Harry Styles long awaited self-titled solo album was released last week. I waited to listen until Saturday morning (after loving the new radio hit “Sign of the Times”) and I CANNOT STOP LISTENING. The whole album is so dang good. Don’t brush it off as a teeny bopper album, or you’ll be missing out. One of my favorite tracks on the album (too hard to choose – addicted to “Meet Me In the Hallway” “Sweet Creature” “Ever Since New York” “Two Ghosts” – okay all of them, I guess) is “From the Dining Table.” I think one of the endearing things about this album is that the lyrics are so relatable. Don’t hate me for this comparison, but the fist thing that came to mind was AM by the Arctic Monkeys. The songs are so emotional and heartfelt, but there are also songs you can move to, and they’re perfect for jamming out in the car. OK, honestly, they’re perfect for everything because I also listened while I was running this morning. “From the Dining Table” is the last track on the album, the imagery is so vivid, but also the longing is palpable. His vocals are smooth, and the music is original. This guy is talented, and hopefully his true artistry is recognized.
So more about what Extraordinary Means is actually about. Seventeen year old Lane has been sent to special school, kind of like a boarding school, kind of like a summer camp – except here there is one link that bonds all the students together, and it’s not s’mores and kumbaya. All the kids at Latham have TB, albeit different strains so different levels of the way this diagnosis takes its toll on their bodies. On their good days the students might seem like normal teenagers, but whether it’s a fitful night of coughing that results in bloody pillowcases, or just the lack of energy and dark circles around their eyes – these kids are no longer able to lead something similar to their pre-TB lives. Away from their family and friends, sports and activities with no cure in sight their futures are uncertain.
Although what they considered “normal” lives are disrupted, and they can’t even continue a regular study path of school work – Lane and his new found friends have found a way to make the most of their time, and add some fun to their days. Who would have thought he’d find a familiar face at Latham? But why does this person seem to be so cold towards him? Even with a rocky start Lane will soon have new relationships develop, friendships evolve, and a spark of romance. The scary thing is no one ever knows how much time they have left – but Lane and his friends are cramming a lot of life in their days. Extraordinary Means is a heartwarming story that’s a reminder of the frailty of life, and the power of friendships in any circumstance in life. Schneider has shown us once again what a gift she has to leave such an impressionable story on the hearts of her readers.
(Image from Goodreads.)
I think it took about half a second for me to become absolutely obsessed with Dierks Bentley’s newest song “Somewhere On a Beach.” I know I’ve been on quite the country kick lately, but there are just so many fun songs out there right now, I can’t help but get sucked in. Dierks draws out all the right words, and it’s hard not to love whatever he’s singing. “Somewhere on a Beach” is a perfect moving on jam. Sure it’s a little um…presumptuous maybe? But it’s just the right amount to make me laugh and not grimace at the ridiculousness. Even though spring just got here, this song definitely makes me feel like summer. After days and days of rain here in Florida, I was driving to work yesterday morning and the sunlight was just bouncing off the asphalt, and this song came on the radio and I smiled because it didn’t feel like Monday at all. It felt like vacation, and possibility, and fun, and youth. (Also, on a another note – this video?! Not what I was expecting at all, but if this is our previous of the album Black coming out in May then I for one am super excited!)
The Neighbourhood’s catchy little song “Sweater Weather” isn’t a very obscure one as the radio tends to play it quite frequently here, but in case this lovely tune hasn’t made its way to your ears yet I wanted to share! I know it’s a little bit…”intense” might be the word for it? But there’s is just something completely alluring about this song to me. I can’t seem to get enough, and I’ve yet to find it possible to be over-played. The song is featured on their album “I Love You” which I also highly recommend checking out.
Maybe it’s because it’s winter, maybe it’s because the chorus is endearing and makes me think of youthfulness, but this is a great song.
‘Cause it’s too cold
For you here and now
So let me hold
Both your hands in the holes of my sweater
You know how some girls have their weddings planned to a T by the time they’re seventeen and they haven’t even started dating yet? I’m kind of the opposite of that, (though I miiight have a Pinterest board aptly named “Wedding Related Stuff For No Reason.”) Anyway, even still because I love music so much when I hear a really sweet song I tend to think “ohh man that’d make for a good first dance song!” Yeah, I can be pretty sappy like that. The first time I heard Blake Shelton’s “Mine Would Be You” (on the new Based On a True Story… album) that’s exactly what I thought. Maybe some of the lines aren’t perfectly suitable for a family gathering, but whatever the sentiment is there. And if I’m perfectly honest, I might indulge in the idea that a piece of me might like to imagine that someday when I hear these lyrics, I’ll have one person in mind and hopefully they’re sitting on the other side of the car from me but not yet – for now, I’ll just enjoy the sweet simplicity and belt it out like I know what that’s like.
“What’s your double dare, your go all in?
The craziest thing you ever did?
Plain as your name in this tattoo
Look on my arm, mine would be you
Mine would be you
Sun keeps shining, back road flying
Singing like crazy fools
Making up our own words
Laughing ’til it hurts
Baby, if I had to choose
My best day ever
My finest hour, my wildest dream come true
Mine would be you?”
I’ll admit I got pretty excited on the drive-in to work this morning when I realized it’s Tuesday and I could share this as my “Turn It Up Tuesday” post for the week. I hope everyone had an absolutely wonderful Memorial Day Weekend, safe & fun times had by all – I know I did! So if you don’t know it yet, I’m telling you – you should. Listen here: