Curtain Call for Nashville?

A few months ago American TV Network ABC announced the cancellation of a selection of shows, among the casualties? Popular musical drama Nashville.

If you’re a fan of popular American musical drama Nashville, you may remember a little while ago it was announced that the show would not be returning to screens after the finale of its fourth season. However, don’t put dirt on their grave just yet, as this didn’t go down well with ‘Nashies’ around the world who promptly began circulating an online petition in a bid to get the show re-instated.

NashvillePetitionTweet

Thankfully, they got their wish as Lionsgate shopped the series to other networks and, after a nail-biting minute, Nashville was picked up by CMT in partnership with Hulu – breathes huge sigh of relief.

The show follows the trials and tribulations of a group of fictitious friends-turned-country-singers, all at different stages of their lives and careers, plus a whole heap of drama to fill your (cowgirl) boots. As a result of its musical theme the show has generated multiple CD releases, distributed by none other than country music frontrunner Big Machine Records, and even live performances – most recently with the cast crossing the pond for a UK tour.

Over the years, the series has produced some great music and continually highlighted the musical talents of its actors. Characters including Rayna James (played by 24’s Connie Briton), Deacon Claybourne (played by husky-voiced hunk Charles Esten), Gunnar Scott (played by Sam Palladio), honey-voiced sweetheart Scarlett O’Connor (played by Clare Bowen), and Juliette Barnes (played by Hayden Panettiere), among others, shine in their respective roles. It’s not surprising then, that some are even going on to release their own material.

Alongside the great voices are the chart-worthy songs they sing; songs with passion, honesty, emotional depth and the power to captivate an audience. Some tracks included in the show were written by highly acclaimed artists such as, Elvis Costello and the Civil Wars’ John Paul White. Charles Esten also made his song-writing debut with poignant, romantic track ‘I Know How To Love You Now’, which featured in the live opening episode of season three.

As with music, no two singers are exactly the same, and Nashville has done a great job of finding voices that complement each other, whilst being distinct enough to stand out in their own right. For example, Clare Bowen’s uniquely addictive vocals work brilliantly with Sam Palladio’s on songs like ‘If I Didn’t Know Better’ and ‘When The Right One Comes Along’ – resulting in something that sounds incredibly intimate – whereas solo song ‘Black Roses’ beautifully demonstrates that her understated vocals are just as mesmerising on their own.

Similarly, Hayden Panettiere shines as troubled character Juliet Barnes. Injecting a healthy dose of sassiness with pop-crossover tracks like ‘Tell That Devil’, and the defiantly ballsy ‘Don’t Put Dirt on My Grave’, all the while showcasing her powerhouse vocals. Connie Britton also stars as country music icon Rayna James, bringing effortless authenticity in tracks like ‘This Time’, and the stadium-worthy ‘Wrong Song’ (a duet with Panettiere.)

Throughout the years the show has also seen cameos from some big names in the industry including, Kelly Clarkson, Kesha, Areosmith’s Steven Tyler, and Christina Aguilera as Jade St John.

This musical backdrop has also seen a host of undoubtedly gripping storylines including: Rayna and Deacon’s tumultuous relationship, Deacon’s personal struggle with sobriety and alcoholism, Scarlett’s nervous breakdown, Sadie Stone’s ordeal with domestic abuse, and Juliet’s transition from troubled childhood to motherhood and her subsequent struggle with postpartum depression. The arc of Juliet’s character see’s viewers watch her grow-up from spoiled, self-obsessed child star, to wife and mother (similar to the growth of Avery’s character throughout the series’.)

Personally, I’ve been a fan of Nashville since the first season premiered back in 2012. Having been continuously captivated by both the storylines and the music, I’m glad that it isn’t the final curtain for the show just yet – even if they did have us worried for a minute.

Check out my review of ‘The Music of Nashville: Original Soundtrack Season 1 Vol. 1’, which I wrote in 2013 for a university project, below:

From the American TV music-drama Nashville, the soundtrack – released through major label Big Machine Records, and produced by T-Bone Burnett (Counting Crows, Elvis Costello) – is thankfully not just a compilation of covers of hits. It includes original songs performed by several members of the cast, and there is absolutely no question when it comes to their musical talent. Hayden Panettiere (Heroes) shines in fun pop crossover track ‘Telescope’, and shows a sensitive side in duet ‘Undermine’. Connie Britton (24) injects effortless authenticity in tracks like ‘Buried Under’, and stadium-worthy ‘Wrong Song’ has hit written all over it. Though the star of the show here is undoubtedly Clare Bowen, whose understated vocals create atmosphere and intimacy in spades, which can be heard in twisted dark ballad ‘If I Didn’t Know Better’, and cosy love song ‘When The Right One Comes Along’; smooth, elegant and quietly powerful. All the songs on this album are ridiculously addictive; a mixture of tangled, intimate songs and big arena-filling sounds. With award-worthy lyrics, impeccable talent and the ability to capture an audience with a vibe that some artists only dream of, this could be a legit country album and not just an OST.  

I’ll leave you with a few of my favourite tracks (aside from the ones included in this post) :

Fade Into You / Twist of Barbed Wire / When The Right One Comes Along / Love Like Mine /Change Your Mind / What if I Was WillingA Life That’s Good / Tell That Devil / Gasoline and Matches

 

Are you a fan of Nashville? I’d love to know your thoughts on the show. I’d recommend it to anyone, even if you’re not a fan of country music, it’s still a great watch.

If you’ve never seen it and fancy giving it a go, catch up now 4OD.

 

I’m blogging every Monday and Thursday throughout July. To keep up to date with my upcoming posts, come and join me on Facebook & Twitter, and to see what else is coming up throughout the rest of this month, click here.

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Jammin’ In July: Track(s) Of The Month

Greetings readers,

It’s that time again! Yes, July is nearing an end (is it just me or is this year going ridiculously quick?) so what better time to share with you the tracks that I’ve been obsessed with over the past month. From a super catchy pop-rock crossover cover, and two songs from a New York-based emerging singer-songwriter, to a pop-punk classic – it’s fair to say it’s a pretty mixed bag!

 

Wake Up Call / Secret Girl – Alex Goot

I’ve known of Alex Goot’s music for a while – I even reviewed one of his earlier songs in a ‘Tracks I’m Loving’ a few years back – and recently I stumbled across a few of his songs again on YouTube, the first of which being ‘Wake Up Call.’

 

‘Wake Up Call’ is a fervently romantic pop track that centres on missing someone and the intensity of that emotion. The verses are soft and understated, allowing the chorus to burst through and grab your attention – giving it maximum impact. The lyrics are honest and passionate, with a sense of realness which, for me, only adds to its beauty. Goot’s passion also comes across in his unique vocals, making his voice more powerful and full of conviction. I love it!

Another of his songs that I’ve been listening to constantly this month is ‘Secret Girl.’

 

A bit more of an up-tempo affair, ‘Secret Girl’ tells the story of having a crush on someone and finally finding the courage to tell them – through song. Goot’s vocals are full of a passionate intensity as he glides through the lower notes and tackles the higher ones with ease, and lyrically still retains that honesty; this man means what he sings. This track has more of an electronic feel in regards to the accompaniment… and I’ve been caught dancing to it in my desk chair more than once!

As you can probably tell, I’m really enjoying Goot’s music at the moment. He actually did a tour of the UK back in June but, as luck would have it, I was on holiday! so I’m hoping that won’t be his only visit because I’d love to catch him live. I’m planning to write a ‘One To Watch’ post on him in the next few weeks, as well as getting my hands on the ‘In Your Atmosphere’ and ‘Wake Up Call’ albums, to either include mini-reviews in the ‘One To Watch’ or to do two separate full-length album reviews at another point. Either way, this won’t be the last you hear of him from me!

 

Tell That Devil – Nashville OST

 

Something that you may not know about me is that I LOVE the TV show Nashville. I’ve wanted to write a post on the show its self for a while, but I also wanted to be sure that it wasn’t something I’d ‘go off’ of, and after three seasons and an upcoming fourth, that shows no signs of happening. The music on the show is chart-quality and all the actors have outstanding musical talent, as well as killer acting chops – you can’t help but get sucked in!

Recently I’ve found myself listening to, and singing, this track a hell of a lot. Performed by Hayden Panettiere (Heroes) the song is full of attitude from the get-go. The smooth tone to Panettiere’s voice gives a sassiness that perfectly reflects the tone of the lyrics, and she hits every note effortlessly, being able to inject bucket-loads of power into her vocal without it sounding strained or forced. A brilliant track that I’d happily turn all the way up if I heard it on the radio.

 

I Really Like You – Chrissy Costanza & MAX

 

I really really really really really really like this cover (see what I did there?! 🙂 .) Originally by Carly Rae Jepsen, this version incorporates a pop-rock sound with a heavier drum beat and an altogether more edgy vibe. The track has also been turned into a duet, with vocals by Against The Current’s Chrissy Costanza and pop solo artist MAX.

I love the vocals on this cover; I think they complement each other brilliantly, but are also strong stand-alone voices in their own right. Chrissy’s vocals are bold and powerful – while still being able to hit higher notes beautifully – and MAX has a deep and husky tone, with a smooth and down-right mesmerising higher range. This, together with the rock accompaniment, makes the song a bit more interesting and gives it a fierce, explosive quality that demands your attention – and holds it.

 

Tell Me I’m A Wreck – Every Avenue

 

Unfortunately, Every Avenue aren’t around anymore 😦 but I’ve recently re-discovered this song and fallen in love with it. Frontman David Strauchman’s vocals are gruff and powerful, set to a fun, upbeat, pop-punk sound with contrasting ‘anti-lovesong’ type lyrics. (‘I told you when you asked I knew this wouldn’t last, at least I could be honest about that.’) Totally addictive.

 

If you got this far, thank you for reading and I hope that I inspired you to give these songs a listen. What tracks have you been obsessed with this month? Feel free to let me know in a comment – I’m always on the lookout for new things to listen to!

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This Ain’t A Love Song: My Top 10 Anti-Love Songs

Hey everyone,

Now, if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you may already know this, but I’d like to address why this post seems to have come out nowhere. Originally I planned to post this on February 15th – the day after Valentine’s Day – to follow my ‘Top 8 Love Songs’, as an antidote of sorts to all the lovey-dovey stuff everywhere.

I hadn’t pre-written the post and – as became a regular occurrence when I was doing ‘Journaling In January’ – I stayed up quite late in a bid to finish it and have it posted on the 15th. However, in my sleepy state I thought I’d pressed ‘publish’ when in actual fact I’d pressed ‘save’ – so the post hadn’t actually gone out. I realised a few weeks later when, when posting my ‘Track of The Month’, I saw that it was still sat in my reader as a draft. *Facepalm.

I’d hoped to have it posted sooner but I’ve been pretty busy the last few weeks and simply haven’t had the time, but it seems a shame to discard the post, so I thought I’d post it now seeing as I’ve been struck down with a cold.

A lot of these songs are fun, upbeat, empowering and just generally a massive middle finger up to THAT ex.

 

#10 Contagious Chemistry – You Me At Six

‘Dearest enemy, you should have never trusted me, you bitch.’ – Enough said.

 

#9 F**k You Over – The Summer Set

This track has such a fun, playful tone (with a sing-along ‘la la’ refrain to boot!) It couldn’t get further away from a love-song if it tried. “I didn’t mean to fuck you over, I just want to have some fun, we can rock the world tonight but no it doesn’t have to be love.”

 

#8 Forget You – Cee Lo Green

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pc0mxOXbWIU

Another one that has such a great vibe – it’s impossible not to smile, sing, and maybe even dance, when you hear it. (If you’re anything like me, you’ll agree that singing along to the explicit version at the top of your lungs is quite fun too.)

 

#7 Wasting All These Tears – Cassadee Pope

The first single from The Voice USA winner Cassadee Pope (ex-Hey Monday) is a powerful ballad full of emotion that hits you like a punch in the gut. It opens with a poignant – almost somber – feel to it, allowing the pent-up emotion to crash through and add a sense of bite to the chorus. ‘Oh, finally I’m through, wasting all these tears on you.’

 

#6 Another Me – The Cab

Whether we want to admit it, we’ve all got at least one ex who was a bit of (or a lot of) a tool. We constantly made excuses for them because we loved them, even though deep down we knew something wasn’t quite right. This scathing track from The Cab is the musical embodiment of that realisation. Opening with dark, gritty guitars, followed by an explosive chorus proclaiming ‘I gave you everything you ever wanted, and you gave me nothing but grief.’ Good luck finding another me? Too right.

 

#5 Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) – Kelly Clarkson

‘Doesn’t mean I’m over, because you’re gone.’ (And it never should.)

 

#4 Really Don’t Care – Demi Lovato

This is a song that puts a positive spin on a bad situation – instead of pining over the end of a relationship it’s almost a relief. The rose coloured glasses have come off and you realise that things weren’t as perfect as you thought. It’s infectious from beginning to end, with a ballsy, carefree vibe running though it – “you can take your words and all your lies, I really don’t care.”

 

#3 Wrong Song – Nashville OST

Taken from the popular US TV show Nashville, this country/pop-rock crossover track – sang by Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere – is, in no uncertain terms, two fingers up to that ex who wronged you and then begged you to take them back. ‘If you’re looking for one more chance, a little Stand by Your Man, you’ve got the Wrong Song coming through your speakers.’

 

#2 What A Waste of Time (That Boy Can Be) – Orchard Hill


This song is an empowering whirlwind of colour with a healthy dose of sassiness. It’s assertive and doesn’t pull any punches – like you’ve finally realised you weren’t the one to blame, he was just…a waste of time.

 

#1 Fuck It (I Don’t Want You Back) – Eamonn

Anyone who grew up during the early 2000’s may remember this gem of a break-up song. This profanity-laced throwback reached number one in over 10 countries including the UK and Australia, and prompted the short-lived ‘answer-back’ craze. It is the perfect antithesis to the love song, and seeing as it was the first song that popped into my head when I thought about compiling this list, I couldn’t not include it.

 

Thanks for reading my Top 10 Anti-Love Songs, had you heard any of these songs before? Are there any songs you think I should’ve included? Feel free to let me know in a comment.