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Love - Jaeson Ma (feat. Bruno Mars.)
Category: Reviews
Tags: Jaeson Ma Bruno Mars love love ft. Bruno Mars love by Jaeson Ma christian christian bands christian songs love song

Usually, I don't really like modern Christian bands like Casting Crowns and Skillet...their songs are usually loud and and don't mean anything to me. And if I can relate to a song and that song doesn't make me feel anything at all then I'm not going to listen to it.

But the other day, I stumbled across a Christian song I had never heard before called "Love" by an an artist I had never heard of named Jaeson Ma. The chorus was sung by Bruno Mars so that caught my attention and I decided to listen to it and see if it was any good.

The song is really unusual for Christian music. It's written in the form of a rap song I guess, but when you listen to it, it sounds more like the guy is preaching to the beat of the music. But what really stood out about it was the lyrics. For the first time with one of these songs, I actually felt something when I listened to it beside the urge to turn it off. The whole song is about love, and how true love is God, and I think it's very inspirational. My favorite verse is the last one that goes like this:

 There is no greater love than this

Than he who lays down his life for his friends
Now are you willing to lay down your life for your friends?
You're probably willing to lay down your life for your mother
your father, or your best friends
But are you willing to lay down your life for even those that hate you?
I'm going to tell you who did that
The definition of love is Jesus Christ. He is love
The nails in his hands, the thorns in his brow
Hanging on a cross for your sin my sins
That is love he died for you and me while we still hated him
That is love
God is true love, and if you don't know this love
Now is the time to know, perfect love.

I don't know about you, but those lyrics are actually saying something, that's what makes them different. They're explaining the truths that come out of the Bible in a simple way, and then tying it all in to Jesus Christ everyone, even those who hated him. That's just so incredible. And I think it could get even those who don't know God to think, and maybe be interested in finding out more about this perfect love. All in all, it's an amazing song.

Why don't you take a listen and tell us what you think of it?

A Sad State of Affairs
Category: Reviews
Tags: Rebecca Black Ark Music Factory Friday music video worst song ever music youtube video


 

“Yesterday was Thursday, Thursday, today i-is Friday, Friday, we-we-we so excited, we so excited
We gonna have a ball today. Tomorrow is Saturday, and Sunday comes afterwards. I don't want this weekend to end.”

No, that isn’t a quote from a preschooler proudly showing that she finally knows the days of the week. Sadly, those are lyrics to “Friday”: what Ark Music Factory and the singer, Rebecca Black, hoped would be the next “big hit”, but has been repeatedly described as, “the worst song ever.” Four minutes of auto-tuned garbage that makes your brain rot and drives you to turn the crap off and listen to some Justin Bieber. Pathetic isn’t it?

And it gets worse. Check out the music video. Rebecca goes to the bus stop to “catch her bus” but then instead gets into a car driven by her thirteen year old friends (but only after she takes way too much time deciding whether she should choose the front seat or the back seat.) By the way, she never seems to make it to school. Instead, she spends the remainder of her weekend, “Partying, partying, YEAH!” with her pre-teen buddies, when they really should be at home finishing up their homework and playing board games or something.

Let’s do some background on her and this, umm, “production”: Rebecca’s mom paid Ark Music Factory, a California talent agency, to write and produce a song and a music video with her daughter. Rebecca said she hoped that this would jump-start her singing career. Both she and her mother were aware of the ridiculous lyrics. So, the video was uploaded to YouTube on March 11, 2011. It is now the 24th. As of this moment, her music video has 43,576,329 views, and her song has sold thousands of copies on iTunes. I think the question everyone is asking has changed from, “Is this some kind of joke?” to “How the HECK is the girl getting so much attention?!?!?!?”

That question was answered by Lady Gaga. “I think Rebecca Black is a genius,” she said. And in a way, she is. Think about it. You hit two markets in one shot. First, you get all the “Bieber-lovers” who are so used to music that makes your ears bleed and means nothing that they actually enjoy the song. Then, you also get the people in their teens and early twenties who just love to hear about something like this so they can tear it to shreds and prove to the world through their witty criticism and commentary that this song is unbelievably horrible. And as they say, any publicity is good publicity. Do you think Rebecca Black cares the least bit that most of her hits and downloads are from people who hate the song? Why should she? They’re still hits and downloads, and she still making loads of money off of all these haters. It’s actually a pretty sad fact about our culture. When’s the last time something spread all over the world so fast because it was really, really good?

Is “Friday” really the worst song ever? No. It’s auto-tuned like crazy, the lyrics sound like something my 5-year old sister would come up with, and the music video is cheesy and makes little to no sense at some points. Honestly, it sounds like one of the many dance songs that are all over the radio by people like J-Sean and Pitbull. It could be one of those lame songs that the Disney Channel kids do but because they have such a massive marketing machine behind them, no one even questions the stupidity of the lyrics. If I had first heard of it in either one of those settings, I probably wouldn’t have even given it a second thought. And on the subject of her actual singing voice, it was so auto-tuned that you don’t even get to see what her voice sounds like.

So I guess the final question is, “Was this really all a genius plot to come up with an insanely laughable song knowing that, being the critics we are, it would be an immediate hit and both AMF and Rebecca Black would make a nice amount of money? Or was this just a girl with a dream and some song writers who really thought this song could be something and figured they’d give it a shot?

Either way, the entertainment industry is a sad state of affairs… 

The Cool Pyramid
Category: Reviews
Tags: So Yesterday Scott Westerfeld cool pyramid

As usual, I went into the library, picked a random book off the shelf, and took it home not knowing what to expect. (Well, it wasn’t really the most random book, I’ve already read 4 books by the same author. But I’d never heard of this one before, so it has some randomness to it.) Anyway, that book was So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld.

Basically, it’s about this boy named Hunter who just so happens to be a “cool-hunter” (aka a “trendsetter”), a person who goes around and steals the first appearance of a trend from the “Innovators.” One day he meets this Innovator girl and after a focus group where she opens her mouth with some new idea, Hunter and Jen are told to meet his boss Mandy on a NY street corner the next morning. Except Mandy never shows up. All they find is her cell-phone in a nearby abandoned building and then the adventure is on! They go all over the city trying to find clues to Mandy’s location, all the while realizing truths about advertising campaigns and what “cool” really is. This crazy adventure happens over the course of one weekend and it had enough action, romance, and thought provoking insight to allow me to read the book in one sitting. (Although, I am considering reading it again, just for some of the AWESOME quotes.) It was a great book.

But the thing that really got my attention in this book was what he called, “The Cool Pyramid.” Here’s an excerpt that explains it from the book.

“At the top of the pyramid there are the Innovators. The first kid to keep her wallet on a big chunky chain. The first to wear way-too big pants on purpose, etc. When you meet them, most Innovators don’t look that cool, not in the sense of fashionable, anyway. Except there’s always one thing that stands out on an Innovator. Something new.

Next level down are the Trendsetters. The Trendsetters goal is to be the secondperson in the world to catch the latest disease. Unlike the Innovators, they are cool, so when they pick up an innovation, it becomescool.

Below them are the Early Adopters. They test and tweak the trend, softening the edges. Early Adopters saw their stuff in a magazine first, not on the street.

Further down are the Consumers. The people who have to see a product on TV, placed in two movies, fifteen magazine ads, and on a giant rack in the mall before saying, “Hey, that’s pretty cool.” At which point, it’s not.”

Now think about that for a second. I’m thinking that I can be like 99% sure that you who are reading this are a consumer. Not an Innovator, not a Trendsetter, not even an Early Adopter! Just a plain old consumer. And you, my friend, are at the very bottom of the cool pyramid. You, who probably thinks you’re just the bomb with your artistically ripped up jeans and graphic T-shirt. Or your cut-off shorts and cowboy boots. I know I’ve even felt that way a couple times when I’ve successfully emulated an outfit that I’ve seen in about two movies, fifteen magazine ads, and on a giant rack in the mall.

Even for me, it was kind of like a slap in the face to see that idea of “what everyone is doing is cool” completely destroyed. I say “even for me” because I’ve questioned that idea to a degree before. But never that much. Never so completely that the idea of imitating that new Disney Channel style I saw yesterday already makes me feel so…un-cool.

So you could imagine I was kind of impressed by the cool pyramid.

Except…

As usual, there’s something missing.

I personally do not fit into any of those categories.

I fit in the sense that like an Innovator, my day-to-day fashion sense is in no way considered cool. But, I don’t usually experiment and try to wear my clothes in a new way either. Generally, I have more of a I-don’t-care-what-you-think-I’ll-wear-my-clothes-the-way-I-think-they-look-good kind of attitude. Which fits none of those categories. And I have a feeling that there are a lot of people out there like me that just…well…defy definition.

Still, I find the cool pyramid fascinating because it has turned my thinking about the word cool completely upside down and led me to ask the question, does cool really exist?

And the answer, at least I think, is yes. Cool exists to each individual. Lately with the insane amount of advertisements and social media we’ve been told what is and isn’t cool and it’s just easier to go with the flow than to fight against it. But everyone has their own individual sense of what is cool to them (even if they keep that a secret), which is why the non-fashionable Innovators are at the top of the pyramid. They’re not fashionable, they’re original. Or, as original as you can be in this totally unoriginal world. And just like with any good revolution, if enough people start to buck this trend or unoriginality, then more uniqueness and individuality will begin to rule again….at least for a short while.

But wait. If everyone starts being original, then won't that make being original totally unoriginal?

Wow. Enough with that. My thoughts are starting to blur together. But hey, if you’ve got a comment or an opinion on this feel free to post it below!  

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