<![CDATA[Stretch your budget AND live better! - Music Reviews]]>Sun, 07 Feb 2016 14:34:58 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Review for Venus by Joy Williams]]>Mon, 15 Jun 2015 21:29:16 GMThttp://stretchyourbudgetandlivebetter.weebly.com/music-reviews/review-for-venus-by-joy-williams

You can buy Venus on Itunes

Or Amazon, if you prefer. 

I am elated about getting to review this album. Joy Williams, as you might know, was one-half of The Civil Wars. I was and still am a sincere fan of The Civil Wars and have had the privilege of hearing this songbird live a few years ago. Her vocals are as impressive as always and they remain just the right amount of haunting. Venus, as an album, is different from what I expected. It is unique to Joy's standalone career and I love it. It isn't better or less good than her work in the duet; it is a different animal altogether. This album is matured and strong in a new way. 

The album begins with a song titled 'Before I Sleep' in a sobering momentum. It is one of my personal favorites on the album because it embodies that feeling you get on a journey that isn't pleasurable, but you still have to take. It could be taken literally if you need a good driving song, but it's likely figurative and it carries a lot of emotional punch as such.

The third track, 'Woman (Oh Mama)' is powerful and creates this incredible intensity for a folk song. It has a wild authenticity that I think you guys will love. (The video for this song is below.)

Prepare to feel heartache in a beautiful way when 'What a Good Woman Does' comes on. I cried the first time it played. Joy Williams is no doubt talented, but this is a new level of bearing her heart. It's stunning and saddening all at once. 

'The Dying Kind' is probably the song I would recommend to a fan of  The Civil Wars that wasn't ready to let go of the slow-drawn sound they had. She maintains her own voice, but there are elements of her previous career in this track. I naturally gravitate to it, myself. 

Those are just a few of my favorite songs on Venus. It's a great album. I definitely think it's worth giving a listen and buying if you like it!

Check out the links below to follow Joy Williams!


I participated in the Joy WIlliams Venus album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided an album to review but all opinions are my own.
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<![CDATA[Review for Holiday Wishes by Idina Menzel]]>Thu, 04 Dec 2014 01:25:08 GMThttp://stretchyourbudgetandlivebetter.weebly.com/music-reviews/review-for-holiday-wishes-by-idina-menzel

Order your copy of this holiday gem on Itunes!

Or you can get it on Amazon.


Idina Menzel has placed her mark on some great music for years and after she voiced Elsa in Frozen she's been really hitting the charts. Her vocals soar through any performance and I truly love her in so many productions. I love that Holiday Wishes, her new holiday album, is perfect for so many people on my shopping list this year too! I feel that the timeless tracklist on Holiday Wishes applies to lots of music lovers.

In "Baby, It's Cold Outside", Idina duets with Michael Bublé. It is beyond charming! I've always loved that classic song and it is done justice with the lively and cute way they deliver the lines we all know and love.

I was so excited to see that she included her rendition of "River" by Joni Mitchell. I am a big fan of that song. It's so beautiful and Idina Menzel's vocals compliment it perfectly.

If you want to enjoy your favorite songs from the winter holiday season with a voice your whole family will love- you should pick up this album! 
I participated in the Idina Menzel Holiday Wishes album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided an album to review but all opinions are my own.
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<![CDATA[Review for The London Sessions by Mary J. Blige]]>Tue, 02 Dec 2014 16:31:02 GMThttp://stretchyourbudgetandlivebetter.weebly.com/music-reviews/review-for-the-london-sessions-by-mary-j-blige
Mary J. Blige has one of the most iconic and soulful voices that I know. The London Sessions, her latest album, is one of my favorite albums to come from her. It is raw and gorgeous with full sound and it is laced with the wonderful influences of several musical mavericks that put their mark on this powerful album. 

The first song, Therapy, is incredible. It sets this tone of getting better for yourself. It's empowering and has the inner strength Mary always brings. 

Doubt is the song on my heart. It's moving and the lyrics are so uplifting. The lyric "I made it to the end." always makes me feel like I've been taken to church. If you only buy one song from this crazy good album, make it Doubt. 

Not Loving You begins in a vulnerable way. It was intimate, gentle, and something I had not expected. If you ever had a loved one not love themself enough, you might relate to this track.

When You're Gone is beautiful. Mary delivers her lyrics delicately in each line of a disappearing relationship. It's hypnotizing.

There are several dance tracks on this album that I really loved, as well. I also think it ends wonderfully with the softer sound of Worth My Time. 

If you love soulful singers at their prime you will love this album.

Buy your copy on Itunes!

Or buy on Amazon!

I participated in the Mary J Blige The London Sessions album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided a free album to review but all opinions are my own.  
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<![CDATA[Review for Melody Road by Neil Diamond]]>Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:50:41 GMThttp://stretchyourbudgetandlivebetter.weebly.com/music-reviews/review-for-melody-road-by-neil-diamond

Order the album on Itunes!

Or you can order on Amazon!


Neil Diamond is classic. I love following an artists career and I'm not sure I know of many singer-songwriters more prolific, so it is nice to see quality songs still coming from him. Melody Road has some new touches on his signature sound that you should check out.

Melody Road sounds like casual, swaying-in-a-sundress Americana. It's really cohesive as an album. 

I think my favorite track on the album is "The Art of Love." It's softer than the other songs and has a lovely tenderness. 

"Melody Road (Reprise)" is the last song of the album and it ends it so well. It is as if you are in an intimate coffeehouse enjoying a small setting concert. 

If you enjoyed Neil Diamond in the past, you'll be happy to know that he hasn't lost that natural song-writing ability that we all love. Give it a listen!
I participated in the Neil Diamond Melody Road album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided a free album to review but all opinions are my own.
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<![CDATA[Review for Heart On My Sleeve by Mary Lambert]]>Thu, 16 Oct 2014 21:39:33 GMThttp://stretchyourbudgetandlivebetter.weebly.com/music-reviews/review-for-heart-on-my-sleeve-by-mary-lambert

Get it NOW on iTunes or Amazon!

I am enamored with this album. There is a delicate honesty to Mary Lambert's music that is on a level separate from the rest of the artists on the charts right now. There is so much to love in these songs. 

"Secrets", the first song on the album, is this incredibly cute celebration of individuality and transparency. It's an anthem that you should be prepared to find yourself singing in the shower, the car, etc. I have always wanted more pop songs to encourage loving yourself, so this is a song I am beyond glad is out there!

"So Far Away" is the second song on the album and by far my favorite song on the album and also my favorite song on my mp3 player right now. The drums on this song are dynamic and Mary's voice is flawless. If you only buy one song, this is my recommendation. You will not be disappointed.

I was excited to see that Angel Haze, a very talented rapper, is featured on the track "Rib Cage." Her style is very well suited to pair with Mary. Fans of Angel should definitely check it out. 

Mary Lambert has a background in spoken word poetry and the track "Dear One" is so beautiful. It fits perfectly in this album.

If you love the classic song "Jessie's Girl", like me, you'll probably love that Mary does a sweet, simple, acoustic cover of it on Heart On My Sleeve.

I could literally rave about every single song because this album is everything I could ask it to be. The songs are all so meaningful. You should absolutely get a copy. Buy one for your friends, too. Music this good should be shared.

Watch the video for Secrets below!

I participated in the Mary Lambert Heart On My Sleeve album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided a free album to review but all opinions are my own. 
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<![CDATA[Review for Bulletproof Picasso by Train]]>Thu, 04 Sep 2014 21:57:47 GMThttp://stretchyourbudgetandlivebetter.weebly.com/music-reviews/review-for-bulletproof-picasso-by-train

Be sure to check out Train's live performance on the QVC channel on Friday, September 5th at 5pm ET!


Buy it on Itunes or Amazon.


If you have a radio, you know Train. Their music is Grammy winning and they keep putting out such strong hits that have proved they have staying power. Bulletproof Picasso is no exception. I really loved listening to my digital copy and will have some of these songs on repeat for weeks.

This is such a charming album. It's effortless and genuine. You get a lot of the energy in some songs, but others are so authentic and reminiscent of the songs that made me love Train the first time I heard "Drops of Jupiter".  "Don't Grow Up So Fast" is quite possibly one of the most beautiful songs released by anyone yet this year. It's soft and unexpected. 

Other songs will have you rocking out on the way to work, in the shower, everywhere. You just know some of them will be part of your life. I forsee some radio requests.

"Angel in Blue Jeans" has an awesome video. It stars Danny Trejo (one of my favorite actors). It has begun to climb charts and it has a big place in my heart already. 

The title track is probably my favorite. It makes me want to dance. If you buy only one song, I recommend this be it. 

This is one album you should pick up. You won't regret it. 

I participated in the Train Bulletproof Picasso album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided a free album to review but all opinions are my own.
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