First Album Fridays: Jonny Zywiciel’s Album “Onward & Upward” Incredible Music!

It’s finally here! Jonny Zywiciel’s debut album Onwards & Upwards is available. I was looking to hearing this album. It’s epic! Beautiful melodies, smooth music, and a voice that is versatile. Love this album!

There are 8 incredible songs on this album. This album is pop with a twist of various other genres such as jazz & funk. There are three other songs I haven’t heard until this album: Take You Out, Wait and Boomerang. I really enjoyed discovering these songs for the first time. His voice is so smooth and in tune with the music. I love the rhythm. His voice is also reassuring ,especially when he sings the song Time to Heal.  There is poetry in his lyrics that seems to stand out among artists of today.

Some versions of songs like Magnets, Everything, Time to Heal and Faith are different from the singles release in the last 2 years. The first releases and the new ones are equally amazing.

      Magnets and Everything have a faster tempo to the beat in comparison to when they were released as singles in 2014. The meaning of this songs is still the same. In the first versions of those two songs, you really hear the guitar in the background.  
    The song Faith in the album has a more jazz twist that differs from the version released as a single. The first version had a pop beat to it.  

    The song Melodies and Memories in the album is slightly different from the single in terms of the beat. The music is more present. This version, the song is longer, giving listeners time to appreciate the song even more.

Time to Heal in the album is the same as the version, which was released over the summer. It’s the most significant song because it covers the issue of addiction in a respectful way.

The song Time to Heal is a song that talks about those struggling with addiction in a delicate manner. A subject matter that needs to be discussed in order to raise awareness. It was admirable when I heard that proceeds in buying the song on iTunes was going to the Amy Winehouse Foundation. This is a way to erase the stigma of discussing the topic of addiction.  

 His other songs have a more romantic feel to them, with a twist.  He talks about the joy and of being in love, but he also describes the confusion and fear that one feels in this regard. Take You Out is a song where the guy is not afraid to express how he feels. He sounds assertive without being overbearing. Boomerang is jazzy and smooth. I love how soft his voice is. His voice has a nice variety of tempos that gives the song an interesting depth. The music towards the end of the songs reminds of music from the Bee Gees and Wham.

This is a fantastic start to his career. Although he has only eight songs on the album, they are well chosen. Onward & Upward is definitely an example of “quality over quantity”

My favourite songs of this album are: Magnets, Faith, Time to Heal, and Boomerang.


Michal Bublé “Nobody but Me”

Country: Canada
Genre(s):Traditional pop easy listening jazz pop rock vocal jazz cabaret show tunes swing big band blue-eyed soul
Experience: 1996-present

Michael Bublé’s latest album is fantastic! With recent news about Michael Bublé’s son being diagnosed with cancer, I’d like to dedicate this review to him and his family.

Nobody But Me is an upbeat album with music that sounds like Pop music from the 50’s and 60’s. Vocal jazz music is also very present in this album.  One song however, is more contemporary pop which is entitle Someday featuring Meghan Trainor. It’s a song full of cheer and romance. Their voices compliment each very well.

  The most impressive song of this album is On an Evening in Rome, a remake of a  song performed by the late Dean Martin where he sings in Italian. It reminds of the music of the romantic city of Rome, especially in the movies from 60’s . There are also other songs that also remind of Dean Martin: The Very Thought of You, I Wanna be Around, and My Baby Just Cares for Me and God Only Knows. The reminds of songs performed by Dean Martin such as That’s Amore, You’re Nobody till Somebody Loves, and  How Do You Speak to an Angel?. He combines pop with vocal jazz very nicely.  The songs that have the best beat for dancing are My Kind of Girl and Today is Yesterday’s Tomorrow. Michael Buble is fantastic  in this album. The beat of the trombone and tuba is incredible and feels as though I were in a jazz festival.

Bublé’s voice is incredible, smooth and distinct from other artists.Listening to him brings joy to  my ears. Great consistency in his singing. He always knows how to carry a tune, as well as switch from one music genre to another throughout the album. He alternates between swing, smooth, and pop very smoothly.

Favourite songs are Nobody But Me, The Very Thought of You, My Kind of Girl, Someday (featuring Meghan Trainor) and On an Evening in Rome

Ulytau- An Unexpected Mix of Music Genres

Country: Kazakhstan
Musical genre(s): Folk Metal; Neo-Classical Metal
Years of experience: 2001-present

Members: Erjan Alimbetov – Dombra;
Maxim Kichigin – Guitar;
Alua Makanova – Violin;

Session musiciansRoman Adonin – Keyboards;
Oleg Tarnovskiy – Guitar;
Serik Sansyzbayev – Bass;
Rafael Arslanov – Drums;

Brief Bio.: The band was formed in 2001 by producer Kydyrali Bolmanov. The music is a mix of Western and Eastern, more specifically Kazakh styles of music combined with Classical music from composers like  Kurmangazy Sagyrbayuly, Antonio Vivaldi, Niccolò Paganini and Johann Sebastian Bach. Ulytau means “Great Mountains” in Kazakh, according to many sources. The band is faithful to Kazakh heritage (i.e. use of the instrument dombra, a national and traditional two-string instrument) while using contemporary styles.

The mix of classic with heavy metal music is not a musical I would have imagined; until now!

I really enjoy the modern twist to the classical music. The music reminds of scores in video games and in some cases, period-set movies. The classic music compliments the heavy metal music nicely, without taking away its essence. What’s most spectacular are their concert performances, which I saw on youtube. I heard music from the early videos, as well as their recent material. It has improved over the years. I would love to see them perform at places such as Place Des Arts and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.



Original publish date: June 25, 2015


First 2015 Discovery : Bastian Baker & Tomorrow May Not Be Better

Original date: June 1st 2015

Country: Switzerland

Musical genre(s): pop/rock/ R&B

Brief Bio.: Bastian Baker wrote his first songs at the age of fifteen. He got discovered by Patrick Delarive who helped him release the single “Lucky” in 2011. This single was the first step to a successful music career. In April of the same year, his encounter with the late Claude Nobs invited to the stage a few months after seeing his performance at a bar in Zermatt. After that moment, Bastian Baker gained recognition over time, starting with his home country and France.

He won 3 Swiss Music Awards, including the New Swiss Act in 2012.

He also has a second album entitled Too Old to Die Young, which came out in Europe in 2013. This album is not available in North America yet. ( I shall post about it as soon as it becomes available 😉 )

He’s recently become known in North America, particularly in Canada.  The Canadian version of the album “Tomorrow May Not Be Better” came out February 17 2015. Held a concert February 20 for Montréal en Lumière.


The album “Tomorrow May Not Be Better” is an amazing album. My favourite song in that album is I’d Sing for You, since it’s the first song I heard him perform.  His voice is smooth and incredible. Some of his songs may sound pessimistic, such as the songs “Colorful Hospital” and “Tomorrow May Not Be Better”, the album’s eponym.  He mentioned it in an interview that  he was 17, and that he had doubts and insecurities when he’d written the songs for this album, The acoustic performance of the same song really demonstrates the depth and richness of his voice. I could relate to a couple of the songs myself, such as I Still Don’t Realize and Lucky. The live acoustic performance of “Tomorrow May Not Be Better” really demonstrates the depth and richness of his voice. In my opinion, the album has a 90s feel to it, which reminds me of the really good music I enjoyed of that decade.


The first time I heard about was on Salut Bonjour! on February 18, 2015.  His acoustic performance of I’d Sing for You was very impressive  Two days later, I saw him on another morning show Breakfast Television Montreal in an interview conducted by Alexandre Despatie.  From that point on, I became more curious and I went to his Youtube channel to hear many of his songs. In no time, I became a fan. Not too long afterwards I bought the CD.



Ariane Brunet’s Latest Album “Stella”

Country: Canada
Genre(s):Francophone Music, Pop, Jazz ( some)
Date of release: April 1, 2016

Ariane Brunet released her third album “Stella”. The mix of pop and jazz is well done. It’s not an easy combination.  It’s complimentary to the album “Fusée”, which came out in 2013. Her voice is beautiful and smooth, it goes beyond expectations. She pushes the envelope with her voice. Incredible!   

The music on the album is slow and reminds of lounge music. It’s an album one listens to at the end of a long day. There’s a jazz-like beat to most of the songs on this album. The music is amazing. The sound of drums is an interesting twist. Sometimes her voice is the music! That’s impressive. The song where that happen is “Si je reviens”. The lyrics take centre stage over the music. I noticed an electric beat that gives the song an interesting touch to it. This album’s songs have many music genres, yet they compliment each other and flow at a perfect rhythm.

“Y croire” has a bohemian/folk  sound to it, which is not something I’ve heard before in Ariane Brunet’s music. It’s an optimistic song that gives a sense of hope.

Lumiere has a nice dance beat that’s similar to the disco of the 70’s mixed with contemporary music. It’s also very romantic and fun.  Ta Parade also has jazz beat that also gets people dancing. These are main songs that have a dance beat to them.  Her other romantic songs are  “Fais-moi tourner encore”, “Nos chapeaux”, and “Avant”. “Temoin” tells a sweet story  a couple looking back at their relationship.  “Nos Chapeaux” is descriptive and tells a lovely story of a happy couple.

“Tu joues” and “Perdre goût” are songs related to heartbreak. In both songs, she expresses how she feels fed up and is ready to walk away from a bad relationship, which takes courage. “Ciel” is a sad story about a young woman who’s feeling heartbreak. It’s deep and beautifully written. Her sad songs are very touching  

My favourite songs in the album are: “Fais-moi tourner encore”, “Y Croire”, and “Nos Chapeaux”, “Lumiere”, “Ta parade”