Anomaly: A Review

Anomaly: A Review

Introduction

This album came out in 2014 and earned Lecrae many nominations, including three Grammys in the categories of “Best Gospel Song,” “Best CCM Performance,” and “Best Rap Performance”. He won two of three, losing Rap to Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright”. That doesn’t negate the brilliance of this rap album. As a performer, Lecrae ranks among the very best. His catalog is remarkable, including albums such as Rebel, Rehab, & Gravity and his Church Clothes mixtape trilogy. Anomaly proves to be a very different flavor for Lecrae and maybe his best album yet. The album features the least amount of other artists, resulting in a lot of time with Lecrae and his thoughts.

1. Outsiders

The opening track sets a style for the album’s production that sounds very sleek and professional. The song sets the tone in terms of subject matter and immediately tells listeners that Lecrae has somethings to say and he is unashamed of his thoughts. The song talks about how he never really fit in as a child and still doesn’t fit in to this day and that doesn’t bug him. As he says, Lecrae would rather be an outsider than sacrifice his integrity. The song gradually builds while maintaining an ominous tone, hyping listeners up for big things to come. It works extremely well as an intro song.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: A-

2. Welcome to America

The song that many would assume to be a patriotic welcome song will pleasantly surprise. The song exposes stereotypes of America’s colored culture and pulls the layers back on the negative jobs and acts that inner citizens are forced to perform to survive. It tears down the fake portrait that we put up for ourselves and other nations. There is a verse as well that sheds a light on the mistreatment of veterans and soldiers of our nation as well. The final verse exposes the positive dreams of immigrants who want to live here and trying to pitch why they want to live there. Lecrae rides the beat well and the production is very solid.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

3. Say I Won’t (feat. Andy Mineo)

The third track is a change of tone from the previous two heavy songs and gives listeners something fun to jam to. Andy Mineo and Lecrae go crazy with fast verses and displays of lyricism common from Andy’s catalog. The beat is fun and these two play off each other with excellent chemistry. The song is an anthem for overcoming doubt and being proud of being different, piggybacking off of themes from “Outsiders”.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A+

4. Nuthin

Lecrae displays his talents as a hip-hop vocalist as well as a skilled rapper in this jam that is a must for any hype playlist. The song compares what Lecrae deems is important and what he talks about in contrast to the rest of the rap genre, which he claims don’t talk about anything of importance. The song has a fun beat and great vocals. This is a necessity for any DJ who thinks they make fire playlists.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

5. Fear

At this point, Lecrae slows things down a little bit to examine the virtue of bravery. He shines a light on his insecurity and private fears and he confesses his worries over the top of an impressive beat with another display of impressive vocals from Lecrae. This song is raw and real. He lyrically samples Psalm 21 for his intro and it works wonderfully. This song is brilliant and an under-appreciated gem in his catalog.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

6. Anomaly

This funky beat that takes cues from reggae and jazz creates a smooth and fun beat that is sure to make heads nod. Lecrae examines how “the system didn’t plan for this” and brings back his outcast theme that is prevalent throughout this album. The song is a wonderful song that really examines abnormality from the social norms.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A

7. Timepiece

This song switches the album pacing and slows thing down in a good way. This song has a catchy hook and amazing production. The lyricism in this one song alone demonstrates Lecrae’s uniqueness and importance to the rap industry. The song deals with the concept of time and how we don’t have much. Time is a commodity that we are running out of.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

8. Dirty Water

At this point, we make an aggressive change with a hard beat and hard lyrics that highlight social fakes and the need for social change and faith. The song is really fun tom listen to and has very good production.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A+

9. Wish

The song talks about wishing and regrets and how to deal with change and things we wish we could change. The song is pretty and the sentiment is really touching. We’ve all been where Lecrae is at this point on the album and it really hits home. The choppy production is a stylistic choice that pays off excellently. This song is a great one that briefly highlights the theme of fleeting time again.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A

10. Runners

This song is another fun jam, speeding things up again as Lecrae examines the theme of loyalty in relationships and how to avoid the temptation of lust and the struggles of cheating. The song wouldn’t nearly be as good without the comedically and realistic skits that start, bridge, and end the song. The bass-heavy production is some of the best of the album and backs Lecrae as he highlights his own temptations as he admits his faults and his own imperfections while advising from experience.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

11. All I Need Is You

The lead single from the album is the best from the project. The medium paced track features great vocals and solid lyricism from Lecrae. The song talks about how Lecrae’s relate ship with God is all he needs and lists all the things that he needs help with while comparing the relationship to being an anchor for his life. It’s an addictive song that really does affect the listener.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

12. Give In (feat. Crystal Nicole)

The production of this one is the best of the album. The song is based 99% off of acapella recordings done by Lecrae and Crystal. It sounds so good and the message of the track is really sweet. The song serves as a love song and lists all the ways he gives in to his love.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A+

13. Good, Bad, Ugly

The album slows down a bit here as things get real and personal again for Lecrae. The song detailing the story of how he was sexually abused when he was eight by his seventeen year old babysitter and a later story about how he and his girlfriend got an abortion and regretted it. The song also talks about how he found healing with the bad and ugly parts of his life and how people don’t always want to listen to or help with the ugly parts. He asks God to take his good, bad, and ugly parts. The song is really tragic and beautiful. It’s my personal favorite from the album.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

14. Broken (feat. Kari Jobe)

This song is also beautifully tragic and deals in similar themes on a bigger scale. Telling the story of how everyone is broken by sin and how we chase anything to feel better, when the answer is the grace and restoration we get when we accept Christ into our lives. The song features gorgeous vocals from Kari Jobe and wonderful metaphors backed by sleek production involving strings. He details his brokenness as including sexual abuse, fatherlessness, and insecurity. The song is a beautiful tribute to the hurting.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

15. Messengers (feat. for KING & COUNTRY)

The final song is a excellently produced call to action, encouraging Christians to spread the good news of The Bible and features the style of music and perfect vocals of for KING & COUNTRY. The wonderful arrangement of alternative and bolstering music just uplifts and inspires change in all areas of life. It’s an excellent closer to the best album of 2014 and Lecrae’s best work.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

Conclusion:

Lecrae is a prolific rapper and songwriter. The production of this album is some of the best work done by any artist in any genre. The album inspires, encourages, and entertains to levels that is not seen much in any genre. Lecrae carries the bulk of the album on his back, balancing the themes and tones brilliantly and shares the spotlight wonderfully with acts that compliment his style perfectly. The album is a masterpiece of music and creative expression if their ever was one. The project reaches out and offers help to the hurting, inspires change for the revolutionaries and leaders, and sympathizes with the broken, highlighting his own struggles and past. This album is a necessity of not just rap music, but music in general.

Album Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

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Movie Trivia Schmoedown Masterlist

Movie Trivia Schmoedown Masterlist

Singles:

  • Champion: “The Commissioner” Kristian Harloff (8-3) [KO Record]º
  1. “The Outlaw” John Rocha (6-4)***
  2. “The Insneider” Jeff Sneider (5-3) [Team Champion via Team Patriots]
  3. Mark “Baby Carrots” Ellis (5-3) [2016 Ultimate Schmoedown Champion]
  4. “Classy” Clarke Wolfe (5-4)
  5. Mike “The Killer” Kalinowski (3-1)
  6. “The Godfather” Drew McWeeny (3-2)
  7. “The Inglorious One” Samm Levine (4-4) [2017 Free4All Champion]
  8. William “The Beast” Bibbiani (3-3) [Singles Points Record Holder]
  9. Rachel “The Crusher” Cushing (2-0)
  10. “Miss Movies” Brianne Chandler (2-1)

Unranked Competitors:

  • “Little Evil” JTE (6-6) [Team Champion via Patriots]
  • Marc “The Android” Andreyko (2-2) {1 loss as Finstock}
  • Jason “Justice” Inman (2-2)
  • “Sassy” Stacey Howard (1-0)
  • “Mighty” Matt Knost (2-3)
  • “The Mantzman” Scott Mantz (2-4)
  • “The Wildman” Josh Macuga (7-8)
  • “The Magic Man” Marc Bernardin (1-0)
  • Tim “The Tank” Franco (1-0)
  • “Big” Jon Schnepp (1-1)
  • “The Pit Boss” Ken Napzok (1-2)
  • Grae “Light’s Out” Drake (1-2)
  • Elliot “The Mountain” Dewberry (1-3)
  • Ben “The Boss” Bateman (0-1)
  • “The Captain” Robert Meyer Burnett (0-1)
  • “The Kahuna” Matt Atchity (0-1)
  • “The Mad Hatter” John Humphrey (0-1)
  • “The Urban Gladiator” Jay Washington (0-1)
  • “Tricky” Tom Dagnino (0-2)
  • “The Producer/Seducer” Nick Scarpino (0-2)
  • “The Icon” Hal Rudnick (0-2)

Upcoming Unranked Competitors:

  • Chris “The Kid” Hartwell (0-0)
  • “The Modest Assassin” Denis Zheng (0-0)
  • Hector “The Nightmare” Navarro (0-0)
  • Jim Vejvoda (0-0)
  • Adam Hlavac (0-0)

Retired Competitors:

  • Mark “Yodi” Reilly (9-4)*
  • “Dangerous” Dan Murrell (7-2)**
  • Sasha Perl-Raver (1-0)
  • “The Judge” Andy Signore (1-1) [Forcibly Retired for Egregious Behavior]
  • Jonathan “The Vulture” Voytko (0-1)
  • “The Sergeant” Khail Anonymous (0-1)
  • “Scary” Perri Nemiroff (0-1)
  • RB3 (0-1)
  • “El Mayimbe” Umberto Gonzalez (0-1)
  • Kara Warner (0-1)
  • Ashley “The Robin” Robinson (0-1)
  • John “The Crazy Canadian” Campea (0-2)
  • Finstock (2-4)

Special Celebrity Competitors:

  • “The Olympian” Cody Miller (1-0)
  • “The Stuckmanizer” Chris Stuckmann (1-0)
  • Sam “The Warrior” Witwer (1-0)
  • Jonathan Rhys Meyers (1-0)
  • Finn “Lone Wolf” Wolfhard (1-0) [It Free For All Record: 2-0-1]
  • Sophia “Light’s Out” Lillis (0-1) [It Free For All Record: 1-1-1]
  • Jermey Ray “Gun” Taylor (0-1) [It Free For All Record: 0-1]
  • “Big Bill” Jaeden Lieberher (0-1) [It Free For All Record: 1-1]
  • “The Chosen One” Chosen Jacobs (0-1) [It Free For All Record: 1-1]
  • “Jack of All Trades” Jack Dylan Grazer (0-1) [It Free For All Record: 1-1]
  • Wyatt “Little Star-Lord” Oleff (0-1) [It Free For All Record: 0-1]
  • “The Master” Freddie Prinze Jr (0-1)
  • Brian Goodman (0-1)

*1st & 4th singles champion **2nd & 5th singles champion ***3rd singles champion º6th Singles Champion

Innergeekdom:

  • Champion: Hector “The Nightmare” Navarro (2-1)**
  1. “The Joker” Jeremy Jahns (2-2)
  2. Rachel “The Crusher” Cushing (1-1)
  3. “The Urban Gladiator” Jay Washington (1-0)
  4. “Crazy” Coy Jandreau (1-0)
  5. “The Captain” Robert Meyer Burnett (1-3)*
  6. Jason “Justice” Inman (0-1)
  7. “The Golden Mic” Emma Fyffe (0-1)
  8. “The Enigma” Erika Ishii (0-1)
  9. Charley “The Fighter” Feldman (0-1)
  10. Mike “The Killer” Kalinowski (0-2)

Unranked Competitors:

  • Ashley “The Robin” Robinson (0-1)

Retired Competitors:

  • “Maddog” Michelle Boyd (0-1)
  • “The Crazy Canadian” John Campea (0-1)
  • “The Icon” Hal Rudnick (0-2)

Upcoming Unranked Competitors:

  • “The Stuckmanizer” Chris Stuckmann (0-0)
  • “Dangerous” Dan Murrell (0-0)

*1st Innergeekdom Champion **2nd Innergeekdom Champion

Teams:

  • Champions: The Patriots (7-0) [JTE and Jeff Sneider]***
  1. Top 10 (7-4) [John Rocha & Matt Knost]**
  2. Team Action (5-1) [Ben Bateman & Andrew Ghai]
  3. MODOK (5-3) [Grae Drake & Matt Atchity] {Formerly Rotten Tomatoes}
  4. Schmoes (4-2) [Kristian Harloff & Mark Ellis]*
  5. Trek (4-3) [Scott Mantz & Jason Inman]
  6. Above The Line (3-0) [Samm Levine and Drew McWeeny] {Team Points Record}
  7. Heroes (3-2) [Hector Navarro & Jon Schnepp] {Formerly Robert Meyer Burnett}
  8. DC Movie News (2-1) [Mike Kalinsowski & Adam Gertler]
  9. Double Toasted (1-0) [Korey Coleman & Martin Thomas]
  10. Blofeld’s Cat (1-1) [Marc Andreyko and Robert Meyer Burnett]

Unranked:

  • Critically Acclaimed (1-1) [William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold]
  • The Nerd’s Watch (2-2) [Ken Napzok & Rachael Cushing]
  • Six Degrees (2-3) [Brianne Chandler & Stacey Howard]
  • Late to the Party (1-2) [Vanessa Fitzsimmons & Robert Montano]
  • Deep Cuts (1-2) [Aaron Wilhelm & Thadd Williams]
  • The Reel Rejects (1-4) [John Humphrey & Greg Alba]
  • The Wildberries (0-1) [Josh Macuga & Eliot Dewberry]
  • Only Stupid Answers (0-1) [DJ Woldridge and Sam Bashor]
  • Cinemablend (0-2) [Eric Eisenberg & Connor Schwerdtfeger]

Upcoming Unranked:

  • Ishii/Feldman (0-0)

Retired Teams:

  • Wolves of Steel (5-3) [Mark Reilly & Clarke Wolfe]
  • Team B.O.B. (3-1) [JTE & Finstock]
  • IGN (2-1) [Eric Goldman & Jim Vejvoda]
  • ETC (3-3) [Elliot Dewberry & Ricky Hayberg]
  • Megapowers (1-1) [Josh Macuga & Finstock]
  • Tuff Beats (1-3) [Perri Nemiroff & Jonathan Voytko]
  • Nerdist (0-1) [Rachael Heine & Dan Casey]
  • What The Flick (0-1) [Alonso Duralde & Christy Lemire]
  • Double Jeopardy (0-1) [Samm Levine & Brad Rutter]
  • Superhero News (0-2) [Hector Navarro & Adam Hlavac]
  • Night Sisters (0-2) [Emma Fyffe & Joelle Monique]
  • Wangers (0-3) [RB3 & Cobbster]

Special Event Teams:

  • CinemaSins (1-0) [Jeremy Scott & Chris Atkinson]
  • Team Outlaw (1-0) [John Rocha & Brett Davern]
  • Team Classy (1-0) [Britney Young & Britt Baron, Captain: Clarke Wolfe]
  • Collider (1-0) [Kristian Harloff & John Rocha]
  • Force Bros (1-0) [Sam Witwer & Freddie Prinze Jr]
  • Team Power (1-0) [Ludi Linn & Becky Gomez]
  • The Maltin Falcons (0-1) [Leonard and Jessie Maltin]
  • Team Patriot (0-1) [Jeff Sneider & Beau Mirchoff]
  • Team Missfits (0-1) [Kia Stevens & Jackie Tohn, Captain: Brianne Chandler]
  • Screen Junkies (0-1) [Andy Signore & Dan Murrell]
  • Jedi Council (0-1) [John Campea & Ken Napzok]
  • Team Rangers (0-1) [Dacre Montgomery & RJ Cyler]

*1st Team Champions **2nd Team Champions ***3rd Team Champions

Star Wars:

  • Champion: “The Pit Boss” Ken Napzok (1-0)*
  1. Sam “The Warrior” Witwer (0-1)
  2. “The Joker” Jeremy Jahns (0-1)
  3. Jenny “The Droid” Nicholson (0-1)

Retired Competitors:

  • John “The Crazy Canadian” Campea (0-1)

*1st Star Wars Champion

Factions:

The Four Horsemen:

  • John Rocha – Former Singles & Team Champion & Manager
  • Matt Knost – Former Team Champion

Former Members:

  • William Bibbiani – Single All-Time Score Record
  • Robert Meyer Burnett – Former Innergeekdom Champion

The Lion’s Den:

  • Tom Dagnino – Manager
  • JTE – Team Champion
  • Jeff Sneider – Team Champion
  • Marc Andreyko
  • Robert Meyer Burnett – Former Innergeekdom Champion
  • Grace Hancock – Spokeswoman

Honorary Members:

  • Beau Mirchoff – Party Boat

Former Members:

  • Dan Murrell – Former Singles Champion

The Growling Commandos:

  • Ricky Hayberg – Manager & Spokesman
  • William Bibbiani – Singles Points Record Holder
  • Witney Seibold

The Missfits:

  • Jay Washington – Manager & Spokesman
  • Brianne Chandler
  • Stacy Howard

The League:

  • Roxy Striar – Manager
  • Mike Kalinowski
  • Adam Gertler
  • John Klosto – Spokesman

Disbanded Factions:

The Young Bucks:

  • RB3 – Manager
  • Hector Navarro – Innergeekdom Champion
  • John Humphrey
  • Greg Alba

Former Members:

  • Cobbster – Former Manager

The Nerd’s Watch:

  • Rachael Cushing

Former Members:

  • Michelle Boyd
  • Ken Napzok – Manager & Star Wars Champion

Screen Junkies:

  • Hal Rudnick
  • Jenny Nicholson

Retired Members:

  • Dan Murrell – Former Singles Champion

Banned Members:

  • Andy Signore – Manager

Schedule:

  • Ellis v Howard – October 17th (Ultimate Schmoedown)
  • Rocha v Inman – October 20th (Ultimate Schmoedown)
  • Sneider v JTE – October 24th
  • Kalinowski v Chandler II – October 27th
  • Rocha/Inman v Levine – October 31st
  • Cushing v Ellis/Howard – November 3rd (Interim Commissioner Announcement)
  • USD Semi-Final #1 – November 7th
  • USD Semi-Final #2 – November 10th
  • Finals Preview Special – November 13th
  • Above The Line v Team Action – November 14th (USD Team Finals)
  • Ultimate Schmoedown Singles Finals – November 17th
  • Inman v Fyffe – November 21st (Innergeekdom)
  • Jandreau v Cushing v Washington v Inman/Fyffe – November 24th (Innergeekdom)
  • Jim Vejvoda v Adam Hlavac – November 28th

Free 4 All Records 2017:

[Brackets] indicate representation of team and/or faction

  • Mike “The Killer” Kalinowski (1-1)
  • “Mighty” Matt Knost (0-1) [The 4 Horsemen & Top 10] {Former Team Champ}
  • “The Vulture” Jonathan Voytko (4-1) [Tuff Beats]
  • “The Mad Hatter” John Humphrey (10-1) [The Reel Rejects] {F4F MVP/Singles Debut}
  • “The Insneider” Jeff Sneider (2-1) [The Patriots & The Lion’s Den] {Team Champion}
  • Matt “The Anchor” Atchity (3-1) [Rotten Tomatoes]
  • Chris “The Kid” Hartwell (0-1) [Schmoedown Debut]
  • Greg Alba (0-1) [The Reel Rejects] {Singles Debut}
  • “The Icon” Hal Rudnick (2-1) [Screen Junkies]
  • Mark “Yodi” Reilly (3-1) [Wolves of Steel]{Singles Champion}
  • Alonso Duralde (5-1) [What The Flick] {Singles Debut}
  • “Dangerous” Dan Murrell (11-1) [Screen Junkies] {Former Singles Champion}
  • “Scary” Perri Nemiroff (0-1) [Tuff Beats]
  • Mark “Baby Carrots” Ellis (1-1) [Schmoes]
  • Coy Jandreau (1-1) [Schmoedown Debut]
  • “The Outlaw” John Rocha (7-1) {Former Singles & Team Champion}
  • Rachael “The Crusher” Cushing (1-1) [The Nerd’s Watch]
  • Elliot “The Mountain” Dewberry (0-1) [ETC]
  • William “The Beast” Bibbiani (5-1) [The 4 Horsemen]
  • “The Magic Man” Marc Bernardin (1-1)
  • David “DGriff’ Griffen (0-1) [Schmoedown Debut]
  • “The Godfather” Drew McWeeny (3-1)
  • “The Producer Seducer” Nick Scarpino (0-1)
  • Ricky Hayberg (0-1) [ETC] {Singles Debut}
  • Marc “The Android” Andreyko (5-1) [The Lion’s Den]
  • “The Urban Gladiator” Jay Washington (1-1)
  • Jason “Justice” Inman (0-1) [Trek]
  • “The Captain” Robert Meyer Burnett (4-1) [The 4 Horsemen]
  • Stacy Howard (2-1) [Six Degrees]
  • “Miss Movies” Brianne Chandler (2-1) [Six Degrees]
  • “The Pit Boss” Ken Napzok (1-1) [The Nerd’s Watch]
  • “The Modest Assassin” Dennis Tzeng (1-1) [Schmoedown Debut]
  • Hector “The Nightmare” Navarro (0-1) [The Young Bucks] {Innergeekdom Champ}
  • “The Inglorious One” Samm Levine (2-0) [Free4All Champ]
  • “Finstock” Tom Dagnino (0-1) [The Lion’s Den]

 Commentators:

  • Kristian Harloff – Commissioner of the Schmoedown & Chief Commentator
  • Ken Napzok – Inside Schmoedown Host and Regular Commentator
  • Mark Ellis – Regular Commentator
  • Josh Macuga – Fantasy Analyst & Guest Commentator (Various)
  • Frank Janisch – Stat Man
  • Emma Fyffe – Interviewer
  • Jenn Sterger – Interviewer
  • Grace Hancock – Interviewer
  • John Rocha – Special Guest (Various, Fatal Five Way Match)
  • Mark Reilly – Special Guest (Murrell v Harloff)
  • Matt Iseman – Special Guest (Top 10 v Action)
  • Clarke Wolfe – Special Guest (Various)
  • John Campea – Former Regular/Special Guest (Collider Collision)
  • Joe Starr – Special Guest (Screen Junkies v Collider, Harloff v Signore II)

Title Matches:

  • Reilly v Macuga, Winner: Reilly – Singles
  • Reilly v JTE, Winner: Reilly – Singles
  • Team Schmoes v Team B.O.B., Winner: Schmoes – Teams
  • Murrell v Reilly, Winner: Murrell – Singles
  • Murrell v Wolfe, Winner: Murrell – Singles
  • Team Schmoes v Top 10, Winner: Top 10 – Teams
  • Robinson v Burnett v Jahns v Navarro v Campea, Winner: Burnett – Innergeekdom
  • Patriots v Top 10, Winner: Patriots – Teams
  • Murrell v Ellis, Winner: Murrell – Singles
  • Burnett v Navarro, Winner: Navarro – Innergeekdom
  • Patriots v Trek, Winner: Patriots – Teams
  • Murrell v Rocha, Winner: Rocha – Singles
  • Napzok v Jahns v Witwer v Campea v Nicholson, Winner: Napzok – Star Wars
  • Rocha v Reilly III, Winner: Reilly – Singles
  • Patriots v Wolves of Steel, Winner: Patriots – Teams
  • Patriots v Top 10 II, Winner: Patriots – Teams
  • Navarro v Jahns, Winner: Navarro – Innergeekdom
  • Murrell v Reilly v Rocha, Winner: Murrell – Singles [Reilly Retires]
  • Murrell v Levine, Winner: Murrell – Singles
  • Patriots v MODOK, Winner: Patriots – Teams
  • Murrell v Harloff, Winner: Harloff – Singles [Murrell Retires]

Ultimate Schmoedown 2017:

Singles

  1. “The Outlaw” John Rocha (6-4)
  2. “Classy” Clarke Wolfe (5-3)
  3. Mark “Baby Carrots” Ellis (5-3)
  4. “The Insneider” Jeff Sneider (4-3)
  5. “The Godfather” Drew McWeeny (3-1)
  6. William “The Beast” Bibbiani (3-2)
  7. Marc “The Android” Andreyko (2-1)
  8. Mike “The Killer” Kalinowski (2-1)
  9. “The Wildman” Josh Macuga (7-7)
  10. “Mighty” Matt Knost (2-2)
  11. “The Inglorious One” Samm Levine (3-4)
  12. “Little Evil” JTE (5-6)
  13. Rachel “The Crusher” Cushing (1-0)
  14. “Sassy” Stacey Howard (1-0)
  15. “Miss Movies” Brianne Chandler (1-1)
  16. Jason “Justice” Inman (2-2)

Singles Matches:

  • Rocha (1) v Inman (16)
  • Wolfe (2) v Chandler (15)
  • Ellis (3) v Howard (14)
  • Sneider (4) v Knost (10)
  • McWeeny (5) v JTE (12)
  • Andreyko (7) v Cushing (13)
  • Levine (11) v Bibbiani (6)
  • Macuga (8) v Kalinowski (9)

Round 2:

  • Sneider (4) v JTE (12)
  • Kalinowski (9) v Chandler (13)
  • Rocha (1)/Inman (16) v Levine (11)
  • Ellis (3)/Howard (14) v Cushing (13)

Teams

  1. Top 10 (5-3) [2 wins; 1 loss]
  2. Wolves of Steel (3-2) [2 wins; 1 loss]
  3. Team Trek (3-2) [1 win; 1 loss]
  4. The Nerd’s Watch (2-1) [1 loss]
  5. Team Action (2-1) [3 wins]
  6. Six Degrees (2-2) [1 Loss]
  7. Critically Acclaimed (1-0) [1 Loss]
  8. Blofeld’s Cat (0-0) [1 win: 1 Loss]
  9. Heroes (3-1) [1 Loss]
  10. Late to the Party (0-1) [1 win; 1 Loss]
  11. DC Movie News (1-0) [1 win; 1 Loss]
  12. Deep Cuts (1-1) [1 Loss]
  13. Above The Line (0-0) [3 wins]
  14. Cinemablend (0-1) [ 1Loss]
  15. The Wildberries (0-0) [ 1 Loss]
  16. The Reel Rejects (1-3) [1 Loss]

Team Matches:

  • Top 10 (1) v The Reel Rejects (16)
  • Blofeld’s Cat (8) v Heroes (9)
  • Team Trek (3) v Cinemablend (14)
  • Team Action (5) v Deep Cuts (12)
  • Above The Line (13) v Nerd’s Watch (4)
  • Six Degrees (6) v DC Movie News (11)
  • Critically Acclaimed (7) v Late to the Party (10)
  • Wolves of Steel (2) v Macuga/TBD (15)

Round 2:

  • Top 10 (1) v Blofeld’s Cat (8)
  • Trek (3) v Action (5)
  • Above The Line (13) v DC Movie News (11)
  • Late to the Party (10) v Wolves of Steel (2)

Round 3:

  • Top 10 (1) v Action (5)
  • Above The Line (13) v Wolves of Steel (2)

Round 4:

  • Team Action (5) v Above The Line (13); Winner: …

 

Kaleb Koho’s Corner: A Film Recap (January-April 2017)

Kaleb Koho’s Corner: A Film Recap (January-April 2017)

So far, I’ve made twelve trips to the movie theater so far this year to see ten films. I’m impressed with 2017 thus far, having not seen a film I outright disliked. I decided today that I would rank the ten films I’ve seen so far, and preview the top films I’m looking forward to thus far this year.

 

10. Kong: Skull Island17. Kong

Kong looked amazing. This film was a masterpiece of action and visuals. The story and performances left a lot to be desired. Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson felt like forced characters, while Samuel L. Jackson’s revenge plot was lame. The only performance worth mentioning was the fantastic, layered showing from John C. Reilly. His character was well-written and successfully connected with me. While this film was okay to me, it did successfully entice me into returning to Skull Island to see the King Kong face the Godzilla in 2020.

9. Power Rangerspowerrangers_share_1200x600v2

I was very excited for this movie. I love this property and was hoping that the film retained the Chronicle-like elements gifted to it by screenwriter Max Landis. The film did a great job of establishing the world and making realistic characters for the first half of the film and retaining the dark and gritty nature. By the middle, the film abandons the world established for a CGI-heavy megaword fight and cheesy quips that reflect that of the classic 90s TV show. The film had a hard time choosing what it wanted to be. The performances by RJ Cyler (Billy), Dacre Montgomery (Jason), Naomi Scott (Kimberly), and Bill Hader (Alpha) were great, but the film was hindered by Elizabeth Banks and her awkward performance as Rita Repulsa and Bryan Cranston’s sleepy showing as Zordon.

8. The Case for Christnews_img_f_1491238831

The Case for Christ, based on the true story of journalist Lee Strobel, surprised me. I was expecting another Christian family film in the vein of God’s Not Dead. Instead, I got a film that painted a genuine struggle within a man and conflict between him and his loved ones. The film does a good job of displaying both sides of the argument. The cinematography and hair and makeup styling were great. I would be remiss to not mention to brilliant and layered performance by lead actor Mike Vogel. The man did a great job of portraying the role and struggle going on internally.

7. The Lego Batman Movie10. The Lego Batman Movie

This was one of two movies that I made two trips to see. The first time I saw this film, I loved it, enjoying the simple plot, great voice work and nostalgic elements. However, upon a repeat viewing, I was bored and found myself disinterested in the simple plot. The performances from Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, and Zach Galifinakis are still great. The nostalgia loses its touch over time. Overall, your kids will love it, but this is one that only needs one viewing to be satisfied. The first showing, however, is great.

6. The Fate of the Furiousfate-of-the-furious-logo-216895

This franchise is one of my personal favorites, admittedly a guilty pleasure. I rank the fun franchise as such…

  1. Fast and Furious 6
  2. The Fate of the Furious
  3. Fast Five
  4. The Fast and The Furious
  5. Furious 7
  6. The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift
  7. Fast & Furious
  8. 2 Fast 2 Furious

This one is a worthy entry that is, personally, my second favorite Fast film (behind Fast & Furious 6). The action is the best in the franchise so far. Jason Statham is fantastic and Kurt Russell is a treat. F. Gary Gray directs this film very well and you can tell everyone is having fun. I had a blast watching this film.

5. Splitsplit-movie-james-mcavoy-ending

This film is a fantastic thriller. I was surprised by M. Night Shamylan’s work. While I enjoyed The Visit, he hasn’t made a universally praised film since Unbreakable, which lends a hand to this film’s additional appeal. James McAvoy gives the best male performance of the year thus far. He is given the task of creating nine distinct characters for Kevin’s personalities and he succeeds in spades, especially with the creation of M. Night’s new supervillian The Horde.

4. Logan5. Logan

The final outing of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine was a beautiful sendoff. Hugh gives a great performance in a film that was written very nicely and directed greatly by James Mangold. Logan nicely captures what we love about Wolverine and gives us a tearjerking farewell to the only man to portray the character in live action.

3. Live By Nighthou_art_20170113_livebynight_headerjpg

There aren’t many gangster epics left in Hollywood. It’s a dying genre. Ben Affleck skillfully adapted the novel Live By Night masterfully. I drank in every frame of the beautiful visuals and loved every minute of story. Ben’s performance left a little to be desired, but his writing and directing are masterful, with great supporting characters that help carry the film.

 

2. Beauty & The Beastlandscape-1478512906-beauty-and-the-beast-movie

This film blew me away. Everything, the direction, performances, music, production design, makeup, costumes, and even the visual effects are stellar. I was skeptical about this film, but I was pleasantly blown away. Emma Watson is excellent. Dan Stevens is great. Luke Evans and Josh Gad are brilliant. Kevin Kline and Ewan McGreggor surprise. The film really is the prime example of how to remake a film: keep the best parts and improve on what didn’t quite work originally. This film is incredible and Disney’s best live action picture.

1. La La Landlala-land

La La Land is one of the greatest films of all time. I said it. Justin Horowitz’s score is fantastic and Damien Chazelle brilliantly writes and directs a masterpiece. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone’s chemistry is irresistible. Emma deserved her Oscar, as her performance is legendary. This film should have won Best Picture over Moonlight. If you haven’t watched this film, go watch!

 

Top 20 Films I Want To See:

20. Geostormgeostorm-trailer-700x300

  • Releasing October 20th
  • Directed By Dean Devlin and Danny Cannon
  • Written By Dean Devlin and Paul Guyot
  • Starring Gerard Butler and Abbie Cormish
  • Distributed by Warner Bros.

19. Sleightmaxresdefault2

  • Released April 28th
  • Directed by J.D. Dillard
  • Written by J.D. Dillard and Alex Theurer
  • Starring Jacob Latimore and Dulé Hill
  • Distributed by BH Tilt

18. Itit-movie-2017-pennywise-bill-skarsgard

  • Released September 8th
  • Directed by Andrés Muschietti
  • Written by Chase Palmer, Cary Joji Fukunaga, & Gary Dauberman
  • Starring Bill Skarsgård and Finn Wolfhard
  • Distributed by Warner Bros.

17. The Mummythe-mummy-2017-movie

  • Releasing June 9th
  • Directed by Alex Kurtzman
  • Written by Jon Spaihts and Christopher McQuarrie
  • Starring Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella
  • Distributed by Universal Studios

16. Despicable Me 3

top-25-anticipated-movies-of-2017-june-30th-1303807.jpg

  • Releasing June 30th
  • Directed by Kyle Balda, Piere Coffin, & Eric Guillon
  • Written by Ken Daurio & Cinco Paul
  • Starring Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig
  • Distributed by Universal Studios

15. Valerian and The City of a Thousand Planets

top-25-anticipated-movies-of-2017-july-21st-1303808.jpg

  • Releasing July 21st
  • Directed by Luc Besson
  • Written by Luc Besson
  • Starring Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne
  • Distributed by STX Entertainment

14. Blade Runner 2049

top-25-anticipated-movies-of-2017-october-6th-1303814.jpg

  • Releasing October 6th
  • Directed by Denis Villeneuve
  • Written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green
  • Starring Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford
  • Distributed by Warner Bros.

13. Bright

bright-jpg.297824.jpg

  • Releasing December 2017
  • Directed by David Ayer
  • Written by Max Landis
  • Starring Will Smith and Naomi Rapace
  • Distributed by Netflix

12. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

top-25-anticipated-movies-of-2017-december-22nd-1303830.jpg

  • Releasing December 20th
  • Directed by Jake Kasdan
  • Written by Chris McKenna, Jeff Pinkner, Scott Rosenberg, & Erik Sommers
  • Starring Dwayne Johnson and Karen Gillian
  • Distributed by Columbia Pictures

11. War for the Planet of the Apes

top-25-anticipated-movies-of-2017-july-14th-1303835.jpg

  • Releasing July 14th
  • Directed by Matt Reeves
  • Written by Matt Reeves and Mark Bomback
  • Starring Andy Serkis and Woody Harrelson
  • Distributed by 20th Century Fox

10. Wonder Woman

top-25-anticipated-movies-of-2017-june-2nd-1303841.jpg

  • Releasing June 2nd
  • Directed by Patty Jenkins
  • Written by Allan Heinberg, Zack Snyder, and Jason Fuchs
  • Starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine
  • Distributed by Warner Bros.

9. Pitch Perfect 3

top-25-anticipated-movies-of-2017-december-22nd-1303847.jpg

  • Releasing December 22nd
  • Directed by Trish Sie
  • Written by Kay Cannon
  • Starring Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson
  • Distributed by Universal Studios

8. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2

top-25-anticipated-movies-of-2017-may-5th-1303856.jpg

  • Releasing May 5th
  • Directed by James Gunn
  • Written by James Gunn
  • Starring Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana
  • Distributed by Walt Disney (Marvel Studios)

7. Spider-Man: Homecomingspiderman-homecoming-759

  • Releasing July 7th
  • Directed by Jon Watts
  • Written by Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Day, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna, & Erik Sommers
  • Starring Tom Holland and Michael Keaton
  • Distributed by Walt Disney (Marvel Studios)

6. Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedisw-the-last-jedi-tall-b

  • Releasing December 15th
  • Directed by Rian Johnson
  • Written by Rian Johnson
  • Starring Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley
  • Distributed by Walt Disney (LucasArts)

5. Cars 3

au_rich_large_cars3_nr_b9e5af7c.jpeg

  • Releasing June 16th
  • Directed by Brian Fee
  • Starring Owen Wilson and Armie Hammer
  • Distributed by Walt Disney (Pixar Animation Studios)

4. Thor: Ragnarokgallery-1469440016-logo-thor-ragnarok

  • Releasing November 3rd
  • Directed by Taika Waititi
  • Written by Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost, Steohany Folsom, and Eric Pearson
  • Starring Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo
  • Distributed by Walt Disney (Marvel Studios)

3. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

landscape-1488452253-pirates-of-the-caribbean-poster.jpg

  • Releasing May 26th
  • Directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg
  • Written by Jeff Nathanson and Terry Rossio
  • Starring Johnny Depp and Javier Bardem
  • Distributed by Walt Disney Studios

2. Justice Leaguebg

  • Releasing November 17th
  • Directed by Zack Snyder
  • Written by Chris Terrio and Zack Snyder
  • Starring Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot
  • Distributed by Warner Bros.

1. Murder on the Orient Express

feature_update2016_101_main.jpg

  • Releasing November 22nd
  • Directed by Kenneth Branagh
  • Written by Michael Green
  • Starring Kennet Branagh, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Daisy Ridley, Michelle Pfeiffer, Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Lucy Boynton, Judi Dench, Michael Peña, Derek Jacobi, and Leslie Odom Jr.
  • Distributed by 20th Century Fox

 

What film is your favorite so far? What are you most looking forward to seeing? Let me know in the comments below.

Billboard Awards 2017: My Picks

Billboard Awards 2017: My Picks

I enjoyed picking my own winners on the Oscars so much I decided to apply the same formula for music. These are the official nominations and I will not be predicting what I think will win, but my choice. Below in bold are my choices, by category, for the 2017 Billboard Awards.

Top Artist:

adele_-_hello_official_single_cover

  • Adele
  • Beyoncé
  • Justin Bieber
  • The Chainsmokers
  • Drake
  • Ariana Grande
  • Shawn Mendes
  • Rihanna
  • Twenty One Pilots
  • The Weeknd

Top New Artist:cover_0

  • Alessia Cara
  • Desiigner
  • Lil Uzi Vert
  • Lukas Graham
  • Zayn

Billboard Chart Achievement:lukebryan

  • Luke Bryan
  • Nicki Minaj
  • The Chainsmokers
  • The Weeknd
  • Twenty One Pilots

Top Male Artist:maxresdefault1

  • Justin Bieber
  • Drake
  • Future
  • Shawn Mendes
  • The Weeknd

Top Female Artist:ariana-grande-11-billboard-2014-650x430

  • Adele
  • Beyoncé
  • Ariana Grande
  • Rihanna
  • Sia

Top Duo/Group:the_chainsmokers_0-1366x800

  • The Chainsmokers
  • Coldplay
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Guns N’ Roses
  • Twenty One Pilots

Top Billboard 200 Artist:beyonce-super-bowl-50

  • Beyoncé
  • Drake
  • Prince
  • Twenty One Pilots
  • The Weeknd

Top Hot 100 Artist:160502_music_drake-6-crop-promo-xlarge2

  • The Chainsmokers
  • Drake
  • Rihanna
  • Twenty One Pilots
  • The Weeknd

Top Song Sales Artist:justin-timberlake-2013-justintimberlake-background-hd-wallpaper

  • The Chainsmokers
  • Drake
  • Prince
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Twenty One Pilots

Top Radio Songs Artist:justin_bieber

  • Justin Bieber
  • The Chainsmokers
  • Drake
  • Rihanna
  • Twenty One Pilots

Top Streaming Songs Artist:

  • The Chainsmokers
  • Desiigner
  • Drake
  • Rihanna
  • Twenty One Pilots

Top Social Artist:abc37b37b8b32ba0d3eb874cae44f005

  • Justin Bieber
  • BTS
  • Selena Gomez
  • Ariana Grande
  • Shawn Mendes

Top Touring Artist:promoted-media-optimized_5658eff54962e

  • Justin Bieber
  • Beyoncé
  • Coldplay
  • Guns N’ Roses
  • Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

Top R&B Artist:frank-ocean-new-orleans-jazz-fest-2013-billboard-1548

  • Beyoncé
  • Bruno Mars
  • Frank Ocean
  • Rihanna
  • The Weeknd

Top R&B Tour:lionel-richie

  • Beyoncé
  • Lionel Richie
  • Rihanna

Top Rap Artist:BALLY's 'Off the Grid' New York premiere

  • J. Cole
  • Desiigner
  • Drake
  • Future
  • Rae Sremmurd

Top Rap Tour:kanye-west-fan

  • Drake
  • Future
  • Kanye West

Top Country Artist:fgl_dirt1-e1406516652291-1940x1090

  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Blake Shelton
  • Keith Urban
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Jason Aldean

Top Country Tour:12dixiechicks-master768

  • Luke Bryan
  • Kenny Chesney
  • Dixie Chicks

Top Rock Artist:coldplay-songs-playlist-top-15-coldplay-songs-videos980-1479376597_980x457

  • Coldplay
  • The Lumineers
  • Metallica
  • Twenty One Pilots
  • X Ambassadors

Top Rock Tour:bruce-springsteen-performance-feb-2016-billboard-650

  • Coldplay
  • Guns N’ Roses
  • Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

Top Latin Artist:maluma-2015-red-carpet-billboard-1548

  • J Balvin
  • Juan Gabriel
  • Los Plebes Del Rancho De Ariel Camacho
  • Maluma
  • Nicky Jam

Top Dance/Electronic Artist:calvin-harris

  • The Chainsmokers
  • Calvin Harris
  • Major Lazer
  • DJ Snake
  • Lindsey Stirling

Top Christian Artist:cnafnyzusaahsea

  • Lauren Daigle
  • Hillsong Worship
  • Hillary Scott & the Family
  • Skillet
  • Chris Tomlin

Top Gospel Artist:d6afb4e72bcc823636751690b37e8e53

  • Jekalyn Carr
  • Kirk Franklin
  • Travis Greene
  • Tamela Mann
  • Hezekiah Walker

Top Billboard 200 Album: maxresdefault

  • Beyoncé, Lemonade
  • Drake, Views
  • Rihanna, Anti
  • Twenty One Pilots, Blurryface
  • The Weeknd, Starboy

Top Soundtrack/Cast Album:hamilton

  • Hamilton: An American Musical
  • Moana
  • Purple Rain
  • Suicide Squad: The Album
  • Trolls

Top R&B Album:rihanna-ft-belvoir-jpeg2-1280x960

  • Beyoncé, Lemonade
  • Bruno Mars, 24K Magic
  • Frank Ocean, Blonde
  • Rihanna, Anti
  • The Weeknd, Starboy

Top Rap Album:

d022ff18-5346-4aeb-8692-74f955272053_172131_custom

  • J. Cole, 4 Your Eyez Only
  • Drake, Views
  • Kevin Gates, Isla
  • DJ Khaled, Major Key
  • A Tribe Called Quest, We Got It From Here…Thank You For Your Service

Top Country Album:chris_stapleton2

  • Jason Aldean, They Don’t Know
  • Florida Georgia Line, Dig Your Roots
  • Blake Shelton, If I’m Honest
  • Chris Stapleton, Traveller
  • Keith Urban, Ripcord

Top Rock Album:thelumineers_1200x628

  • The Lumineers, Cleopatra
  • Metallica, Hardwired…To Self Destruct
  • Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Getaway
  • Twenty One Pilots, Blurryface

Top Latin Album:image13

  • J Balvin, Energia
  • CNCO, Primera Cita
  • Juan Gabriel, Los Duo 2
  • Juan Gabriel, Vestido De Etiqueta: Por Eduardo Magallanes 
  • Los Plebes del Rancho de Ariel Camacho, Recuerden Mi Estilo

Top Dance/Electronic Album:d75cfc6f23c09400c2f8f8cb82ee00f2

  • The Chainsmokers, Bouquet
  • The Chainsmokers, Collage
  • Flume, Skin
  • Kygo, Cloud Nine
  • Lindsey Stirling, Brave Enough

Top Christian Album:6468178

  • Casting Crowns, The Very Next Thing
  • Lauren Daigle, How Can It Be
  • Joey + Rory, Hymns
  • Hillary Scott & the Family, Love Remains
  • Skillet, Unleashed

Top Gospel Album:tamela-mann-2016

  • Tamela Mann, One Way
  • Kirk Franklin, Losing My Religion
  • Travis Greene, The Hill
  • Tasha Cobbs, One Place: Live
  • Hezekiah Walker, Better: Azusa – The Next Generation 2

Top Hot 100 Song:official-og-image

  • The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey, “Closer”
  • The Chainsmokers featuring Daya, “Don’t Let Me Down”
  • Drake featuring WizKid & Kyla, “One Dance”
  • Justin Timberlake, “Can’t Stop The Feeling!”
  • Twenty One Pilots, “Heathens”

Top Selling Song:2madlwj

  • The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey, “Closer”
  • The Chainsmokers featuring Daya, “Don’t Let Me Down”
  • Drake featuring WizKid & Kyla, “One Dance”
  • Justin Timberlake, “Can’t Stop The Feeling!”
  • Twenty One Pilots, “Heathens”

Top Radio Song:mobile-bg1-720

  • The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey, “Closer”
  • The Chainsmokers featuring Daya, “Don’t Let Me Down”
  • Drake featuring WizKid & Kyla, “One Dance”
  • Sia featuring Sean Paul, “Cheap Thrills”
  • Justin Timberlake, “Can’t Stop The Feeling!”

Top Streaming Song (Audio):dram-2015-quentin-felder-billboard-650

  • The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey, “Closer”
  • Drake featuring WizKid & Kyla, “One Dance”
  • D.R.A.M. Featuring Lil Yachty, “Broccoli”
  • Rihanna, “Needed Me”
  • The Weeknd Featuring Daft Punk, “Starboy”

Top Streaming Song (Video):05-desiigner-bb16-beat-opener-2016-billboard-crop-1548

  • The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey, “Closer”
  • Desiigner, “Panda”
  • Zay Hilfigerr & Zayion McCall, “JuJu On That Beat (TZ Anthem)”
  • Rae Sremmurd Featuring Gucci Mane, “Black Beatles”
  • Twenty One Pilots, “Heathens”

Top Collaboration:6360480141881070091188683523_the-weeknd-4

  • The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey, “Closer”
  • The Chainsmokers featuring Daya, “Don’t Let Me Down”
  • Drake featuring WizKid & Kyla, “One Dance”
  • Sia Featuring Sean Paul, “Cheap Thrills”
  • The Weeknd Featuring Daft Punk, “Starboy”

Top R&B Song:20162f102f072fb02f8704cf736534405389fc931cb4efa0fd-68af2

  • Drake Featuring WizKid & Kyla, “One Dance”
  • Bruno Mars, “24K Magic”
  • Rihanna, “Needed Me”
  • Rihanna Featuring Drake, “Work”
  • The Weeknd Featuring Daft Punk, “Starboy”

Top R&B Collaboration:rs-pnd-01-e30e5a49-6caa-44ea-93c6-2c1a3ff962aa

  • Drake Featuring WizKid & Kyla, “One Dance”
  • PARTYNEXTDOOR Featuring Drake, “Come And See Me”
  • Rihanna Featuring Drake, “Work”
  • The Weeknd Featuring Daft Punk “I Feel It Coming”
  • The Weeknd Featuring Daft Punk, “Starboy”

Top Rap Song:rs-migos-7c3562e7-2a2d-41e8-aa4b-2fab924e1ede

  • Desiigner, “Panda”
  • Drake, “Fake Love”
  • D.R.A.M. Featuring Lil Yachty, “Broccoli”
  • Migos Featuring Lil Uzi Vert, “Bad And Boujee”
  • Rae Sremmurd Featuring Gucci Mane, “Black Beatles”

Top Rap Collaboration:juju-youtube

  • D.R.A.M. Featuring Lil Yachty, “Broccoli”
  • Zay Hilfigerr & Zayion McCall, “JuJu On That Beat (TZ Anthem)”
  • Machine Gun Kelly & Camila Cabello, “Bad Things”
  • Migos Featuring Lil Uzi Vert, “Bad and Boujee”
  • Rae Sremmurd Featuring Gucci Mane, “Black Beatles”

Top Country Song:131024_ai13_ku_silk_034rev1

  • Kenny Chesney Featuring Pink, “Setting The World On Fire”
  • Florida Georgia Line, “H.O.L.Y.”
  • Florida Georgia Line Featuring Tim McGraw, “May We All”
  • Little Big Town, “Better Man”
  • Keith Urban, “Blue Ain’t Your Color”

Top Country Collaboration:eric-church

  • Dierks Bentley Featuring Elle King, “Different For Girls”
  • Kenny Chesney Featuring Pink, “Setting The World On Fire”
  • Eric Church Featuring Rhiannon Giddens, “Kill A Word”
  • Florida Georgia Line Featuring Tim McGraw, “May We All”
  • Chris Young Featuring Vince Gill, “Sober Saturday Night”

Top Rock Song:maxresdefault1

  • Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa & Imagine Dragons with Logic & Ty Dolla $ign Featuring X Ambassadors, “Sucker For Pain”
  • Twenty One Pilots, “Heathens”
  • Twenty One Pilots, “Ride”
  • Twenty One Pilots, “Stressed Out”
  • X Ambassadors, “Unsteady”

Top Latin Song:enriqueiglesiaswallpaperblackbackgroundthesinger

  • Daddy Yankee, “Shaky Shaky”
  • Enrique Iglesias Featuring Wisin, “Duele El Corazon”
  • Nicky Jam, “Hasta El Amanecer”
  • Shakira Featuring Maluma, “Chantaje”
  • Carlos Vives & Shakira, “La Bicicleta”

Top Dance/Electronic Song:dj-snake-bw-billboard-1548

  • The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey, “Closer”
  • The Chainsmokers Featuring Daya, “Don’t Let Me Down”
  • Calvin Harris Featuring Rihanna, “This Is What You Came For”
  • Major Lazer Featuring Justin Bieber & MO, “Cold Water”
  • DJ Snake Featuring Justin Bieber, “Let Me Love You”

Top Christian Song:hillaryscottfam2097_hires_print-c9b1092a-79bd-4dbd-8b58-f9ef1e9f3c1f

  • Lauren Daigle, “Trust In You”
  • Hillary Scott & The Family, “Thy Will”
  • Skillet, “Feel Invincible”
  • Ryan Stevenson Featuring GabeReal, “Eye Of The Storm”
  • Zach Williams, “Chain Breaker”

Top Gospel Song:hezekiah-walker-2

  • Jekalyn Carr, “You’re Bigger”
  • Tasha Cobbs, Featuring Kierra Sheard “Put A Praise On It”
  • Kirk Franklin, “Wanna Be Happy??”
  • Travis Greene, “Made A Way”
  • Hezekiah Walker, “Better”

 

 

 

Nobody But Me: A Review

Nobody But Me: A Review

Michael Bublé released an album late last year that went very under the radar. Bublé’s self-produced ninth studio album dropped and it is a collection of underrated gems in Bublé’s catalog. Today I will be analyzing Nobody But Me track by track.

1. I Believe In You

This song is an inspirational acoustic piece that stirs the listener and reaffirms and reassures them. The song builds and touches all at once. The chorus is catchy and inspiring, making this song a promising start to a great album. The production is solid and very acoustic. I Believe In You is a gentle and stirring song that immediately makes you forget that this album is self-produced and surprised me. I was instantly sold on music producer Michael Bublé after this song.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A+

2. My Kind of Girl

Michael Bublé is a crooner. His style is one that has not been approached and attempted for ages before Bublé appeared on the scene in 2003. He has gracefully adapted, remade, and created songs that resurrected the dormant swing music genre years after the greats like Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett had passed and retired. This song reaffirms his ability to control massive swing bands and croon into the hearts of listeners. This is Bublé at his most expert and comfortable. This fits right into his catalog with exceptional ease.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: A

3. Nobody But Me

The title track of the album removes the swing and returns to the pop style we were introduced to on his previous album To Be Loved. Using fun and upbeat pianos and percussion, Bublé sings about how he wants to be the only one to love his girl. The song also incorporates hip-hop influences and features an upbeat rap by Black Thought of The Roots who owns his sixteen bars. Bublé’s vocals are solid and strong here as well.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: A+

4. On An Evening in Roma (Sott’er Celo de Roma)

This English-Italian hybrid slows things down beautifully and demonstrates Bublé’s crooning vocals perfectly in a new arena. The playful mystique works perfectly with the strings reminiscent of a classic Bing Crosby love song. A very well produced song that is an absolute must for any date or love song playlist.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A+

5. Today Is Yesterday’s Tomorrow

This song adds harmonicas and bluegrass with his normal brass band and jazz-pop. This upbeat, inspirational tune features Bublé’s best-written song yet and debuts his ability to sudo-rap. This funky pop song is insanely catchy and fun and is a must for any playlist.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

6. The Very Thought of You

Slowing things back down is a great change of pace and allows the listener to catch their breath after the previous jamboree. Utilizing classic strings and harps once more to emulate a classic mystique of lounge music that was perpetuated mainly by Bing Crosby. The crooning vocals are accompanied by acoustic guitars, lounge pianos and jazz drums. It’s an easy listen and a great addition for any relaxation, date, or work playlist.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade A-

7. I Wanna Be Around

Bublé brings his big jazz band back for another lounge song in the vein of Sinatra’s love songs. It’s nothing we haven’t heard before from Bublé’s catalog. It fits right into his repertoire, but I wouldn’t expect to hear him perform this one on his next tour.

Track Rating: 7/10

Grade: A-

8. Someday (feat. Meghan Trainor)

This song is very pretty and modern. The sudden change of pace and style is much welcomed and is sure to be another hit for the crooner. This duet with pop darling Meghan Trainor is perfect. Their vocals blend beautifully. Meghan is a great duetist, which we knew after her stellar duet with John Legend. The song about desired love is gorgeous and realistic. Utilizing a ukulele for the rhythm was a stroke of genius, working expertly into this bright, beautiful love song.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

9. My Baby Just Cares

We get another jazz lounge song that’s more upbeat and is another safe bet on Bublé’s part. With his swinging brass band and strings meshing together in a fun love song about how his lover cares only for him. Bublé is clearly at home and having fun on this track, presenting himself and his band like Frank Sinatra. A great jazz song that has a nice place on this album. It doesn’t really pop, but it’s perfect for Bublé and his album.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: A

10. This Love of Mine

Slowing things down again is good after the medium paced swinger we just heard. This string led song is pretty and brings back the 40s love song feel. Bublé carries himself with such bravado as Bennett and Sinatra, and even Elvis in his love songs. A beautiful track for Bublé to croon on. I wouldn’t expect to see this one on tour, however.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: A-

11. Nobody But Me (Alternate w/ Trumpets Version)

This song isn’t enhanced or really affected in any significant way with this alternate version. The trumpet section gets an awkward solo in place of Black Thought’s rap, which I honestly prefer as the better choice than the screechy trumpets. It just sounds like the original version with some altered percussion and louder trumpets in some spots.

Track Rating: 4/10

Grade: C

12. Take You Away

This song is fun and poppy. The song utilizes road trip sounds and fun guitars. This song is a treat and worth the deluxe edition alone. The song features fun trumpets and is perfect for your road trip playlists. It’s a treat to listen to.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A+

13. God Only Knows

The original ending to the single version of the album, God Only Knows ends things on a somber note, like Ed Sheeran’s ÷. This slow and pretty song serves as a tragic breakup ballad. The song doesn’t even demonstrate Bublé’s crooning abilities, it just ends things sadly for the sake of sympathy. It’s not an impressive song. It’s not provocative. It builds slightly in the bridge, but ends up falling flat. The otherwise well-paced album ends, on both accounts, very flatly with this song and leaves the listener wanting more from Bublé.

Track Rating: 6/10

Grade: B-

Conclusion

Michael Bublé’s ninth studio album is a solid addition to his catalog. It’s certainly not his best album, but it features some gems that are sure to be classics on his resume. Where does Nobody But Me fall in the rankings of his albums? I’ll show you.

  1. Crazy Love
  2. It’s Time
  3. Christmas
  4. Call Me Irresponsible
  5. Nobody But Me
  6. To Be Loved
  7. Michael Bublé
  8. Come Fly With Me
  9. Totally Bublé