‘With you in Mind’ by Duvv Album Review

Artist and self-described creator, Duvv, from New York, released her 10 track album ‘With you in Mind’ on August 25th. Duvv’s musical influence of R&B and soul music is recognisable within the album and does not sound repetitive of other albums in these genres. ‘With you in Mind’ begins with a brief intro with Duvv saying “God is love, God is truth, God is hope, I love you Lord” and shifting into a short 1 minute long song, that marks the beginning of the album and is similar to a musical interlude taking place between songs.

The first song of the album, “Waters (Blue Screens) begins with soft piano and then Duvv sings “Maybe In the future water will be dead and blue screens will be the new ocean” which could be interpreted as a commentary on the influence of technology into our lives and how the blue light that comes from our screens could soon replace the amount of time we spend looking at nature and scenery, such as the blue of the ocean. “I stare at the screen then I stare at myself, is it good for my health? like a digital death.” In the second verse she questions “Do you see me swimming, do you see me floating?” This reminded me of the poem ‘Not Waving but Drowning’ by Stevie Smith and the misunderstanding of what is actually happening, as ‘swimming’ and ‘floating’ are different things. The rest of Waters (Blue Screens) has a beautiful melody paired with a soft beat.

“Maybe in the future water will be dead and blue screens will be the new ocean”

Dare to Dream begins with synths and has a faster tempo than anything before it, the positive, uplifting message in the title is reflected throughout the song. “If you want it and you’ve got it then you’ve got it, just know you’re not alone” is repeated in the chorus. It ends suddenly and is replaced by the slower paced track ‘Are you Numb?’ where she questions someone’s intentions, it sounds related to a relationship issue. In a 35 second interlude Duvv’s does a short edited voice over. ‘Cold’ is the first song after this interlude and has a relaxing melody and also asks the same existential questions heard in Waters (Blue Screens) “You’re going far all by yourself, is it in faith?”

“Love me despite my flaws, Love you despite your flaws”

Games has a catchy beat with vocals and harmonies with a relaxing verse and upbeat chorus which goes into depth on a relationship rebuilding “Love me despite my flaws, love you despite your flaws,” the ending of ‘Games’ blends seamlessly with the beginning of ‘For You’ which is a slow tempo song similar to ‘Cold’ and has a relaxing feel as well. ‘Creep’ has a slower beginning, but includes a piano before the chorus that brings the song together well. Lastly, Outside / Inside is a short spoken piece about choices that wraps up the album the way in began.

Links

Link to ‘With you in Mind’ by Duvv album on Spotify

http://open.spotify.com/user/earlbrutus/playlist/0RiouvADJnixDMISdfD5Wc

Duvv’s official website

http://www.iamduvv.com/

Not Waving but Drowning poem by Stevie Smith

https://www.poetryarchive.org/poem/not-waving-drowning

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August Book Haul

We’re now in August and I was recently walking along the high street when I approached a small book shop. I went inside and picked up a few more books that were on sale. This is going to be a small break from my 2017 reading list that I will link below. I will finish Dracula and then begin reading the new books I have bought because they are not as long.

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

This is described on the blurb as an “unconventional ghost story” it was written by an American author, who later acquired British citizenship. He Is a key figure of 19th century literary realism. The book was published in 1898 and is a horror and gothic fiction. It is open to different interpretations.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

This has been on my reading list for a while as I have heard about it for several years and I have seen the film released in 2009 that is based on the book. This is the first book I will have ever read by Oscar Wilde and I am looking forward to reading one of his most popular works. Published in 1890, The picture of Dorian Gray caused outrage in the Victorian era for its portrayal of London life.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I have heard of Harper Lee’s classic novel numerous times and it explores the issues of race and class in the Deep South in the 1930’s. It concerns the prejudice, violence and hypocrisy of a town in Southern America.

The Hobbit by J.R.Tolkien

This is a modern classic and is also the prelude to The Lord of the Rings, the popular fantasy novels. In the blurb it is described as ‘One of the best-loved children’s books of modern times’ and I think it will be similar to Narnia which I really enjoyed. Published in 1937, it is still very popular. I also noticed that there are lots of adaptions for stage, screen, radio and video games.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

This is a modern fantasy novel written in 2011 that was long-listed for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2012. It is a fantasy novel set in Victorian London and is about a fictional circus that only appears at night, and disappears in the daytime. It is slow-moving, but once the story gets underway it could be an interesting read.

 

Links

Ban on reading To Kill a Mockingbird in schools in Virginia

‘To Kill a Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn banned from Virginia schools for racism’

The reading list for 2017

2017 reading list

Dorian Gray film review

Dorian Gray (2009) film review

 

 

Why reading is a good hobby

For a while, when asked what my hobbies were, I would answer “reading” and receive a sarcastic “that’s not a real hobby” while rolling their eyes.

Not only is reading books in your spare time fun, it can have additional benefits such as improving your vocabulary and understanding of grammar. For example, where commas go and how to use semi-colons. Regularly reading non-fiction can be useful because you can learn about different cultures from books.

“There is no friend as loyal as a book” -Ernest Hemmingway

There is also a correlation between reading and improving confidence and self-esteem, improving sleep and reducing loneliness. It is also likely that reading non-fiction exercises the imagination and creativity we naturally have. Statistics carried out by The Reading Agency in the UK reveals that ‘In England, 36% of adults don’t read for pleasure, rising to 44% of young people aged 16 to 24.’

People have argued that reading books is unnecessary because of the creation of films based on books that have been written. However, I have seen many television and film adaptions of books and I noticed that parts of the story is often omitted from the film for lack of time. In addition to this, there can be a lack of character development that the author intended. I never usually believe a movie based on a book is ever better than the actual book, they are usually not as good or on equal footing.

So, Dracula will be the next book review and there will be more book reviews to come.

‘Why is reading good for me?’ -bbc iwonder

‘Ebook sales continue to fall as younger generations drive appetite for print’

Reading Facts

Views from the Harbour

‘afterwards we took a short walk down Poole Harbour’

Arrival

In the past couple of weeks, I had the fortune of joining my mum on a long weekend visit to see her friends who live in Dorset, on the South coast of England. With me slightly unprepared for the lengthy coach journey, we boarded a coach setting off at 9 o’clock in the morning but did not reach Poole until around 5 o’clock in the early evening.

However, when we did it was very worth the while, we were greeted at the coach station by my mother’s friends, who then drove us to their extended Bungalow style home. Upon arrival, we were given a house tour, before unpacking and settling down for dinner. We were also introduced to their two cats Billy and Mila, who were brought from Brazil (and who also refused to sit still for a picture so I have no evidence of them.)

Fun-filled second day

Honestly it escapes me what time we began our journey, possibly around 10 o’clock. This was Saturday morning and we began by exploring Poole beach and the harbour. Unfortunately, we had just begun our walk along the beach when it began to rain, slowly at first and then pouring. So we raced back to the car and waited for the rain to layoff. Then we went on the ferry to take more pictures.

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After spending around ten minutes, we came off the ferry and went to Swanage, a coastal area, to take in the scenery and go for lunch at a local pub. The views of the ocean from the hills at this point were amazing, so we took pictures and videos here and I took a panoramic image of the Sea view from where I was standing. Afterwards we took a short walk down Poole harbour past a row of Yachts that have an estimated cost of over £1 million pounds to take pictures of them. A short while later we went for another walk around the park, which was beautiful with a fountain but had limited floral displays.

Sightseeing

The third day was more complicated, we started off going to Bournemouth beach and then we explored the views of Poole, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Hengistbury Head, from which the Isle of Wight can be seen.

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We visited the beach huts along Hengistbury Head, Bournemouth harbour and Christchurch Priory and its ruins, before returning to the house for a late dinner.

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The final day

It was a much later start to the day and a longer breakfast than usual, we did not leave until around 10:30 and drove through Poole for a while, reflecting on the places we had visited. Then we looked at a final harbour nearby the coach station and stopped to take pictures for a short while, and to reflect on our journey. Unfortunately, we could not go the entire way so we returned back down the hill before leaving for the coach station.