Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Le Ann Womack, "I Hope You Dance"

   This week I am writing about Le Ann Womack and her song, "I Hope You Dance". She was born in Texas on August 19, 1966. She was the second of two daughters. Her parents figured out at a young age she enjoyed listening to country music. Her father was a DJ and always took her and her sisters to pick out records. Le Ann studied the piano at a young age. Later on, she graduated from Jacksonville High School in 1984. After she graduated, she attended South Plains Junior College. That was the first place where they offered country music degrees. She became a member of the college band, Country Caravan. A year later, she enrolled to Belmont University in Nashville to study commercial ways of the music business. She interned at the A & R department of MCA Records. She studied at college until 1990. She left school a year before graduation. She spent a few years raising her kids before she reenter the music business.

   In May 1997, she released her self-titled debut album. Many people were not able to differentiate her from LeAnn Rimes but she kept her given name. Her first single, "Never Again, Again", went to the top five on the Billboard country charts. In 1998, she released her second album called "Some Things I Know". Also that year, she won top female vocalist at the CMT Awards and name Top Artist of the Year but Billboard magazine. Her first two singles "A Little Past Little Rock" and "I'll Think Of A Reason Later" on her second album album, Some Things I Know, went number two in the Billboard country charts. In 1999, she released some more hits and won favorite country new artist at the American Music Awards.
   The year of 2000, she released her third album, I Hope You Dance. This album was quite successful. The title track went to number one of the Billboard country charts for five weeks. It also was on the Billboard Hot 100. If you watch the music video for this song, you can see Le Ann's daughters appear in it. Later in 2000, the song "I Hope You Dance" won Song of the Year and Single of the Year. After this album, she produced a few more albums including, "Something Worth Leaving Behind", "There's More Where That Came From", and "Last Call". Overall, I would say she has made some great music and has been successful with it.

   I have always loved this song. My mom always listened to it when it first came out so I got hooked. She always sang it to me because ever since I was little, I always loved to dance. But when I listen to this song, I think about more than just dancing. It makes me think about taking chances and making choices. The lyrics say, "and when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance", and I think about how if I have a good opportunity, I better take it. Some times in life we get the chance for a good opportunity or the choice to do something good but we don't always take it. I think we have all took advantage of some things in life for granted. Like, when something good is right in front of you and you are too scared to take the chance to acknowledge it. Sometimes its hard to decide whether you are making the right choice or not. I think we have all been in that situation before. Life is full of choices to make and taking chances. I know that sometimes you have to make choices or take chances that you don't feel comfortable about. But that's why life isn't always easy. You have to take chances even if your not completely sure about them, because they may lead you to something good. Go ahead and make that choice you feel is right because it might work out in the end. In life, you gotta do these things because you never know how it will turn out. So check out Le Ann Womack and all her songs on YouTube or her personal website.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Miranda Lambert, "The House That Built Me"

   This week I'm writing about the country music star Miranda Lambert and her recent song, "The House That Built Me". Miranda was born November 10, 1983 in Longview, Texas. She became famous by going Nashville Star. She won third place on the show. Later on, she received a record deal with Epic Records. She made her debut with her song, "Me and Charlie" on her 2007 album called Kerosene. This album went platinum in the United States. This album also had songs like, "Bring Me Down", "Kerosene", and "New Strings". All of these singles, were in the Top 40 on the Billboard Top Country Songs.

   For her second album , Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, she transferred to Columbia Records. This album came out in 2007 and the singles on this album include, "Famous In A Small Town", "Gunpowder & Lead", and "More Like Her". All of these singles were Top 20 hits. In July 2008, "Gunpowder & Lead" became her first Top 10 country hit.

   Her third and newest album, Revolution, was released in September 2009. The album includes the songs, "White Liar", "Only Prettier", "Dead Flowers", and "The House That Built Me". Her song, "The House That Built Me", was her first number one hit and it was on top for four weeks. I personally love the songs, "Only Prettier" and "Dead Flowers. They are a couple of my favorite songs right now. I recently watched her CMT Invitation Only Concert and i really liked her songs so i started buying them on Itunes and I'm loving her music more and more each day.

   I picked this song because it's talking about a life experience that happen and changed her life. I think everyone has at least one life experience that changes their life. I know I have had many. Such as my parents getting divorced, moving into new houses, get new dogs, having people die that were important to me, and just going through many changes as I get older. I'm sure many people could relate to me and to others. In the song, she talks about how this house has her whole childhood in or around it. Her hand prints are on the front steps, the little bedroom in the corner is where she did her homework and learned to play guitar, and her favorite dog is buried under the live oak. I have lived in the same house with my dad since my parents got divorced, so I can totally relate to what Miranda is saying. I remember the changes that happen to my house over the years. The living room has been rearranged and has new furniture, my room doesn't have the same bed that it did when i was three, the carpet and color of the walls aren't the same, and my brother doesn't live down the hall anymore. It's weird to remember all those times, but i remember them like it was yesterday. Going through life, you have things that change your life. They might be good or bad, they might impact your life forever or for a few months, and sometimes you might not even notice it's putting a impact on you. But I know everyone had that one experience that changed everything, or at least a lot. Miranda was very smart about writing this song because many of her fans could relate, including me. I enjoy this song a lot, mostly because i love her voice. If you don't know Miranda Lambert then you should try to get to know her. You should check out her website and her videos on YouTube. Shes an amazing country music singer. She's definitely one of the best in my eyes. So don't hesitate to see what shes all about, you'll love her.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Nelly Furtado, "All Good Things (Come To An End)"

   This week I am writing about Nelly Furtado and her song called "All Good Things Come To An End". Nelly was born December 2, 1978 in Victoria, British Colombia. Her parents were both Portuguese and were imported into Canada in late 1960's. Nelly's parents named her after a Soviet gymnast by the name of Nellie Kim. She has two siblings, one brother and sister. She began singing in Portuguese and performing it, at age four. Her first public performance was with her mother at church. At age nine, she started to learn to play instruments like the trombone and later she learned to play the guitar and keyboards.
   She started her singing career when she met Gerald Eaton and Brain West, who helped her get her 1999 record deal with DreamWorks Records. In 2000, the two men help her produce her album called "Woah, Nelly!" Her three international songs for this album were, "I'm Like A Bird", "Turn Off The Lights", and "..On The Radio (Remember Those Days)". This album got her four Grammy nominations in 2002. She ended up winning Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. In 2006, her she released another album called "Loose". This album ended up being very successful and went to number one in many countries including the United States and Canada. The songs on this album that made her succeed include, her first number one hit in the United States "Promiscuous", "Say It Right", and "All Good Things (Come To An End)".  I didn't start listening to her until she came out with this album. I liked her song "I'm Like A Bird" also, but i didn't know it was her for a long time. So when her "Loose" album came out, I thought I'd start listening to her. My friends listened to this song also, so they got me started on listening to her. I still listen to her songs on this album, because she hasn't come out with anything new lately.

 I thought this song was perfect one to writing about because I personally think sometimes, why do all the good things in life have to end? Well, this songs talks about that issue. In the chorus it says "Flames to dust, lovers to friends, why do all good things come to an end?" and repeats that again. I think those are some really good examples, especially, being teenager. Love is what we talk about the most! Whether its going good or its bad and it came to an end. I think just about anybody could relate to these songs lyrics. It's hard not to think about why good things end sometimes. But you gotta admit sometimes good things do come to an end, which sucks. But life wouldn't be interesting if there was not conflict. I think Nelly has become an amazing artist through out the years and she has done a good job continuing to succeed. I can't wait to hear some of her new music.This is one of Nelly's songs a lot of people probably don't know her for. So if you don't know this song or any of her songs, you should definitely check them out and see what its all about. Plus, shes a gorgeous Canadian girl, so why not see what shes all about.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Darius Rucker, "It Wont Be Like This For Long"

   This week I'm writing about Darius Rucker and his song "It Wont Be Like This For Long". Darius was born in Charleston, North Carolina. His mother, Carolyn, raised Darius and his five other siblings all by herself. His father was just never around and he only saw him on Sunday morning before church. His father was in a gospel band called "The Rolling Stones". He didn't have a perfect childhood because his family was economically poor. But they went to church every Sunday and let God takes their problems in his hands.

   Darius started to become famous when he formed the band, Hootie and the Blowfish. He met the band while he was attending the University of North Carolina. One of his band members, Mark Byran, heard Darius sing while he was in the shower. The two became a duo and start singing at the local hangout spot called Hooters. They eventually recruited another member by the name of Dean Felber. Then Jim Sonefeld later joined in 1989. Hootie and the Blowfish came out with the following five albums; Cracked Rear View, Fairweather Johnson, Musical Chairs, Hootie & The Blowfish, and Looking for Lucky. These albums all had songs that Darius, Mark, and Dean wrote together. Darius was the lead singer in this band, so the media made him known as "Hootie".

   Later, after his career with Hootie and the Blowfish, he started a solo career in country music. He became famous with the songs, "Don't Think I Don't Think About It"(his first solo single), "It Won't Be Like This For Long", "Alright", and "History In The Making". All of these songs are on his album "Learn To Live". I personally like the song History In The Making the most. The music video of this song, is my favorite one by Darius. He has only been in the country music for a couple years and he is already succeeding very well. He won Artist Of The Year at the CMT Awards in 2009. He was the first African American to win this award, which was introduced in 1981. That's quite an accomplishment.

   I chose this song because I thought it related to an everyday life of a human. In the song, he talks about a Dad that is stressed out about having a newborn child and his wife says, "It won't be like this for long". IThe lyrics continue to talk about the situations that will happen when the little girl grows up, like first day of preschool ,when the girl doesn't want the dad to leave, and how someday she wont even notice hes gone. Then how she gonna be a teenager, get married, and move out. Then the Dad realizes he needs to cherish the moments with his little girl because it wont be like this for long. Anyone can relate to this situation. Maybe not as a father, but as a person who goes through a rough time. Its so easy to think "when is this gonna be over"? I know i do some days. When you get stressed out, you always get the feeling like its never gonna end. But don't worry, it will. This is a great song to listen to when your going through a rough time because it reminds you, it wont be like this for long, things are gonna get better. I feel that this song can be really inspiring. You should definitely check it out on YouTube or on his personal website.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Flyleaf, "Cassie"

   This week i will be writing about the band Flyleaf and their song "Cassie". The band members of Flyleaf include Lacey Mosley who sings the lead vocals, Sameer Bhattacharya who plays the lead guitar and  sings backup vocals, Jared Hartmann who plays rhythm guitar, Pat Seals who plays the bass guitar and also sings back up vocals, and James Culpepper on the drums. The band was formed while they were all living in Texas. They are all Christians and that's where they get their inspiration to write their songs.

   When I was in eighth grade, I became a fan of this band. On their 2005 album, Flyleaf, I enjoyed their songs, 'All Around Me', 'I'm So Sick', 'Cassie', and 'Fully Alive'. This album went platinum, and sold up to one million copies. After buying this album, i went to their concert in Springfield, IL with my dad and boyfriend. I still listen to Flyleaf today and enjoy their songs I listed above. But, I haven't listened to much of their new album, Memento Mori, that's now in stores. Lacey from the band, describes this album in these words, "This album feels like an emotional roller coaster. While listening to it, I was holding my breath at points. The issues definitely got heavier and a little more intense." So I'm assuming its going to have some good songs on it.

   This song is based off a true event that happened called the Columbine High School Massacre. If you read the lyrics to this song, you can learn about the experience of a girl who name is Cassie Bernall. Flyleaf heard about this girl's story and they admired her so much that they decided to write this song. A couple of men got into Cassie's high school and they had guns along with them. Cassie was asked the question "do you believe in God?" by one of the gunmen. She was told if she answers yes, she will immediately get shot. The lyrics start out by explaining she has a question asked that could either take her life or save it. If she answered no, she could avoid death because she wouldn't be shot. But if she answered yes, she would end here life. The lyrics go on to say that written of the bullet was the question, "do you believe in God?". Well Cassie Bernall said yes, and she was shot. Knowing that she was shot, the lyrics state, "All heads are bowed in silence, to remember her last sentence." Cassie proved to the world her love for God and that she was willing to stick up for what she believed in, no matter what the consequence would be. How many people do you know that would be willing to say yes in this situation? Not very many, if any. Cassie was a brave girl and she deserves to be honored like this. I felt like everyone should know this story because its a very powerful one. It's very unfortunate that Cassie passed away, but she will forever be honored.