Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to review the Kpop super group that is quickly taking over the charts both domestically in the U.S and around the world. If you haven’t heard of SuperM then prepare to have your mind blown by this group of exceptionally talented vocalists, rappers, and dancers. SuperM is the brainchild of Kpop superpower SM Entertainment (home of legendary Korean pop acts such as: BoA, Super Junior, Girls Generation, SHINee, EXO, and many more artists who have broken music records and barriers time and time again), and legendary U.S. music label Capitol Music Group (which has served as home of hit making acts such as The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Katy Perry, The Beach Boys, Jennifer Lopez, Snoop Dogg, Coldplay, and many more). Through a joint project, these two music industry giants brought together 7 exceptional artists from across SM’s vast network of talent to create a group that is able to utilize all the training that Kpop artists are known to go through and thus combines the best aspects of the individual groups that make up this super group. They are so talented and I’m so happy that I found these custom band pins that I can’t stop using. Now that you know the game, let’s meet the players. Ready? Ok, let’s go!
In order of seniority, SuperM is comprised of: Taemin from the group SHINee, Baekhyun & Kai from the group EXO, Taeyong & Mark from NCT127, and Ten & Lucas from WayV. For those of you who are not already familiar with these very accomplished artists please allow me to give you a crash course. Taemin, Baekyun, & Ten serve as the group’s vocalists (although Ten also raps when needed), Kai, Taeyong, Mark, & Lucas are the group’s rappers, and as is expected in Kpop, all 7 artists dance with unbelievable precision and skill. You really have to hear these incredible artists to fully grasp just how spectacular their talent is but let me tell you that once you hear a Kpop vocalist or rapper you will truly understand why they spend 3, 5, sometimes even 9 + years practicing 10 + hours a day. It’s definitely a grueling system but the results speak for themselves when you hear the incredible notes these artists hit with ease, the singing range they all have, and the impeccable flow that their rapping has which seems to come out of them as naturally as breathing. I was fortunate enough to see SuperM at their 1st stop in Fort Worth, TX as they embark on their first tour across the U.S. & Canada (with possibly more dates to be added in countries later next year). So now let’s discuss the tour itself.
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Had so much fun Jopping last night with @superm! The performances were mind blowing so in conclusion we stan harder than ever before! @superm @lm_____ltm @tenlee_1001 @lucas_xx444 @zkdlin @baekhyunee_exo #Superm #superminfortworth #lucas #ten #taemin #baekhyun #kai #mark #taeyong #kpop #rap #music #fancam #exo #shinee #nctu #wayv #jopping
As I waited for the concert to begin the whole venue had a level of electricity and anticipation running through it like nothing I had ever seen. Kpop fans are known for their deep rooted love of their favorite artists, but this felt special. Although this group is new they are far from rookies in the industry. SHINee had their debut in 2008, EXO in 2012, NCT 127 in 2016, & WayV earlier this year in 2019 (although both Lucas & Ten had been previously featured on NCT U songs in 2017, which is another subunit group under the NCT umbrella just like NCT 127 and WayV are). Why is this important you ask? Well because not only do these groups bring along years of experience with them but also loyal fans that spread across the various groups. It was truly mind blowing and beautiful to see numerous fans with multiple lightsticks (a special light with a design unique to each group that fans use to wave during a Kpop concert that often changes light pattern via Bluetooth depending on the song playing) from each of the individual groups that make up SuperM as well as the SuperM lightstick. The group performed all the songs from their debut self-titled mini album including the uniquely powerful ‘I Can’t Stand The Rain’, the hip-hop fueled bop ‘Super Car’, the Hip Hop/R&B infused track ‘No Manners’ (which utilized a bonus stage with some of the best dancing of the night), & of course their title track the fun and powerful song ‘Jopping’ which immediately got the crowd screaming and singing along. Each of the members also performed solo songs which utilized their unique talents: Taemin’s solos ‘Danger’ & ‘Goodbye’ took advantage of his smooth R&B vocals, Baekyun’s solos ‘Betcha’ & ‘UN Village’ showed off his incredible vocal range, Kai’s solo ‘Confession’ utilized his unmatched showmanship and connection to his fans, Taeyong’s solo ‘GTA’ was the perfect marriage of his standout stage presence and natural rapping skills, Ten’s solos ‘Dream In A Dream’ and ‘New Heroes’ proved he not only brings an immense amount of vocal talent to the group but also a gift of dance that few artists ever obtain, Lucas’ solo (which is currently unreleased so we don’t know the official name of it) really showed off his fun personality that fans have been able to quickly and intensely connect to, and lastly Mark the group’s maknae (a term in Kpop for the youngest member of a group) truly proved why he won awards as the hardest working trainee during the years he trained under SM Entertainment with his unmatched skills as a rapper, dancer, and showman during his solo ‘Talk About’. Overall the night was full of dancing, bonding between new and older kpop fans, and a true appreciation of how 7 young men originally from 4 different countries (South Korea, Canada, China, & Thailand) were able to make this a truly special night by sharing their unmatched gifts with their fans. If you’ve never seen a Kpop concert first hand then I highly suggest SuperM or any of the groups that make up SuperM because believe me you have no idea just how talented a group of artists can be until you’ve seen the unmeasurable talent that lies within Kpop.
Keep up with everything SuperM is doing:
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we’re going to discuss an AMAZING former Kpop (Korean Pop) Idol who is currently running one of the best YouTube channels on the site. If you love hearing phenomenal covers of some of your fav songs then you need to check out Kevin Woo! So now let’s get to the videos. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
The 1st video that we’re going to discuss is Kevin’s cover of ‘Fools’ by Troye Sivan, which was uploaded on November 28th, 2017. If you don’t know of Kevin’s work with his former idol groups, XING or U-KISS, then this cover is an excellent introduction to Kevin’s incredible vocal talent. Also the pink filter on the video gives it a very cool effect that you will not be able to keep your eyes off of. The next video that we’re going to discuss is Kevin’s cover of ‘Rewrite The Stars’ from ‘The Greatest Showman’ soundtrack, which features fellow Kpop Idol Park Ji-min, & was uploaded on March 16, 2018. If you are a Kpop fan, this video adds the extra bonus of showing Kevin & Ji-min reunited on screen for one of the 1st times since their time co-hosting the popular South Korean tv program ‘After School Club’. Honestly this is such a beautiful cover! Their vocals out of this world amazing & their ability to emotionally connect to the song will keep you frozen in awe from the 1st to the last note. I honestly could sit here & write an entire essay about how amazing this cover is, but instantly I’ll let you hear for yourself (the link will be below). I will say that I really really really hope that they realize more covers or an original song together soon!
Next up we’re going to talk about Kevin’s cover of ‘Last Christmas’ by ‘WHAM!’, which was uploaded on December 4th, 2018. This is such a fun, entertaining video that once again shows just what an amazing vocalist Kevin is. In this cover he is able to demonstrate his great vocal control, while not stripping the song of the heart that has made it a Christmas classic. Also the video is beautifully shot, which shows just how much work Kevin puts into his videos in order to provide his fans with a high quality cover. The last video that we’re going to discuss is an original song by Kevin called ‘Ride Along’, which was released on November 24th, 2018 (you can check out the video below). ‘Ride Along’ is a really fun, catchy bop that will have you singing for hours! In this video we not only get to see just how talented of a vocalist Kevin is, but also how equally talented he is as a dancer. This video honestly has everything you could want in a music video. It has interesting camera shots, fun dancing, & of course features a song that will stay stuck in your head all day. So if you haven’t downloaded this song on any of the major digital music platforms, then you need to do that right now, I promise that you won’t regret it!
Keep up with everything Kevin is doing here:
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we’re going to discuss an AMAZING new video that will definitely get you in the Halloween spirit! Now I know that we usually discuss channels, not individual videos, but there is so much to discuss with this video that it needs its’ own blog post. If you haven’t seen the ‘Slashstreet Boys -I’ll Kill You That Way’ video by the channel ‘The Merkins’ then be prepared to have your mind blown! I will throw in a quick disclaimer that there is some profanity in this video that may not be appropriate for all ages so please proceed with caution. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
So you may be asking, “What’s the deal with this video?”. Well if you love The Backstreet Boys and/or famous Halloween villains Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Ghostface, Michael Myers, & Leatherface then this is the video you’ve been waiting your whole life for! In this video the guys do an amazing job of changing the lyrics of ‘I Want It That Way’ by The Backstreet Boys into a really funny Halloween themed version that uses lyrics that relate to each of these character’s individual movies. These lyrics provide the perfect Easter eggs (aka hints for those who don’t speak internet) for horror film fans. Also, even though not all of the actors in the video sing, the guys who provided the vocals for this parody have really good voices. I honestly would love to see covers from these guys because their vocals are just that good!
Lastly, I wanted to discuss the meticulous details that this parody video contains. If you are a Backstreet Boys fan then you remember that epic ‘I Want It That Way’ video. I mean we have the airport scenes, the screaming fan scenes, & of course those famous white outfits. Unforgettable right? Well ‘I’ll Kill You That Way’ does an impeccable job of mimicking these scenes as close as possible. In the parody video we get very similar dance moves (only this time split between a airport & the woods), the screaming fans who love our villains, & of course those famous white outfits. If you’re a Backstreet Boys fan then you’ll definitely appreciate the effort put into this video.
You can keep up with everything The Merkins are doing here:
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we’re going to discuss an AMAZING artist that y’all NEED to check out immediately. Who am I talking about you ask? Excellent question everybody. Today you’re going to learn all about Victoria Skie, an incredible singer/songwriter from New York that you’re about to become completely obsessed with. So now please allow me to explain exactly why Victoria will be your new favorite artist. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
The first video we’re going to talk about is Victoria’s ‘Sorry- Justin Bieber (Cover)’ video, which was uploaded on November 21, 2015. This video is the perfect example of how Victoria can take a song and truly make it her own. This honestly doesn’t even feel like a cover, but more like what this song would’ve sounded like if Victoria was the original artist. The next video we’re going to discuss is her ‘Havana -Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug’ cover video which was uploaded on November 16, 2017 (you can check out this video below). Once again Victoria puts her own unique twist on this cover, which continues to show us how she is growing not only as a vocalist, but as an artist. In this video we get to see how Victoria would handle a more high tempo song which shows her diversity as an artist.
Next up we have the music video for Victoria’s original song ‘Arrow’, which was uploaded on May 8, 2018 (you can check out this video below). This is such a beautiful song y’all! The music video uses black & white tones, as well as beautiful framing to really help you feel the emotional impact of the lyrics of ‘Arrow’. After listening to this song you’ll see that Victoria is not only an exceptionally talented vocalist, but she is also a talented songwriter. So basically she can do it all! The last video we’re going to discuss is Victoria’s ‘Don’t Matter To Me – Drake ft. Michael Jackson’ cover video which was uploaded on July 13, 2018. I was really interested to see how Victoria was going to handle this song, because of the unique mix of both Drake & Michael Jackson’s musical styles in ‘Don’t Matter To Me’. Although we did not hear Victoria rapping in this cover, I thought she did a great job of combining these two songs into a very cool cover. One thing I definitely learned after listening to this cover was just when you think you know what Victoria is capable of, she does something to show her listeners that she is truly an artist who knows no boundaries.
You can keep up with everything Victoria is doing here:
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we’re going to talk about an AMAZING musician that you need in your life. If you’ve never heard of Matt Bloyd then you need to sit down, grab you a snack, & get ready to have your mind blown! Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
The first video we’re going to discuss is Matt’s ‘Have You Ever?- Brandy cover by Matt Bloyd, Mario Jose, and Vincint Cannady’, which was uploaded on April 22nd, 2016. In this video we not only get to see Matt’s phenomenal vocals, but also his amazing ability to perfectly harmonize with anybody. Next up we’re going to check out Matt’s ‘I Have Nothing – Whitney Houston cover’ video, which was uploaded on August 9th, 2016 (you can check out this video below). Honestly every time I listen to this cover I am left speechless. The tone, pitch, & pure musical ability that is shown in this cover is just mind blowing. This is a cover that you just need to hear to believe, so please do yourself the biggest favor ever & listen to it right now.
Now we’re going to talk about Matt’s ‘Too Good at Goodbyes – Sam Smith’ cover which was uploaded on September 9th, 2017. Once again we get to see just how insanely talented of a vocalist Matt is. In this song we really get to see how well Matt can handle an emotionally charged song like this one. He will seriously give you all the feels with this cover, & honestly make you ugly cry for hours. The last video we’re going to talk about is Matt’s ‘Bless the Broken Road’ cover which was uploaded on August 30th, 2018 (you can check out the cover below). Again this is a cover that will leave you completely speechless. Honestly I’ve listen to a lot of cover by a lot of artists over the years & Matt is by far one of the best vocalists I’ve very heard on YouTube. The way he can take a song like this one, make it his own but still keep the emotional depth of the song intact is nothing short of spectacular. Seriously as soon as this guy’s voice hits the radio he will be one of the biggest male artist in the music industry. DO NOT sleep on this guy y’all because he will definitely make music history one day & you’ll want to say you heard about him first.
You can keep up with everything Matt is doing here:
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ I have a new book review for y’all! Today we will be discussing ‘Noteworthy’ by Riley Redgate, which was provided for review by Amulet Books. This book was released on May 2nd, 2017, & I will put a trigger warning about the amount of profanity in this book (because there’s a lot) so if this bothers you this might be one you wanna skip. We have a lot to talk about today so let’s get to the review. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
‘Noteworthy’ is about a high school junior Chinese-American girl named Jordan Sun who goes to a very expensive, very exclusive school called Kensington-Blaine Academy for the Performing Arts. Due to the fact that Jordan has a voice type that is lower than most girls, she has a difficult time booking roles in her school’s productions. When an opportunity to join Kensington’s premier all-male A Capella group the Sharpshooters arises, Jordan decides to masquerade as a boy for a chance to join the group & compete in an upcoming contest the Sharpshooters are in to win the opportunity to travel on a tour with a professional A Capella group called Aural Fixation. Due to the fact that Jordan is a scholarship student & her family is doing worst & worst financially, she feels that if she is able to go in this tour that her parents will finally see that her education at Kensington is worth the high price tag they have to pay for books & travel to & from the school every year. She also feels that her parents don’t support her dream of becoming an entertainer, so she hopes that they will fully support her dream if she wins a spot on this tour.
Ok now let’s dive into the review. I really wanted to like this book. I tried you guys, I really tried to like it, but I just couldn’t. This book had so much going for it: diverse characters, some funny dialogue between the characters that really made you love them, & show choir. I’m all about show choir you guys, I was in show choir for a little while in high school, so believe me when I say that I will always pick up a book that centers around music or musical theater. Unfortunately for this book, the problem was that it’s just so boring! The plot is super slow, Jordan is really annoying at times, & about half way through the book I wanted to drop it (and honestly if this hadn’t had been a review copy I would’ve dropped this book). I kept skimming through the last half of the book because I just wanted it to be over so I could move on to something else. Because of this I have to give this book a 1 smiley face review & will probably never read anything from this author again because her writing style just did not click for me.
Keep up with everything Riley is doing here:
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we’re going to talk about an AMAZING singer that I’m sure you’ve all heard about! If you’ve never heard the out of this world vocal talent of 10 year old Celine Tam, then hold on to your headphones (unless you don’t have headphones right now. You can go grab them I’ll wait. Ready? Cool). Celine has already competed in numerous competitions around the world including: America & Britain’s Got Talent, & has been featured on Steve Harvey’s ‘Little Big Shots’ & ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’, among others. So now let’s get to the awesome music. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
The 1st video we’re going to talk about is Celine’s cover of ‘That’s The Way It Is’ by Celine Dion, which was uploaded on February 10th, 2017 (you can check out the video below). I had to start with this cover because Celine has stated previously that her parent’s named her Celine after the iconic singer (her little sister is named Dion btw, which is the cutest thing ever). What I really love about this cover is not only the incredible vocal talent & control that this young girl has, but also the personality & stage presence you see. This definitely shows the type of entertainer she will grow to be someday. Next up we’re going to discuss is Celine’s duet with fellow child star in the making Jeffrey Li of ‘You Raise Me Up’ Secret Garden (however most people are probably more familiar with the cover version by Josh Groban), which was uploaded on February 1st, 2018. I’m honestly SOOOO excited to talk about this cover because this duo has performed this song for years, and every time I hear it, I’m left speechless.
Next up we have Celine’s cover of ‘A Moment Like This’ by Kelly Clarkson, which was uploaded on June 15th, 2018 (you can check out the video below). This is another phenomenal cover that truly shows what a talent vocalist Celine is. This is a very difficult song for most adults to sing, so it’s truly remarkable what a special talent Celine has. It’s really fun to see Celine cover artists known for having BIG voices, because it shows you the foundation she has to become the next big voice in pop music. Lastly we have Celine’s cover of ‘Havana’ by Camila Cabello, which was uploaded on July 14th, 2018. This is a really fun video to watch because not only do we get to hear Celine sing a snippet of the song (which is an interesting style change for her, & really shows what a versatile vocalist she is), but it also features very cute dancing from her sister Dion. In this video you once again get to see Celine’s bubbly personality shine through, which shows what a likeable performer she is. It’s really fun when you feel like you know your favorite singers on a personal level, so Celine definitely proves in this video that she has an equally big personality to go with AMAZING voice.
Keep up with everything Celine is doing here:
Other YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/karaoketutor
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we have a book review of the first book in a new series called ‘Songs About a Girl’ by Chris Russell. This book was provided for review by Flatiron Books (a division of Macmillan Publishers), and was released on July 28th, 2016. Just so y’all know this will be a spoiler-free review so let’s get to the fun part of this blog, the book! Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
This is a story about a 15 year old girl named Charlie who is given the opportunity to photograph the biggest pop band in the world Fire&Lights. Although Charlie is a quiet, shy girl, she is quickly is pushed into the spotlight after a photo of her with one of the guys from the band is leaked. At 1st Charlie decides to distances herself from the band, but when she finds a connection between their new lead single and poetry in her deceased mother’s old journal she can’t ignore investigating a possible connection. The harder Charlie looks for answers about her own past, the more she experiences the dark side of fame and fandom.
I’m going to start off by saying that the premise of this book was super interesting. We live in a time where reality & gossip shows allow us to feel closer to our favorite stars than even before. Also, with the addition of social media we’re able to join fandoms & feel a community around our admiration. Although ‘Songs About a Girl’ is marketed (rightfully so) as a One Direction fan-fiction, it really does speak to the current celebrity-centric culture we all live in. Although this isn’t a new topic, I really liked the way Chris Russell showed his love for fandoms in this story, but also showed the consequences of what can happen when they cross the line. I also really liked the characters he created. Charlie is a relatable protagonist, her bff Melissa is the fangirl in us all, the guys in the band are interesting and fun to read about, even the “villains” & more minor characters serve their roles well. The problem however, lies in how all of this comes together. In the end this story is a One Direction fan-fiction at its core which can either be a good thing or a not do good thing. If you really like romance & One Direction then you’ll probably love this book, but only if you really really love both of those things. Personally I’m a fan of both but this story just didn’t click with me. The whole time I kept getting distracted by who inspired which character and it took me out of the story too much. The big twist was very predictable (and I’m horrible at predicting this stuff so that tells you a lot), and the love triangle was solved to quickly (I know, I know, a lot of us have asked for this but a little more tension is always nice). Also, the mystery surrounding Charlie’s mom felt unnecessary & ultimately seemed like it could potential get in the way of the romance between her & the guy she chooses at the end of the book. I feel like this book serves a very niche market which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but because of this forces me to give it 2 smiley faces. This is definitely a quick, light summer read that you can try out if it sounds interesting, but because it doesn’t have a very vast market appeal I can’t recommend it for everyone. However if you do read it & love it, then book 2 is already out, and book 3 will be released later this year!
Keep up with everything Chris is doing here:
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we’re going to talk about something a little different. Today, July 19th, is the 7 year anniversary of Rebecca Black’s second single ‘My Moment’ (which followed her viral internet hit ‘Friday’). Why am I talking about this you ask? Well because Rebecca Black honestly has a very interesting story that is a HUGE part of YouTube history as a whole (also we did previously discuss the ‘Rebecca Black Effect’ that was a trend for a little while a few years ago, you can check out that post here: http://celindareyesblog.com/2014/06/youtube-wednesday-the-rebecca-black-effect/). Just like TV or film teen stars, Rebecca spent her entire teen years in the spotlight. Now being a teenager can either be the best or worst time of your life, but it’s definitely harder when your attempt at making your dreams come true get turned into a giant worldwide joke. Honestly I never (and still don’t) understand why everyone gave her such a hard time. However what I’ve always liked about this story is how Rebecca was able to use this ridicule & turn it into a career doing exactly what she wanted to do. So today we’re going to talk about how Rebecca Black’s song ‘My Moment’ actually predicted her future. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
Now as we know it all began when Rebecca’s parents paid Clarence Jey & Patrice Wilson of Ark Music Factory $4,000 to write & produce a song for Rebecca, & record a music video for her. I couldn’t find an exact number in regards to how much money Rebecca has made from ‘Friday’ (although I’m sure we can all guess). What we do know is that this song led to A LOT of opportunities for her. Katy Perry (who was honestly having the best year of her career, at least at the time this post is being written) immediately came to Rebecca’s defense by not only inviting her to perform ‘Friday’ at various upcoming shows she had, but also giving Rebecca a lead role in her ‘T.G.I.F’ music video which premiered in June 2011. Other high profiled celebrities such as: Miley Cyrus, Chris Brown, Simon Cowell, & Lady Gaga also came to Rebecca’s defense, and the song was covered on the 2nd season of the hit Fox show ‘Glee’. Rebecca continued to ride this fame by uploading more original music, as well as beauty/fashion videos on her YouTube channel. Throughout the rest of her teen years, Rebecca hosted the 2011 ‘YouTube Rewind’ as well as the 1st MTV ‘O Music Awards’ Fan Army Party’, has appeared at VidCon (one of the biggest annual YouTube conventions), had her own Go90 (an online streaming site) show called ‘Life After Friday’, as appeared on the reality show ‘The Four’, is an ambassador for anti-bullying campaigns, and so much more!
So now back to your original question, why are we talking about ‘My Moment’? Well although ‘Friday’ is what made Rebecca Black famous, ‘My Moment’ is what showed that she had staying power. Most of us have dealt with some sort of bullying in our lives, but nothing compares to the worldwide ridicule that Rebecca faced. To go through that throughout your teen years & still pursue in a career in the entertainment industry is not only admirable, but also very brave. However, personal strength & determination alone don’t make a successful career. Rebecca could’ve easily become just a forgettable part of internet history, but instead has been able to hold our attention all these years later. If you think about it, there have been other “internet sensations” that have quickly burned out, and now are never mentioned. Even though internet fame can come quickly, it can also disappear even more quickly. In the opening lines of ‘My Moment’, Rebecca says, “Weren’t you the one who said that I would be nothing, well I’m about to prove you wrong”, and it looks like she was right.
Check out Rebecca here:
The first song that we’re going to talk about is Beckah’s cover of Ed Sheeran’s song ‘Shape of You’, which was uploaded on April 20th, 2017 (you can check out the video below). This was the 1st cover of Beckah’s that I ever saw and honestly it hooked me right from the beginning. I love how she took a song about someone finding the love they crave in a person and instead turning into a song about finding love in Jesus. Although Ed’s version is great, I really like how Beckah took a club song and made it an AMAZING worship song. The next song we’re going to talk about is Beckah’s cover of ‘Sorry Not Sorry by Demi Lovato. This is the cover that will really show you just how much control and power Beckah’s voice has. This is definitely not an easy song to cover due to the incredibly high notes and long vocal runs the song has. This song definitely provides a round of vocal gymnastics for most vocalists however Beckah handles this challenge with ease. This is a cover that you will definitely want to blast from your car speakers this year!