A review: Justin Timberlake’s “Man of the Woods”

I have always been a fan of Justin. His dance moves and his fashionable style are pretty spiffy. I’m gay, but I find him to be attractive, for a guy. His voice and vocal range are enticing. So I was happy when a new album finally came out.

We start out on “Man of the Woods” with ‘Filthy’ which has some funk, electronic, and rock all mixed in. Oh, and there’s the R&B influence in the vocals. “If you know what’s good” brings in a Transiberian Orchestra type guitar piece that I’m not a fan of. I don’t think it’s fake though, because I’m not a hater (You will understand that reference when you have a listen to the song).

‘Midnight Summer Jam’ starts out with some funk and disco-like sounds. I can imagine Abba at the forefront at first. I think it is a song about partying and enjoying yourself. Not one of my favorite songs on the album however. It was not catchy enough to, well, catch me.

‘Sauce’ Is a little bit hokey. There are some twangy funk vibes  going on here. There are some unusual sexual references, involving colors. Very inventive. I do not think I am a fan of the twang in the guitar on this song. The hook is catchy though.

‘Man of the Woods’ is a humble song about being about the woods… and his lady. The video for this track has his wife Jessica dancing, proving it is a love song, but I can’t connect the woodsie vibe with love. He’s a man of the woods, though, and it’s his pride. He mentions in some lyrics here that he’s a southern boy. He’s from Tennessee. I always thought that was in the Midwest. It’s higher up than Missouri, which is not southern, it is the Midwest. I never understood that. Oops I’ve gotten off track. Ha, track. Get it?

‘Higher Higher’ is a groovy R&B tune that showcases Justin’s lyrical beauty and the way he wraps the words around a hook real smoothly. I can imagine this one growing on me if I gave it a chance more than I really have. I can imagine this one becoming a single, as it harkens back to the days when Justin had just come from his humble beginnings in a boy band, but with more maturity and more poise.

‘Wave’ starts with a fast little reggae thing going on. It seems to be a song about vacationing somewhere where he can celebrate his love with his wife. It sounds like a mandolin is being used. Or is that a Ukulele? Again more catchy and smooth lyrical genius from Justin.

‘Supplies’ is the best track on the album. The intensity of the heavy R&B mixed with the extremely catchy chorus make for a song that gets stuck in your head. And it’s not really a bad song to get caught in your head. A rap beat set to some background beat boxing (subtle) as well as highly inventive lyrics make this one a track to listen for on the album.

‘Morning Light’ starts off soft, with perhaps what sounds like some old-skool samples from the 60’s (Think Burial), and it opens up into a mix of Americana and R&B. Yes it can be done, Justin shows us. A love ballad here, he hits the mark with his vocals, and the chorus is smooth and brimming with sexiness.

‘Say Something’ is a song, roughly, about being caught in the middle of some drama or fiasco, and the lesson we learn is that sometimes it’s better to say nothing at all. The chrorus is appealing and extremely catchy. Might be my 2nd favorite on the album. It’s got that vibe that I like. Just something about it. He sings with Chris Stapleton. I do not know who that is. But in the video he appeared to be a bearded hipster playing guitar. Great track here.

After this there’s an interlude of Jessica talking about Justin’s clothing reminding her of him. I can leave it.

‘Flannel’ Is a sweet song, probably sung to his wife. A bit slow, but he’s got that lyrical magic again… and there’s some Prince-esque vocal fanfare throughout. The chorus is the sweet part. Flannel will keep you warm, you know.

‘Montana’. When I think of Montana I don’t think of a Bee Gee’s disco song, but that’s exactly what Justin gives us here. I imagine indie rock or Americana when I think of Montana… maybe even country. I was not as impressed with this one, as it reminded me of some of the other tracks on the album. It didn’t really spark anything memorable. I also for the life of me could not find the word “Montana” in the song anywhere. I’ll ask Justin about that one.

R&B is stylistically prominent in ‘Breeze off the Pond’ – perhaps another love song (it seems to be a common theme on this album) that shows how content and at peace Justin is with his life and his love. A little slower of a track and it didn’t catch my attention in the background. I don’t remember this one as soon as it is over.

‘Livin off the Land’ has some samples in the beginning, leading into a… hmm.. menagerie of songs. Electronic snipping of Justin’s voice and some subtle beat boxing. Another R&B tune with some prolific lyrics that croon to the masses. I like this one, but again when it stops playing I can’t remember it.

In the next track, Justin wants you to give him ‘The Hard Stuff’…. whatever that means. Another love song, a bit slow again, and something that reminds me of some of the other tracks on the album that didn’t leave a lasting impression on me the first (few) time(s).

‘Young Man’ is a cute song, with Justin singing a song to/for his infant son. How to grow up and be a respectable man. There are some ‘goo-goo and ga-ga’ moments and it sounds a little coochie-coo, but that adds charm, I think, and stylistically the album is a little gospel with R&B mixed together, and there’s some toughness in Justin’s voice as well that would remind one of someone making sure their boy is set straight. A good last track on the album, I thought.

I give the album an A- as it doesn’t hit the mark in all aspects of what people (me) like to listen to, but it does satisfy the groove cravings inside. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go listen to ‘Supplies’ again. Enjoy.




Brandi Carlile’s New Album: A Review

Let me preface this by saying I love Brandi Carlile and the twins… and their music. Ever since I heard the album “The Story”, and subsequently “Bear Creek” (in my top 12 albums of all time I’d say). Next she came out with “Firewatchers Daughter” Which took a while but it grew on me. The Americana sound was played up a bit, and that indie feel of “Bear Creek” took a backseat. So I didn’t know what to expect on this new album. I was excited, though.

The album begins a little weak, with ‘Every Time I Hear That Song’ which makes us think of the past but how far we have come since then. Kind of a slow one, and it didn’t really catch my attention. I always like the first song of an album to be a show stopper. Or at least a real good upbeat vibe, we’ll say.

‘The Joke’ has some good strings and piano parts. Brandi really showcases her voice here. Raw and beautiful. Again however, a little slow and weak. I kept hoping for a stop in the slow and a BAM! Right into a fast song a la ‘The Story’. That didn’t happen, but Brandi’s vocals and the violin/string section make this song promising for the stage.

‘Hold Out Your Hand’ caught my attention right away. Quick vocals spoken in Johnny Cash fashion faster and faster until the song speeds up and takes you into some catchy ba da ba da ba da’s. It took a while to understand the theme of the song but I think they were just having fun. Especially when the march eloquence presents itself in the chorus.

The next song, ‘The Mother’ is one I have heard in concert maybe twice so I knew what to expect. That doesn’t mean it isn’t good, just that I knew it already and it is a sweet song, about her daughter that she and her wife had a few years ago. It is endearing and honest, and very authentic where Brandi opens up about sharing her life with this little creature that keeps her in awe. It’s just Brandi and her guitar, stripped down for the authentic and raw effect.

‘Whatever You Do’ went right past me except for the first line “If I don’t owe you a favor you don’t know me”. The rest was just too slow. Un-Prolific guitar in it’s basics, and a Brandi voice that neither tickles nor showers the listener with the doldrums; just ok. After a long verse the chorus comes in, and it seems it took forever to get there. It was a subtle challenge to verify its presence in the song though.

‘Fulton County Jane Doe’ reminded me of that “Everybody stop now what’s that sound, everybody look what’s goin’ down” with the bell tune throughout. A little More upbeat and shiny, a little more polished, this song goes down as a second favorite on the album. I had decided ‘Hold Out Your Hand’ would be my #1. It has a little more spirit to it.

‘Sugartooth’ is next and it, frankly, bores me. I am so so sorry to have to say that. But it is not catchy, the lyrics are nothing inspiring, and once it’s done I can’t remember a single part of it. I actually tried to recall this one and had managed to get “slave to a sugartooth” in my head after much recollection (mostly because I ached for chocolate at the time). Your plain jane song here.

‘Most of All’ in all of it’s glory starts slow, but with a ballad-y intention. Brandi’s voice shines here in this one… but again after the song is over I don’t remember it. Is the guitar lick in this one the same as all the previous songs? I can hear the brothers singing on this one – they seemed mostly absent on this album which is odd because they try to stick together in writing and vocalizing. This one reminds me of ‘Whatever You Do’ in the way that it just seems like ‘a song’ to me, and I could easily skip it rather than repeat it.

I like how ‘Harder to Forgive’ starts with the drums. The lyrics are poetry here, and you can tell the song is building up to something more upbeat than others. I like this one because it goes in a direction that I like. The lyrics you can recall after the song is over, and this one might get stuck in your head. She tells a genuine story about forgiveness in this tale, and the song is cohesive and listenable.

‘Party of One’ starts off with a piano, and a sad sounding Brandi. A soft, soft voice singing about loneliness and anger. A slow song to close out the album. The end of the song just sort of peters out… I said “Wait, what?”

To re-cap and summarize, this album was more poetic and brilliant lyric-wise, but the tempo and music itself just wasn’t there. Perhaps I compare her albums too much with “Bear Creek” because every single song on that album is amazing. This is by no means terrible, and with many more listens it will grow on me. But these are my first impressions. I still love you Brandi, even though you’re a little more tired these days.


Top 10 Chill Albums of 2017





Yes, here it is again. I was afraid I would not get to it — my phone died along with 126 albums on the SD card. Have no fear, I was able to recollect many of those, and from them I curated the ten best (In my opinion). I hope you like them too, and I hope you provide feedback or comments! Would love to hear from you.


10. Fourth Dimension – The Perfect Form (ambient): This album, though ambient, is a hard hitter, with beautiful synths and layers criss crossing through the synapses of your brain like it is on fire. Beautiful music here – listen alone, with headphones, in a quiet space. Brilliant.


9. Slackbaba – Reflections (chillstep/experimental chill)

This album challenges the boundaries of traditional psychill with adding some flavor of chillstep and some bass to back it up. Not as gritty as the previous album “Ask” but definitely has some uber intense vibrations here.


8. Ecometric – Deconstruction (chillstep) : This album has the chill flavor and the dubstep vibe that equals chillstep. Brilliant beats and synths,this one had me dancing around the living room like a dork.

No Youtube Clip available for this album, sadly enough

7. Eat Static- Last Ship To Paradise (psychill): These guys have been going at it for many years. They are veterans of the electronic psychedelic world. Their 2017 effort does not dissapoint. Hitting those beats and squirming them around with psychedelic sauce makes for a great album.


6. Ascendant – Particle Horizon (ambient): If you are looking for a pulsating rhythmic album that is both stark and beautiful at the same time, then you are looking for this ambient masterpiece by Ascendant. Droning forests, psychedelic pads, it all reminds me of the Aurora Borealis. I have yet to see it, but when I do, this is the album that will be playing.


5. Cosmic Replicant – Echo Light (psychill): If you have been a fan of this artist for years like I have then you will know this is slightly different material than we are all used to. It has more depth and character, more ambient than psychedelic, but the drums do come in when needed. This makes for a brilliant show of decadent light. Maybe Echo Light, even.


4. Rising Galaxy – Action Rection(psychill): This album starts off with shining pads and some innovative techno-like sounds, compelling and provacative all at once. Then the synths come in and you are hooked. There is that psychedelic twist you admire. It is here and it is not going away.


3. Chronos- Inner Darkness (psychill): Chronos has entered the top 10 again, this time featuring a darker psychedelic chill album that feasts upon the edginess that you secretly love in electronic music. Starting off slow and misty, it builds into something almost tribal, that I can picture myself dancing to around a bonfire under the starlit sky wearing nothing but a loincloth. And a bra. I couldnt dance without at least one bra on… anyway… have a listen:


2. Ekaologik – Light Seeds (Chillgressive): I found this album whilst searching for a “best psybient of 2017” playlist on spotify and loved it. Slowly dancable beats are a backdrop to beautiful scenes of sunsets and ocean scapes. The intricate plot twists within the songs leave you wondering if you are reading a beautiful book or listening to beautiful music. You will have to see for yourself:


1. Narcose – Panda Eyes (chillstep): Wow! This one came out early in 2017 and I remember running a mile to the store for something and listening to this album in my buds. It was perfect for the energy, but is also perfect for chilling and relaxing. The effort comes off a bit mischievious and sly, but it builds into a beautiful maze of dub-like  beat and psychedelic chill that makes you want more. Hopefully this artist continues to make music in the same vein. Very masterful.

Full album:


2017 was a difficult one for me. I had problems with my phone deleting all my music when putting the SD into a new phone. My computer died in 2016 and I havent had money to replace it so it has been all tablet and all phone. So it was difficut compiling this list, but I listened to as much psychill as I possibly could so that I could make a good list for you. I hope you enjoy the music, and as always please support the artists!!

The Best Moments of 2017

Let us reflect a bit upon 2017. I call it a year of endings. My mate ended two jobs, we ended living in Utah, I ended my job, thus. New beginnings.

Being bipolar, and having had a 6 year roller coaster ride, it was time to slow things down and get real. I switched to Lithium from Lamictal and boy what a difference that has made. I’ve had a few episodes but they were mild and easily controlled with a tweak of medicine.

Now I live in Arizona, near Phoenix, and love every minute of it. It is a fun place for me and my mate to explore and discover new things. I have a job as a contractor for a company that processes traffc violations and other types of tickets. I really like it and it is close to home.

Without further adu here is the list I made of the best moments of 2017 in no particular order:


10. Practicing choking-helping techniques (hilarious)

9. Best friend chicken sandwhich – Provisions in Salt Lake City

8. Friends with a cute spunky blonde, Crissy, for a while.

7. Art fest – both. Tempe AZ and Salt Lake City, UT. Lots of fun!

6. Seeing Kathleen Madigan in Wendover, NV – hilarious woman!

5.Reading a total of 9 books – the most since I can not remember when

4. Changing to Lithium – immediately felt better

3. Going to NV to get Laurel’s car – went to Viginia City and of course a Nevada casino buffet (with cotton candy)

2. Moving to Arizona. Palm trees, cacti, wild parrots, and citrus fruit trees abound!

  1. Sundance film festival at Park City, UT. Women’s March down the streets lead by Chelsea Handler and Charlize Theron! (We did not see them) and my boyfriend, Josh Jackson, was apparently there, too, and no I did not get to see him either. One day, Josh, one day!

So all in all it was a pretty OK year. Was not too big a fan of the apartment we had – it was kind of a crazy layout and we had to get extra storage items like a pantry. I hated not having a car during the dead of winter and walking to work in the snow. BRRR and ick. I am glad it doesn’t snow here.

2017 was good because no one I knew died or had any major issues. In fact, my great neice Callie Mae (Mae was my mother’s middle name) was born in April (same month my mother had been born in). My mom is smiling down on the adorable little Callie Mae. My sister is beside herself with joy and love for the little critter. She is pretty dang cute.

I still did not get a computer (typing this on my fire tablet as we speak) but my phone died and I got a new and better one that I am enjoying.

We got an air fryer for Christmas from my mate’s parents. I am so excited to make friend chicken. YUM. That was probably my favorite present. I can not wait to use it. Have not had an oppprtunity yet… maybe tomorrow on New Years day.

Survived a year of President Donald Dump somehow. He has not yet nuked another country so we are good there…

Went hiking a bit in Utah, very crowded but pretty nonetheless.

I got a PR (personal record) in running and then 3 weeks later another one! 9 minutes and 31 second mile run. I have lost a lot of weight and inches (and Christmas saw me gain a bit back of course… haha. I will get it off again).

That is about it for 2017. Welcome to Arizona!!!



This lithium stuff is great. As long as you drink a lot of water everyday. Anyway, I feel stable for the first time, and the longest time, in a very long while. But now I’m beginning to feel confused. Am I bored with life now that there’s no “manic drama”? Was I so used to being manic that I still exhibit rotten personality traits that I had when I was before? Am I bored? My mate swears something is going on.

In other news, I got a car finally. It needs a new catalytic converter so my step-dad sent me some $ to get that fixed. Then I can get emissions done, and then get my tabs and license plates and be a big girl driver. It’s a red 2001 Toyota Rav4, and I like it. My  friend Crissy named it God Almighty.


The Worst Moments of 2016

2016 was a crap year – possibly the worst – and here is why:

10. My phone went all wonky and stopped working during filming at the Rodeo this past summer and I had to send it in for repairs which took 2 weeks. So I had to use a backup phone which was a pain in the butt – not as good as the one that went bonkers on me. Sounds silly, but this was an actual low point. I didn’t realize how much I rely on my phone for everyday things until that happened.

9. On the first day of warm weather in the spring, we went for a walk and over-did it. We went 10 miles round trip. And I hadn’t been ready. I am overweight, walk flat-footed and did not stretch first before going on our walk. So I ended up with plantar fasciitis in my left foot. I don’t know if anyone has had that before, but it is PAINFUL and hard to walk. I had to get inserts to walk on and it still doesn’t help that well. I then somehow did something to get it in the other foot as well so both feet have flantar fasciitis now. I do exercises and stretches and it helps but they are not healing very well. Ouch.

8. I was constantly having financial problems and had to take out some loans that were expensive to repay. Part of the problem was living aove my means just because I made so little money but still had lots of bills, but most of it was because of my poor spending habits.

7. I was manic most of the year. When I DID get stable, it would last less than a week and I would swing up again. I had many triggers this year and it was like one after another. The pummels just kept coming and it woul make me spiral out of control and that would then domino into other problems like fights and distance between me and my mate,or irrational thinking, delusional plans, irritability on a grand scale, agressiveness, and anger.

6. I had an auditory hallucination during an extreme manic episode in which I was highly paranoid due to (see #4 coming up). It didn’t really scare me at the tim, it just left me feeling like I must be crazy, and I had the neighbor listen and he couldn’t hear anything and I could hear it crystal clear. It was very weird and it was a sign that things were pretty bad, mental wise.

5. My step-dad’s father got colon cancer and then died from infections after the sucessful surgery to remove the cancer. I felt shocked and awful. Now he lost 2 imporant people (See #1) in the same year. What a blow. I loved my step-grampa too, he was a very good and funny person. He alawys asked how I was, and him and my step-gramma were always so good to me. I just feel awful.

4. In late September someone came to the back bedroom window in the fire alley and tried to get in. I called the cops and they found no one, but I had seen someone back there. About 3 or 4 nights later it happened again, this time my mate was home with me, and she and I both became very paranoid. The paranoia spread to almost every aspect of home-life. Every little bump, every sound, every momentmy heart was beating fast and i felt on edge and anxious the whole two and a half months left that we were there. We moved.

3. Shortly before moving, I was driving home on the freeway from work when a guy cut me off and I had to swerve onto the shoulder to avoid a collision. I ended up flipping my car and rolled 6 times down an embankment. My car landed right-side-up but facing the wrong direction, and somehow I just walked away. The medics checked me out and I had superficial wounds and a small concussion. My car was totalled, and now I am trying to save up for another one.

2. After #1 happened (see below) it set off a terrible chain of events where I “fell in with the wrong crowd” in a secret friendship that lead me to move out and leave my mate temporarily. It broke her heart and it was just a really awful situation. I amazingly was not manic at the time. I was calmly stable right before going into mania afterward. It was a terrible time and I feel regretful everytime I think of it.

  1. On January 14, 2016 my mother died. She died of COPD, as she had smoked cigarettes nearly her whole life. It was devastating. She had been in the acute care facilities about 3 or 4 times since october of 2015. Me and the family all kind of knew it was going to happen, but no matter how much you prepare or try to distance yourself from the situation, it effects you in ways you perhaps were not prepared for. On one hand I know how she is ina  place now where she doesn’t even need to breathe so she is at peace. But all the sameI miss her likehell,and sometimes go to pick up the phone to call her and realize I can’t.

This year sucked. F you, 2016. I plan on making 2017 a hell of a lot better. No one better die or get into car accidents or anything. let us just be tranquil.

Did I do My Resolutions?

In 2015 I vowed to do two things. I didn’t do a resolutions list like I did this year. I just explained what I needed to work on. Honesty and responsibility. I failed on all fronts. I resolved to stop lying. It is a cumpulsion and like a tic. I was better in 2016 than inprevious years but not that great, still. Any lying is not good. Responsibility was another one.I was irresponsible with a lot of things. I can’t say I acheived what I had set out to do or be.

My mom would definitely not be proud of me. And that hurts. I am going to print out the entry where I list my resolutions for 2017 and 3 ways I can acheive each one, and put it up somewhere to see it all the time. I really need to be abetter person. I all but destroyed the relationship with the one person I love the most. Breaks my heart that I could be so irresponsible with the heart of another like that.

I really have to work hard. It is not going to be easy. Next up: The worst of 2016. Wasn’t hard to come up with…

Best Moments of 2016

I wasn’t going to do this but my mate talked me into it. I thought I’d had enough 2016 stuff in here – the top 10 music and the blog about the bad rough year it has been. But here are some good moments that will be remembered as well. We shouldn’t forget the good stuff.

10. Picasso Painting for my mate on her birthday: For my gal’s birthday, I took her to the Tracy Aviary where a macaw parrot named Picasso painted a picture for her. It was super cute and fun to watch. The end product was adorable.

9. Balloon Races in Reno: In September we went to visit my mate’s parents in the Reno-Tahoe area, and watched the balloon races which started before sunrise. 100 Balloons soared up into the sky during mass ascension, which was the grand finale of the show – before that was Dawn patrol and Night Glow.

8. Halloween Costumes: We were “Lions, tigers, and Bears, Oh My!” this year. I was a tiger, and my mate was a lion. I held a bear with a scary mask on that had a poster attached to it that said Oh My! We ran the Haunted Hustle, a fun run at the Sugarhouse Park with zombies and a medal at the end. We dressed up again for a contest at a bar called Gracie’s where the prize was $500, but didn’t win. We also dressed up for the contest at our job but did not win that either. But that is ok, we had a great time dressing up and we looked really awesome!

7. Utah Arts Festival: We went on a Friday to the Utah Arts Festival which was in the summer. A whole large park had been blocked off to create a huge festival with artwork of all kinds, amazin food trucks, performing arts, and concerts. At night we caught Beats Antique. We ate some amazing food and enjoyed looking at all of the art. It was really nice, and a warm day.

6. My mate’s birthday: The day before she turned 33 we went out to this great sushie restaurant where she had some quail eggs and a lot of other stuff that she really loved. I hate teriyaki chicken, which was really good. Then the next day we went to the Tower Theater where they showed indie films, to see “Swiss Army man” which was a really interesting movie. We had a brew afterward. A nice summer hot day.

5. Seeing Family: Though being at my mom’s memorial service was rather sad, I enjoyed seeing a lot of family that I had not seen in many years. I was very touched to see my cousin Jenny out, and my cousin Sara.  I got to see my aunt, and meet my sister’s boyfriend. It was nice being able to socialize with them and see how everyone was. I miss my family often, and this was a good opportunity to see them.

4. Brandi Carlile at Deer Valley: We went to Park City, UT to see Brandi Carlile perform in Deer Valley resort, where, in the winter is a bustling favorite for skiiers. She put on an amazing show as per the usual, having her daughter brought out on stage by her wife, and then having a 9 year old come up and sing along with her. We had a tailgate before the show, with some great food and drink – especially the watermelon rum slushie that my mate made. It was so good I drank all mine down before she had a chance to pour her own.

3. While visiting my mate’s parents this summer, we went kayaking. Her mother had survived cancer and as a present, she got kayaks. We went up to a lake up in the Tahoe area (I did not realize how many lakes are up there!) and took turns in the kayak. It was a nice warm day and I really enjoyed being out on the water with the light breeze lapping at the water while I glided and paddled around. it was serene and enjoyable. I really like kayaking and go whenever I get a chance.

2. The Rodeo: The Days of ’49 Rodeo was in town at the Energy Solutions Arena (Now called Vivint Arena) and we had gotten tickets. It was amazong, and we immediately purchased tickets for the 2nd day. We got to meet a lot of the riders and get autographs. The winner of the barrel racing contest was a 10 year old girl – she was amazing. We had a conversation and picture with the reigning champion the day before. It was a lot of fun.

  1. And the best moment of the year – The spa massage and fun in Park City for my Birthday: My mate treated me to a lovely massage which I enjoyed. I had not ever had a professional massage before so it was pretty cool. We walked around park city and had dinner at High West which is always a good place.

So you see, 2016 had it’s good moments. I would not say that it was the best year I had ever experienced – it in fact may have been the worst. But there are always good moments and bright sides to every storm. And these were the best 10 of them. I’d like to end it on this lovely note, but I have one more blog entry to write. The worst moments of 2016. I had debated to even write it, because I think in my previous blog I explained why I hated 2016, but this will put it into better perspective.