Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019, US)

7.7/10 IMDb, 85% Rotten Tomatoes

I really needed something current in my life and I figured – hunky great actors, pretty good director, interesting premises.

My thoughts: This movie could have been awesome. I mean, it had all the pieces needed to be pretty cool. Pitt and DiCaprio were wonderful. But the story – the story was just blah. It has moments that were entertaining but it was not consistent. Pitt and DiCaprio’s characters are bros. They navigate their careers together, or more like, Pitt follows DiCaprio due to an unfortunate incident he has that stalls his own career. It’s 80% a story about them… but it doesn’t go anywhere. Then we add in Margot Robbie. I understand why she’s in the movie, and her one main scene, makes her very like-able. You are rooting for her but if you know anything about her character, it makes her story sad. Then we get to the ending, I’m not going to give it away, but totally way out of left field. It’s awesome, definitely what you would expect out of a Tarantino movie, but as with the whole movie, very inconsistent with everything that has happened previously. I went into this movie really wanting to like it. I haven’t loved any of my movies yet…

My Rating – 3/5

#1 Ariana Grande thank you, next

I finally made it through what People Magazine says is the top 10 albums of 2019. I wish I could say it was a fabulous journey that introduced me to amazing new music that I will treasure forever… Let’s just get to #1.

Initial thought: I’m not a fan of Miss Grande. I feel like when she gets to a certain register in her voice, it just sounds like she is screaming. But the first song had a bit of a 90s hip hop vibe – a little TLC sound to it. So I was optimistic.

Favorite Song: None. I kept waiting, hoping for something good to happen. It didn’t. I didn’t save one song.

Would I listen to the whole album again: Obviously no. I really wanted to like it. I wanted the #1 album to be, at the very least, enjoyable. I was bored. I didn’t like it. So, I guess going through this list I’ve realized something – maybe I’m not a “pop” girl anymore. There was not one rock or alternative album, not even a male driven album. To be able to rank the best albums of the year, you need to look at all genres. I don’t think that was done. If they did, and this was truly the best, then 2019 was a crap year for music. But I don’t believe that.

# 2 Lizzo – Cuz I Love You

First off, I have to point out, there are two editions of this album – the standard and the Super Deluxe edition. If you are going to listen, make sure it’s the super deluxe. I listened to the standard first and was a bit confused because 1. It felt super short and 2. I didn’t love any of the songs.

This is another hard album to review because I had expectations… which leads to….

Initial thought: I didnt get the hype. Everyone eithers LOVES Lizzo or doesnt. So I was expecting some life altering experience. Listening to the standard edition of the album, I was underwhelmed.

Then I went to the Super Deluxe.

Favorite song(s): I did save 3 songs but they were all from the Super Deluxe version. First off – “Boys”. If anyone knows me, this song is right up my alley. Funky groove, sassy… saved. “Truth Hurts”… again, just the right amount of sass. Soon after found out K can rap the whole song. Pretty entertaining. And finally, “Good as Hell”, I feel like the song is a little cliche cause it’s everywhere but yes, I will listen to it when I’m having a good day and feelin myself. Don’t judge.

I will give an honorable mention to “Tempo” because I felt obligated to like something when I listened to the standard version. But I didn’t save it.

Would I listen to the whole album again: Nah. Sorry guys, she’s fun and sassy but nothing groundbreaking for me. I think there has been a lot of talk about Lizzo and the talk got me hyped for something. I’m not sure what. I’m all for her girl power, get ya some, but I needed something more.

#3 Taylor Swift – Lover

#3 on People Magazine’s Top 10 Albums of 2019

Can I just say I’m finding a trend here… maybe writing and producing a full good album is next to impossible.

But it’s Taylor Swift so I wasn’t expecting a miracle.

Initial Thought: The album started off with a fun little beat… but its pretty elementary.

Favorite Song: I have two. I already had “You Need to Calm Down” downloaded. I like it, it’s sassy. I’m sassy. Enough said. But then I forgot about “ME!”. Ok, yes, it’s a little cheesy but I really like Brandon Urie. His voice is amazing and I just love him. Add in a fun little pop ditty and well, I’m dancing in my kitchen.

Would I listen to the whole album again: No. I’ve never really been a TSwift fan. K loved her for a while and honestly, she just annoyed me. I didn’t like her country stuff but I thought it had a sweet vibe and then when she went pop and created fake drama with the Kardashians (none of that was real), I could only roll my eyes. I also really hate when she sings but she kinda talks at the end of a line. What is that? Whatever it is, it annoys me. So, the lesson of this post, if you want to annoy me, play any of Taylor Swifts other songs.

#4 Billie Eilish – When We All Fall Asleep Where Do We Go?

#4 on People Magazine’s Top 10 Albums of 2019

It’s extremely hard to put an initial thought on this album because this is the only album on the list that I have already heard in it’s entirety.

So my initial thought is going to go like this: I remember exactly when I listened to this album. I had bronchitis but I had to drive across town to get my mid year review for work. I figured – might as well listen to something new since I have to take this stupid drive to this stupid review. (That was my actual thought). I don’t remember my initial thought when I first heard it, but the fact that I stuck through it and listened to the whole thing is a good sign. And the fact that I saved the whole album the first time I heard it is an even better sign. Listening to it all again back to back, I got excited. It starts out good and ends even better.

My favorite song: That’s also a super tough question to answer. I have gone through times all of them have been my favorite. So, right now my favorite is either xanny or wish you were gay. Depends on my mood.

Would I listen to this album again: YES! What I love about this album is Billie’s voice along with the lyrics. Where Lana’s album was just boring, this is a perfect combo of fun songs, dark songs, feeling… everything I look for in an album. This is already on my list to buy on vinyl. So, yeah, I love everything about this.

#5 Lana Del Rey – Norman F*****g Rockwell

# 5 of People Magazines Top 10 Albums of 2019

Initial thought: Title does not match, this is relaxing.

Favorite Song: Doin Time. Sublime is amazing and Lana’s rendition is great. I saved it.

Would I listen to the whole album again: The rest of the album is just boring. Lana’s voice is at times beautiful. Other times its overpowered by the instruments, which sound great but makes it hard to understand her lyrics. I just wanted to be done with the album because I was bored. All the songs are slow, and I was tired, so warning – if you are tired and driving, do not listen to this album.

#6 Beyoncé – Homecoming The Live Album

# 6 on the People’s Top ten Albums of 2019

I’ve never been a huge Beyoncé fan. I don’t really know why. I don’t think I have a real reason. Which leads to my initial reaction.

Initial Reaction: This album has 40 tracks. FORTY! A run time of almost 2 hours. 1 hour and 49 minutes in fact. I was a little worried about that. How am I going to listen to Beyonce for 2 hours. Actually, it wasn’t as bad as it sounds.

Favorite Song: I have to give it her, she has a lot of hits… I mean a lot. Of all the songs on the album, there was maybe two I didn’t know. Since this is recording of her performance at Coachella, the songs are shortened and with banter to the crowd. So I didn’t find the need to save a ton of the songs, but I did save two. I already have the original version of “Don’t Hurt Yourself” and it’s one of my favorites. I love it’s dirty beat, and the live version is just as good. So, yep, saved. The second is “Run the World (Girls)”. No, it’s not masterful song writing. But it’s catchy, it makes me want to dance and it makes me feel powerful. Sue me. LOL

Would I listen to the whole album again: Immediately I thought no, but then I changed my mind. I would say its a good album to put on while your trying to get something done. Clean your house, shake your ass, do the laundry, twerk. Let your inner Sasha Fierce out. Nostalgia points for her bringing out Kelly and Michelle and doing a few Destiny’s Child songs.

#7 Marin Morris – GIRL

#7 on People Magazines top 10 albums of the year and our first country album.

Initial thought: She has a nice voice.

Favorite Song: All My Favorite People. I feel bad that it’s my favorite song, because it’s really not her that makes me like the song. Her performance is good but what really sold it for me was the vocals and guitar of the Brothers Osborne. So much so that I will be looking up their other stuff. I’m not a huge fan of country music but the little I like usually fits a certain hardness to it and their voices and guitar had that. But to give Marin a compliment, she changed up her style to compliment them, and I liked it. Did I save the song – sorry, but no.

Would I listen to the whole album again? Not by choice. But if my husband, who likes country were to put it on, I wouldn’t immediately make him change it.

#8 – Ari Lennox – Shea Butter Baby

#8 on People Magazines Top 10 albums of 2019

After hating on Carly Rae Jepsen so hard, I feel like this review is going to be a little lack luster.

Initial thought: Smooth…

Favorite Song: New Apartment. Fun song, reminded me of the first time I lived on my own and the emotions that go along with it. I also found that some of her talking bits between the songs gave me a little chuckle. I particularly liked her story about guys from her past hitting her up. “I was like 7 years old!”

Would I listen to the whole album again: nah. I didn’t save the song I mentioned. I’m not a prude but some of the song content was a little too much for me. I mean, I love Prince and some of his songs were extremely racy. But it was sexy without trying too hard. This was just – eh.

#9 – Carly Rae Jepsen – Dedicated

#9 on People Magazines top ten albums of 2019. With one album I’m seriously thinking People knows absolutely nothing about music.

Initial thought: Huh, this has to get better, right?

Favorite Song: I’m sorry but there is absolutely nothing redeeming about this album. Her voice sounds like she’s trying to sing like a baby in some songs. The #10 album was better than this. How did this album even get on here? Nothing musically is challenging. It’s all just bad cheese ball fluff pop. And I consider myself a pop fan. If that’s what pop is now – nope, nope, nope.

Fun fact: I read she recorded this album after a breakup. No angsty break up songs here though.

Will I listen to the whole album again: if the above isn’t enough evidence, absolutely not.