Just a DJ and a Girl Group

Just a DJ and a Girl Group

Calvin Harris returns with a funky and beachy flavored album just right for the summer, while TLC ends their incredible run with an unnecessary and overall forgettable "curtain call" record

1. Calvin Harris- Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1


While he has released some catchy EDM tunes like "Sweet Nothing" ft. Florence Welch (lead singer of indie rock band Florence and the Machine) and "Blame" ft. John Newman, I have never been that big of a fan of Calvin Harris' discography. Like every other EDM artist, I consider him to be only a singles musician and nothing else, even though he has released four albums in the past decade but they are mediocre at best. Now, I will say that this new project right here, Harris has definitely found a sound that I think fits him very well as he goes for a synthpop, post-disco, and funk type of vibe on this release. However, while there are a few superb songs found on Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1, it still didn't change my views on Harris not being an albums artist and it possessed many spotty moments throughout that made me lose interest.

Despite my mixed feelings about the record as a whole, it does contain some memorable, catchy, and groovy tunes that will definitely put it in the race for album of the summer. Songs like "Cash Out" ft. ScHoolboy Q, PARTYNEXTDOOR, and DRAM, "Slide" ft. Frank Ocean and Migos, and "Slide" ft. Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, and Big Sean have these instrumentals with funky basslines, memorable and chill pianos, and foot tapping synthlines that help the album give off this beach-y and summer-y feeling throughout its less than 40 minute run time. The song that I felt to be my absolute favorite from this LP was without a doubt "Feels." From it's groovy and instantly memorable bassline to Pharrell Williams' ear-worming vocal performance on the verses (though I do realize that he's always been praised more for production and some people don't consider him to be a great vocalist, but most of the time I think he gets the job done on most of the songs he give his contributions to), this song has been on my playlist nonstop and it is for sure making it's case for record of the summer and possibly one of the best mainstream singles of the year. Even Katy Perry's Gwen Stefani-ish vocals on the chorus sound pretty good, even though I thought she could've done a lot more with her voice considering how funky and groovy the instrumental is.

But like I said earlier, this album does have it's rough spots and downfalls on it. Now, I would say from a production standpoint this record doesn't have many problems whatsoever as the instrumentals on each track made the album connect and flow smoothly as a whole and they do a good job sticking to a musical theme. However, where I think this project falls short for me is on the performances done by a few of the featured artists because some of their musical personas fail to do the instrumentals on these songs justice. Take the tune "Skrt On Me" ft. Nicki Minaj. While it does contain a pretty good instrumental that continues the albums synthpop/funk vibe, Minaj's vocals are what make this tune fall flat on its face and it's because of one reason: auto-tune. It seems strange to me that Harris and company decided to do this on her voice because when I've heard Minaj sing on some of her own songs from her albums in the past, she's actually not that bad of a singer in my opinion (if you don't believe me, go listen to her feature on Katy Perry's song "Swish Swish"). So why put annoying and ear-piercing vocal processors on her voice? It makes no sense to me whatsoever. While I will say that the instrumental isn't that bad to listen to, Minaj's feature ruins it for me and I most likely won't ever go back to it again because of that as it falls right off a cliff, and I'm talking a BIG cliff.

Another song I found to come up short due to the featured artists on it that failed to deliver was "Rollin" with Future and Khalid as both of them give mediocre at best contributions to the point where it feels like they don't belong on the song at all as they don't seem to fit the chill and head bobbing instrumental (which I thought overall was a pretty good one with its soft and smooth pianos, soulful background vocals, jazzy and brassy drums, funky bassline, and catchy synth-line) it provides them with. For Khalid, while I do think the way he sings the chorus fits the feeling and sound of the song, where his performance falls short for me is that his vocals crack a bit throughout which was a bit off-putting in my opinion. However, Future was the one who I felt really didn't fit this "feel-good" synthpop tune as his as always beloved auto-tuned vocals (see my bit of sarcasm there?) seem extremely out of place and prove once and for all that he is only meant to be on trap music instrumentals and nothing else (though I do appreciate his willingness to try his voice on a different sound).

To close this out, I will end by saying that this album took me by surprise and despite its many flaws, the record ended up being a somewhat adequate listen thanks to its few outstanding cuts. I can't believe I'm saying this, but for what it's worth, I like this Calvin Harris project for the most part. Props to you Mr. Harris. I look forward to Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2.

Favorite tracks: "Feels" ft. Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, and Big Sean, "Slide" ft. Frank Ocean and Migos, "Prayers Up" ft. Travis Scott and A-Trak, "Cash Out" ft. ScHoolboy Q, PARTYNEXTDOOR, and DRAM

Least favorite tracks: "Rollin" (featuring Future and Khalid), "Skrt On Me" ft. Nicki Minaj, "Hard to Love" ft. Jessie Reyez

Album rating: 3/5



I have been pretty fond of TLC's past work as they released many classic Pop/R&B records throughout the 1990s (one of which was 1994's CrazySexyCool, an album that I consider to their best and one of the best projects to come out during the decade) and I consider them to be one of the greatest female groups/acts in the history of popular music. However, this thing. Oh, geez... this album. Where I do begin? I'm really going to make this review/opinion as short as I can because there are so, so many problems with this release that I can't cover in one piece of writing (one of which includes this album cover) and an extremely low amount of highlights. Though in TLC's defense, I won't be so harsh on this because they did make this record independently from donations given by fans and fellow celebrities on a Kickstarter campaign page, so they didn't have as big a budget as many major label acts are provided. But that doesn't mean I can't be critical of this album because if I were to describe this record with one word it would be: embarrassing.

Before I even listened to this final album of theirs, I knew it was projected by the now duo (RIP Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes) to be an album dedicated to their fans as a thank you for their passion and support that they have given them throughout their 20+ years in the music industry. So, all in all, I wasn't expecting much as far as a "revolutionary" pop record by any means. Although, I do want to give them mad props for wanting to come back one last time by releasing a new album and going on one last tour cycle before the group officially calls it quits. However, I couldn't believe how many drawbacks this album possessed on it and how lackluster the songwriting was throughout. I mean I wasn't expecting anything mind-blowing or game-changing off of this thing, but the constant cliches, annoying and lazily written choruses that consisted of "Ooo Ooo's," "Woah Woah's," and "Yeah Yeah's" (really? I know it's pop music, but really?), and uncharismatic vocal performances from both Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas (as well as some off-putting background vocals throughout, particularly on the song "American Gold") just made this thing a wasted 41 minutes and five seconds that I sadly will never get back. This record was like your mother buying you a pair of new socks, even though she knows that you really don't need them, and as a result they end up as nothing special and just a waste of money.

Like I said earlier, I acknowledge and respect the group for wanting to return to the popular music scene for the love of their fans and to make a mark one final time on their legacy. But in the end, I felt that this project proves how devastating and tragic the loss of "Left Eye" Lopes was for "T-Boz" and "Chilli,", and that they should have put the group to rest after her passing because they simply can't keep it going without Lopes' hard-nosed and funny personality, unending determination, and incredible flows. In the end, I would like to wish the best for the last two remaining members of TLC and want to thank them for the impressive amount of catchy and infectious Pop/R&B jams throughout an entire decade that was the 1990s and even into the early 2000s. However, it is going to be sad to look back on the fantastic career of this girl group and know that this record was how they ended it, when they should've ended it a long time ago.

Favorite tracks: "Way Back" ft. Snoop Dogg (mainly due to the decently catchy melody and groove of the instrumental)

Least favorite tracks: "Haters," "Start a Fire," "American Gold," "Scandalous," "Aye Mother***a"

Cover Image Credit: Billboard

Popular Right Now

35 Major Life Facts According To Nick Miller

"All booze is good booze, unless it's weak booze."

Fact: If you watch "New Girl," you love Nick Miller.

You can't help it. He's an adorable, lovable mess of a man and you look forward to seeing him and his shenanigans each week. While living the infamous and incomparable life of Nick Miller, and obviously Julius Pepperwood— he has learned many valuable laws of the land. And, although Nick refuses to learn anything from anyone besides his mysterious, old Asian friend Tran, he does have a few lessons he'd like to teach us.

Here are 35 facts of life according to 'Nick Milla Nick Milla':

1. Drinking keeps you healthy.

"I'm not gonna get sick. No germ can live in a body that is 65% beer."

2. Dinosaurs never existed.

"I don't believe dinosaurs existed. I've seen the science. I don't believe it."

3. A paper bag is a bank.

"A bank is just a paper bag but with fancier walls."

4. Having sex is similar to delivering mail.

"I'm like a mailman, except instead of mail it's hot sex that I deliver."

5. Moonwalking is a foolproof way to get out of any awkward situation.

Jess (about Nick): "Now he won't even talk to me. I saw him this morning and he just panic moonwalked away from me. He does that sometimes."

6. Using a movie reference is also a great way.

Cece: "Come on, get up!"

Nick: "No, I don't dance. I'm from that town in "Footloose."

7. There's no reason to wash towels.

Nick: "I don’t wash the towel. The towel washes me. Who washes a towel?"

Schmidt: "You never wash your towel?"

Nick: "What am I gonna do? Wash the shower next? Wash a bar of soap?"

8. Exes are meant to be avoided at all costs (especially if/unless they're Caroline)

"I don't deal with exes, they're part of the past. You burn them swiftly and you give their ashes to Poseidon."

9. IKEA furniture is not as intimidating as it looks.

"I'm building you the dresser. I love this stuff. It's like high-stakes LEGOs."

10. You don't need forks if you have hands.

Jess: "That's gross. Get a fork, man."

Nick: "I got two perfectly good forks at the end of my arms!"

11. Sex has a very specific definition.

"It's not sex until you put the straw in the coconut."

12. Doors are frustrating.

"I will push if I want to push! Come on! I hate doors!"

13. All booze is good booze.

"Can I get an alcohol?"

14. ...unless it's weak booze.

"Schmidt, that is melon flavored liquor! That is 4-proof! That is safe to drink while you're pregnant!"

15. Writers are like pregnant women.

Jess: "You know what that sound is? It's the sound of an empty uterus."

Nick: "I can top that easily. I'm having a hard time with my zombie novel."

Jess: "Are you really comparing a zombie novel to my ability to create life?"

Nick: "I'm a writer, Jess. We create life."

16. All bets must be honored.

"There is something serious I have to tell you about the future. The name of my first-born child needs to be Reginald VelJohnson. I lost a bet to Schmidt."

17. Adele's voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus.

"Adele is amazing."

18. Beyoncé is extremely trustworthy.

"I'd trust Beyoncé with my life. We be all night."

19. Fish, on the other hand, are not.

“Absolutely not. You know I don’t trust fish! They breathe water. That's crazy!"

20. Bar mitzvahs are terrifying.

Schmidt: "It's a bar mitzvah!"

Nick: "I am NOT watching a kid get circumcised!"

21. ...so are blueberries.

Jess: "So far, Nick Miller's list of fears is sharks, tap water, real relationships..."

Nick: "And blueberries."

22. Take your time with difficult decisions. Don't be rash.

Jess: "You care about your burritos more than my children, Nick?"

Nick: "You're putting me in a tough spot!"

23. Getting into shape is not easy.

"I mean, I’m not doing squats or anything. I’m trying to eat less donuts."

24. We aren't meant to talk about our feelings.

"If we needed to talk about feelings, they would be called talkings."

25. We're all a little bit too hard on ourselves.

"The enemy is the inner me."

26. Freezing your underwear is a good way to cool off.

"Trust me, I'm wearing frozen underpants right now and I feel amazing. I'm gonna grab some old underpants and put a pair into the freezer for each of you."

27. Public nudity is normal.

"Everbody has been flashed countless times."

28. Alcohol is a cure-all.

"You treat an outside wound with rubbing alcohol. You treat an inside wound with drinking alcohol."

29. Horses are aliens.

"I believe horses are from outer-space."

30. Turtles should actually be called 'shell-beavers.'

Jess: "He calls turtles 'shell-beavers."

Nick: "Well, that's what they should be called."

31. Trench coats are hot.

"This coat has clean lines and pockets that don't quit, and it has room for your hips. And, when I wear it, I feel hot to trot!"

32. Sparkles are too.

"Now, my final bit of advice, and don't get sensitive on this, but you've got to change that top it's terrible and you've got to throw sparkles on. Sparkles are in. SPARKLES ARE IN."

33. Introspection can lead to a deeper knowing of oneself.

"I'm not convinced I know how to read. I've just memorized a lot of words."

34. It's important to live in the moment.

"I know this isn't gonna end well but the middle part is gonna be awesome."

35. Drinking makes you cooler.

Jess: "Drinking to be cool, Nick? That's not a real thing."

Nick: "That's the only thing in the world I know to be true."

Cover Image Credit: Hollywood Reporter

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The Zodiac Signs As Bath And Body Works Scents

Just in case you want to know what scent you are!

Bath and Body Works fans could be considered to be part of a cult. The scents draw you in as if calling your name, if you ever
wondered what your scent should be based on your zodiac sign, here it is!

Aries: Country Apple

The rather impulsive Aries takes their time picking and choosing the scents from Bath and Body Works. The soothing scent of a fresh apple orchard is just what they need on a daily basis to keep up with their shenanigans.

Taurus: Japanese Cherry Blossom

The personality of a Taurus is stubborn, or what I like to say, is stuck in their ways. When they first discovered this scent in middle school, this was it. This is the only scent you will find anywhere around a Taurus.

Libra: Pink Chiffon

Pink Chiffon is another cult classic. This best selling scent went out of style for a hot second but is back and bigger than ever.

Leo: Thousand Wishes

Thousand Wishes is a purr-fect scent for a Leo. The light scent adornes the wearer just the right amount to get the desired reaction from those around them.

Aquarius: Be Enchanted

The rather cold personality of an Aquarius is counteracted by the loving scent of Be Enchanted. The scent is just enough tenderness for the wearer to be relaxed.

Gemini: Moonlight Path

Gemini's constantly change their favorite scent and are in and out of the store almost weekly to by new lotions, candles, and body washes. You will never see a full empty bottle of anything, however, Moonlight Path is the scent they keep coming back to again and again.

Virgo: Sea Island Cotton

The clean personality of a Virgo must be matched with the clean scent of Sea Island Cotton.

Capricorn: Cucumber Melon

Another clean scent of Cucumber Melon is the exact thing a Capricorn needs. The balance and calming scents are what make this scent so attractive to a Capricorn.

Scorpio: Paris Amour

The light scent is what you would expect from an extreme sign like a Scorpio. The scent lightly washes over the wearer in almost a cloud that

Sagittarius: Cashmere Glow

Cashmere Glow is a perfect scent for the winter sign. The vanilla and golden peach scent is just the mixture that creates the perfect accessory in the chilly months.

Pisces: Warm Vanilla Sugar

This lovely scent accentuates the lovely personality of a Pisces. They can never get enough of this scent so they just keep buying and buying until they have a full stockpile.

Cancer: Velvet Sugar

Velvet Sugar is the perfect blend of red velvet and strawberries and a Cancer is always changing their mind. The wearer can tell if it is a more red velvet or strawberry kind of day, and that is the balance that they need in their lives.

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