Category Archives: Music

Five unskippable albums

I spend a lot of time listening to music but I do not like to change the album all that often. Because of this I try to listen to albums that I know I will never get sick of as every single track is great. There are so many out there but here are just five of my favourites. I can easily listen to these once every 24-48 hours!

1. Lewis Capaldi – Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent.
This is the debut album by Scottish singer song writer Lewis Capaldi. If there is a song you know off of it, it is probably Hold me while you wait, Someone you loved or Bruises. There are many more singles on this album unsurprisingly, but also some other songs that could easily feature as singles.

My favourites: Maybe, Forever and One.

2. Busted – A Present For Everyone 
To be honest, I could have named any of Busted’s four studio albums. This is their second effort and was released all the way back in 2003, in their youthful pop punk sound. This one is also packed full of singles which includes the fan favourite ‘thunderbirds are go’ and ‘crashed the wedding’.

My favourites: Fake, Nerdy and She Wants To Be Me.

3. Dean Lewis – A Place We Knew.

I am sure you have heard me talk about this Australian singer song writer before on my blog! This a much newer album and was released last year as his first. This is another one packed full of amazing unskippable tracks, which is important due to his limited back catalogue. I hope its not too long we have to wait for his second album!

My favourites: Waves, Chemicals and Don’t Hold Me.

4. Blink-182 – Enema Of The State

The famous line “nobody likes you when you’re 23” from hit single What’s my age again. I recently turned 23 so it seemed very fitting to include this album today. That and all the small things will be the most popular songs of this album but there are plenty of great songs that I know Blink fans still love, even 21 years after this albums release. A timeless classic in my opinion!

My favourites: Dumpweed, Don’t Leave Me and Dysentery Gary.

5. Dermot Kennedy – Without Fear.

As you can tell by now, I love my singer song-writers and Dermot Kennedy is no exception. His debut studio album released last year is the fifth and final unskippable album that I am writing about today. Despite its release as an album last year, its five singles spans over almost two years with the first ‘Moments Passed’ released in September 2017 and the latest ‘Outnumbered released in June 2019.

My favourites: What Have I Done, Outnumbered and Rome.

These are just three of my favourite songs from each of the five albums, but I could list so many more. I highly recommend that you listen to at least one if not all five of these, and find yourselves some great albums to listen to thoughout.

Please share if you know these albums already as well as any albums you find unskippable!

5 Songs that have addressed mental health (part 2)

Around a year ago I wrote about 5 songs that I like that have addressed mental health (https://lifeistoo.sport.blog/2019/03/13/5-songs-that-have-addressed-mental-health/) and because of the good feedback around it, I have decided to follow up with a part 2.

Real Friends – From The Outside

‘From the outside’ is a single from the Illinois outfit Real Friend’s third studio album. This is the second RF song to feature in this series of articles, after ‘Short song’ in part one. RF are excellent band that makes me feel so many emotions, particiularly in their earlier raw material, but also with their more refined sound. It is a shame that ‘From the outside’ is one of the last few songs with original vocalist Dan Lambton. I believe this song may be involved with Dan’s struggles with bipolar disorder. It shows that how easy is it to hide and mask our feelings from one another, and that we may not be as fine as we portray ourselves to be. ‘I’ll fill my glass to take the edge off. The choice is mine’ in the pre-chorus shows how dangerous it can be though to be alone with our own thoughts. I feel that the message here is to communicate when you’re feeling down and have more empathy with those feeling down, to understand that people may be feeling differently.

Neck Deep – The Beach Is For Lovers (Not Lonely Losers)

I feel so old that this album is five years old later this year. I’ve loved this band for long before this LP and this, their second album is an excellent continuation of their popular pop punk sound. The song itself to me seems like a mix of emotions… “Don’t wait until you’re just like me. To look back over history with nothing but regret.” The singer is being told not to be stuck in the past which implies he is burdened and dwelling with his past regrets. “So all my friends say “F*** forever. Live today and die together.” We don’t wanna tell the same sad story. Heard it all before and that’s f***ing boring” There is an apparent need to move beyond these regrets so that he is a healthy and proactive lifestyle with a healthy future. This is important so that we do not have any regrets about our lives before its too late.

Sudden Suspension – We’ll Always Have Each Other


I’d like to think that this Canadian band has a clear-cut message behind this 3 and a half minute piece of emotional pop punk. When we are feeling low it is easy to think it cannot get better, and sometimes we don’t want to be around others and end up isolating from people we love dearly. This is so dangerous as it can be too easy to get into such a bad habit, and harder to get out of it. There are so many relatable lyrics in this song but one of my favourites is “Just don’t forget to pretend that it gets better than this”. Whatever storm you are facing right now, generally the worst of it is over, and whilst we have the comfort of each other, the sun can shine a little brighter on us.

Linkin Park – Heavy

Chester Bennington was a great person who wrote many special songs and his legacy lives on forever. His struggles with mental health were very evident throughout Linkin Park’s long tenure as one of the most influential nu metal/alt rock bands. ‘One More Light’ their most recent album which features this song, is packed with emotional pieces that documents Chester’s strong feelings and struggles. ‘Heavy’ resembles a difficulty in overcoming the struggles that comes with anxiety and depression

Pale Waves – Noises

‘My mind makes noises’ is the debut album of Mancunian indie pop band Pale Waves. I would say that the album is fantastic and one of my favourites. It features a lot of sad and emotional lyrics but portrayed in a very upbeat way due to the catchy choruses. This song specifically targets mental health and body insecurity. ‘My mind makes noises too much I feel like I’m slowly losing myself I’m afraid that I need help’ shows what an exhausting feeling anxiety and depression can have on a person. We see problems and insecurities in ourselves that only we may see. It is exhausting and cause one to spiral out of course. We must be kinder to each other and offer reassurance. But from personal experience with self-esteem issues I feel the best way is to develop it by having healthy hobbies and coping mechanisms, whilst removing any toxic energy from your life. It really is the first step to getting better as with better self-esteem and company I make much better decisions.

I hope you have enjoyed part two to this. Please share in the comments some songs about mental health that you like or think are important. Please also let me know if you would like to see a part 3.

Guilty pleasures

One phenomenon I have never been able to identify with is the concept of ‘guilty pleasures’. Are societal norms that overpowering that we feel guilty for our own likes and interests? What is so bad or shameful about being different, and having different views?

Image result for guilty pleasures dave grohl
Dave Grohl

Whatever it might be, for example art, music, sport or television, it is all subjective. What one person enjoys can vary between different individuals and in similar vain with what we dislike. You might really like hockey or country music which are two things I am not overly fond of. But am I right in belittling your taste? Absolutely not. It is perfectly fine to appreciate those with different tastes.

But to feel belittled is exactly what can happen from a clash of two tastes. I firmly believe people become so afraid or insecure over their interests, that they end up categorising their love of ‘Taylor Swift’ or ‘reality tv shows’ as silly or ‘guilty pleasures’ if you will. This is generally to prevent people making fun of them for any potential unconventional interests, that society has taught them to mask out of fear of embarrassment.

When it comes to ‘guilty pleasures’ I for one hate to get bogged down in what social norms have been pre-determined for us, especially when it comes to gender. From my time in mainstream clubbing the concept of ‘a cheese room’ generally attracts female attention to hear these ‘guilty pleasures’. But I am generally the one dragging my friends into these rooms to hear some Westlife or Peter Andre. If there is something that you like then you must appreciate it for all its glory, rather than hide it from fear of judgement. So crank up some Nickelback and savour it!!

Please comment your favourite ‘guilty pleasures’ or even better… what you’re not afraid to love!!

6 Underappreciated tracks from Green Day.

Green Day have always been my favourite band. They were the one to truly introduce me to rock music. The first band or artist really, where I would thoroughly listen to the album and the b sides if you wish. Many people may only know the ‘classics’ such as ‘Basket Case’ and ‘American Idiot’. Across their 12 studio albums in their 33 year old lustrous career, spans a variety of underappreciated and lesser known anthems. It’s only fair that I consider a few of my favourites…

Poprocks and coke

Poprocks and coke is a previously unreleased offering on 2001’s ‘International Superhits’ . The song is about a boy that continues to pursue and confess his love for a girl bhe girl does not feel the same way. “I don’t care if you don’t mind I’ll be there not far behind” shows the extent of how far this boy goes, despite the fact that she simply does not care. The song title originates as a metaphor for explosion that is believed to occur between consuming pop rocks (popping candy) and soda at the same time.

Tired of Waiting For You

This cover version of a classic by The Kinks came almost 30 years later, as a b side on ‘Basket Case’. 8 years later it received an official release on 2002’s Shenanigans. I enjoy The Kinks myself, so when I stumbled onto Green Days cover, I was delighted. The 2 and a half minute track is well worth your time, regardless of your allegiances.

86

This effort from Insomniac is one of my personal favourites. Green Day started out at 924 Gilman street but after signing for Reprise (a major record label), they were banned from playing the venue. The term ’86’ed’ means to get rid of something through ejecting it. The band did later come back for a show on the 924 gilman street scene, in 2015. They (as well as other bands on major labels, such as The Offspring and AFI) require special approval to be allowed entry. The song did not feature on the boundless 23 track setlist and hasn’t featured in a live set since 2017.

Castaway

One of the lengthier tracks on Green Day’s critically acclaimed 2000 studio album ‘Warning’. Man fans do not seem to connect with this LP, which opts for a more acoustic, folk and pop sound. The album is rarely considered in their liveset but for other fans tracks like ‘Castaway’ show a diverse side to the punk rock band. The song is ‘upbeat and catchy’ which is what a lot of us need. My personal favourite from one of my favourite albums. Also check out; Church On Sunday, Hold On and Blood, Sex and Booze.

Favorite son

This song containing rage and hatred, is a b side on 2004’s major seller ‘American Idiot’. This for me, is a track strong enough to be on the main track listing. It fits the political concept and context very well, and is a strong effort from the Billie Joe, Mike and Tre. Check it out immediately.

The Forgotten


For me, the Uno, Dos, Tre era was very underrated. Releasing 3 albums at once was a bold move, that did not seem to pay off for a lot of fans. They felt that one album would have been sufficien, comprising of the highlights from the trilogy. Despite the questionable choices, a range of hits that target different genres were born. The Forgotten may be ‘forgotten’ to some fans, but this is just one of the many finer points (for me personally) from the triology. Bilie Joe dials down his anger and punk rock nature on this 5 minute album closer (Tre), to deliver a more romantic tone. A must listen from 2012’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2.

5 Songs that have addressed mental health.

Mental health has become more prevalent throughout the lyrical content of various artists. Mental health conditions such as depression affects approximately 300 million people (WHO, 2018). The openess of these artists to share their personal experiences can become inspiring and influential for others. The lyrics can give anyone the ability to identify with what is being said, and that they do not have to be alone with their own thoughts. There is also the healthy outlet for aggression, where for just a few minutes you would feel better shouting and screaming the words that you are struggling to pen down and speak. Because music can provide this healthy outlet, it is important to look at some of the songs that are contributing to this outspoken approach.

Paramore – Fake Happy

” I feel so fake happy, and I bet everybody here, is just as insincere, we’re all so fake happy, and I know fake happy” sings Hayley Williams, on track 5 of Paramore’s latest album After Laughter. Mental health can be a difficult thing to confront for ourselves, before even thinking about discussing it with another. It can become too easy to bottle up our genuine feelings and instead portray a completely different persona. What is important to remember is to stay true to ourselves and accept that is okay to not be okay.

Patent Pending – One Less Heart To Break

One Less Heart To Break, which was originally released on 2010 EP ‘I’m Not Alone’, is a song that addresses depression and suicide. The message shows that it is important to know that you can rise from your negative feelings and that things can get better in your life. “Just stay with me through one more night, because it’s always darkest before the light” gives hope through the dark times. Not everything in life in written for us and we can write our own destiny. Sometimes we just have to ride the wave, and come out stronger. Life is a process and we can all have a frustrating day, but we are all capable of pulling through.

As It Is – The Stigma (Boys Don’t Cry) The song by the Brighton 5 piece targets the societal pressures that are placed on males. In the first verse, American born pop punk vocalist, Patty Walters sings “Just close your eyes and bite your tongue for now, don’t let them see you fall”. The stigma surrounding the gender stereotype of males is that they must be tough and strong . Expression emotions can therefore be difficult as men can be discouraged in order to meeet these gender norms. The song stands for transgressing against these societal pressures, so that their popular fanbase can feel comfortabe with their emotions.

All Time Low – Therapy

Vocalist Alex Gaskarth told Teen TV that “Therapy” is about every kids’ nightmare. When people are telling you to get help, but all you really want is a hug. His passion in this song is evident as the intensity of his voice increases throughout. The issue with therapy is that not everyone is ready to confront their feelings. In the chorus, “Therapy, I’m a walking travesty but I’m smiling at everything” hints that it may not work for everybody, whilst others may need reassurance and support. The most reassuring thing can be developing this rapport with someone, so that they can help facilitate one anothers succees and wellbeing.

Real Friends – Short Song

I could have mentioned a range of songs but I decided to go with one of my personal favourites from the Illinois pop punk / emo outfit. The song is under 2 minutes long but within this time packs an emotional punch. In the track Dan Lambton screams “And in life we’re gonna cry, In life we’re gonna lose sleep, We’re gonna feel helpless but thats how its got to be”. In similar vain to ‘One Less Heart to Break’, Real Friends illustrate that we can face troubles that we must come out stronger from. Perserving in the face of adversity is a pivital component of this, as we strive for success. Despite the sleepness nights and tears, this is not forever and we can come out stronger.

I hope you all enjoyed reading this. Let me know in the comments what you thought and if I should do a part 2. I have loads more songs I would love to share with you. Remember to look after your mental health at all times and keep going. I’m so proud of you.