Fifth Harmony’s “Sledgehammer” Breaks Through to a #PhillipsSongOfTheDay

2014 was a big year for Meghan Trainor.  Her debut single, “All About That Bass,” spent eight weeks on the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and was nominated for two Grammys, and her second single “Lips Are Movin'” is currently sitting at number 4 on the Hot 100. However, Meghan Trainor has had a few songwriting credits for other artists in 2014, most notably her co-writing credit for Fifth Harmony’s song “Sledgehammer.”  Personally, I think the song has a good beat to it, and a killer chorus (0:49):

If you add a ukelele and slow the song down a bit, it totally could be a song from Title, Trainor’s upcoming album.  I’m not suggesting that Fifth Harmony and Meghan Trainor sound the same, but I do think Trainor has been able to keep her songwriting style consistent, which I think may be a hard thing to do.

Personally, I like when singer-songwriters write songs for other artists, and you still feel as though the song is being performed by the writer.  For example, I remember the first time I heard “Cannonball” by Lea Michele I was struck by the boldness and thought “huh, it sounds like Sia wrote that song.”  Sure enough, a quick Google search revealed that Sia Furler was in fact one of the writers of the song.

This is not to suggest that the performing artists are doing a bad job.  I’m trying to say that songwriters have a style, and when that style shines through regardless of who is performing the song, then that’s when magic is created.  That’s what Sia did with “Cannonball” and her other songs that she has written.  And that’s exactly what Meghan Trainor did with “Sledgehammer.”

Is it Weird I Like This Song?

A while ago, I saw this clip of Hayden Panettiere on Ellen where they played this game of trying to guess if a title was a real song or not.

Like Panettiere, I imaged a song entitled “Billy Broke My Heart at Walgreens and I Cried All the Way to Sears” was made up.  But it is a real song by Ruby Wright.  And here it is:

What’s more, I rather enjoy this song.  I think it’s quite pleasant to listen to; it tells a great story.  I mean, it’s a sad story of Billy breaking up with the narrator and breaking her heart, but it’s exquisitely told, there is a lot excellent detail provided.  Plus the effect they have on her voice in the beginning is kind of interesting.

Whether the song makes you smirk or smile because of the title, or whether you relate to it and it helps you get over a break up, I think it’s worth listening to.  Although, I’m having a hella of a time trying to find it on iTunes…Apparently she has another hit entitled “Bimbo,”…I am not making that up.

So, there’s that.

DJ Mike D

I remember last year I kept hearing a remix on the radio of Gotye’s song “Somebody I Used to Know,” and I was obsessed with it.  After extensive googling, I found that it was DJ Mike D who was behind the amazing remake.  Since then, I’ve heard his remakes of Demi Lovato’s “Give Your Heart a Break” and Hozier’s “Take Me to Church” on the radio.

I decided to check out DJ Mike D’s soundcloud, and my God, I think I found heaven.  This person is so talented in keeping the original integrity of the song, but enhancing them or making them more interesting to listen to.  In fact, I think his remake of “All of Me” by John Legend is better than the dance remix that they play on the radio:

And I don’t know why Jennifer Lawrence says she can’t sing (actually, she says she’s a tone-deaf Amy Winehouse who has bronchitis), because I think her voice is great in “The Hanging Tree.”  Listen to DJ Mike D’s remix, it’s phenomenal:

I’m going to leave you with a couple more remakes done by the talented DJ Mike D… At the moment I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by how much remixes I need to listen to…

P.S. I think he really improved T. Swift’s song “22;” the faster tempo really translate better to celebratory nature of the song. I must warn you though, once you listen to this version, you will not enjoy the original as much:

Sara Bareilles Sings Chandelier

I have a final tomorrow.  So naturally I’m spending my time surfing the web, googling random things, instead of actually studying…but I did manage to stumble across this video of Sara Bareilles covering Sia’s song “Chandelier,” which I thought was fantastic.  She says in the video that it is “fucking hard” to sing the song (which it is, I’ve tried multiple times), but I think she did a spectacular job.  Regardless, this is one of the few times I’ve watched a cover video from start to finish, so you know it’s good (that, or I’m just trying to procrastinate more).

Because You Know My Lips Are Movin

Finals are finally here, which is great because it means the semester is almost over, but also means you have massive amounts of work and studying to do.  Yay.

I really don’t think I would be able to get through this stressful time if it wasn’t for “All About That Bass” and “Lips Are Movin” by my homegirl Meghan Trainor.  For some reason, these songs are keeping me fueled and focused.  Like, last night, I had to write a ten page paper that was due, um, today and I couldn’t focus.  Then I put “All About That Bass” on repeat and the paper was done in like an hour.  And it actually turned out pretty well.  Needlesstosay, “All About That Bass” and “Lips Are Movin” have become my jam for finals and are #PhillipsSongsOfTheDay.

I really admire MTrain’s music style, especially how she incorporates the doo-wops, bass, and tuba.  There’s something just special about how she sings “I’m all about that bass” at the end of the choruses of “All About That Bass” that’s got my head shaking and my fingers typing away all those papers I need to complete before I am free to enjoy the holidays.  I also personally think the way she sings “I gave you bass, you gave me sweet talk” in “Lips Are Movin” is life changing and incredible.  Her sass and attitude is sublime, engaging, and freakin’ awesome.

When you're casually rocking out to Meghan Trainor's music and she favorites one of your tweets clearly means the two of you are best friends...

When you’re casually rocking out to Meghan Trainor’s music and she favorites one of your tweets…

I must admit I feel a weird kinship to her because she’s from the place on Cape Cod in Massachusetts that I spent my summers as a kid.  And also she has favorited two of my tweets (@phillipjspencer), which basically means we’re now best friends.

Since it’s release, “All About That Bass” has blown up to be an international hit and been nominated for Song and Record of the Year Grammys.

Anyway, I need to go back to studying and/or procrastination.  I leave you with “Lips Are Movin,'” which has just rocketed to number eight on the Billboard Hot 100:

Meghan Trainor’s debut album Title is scheduled to be released January 13, 2015.  I haven’t figured out why she entitled her album Title, but if I do figure it out, I will let you all know (although, “Title” is another great song of hers).

2015 Album of the Year Nominees

Finally, all the 2015 Grammy nominations have been released.  For all eighty-three categories.  And what a long day…they certainly dragged that out!

The nominees for Album of the Year:

Morning Phase – Beck

Beyoncé – Beyoncé

X – Ed Sheeran

In the Lonely Hour – Sam Smith

G I R L – Pharrell Williams

You can read the full list on the Grammy website here.

2015 Song of the Year Nominees!

  • Kevin Kadish and Meghan Trainor for “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor

  • Taylor Swift, Max Martin, Shellback for “Shake it Off” by Taylor Swift

  • Sia Furler and Jesse Shatkin for “Chandelier” by Sia

  • Sam Smith, James Napier, William Phillips for “Stay with Me” by Sam Smith

  • Andrew Hozier-Byrne for “Take Me to Church” by Hozier

Best New Artist 2015 Nominees!

  • Bastille
  • Iggy Azalea
  • Sam Smith
  • HAIM
  • Brandy Clark

I was right about Iggy and Sam Smith….I actually had considered Bastille…I don’t know why I didn’t put them down.

I’m going to say it again, this “let’s tweet out the nominees” is really stressful because you have to keep refreshing…

The Grammy Nominations Are In (Sort Of)

The Grammys usually just have a little concert/ceremony-thing some night in December where they present the major nominees, and then the full list is available online the next morning.  It’s like the Super Bowl for me.  But this year they’re making it more interactive.  Or should I say complicated.  So far they’ve announced the following:

Record of the Year:

Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX for “Fancy”

Sia for “Chandelier”

Sam Smith for “Stay with Me (Darkchild Remix)”

Taylor Swift for “Shake it Off”

Meghan Trainor for “All About That Bass”

Best Pop Solo Performance:

John Legend for “All of Me (Live Version)”

Sia for “Chandelier”

Sam Smith for “Stay with Me”

Taylor Swift for “Shake it Off”

Pharrell Williams for “Happy”

Best Country Album:

Riser by Dierks Bentley

The Outsiders by Eric Church

12 Stories by Brandy Clark

Platinum by Miranda Lambert

The Way I’m Livin’ by Lee Ann Womack

Best Pop Vocal Album

Ghost Stories by Coldplay

Bangerz by Miley Cyrus

My Everything by Ariana Grande

Prism by Katy Perry

X by Ed Sheeran

In the Lonely Hour by Sam

Best Urban Contemporary Album

Sail Out by Jhené Aiko

Beyoncé by Beyoncé

X by Chris Brown

Mali Is by Mali Music

G I R L by Pharrell Williams

Best Rock Song

Hayley Williams & Taylor York for “Ain’t it Fun” by Paramore

Beck Hansen for “Blue Moon” by Beck

Dan Auerback, Brian Burton, & Patrick Carney for “Fever” by The Black Keys

Rayan Adams for “Gimme Something Good”

Jack White for “Lazaretto”


Apparently they’ll be tweeting out random nominees through the day, and post a full list (with the exception of Album of the Year) at 2 pm.  They are holding the nominations for Album of the Year until tonight after some Christmas special they’re doing on CBS.

I shouldn’t really be surprised they’re dragging this out, but for a college kid/music lover who has a  final today and massive amounts of homework/studying to do, this isn’t really fun.  It’s stressful.

I am kind of surprised/excited/happy that Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande got some Grammy love;  they aren’t really the kind of artists you see get nominated.  As for Meghan Trainor, I was one of the few music blogs who said she’d get nominated for “All About That Bass,” so, you know…just saying…  I mean, she wasn’t even on Billboard‘s prediction list….

Anyway, I’ll try to post the other major categories as I see them, but I’m a bit behind the eight ball because of this little thing college students call “finals.”

Taylor Swift “Stays” with Another #PhillipsSongOfTheDay

In the month since the release of 1989, I’ve been trying to decide which track on the album is Taylor Swift’s best.  And it’s been really tough.  There was a while when I wanted to say “Bad Blood,” but then of course you can’t forget “Shake it Off,” and then I went through a huge phase where “Clean” was my favorite.  But I’ve decided one of her bests on that album is “All You Had to Do was Stay,” which is today’s #PhillipsSongOfTheDay.

The main reason this song works for me is the catchy chorus, the beats of the song, and the incredible bridge of:

Let me remind you, this was what you wanted
You ended it
You were all I wanted
But not like this

And let’s not forget the high vocal of “stay!” during the chorus.  I also like how they decided to end the song on that high note of “stay,” it gives a rather magical effect.

It would be at this point where I would embed a youtube clip of the audio of the song so you could listen to the song and agree with me, but I can’t really find one.  And since T. Swift is cracking down on giving away free music (which I agree with), I decided to give you these wise words: buy the song on iTunes.  You won’t regret it.