The Best of The Voice Season 13

The Best of The Voice Season 13

With the end of the current season, and a new winner is announced, it is time to look back through the season, and remember some of the best performances of season 13 of The Voice.

Alright, this was the first season of The Voice that I watched from episode one until the finale in its entirety, and if it is anything like Season 13, then honestly, what have I been missing? Between the two new coaches for this season, Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Hudson (yes, you read that right), the guest appearances, and the incredible new, raw talent that is yet to be discovered, I was instantly hooked.

For seasons before, I would watch maybe an episode or two, maybe listen to a song here or there, but I never really watched a full season religiously. But this season simply blew me away. Each artist brought something that another didn't complimenting another just perfectly, I didn't know what they couldn't do. I can honestly say I have no idea how the judges do what they do, because eliminating some of these singers would have probably killed me.

Now that the season is over, and a new winner has been chosen, it's time to reflect on the season that has just passed. If you didn't watch, here is a list of the best performances. If you did watch, see if my list of favorites matched yours!

If you are unfamiliar with The Voice and its rounds, Click Here for an explanation of each round.

Below is a list of each round on The Voice, and which songs I thought were best from that episode (in no particular order), and one performance that I thought completely won that round.

*** WARNING *** Spoilers are below for Season 13 of The Voice!!!

1. The Blind Auditions

Dave Crosby, "I Will Follow You Into The Dark"

Yes, this is the man that sings with his daughter, and yes, he is AMAZING! This sounds so similar to the original, it's honestly a little scary.

Ashland Crafter, "You Are My Sunshine"

Growing up to this song, I loved seeing a new, country version of it, that definitely took my on a nostalgic ride.

Keisha Renee, "I Can't Stop Loving You"

I can't even describe how much I love Keisha’s voice. She made me fall in love with country all over again with her amazing voice.

Ignatious Carmouche, "Latch"

As the winner of The Voice on Snapchat (yeah, apparently that is a thing), he was given the chance to audition for the real show. His take on Sam Smith’s “Latch” had me the second he started, and I still listen to this.

Chloe Kohanski, "The Chain"

From the very start you could tell Chloe was going to go far, her voice was so unique to her, no wonder she got a four person turn.

Addison Agen, "Jolene"

This girl is literally only 16 years old. I'm sorry, did you hear that voice and think 16 years old? No, you didn't. Addison has such an incredible voice, it's hard to understand how she only got a two person turn.

Winner: Brooke Simpson, "Stone Cold"

Although this song is done so often on competition shows, Brooke easily takes the win for best blind audition for this season. It is obvious why she got the first four chair turn, her voice is totally her own, and it was obviously an amazing choice for her.


2. The Battle Rounds

Hannah Mrozak and Brandon Showell, “Cold Water”

Mitchell Lee and Dennis Drummond, “Mr. Jones”

Karli Webster and Addison Agen, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”

Emily Luther and Gary Carpentier,“Send My Love (To Your New Lover)”

Winner: Keisha Renee and Noah Mac, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”

I was simply taken away with the beauty of their voices together, and never wanted it to end. I hope at some point they make music together, because this was perfection.

3. The Knockouts

Karli Webster, “Blue Bayou”

Brooke Simpson, “You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman”

Mitchell Lee, “I’ll Be”

Noah Mac, “Hold Back the River”

Moriah Formica, “Behind These Hazel Eyes”

Whitney Fenimore, “Calling All Angels”

Addison Agen, “Beneath Your Beautiful”

Winner: Keisha Renee, “I Hope You Dance”

Keisha is such an amazing singer, who breathes new life to country music. Her sound is unique, and she proves herself each week.

4. The Playoffs

Noah Mac, “In the Air Tonight”

Keisha Renee, “Love Can Build a Bridge”

Jon Mero, “When We Were Young”

Addison Agen, “Angel From Montgomery”

Brooke Simpson, “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World

Winner: Chloe Kohanski, “Time After Time”

A classic for every singing competition, "Time After Time" was the perfect song for Chloe. She nailed it, proving yet again how amazing she is.

5. The Lives, Week One

Brooke Simpson, “Praying”

Noah Mac, “Speed of Sound”

Winner: Addison Agen, “She Used to Be Mine”

I mean I think at this point it was obvious how amazing she was, but she nailed this incredibly beautiful song perfectly, gaining recognition from Sara Bareilles herself! I honestly hope when she's older I can see her on broadway.

6. The Lives, Week Two

Brooke Simpson, “What About Us”

Chloe Kohanski, “Total Eclipse of the Heart”

Red Marlo, “The Dance”

Winner: Noah Mac, “Electric Love”

He literally composed the entire band to how he wanted it. He proved himself not only as a singer for this song, but also an artist who is ready to release new music.

7. The Lives, Week Three

Keisha Renee, “All By Myself"

Addison Agen, “Lucky”

Winner: Brooke Simpson, “Amazing Grace”

Brooke's rendition of this classic proved just how powerful of a vocalist she was, and that she can do any time period of music, not just new music that is currently on the radio.

8. Semifinals

Addison Agen, “Both Sides, Now”

Brooke Simpson, ”Faithfully”

Chloe Kohanski and Noah Mac, “Wicked Game”

Winner: Chloe Kohanski, “I Want to Know What Love Is”

Another classic that everyone knows (or should know!), Chloe delivers yet another breathtaking rendition with her unique voice that instantly draws you in.

9. Finals

In all honesty, every single performance from this episode was simply outstanding. The Final Four took me places I never expected them to.

The songs with a * means that it is their original song.

Addison Agen, “Humble and Kind”

Addison Agen and Adam Levine, “Falling Slowly”

Chloe Kohanski, “Wish I Didn’t Love You*”

Chloe Kohanski and Blake Shelton, “You Got It”

Red Marlo, “To Make You Feel My Love”

Red Marlo, “I Pray*”

Brooke Simpson, “What is Beautiful*”

Brooke Simpson, “O Holy Night”

Winner: Addison Agen, “Tennessee Rain*”

Addison, as a reminder, is only 16 years old! The power she has over her voice is jaw-dropping, especially for her age! Her original I have been listening to on repeat for the past week, and I honestly don't plan on stopping until I get a whole album. She is only a junior in high school, so I can't wait to see where she goes from here!

Congratulations to Chloe for winning this season, she truly deserves it. I can’t wait to hear more from all the artists from this season, because I know that there is no way this is the end for any of them.

I hope you enjoyed this list, and the music here!

Cover Image Credit: NBC

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The Neighbourhood Adds Some Color With "To Imagine EP"

Who spilled paint on this album?

Why is there color on my The Neighborhood album art? You used to refuse to even let color photos of them circulate by major media companies, but now you guys hit us with this?

I know it might sound like I'm mad, but I'm actually super happy. This EP is going to make a lot of fans angry, but I'm going to go on record by fully supporting this move, even if it replaces my downbeat sad music with upbeat sad music.

Enough with vague gushing about the album's departure from The Neighbourhood we grew up in, though. Let me walk you through this new synth-filled melancholy hill.

1. "Dust"

With that weird synth bass building at the beginning, the semi-chanting of "No more water in the lake...," I knew something was up. When the heavily-autotuned vocals of the pre-chorus and chorus came in alongside the uncharacteristic dance-like melody, I realized everything was about to change.

"Dust" sounds almost like an 80s synth-pop track and I am almost completely onboard. The music fits well with the theme of ignorance of others' thoughts, making sure you aren't listening to the lyrics to demonstrate the fact that no one wants to listen to what anyone else is actually saying, we just like what sounds good.

The only thing I'm not a huge fan of is the ending. I get what they were trying to do, and they did a good job with the song slowing down like a tape spilling out of its cassette, but I felt like it could've been saved for the very end of the EP or, at the very least, replaced with a better end.

Overall, this is a great opener and left me wanting more!

My favorite lyric: "Didn't want to listen to nobody so everybody went out of control."

2. "Scary Love"

Another dance track, but this one takes more cues from (what sounds like) The Weeknd and other dance/R&B artists before breaking out into a pop chorus that's super catchy. It sounds like driving too fast down a highway at night feels.

This one preys on the insecurities people often feel when starting a serious relationship after being heartbroken countless times. It also focuses on the feeling of moving too fast in a relationship and the anxieties that come with that.

As the song goes on, it moves from a place of fear to a place of longing, moving from fear of moving too fast to a fear of caring too deeply.

It's super fun to dance around to and easy to sing along with, but it's not as complex as other songs on the EP. There's nothing really wrong with it. It's a solid single, but it's also pretty boring in comparison to the rest of the EP.

My favorite lyric: "You're too pretty for me, baby, I know."

3. "Heaven"

This one is pretty eerie when it starts out, almost sounding like one of Kyle Dixon's tracks for "Stranger Things" with some high-pitched synth chimes and then the bubbling arpeggios of the bass.

The verses also have some rap influences, like a lot of The Neighbourhood tracks have, but it's a bit more like Drake or other radio-friendly rappers than songs in the past (like "$ting.") The chorus is also sickly-sweet, clearly coming from an infatuated guy.

I love this track, from the mixture of synth-horror themes and rap with alternative rock to the traditionally emo-reminiscence lyricism The Neighbourhood is known for, I think this track is the perfect fusion of new and old The Neighbourhood.

My favorite lyric: "No mistaking that I need ya. There's something 'bout you, baby."

4. "Compass"

This one is, I think, the most traditional of the entire EP. It almost sounds like a normal The Neighbourhood song, save for the dance synths and falsetto. The lyrics are a little bit less like traditional The Neighbourhood, a little bit more sweet than sad, but that's not a bad thing.

It's definitely one of the slower songs on the EP, but that's not a bad thing. It comes right towards the end, right when the listener needs a break, following the slowing of each track down until the final one.

I like this one, but similar to "Scary Love," it's not super-impressive in comparison to the rest.

My favorite lyric: "You're always there to help me when I'm down. I'm lucky you've been keeping me around."

5. "Stuck With Me"

These lyrics are the most like a traditional The Neighbourhood song, but the song itself has a much happier beat than old The Neighbourhood, though it is still relatively slow.

It actually delves into a little bit of nihilism before the chorus hits with disjointed harmonies that don't make much sense. They are a little off-putting, and though I still enjoyed them, some fans or other listeners will really dislike this part.

Definitely not the strongest track on the EP, but still a good addition, this is a great closer, leaving listeners wanting more for when the next album finally comes.

My favorite lyric: "I'm not tellin' you for any certain reason but now I'm feeling guilty for it."

Overall

I recommend this EP for fans of synth-pop, artists like The Weeknd, or even all of your fans of the old The Neighbourhood. Change isn't always a bad thing and The Neighbourhood proves it with the "To Imagine EP."

Of course, some songs are better than others, and I have to say that "Heaven" is the best track, with "Dust" coming in close at second best, followed by "Scary Love," "Compass," and, finally, "Stuck With Me."

The change in direction of The Neighbourhood makes me excited to see how they do in the future. Give them a listen!

Cover Image Credit: Google Play Music

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Dream Theater: 'Images and Words' Album Review

Dream Theater made an incredible leap in song writing that would result in one of the most impressive progressive metal albums of all time

Line-up:

James LaBrie - vocals

Kevin Moore - keyboards

John Petrucci - guitars, backing vocals

Mike Portnoy - drums, backing vocals

John Myung - bass

Additional info:

Produced by David Prater

Images and Words is the second studio album by American progressive metal band Dream Theater, released on July 7, 1992 through ATCO Records. Its total length is 57:04. It is the first Dream Theater release to feature James LaBrie on vocals. This album was not only a huge success when it comes to the band's massive amount of progression in song writing, but also the commercial success that the album had.

Images and Words demonstrates the band at their finest thanks to improved vocals and impressive instrumental elements throughout. I really enjoyed the soulful elements as well that made Dream Theater's technical mastery be balanced with emotion and lyricism that make their brand of progressive metal special. Their are no glaring weaknesses on the album.

Top Tracks:

1. "Under a Glass Moon"

2. "Metropolis—Part I: 'The Miracle and the Sleeper' "

3. "Take the Time"

4. "Pull Me Under"

Grading Scale:

1-1.5: Garbage

2-2.5: Awful

3-3.5: Bad

4-4.5: Disappointing

5-5.5: Mediocre

6-6.5: Satisfactory

7-7.5: Good

8-8.5: Great

9-9.5: Excellent

10: Perfect

My Verdict:

Images and Words is an amazing album that I have loved since I first listened to it. The album is full of Dream Theater classics and features Labrie's finest vocal performance as well. John Petrucci is also fantastic throughout this entire album as well. Images and Words is a perfect album from start to finish.

Grade: 10/10

Cover Image Credit: teamrock.com

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