Why I Give 'We Love Disney' 4 Stars!

Why I Give 'We Love Disney' 4 Stars!

It's a fine line to walk, but the likes of Ne-Yo, Fall Out Boy, and Kacey Musgraves manage it fantastically.
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This is an album of covers by famous fans which ranges from the old, the new, the popular, and the obscure. It's a fine line to walk when you're singing childhood beloveds, but overall "We Love Disney" does a fine job.



1. Friend Like Me (from "Aladdin") by Ne-Yo

You can find Ne-Yo's version here and compare it to Robin Williams here. This isn't Ne-Yo's first time on a Disney soundtrack and it shows. He sings Never Knew I Needed, which plays during the credits in The Princess and the Frog. The most successful covers always seek to reinvent the song rather than imitate, and that's exactly what Ne-Yo does with his "big-band" sound (iTunes Editor's Notes).

I give it five stars: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟



2. Part of Your World (from "The Little Mermaid") by Jessie J

You can find Jessie's version here and compare it to Jodi Benson here. Obviously, Jessie isn't going to have the same conversational tone in her version that Jodi does, but she certainly has some pipes. While Jodi went for youth and innocence in the original, Jessie flaunts her maturity and even throws in some synthesized vocals (which I am personally not a huge fan of). It also doesn't have the flow and fluidity (no pun intended) that the original does.

I give it three stars: ⭐️⭐️⭐️



3. Can You Feel the Love Tonight (from "The Lion King") by Jason Derulo

You can find Derulo's version here and compare it to Elton John here. Derulo's soul certainly lends itself to this song, but the choir is weak in comparison to the original and the clips of the tribal singing that play during Circle of Life seem off-kilter and misplaced.

I give it three stars: ⭐️⭐️⭐️



4. The Rainbow Connection (from "The Muppet Movie") by Gwen Stefani

You can find Stefani's version here and compare it to Kermit's here. Seeing as the charm of this song lies in the lyrics, Stefani does a significantly better job on the vocals than Kermit. Her lilt and smooth style make this cover super dreamy.

I give it four stars: 🌟🌟🌟🌟



5. Zero To Hero (from "Hercules") by Ariana Grande

You can find Grande's version here and compare it to the original here. I will preface this by saying that I am indeed a fan of Ariana Grande, but this cover seems to be lacking...everything. She can hit the notes just fine, but after the force and character of not one, but five strong black women, she falls far short. Not to mention that the speed and rhythm seems to be off and the choir does have the same gospel feel. BUT- I do like the opening with its heavenly chorus of "Hercules."

I give it two stars: ⭐️⭐️



6. In a World of My Own / Very Good Advice (from "Alice in Wonderland") by Jhené Aiko

You can find Aiko's version here and compare it to the originals here and here. Generally speaking, Aiko's cover is much more musical, while the original versions are basically sung/talked. I was excited to find a mash-up on the album and I must say it is very creative, and it captures the mystical mood of Alice in Wonderland quite well. But even though it is a good cover, I don't think I would listen to it on my morning playlist.

I give it three stars: ⭐️⭐️⭐️



7. I Wan'na Be Like You [The Monkey Song] (from "The Jungle Book") by Fall Out Boy

You can find Fall Out Boy's version here and compare it to the original here. Fall Out Boy does a fantastic job of taking this swing classic and transforming it into a song that I often rock out in my car to. I especially love the way that Patrick Stump takes the idioms of a monkey singing and make it sound like vocal runs. Particular highlights: Stump's scatting (and the guitar mimicking it), the radio esque speech just before the bridge, and the breakdown at the end where the band chants and stomps.

I give it five stars: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟



8. Colors fo the Wind (from "Pocahontas") by Tori Kelly

You can find Kelly's version here and compare it to Judy Kuhn's here. One pro for Kelly's cover: it clarifies a few lyrics (ex: blue corn moon). One con for Kelly's cover: it does not have the same emotion and drive. But it's still a beautiful rendition. So...

I give it three stars: ⭐️⭐️⭐️



9. A Spoonful of Sugar (from "Mary Poppins") by Kacey Musgraves

You can find Musgraves' version here and compare it to Julie Andrews' here. In true Disney fashion, Musgraves kicks off the song with a short speech prelude and then launches into her country spin on the classic. While Musgraves' cover does stick fairly close to the original, her twang and the substitution of banjos for the instrumental track separate just enough to make for a refreshing take. Particular highlights: whistling, Musgraves asking her band to pick up the pace, and her triumphant "ha!" at the end.

I give it four stars: 🌟🌟🌟🌟



10. Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat (from "The Aristocats") by Charles Perry

You can find Perry's version here and compare it to the original here. Again, the style of the cover is very similar to the original and so seems weak in comparison. However, I will say that when Perry goes up an octave at the end and makes an announcement in another bought of radio-esque tribue to the original, I was swayed to bump it up a star.

I give it three stars: ⭐️⭐️⭐️



11. A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes (from "Cinderella") by Jessie Ware

You can find Ware's version here and compare it to Ilene Woods' here. Since even the original has a surreal simplicity to it, I can't really fault Ware for following suit. And especially since she does such a fantastic jump of building the momentum...

I give it four stars: 🌟🌟🌟🌟



12. Let It Go (from "Frozen") by Lucy Hale ft. Rascal Flatts

You can find Hale & Rascal Flatts' version here and compare it to Idina Menzel's here. Why would they even try? Why? WHY? I mean, nothing against Lucy Hale or Rascal Flatts (some of their songs have made me cry!), but honestly, no matter how good they might be, nothing compares to Menzel's pipes and inflection or even Christophe Beck's magnificent score. For effort...

I give it one star: ⭐️


13. It's a Small World by We Love Disney Artists

This is a joint effort by all the artists on the album and you can find it here. There isn't really anything to compare it to since the song was created for the original Disneyland ride, but I think it's safe to say (especially since I've been on it) that this is a really fun rendition. All of the artists bring something to the table for this track and it fits the theme and message of the original by having so many diverse vocalists. I especially love when Ne-Yo joins in and the snapping begins.

I give it four stars: 🌟🌟🌟🌟


ONLY AVAILABLE ON THE DELUXE EDITION:



14. It's Not Easy Being Green (from "The Muppet Shows") by Brenna Whitaker

You can find Whitaker's version here and compare it to Kermit's here. Again, when comparing to a vocalist like Kermit, it's fairly easy to make a song your own. Beyond that though, I would say that Whitaker has a Norah Jones-type calming and introspective effect. It's beautiful and totally worth buying the Deluxe edition.

I give it three stars: ⭐️⭐️⭐️



15. A Whole New World (from "Aladdin") by Yuna

You can find Yuna's version here and compare it to the original here. This is another instance of reinvention done right. Yuna's ukulele brings this sweeping romantic ballad into a realm of cheeky optimism. Her accent also brings a whole new charm to it (pun intended).

I give it five stars: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Cover Image Credit: We Love Disney Music

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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11 Amazing TV Shows That Are Ending in 2019

All good things must come to an end.

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It might just be the beginning of 2019 but there are many TV series wrapping up already. There are many breathtaking and original pilots around along with several reboots coming. This might be one of the greatest year for TV.

However, all good things must come to an end. Some series have been planned out and are going to be finished while others have been cut short. Sadly, here's a list of TV series to say goodbye to this year.

1. The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Final Date: May

12 Seasons//279 episodes

2. Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

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Final Date: End of 2019

7 seasons//91 episodes

3. Jane the Virgin (CW)

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Final Date: Mid-late 2019

5 seasons//100 episodes

4. Games of Thrones (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: Summer

8 Seasons//73 episodes

5. Broad City (Comedy Central)

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Final Date: March

5 seasons//50 episodes

6. VEEP (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: Spring

7 seasons//67 episodes

7. Homeland (Showtime)

Showtime

Final date: Summer

8 seasons//96 episodes

8. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)

Final date: January 25

4 seasons//52 episodes

9. The Affair (Showtime)

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Final Date: End of 2019

5 seasons//42 episodes

10. Friends From College (Netflix)

Final Date: End of 2019

2 seasons//16 episodes

11. Crashing (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: End of 2019

3 seasons//24 episodes

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