Favorite Music of 2019 (So Far)

We are halfway through 2019 and getting closer to starting a new decade. Still not sure how to feel about all of that, but I’m going to face it with dignity. For this post I wanted to explore some of my favorite songs and albums released in 2019. Since I can’t really rank for the life of me, y’all will just get a list.

To kick things off, I’ve really been digging NCT 127’s new EP “We Are Superhuman”. It’s an overall cohesive album that does a good job showcasing the group’s talent. Standout tracks for me are the title track, “Superhuman”, and “Highway to Heaven”. “Superhuman” is an invigorating song that supercharges you to be your best. “Highway to Heaven” is a more chill song but no less powerful.

Little Simz is an artist you definitely need to keep an eye out. She has a new album out titled “GREY Area” that’s available on Spotify. One song that caught my eye was “Venom”. I’m not going to pretend to know all the rap lingo, but even I can tell her flow is top-notch.

Another album I’ve been feeling is Monsta X’s “We Are Here”, a folow up to their previous album “Are You There?”.  One of my favorite tracks from the album is the Steve Aoki produced “Play It Cool”. It’s a short yet effective song that is great for setting up the mood to go party. Other stand out tracks include “Ghost”, “Rodeo”, and “Stealer”.

“Dancing with a Stranger” by Sam Smith and Normani is a cool jam to play as you’re driving around town. I personally prefer the acoustic version, but the regular version is just as good.

Maybe it’s because I don’t listen to the radio like I did in the past, but this song nearly swooped past me. Thanks to YouTube I found out about the Katy Perry and Zedd collaboration, “365”. It’s a great tune that is about realizing that this love isn’t a fling, but the real deal.

One of my favorite songs comes from new k-pop girl group, Everglow. “Bon Bon Chocolat” is a fun song with an infectious beat that makes you want to attempt the dance move seen in the music video.

While the movie not be getting the most rave reviews (an understatement), at least the song inspired by the movie is good. Emeli Sandé strikes gold again with this song about finding the extraordinary in who you are and to embrace it. If you like this song I recommend checking out her other songs like “Hurts” and “Next To Me”.

Are you into opening songs for anime? Look no further than Dreamcatcher’s “Piri” from their most recent EP. The song starts off strong and continues to take us on a magical journey.

If I had to name one pop group to be on the lookout for it’s ATEEZ. The eight-member boy band from South Korea has been creating buzz and for good reason. One of my favorite songs of theirs from this year is “Hala Hala”. A boisterous and dramatic tune that makes you want to go out and tackle whatever problem you’re facing for the day. I would highly recommend watching the performance of the song.

“Dionysus” by BTS. While I wasn’t feeling their new EP, this song was the exception with its high energy mix of hip-hop and rock and roll. It’s a perfect party song.

“Come Home” by Anderson. Paak featuring Andre 3000 reminds me of my childhood with the soul and R&B station on as my family and I drove around. I found out about Anderson from his Coachella performance and decided to give him a listen and was not disappointed. And there’s nothing more I need to say about the legendary Andre 3000. I would definitely recommend giving his new album, “Ventura”, a listen.

“No” by CLC is as simple as its title, but a powerful song about empowerment that will make you want to say “no” to anyone who wants to put you in a box.

And those are my favorite songs/albums so far. Let me know in the comments some of your favorites. Tell me your thoughts on any of the songs I listed above.

Songs to groove to for Black History Month

Happy Black History Month!

To celebrate this month before it’s over (though Black History should be celebrate all the time), I want to share some of my favorite songs from some Black artists both in the U.S. and abroad. In the comments, tell me your favorite songs!

I can’t start a music without talking about Missy Misdemeanor Elliott. There are way too many songs that I like from her, but the one that sticks with me the most is “Supa Dupa Fly”. Even as a young girl, I knew there was something special about the video and time has proven me right.

Normani may be a newbie, but she’s already doing some good stuff. I’m personally a fan of her song, “Waves” featuring 6lack, and I look forward to her album coming out this year.

For those who aren’t plugged into artists outside of the U.S., let me introduce you to Inna Modja. One song to get you started is “C’est La Vie” that is great to play at parties.

Tina Turner holds a special place in my heart as one of the artists that both my and my mother enjoy. And one of the songs we love is “The Best”. Whenever you’re feeling down, definitely hit play on this song.

Last, but certainly not least I present “Cold War” by Janelle Monae. The song boasts a strong message of knowing who you are in the face of adversity. The song gets elevated by the simplicity of the video where Janelle sings in front of a camera and sheds some tears.

Strawberry Tiramisu Kit-Kat

New year, new explorations of food. This will also be a year of experimentation with my blog. I want to go back to discussing more media-related stuff and bring in what I’ve learned from school. For now, let’s start 2019 with a review of another Japanese Kit-Kat.

Strawberry Tiramisu Kit-Kat

When I first heard of the  strawberry tiramisu Kit-Kat, I was intrigued. I’m a big fan of tiramisus and I wanted to see if Nestle could replicate the flavor in candy form. I was also interested in the the combination of tiramisu, a coffee-based Italian dessert, with strawberries.

Individual Kit-Kat

When I opened the bag, the strawberry smell was overpowering. I was almost concerned that this would be a strawberry Kit-Kat with no hint of coffee or anything. It didn’t help when I took a bite of the candy and just tasted strawberry.

Strawberry Tiramisu Kit-Kat

Inside of the Kit-Kat

The more bites I took, I started to taste the bitterness of the coffee that was sandwiched in the wafers. This created an….interesting contrasts with the sweet strawberry flavoring in the white chocolate. The flavors by themselves aren’t bad, but together they make a weird and not all that tasty combination.

Then again, I’ve never had fresh fruit in my tiramisu or with coffee in general. Maybe that’s one of those flavor combinations that rarely works.Overall, I give it a 2/5.

Is it just my imagination or is there no flavor? A review of Starbucks’ juniper latte.

It may not officially be Winter, but that’s not going to stop Christmas from busting on in. To get myself ready I decided to try Starbucks’ new drink, juniper latte.

One thing I want to note is that I had my latte made with almond milk so it’s possible the flavor may change depending on what kind milk or milk substitute you get.

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First, it’s not remarkable looking. Granted, there’s only so much you can do to a latte so I have no feelings whatsoever about it. But if you wanted to do an Instagram post like the Unicorn frappuchino you’re out of luck. Take a picture of the cup and do #MerryChristmas. The only thing I saw that separated it from the regular latte were the green specks that I may have imagined being there. Let me know if you see them.

According to Starbucks, the Juniper latte is supposed to have a “light, pine-like flavor with delightful citrus undertones”. The only part of that description I agree about it is the “light” and “undertone” part because all I tasted was coffee and my heated up almond milk. There might have been a taste of a tree in there, but it could have been my imagination.

I wasn’t the only one who was underwhelmed by this latte. One guy found the latte not that great with the juniper taste and one lady found the taste to be too subtle. I like to note that we all went to different Starbucks in different areas so it looks like the juniper latte may be a dud.

Overall, I give a 3/5 for at least not tasting terrible. If you had the latte, let me know your thoughts in the comments. As for me, I’m sticking with my chestnut praline latte.

Return of the Kit-Kat

That’s right, it’s another review of Japanese Kit-Kats! Honestly, there are so many flavors to try that it could take me a while to get through them.

For today’s post I will be discussing another Kit-Kat inspired by the Chocolatory store that is exclusive to Japan. This flavor is called the matcha double berry and is under their “Luxury Every Day” line. I’ve already done a post about another of their flavors. You can find the stores and the products here.

The chocolate portion is made of matcha and has almonds, cranberries and raspberries embedded in the top. Unlike the other Kit-Kats, each bar comes individually wrapped like the ones from the Chocolatory, though a tad smaller. I bought a bag from a local Asian food store for around $6. While it may seem pricey compared to other Kit-Kats, you have to remember that these candies have to be imported from Japan.

So, how does it taste?

It’s definitely sweeter than the chocolate version that I had. It’s most likely from the raspberries that the chocolate version lacked. While I’m no stranger to matcha Kit-Kats, the dried berries and almond pieces on top add a sweetness and crunch to it. The pieces can stick to your teeth which can be annoying, but not enough to impede enjoyment.

Of the two Chocolatory candies, I definitely prefer the chocolate version to this one. While this double berry one wasn’t bad, it was a little too sweet to me. I think if they had left out the raspberries it would taste better. Otherwise, not too bad and I definitely recommend giving it a try.

Mood: Halloween Treats

Today’s Halloween and that means sweet, sweet treats and spooky songs! To celebrate this sweet holiday, I have a list of songs that put the spook in spooktacular! Get out your favorite candy and check out some of these tunes:

  • Eartha Kitt-“I Want To Be Evil”
  • Shinee- “Evil”
  • Screamin’ Jay Hawkins-“I Put a Spell on You”
  • Ghost Busters Theme song performed by a dancing pumpkin:
  • Michael Jackson-” Thriller” (Of course!)

Foodie Friday: Trentino Artisan Gelato

It may be Fall, but it still feels like Summer. That means it’s still frozen dessert weather (though I argue you can have ice cream any time you want). Before I move to warm drinks and apple flavored everything, I’m reviewing a new brand of gelato I had recently.

If you haven’t heard of Trentino Gelato, don’t worry. They’re a Houston-based company and from what I can find most of their products are sold in Texas.  What made the product stand out to me was that they used goat’s milk. As someone who’s not exactly tolerating the lactose like I did in the past I’ve been looking into goat’s milk as an alternative (I’ve already try almond milk based frozen dessert). And when I saw that my local store had a coupon I knew I had to try it (shout out to all my coupon lovers!)

First, the sweet milk. I’ll be honest, I’m not sure what possessed me to get this flavor instead of something more recognizable like strawberry. The name alone intrigued me. Either way, I’m glad I bought this flavor.

I was pleased that the pops themselves weren’t too small. For comparison, I placed my 7″ x 3″ hand (why yes, I did measure my hand) by the pop. As for the flavor, it pretty much lives up to its name. It was definitely sweet and very creamy, but the sweetness wasn’t overpowering and I think that’s because of the goat’s milk. I give it a 4/5.

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Next, I purchased the Vanilla flavor.

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I’ll be honest, I almost freaked out when I saw the black specks until I remembered that the specks were vanilla. After that rather embarrassing moment, I dug right into the pop.

I definitely rank the vanilla over the sweet milk flavor. Despite its reputation, vanilla has a very distinct flavor that when done right makes for an enjoyable experience and Trentino nails it. I recommend if you’re hesitant about trying these pops to go with the vanilla pop first. I give it a 4.5/5.

My only complaint, and it could be just me being cheap, is the price. Before the coupon, the gelato pops would sell for around $5 (I paid around $4). For three pops each, this could seem very steep. I would argue that since they are made of goat’s milk that the price is worth it. I also argue that it’s probably a better deal at roughly $2 per pop than going to a gelato or ice cream shop and spending $3 to $5 for a few scoops.

If you live in Texas or you’re visiting, I say give these pops a shot. They’re a nice, sweet treat and probably won’t be as harsh for those who are lactose intolerant.