Tell Me You Love Me

On her sixth album, Demi Lovato finds a consistently compelling space: flinty, flirty R&B that’s just as thrilling hushed as it is at full blast.

You can learn almost everything you need to know about this decade in pop by tracing the careers of last decade’s Disney kids. Selena Gomez sat at the genre’s vanguard with a mixture of massive EDM-pop collaborations and whispery solo hits. Miley Cyrus ignited a still-burning conversation about race and appropriation and flew her freak flag with Wayne Coyne before remembering Republicans buy Spotify memberships, too. Nick Jonas is an apt stand-in for a group of male pop stars who lack the transformative charisma of their musical ancestors. None of these artists have broken into the stratosphere reserved for figures like Beyoncé and Kanye West, but they’ve more or less defined teen pop’s last eight years.

The fourth and final late-’00s Disney alum worth mentioning is Demi Lovato, the star with the most obvious musical asset—an absolute cannon of a voice—and the longest road to stability. Lovato’s struggles with mental health and addiction are well-documented at this point, in large part because she’s spoken about them with transparency. (You can always count on her for a refreshingly frank interview: when asked by Glamour about parts of her life that trigger her addiction, she said she’ll never be able to watch The Wolf of Wall Street.) Her commitment to advocacy and accountability was ahead of the curve, especially in a moment where even the most apolitical public figures are taking stands. But for Lovato, musical maturity has proven more elusive.

She has dipped her toe in almost every pop-adjacent genre since her debut, 2008’s spunky Don’t Forget. She churned out two albums of tame pop-punk while still toiling in the Disney machine; Unbrokenand Demi, released after rebounding from her public nadir, leaned towards generic, clubbier fare. 2015’s Confident was a step forward anchored by an infectious hit—the bold, bi-curious “Cool for the Summer”—but Lovato still felt like a voice (and a personality) in search of material that would do her justice. With Tell Me You Love Me, she’s finally settled into a consistently compelling space: flinty, flirty R&B that’s just as thrilling hushed as it is at full blast.

Demi’s always taken to power ballads like a hammer to nails: the Unbroken standout “Skyscraper” was her first “adult” hit, and her career may have taken an entirely different shape had it not been launched by the legendary Camp Rock banger “This Is Me.” She’s never been scared of a booming vocal showcase in the Adele or Kelly Clarkson modes, and two of these showcases serve as early anchors on Tell Me You Love Me. The title track is a desperate plea for affection that gradually morphs into a declaration of self-love; “You Don’t Do It for Me Anymore” is even better, a soaring breakup anthem dedicated to Lovato’s old vices rather than an old flame. These are songs that seek to overcome you with sheer athleticism rather than construction or pacing. They’re impressive in isolation, but they also have the impact of a huge meal or a hard workout: it doesn’t take long to feel completely exhausted.

This is where Tell Me You Love Me improves on Lovato’s previous albums: It gives you enough space to see Demi as something other than a no-holds-barred belter. There’s a Kehlani-like jack-of-all-trades behind those pipes, an artist with can skilfully, successfully make hip-hop and R&B work in a pop context. Lead single “Sorry Not Sorry”—her biggest hit in nearly half a decade and climbing—is a defiant gospel-pop kiss-off that wouldn’t sound out of place in Chance the Rapper’s hands. When you listen to the album in full, the craft keeps coming. “Ruin the Friendship” smolders like something cut from CrazySexyCool; “Games” is studded with goofy, giddy ad-libs; the remarkable DJ Mustard-produced “Lonely” stuns without feeling remotely showy, growled F-bombs aside. (Lovato and Lil Wayne—poking his head in for a moody, warbling verse—make a surprisingly good team.) You can even start to hear the influence of Frank Ocean’s instant-classic Blonde trickling down into laid-back deep cuts like “Concentrate” and “Hitchhiker.”

The woman behind these songs knows herself well enough to rein in her most destructive impulses, but she still can’t help but take a series of romantic risks. Lovato isn’t precious about the bumps in her road, either: “Sexy Dirty Love” builds a pre-chorus around an extended addiction metaphor, and “Daddy Issues” is remarkably frothy for someone whose recent albums featured dramatic accounts of her relationship with her late, estranged father. (“Forget all the therapy that I’ve been through/Lucky for you, I’ve got all these daddy issues.” Fun!) She’s willing to throw away a perfectly good platonic relationship (“Ruin the Friendship”) and take an emotional leap with a stranger (“Hitchhiker”) because she knows she can always rely on herself. You want to get to know the Lovato behind Tell Me You Love Me, something you can’t definitively say about any of her other releases. It’s the first album she has made that captures the woman who stumped for Hillary Clinton and brushes off questions about her sexuality in all of her complicated and captivating glory.

The new album from Irish producer Iglooghost presents an alien landscape with only rare bits of human comfort. Even at its most elegant, it unfurls like a sensory attack.

There is barely a repeated moment on the bizarre Brainfeeder full-length debut from Irish producer Seamus Malliagh, aka Iglooghost. It’s a more radical prospect than it might seem. Put aside the bewildering nature of his actual sounds—painstaking maximalism on a shapeshifting grid—and Neō Wax Bloom is frantically composed. There are no loops at all, and there is rarely a sustained melody to latch onto; that many of his alien-sounding electronic bursts are immediately fleeting makes their novelty all the more jarring. Neō Wax Bloom is an insanely ambitious inversion of the comfort of repetition, and the whole album spills forward to unnerving effect.

The audiovisual concept behind Iglooghost is a zany hallucination: an invented backstory replete with graphics of googly-eyed kitsch, which actually do help explain the neurosis of his sound. When Brainfeeder released the album’s second single, “White Gum,” Malliagh took to the YouTube comment section to explain himself: “PLS IMAGINE A MONK CALLED YOMI & A LITTLE BUG BOY IN A CLOAK CALLED USO HAVING A HUGE FIGHT – HOPPING OVER LEVITATING FRUIT & FIRING LASERS AT EACHOTHER [sic],” he wrote. Malliagh has earnestly designed a sound that belongs to Yomi’s laser and another that belongs to Little Bug Boy’s, and every moment on Neō Wax Bloom is ostensibly a prop or landscape element in their universe. Of course, none of that alleviates the confusing thrill of listening to the song itself, which seems to crumble and crackle under its own weight in a constant morph.

Malliagh once said his first impulse, when he started making music, was towards “terrifying breakcore,” and he’s strayed well beyond that ambition with Neō Wax Bloom. But the album does carry that genre’s attendant fidgeting. Malliagh weaves manic combinations of footwork and techno for aggressively paced tracks. “Göd Grid” tops out at more than 220 BPM without ever settling into a groove, seemingly dozens of sounds flurrying forward to combine for the record’s harshest track. “Super Ink Burst” feels like a barrage of body punches despite its cartoony landscape: a frantic saxophone trickles up and down, a kick adds a breakneck thump, the invented synth sounds glitter relentlessly. On “Pale Eyes,” Malliagh pits that same saxophone alongside an anxious harpsichord sound, as bulbous little meeps and moops share background space with not-quite-human gasps and moans.

Throughout, Malliagh injects manipulated vocal samples that are often twisted beyond recognition into a chipmunky gibberish. On “White Gum,” he flips the grime rapper AJ Tracey’s already relentless “Naila” vocals into a peculiar high-pitched attack. The ambiguous underground rapper Mr. Yote shows up for an original feature on “Teal Yomi / Olivine,” braving the storm of complexity with his own other-worldly pitch shifting. The pair have worked together before, and here they push avant-garde hip-hop that demands exacting listening. With an opposite approach, the Japanese dream-pop vocalist Cuushe glides over “Infinite Mint,” a succulent ballad that devolves into one of the album’s most soulful appendages. Malliagh softens his edge for moments like these without sacrificing the encompassing effect of his excess.

There’s a glistening sheen to nearly everything Malliagh touches, and his songs blend together if for no other reason than their similar hue. He’s also self-referential, sampling his own work throughout the record as a rare bit of continuity. There’s a soaring, soulful vocal sample that needles its way throughout several tracks as a shimmering mirage of familiarity. It seems to have first appeared on a previous Malliagh production, last year’s “Gold Tea,” and it pops up throughout Neō Wax Bloom like a beaming signpost, a rare bit of human comfort in an otherwise austerely alien landscape.

Even at its most elegant, the album unfurls like a sensory attack. This seems to be Malliagh’s odd equation as Iglooghost: filtering outlandish electronic music through his saccharine world-building to intensely emotional effect. To his credit, he’s architected a world entirely unto itself. It’s the type you might take deep a breath before jumping into, knowing that the strangeness of it all is not built to last.

[“Source-pitchfork”]

LSR’s ‘admin gazebo’ and five other things I love about my college

A welcome notice put up for LSR’s freshers by the mathematics department

On Wednesday, July 19, I was admitted to Lady Shri Ram College for Women for the BSc (Hons) mathematics programme. Though I attended the college orientation programme and the department orientation on July 20 and 21 and know I am in for the long haul (three years) here, those two days were enough for me to fall in love with a few things in my new college.

1.Tradition

The college orientation was held on July 20, with guest speakers including notable alumnae of LSR. Thereafter, students from each department headed towards various spots on campus to plant saplings as part of the LSR tradition. My mathematics department planted three saplings in the green space adjoining the admin office. It was officially our first exercise as a department.

The admin gazebo – Yes, that definitely looks like a cool spot to chill out in. (Sourced)

2.Cool hangouts

It was during the planting of the saplings that I saw the admin gazebo in front of the admin office. As the name suggests, the shaded sitting area looked like a potential centre for student activity.I knew right away that I’d be spending a lot of time here.

3.Lush green campus

It’s a lush green campus with trees standing tall against red brick buildings and shaded walkways leading to the college building. Even the view from our class corridor is breathtakingly beautiful. I have learnt that the gardeners are given due credit for their efforts.

Trees, manicured lawns add to the beauty of this campus. (Sourced)

4. Easy access to information

As I walked through the college halls, my seniors’ dedication and creativity was evident. The notice boards designed by various societies and departments were meticulously structured and packed with information. The mathematics department’s notice board had details of activities conducted all year round.

The colourful and nicely done up notice boards in LSR. (Sourced)

5.Friendly seniors

Our seniors ensured that we felt at ease despite our nerves. Exhilarating performances by various societies and helpful tips during department orientations were all part of the package. It wasn’t based purely on a sense of duty, but reflected our seniors’ genuine care and concern for us.

6.An enabling environment

Besides the admittedly excellent faculty and academic rigour, societies help in the all-round development of students. While the former fuels a student’s inquisitive streak, the latter equips her with skills ranging from engagement to management. By the end of it all, an ELSA (referred to students of LSR) is sure to have carved a niche for herself.

Through the course of my studies here I look forward to growing into someone more confident, knowledgeable and kind; someone who has the power to change her surroundings, for the better.

 

 

[“source-hindustantimes”]

Insights column: virtue, valor and love

On “Memorial Day,” an afternoon of remembering those who died even as serving inside the militia, it’s far worthy to bear in mind virtue, Valor and Love.

Many humans simply use this federal vacation as a “break day.” it can end up an possibility to birthday celebration in extra, sleep in and be lazy, have a fish fry and consume too much, or just do somethingself-centered and self-serving. but “Memorial Day” changed into supposed for precisely the opposite.

Valor is the willingness to confront uncertainty, risk, pain, or even dying, for the sake of what is good, right,true, and virtuous in all eternity. it’s miles the ability of our very soul to endure, come what may additionally, with a vista beyond the mere earthly practical.

Valor is a soul driven through distinctive feature. virtue isn’t always only a calculation of what’s mostconvenient in any single moment. nor is it following policies. virtue is a way of being. virtue can end upnatural to our soul. otherwise we’d simply flip-flop in choice-making from one moment to the followingbeing honest and true one second and mendacity and cheating the next. the other of steadfast.

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religion, hope, and Love are exquisite Virtues. The best of these is Love. an excellent parent will lay down their life for his or her child in love. A fireman will run right into a fire for the sake of others. A soldier will deliver his lifestyles against tyranny so others might also have freedom. Christ gave his life.

while one practices virtue, it permits a mess round him. when one gives from their coronary heart with love, it’s miles visible. whilst one lays apart earthly self-centeredness it speaks volumes. It units the bar ata brand new height. while one certainly practices virtue, it lets every people know we are able to gainnew heights also. We come to be reshaped from what we were into what we may be, and research its pricein all eternity.

Are you equipped to take up virtue, Valor, and like to assist reshape your community?

How sad, if you do not Love however your self and your very own comfort and satisfaction.

Father Russell Radoicich serves Butte’s Holy Trinity Orthodox Christian Church, 2100 Continental power. Insights is written through participants of the Butte Ministerial affiliation.

Google Wants to Help You Find Time for What You Love

Google Wants to Help You Find Time for What You Love

If you are unable to find time for the things you love with your hectic work life getting in the way, Google thinks it may have a solution. The search giant is introducing a new feature into its Calendar app called Goals that will help you find the right time to do these activities.

(Also see: Google Voice Access Beta Lets You Control Your Smartphone by Voice)

“One day it’s ‘I got called into a last-minute meeting.’ The next day it’s ‘I have a friend in town,'” Jyoti Ramnath, product manager for Google Calendar, wrote in an official blog post. “And before you know it, your goals are delayed or forgotten. In fact, with all the things you need to do in a given week, it’s probably harder than ever to find the time-even when your goal really matters to you.”

Goals works by locating gaps in your busy schedule, and then fits in your desired activity accordingly. And setting it up is easy enough: pick “Goal” after hitting the add button, and answer a couple of questions from what you plan to take up, how often you want to do it, for how long and what’s the best time for you during the day.

google-calendar-goals-01.gifSome apps such as the language-learning app Duolingo and activity tracker app Runkeeper have been helping users set reminders and make a schedule for future events for a while now, and even encourage sharing to social networks in a bid to crank up the social pressure which should help reinforce positive habits, they believe.

For now, Goals seems to be geared towards working with you, as it automatically reschedules the activity should something at work come up or you decide to postpone it in lieu of doing something else.

(Also see: Google Brings Calendar Reminders to the Web)

Google says the new feature is already available for users on both Android and iPhone, but had not rolled out to India at the time of writing.

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Tags: Android, Google, Google Calendar, Google Calendar Goals, iOS, iPhone
[“Source-Gadgets”]