she wants now. So LBT can suck it. It’s a classic country breakup ballad though. Cause sometimes you can realize your ex was T-rash but still miss them.

Best Lyric: I know the bravest thing I ever did was run.

Nothing New (Feat Phoebe Bridgers). Immediately was digging on this song. Duetting with Phoebe’s haunting breathy voice really elevated the typical Taylor sound here. Seemed like something that would’ve fit perfectly on her last two emo albums except it’s not about breakups, it’s about when you’re not a shiny new singer anymore and everyone is over you. Based on the pop culture takeover that Taylor has commanded with this re-release and the fact that Spotify literally crashed on Friday at midnight, I don’t think this is a legitimate concern of Taylor’s anymore. And might I add, staying up past 11 on a school night when you’re 30 is embarrassingly difficult and being met with a Spotify “the page you’re looking for does not exist” was a real boner kill. I had myself questioning if I misunderstood which day it was dropping and after finally getting a lil listen in snug as a bug in bed, I was a literal zombie the next morning when my alarm went off. I’m getting too old for this shit. THANKFULLY we had a 7PM short film premiere and now coming up, a 10AM music video. Much more convenient. PS between the “I’ve had too much to drink tonight” and “how long will it be cute, all this crying in my room” I looked around to see if there was a hidden camera in my apt then realized it was physically impossible for 2010 Taylor to know that 2021 Julia is either drunk or crying or bonus round *both* on any given day.

Best Lyric: Criticize the way you fly/ When you’re soaring through the sky/ Shoot you down and then they sigh/ And say, “She looks like she’s been through it”

Babe. The second take backsies on Red (TV.) This one was released by Sugarland but did have Taylor featured on it so it’s not a total rip from Jennifer Nettles’ paws. It is a little weird though because Jennifer has a very distinctive voice so redoing any of her tunes is a stark difference. It’s just meh for me. “What about your promises, promises” would’ve slapped harder with a 3LW lisp. And to be even more honest, a little word association with the word babe immediately brings me back to the Jason Sudeikis & Kristen Wiig “Two A-Holes” SNL bit. Sucks to be you with a normal brain and have lovely positive associations with this term of endearment and then I stomped in and blew that right to smithereens with a callback to Jason chomping gum at warp speed, tacking babe on at the end of every sentence. You’re WELCOME, BEB.

Best Lyric: I hate that because of you, I can’t love you, babe (BEB.)

Message In A Bottle. What a zesty little banger this is! Again, total curveball in the grand scheme of this album. I feel like this would’ve popped OFFFF on 1989 and I’m surprised she lumped it into the Red era. Realistically, every song that Taylor writes and records is a message in a bottle. LOL to think that she’s like I wonder if the person will hear this. Yeah, girl. 90.8 million people hear the message. Anyway, there’s nothing deep to say about this song. It’s fun and 80’s and I can’t wait to dance my face off to it.

Best Lyric: You could be the one that I keep, and I / I could be the reason you can’t sleep at night (Honestly these lyrics are dumb, sorry not sorry. The song ain’t about the lyrics, it’s about having a crush and groovin it out.)

I Bet You Think About Me (Feat Chris Stapleton). The first time I heard this song I cringed because I L O A T H E when Taylor puts on a Dolly twang. It’s so tacky to me. You grew up in Pennsylvania, girl. If anything you should be saying “hoagie” like an uneducated moron, not have a southern drawl. (Please know that when I diss the PA accent, I’m fully aware of the fact that I say “calendar” like an uneducated moron. We’ve all got stupid accents depending on where we grew up.) Obviously everyone has heard “Our Song” and essentially every other song on her debut album where she put on QUITE the show with a little hick flair. While I do enjoy over-enunciating the words to Our Song just to piss off everyone around me, I’m still never going to be down with faking an accent just to do a country song. ESPECIALLY now that you’re a seasoned musician who has proven to be talented beyond belief. We don’t need the dog and pony show you were putting on as a fresh on the scene teenaged singer. Plus, in front of Chris Stapleton?! Girl. Do better. He’s a Nashville ruby red gem. The soulful voice of a cherub and the humble aw shucks I’m just grateful to be here personality that few actually have. I was a little disappointed he didn’t get his own verse like Phoebe did on her guest appearance. I love to hear Chris let it rip. But now that I’ve dumped on the lack of Chris and the presence of fake accent Taylor, I am happy to share that I do really like this song. The cocky laugh at the beginning and the tell-off ‘tude overall is GRAND. I love a snarky Tay. I’ll be the first to admit that 2010 Jake Gyllenhaal was a total babe soda, but my God what a dooooouuuuuuuchhhheeeee. Love that she gave us more ammo to DRAG him because any a-hole who brags about his indie music and his Hollywood connects and leads book talks over wine with his friends deserves to be pooped all over via twangy sass. Million dollar couch and organic shoes?! BOOOOOOO, JAKE, BOo0oOooOo0Oo. Can’t wait for this Blake Lively directed music video.

Best Lyric: I bet you think about me when you say / “Oh my god, she’s insane, she wrote a song about me” – This is the best possible way to end a song where you just DUMPED all over an ex. Wanna call me crazy, DO IT BITCH.

Forever Winter. Considering the content of this song is about someone being severely depressed, it slaps real hard. The way she goes up an octave in the chorus and the oh, oh, oh’s. Chef’s kiss. Apparently it was written for a friend who died of an overdose at 21. So yeah I feel like a real asshat for being like WOW COOL SONG, but also, cool song. Seriously, to have the ability to take a shitty situation and word vom all of your feelings into a bangpiece of a song is something I’ll forever be envious of as I sit on this blog and write poop jokes day in and day out. We’ve all got talents, folks. Some of them are just more impressive than others.

Best Lyric: He spends most of his nights wishing it was how it used to be / He spends most of his flights getting pulled down by gravity

Run (Feat Ed Sheeran). This was the first song Ed and Taylor ever wrote together and even though I’m a BIG fan of Everything Has Changed (and the adorable video that they made to go with it,) this song is like a warm hug after a shitty day. The simplicity to it and their harmonizing voices are perfect. Maybe if something like this was on Ed’s latest album, I wouldn’t have been so hard on it. The way they take turns singing each line is just downright delicious. I’m not saying I wish Ed and Taylor ended up together but I’m not NOT saying it either.

Best Lyric: There’s been this hole in my heart / This thing was a shot in the dark / Say you’ll never let ’em tear us apart

The Very First Night. Another bubblegum pop beat about falling in love and wanting to be up that person’s butthole 24/7. It’s a gift how I can take a cute little song and incorporate the world butthole into it. For realz though everyone knows when you’re in the honeymoon phase of a relationship and you want to follow that person into the bathroom so that you never have to be apart for even one second. It’s all fun and games and smothering until one time you get too snuggly while your boyfriend is eating dinner and he tells you to back off. HONEYMOON PHASE ENDS WITH A SHARP LEFT, FOLKS. Jus sayin. So enjoy this song and soak in the “I miss you so hard when we don’t talk for five minutes” glow while it lasts because as Tay sings…”we broke the status quo, then we broke each other’s hearts.” See? Dark turn.

Best Lyric: I drive down different roads / But they all lead back to you

All Too Well (Ten Minute Version). HERE IT IS BABY. Saved the best for last. Taylor dropped the “oh I have a ten minute version with swear words” morsel over a year ago at this point and since then I’ve been salivating in wait for its release. She obviously knew how savage we all were for this treasure and she built it up as much as one possibly could. Any true fan did exactly what I did upon the re-release of this album. Midnight hit (I refreshed Spotify 5 times until the album appeared) and I scrolled straight down to this track and smashed play. Nothing else mattered. I knew I would get to them eventually but first order of business was see if this was going to ruin the best breakup song ever written or make it infinitely better. And here’s my Salty Ju hot take. My very first listen I was not blown away. I felt like it didn’t flow. These new verses almost sounded like they were parts of a different song, wedged in and disjointed with the perfection that was the OG All Too Well. Then I slept on it. And when I revisited it the following day (SEVERAL times), I was able to approach with a clearer head. Obviously a song that’s 10 minutes long is going to sound nothing like the original version half its length. I’m so glad we got that one first and nothing will ever top it. But now I’m able to appreciate the bigger picture. And that picture is her spilling more tea on how much Jake stinks. And yes, I am absolutely here for it. I prepped all week to get in my feels and become one with heartbreak. The weather cooperated.

@thesaltyju

To ALL of my friends begging me to hang out…I’m booked on Friday night. #redtaylorsversion #swifttok #alltoowell

♬ All Too Well Taylor Swift – TaylorswiftxFolklore

If I may go verse by verse of the new lyrics…*pops the top on a $7 rosé (shout out Wegmans)*

[Verse 2]
Photo album on the counter, your cheeks were turning red
You used to be a little kid with glasses in a twin-sized bed
And your mother’s telling stories ’bout you on the tee-ball team
You taught me ’bout your past, thinking your future was me
And you were tossing me the car keys, “fuck the patriarchy”
Key chain on the ground, we were always skipping town
And I was thinking on the drive down, any time now
He’s gonna say it’s love, you never called it what it was
‘Til we were dead and gone and buried
Check the pulse and come back swearing it’s the same
After three months in the grave
And then you wondered where it went to as I reached for you
But all I felt was shame and you held my lifeless frame

I was hoping for Taylor to be so overcome with emotion that there were several F bombs. As someone who in the throes of a 6th grade breakup instant messaged “I’m so fuckin sorry” to my weasel of a boyfriend (of two weeks) for how much whining he was doing that I said we should break up so I could play the middle school field, I understand all too well how heartbreak (and guilt) can cause someone to swear like a sailor. Unfortunately, this much hyped explicit content was SUCH a letdown. Making fun of Jake for having a “fuck the patriarchy” keychain is SnOoZeWoRtHy. Come onnnnnnn. Give us some snarky F bombs not a “oOoh you’re a feminist but not really because you treated me like shit” dig. Besides that lamewad keychain, the additional lyrics further paint the picture that in these brief three months, their 9 year age gap was a huge point of contention and Taylor fell HOARD while Jake was more in love with himself than anything else. So right off the bat we get that she was WAY more into it than him and that he was almost ashamed or wanted it to be a secret from his snotty crowd.

And there we are again when nobody had to know / You kept me like a secret, but I kept you like an oath

And then we get to my FAVE new verse. It flows like butta and honestly by like the third rotation of me listening, I was getting annoyed with myself that I hadn’t learned the words yet. Yes that’s right, a 10 minute song that was out for mere hours I was disappointed in not having known every single word of.

[Verse 3]
They say all’s well that ends well, but I’m in a new Hell
Every time you double-cross my mind
You said if we had been closer in age maybe it would have been fine
And that made me want to die
The idea you had of me, who was she?
A never-needy, ever-lovely jewel whose shine reflects on you
Not weeping in a party bathroom
Some actress asking me what happened, you
That’s what happened, you
You who charmed my dad with self-effacing jokes
Sipping coffee like you’re on a late-night show
But then he watched me watch the front door all night, willing you to come
And he said, “It’s supposed to be fun turning twenty-one”

OH MY GOD WHERE TO BEGIN. How about with that first line “all’s well that ends well but I’m in a new hell” YEAH BABY. THE FLOW. Then going right into the savagery of “that’s what happened, YOU.” Damn, dude. I don’t care how many years have passed, that’s gotta hurt. And then to double down with some good ole fashioned Dad guilt. Hey remember when you charmed my dad but then he watched me sob on my 21st birthday because of your stupid ass. MY DAD HATES YOU NOW. But also, not shocking at all that Tay spent her 21st crying instead of getting trashed. Without a lame 21st birthday…would we have gotten the joyful anthem that is 22?! PROBABLY NOT, so for that Jake, we thank you for your service.

And then if I may be a scooch critical… by adding in the previous verse, we kinda lose the buildup BANG of crumpled piece of paper and you keep my old scarf. The original “All Too Well” CRUSHES at building up to a real scream-fest and I love it a whole lot, but with this sprawling story, there’s really no screaming climax. I miss it. Don’t get me wrong, Verse 3 also hits hard, but it’s a more subtle slow burn. And then we arrive at the completely unnecessary final new verse where I was almost like ok, he’s got a family, let’s pull back here. It seemed a little TOO “wait let me make him feel worse.” If the final verse was cut I don’t think that I’d miss it. Plus the beat completely changes and it’s just weird. It feels to me like it doesn’t fit.

[Verse 5]
And I was never good at telling jokes, but the punch line goes
“I’ll get older, but your lovers stay my age”
From when your Brooklyn broke my skin and bones
I’m a soldier who’s returning half her weight
And did the twin flame bruise paint you blue?
Just between us, did the love affair maim you, too?
‘Cause in this city’s barren cold
I still remember the first fall of snow
And how it glistened as it fell
I remember it all too well

Like yeah, the pussy posse is always going to slay girls half their age, we’ve all accepted that. Leo’s getting the last laugh at any criticism of his latest young boo thing and I can tell you Jake probably feels the same way. Does it suck that he pointed out your age difference as the reason why things weren’t working then continued to date girls your age? For sure. But it seems a little dramats to compare your heartbreak to a war survivor. I realize I’m one of the most dramatic people on this earth and I’m telling a fellow drama queen to tone it down but it comes from a genuine place. Know when to amp up the drama and when to let it simmer. “That’s what happened, YOU” was a sick burn, no need to then be like YOU BROKE MY BODY AND I WAS AT WAR FROM DATING YOU. It’s too much, girl. Also, the use of the phrase “twin flame” will unfortunately always bring my brain to the two cesspools of tongue that are Machine Gun Kelly and Megan Fox and that’s not your fault, Tay. Obviously in 2010 you had no clue these two morons would tromp into the spotlight and overshare about their sexual connection. And I’ll be honest it’s not the only zeitgeist buzzword that has made me want to drill a hole in my brain. The term gaslighting, which MANY fans have been using as they break down this song makes me want to take a dive directly off of a cliff. I wish we could do a collective crash course on what the actual definition of this stupid therapy term is because METHINKS that it’s being used incorrectly 90% of the time. If I were to blindly believe the majority of the population these days, every man is a narcissist who gaslights. But that’s a story for another time. From this verse we transition into basically the same lyrics repeated over and over again with this sexy slow jam beat. Going out with a whimper not a bang even though it sounds like we’ve got a little horns section cookin at the end.

WHAT A JOURNEY. From the haunting and melancholy tone of the first piano keys to start to this echo-y sensual sendoff. It is basically a movie playing out in musical form. So much so that Taylor said, you know what? I’m literally going to make it into a movie. Never one to be less than extra, she created this short film to go along with the song. It was fine. If I was missing F bombs in the song they were certainly in no short order in these fight scenes. If you’re so inclined to spend 15 minutes watching a relationship break down as the leaves fall, check it out. Or even if you want to see Taylor as a ginge. (Spoiler alert: fast forward to the end for that.)

Would it have been mind-bending if Jake himself made an appearance at the end rather than just some schmuck named Jake? Yes OBVIOUSLY. But alas, it doesn’t seem like these two could bury the hatchet for the sake of shock value. And realistically, it seems like Jake’s sense of humor is trash so him being in on the joke would be way too much to ask. But after my RAMBLING breakdown of the song Swifties have been patiently waiting for, if you’re not a Tay fan and you just skimmed through this, I will give a 10/10 recommendation to her SNL debut of this song. Just from an artist performance standpoint, she rocked it. The drama and the effects and the emotion as she sang this song were all nailed perfectly and that’s saying a lot from someone who hasn’t watched SNL live in so long that I had to google what time it started. I watched the whole stupid show just for this one performance that I could’ve easily YouTubed the next morning but THAT IS DEDICATION FOLKS and it paid off. I had chills. CHILLS I TELL YOU.

As Colin Jost said immediately following this performance: “The lesson we all learned this week is never break up with Taylor Swift or she will sing about you for ten minutes on national television.” DAS RIGHT, HOMESLICE. Ok but seriously I’m done now for realz. I got what I wanted and now I’m going to play it on loop, learn the words front to back and ruin my best friend’s wedding this weekend by drunkenly performing it at the reception probably using my beer as a fake microphone. Congrats and every happiness to the new couple but…THEY SAY ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL AND I’M IN A NEW HELL EVERY TIME YOU DOUBLE CROSS MY MIIIIINNNNNNNNDDDDDDDD.

Standard
Music

Ed Sheeran – Equals

Well, well, well, if it isn’t the English orangehead loop-stompin monster back after a LENGTHY hiatus with new music. That seems to be the theme lately. I realize not every artist can be Taylor Swift, recording or re-recording a full album each month, but also WHY THE DRY SPELL?! Well, in Ed’s case, it was pretty understandable. Since his last record (Divide, fully reviewed by The Salty Ju upon its release in 2017) Ed has gone cold turkey with the partying, gotten married to a gal named Cherry, and had a baby unfortunately named Lyric Antarctica. So I GUESS he’s been a little busy. We’ll let it slide…for now. This comeback (but don’t call it a comeback) album is titled = or Equals and if you’ve been keeping up with Ed’s discography, is right on par for his math symbols theme. Although, if I may be picky, this seems like a final call if we want to get deep. He’s already released +, x & ÷ and you would THINK the grand finale would be = because that’s typically the end of a math equation. HOWEVER, he still hasn’t used – (minus.) Just some deep thoughts I’m having as I overthink the meaning of math symbols just like Swifties overthink every social caption she’s posted since 2009. Anyway, I’ve done my homework and listened to this album on repeat all weekend long in preparation for this blog. I just know you were all overcome with anticipation for this track by track review because you can’t TRULY enjoy new music until you’ve heard my opinions on it. So without further ado…EQUALS.

  1. Tides*. The very first lyric that Ed sings on his comeback after an off the grid 4 years is “I have grown up, I am a father now.” WHOA. Ok, hot start. He’s setting that damn tone. We’re not going to have any cheeky references to your new douchey boyfriend getting his asshole bleached on Equals, because Ed is a DAD now, guys. It was with this single lyric in the first 5 seconds of listening to this album that I was like oh, fudgsicles. We’re about to get served with 14 songs oozing love and happiness for his new family life. And I have to be completely honest with you, I almost didn’t want to listen. I almost heard this first lyric, rolled down my window driving down 195 and tossed my phone right into the breeze. But I didn’t. Mostly because I’m still paying off that brand new upgraded iPhone, but also because I’m 30 now, guys. I’d like to think I’m mature enough to listen to music about people being blissful in their fairytale life and not want to drive my car off the road because that’s not where my life is. I’ve GROWN. (Quick context: as I’m typing this, I’m hysterically laughing.) But seriously, I’m going to try to listen to this album with an open mind even though I hate when musicians are happier than a pig in shit and therefore only release love songs. (See: Taylor Swift’s Lover which she conveniently released as I was going through a breakup. Thanks for that, TAY.) Ok, so now that I’ve given you that very lengthy preamble, I’ll actually get to the meat of this blog, judging the music. I really like this song. Musically, when he sings the chorus and then jams on those strings to bring it back up again, it makes me want to do a cartwheel. And you know what? I can. Because the message of this song is live your damn life because life is like an ocean, always changing tides, yo!
  2. Shivers. This song was one of the few pre-released singles before we got the whole album. Click here to see my initial thoughts on the music video. As per usual when I first hear a single that’s a little different than what I’m used to from an artist I’m like KILL IT WITH FIRE, and then my hysterics calm down after a few listens. Now that I have the cohesive album, I’m thankful for these club beats to break up all of the I LOVE MY WIFE AND BABY deep cuts. #Grateful for a beat I can drop it down low to and not have to overthink. I’ll be sure to introduce this one to my playlist for the next kitchen dance party with my four year old niece.
  3. First Times. There’s the Ed we know. The classic romantic, introspective love song. If this wasn’t so specific to his achievements in his career, I’d say it’ll be this album’s overused first dance song at weddings. But if I had to venture a guess, no one wants to slow dance to a song about how playing a sold-out crowd at Wembley stadium wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Gawd, Ed. BE MORE UNGRATEFUL. Just kidding, obviously the point of this song is to say that no achievement is worth shit without the love of your life, and every moment with them is the best achievement ever. Or whatevs.
  4. Bad Habits. This was the first single Ed released back in June and I was downright scared. Our first taste of Ed tuneage in several years and he drops this jumpy beat with a creepy vampire music video. Read my kneejerk reaction here. And obviously, remember that I’ve toned it down since then. What a sneaky little B Ed is releasing the only two club jamz from this album to trick people into thinking that was his new sound. Then he drops the whole thing and it’s like GOTCHA! This song is another fun jam to groove to despite the fact that the lyrics are touching upon Ed’s years of going HOARD in the party scene which eventually led to him going stone cold sober. I get it, once you get your moneymaker sliced and diced by a royal sword, it’s time to reconsider if you need to take a beat from drinking…but that doesn’t mean cancel ALL partying! Moderation is key for all bad habits.
  5. Overpass Graffiti*. ALRIGHT now we’re cooking with gas, baby. We’ve got a breakup song. It’s not a sassy tell-off, it’s wistful and sweet full of nostalgia but rather than being a total downer, it’s 80’s MAGIC. I love that he sped up this song and made it snappy. And those background scream-y vocals?! Oh, hell yea. Can’t wait to practice those at full volume in the shower. Plus to finish things out, he does my fave thing singers do where they take away the instrumentals and just sing with an echo effect at the end before the music kicks back in. I tell you, that and a good clap break in a song will get me EVERY damn time.
  6. The Joker And The Queen. I really don’t like this song. I’ve spent all weekend listening to the album in full with no skips and every time this one came on my finger was ITCHING to next it right out of my ears. They can’t all be winners and a dramatically slow piano ballad with an old timey sound and unrelatable lyrics just didn’t hit with me. Total personal preference. Obviously it’s well done–Ed has the voice of an angel, it’s simple with just the piano and the strings and there’s a nice musical interlude that might be fit for a 1940’s black and white picture but sorry I’m uncultured swine and I just can’t get down with it.
  7. Leave Your Life. I love the beat of this but natch the lyrics don’t resonate so much with me because I don’t have a popstar dad who goes on international tours. Ed wrote this song as a letter to his daughter in case anything ever happens to him. I used to go on and on about how I was my dad’s little mistake and that he was probably out playing a gig with his band Zipper at the Rusty Nail when I was born and couldn’t be bothered to come to the hospital. So I guess it’s kinda the same thing. Except my dad never wrote a song for me, he just wrote a bunch of songs about presidents, books and God. Your move, DEN. Also out of all of these songs, this is the only one that’s consistently been stuck in my head all weekend so it’s definitely got sticking power.
  8. Collide. How appropriate that after his love letter to his daughter, he writes a love letter to his wifey. This is basically a laundry list of all their memories as a couple. It’s like when you sign someone’s yearbook and write a bunch of inside jokes. And honestly that’s kind of the theme for this album. I understand Ed is an artist and he wants to release songs that he’s proud of and all, but there’s at least three songs on this album that I can think of that could’ve just been recorded for his family and shared privately. It’s romantic as hell to release public love songs that are very obviously for one specific person, but that person is not me and therefore I’m bitter as hell about having to listen to it. Whoops, guess I haven’t matured. The effort was there, I promise. But also, no one cares that you two have been to an Irish bar in Rome.
  9. 2step. Fun fact, I got firsthand two-step lessons from a Texas girl in a Boston bar while I was schnackered. I’m sure it was a real sight for sore eyes to see a bar with 5 people in it and 2 of them are two-steppin to whatever bro country song was playing. Haven’t 2stepped since then. In fact, gun to my head I wouldn’t be able to remember how to do it. The Jersey turnpike is the only dance move that’s stuck with me. #sorrynotsorry This song is a nice lil groove about how dancing makes all your troubles go away, which I wholeheartedly support. It’s also OG Ed with the double time singing/almost rapping and oh boy is it good to have him back.
  10. Stop The Rain*. What a cuppa positivi-TEA. See what I did there? Punny AND British. Also, just facts. This is a great anthem and I love it a lot. Plus it has CLAPS! The rain gonn’ come baybay, but just pop open that umbrella and keep on chuggin YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAAHHHHHHHH.
  11. Love In Slow Motion. Alright, back to his lady. This is obviously a nice slow jam for all the married couples who have kids or busy lives and don’t take the time to do date night or focus on each other. Take your time away from those runny-nosed puke monsters and talk to your sig oth and remember why you fell in love with each other and decided to create those runny-nosed puke monsters to begin with. Or whatever. I dunno. I’m running out of steam here, folks. I had the open mind to start and then slowly but surely it started to close as each sappy love song started playing. We’re reaching the end of our rope here.
  12. Visiting Hours*. Oh, great! I just admit I’m reaching the end of my rope and then we throw in a death song! READ THE ROOM, ED. Anyway, get ready to sob your damn face off to this song. It’s about wishing you could visit those you’ve lost and update them on your life and let me tell you, it’s beautiful and depressing all at once. Written for his friend who passed suddenly and sung at his memorial service, there will never be a dry eye in the house when this song is playing, I can assure you that. And not for nothing, but the composition of the song, using backup vocals in certain parts, the horns section and you guessed it, my favorite break for vocals only with no instrumentals at the end, CHEF’S KISS.
  13. Sandman. Remember when I was like hey maybe some of these songs didn’t need to be on a public-facing album that people spend money on? DING DING DING DING. I’ll take “A lullaby for your infant daughter” for 500 please, Alex. AUTOMATIC SKIP without even a second thought. I don’t have children so maybe those Ed fans who are parents will appreciate him including this but I sure do not. I didn’t think I was listening to Raffi’s greatest hits and therefore when this hit my eardrums I had to do a double take and be like did Spotify pull a fast one on me? Appreciate the calming island vibes but I’m lulled to sleep the normal adult way, to the sounds of a sitcom I’ve seen 9 zillion times. Shout out to the zesty way he sings “shake of a lamb’s tail” though. I’ll give him that.
  14. Be Right Now. Alright, we’ve made it to the end and the message as it has been on every other song so far, is LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL. This closer is about living in the moment and it’s a got quite a club beat but is also oddly soothing. A conundrum of a song to ease us on down the road. It’s a breezy palate cleanser to leave you twirling away from this chapter of Ed’s life. Also, I originally bitched about how long he’s gone without putting out music and then as I was diving into each track, I learned that he started working on this album in 2017 so my apologies for being a greedy dirtbag, apparently works of art can take time. Another note I’d like to make, the last track and the first track flow SEAMLESSLY together. A couple times I wasn’t paying attention and this song ended and Tides began and it felt like just a continuation of this tune. So well done for all your repeat listeners, Ed (whether you intended it or not) we’ve got two great bookends to this story!

Overall Notes: I mean not to beat a dead horse here but obviously this album is REAL specific to the place Ed is in currently and therefore lacked a lot of relatability for me. And again, not just because I’m a single bitter loser, but also because each song had SUCH detailed accounts of memories or things that have happened in his life. Certainly much more of a diary entry album than songwriting and music that we can all apply to our lives, which is how people typically connect with songs. It’s not a bad album by any means and it has a great and uplifting theme overall, but it’ll be lower on the list in my personal rankings, which are as follows: 1. Divide 2. Multiply 3. Plus 4. Equals. And remember that these criticisms come from someone who has never written a song, lacks all musical talents and just has a lot of strong opinions SOLELY based on her own worldview. So, if you loved this album and it made you feel like you were floating on air, more power to ya-take my sass with a grain of salt and a shake of a lamb’s tail.

Standard
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.

Standard
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.)

Standard
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.

screen-shot-2020-12-11-at-12.48.15-pmscreen-shot-2020-12-11-at-12.49.11-pm

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.

Standard
JUice

Weekly JUice

Week of 9/7/2020

Screen Shot 2020-09-11 at 11.19.06 AM

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…

bradshawbunch

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.

kimmykcry

2. Nathan Scott Off the Market.

View this post on Instagram

She said yeah 🙌🏼☺️

A post shared by James Lafferty (@jameslafferty) on

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.

View this post on Instagram

w/Jim – photo cred Fellini aka @stephencolletti

A post shared by Alex Park (@alexandrapark1) on

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.

goldberg

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!

Screen Shot 2020-09-11 at 11.35.53 AM

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.)

Standard
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.

bsbwhite

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.

Screen Shot 2020-08-18 at 11.34.53 PM
Screen Shot 2020-08-18 at 11.35.14 PM
Standard
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.

Screen Shot 2020-07-23 at 9.34.17 PM

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.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CC-S49WhMDR/

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.

demi

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.

kanye

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.

JTJessica

Screen Shot 2020-07-23 at 10.33.58 PM

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.

Standard
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.

Standard
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.

Standard