Category Archives: Music

Top 20 Favorite Legend of Zelda Themes of All Time


The Legend of Zelda is, without a doubt, my favorite gaming franchise ever. There are probably plenty of other titles that are smarter, deeper, or just as fun and engaging, but Zelda will always hold a special place in my heart because it was my first serious introduction to video games.

So today, with yet another list singing its praises, I’m offering my top 20 favorite songs that ever came out of the series.

Note: Please forgive me if some of the audio clips are shoddy. Uploading to YouTube drastically reduces the quality.


20) “Guardians Awaken”, Skyward Sword


This track is great because it does exactly what it’s meant to, and it’s damn effective at it. “Guardians Awaken” juxtaposes with the more tranquil, almost soothing Silent Realm themes; adding to the suspense and anxiety as you race to gather all of the Sacred Tears before the Guardians awaken. When they do -especially if it was triggered by accidentally stepping in Waking Water or being spotted by a Watcher – a single strike from their swords is enough to send you all the way back to the beginning of the trial, no matter how close you may be to the end.



“Silent Realm Guardians” is loud, clashing, and metallic, banging in your ears and spurring you into panic, as you are hunted down by silent, unforgiving giants. Once you’ve heard this track, you don’t ever forget it, and once each Silent Realm trial is completed, you feel all the more accomplished for having successfully staved it off.


19) “Hyrule Field”, Ocarina of Time


Who doesn’t love this theme? It’s just so iconic!

I also love the (for the time) fairly subtle shift from major to minor when you are confronted by an enemy.


18) “Hytopia”, Triforce Heroes


The music of Triforce Heroes generally has a certain…je ne sais quoi about it. I particularly like the accordion parts in this theme for the main hub area. It’s classy, but fun at the same time.


17) “Tarm Ruins”, Oracle of Seasons


This track hasn’t aged the best, I must admit, but I still enjoy it. Especially in various remixed forms.

If I close my eyes (and hear past the chiptune element of it), it feels like I’m exploring an ancient forest, littered with walls, archways, and crumbling buildings from some lost civilization. That’s pretty much exactly what you are doing in-game anyway, so it fits. There’s really not much more I can say about it than that.


16) “Skyloft”, Skyward Sword


Hajime Wakai has written some truly breathtaking music for Skyward Sword, and it is further accentuated by the choice to use an actual orchestra in composing the game’s soundtrack.

The theme for the floating city of Skyloft is, as you might expect, light and airy. To me, it represents the peaceful, joyful existence of living in a sort of ivory tower; almost a Garden of Eden, of sorts, where people and animals work together in harmony. The world on the ground far below is not even a distant memory anymore, and only a few people in Skyloft still wonder about it in any way.


You hear the song throughout the game, but it also comprises a fair amount of your introduction to the world. Possible symbolism aside, it’s just very nice to listen to, and much like the “Hyrule Field” theme from Ocarina, it draws you in and provides an upbeat start to your adventure.


15) “Bazaar” and its variations, Skyward Sword


Same game, different tune.

The Skyloft bazaar is where you shop for weapons, supplies, and potions before heading down to Hyrule proper. It contains about 5 vendors (if you count the potion shop wife and husband as 1), and each has a unique variation of the bazaar theme that begins to play when you approach his or her area. I recommend listening to all of the shop tracks, even if you can’t play the actual game for whatever reason. Each iteration uses different instruments and sets itself to a different pace, conveying both the general bustle of the marketplace and the energy/personality of the vendor.


14) Original “Fire Temple” Theme, Ocarina of Time


I realize that this version was replaced due to its insensitive use of a core Muslim prayer, and I don’t mean to support appropriation or exploitation. However, I don’t believe that it was meant to be malicious or purposely disrespectful, and before people jump to condemn someone for ignorance, I think that the original intent of the action should count for something.

That said, I don’t know what Koji Kondo was actually trying to do at the time. Personally, as a kid, I thought that the original track was cool and interesting. Of all of the temples in Ocarina, the Fire Temple felt the most like somewhere people might actually go to offer prayers to the gods, and the theme was a major part of that interpretation. A sudden echoing, rhythmic chanting fades in and out throughout the track, making it seem like an ancient, spiritual place; one which has now been corrupted slightly by Ganondorf’s evil influence.


If this genuinely offended people, then I am glad that it was cut. Everyone deserves to enjoy this game without feeling like it’s insulting their religion. This was just my 2 cents, as a once ignorant white kid who later went on to love studying world religions in college. It confused me when I picked up a more recent copy of the game several years ago and the chanting was just gone, with no real explanation.


13) “Fire Sanctuary”, Skyward Sword


Here is a cool fire theme that is pretty cool and doesn’t offend anyone, as far as I know. The “Earth Temple” theme is decent too, but it didn’t get stuck in my ears like this one did.


12) “Inside the Great Deku Tree”, Ocarina of Time


The “Forest Temple” theme is probably better. It’s definitely creepier, to say the least, but “Inside the Great Deku Tree” is soothing and spacey. It really does feel like being inside something truly empty and gigantic, and I love using this as writing music when I’m trying to clear my mind and focus on something new.



11) “Stone Tower Temple”, Majora’s Mask


Foreboding, but not as in-your-face unsettling as the “Ikana Canyon” and “Ikana Graveyard” themes. To me, it feels like a hopeless, endless climb upward, and that’s not too far from my actual feelings whenever I try to make it up to the Stone Tower Temple. You just keep messing with switches and playing that godforsaken “Elegy of Emptiness” song, over and over and over…


It’s a fairly fitting prelude to a fantastically challenging Zelda dungeon, though. I used to try to play the base tune on my elementary school recorder.


10) “Farore’s Silent Realm”, Skyward Sword


I can’t remember what the exact instrument is during this track, but the closest I can describe is “if a tinkle and a clang had a baby, this is what it would sound like.” A glass cowbell, maybe? What kind of bells would forest spirits use, anyway?

I can already picture my audio engineer/high school band boyfriend ashamedly shaking his head at me for that one…


But this is my favorite of all of the Silent Realm songs. It is a simplistic, staccato rendition of the “Faron Woods” heme; calming, but also distinctly lonely and otherwordly. I like it a lot.

And, by instinctual association, its accompanying Silent Realm is the easiest and least stressful of all of the trials.


9) “The Great Sea”, Wind Waker




Need I say more?


8) “Deku Palace”, Majora’s Mask


This theme feels like it’d be fun to dance to, and lucky for Link, his Deku form has a spin attack that is adorably twirly.


7) “Fi’s Theme”, Skyward Sword


Skyward Sword seems like it’s taking up most of the list, doesn’t it?


Fi is easily the most annoying companion character in the 3-D games, possibly even the entire series. She is essentially a robot who states the painfully obvious, telling you that you’re low on hearts or the likelihood of a bokoblin shocking you with an electric cattle prod right as he is swinging it at your face.

That said, her theme music is beautiful. I cried at the end of the story, which I won’t go into for the sake of spoilers. I can’t imagine I’m the only one who often has trouble completing games in a year (sometimes a few) or less.


Suffice it to say, “God damn it, but Fi made me feel!”


6) “Hyrule Castle”, Breath of the Wild


Here’s a new one.

Outside of the iconic Zelda retreads, the music in Breath of the Wild is nice if basic and repetitive at times. But this version of the conquered Hyrule Castle theme is a nice compromise of old and new, managing to be feel hopeless as well as looming and sinister.  It even harkens back to Ganondorf’s organ-playing as you ascend the castle steps in Ocarina, but it doesn’t get louder as you approach the sanctum.


5) “Lake Hylia”, Twilight Princess


Such a beautiful instrumental. Lake Hylia is a big open space where you could just imagine sitting down and watching the clouds and the tide go by.

Incidentally, proportionally-speaking, Lake Hylia in Ocarina of Time should be a similar massive size as it is in Twilight Princess. Even though it looks much smaller (and is, compared to that later game), it does takes Link a while to swim across it; the rising and setting of the sun is what offers the illusion of largeness.


…Sorry. That’s just an annoying nitpick I hear from some fans. Either a day in Hyrule goes by really quickly, or the game makers did what they could with size and system limitations of the time, folks. The Nintendo 64 was still damn impressive.


4) “Kakariko Village”, Twilight Princess


This version of Kakariko’s theme has more character than it did in Ocarina of Time, and that is due to the addition of what I assume is an eagle-bone flute. Or something in that family, at least.



Renado, the village leader, and his daughter Luda have a distinctly Native American character design, and Kakariko resembles a town in the old west, complete with sparse vegetation and a faded earthy color scheme. The theme ties it all together, keeping a few recognizable chords intact but changing enough to fit the new set up. It’s very pretty, and definitely worthy of being one of my favorite songs in the series.


3) “Gerudo Valley”. Ocarina of Time


Did anyone else go out and learn about Mariachi music entirely because of this one song?


2) “Dragon Roost Island”, Wind Waker


What’s not to love about this one? It’s practically bursting with energy and fun!

The “Dragon Roost Island” theme is definitely a spiritual sibling of the “Gerudo Valley” theme. It is probably the closest another Zelda track has come to it, and I would even go so far as to argue that it surpasses “Gerudo Valley,” if only in sheer awesomeness.

I apologize if that was sacrilegious.

If Mexican music being applied to desert amazon women didn’t quite fit perfectly for you, this theme seems completely appropriate for the Rito, a seaside race of bird people who worship a giant dragon that sits atop their mountain. I’m not sure I can explain exactly why, but it just works.


Don’t ask me why they all wear powdered wigs, though. I have no idea.


1) “Zora’s Domain” and ” The Serenade of Water”, every incarnation



Sorry to mush together two songs for the top spot, but they are both gorgeous, and they essentially go hand in hand, as common themes for the aquatic Zora people. If you don’t know what they are, how did you even get here? imagine a  reversed-mermaid.

Or don’t, and just look below.


In the case of the latter song, I particularly love “Queen Rutela’s Theme” from Twilight Princess. It’s hauntingly beautiful, yet oddly comforting, much like the ghost herself.


The general “Zora’s Domain” song is what I most want to hear when I’m baking, writing, lounging, or swimming, for some reason. It just makes me happy to listen to it, and it definitely makes me think of water. It may not be as epic as something like “Dragon Roost” or “Gerudo Valley,” but it doesn’t have to be. It soothes the soul and cheers the heart.


*The images and sound clips used in this post do not belong to me. Please let me know if you notice any of the audio being missing or not working properly, and I’ll find another link.

What are your favorite Legend of Zelda tracks? And why?


Pop Music Icons Summed Up in 10 Words or Less

Who has time for long-winded, ego-stroking think pieces anymore? Certainly not my generation. According to every article I’ve seen in the past ten years, millennials have the attention spans of lab mice, which is why we flock to short, punchy bursts of instant gratification like Vine and Twitter.

Well, allow me to continue that supposed trend today. I’m basically going to take tweets (succinct opinions) and publish them wholesale here. Let’s mock us some pop stars just in time for the Grammys, the most pretentious, inbreeding, self-aggrandizing excuse for an award show to ever grace cable television!

Let the mocking begin!


Carrie Underwood.

Queen of Modern Country. Breaks up the sausagefest.


Justin Bieber

Bearable since his bitter little balls dropped.



Lady Gaga

Madonna-wannabe. Wish she’d just sing.



Gifted. Gorgeous. Must have God-awful taste in men.


Ed Sheeran 

Wordy ginger brit with major feels.



Taylor Swift

Whether mad, sad, or glad, that chick be boy-crazy.



That one friend who never takes a vacation.





Meghan Trainor

GLEE’s Amy Winehouse. Insufferable. Arrogant. “Hollywood fat” at best.




Asleep at the mic. Stream of consciousness.  No new friends.


Adam Levine.

Thinks he can pull off Justin Timberlake.”Maroon 5 who?”


Bruno Mars

Retro-fitting the 21st Century, and I’m okay with that.


The Chainsmokers

Hoping you’ll forget this one sometime soon:


Lukas Graham.

‘Nough said…no really. You’d think it’s just one guy.


Katy Perry.

Like Miley Cyrus but with autotune and no Disney shackles.


One Direction.

Not as bad as they were, in nearly every way.



Nick Jonas. 

Discount Justin Timberlake. Still better than Adam Levine.



Iggy Azalea’s phony accent with actual pipes to back it.


Justin Timberlake. 

Remember NSYNC? He pretends not to. Lonely Island represent!


The Weekend.

Half of Justin’s range while singing through their noses.



DJ Snake.

Usually more fun away from the mic.



Gorgeous voice. Still not convinced she’d move on.


John Legend.

Doesn’t sound like he belongs to this decade.


Jessie Jay.

Discount Katy Perry.


twenty one pilots.

Good points. Depressing music. Seem like they need Linkin Park.




Ariana Grande.

Still can’t get over “bwake fwee.” Sorry. Nice voice though.


Selena Gomez.

Boring music. Like Ariana, she looks 13.


Demi Lovato.

More boring. Still can’t escape the mighty shadow of Disney.



Lil Wayne.

Weird looking. Jerk to women. Still gets women….?


Chris Brown.

Scumbag. Decent voice. Awful. Has awful fans.


Mariah Carey.

Amazing pipes. Pissy diva attitude.




The sound keys make in the dish washer.



My favorite artist. Needs a new live show routine though.




*Please note: this is not meant to be a serious stab at anyone other than Chris Brown. 



iHateRadio: Radio Rant

With the 2014 iHeart Music Festival going on soon, I decided it would be a good time to say that I hate radio…..


Nah, nah. I kid….Sorta.

As a person who spends a lot of time in the car and doesn’t have the money or the patience to pay for monthly “satellite” radio services, I spend a lot of my morning commute listening to FM radio, which I’m sure a lot of you do. I mean, I can say that I hate radio but that is not the truth. I hate MODERN commercial radio and what it has turned into. Let me give you a little anecdote.

Dawn of the First Day

I get into my car in the morning and turn on my car.

The newest song comes on. “Oh yeah! I love this song.” I say and I start jamming out to the song. Everything is fine….

Dawn of the Second Day

I get into my car in the morning and turn on my car.

“Didn’t this song come on at the same time yesterday?” I say and I start jamming out to the song. Everything is normal…..

Dawn of the Third Day

I’m worried the same song will come on again, so I turn on my car and cut of the radio. I drive down the road and I’m stuck in traffic…

It’s like my arm is possessed. I reached for the on button, and guess what comes on?

“AHHHH” I scream, and cut of the radio.

Later that night, I turn on my car.

3 minutes pass, and what song comes on?

“Hmmmmm…” Frustrated, I turn off the radio and silence fills the car as I drive the lonely dark streets.

“Maybe if I change the station, I’ll have better luck?”

I turn on the radio and change the station…”Oh…My..God…the song….it keeps coming back…Why in God’s name does it keep coming back!?”

Then the moon fell.



Nah, nah. I kid. The moon didn’t fall.

But aside from my haunting tale of the song that follows me, this perpetual cycle of top 40 songs day in and day out is the majority of the reason why iHateRadio.

Now, I do have to recognize that radio has been around for a while and has done some great things over the years. It is a huge industry that has made 17 billion dollars in revenue, current annual growth is 1.9%, and employs 103,436 people, according to IBIS World. (1)

For decades, radio has provided programming to listeners free of charge, introducing its audiences to new types of music entertainment and new recording artists. It is widely believed that radio stations, record labels, and recording artists enjoy a
symbiotic relationship; meaning, the record industry utilizes radio to promote its artists and music to hundreds of millions of radio listeners, while radio attracts listeners and advertisers by airing recorded music. Also, radio’s music promotion is understood to stimulate the purchase of recordings, merchandise and concert tickets by the listening audience. The radio also provides royalties to the recording studios and artists.

However, because of the profitability of commercials and advertising the station owners found themselves increasingly beholden to sponsors, who began taking over complete shows, then buying radio stations from which to launch media empires. This type of sponsorship lead media cause a big problem. Station owners were no longer willing to lose ratings over spinning new records or breaking new artists because of all the money that was at stake if people didn’t tune in.

At this point, market research was the main way to decide what was safe to play. And to divide up that profitability risk, bigger radio stations send promo songs and new songs and artist to college radio stations and MTV as test marketing. The music rating from college radio was a good and safe indicator for bigger radio stations of what was now deemed “popular”. Bigger stations take these ratings and makes an arbitrary roster of “hot” songs, old or new, repeated ad nauseam in a blatant effort to “hook” the listener long enough for exposure to the ad.

And thus the reason why my morning commute is feeling a little bit like Groundhog Day.


Some radio station can even be as impatient for the next ad as to cut entire sections of the song and/or speed up the song, making the song sound in a higher pitched key. Ever wonder after 1 month of hearing a new song on the radio you all the sudden can’t match pitch with Katy Perry. Well…

With that elephant in the room taken note of, I think I will leave you with this.

I do like music on top 40 stations and commercial radio. There can be some interesting songs and artists that make their way on there.

Recently, I have heard Be Okay by a band called Oh Honey. It was good hearing them on the radio, considering I saw them live as an opener to one of my favorite bands, The Fray, as part of their Helios tour, which by the way is an awesome album and does not disappoint. But I wish there was more of a chance taken with new artists and new songs on all radio stations.


I’m still hearing Lights by Ellie Goulding on these “new” stations, which was released back in 2010. Even radio stations that claim they play everything only play “pop” songs from the 80s, 90s, and today.

If radio is truly made to advertise the artists and grant them exposure, this should apply to other artists and not just what the sponsors deem as “popular”.

So be ready to hear All About that Bass and Shake It Off as you use Maps while swinging on a Chandelier and hunting an Anaconda, because you will be hearing those for the next 5 months.

And as always, stay thirst my bros.




Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass”



This one will be a shorty, as I can separate my feelings into a couple of sentences each.

1) I like this song. I like the music itself, with its very retro, doo-wop sound. For most of the song, Trainor speak-sings in a very affected accent that borders on annoying (and it annoys several people I know, in fact), but it doesn’t bother me, and her singing voice sounds more  natural and very nice. It fits the style of the song well.

2) Glancing at other critics, I have seen them praising the song for its positive body-image message, and/or ignoring the line that just kidding’s the line about “skinny bitches” to find fault with it. If I had to nitpick something: while I don’t think this is what Trainor intended, having so much of the song reference that men like bigger women might actually take away from the song’s message about being happy with “your size” for your own sake.

It can still be “empowering”, and I don’t think it’s that big of an issue, but it is a way people can interpret it.

3) The video is colorful, fun, and upbeat. By the end, even the skinny bitch is having fun.

4) Another nitpick here, but it kind of trebles me every time I hear it:

“Yeah, my mama she told me don’t worry about your size
She says, ‘Boys like a little more booty to hold at night.'” 


“Ummmm…thanks, mom?”

She was probably trying to be funny there, but I find it creepy on several levels. This is something your friend might say to you, but your mother?

In closing, this song is really fun. Take a listen, if you haven’t already.

To everyone facing body issues out there, this is what I say to you:

Ladies and gents, love yourself. Love yourself for you and you alone, because that body is all you truly own on this earth. Love yourself before you love others; confidence will draw others to you, and there is plenty of love to go around. Be forgiving.

Take care of yourself. Give your body good food, exercise, and plenty of sleep, as much as you can. Don’t worry about being “skinny” or “fat,” chasing ideals that you see in movies and magazines. Just taking care of yourself will make you happier and healthier. Shoot for healthy, and good things will follow.


Sia’s “Chandelier”

All right! Back to the jams!

I’ve been itching to do this one for a while now. I like Sia, and I really like this song.

Before we start, here are a couple of things to mention:

  • Sia Furler is a 38 year-old Australian-born singer/songwriter, who started out as an Indie darling and has since exploded into the mainstream pop world on such tracks as “Wild Ones” and “Titanium.” Recently, she has written much with and for other people, collaborating with David Guetta, Shakira, Christina Aguilera, and Beyonce, among many notable others.



  • The dancer is Maddie Ziegler, a contestant from yet another show about moms living vicariously through their children, wearing a “Sia” wig. No, I am not passing judgment on her as a person or a dancer, or people who watch the show. I’m just not crazy about the whole Toddlers in Tiaras trend for a number of reasons, so I don’t watch shows like that. I did see Honey Boo-Boo once out of morbid curiosity, and I swore never again.


And…that’s about all we need to know, so let’s move on to my review of the song and video.

Unlike with “Birthday,” my first time hearing the song was while watching the official video. Therefore, I shall talk about both. Don’t worry, though. I won’t take long. 🙂

Here is the official video, for your convenience:



Here are the lyrics, for double the convenience:

“Party girls don’t get hurt

Can’t feel anything, when will I learn
I push it down, push it down

I’m the one “for a good time call”
Phone’s blowin’ up, ringin’ my doorbell
I feel the love, feel the love

1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 drink
1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 drink
1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 drink

Throw ’em back, till I lose count

I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier
I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist
Like it doesn’t exist
I’m gonna fly like a bird through the night, feel my tears as they dry
I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier

And I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight
Help me, I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight
On for tonight

Sun is up, I’m a mess
Gotta get out now, gotta run from this
Here comes the shame, here comes the shame

1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 drink
1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 drink
1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 drink

Throw ’em back till I lose count

I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier
I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist
Like it doesn’t exist
I’m gonna fly like a bird through the night, feel my tears as they dry
I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier

And I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight
Help me, I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight
On for tonight
On for tonight
‘Cause I’m just holding on for tonight
Oh I’m just holding on for tonight
On for tonight
On for tonight
‘Cause I’m just holding on for tonight
‘Cause I’m just holding on for tonight
Oh I’m just holding on for tonight
On for tonight
On for tonight”


Quick First Impressions:

“That leotard makes the girl look naked. Must be symbolism!”

“This reminds me of when I tried ballet as a kid. Except maybe the bugging eyes.”

“…Sia sounds a bit different this time around. What is with the Elmer Fudd and Rihanna impressions?”

“I hope that chandelier can hold her. If it doesn’t, she won’t be living ‘like tomorrow doesn’t exist’ for much longer…Personally, I’d go for the one from Phantom of the Opera.”


Actual “Thoughtful” Analysis:

In many song reviews, I will distinguish the singer from the “character,” as many songs are stories, or are written and produced by multiple people (this particular song definitely has the latter trait, if nothing else). Whether or not he or she is the “author avatar” is ultimately irrelevant, unless I’m review the singer/songwriter as a whole.

On the surface, “Chandelier” seems like just another “party like it’s no tomorrow” song. Like “DJ Got US Fallin’ in Love,” or pretty much any Ke$ha or Pitbull song. Not as pop-y, no rap cameos, and the singer feels genuinely and naturally talented (a rare occurrence), but the same basic principle. Nothing special, right?

What it really sounds like, when you get right down to it, is a cry for help. The verses reflect exhaustion, especially the second, shorter set, as the character seems to be enduring an almost robotic series of actions on repeat, literally going through the motions of partying again and again. She clearly feels like she has to. It looks like an addiction, no doubt escaping and/or covering up something in her regular, mundane life that is unpleasant. Stifling.

The chorus then explodes with a mighty surge; a veritable “Let It Go” moment, in which determination (or, more likely, desperation) kicks in and the character decides to go all out. What matters is feeling alive in the moment. She’s swinging on a possibly fragile chandelier that could come crashing down at any moment, but that moment is then, “tomorrow.” This is now.

That is what I have gathered.

Is this what it’s like for you, girls who party a lot? Is it so fun, it hurts? Do you keep on doing it anyway?

Who knows?

The nice thing about pop music (like having kids with talent, and unfulfilled dreams and parental frustration from your own childhood) is that you can live through it. Not a partier? Well then, don’t you worry! You can experience all the ups and downs of fame, popularity, partying, etc. by scanning Pandora and listening for half an hour.

The music itself is awesome, if a little melancholy at times. It’s like a good version of “We Can’t Stop,” in which being depressing was intentional. And yet it didn’t ruin the fun.

Not sure why it sounds like she’s keeping her lips puckered though. It didn’t add anything from the song for me, aside from confusion, but it doesn’t lower my ranking either.

For the video…

I wasn’t kidding when I said it reminded me of when I tried ballet as a little kid. My parents can tell you how I stood in the corner during class, off in my own little world, mimicking what I thought ballet looked like. I honestly have no idea what I was thinking back then, but needless to say, I quickly moved on to trying out other potential hobbies XD

The dancing is mesmerizing and certainly takes talent, but I maintain that a decent chunk of it looks like flailing. Stylized, timed and choreographed flailing, but flailing nonetheless.


I can see how it could be interpretive and symbolic, but personally, I think Pink made it work better:


The dingy apartment adds to the tone of the song I mentioned above, what with its ratty, minimalist furnishings and dull colors. The only thing that adds energy and life to the scene is, well, Maddie. I also mentioned above that her flesh-colored attire gave me the impression that this was the bared soul of the character, or even a representation of the character’s mind (in which case, Maddie would probably be the brain). Maddie looks like a doll, seeming very creepy at times, but still…

You can’t really look away. It’s definitely haunting.

I could probably dig up more with squinting and cribbing from other reviewers, but I won’t. Right now, I haven’t really looked at other people’s reviews in detail, but the general consensus seems to be “OMG SO GOOD!”

Suffice it to say that I think this song is good. If I gave it a score, for the video and song each, it’d be an 8/10 both times. It’s got a good beat that swells just right when it needs to; hypnotizing, yet simplistic visuals; and near heart-wrenching vocals with some effective mood-whiplash.

I’d say check it out, but if you’ve been following along, you technically already have. So instead, how about you check out some of Sia’s earlier work? 🙂

*Once again, no pics or videos are owned by me. Credit due to singers, songwriters, composers, musicians, studios, etc.




Katy Perry’s “Birthday”

I finally got around to doing a song review! Is it my birthday already?

I’d say it’s time to party, but Katy Perry has officially ruined parties from here on out.

That’s not to say it’s the worst thing I’ve ever heard…But it’s pretty bad. The way I see it, people are either thinking it’s so bad, it’s good; so bad, it’s horrible; or just feeling kind of indifferent to it.

For reference, this is the song and its accompanying “music video,” if you can even call it that. Given her usual level of silly, semi-sincere tastelessness, I was pretty underwhelmed by the visuals (I was expecting more of a  “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) kind of skit), and her stand up routine at the beginning was downright painful.

To quote How I Met Your Mother, “Oh, honey…”

For those who have never heard of Katy Perry…well, you probably shouldn’t be reading this. But here are some things to know:

1. Her real name is Katheryn Hudson.

2. She used to sing for the Lord and her pastor parents before strapping whip cream cannons to her bra and dressing like a C+ Lady Gaga.

I can only assume her new status in pop music is constantly giving her family the finger unless they’re reeeeaaaallly relaxed.

3. She’s a pop diva with almost no identity.

Who but Perry can pull off a wild party machine of debauchery, then become the helpless break-up victim who “was so totally committed and faithful to you before you broke her heart, you evil villain!”, all with such detachment and spunk?

4. She’s all about the image, not the music.

I say this because Perry seems like she’s trying to be sexy and “out there;” has tons of writers that “cowrite” her songs with her; and she has an extraordinary, dedicated production team, that can autotune even her (at times) strangled cat voice into something pleasing to the ear.

A lot of fans will argue that last one, but if you’ve ever seen (or rather, heard) her live, you know what I mean. “Nerves and onstage performing and blah blah blah.” She can sing in the sense that she opens her mouth and makes sound come out. That doesn’t mean she’s great at it, or was trained. Her breathing is frequently off.

She is a studio gem that they continue to polish with every new song. People love to praise her, but refuse to give the audio guys their due because they don’t know how concerts or audio in general work. Besides autotune, look up “pitch-shifting” and “compression.” Those tend to be used a bit.

Sorry. Just a little tangent there.

Now, I do enjoy some of her songs. There are a few guilty pleasures, even a couple I could say were actually “good.” Look at “Firework” and “The One That Got Away” (go acoustic for this one because it actually sounds sad and sincere) and you definitely see some potential there. And many of her other songs are just fun when you switch your brain off (which is necessary for some of us).

But that said, I don’t think she has much integrity as an artist. And if you too draw that conclusion here or at any point in the future, shhhhhhh! Be careful who you say that to!

Some of her fans make it to be their mission to defend her to the death, even if you’re trying to honestly discuss her. Perry is a big girl, guys, I think she can handle a little criticism. Or if she can’t, she might want to consider a career change.

But on to “Birthday”!

Whether or not you choose to subject yourself to the video or pull this up on iTunes, here are the lyrics:

“I heard you’re feeling nothing’s going right
Why don’t you let me stop by?
The clock is ticking, running out of time
So we should party all night

So cover your eyes,
I have a surprise
I hope you got a healthy appetite
If you wanna dance,
If you want it all
You know that I’m the girl that you should call

Boy, when you’re with me
I’ll give you a taste
Make it like your birthday everyday
I know you like it sweet
So you can have your cake
Give you something good to celebrate

So make a wish
I’ll make it like your birthday everyday
I’ll be your gift
Give you something good to celebrate

Pop your confetti
Pop your Pérignon
So hot and heavy
‘Til dawn
I got you spinning
Like a disco ball
All night they’re playing
Your song

We’re living the life
We’re doing it right
You’re never gonna be unsatisfied
If you wanna dance
If you want it all
You know that I’m the girl that you should call

Boy, when you’re with me
I’ll give you a taste
Make it like your birthday everyday
I know you like it sweet
So you can have your cake
Give you something good to celebrate

So make a wish
I’ll make it like your birthday everyday
I’ll be your gift
Give you something good to celebrate

Happy birthday

So let me get you in your birthday suit
It’s time to bring out the big balloons
So let me get you in your birthday suit
It’s time to bring out the big, big, big, big, big, big balloons

Boy, when you’re with me
I’ll give you a taste
Make it like your birthday everyday
I know you like it sweet
So you can have your cake
Give you something good to celebrate

Boy, when you’re with me
I’ll give you a taste
Make it like your birthday everyday
I know you like it sweet
So you can have your cake
Give you something good to celebrate

So make a wish
I’ll make it like your birthday everyday
I’ll be your gift
Give you something good to celebrate

Happy birthday”

That speaks for itself, doesn’t it?

Musically, this song sounds like the not-so-loved-child of “California Girls” and “The One That Got Away.” This is confusing right off the bat because, despite the fact that both those songs have upbeat instrumentals, the former song is egotism personified while the latter is about regrets and love lost.

We’re off to a great start!

If there is one thing Perry and her handlers are fond of, it’s playing things up and making them stupid. Aggressively, knowingly, sometimes laughably stupid. This song is strung together with lame innuendos and goofy little throw away lines. I’m pretty sure no one except our grandparents has used the term “birthday suit” in the last 30 years at least.

That’s the mark of bad writing right there: using things that no one says in real life, usually when the writer can’t think of a good rhyme. In this case, they used the term because: Birthdays! Get it?!

I love me some bad puns, but ugh! Even I have a limit!

How many people honestly proposition people with birthday innuendos? Who would say any of this stuff, even in jest? I can’t see it working.


You know what? Never mind. I don’t want to know.

In the video, Perry is appearing at multiple birthday parties to varying people, but parts of the video and the tone of the song by itself feel very much like she’s singing to a little boy. And that disturbs me. A lot.

Maybe they intended it to be creepy. Congratulations! You’ve succeeded, team o’ Perry!

Sometimes, pop music makes me feel like I literally need a shower. This made me feel gross, but in a different way than usual…Yay?

It doesn’t help that the music and lyrics are so bouncy and juvenile. It sounds like someone accidentally (or intentionally) hired a stripper for a kid’s birthday party.

Or that nurse from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

This song made me laugh at first. Now it makes me cringe. It’s obviously trying to be funny, in that “beat you over the head with the obvious” sort of way, while somehow trying to maintain a bit of playful coyness. But “Birthday” also wants to be a decent party song at the same time. I do not think it accomplishes either.

At least “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” had a killer sax bridge.

It’s only funny because of how painfully unfunny and bad it is. Even as a joke song, it ranges from “meh” to pretty awful. Most people who have ridden in the car with me when this song came on looked aghast, thoroughly tormented by the time it ended, and those who laughed after one playing were irked by it the second time.

Also, it’s creepy.

Katy Perry is whatever and whoever she needs to be to get out her records. She might as well be a cardboard standee with a voice box attached to the back for all the intelligence, personality, wit, and actual musical talent she brings to the table. Ironically, she’d be perfect to hire to entertain kids with her bright shiny colors and upbeat nonsense.

“Dark Horse” was a far better song, even if it sounded like “E.T.” and proved that Perry has no concept of metaphors.

Pop music seems very much like one big wish-fulfillment fantasy. The people listening aren’t partying as much as the singers, but they like to pretend they do. And there’s nothing really wrong with that, unless maybe it’s the only thing you listen to.

What kind of fantasy does this particular song sell? It’s not a personal song on Perry’s part, so it must be trying to sell…something…

I started this review thinking I had something to really say about this song. Sadly, by the end, I find nothing. Nothing really fun, meaningful, or different. Just another picture of the assembly-line, mass-produced, sugar high pulp that is unfortunately all too common in pop music. The least it could do is be fun or funnier.

Thankfully, “Birthday” is not an ear worm.

As usual, lyrics and other media present in this blog are not owned by me. 

P.S. If you like pop and are looking for someone who seems “genuine,” is fun to listen to, and can actually sing, check this chick out! She’s my favorite on the radio, just by sheer personality.