Fifth Harmony’s ‘Work From Home’ is LIFE!

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Rihanna, take note. This is how a song about ‘work’ should be!

Fifth Harmony are back at it again with the white vans their new single Work From Home and it is simply everything it needed to be (and a little bit more). If you don’t want to take my word for it check out the video below:

Gearing up for the release of their sophomore album, 7/27, and hoping to match (or out-do) the success of their hit single Worth It, they’ve come out with a bang and are ready to rule. Split rumours be damned!

Keep up the good work girls! Maybe you’re Work From Home can inspire Rihanna do some Work in the studio!

 

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Gwen Stefani’s Make Me Like You Video is AMAZING!

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Yesterday Gwen Stefani filmed the music video for her new single, the cheesy love song Make Me Like You LIVE during a commercial break of The Grammy’s (where Taylor Swift once again dominated and put Kanye West back in his place!).

Gwen’s video is really special, and she managed to pull it off, even though there were a couple of moments that had me worried! Check it out below:

It’s like Grease: Live all over again!

Brilliant video, super-catchy song, and Gwen Stefani looks younger than she did in 2006!

Rihanna’s Anti: Two Weeks Later

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After one of the most confusing and frustrating releases of all time, Rihanna’s Anti album finally started its roll out to Tidal (uuugh!), Apple Music and eventually Spotify and physical stores at the end of January. Not with a bang like Beyoncé’s self-titled 2013 release, or even with an aggressive lead-up campaign of singles and appearances like its predecessors, but ultimately with a quiet and anti-climatic digital release onto an unpopular music platform service.

I won’t even get started on my hatred of Tidal -I think I’ll leave that for a separate, venomous post, but I feel like I have to express my disappointment in Rihanna’s approach to this album. Ever since FourFiveSeconds was released in January 2015, fans have been eagerly awaiting her album, only to be left in anticipation for another year while she continued to smoke and party the year away.

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By the time Anti made it onto my iPhone two weeks ago, it was not what it needed to be after the delayed build up. Fans who are looking for another collection of club anthems like We Found Love and Only Girl (In the World), or even 2015’s trap-pop banger Bitch Better Have My Money will indeed be disappointed, especially because BBHMM didn’t make the final cut! But if you can get over the fact that Anti isn’t going to get you bobbing in the club, you can possibly appreciate the mellowed vibe the Bajan pop star and her team have created here.

As a singer, Rihanna is incredibly talented. Her vocals are unique and diverse enough to take her through any genre. Kiss It Better (which should definitely be the second single!) sees her tackle a soft-rock power ballad, full of soaring guitar solos and dreamy vocal filters. Then on lead single Work she sounds drunk, stoned, or possibly both as she slurs out the lyrics, her thick Bajan accent turned to the max. It may be her weakest lead single to date, But when heard in conjunction with the rest of the album, it fits in well.

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Other highlights on the album include the DJ Mustard produced, ex-bashing Needed Me, where flickers of the bad gal Ri Ri can be found on lyrics like ‘Tryna fix your inner issues with a bad bitch, didn’t they tell you that I was a savage?’, and throwback track Love On The Brain, another example of Rihanna’s versatility.

Anti works best when listened to in its entirety. Songs like Higher and Yeah, I Said It for example aren’t deserving of a radio release, but have earned their place on the album, even if they feel a little bit like filler.

If it had been released twelve months ago, or branded as a side project or mix tape instead of a comeback album, I would have praised Anti as a brave new direction for the pop star. It probably wouldn’t have been so polarizing if people hadn’t been expecting a return to form for so long. Unfortunately that is a consequence of the poorly timed, badly marketed project. Ultimately the delay created doubt in the public’s minds and brought momentum to a halt, and Anti was doomed before it was even released.

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Although the music is a far cry from what we are used to hearing from Rihanna, it fits her like a glove and as a whole it is probably one of her most cohesive albums. It’s the kind of album I want to hear while at the beach, sipping cocktails and contemplating life (unfortunately I don’t smoke weed, because I’m sure that’s how Ms. Fenty intended it to be enjoyed!). But in the long run people want the bad-ass, smack talking, pussy-popping princess of pop Rihanna, not the Anti-Rihanna, who has proven to be underwhelming and incredibly tardy.

Final Grade: ♥♥♥ (3/5)

Repeat: Kiss It Better, Needed Me, Pose and Sex With Me (the last two are bonus tracks and the closest to BBHMM-style bangers we get on Anti!)

Skip: James’ Joint, Goodnight Gotham and Same Ol’ Mistakes (good but too long! no song should be over 4.5 minutes long)

#ManCrushMonday: Olly Murs

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If like me you tune into The X Factor on a weekly basis, you will hopefully appreciate this week’s Man Crush Monday… Olly Murs!

As much as I loved Dermot O’Leary on a Saturday & Sunday night, I have to say, cheeky chappy Olly Murs is a welcome replacement. His flirtatious banter with Caroline Flack and occasional word vomit have kept me entertained since August, so I think this week he deserves a little attention!

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Since 2009 (yes 2009!), Olly Murs has been gracing us with his presence on radio and television alike. As one of the most successful X Factor runner-ups, his career has gone from strength to strength, including 4 UK number one singles, a few (minor) successes in the US, and now his presenting role on The X Factor has brought him full circle.

Essex boy at heart, one of the things I like about Olly is how genuine and ‘normal’ he seems. I can imagine him having a pint in a pub with the lads, or enjoying a curry takeaway while watching I’m A Celebrity with the missus. I may be wrong, but I like to imagine him as a typical British boy next door. Except when he’s stripping down into a questionable thong on stage of course:

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As well as a great, positive attitude, a  I am extremely jealous of the Troublemakers closet, and would like to spend an hour or so in there with him… Picking out clothes for myself of course! Although for you to really appreciate his dress sense, you will have to look elsewhere because most of the pictures in this post feature very little clothing.

Fun Facts About Olly Murs

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  • Olly has a twin brother, but they are estranged, because Olly missed his wedding because due to The X Factor in 2009.
  • In 2007 he appeared on Deal or No Deal and went on to win a WHOPPING £10! (I’m sure his X Factor money doesn’t even compare!).
  • Despite his very successful and lucrative pop career, Olly continued to live with his parents until 2012 (three years after his run on The X Factor).
  • Before finding fame, Mr. Murs worked in a call centre and was part of a band called Small Town Blaggers.
  • During that time, he auditioned for The X Factor twice, failing on both occasions!

And there you have it, everything you need to know about Olly Murs, along with some skin-flashing images to perk up your Monday! Be careful when looking at these pictures, as they may cause your heart to skip a beat… (See what I did there? :-P)

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Secret Love Song: A Secret Love Story

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Little Mix released their new album just over two weeks ago, and there is one song that for me personally stands out above the rest.

On the deluxe edition of the album ‘Get Weird’, you will find a stunning little number, tucked away in the tail end of the collection. Secret Love Song, Pt II is a wonderful ballad about, well, a secret love.

On first listen, I picked up on the main themes of the song because of the heartbreaking lyrics:

You and I both have to hide on the outside
Where I can’t be yours and you can’t be mine

Straight away, I felt a connection to the lyrics. It reminded me of the time before I came out. I had been with my boyfriend (now husband) for a few months. We were actually already living together! But still, I hadn’t admitted to a large part of my family that I was gay. At the time I was living far away from my mother & sister (who already knew), and I felt it was important not to rock the boat or let my religious family members know in case they didn’t react well.

It’s quite funny looking back now, because we were actually really good at sneaking around. My family helped me move into my new house, not even realising that I was moving in with my boyfriend! But as amusing as it is now, I remember it was actually really frustrating at times having to keep such a huge secret.

I had met the love of my life and I couldn’t even share it with my loved ones. We would go out, and I would always be looking over my shoulder, worrying someone would recognise me. I hesitantly held his hand in public, but I could never relax.

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Eventually, I came out to everyone very publicly on Facebook. It was a massive relief, not to be afraid of showing affection to the man I loved. Most of my family didn’t react very well, and I lost contact with a lot of them over my relationship, but it was the best thing I’ve ever done. The freedom it gave me was incredible, and even though there was some negativity, I was mostly met with a loving response.

This song reminds me of how far I’ve come and the lengths I’ve gone through to prove that my love is something special. Unfortunately, there are still many people who have to live their lives in secret, afraid of being rejected, or even worse, killed for loving who they love.

I’m posting this song and my story because it really touched my heart, and I wanted anyone else out there who relates to this  in some way to know that who you love shouldn’t have to be a secret, especially because you just can’t help it.

PS: Thank you Little Mix for such a great song and embracing it as an LGBT love anthem. ❤

#ManCrushMonday: Nick Jonas

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I’ve been waiting patiently for Monday to come around, so I can share my crush with the world! This week’s title goes to Nick Jonas! Singer, actor, underwear model (not really, but he should be!), and an all around hot piece.

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I’ve been exposed to the Jonas Brothers since their rise to fame on the Disney Channel. My sister has always been a devoted fan of the JoBros, and I ended up becoming quite fond of them. Joe Jonas was always my favourite, I wanted to have his hair and his clothes (now I wouldn’t go anywhere near his 2008 wardrobe!). But in the last year or so, it’s the youngest of the trio that has been catching my eye.

Little curly haired, mild-mannered Nick Jonas has transformed into a beefy, sexy, R&B crooner. Who would have imagined!? Gone are the days of purity rings and Disney love songs. These have been replaced by half-naked photoshoots and sexy falsettos.

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Nick Jonas has well and truly distanced himself from his former band and brothers, and has established himself as a successful solo act. Some people have criticized his blatant pandering to his homosexual fans, but I think it’s great that a straight male celebrity is tapping into the market, no matter how shamelessly he does it! His now-infamous spread for Flaunt magazine definitely serves as a highlight from his sexually charged campaign!

I was lucky enough to get tickets to his album launch in the UK back in July, where he performed at the very cosy O2 Academy in Islington. I was one or two rows from the front of the stage, and he is even more stunning up close! My husband promised me that if he managed to touch Nick he would never wash his hand again, but sadly, we weren’t within groping distance! It should also be noted that Nick is a very talented musician and songwriter, and is always actively involved with the production of his albums.

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With his new single ‘Levels’ out now, and two hit TV series currently airing (Scream Queens and Kingdom), it’s hard to avoid seeing or listening to the young performer. And when he looks and sounds this good, why the hell would you want to!?

Fun Facts About Nick Jonas

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  • Nick was discovered at the age of six in a barber shop while his mother was getting a haircut.
  • He can do one-handed cartwheels.
  • He has been romantically linked to Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez and… Delta Goodrem? Random!
  • A die-hard fan adopted a hippo in the name of the Jonas Brothers.
  • When he was 13 years old he released an album of Christian songs.

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9 Best Girl-bands of The 90’s/00’s

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Just like every little girl and boy (at least the gay ones) in the 90’s, I grew up listening to a lot of girl-centric pop music. And while Britney Spears was my main object of affection, I had a lot of time for girl-bands too! With Natasha Hamilton from Atomic Kitten recently taking part on Celebrity Big Brother in the UK (she was robbed of the crown and came third!), nostalgia has hit me hard, and thanks to Apple Music, I was able to dig up the classics! In no particular order, here are some of my favourite girl-bands from the nineties and early noughties:

1 Spice Girls

I couldn’t start this list with any other band. The Spice Girls are the epitome of 90’s girl-bands. Without them paving the way, I’m not sure if some of the other acts from the list would have ever existed. Five loud and lairy Brit’s, a handful of well-chosen nicknames, and that union jack dress, put it all together and what do you get? Possibly one of the greatest girl-bands of all time.

2 Girls Aloud

Spice Girls may be the most successful British girl-band worldwide, but Girls Aloud hold that title in the UK, as well as being the biggest selling girl-group of the 21st century. Wow! Girls Aloud have made a huge impact on British pop music, with even more ‘credible’ musicians such as Chris Martin from Coldplay showering them with praises. Their innovative pop catalogue was mostly helmed by production team Xenomania, who forged a unique sound for the girls. After a long hiatus they returned in 2012 with a greatest hits collection and tour, only to take it all away and announce their split a few months later! Why, Cheryl, Why?!

3 Atomic Kitten

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Whole Again is a musical masterpiece! Atomic Kitten came onto the British pop scene at an awkward time, post-Spice Girls’ “Girl Power” reign where every girl-band was made up of feminists and Pre-Girls Aloud’s slightly edgier, moody-teenage-girl-angst phase, which meant they were both dated and ahead of their time for falling somewhere in the middle. But that didn’t stop Atomic Kitten from eventually becoming very successful and scoring 3 UK #No.1’s! Plus, The Tide Is High was in the Lizzie McGuire Movie, and there really is no higher honour than that.

4 Sugababes

Initially Sugababes were basically the anti-Atomic Kitten. Their focus on vocal harmonies and R&B influences made them the ugly step sisters of British girl-bands! After a change in the line-up (the first of many), Heidi Range replaced Siobhan Donaghy, and what ensued was an endless stream of pop classics. with the release of Freak Like Me the band were awarded their first number one and continued to go from strength to strength. Unfortunately, after two more line-up changes, Sugababes simply disappeared one day, with none of its original members still standing and no proper send off. At least we’ll always have the music!

5 TLC

Just this morning, thanks to my new playlist, I was seen driving down the motorway, singing No Scrubs at the top of my voice. When I was growing up I wasn’t really cool enough to be listening to TLC, so I only discovered them a little bit later in my tween years. Their slick Hip-Hop/R&B gems like Waterfalls, Unpretty and Creep have stood the test of time and continue to attract new audiences. It’s a shame that band member Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes died so suddenly, arguably at the band’s peak, as I’m sure they would have continued to have great success thanks to her talent.

6 Destiny’s Child

A.K.A. Beyoncé’s Child, Beyoncé and her back-up singers, Just Beyoncé, and Who Are Those Other Two?. Yes, It’s hard to believe that Beyoncé ever allowed herself to share the spotlight with anyone else, but Destiny’s Child is her origin story (along with Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams of course). DC were a force to be reckoned with on the R&B girl-band front, despite their line-up changes and dominant lead singer. Their greatest hits features songs like Survivor, Say My Name and Independent Women, but my sister and I have recently become obsessed with Jumpin’ Jumpin’ (mostly because of my rendition of Beyoncé’s ‘B-B-Balla-Balla’ adlibs).

7 Daphne & Celeste

Please tell me you remember this? Girl-bands are a guilty pleasure in their own right, but Daphne & Celeste are a guilty pleasure within a guilty pleasure (is this making sense?). With songs like U.G.L.Y., School’s Out, and the lyrical genius Ooh! Stick You (to this day I still don’t know what this song is about), they were cheesier than a chunk of brie, and I loved it! Daphne & Celeste were a flash in the pan, blink-and-you-miss-it affair, but ‘up your butt with coconut’ will live on forever.

8 The Pussycat Dolls

Just when I thought that girl-bands were a dying, washed-up breed, The Pussycat Dolls came along to revive my faith in humanity! OK, slightly exaggerated, but PCD were the best thing to happen to the almost-extinct format. Super hot, stripper-looking dancers, with naughty-ish lyrics and a hip-hop flare. What’s not to love? The group disbanded in 2010, mostly because of interior squabbles and Nicole Scherzinger’s power play to be leader of the dollhouse. I’m sure it all ended when Nicole sang ‘Don’t cha wish you had as many lines as me?’

9 The Saturdays

The latest addition to this list, and a band that is still technically active (although currently on a hiatus), is The Saturdays. Back in 2008 I saw The Saturdays open for The Jonas Brothers, and instantly took a liking to the song Issues. At the time, a modern reminder of girl-bands past, I remember thinking they would be the next big thing! Sadly, I don’t think they ever really took off, but they have made some damn good pop music and have been consistently hard-working (even with babies, husbands and boyfriends getting in the way!).

And there you have it! Nowadays bands like these are hard to come by, which is a real shame, but just goes to show how great the nineties/noughties really were! The torch has been passed on to the likes of Little Mix and Fifth Harmony, who are the only currently successful, active girl-bands of our time. They have big (platform) shoes to fill, but hopefully they can keep the fire alive until the next generation is ready to take over one day, if that day should come!