Friday, May 25, 2018

The Friday 56 (132) & Book Beginnings: Heroine Worship by Sarah Kuhn

The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice where every Friday you pick a book and turn to page 56 or 56%, and select a sentence or a few, as long as it's not a spoiler. For the full rules, visit the the page HERE

Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader that asks you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you're reading.


30955863Synopsis from Goodreads...

Once upon a time, Aveda Jupiter (aka Annie Chang) was demon-infested San Francisco’s most beloved superheroine, a beacon of hope and strength and really awesome outfits. But all that changed the day she agreed to share the spotlight with her best friend and former assistant Evie Tanaka—who’s now a badass, fire-wielding superheroine in her own right. They were supposed to be a dynamic duo, but more and more, Aveda finds herself shoved into the sidekick role. Where, it must be said, she is not at all comfortable. It doesn’t help that Aveda’s finally being forced to deal with fallout from her diva behavior—and the fact that she’s been a less than stellar friend to Evie. Or that Scott Cameron—the man Aveda’s loved for nearly a decade—is suddenly giving her the cold shoulder after what seemed to be some promising steps toward friendship. Or that the city has been demon-free for three months in the wake of Evie and Aveda’s apocalypse-preventing battle against the evil forces of the Otherworld, leaving Aveda without the one thing she craves most in life: a mission. All of this is causing Aveda’s burning sense of heroic purpose—the thing that’s guided her all these years—to falter.

In short, Aveda Jupiter is having an identity crisis.

When Evie gets engaged and drafts Aveda as her maid-of-honor, Aveda finally sees a chance to reclaim her sense of self and sets out on a single-minded mission to make sure Evie has the most epic wedding ever. But when a mysterious, unseen supernatural evil rises up and starts attacking brides-to-be, Aveda must summon both her superheroine and best friend mojo to take down the enemy and make sure Evie’s wedding goes off without a hitch—or see both her city and her most important friendship destroyed forever...


Beginning: "I love being a superhero."

56: "It flashed red."


Comments: Sarah Kuhn is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. Heroine Complex was already an amazing read, and I was more than excited to read the followup, Heroine Worship. This book didn't disappoint. Now I'm just waiting for book three. What are you reading this week?

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Review: Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn

27209443Title: Heroine Complex
Series: Heroine Complex #1
Author: Sarah Kuhn
Source/Format: Borrowed from the library; paperback
More Details: Fantasy
Publisher/Publication Date: DAW; July 5, 2016

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Synopsis from Goodreads...

Being a superheroine is hard. Working for one is even harder...

Evie Tanaka is the put-upon personal assistant to Aveda Jupiter, her childhood best friend and San Francisco's most beloved superheroine. She's great at her job—blending into the background, handling her boss's epic diva tantrums, and getting demon blood out of leather pants. Unfortunately, she's not nearly as together when it comes to running her own life, standing up for herself, or raising her tempestuous teenage sister, Bea. But everything changes when Evie's forced to pose as her glamorous boss for one night, and her darkest comes out: she has powers, too. Now it's up to her to contend with murderous cupcakes, nosy gossip bloggers, and supernatural karaoke battles—all while juggling unexpected romance and Aveda's increasingly outrageous demands. And when a larger threat emerges, Evie must finally take charge and become a superheroine in her own right... or see her city fall to a full-on demonic invasion...
I’m being completely honest when I say that the cover is what initially drew me to Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn. Then, once I started reading up about it, I knew that it was a book I eventually wanted to read. Well, I’ve read it, and I can say that I absolutely loved the story. I don't know why this hasn’t been made into a movie or TV show, because there’s a lot to love about this book.

I haven’t read anything with superheroes in a while, and I liked Kuhn’s approach. Her treatment of the story and characters took something like superheroines and demon villains and made it feel refreshingly new. There was a perfect balance between mystery, action, supernatural, and even a little romance. The story was just good. I also have to give Kuhn props for how she developed the platonic and romantic relationships. The characters talked to each other to work out issues even if the subject was a tough one, and it was glorious.

I liked that Kuhn decided to make the focus of the story the superheroines personal assistant, Evie Tanaka. Reading from Evie’s perspective showed a lot of the behind the scenes aspects of Aveda Jupiter’s crew for example the upkeep of the signature costume, support if an emotional crisis arose, and even something as simple as who’s going to buy the groceries. Evie was a wonderful character. She was good at her job, but I also liked the growth she went through once she reached her breaking point. There was also a day-to-day feel to parts of the story, and I liked those moments because it showed what life was like for Evie outside of working for Aveda.

There are more books to this series, and after the all the twists and that ending, I’m really looking forward to Heroine Worship....



Monday, May 21, 2018

Acrylics #2: The Day

For my second foray into painting with acrylics, I decided to work on the sketch I mentioned in the last post—nicknamed the day. So just for reference, I’m going to show it again....

Overall, I’m happy with how this painting turned out. I was a more comfortable with the medium—I don’t even know why I was stressed out about it in the first place—which partly contributed to how much fun I had while working on it. One of the things I was most excited about was the color choices I’d picked for it.
Last time, I mentioned that I wanted a smoother transition between light and dark. I wanted the shadows to be deep, and the lightest spots to standout. And that meant adding more shades to bridge the gap between the light and dark extremes. I love how the colors turned out, particularly how the blues look against the rest of the painting. I don't know about anyone else, but I like working with blues because its a color that's easy to match with others. I love the coolness of lighter shades as well as the richness of darker ones. I also made a few minor tweaks to the sketch, and while the focus remained squarely on the face, this time around I wanted more detail. With the night, the headband was just a kind of, well, random lines that I added as sort of an afterthought. For the day, I wanted the veil/headpiece/clothes to have a specific look where the details were vague enough to fit my preference, but precise enough for them to be immediately recognizable

Acrylic is a pretty forgiving medium. Unlike watercolor, it's easy to go back and make little tweaks without having to choose a different medium—like colored pencil, gouache, gel pin, ink, etc.— to make corrections. However, my biggest takeaway from this is that I’ve learned more about my own process, and some of the immediate changes I made were focused on how I approached the painting at the start. For the night, I worked from the center before moving out to the edges. That worked out okay, but when I paint using traditional mediums, I noticed that I prefer my first layer to start from the background before then working my way in, leaving finer/finishing details for last. While working on the day, I kept that in mind and found that I wasn't frustrated with the progress with this piece as I added more and more to it. 

It's easier to see what I'm talking about when the two paintings are shown together. So for comparison purposes, here they are side by side. Going forward, I have a couple more projects in mind. I won’t mention the exact details yet, because I don’t have any sketches prepared and my plans aren’t set in stone. That being said, I look forward to using acrylic paint again....

Have you used acrylic paint before? If so, what do you like or dislike about it? If not, would you try it?

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Review: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

26042767Title: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet
Series: Wayfarers #1
Author: Becky Chambers
Source/Format: Borrowed from the Library; Paperback
More Details: Science Fiction
Publisher/Publication Date: Harper Voyager; August 18, 2015

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Synopsis from Goodreads...

A rollicking space adventure with a lot of heart...

When Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the Wayfarer, she isn't expecting much. The patched-up ship has seen better days, but it offers her everything she could possibly want: a spot to call home, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and some distance from her past. And nothing could be further from what she's known than the crew of the Wayfarer. From Sissix, the reptilian pilot, to Kizzy and Jenks, the chatty engineers who keep the ship running, to the noble captain Ashby, life aboard is chaotic and crazy—exactly what Rosemary wants. That is until the crew is offered the job of a lifetime tunneling wormholes through space to a distant planet. Sure, they'll earn enough money to live comfortably for years, but risking her life wasn't part of the job description. The journey through the galaxy is full of excitement, adventure, and mishaps for the Wayfarer team. And along the way, Rosemary comes to realize that a crew is a family, and that family isn't necessarily the worst thing in the universe… as long as you actually like them...
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is one of those books I’ve been hearing about seemingly for forever—even though, in reality, it was only a few years, but you get the point. So, I’ve heard about it, seen a lot of praise for it, and now I’ve finally read it for myself. I adored this book. And it’s a little hard to accurately describe because it’s not the usual kind of science fiction/ space opera that I'm a huge fan of, but it also kind of is in a way. That’s not a very good way to say it, so let me at least try to explain what I mean...

If you pay close attention to the synopsis, it does an accurate job of describing how the book actually reads. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is very day-to-day and closely follows the life of the crew of the Wayfarer, a patchwork but stable ship. There was something about it that reminded me of how literary fiction feels when I read it, and might have something to do with how it was written or how character-driven the book was. There was a lot of travel, daily activity, and exploration of the characters (including backstory, current events, and relationships) that, at times, took over the story. The setup worked because the characters were awesome. Everyone from Rosemary to the rest of the crew was interesting in their respective ways. That’s one thing I have to note. Chambers’s did a spectacular job of creating truly alien races that didn’t mirror one another. There were distinguishable cultures and languages that went hand in hand with their unique appearances and differing societal norms. I thought it was creative and interesting to read about.

That brings me to my second point: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is definitely science fiction. It was a long (and dangerous) way to a small and angry planet. On one hand, this book featured many planets and cultures, giving an expansive feel to the setting. But it was also limited in the sense that the primary setting was the Wayfarer, which had obvious space constraints (it was a ship). Still, there was never a moment when the story seemed narrow. There was a sense of life to the characters and how they interacted and reacted to the things and places around them. There was always something that reminded me that, yeah, there was a broader world outside the Wayfarer. It was one of the things that made the book an engrossing read.

There was, of course, the technology. In particular, I thought it was cool to have ships that specialized in creating wormholes.

So, all that being said, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. It was something a little different but a thoroughly interesting story. I have high hopes for the second book.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Music Monday (44): Kimbra, Kehlani, & David Bowie

   Rules:
  • Music Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren Stoolfire at Always Me that asks you to share one or two songs that you've recently enjoyed. For the rules, visit the page HERE 
Breana: Okay, I know I keep talking about Primal Heart by Kimbra, but I love the album a lot and have basically been listening to it on repeat. My first pick is Like They Do On The TV. I love everything about this song... 


I'm also listening to Kehlani's album again. I've mentioned it before on the blog but never talked about any of my favorite songs from the album except for In My Feelings. So, here's another good one: Undercover....



Adri: I often attend the tapings of TV shows. One of my favorite shows is Jimmy Kimmel Live, especially the outdoor concerts. Before the concert starts, while the audience is entering, they often play music.  Well, Let's Dance by the late David Bowie was playing at one. Ever since then it's been stuck in my head....




What are you listening to this week? 



Friday, May 11, 2018

The Friday 56 (131) & Book Beginnings: Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn

The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice where every Friday you pick a book and turn to page 56 or 56%, and select a sentence or a few, as long as it's not a spoiler. For the full rules, visit the the page HERE

Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader that asks you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you're reading.


27209443
Synopsis from Goodreads...

Being a superheroine is hard. Working for one is even harder...

Evie Tanaka is the put-upon personal assistant to Aveda Jupiter, her childhood best friend and San Francisco's most beloved superheroine. She's great at her job—blending into the background, handling her boss's epic diva tantrums, and getting demon blood out of leather pants. Unfortunately, she's not nearly as together when it comes to running her own life, standing up for herself, or raising her tempestuous teenage sister, Bea. But everything changes when Evie's forced to pose as her glamorous boss for one night, and her darkest comes out: she has powers, too. Now it's up to her to contend with murderous cupcakes, nosy gossip bloggers, and supernatural karaoke battles—all while juggling unexpected romance and Aveda's increasingly outrageous demands. And when a larger threat emerges, Evie must finally take charge and become a superheroine in her own right... or see her city fall to a full-on demonic invasion...


Beginning: "I am not a superhero."

56: "Her gaze swept over me and I could practically see the gears whirring in her brain, cataloging every bit of my body that was rejecting the corset. We could wear the same clothes, but they hung a little differently on me."


Comments: This book was so much fun to read! It's one of the best super hero books I've read, and I'm really looking forward to the next book in the series. What are you reading this week?

Thursday, May 10, 2018

We're Gonna Talk About Romance Tropes (Featuring The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory)...

**Quick note before I get started:  I’m going to be using Jasmine Guillory’s The Wedding Date as an example. I read it as an ARC a few months ago, and it’s a great example of putting a fresh spin on some familiar tropes. So, before you read on, be warned that there may be minor spoilers even though I will try to keep talk of specific situations to a minimum....**

If you think about it, fiction utilizes some kind of trope or another to tell a story, whether it’s in the backstory of a character, setting, whole magic systems, or even the type of character arc a MC goes through—think heroes journey. Tropes are everywhere and they’re not going away. It all comes down to the details. I think romance novels are a good example of this because the tropes in and of themselves are so recognizable. So, I decided to talk about two of my favorite romance novel tropes: accidental meetings and fake wedding dates.

Accidental meetings put two people who might not have otherwise met into the same space for an extended length of time. It essentially forces them to hold a conversation. In the case of The Wedding Date, Alexa Monroe and Drew Nichols get trapped in an elevator, and have a somewhat humorous conversation that involved good old fashioned cheese and crackers—the cheese apparently being the good kind too. They might not have crossed paths. Why? One, they were total strangers. Two, their respective careers kept them in different cities. So, they hung in different circles but happened to be in the same place at once. There was a lot to love about how Alexa and Drew were characterized—professional life and interactions.

What could possibly go wrong at a wedding? To elaborate, I like this trope because it makes the characters talk to each other while they concoct elaborate stories to keep the charade rolling. Such as establishing how they met, how long they’ve been dating, and simple facts that couples should know about each other all in an attempt to fool friends, family, and sometimes an ex.

When you put those tropes together you get chemistry. Or, theoretically, that’s how it should work anyway. What’s true with a lot of romances is that chemistry can be rediscovered or entirely spontaneous. So, with the accidental meeting and fake wedding date tropes it’s kind of spontaneous and works best for me when it’s evident in the interactions and not repeated (told). In the case of The Wedding Date, the chemistry between Drew and Alexa was there. And the rest of the book was a lot of seeing where that early chemistry would lead.

Like I said above, tropes are everywhere. I have my favorites and there are others that I can’t really stand in romance and in other genres as well. What it comes down to is whether they’re used effectively to further a story rather than hinder it, and of course personal preference. The latter is a big factor in what books I ultimately enjoy or DNF and move on. And I just happen to be a fan of fake wedding dates.

What are some of your favorite romance tropes that appear in any genre?

Monday, May 7, 2018

Music Monday (43): St. Vincent

   Rules:
  • Music Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren Stoolfire at Always Me that asks you to share one or two songs that you've recently enjoyed. For the rules, visit the page HERE 

Breana: Lately, I’ve been trying to expand my (music) horizons by broadening the list of musicians I’m currently listening to. And that is precisely why I’ve been listening to St. Vincent’s latest album, Masseduction. As a whole, I like the album a lot. I think St. Vincent has something going here, and I’m not going to lie, I’m a total fan of the guitar riffs. The first song I want to talk about is Los Angeles. Gosh, I love this song a lot! It encompasses what I like about St. Vincent’s music with its lyrical strength, and again, those guitar riffs...


My second pick is Pills, also by St. Vincent. This is another one of my favorite songs from Masseduction. I like the almost cheerful tone the song takes on during the chorus. All around, it’s a good song…


What are you listening to?

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Review: The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

30078567Title: The Collapsing Empire
Author: John Scalzi
Series: The Interdependency #1 
Source/Format: Borrowed from the Library; Hardcover
More Details: Science Fiction 
Publisher/Publication Date: Tor Books; March 21, 2017

Goodreads     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Book Depository



Synopsis from Goodreads...

The first novel of a new space-opera sequence set in an all-new universe by the Hugo Award-winning, New York Times-bestselling author of Redshirts and Old Man's War...

Our universe is ruled by physics and faster than light travel is not possible -- until the discovery of The Flow, an extra-dimensional field we can access at certain points in space-time that transport us to other worlds, around other stars. Humanity flows away from Earth, into space, and in time forgets our home world and creates a new empire, the Interdependency, whose ethos requires that no one human outpost can survive without the others. It’s a hedge against interstellar war -- and a system of control for the rulers of the empire. The Flow is eternal -- but it is not static. Just as a river changes course, The Flow changes as well, cutting off worlds from the rest of humanity. When it’s discovered that The Flow is moving, possibly cutting off all human worlds from faster than light travel forever, three individuals -- a scientist, a starship captain and the Empress of the Interdependency -- are in a race against time to discover what, if anything, can be salvaged from an interstellar empire on the brink of collapse.
Going into The Collapsing Empire, I expected to like it based on what I already knew about Scalzi’s ability to tell a compelling story with interesting characters and even more interesting in-book universes. Even with that in mind, I was still surprised by The Collapsing Empire. And I mean that in a good way. It was a relatively quick read and a good story with a number of interesting components. One such detail was the quirky names of the ships. For example: Tell Me Another One and Yes, Sir, That’s My Baby, among others. I'm not kidding, and more than once I found myself thinking that the names sounded like the punchline to a joke when spoken aloud.

There’s a definite difference between Old Man’s War and The Collapsing Empire. The former had more military elements, while the latter focuses heavily on politics, and as the title suggests a collapsing empire. Even so, there was a substantial amount of action and nefarious plotting throughout the book, as well as political maneuvering done by the main characters and those around them.

This book is told from a couple of different perspectives. Each one had something to offer to the plot, which I appreciated. Having the alternating perspectives in different places around the Interdependency contributed to how expansive the story felt. The distances between the characters were sometimes vast, and it drove home the fact that the story took place in an “interstellar empire”. I expected nothing less.

So, the Flow is a thing. It’s integral to the way the Interdependency functions, and is the sole source of travel between the different systems. Yet, there wasn’t much of an explanation for the origins of the Flow, only how it was being used by the Interdependency. However, the mysterious and formerly static nature of the Flow kind of worked, especially when put into context with the events that took place in The Collapsing Empire.

All in all, this was a very good beginning to a new series. I recommend it to fans of space-opera and those who are already familiar with or want to read a book by Scalzi.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Music Monday (42): Tinashe & Kimbra

   Rules:
  • Music Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren Stoolfire at Always Me that asks you to share one or two songs that you've recently enjoyed. For the rules, visit the page HERE 
Breana: Recently, there have been a lot of new albums coming out, and what I’ve been listening to basically consists of almost everything I mentioned in my last music related post. My first pick is Joyride by Tinashe. This is one of my favorite songs from the album and it’s second only to No Drama...


Kimbra’s new album came out last Friday and I’ve been listening to it off and on since. One of my favorite songs is Human. I love the sound of it....



Of course, there are other songs from Primal Heart that I really loved like Top of the World, Like They Do On the TV, and Recovery. With that said, I recommend checking out the whole album particularly if you’re already a fan of Kimbra’s music or are looking for a good place to start…

What are you listening to this week?

Friday, April 20, 2018

The Friday 56 (130) & Book Beginnings: How To Break Up With Your Phone by Catherine Price

The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice where every Friday you pick a book and turn to page 56 or 56%, and select a sentence or a few, as long as it's not a spoiler. For the full rules, visit the the page HERE
Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader that asks you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you're reading.
35209767Synopsis from Goodreads...

Packed with tested strategies and practical tips, this book is the essential, life-changing guide for everyone who owns a smartphone...

Is your phone the first thing you reach for in the morning and the last thing you touch before bed? Do you frequently pick it up "just to check," only to look up forty-five minutes later wondering where the time has gone? Do you say you want to spend less time on your phone--but have no idea how to do so without giving it up completely? If so, this book is your solution. Award-winning journalist Catherine Price presents a practical, hands-on plan to break up--and then make up--with your phone. The goal? A long-term relationship that actually feels good. You'll discover how phones and apps are designed to be addictive, and learn how the time we spend on them damages our abilities to focus, think deeply, and form new memories. You'll then make customized changes to your settings, apps, environment, and mindset that will ultimately enable you to take back control of your life...
Beginning: "It's tempting to think of smartphones as just one more technology in a long list of technologies that have freaked people out. Telegraphs, telephones, radios, movies, television, video games, even books--all caused panic when they were first introduced, and all have turned out to be less harmful than people feared."

56: "Unsurprisingly, ignoring distractions is tiring work, and the less we practice it, the worse at it we become."
Comments: I received How To Break Up With Your Phone by Catherine Price for review, and I have to say that I absolutely loved this book. It was a surprisingly engrossing read that I highly recommend to anyone looking for a book covering the topic of phone use. My beginning comes from chapter 1 instead of the introduction. What are you reading this week?

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

I Watched Jupiter Ascending Again...

Recently, I watched Jupiter Ascending again, and I had some thoughts once the credits started rolling. I just have to mention how awesome those end credits still are, but I digress. Back to those thoughts I mentioned. So, yes, I watched Jupiter Ascending and evaluated my initial perception of the movie, comparing it to when I first saw it in 2015 to how I view it now in 2018. It’s surprising how much of a difference almost 3 years can make. Let me tell you, my opinion is on a whole different spectrum. So it comes down to a very simple question: why is it that I consume and enjoy Jupiter Ascending's specific brand of media? What's the quality about it that brings me back again and again?

The first time I watched Jupiter Ascending, I didn’t really like the movie. There were things about it that I found interesting, and the visuals were stunning to watch on screen. But, it wasn’t my favorite movie and some parts of the dialogue left me scratching my head and wondering why it was a thing. The way the movie is structured had an almost video game quality and the bad guys’ sort of stepped on screen, were dismissed, and never seen again. At the time, I thought it was a little unsatisfying to never have gotten those concrete answers as to what ultimately happened to the antagonists. I also mentioned that the movie would have been better suited in a longer format—or at least given a sequel—to allow more time to develop those interesting story kernels and flesh-out the character backstories into something awesome. Sadly, to date there's no sequel.

Since this is a post about watching Jupiter Ascending again, rewatch it I have. I watched Jupiter Ascending again when it came on TV, went out and bought the DVD, and have watched it twice more since then. Why? Because the movie has not only grown on me, but I’ve also come to appreciate it.

I thought about it for a while while trying to come up with a good analogy to compare it to. I came up with one: comfort food. I realized that Jupiter Ascending is kind of like comfort food, and it's something that I find myself going back to again and again, especially if I need to relax. It’s not a movie with a deep, literary, metaphorical meaning that will positively make me question everything I know about, well, everything. But it doesn’t have to be. And yeah, it’s a little silly but it’s also entertaining. For example, if I’m stressed out the odds of me watching Blade Runner, or Logan’s Run, or something that’s bound to make me cry or add to that stress are next to none. No, if I’m stressed/angry/upset, I want space-werewolf-angels flying around on hover skates, and space DMVs and robot lawyers. I also want beautiful visuals and spaceships that are so extra that parts of them are probably made of gold and marble. In other words: Jupiter Ascending.

That brings me to that aha moment that led to the original thought behind this post: Jupiter Ascending is a specific kind of entertaining fluff. And I like it. There’s something about it that’s highly watchable, and that element has brought me back for a second, third, and even fifth viewing. And I'm sure that I’ll end up eventually watching the movie again. Because, the more I look critically at the types of media I consume regularly, the more I see a pattern to what I watch and when I watch it.

My stance on Jupiter Ascending just proves that opinions can change. I now see the movie from a perspective I never thought I would have. But now that I have it, I don't want to go back. What about you? Has your opinion about something ever changed after any extended length of time?


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

That Post Titled: a.k.a. Everything Is being Released in March and April...

Today, I'm here to talk about music.  Since my last music oriented post (not Music Monday), I've sporadically worked on a new list of recent releases and upcoming albums that I wanted to talk about. This is also going to be a bit of a review/reaction type post, because the excellence is everywhere with these new releases.…

Invasion of Privacy (Cardi B)—I mentioned this one last time, but since this an update post and there has been news, I have to include Cardi B again. I happened to catch part of the iheart music awards when Cardi B announced that the release date for her album. Invasion of Privacy was released on April 6, 2018. And I like it. It met all my expectations for what I was hoping Cardi B's studio album would be. There are a lot of catchy songs on the album and some familiar tracks, i.e. Bodak Yellow and Bartier Cardi. Some of the other songs required a second listen for me to really appreciate the sound and lyrics, but overall, Invasion of Privacy was a strong studio album debut.

Expectations (Hayley Kiyoko)—I did not realize that Hayley Kiyoko was about to release a new album. She is. And there’s no wait because Expectations was released on March 30, 2018. I haven't gone through the whole album yet, but I liked the songs I've already listened to.

Joyride (Tinashe)—Joyride also had an April release date. Out of all the music/albums I'm mentioning today, I was most excited for Joyride. Tinashe has been an artists I've followed off and on over the last couple of years. Then No Drama happened, and my excitment for the album was rampped up by at least ten fold. I don't know what I was expecting, but oh my goodness, the entire album not only met but exceeded my expectations. From the simple intro Keep Your Eyes On The Road, to the sharp and catchy sound of the album's titular song,  to the melodic finish with Fires and Flames, it's a joyride . To date, Joyride is my favorite album by Tinashe.

The Kids Are Alright (Chloe x Halle)—I almost forgot about Chloe x Halle’s debut studio album, The Kids Are Alright. Their song Warrior for A Wrinkle in Time (2018) reminded me about it. The Kids Are Alright was released on March 23, 2018 and it’s worth the listen.  I love the vibe and sound of the entire album. Chloe and Halle's vocal capabilities shined through on tracks like Galaxy, Hi Lo, and all others. I caught their performance during the Coachella livestream over the weekend, and I continue to be impressed by how well they've honed their singing capabilities.

Primal Heart (Kimbra)—Admittedly, I haven’t listened to much music by Kimbra in a while. However, that has changed since I learned that she’s coming out with a new album, Primal Heart, which is set to be released on April 20, 2018. She already released a couple of songs from Primal Heart including: Top of the World, Everybody Knows, Human, and Version of Me. So far, I really dig the sound of those songs and am looking forward to the rest of the album.

Bittersweet Vol. 1 (OSHUN)—Bittersweet was released on April 6, 2018. Adri was the one who introduced me to OSHUN's music, and I discovered that I like their style a lot. So I was pretty excited when I first learned that they were gearing up to release new music. Well, Bittersweet Vol. 1 is out. And I love it. OSHUN's ability to create unique and catchy songs shines through.

Pray For the Wicked (Panic! At The Disco)I admit that I haven't kept up with a lot of Panic! At The Disco's newer music. However, I recently went on a binge-listen where I systematically went through all of their music. Suffice it to say, the hype I feel for Pray For the Wicked is real. The expected release date is June 22, 2018.
So, that's about it for today. I know I’ll do another post like this sooner or later. And I have to say that I’m incredibly excited for the rest of April because there are a couple more albums I'm waiting for. But until then, I have music by Chloe x Halle, Cardi B, Tinashe, and OSHUN to listen to. What music albums are you looking forward to? Or, what new music have you been listening to?


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