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All good things come to an end…(TA POST #6)

Who would’ve thought I would’ve made it this far? I am truly impressed with myself and this album. I could tell you that the amount of thrill I had before listening to this album was nowhere to be found. After weeks of listening to each track over and over again I got used to it rather than getting tired of it. I found myself slowly appreciating CANT’s unique talents. The guy is a multi-instrumentalists and creates sounds like no other, that’s massive skill! That is probably one of the reasons why I didn’t like it so much in the beginning because he emphasized so much on sound rather than lyrics and I’m so into meaning and quotes that I was a little displeased at what I was listening to. If I could change the album and make it better I would’ve put my lyrics in the songs to give it a clearer meaning to the audience of what CANT was truly trying to say.

The most challenging part of the album was probably being introduced to something I wasn’t familiar with at all. It was hard to get into it at first because CANT is not my kind of music. I feel like I’ve changed and grown a lot in the past couple of weeks during this semester because I took a year off school and decided to come back and finish off my degree. I’m giving it my all this semester and I haven’t given up yet. CANT’s music made me realize that we all have struggles, we all aren’t perfect, we all go through dark emotional times and that’s okay. If things were easy then we wouldn’t appreciate anything.

”That was what I was feeling at the time, and where my head was. I was dealing with some tough stuff. So, the fact that it came out sounding on the dark and dissonant wasn’t something that was surprising to me; but I was trying to make a dark record as much as I was trying to make something that felt like a release. I meant for it to be a kind of cleansing process. A musical exfoliating rub, taking off that old top layer of skin. Just trying to change; deal with things in order to move on; just releasing that negative energy. Listening to, say, Nirvana‘s In Utero or Joy Division, music that’s incredibly dark, they don’t make me feel sad or dark or despondent, they don’t make me feel anything but joy. That sense of release —that exhale— is amazing. Listening to those records helps fix me up.” That’s what CANT said during an interview when asked if he heard the qualities of dark and strange in his album. After reading that I finally realized why his music was so depressing and emotional when I first heard it! I can’t help but want to slap myself for judging so quickly and not giving him a chance. That’s not nice and I’m a nice person!

I think that this album is so original and different from others out there because it doesn’t sound like a pop record and it’s nothing what his fans from his other band would’ve expected. As I was listening to Track 3 ”The Edge”, I began to think that this album is probably out of its time. In today’s society, people like that dance music, upbeat rap and all this weird stuff going on. CANT’s, ”The Edge”, reminds me of something that would be in the background of a Beverly Hills 90210 episode. I truly believe that Dylan McKay would’ve listened to this kind of music. Long live Brenda Walsh and Dylan McKay, that damn Kelly.

Most of my friends and I share the same taste in music. We can go from liking a great country song to a club banger. I recommended the song “Believe” to my best friend Keri. That song really inspired me in more ways than one. My best friend Keri started weight watchers a little after seeing me drop the pounds from just diet and excercise. She listened to the song and gave it a shot. I wasn’t surprised to hear that she liked the song and went to download it on ITUNES! My girl loves new music in her system but don’t we all?

In one of the reviews I read the writer said, ”Dreams Come True? They sound much more like nightmares”. That’s how I felt in the beginning of the semester when I first heard the album. I was scared of this album. I didn’t know how I was going to survive the rest of this blog project. I knew that I was going to develop a soft side for this album and I did. It’s like that moment when it’s time to graduate high school and you have to do that do or die final project in order to graduate with your worst enemy and as time goes on and you start seeing them differently you actually start liking the person and then all of a sudden it’s graduation day and you’re upset because you had very little time with this person that isn’t all that bad. That’s how I feel about this album. As I’m coming to an end of yet another journey, I’m opening myself to a new one. My final thoughts on this album and this artist? Good Job! You made a fan out of me. I don’t know what CANT has in stored for us in the future but I know it’ll blow our minds away. I know this album has.




Album Rating: 5 (CANT made a fan out of me so a 5 was necessary!)


Sources :

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To Believe or Not to Believe? That is the question. (TA POST #5)

Throughout our lives, at least one person has always tried to encourage you to ”believe” in ourselves. To believe in something is a powerful thing. It’s something you feel strongly about. Track 2 on CANT’s Dreams Come True album is called Believe. Personally, I like any type of song that can lift my spirits just a little bit and make me feel better about myself throughout the song. As I listened to this track, I could actually hear and understand the lyrics without looking them up on google. As we know, songs don’t sound very good first time around when you listen to it. After a couple of listens with the lyrics on hand I started to develop a connection with this song.

Believe is a song that has a lot of meaning. It’s motivating, moving and touching because it brings me back to an experience I’ll never forget. Because ‘’Once upon a time I used to be FAT’’. Coming from an Albanian background it’s normal to say that I grew up in a pretty big family, four sisters and one brother. In most cultures, food is a pretty big thing and if you don’t eat then something is wrong with you. I’ve gone so long without caring for my body that I just let myself go. I never thought twice about eating that cheesecake or having an order of two rather than splitting something with a friend.

It was the beginning of the new year, 2011, and I was finally turning 21 that year. After years of dreaming of that day I realized I wasn’t happy with the way I looked. You know that saying that all the pretty girls have that one fat friend? Yeah, that was me. NO JOKE. You may be wondering how a song that has nothing to do with weight loss reminded me of my journey of change. It’s because I developed a connection with the lyrics in the song.

Before Before

I’ve always been known as the chubby goldie locks miss piggy. No one ever wants to date ”the fat girl” especially when all of her friends were as beautiful as a supermodel. I think I’m probably one of the very few that can say at the age of 21 that I’ve never been in a relationship with someone other than myself. I’ve never been on a date and I’ve never had a boyfriend. Maybe I’m just too picky or maybe guys just didn’t really like me. I really think that my weight had a lot to do with it and as I transitioned into a slimmer me I began to notice a change in the way guys acted towards me. I wasn’t ”the girl next door anymore”, or ”the chubby friend”. I was me. I was the new and improved slimmer version of Valona. The girl I feel I’ve always been. In the song Believe, he says ”So we decided that it went wrong It first started when you were gone I’ve been thinking about what you mean to me So I keep trying, I’m dying to know what I’m supposed to do”. I’ve experienced a lot of heartbreak and a lot of rejection when I was a big girl. The word, crush, really meant what it said. I would develop a crush but something would always go ”wrong”, the fact that the feeling was never mutual, and I would do as the lyrics said ”thinking what you mean to me”, okay he’s just a crush but I really like him and I know why he doesn’t like me it’s because I’m FAT! So what am I supposed to do? LOSE WEIGHT, duh!

I didn’t lose weight because of a guy. It may seem that way but I really didn’t. How can I lose weight for a guy that never really existed? No guy ever said to me ”lose weight”. They just never gave me the time of day or felt that mutual connection. I lost weight to make me happier and to improve my image for the better. I lost weight for me but my motivation came from all the crushes I had that had come and gone. My favorite line in this song is “Just tell me how to make it good enough” because that is exactly something I would say! I’m the kind of person that needs guidance. I always need a little bit of ”oomph”. I can only try so much so I love when someone tells me what to do to make it better and I’ll do it! In this case, how to make it good enough is to believe in yourself and do the unthinkable, drop the pounds!



A picture can say a thousand words but I think a song can too. So many emotions and feelings can come out of just one song. I feel like even though CANT wasn’t singing about a weight loss, he was singing about that feeling you get when you know you’re missing something and you can do so much better if you just believe in yourself. That feeling when you just want to say to someone ”You don’t know me! You don’t know what I’ve been through! You wouldn’t believe it!”.  I think he’s singing this to society. Society loves to judge and take things away from us.  We just have to fight back and prove them wrong. It’s a an everyday fight against yourself and the world.

Although the ideal place to listen to this song is probably in the comfort of your own home or on a relaxed walk I decided to listen to it at the gym. Many would find it a little weird because gym music is often loud, dance and upbeat. I’m generally a weird person so listening to this at the gym wouldn’t be so out of the ordinary. I run listening to Taylor Swift’s “Love Story”, come on now!

Just cause...

When you hear the word ”believe” you think of hope and faith. My favorite part of this song happens towards the end and it goes like this ”Things I haven’t shown you, you won’t believe Things I haven’t told you, you won’t believe Things I haven’t told you, you won’t believe Things I haven’t shown you, you won’t (believe) believe”. I can’t stress how much I love that part of the song. I can relate to it because people won’t believe what I can accomplish, what I already accomplished and what I can do! Most people judge a book by a cover and think they know me just by looking at me but they don’t know, they have no idea. They have no idea that it took me five months of dedication to lose up to forty pounds. There’s so much more to me that most people will never know unless I let them in and show them. Some won’t believe me but some will believe in me. This song gave me the idea to never underestimate myself. I enjoyed reliving every moment of that long and hard journey I went through last year. When people would tell me to ”Never give up!” or ”You can do it Valona! Believe in yourself!”. I rated this album a 5 because this made me feel better about myself and made me feel like I’m not alone in my everyday struggles. Whether it’s a weight loss or even a break up. Every song tells a story. Everyone has a story. This song told mine without really telling it.

Album Rating : 5 (I BELIEVE in this album)

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”No one said survive”…BUT I DID! (TA POST #4)

The time has come, FINALLY! A song that made me feel something more than what I’ve been feeling throughout the album. The song “Bericht” is the final track of the album. You ever watched a movie and the screen says ”The End”? This is the perfect song that fits the notion of ”The End”. It’s not my favorite song of the album because it’s the final song (You would think it was because of my other posts but that’s really not the reason) it’s my favorite song because I love how the album went from introducing itself and then closing it with a farewell.

The song is slow and the piano is what soothes my soul. Every night before I go to sleep, I listen to my Pandora (Taylor Swift Station all day everyday!) and the songs that usually come up are slow and steady. They are peaceful and help get me relaxed before bed. I listen to slow music right before bed because I like the feeling I get when I do. I become free and full of imagination. I have scenarios in my mind and make a movie out of the songs I listen to. Call me strange but that’s just me!

When I first saw the title of the song I was a little nervous because I’ve never heard of the word ”Bericht”.  I didn’t know what Bericht meant so I looked it up and found out it is a German word for a report or an account or story. The final product of the album is the ”Bericht”. I like that he was very creative with the title and that he went deeper with the originality of it.

As always, when I listen to a song I have a vision of what I’m listening to and create a picture in my mind. As I listen to this song, I thought of it as the background music for a funeral. I pictured a person’s life that has come to an end. A flashback of series of images full of life, laughter and happiness of this person come rushing to my mind during ”the funeral”. My favorite lyric in the album is probably one that comes from this song that goes ”It’s all come down to this What’s gone now somehow exists No one said survive”. That touched my heart and made me realize that no one ever really survives anything in life. There is only one guarantee in life and unfortunately that one thing is death. ”No one said survive” cause that’s not possible in the long run. Our main goal in life is to make an impact and leave something behind that’ll exist forever, even if we’re gone.

I can listen to this song every night for the rest of my life and it’ll put me right to sleep (IN THE BEST WAY POSSIBLE). I expected a lot from this album regarding the sound and why most of the songs are slow paced and depressing but I learned to appreciate it because of this track and I guess because of that I rated this album a little higher this time around. ”It’s all come down to this” is the perfect way to an the album because it really has all come down to this one last song. It’s the ending of a beautiful journey for CANT. He gave life to his music. He put it together and created the album Dreams Come True. The making of the album is gone but the work is done. The album is complete and it’ll exist forever. If someone told me that they think I wasn’t going to be able to handle CANT I’d tell them ”I’m from Brooklyn I think I can survive”.


Album Rating : 4+ (What?! A girl can change her mind…)

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You’re going to HOLLYWOOD! …NOT. (TA POST #3)

Ever listened to a song and just asked yourself ”Why?”. You just sit there and listen and think ”What is going on with this song?” This is what I asked myself when I listened to the song ”Bang” by CANT. This is track number four and it’s my least favorite song of the album. I don’t think I’ve listened to a song as weird as this one. The song is called bang. The song doesn’t sound anything the way I imagined it would. Bang means a loud noise or a sudden explosion. There was none of that happening during this song. I thought this song was going to be electro and funky with actual ”bangs” throughout the song. Instead it sounds depressing. It’s a slow song and the vocals sound like they’re in slow motion.

I ask myself ”Why would someone like this song?”. I don’t know why. This song does not make sense to me. He starts off saying ”Up against the wall I heard a sound It woke me up”. Okay there goes the reason why the song is called ”Bang”. I get that but what does that have to do with a couple of lyrics after that lyric saying ”It’s a game inside your head and no one wins Where shame and pride alone will coexist”. Okay, how did this song end up on his album? It’s too slow and too depressing for me. I don’t understand what he’s I like sad songs and songs that make you want to cry but this song just make my ears want to go on a vacation. When I listen to this song I think of a really sad person battling a crisis within him or herself.

As the song begins to drag I mean continue, out of nowhere it transitions to a different beat kind of like a ”bang” and gets a little more upbeat. The instrumentals make you feel like you’re in a twilight zone. Then it becomes a bit louder and he says ”Cross your heart, you’ve lost control again Just hold your chest you’re waiting for it to end”. Yeah, I’m waiting for this song to end!What’s the point of this song? I didn’t feel a connection. There was nothing for me to look forward to. I didn’t get a beat stuck in my head or a lyric that I liked.  I bet there are tons of people that think this song is simply gorgeous or a masterpiece but to me it is not. Maybe I have bad ears or maybe this song is just not my cup of tea. As I’m writing about this song, I’m starting to become less of a fan. I’ve listened to it several times and I am not impressed. I’m no Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson or Steve Tyler but if this guy were to perform this song infront of me I’d just say ”Sorry, it’s a NO”. The reason I gave the album a lower rating this time around is quite obvious. I’m not into it. It didn’t have that ”oomph!” in it.

The best kinds of songs are the ones that do not need explanations.  The words and music just melt into your head and you feel the passion that was put into it.  You know exactly how to dance to it, you understand exactly where the lyrics are coming from and most importantly you can likely relate to the song as well.  When you come to the end of a song and find yourself questioning the meaning or the passion behind the track, you will probably discover that you aren’t intrigued.  This sort of response was evoked in me when I listened to ‘Bang’ by Cant.   I found myself with a wide variety of questions that were left unanswered after listening to ‘Bang.’  My original opinion before listening to the song was based off of the title.  What exactly do you imagine when you hear the word Bang?  What comes to mind, in my opinion, is a loud noise, explosion, or maybe just an intense emotion.  However, I felt slightly let down after the song started playing.  The title obviously stems from the lyrics “I heard a loud noise,” however the song does not divulge deeper into the meaning.  ‘Bang’ is not a usual song one would find me listening too.  The lyrics and music were very monotonous, in my opinion, and did not allow me to feel any passion in the music.  I felt myself forgetting, almost instantaneously about the song after it was over.  The music and lyrics were hard to recall, which does not usually prove to be good criticism.  A forgettable song is probably not what most artists will want on their album.  If CANT was going for original though, he nailed it.

As Simon Cowell would say, ”It was bloody dreadful”.

Album Rating : 3 (He’s cute but he ain’t my type anymore!)


Who is CANT? (TA POST #2)

Chris Taylor


There’s a new guy in town that I’m interested in and his name’s Chris Taylor also known as CANT! Not only is he from Brooklyn, NY which is a GREAT thing in my book but he is also a bassist, vocalist, producer and the list goes on! He is the guy that plays every instrument you can name in Grizzly Bear. Martin Luther King Jr. wasn’t the only one that had a dream, Chris Taylor did too! When Chris is not out touring or producing for his band Grizzly Bear he worked on side projects that eventually lead to his own solo album debut as CANT, Dreams Come True, which was released on September 13, 2011. Chris started his own record label called Terrible Records in 2009 and two years later, BAM!, dreams came true! His first solo album was released. Now that I’ve learned a little more about CANT I think I understand the titles and the songs a little bit better. Here comes this brilliant guy that can play a million instruments in a band that has to work as a group and compromise most of the time with ideas and skills that can conquer the music world. Who needs a band when you can create amazing-ness on your own? I actually appreciate him more now because Dreams Come True is all Chris Taylor, aside from some help from George Lewis Jr. of Twin Shadow, it’s all Chris. His thoughts, his ideas, his production skills, his creative songwriting, his construction of funky beats all reside in this album.

In college, Chris majored in Jazz and played Jazz shows for a long time until deciding that that wasn’t the path he wanted to take anymore. He realized he wanted to play music for his peers and for the audience he wanted to connect with. Jazz isn’t the first type of music most people want to hear these days so Jazz wasn’t for him anymore. He wanted to create music his friends liked to listen to. He wanted to make music ”fun” so he switched from Jazz to the audio engineering department since he knew nothing about recording. Eventually after learning all that he needed to he created an album most people would call brilliant and creative. I find myself writing positive feedback as I learn more about CANT. He’s different, who doesn’t like different? Who wants to blend in when we were all born to stand out? Chris Taylor stands out with his sounds and electro pop funky versatility as a songwriter.

“One time he put the microphone at the top of the stairwell and had our amp in the other room and recorded a really distant, hot signal and had a lot of white noise with it,” Droste marveled, to Coke Machine Glow. “There’re a lot of different techniques that he had that I was totally clueless about.”**

His Grizzly Bear band member Ed Droste opened my eyes to what kind of artist Chris is. He is a true artist. He actually creates ways to master a beat and uses different techniques to get that unique sound. Dreams Come True is just that. There’s weird, strange, upbeat, slow songs and etc. A perfect mix for all. There are songs that make you want to cry and songs that make you want to get up and do ten push-ups!

Would I play a couple of the songs on the radio? Maybe one or two. If I were to pick a station it would probably be 95.5 PLJ because I call that station the ”emotional” station. I’d play track 3”The Edge” on 95.5 PLJ because I feel like it would fit perfect in that station I love when he says ”Each time you said you loved me Each time you said you care Each time just say you love me Just love me, just like you said”. I feel like it’s about a girl that he’s no longer with and is trying to remind her that she once loved him and she said it herself. I pictured a guy looking back on the happy times of his relationship and then realizing love isn’t enough.

I don’t know if other stations would play this album. I’ve never heard this song on the radio. I think that because it’s so different it shouldn’t be on the radio. The radio is constantly playing the same songs over and over. Songs that people love to listen to. The songs that they hear at the club,  jam out to in their car, or the artists that are ”IN” right now. My bestfriend’s boyfriend is an amazing guitarist. He is so good that so many people want him in their bands but he won’t join any of them. He plays the guitar because that’s what he loves to do. He loves to play and even though he knows he’s talented and could probably go really far in the music industry with his skills that’s not his dream. He doesn’t want to play music for the money or the fame, he plays it for the fun of it. He doesn’t need one of his songs on the radio. I guess that’s why I think CANT is too good for the radio and why I can’t see myself placing him in any station besides the 95.5 PLJ station for that one song which probably doesn’t even make sense why I put it there now.

As I’m slowly becoming more attatched to this album, I’m seeing a change in the way I look at this album. I’m slowly becoming a fan of CANT. He’s not this crazy emotional guy to me anymore. He’s an artist.

Album Rating : 4+ (I’m starting to develop a crush for the guy…shh!!)


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Album cover

Dear CANT, Who are you? (Before listening to CANT) :

You can tell a lot about a person with their taste in music. For instance, I like music that has to do with love, heartache, romance. Although every song tells a story, I personally like LOVE stories! I’m a hopeless romantic. I have a sweet side for country music which is why I was a little skeptical at my Blog TA album, Dreams Come True by CANT. I’m generally open to all kinds of music whether it’s Rap, R&B, Pop, Country, Rock, etc. I’m also a  girl very into meaning (thanks Christin for pointing that out!) and I don’t know how to attack this album what so ever.  First of all, I have never even heard of this artist until now. I thought to myself, ”How am I going to write about music I probably would NEVER listen to and most likely SKIP if it were to ever come up on Pandora?”. I was at the gym and thought to myself, ”Hey let me listen to ONE song while I’m here just to get a head start and see what I got myself into this semester” so I listened to the song ”Too Late, Too Far” for about 30 seconds and immediately started sweating even more on the treadmill! I felt like I was in over my head and started to freak out as the song went on. I couldn’t even finish the song. I got right off that treadmill due to the anxiety, I’ll tell you that much! My favorite artist is Taylor Swift for crying out loud! I’ll be honest, I’m kind of scared of CANT! I believe I avoid music like CANT because I feel like I won’t get the same feelings or connection I would as if I were listening to a Taylor Swift Song. When I listen to songs, I look for quotes or lyrics that just connect with me. I like the metaphors and all those lines that get stuck in your head that are just so good like ”In case you haven’t heard, you’re just another picture to burn!” (Picture To Burn by Taylor Swift). The cover of the album is unique and interests me the most. Fireworks? Reminds me of that Katy Perry song! Will the album,Dreams Come True, contain anything like the song ”I Kissed A Girl”? We shall see. I’m hoping the music in this album is as electric as the cover. CANT will open my eyes to something different I hope. As I read the titles of the songs on the album, I got some hope that I’ll discover a new favorite love or heartache song. I’m actually really looking forward to hearing track 8 called ”Dreams Come True” because that is the title of the whole album. Everybody has a dream and wants them to come true one day. I wonder what this song will make me feel. Will it make me want to stop whatever I’m doing and make a dream of mine come true?  I have faith in CANT and I am going to welcome this album with open arms this time around and NOT listen to it at the gym but in the comfort of my own home.

Chris Taylor, lead singer

I like you but I CANT be your friend just yet! (After listening to CANT) :

I’m actually really impressed with myself for listening to the whole album without skipping because I really felt that I was going to be one of those people that just couldn’t handle it. CANT is a really different artist and I have never listened to this kind of music in my life. Chris Taylor uses the name CANT as his moniker. I believe Chris is very emotional but I think his voice is perfect for the kind of music he makes. His voice is soft but funky, very different from other artists I listen to. CANT brings a new kind of sound to my ears that emphasizes mostly on the instrumentals and less on the vocals. The cover fits perfect for what’s inside of the album. I feel like Chris Taylor is telling his story from beginning to end about going solo and leaving his band, Grizzly Bears. Throughout the album, there is a lot going on and a lot of hurt that’s being expressed. He is somewhat broken yet strong at the same time and you can tell from his lyrics. From his very first song on the album, Too Late Too Far, you can automatically tell that he is very into instruments and sound. I felt like I was listening to an ”African ritual”, if you will. I could barely understand his vocals. His sound provides a dance vibe but somehow maintaining a relaxed tune. In this track, the first line is ”Feeling fallen like a stone”. He introduces us to what he’s feeling and what the album is going to consist of. Which is a lot of mixed emotions. Chris starts off the album with ”Too Late, Too Far”, a strong ”ritual like” song that had me kind of nodding my head and then ends it with the song “Bericht” that fits perfectly for an ending of this album. Track 10 and Track 1 are so different. It’s a transition from beginning to end. ”Bericht” is like a fare-well to the album. He sings “No one said to survive” and but I did. I survived the album and was left with Chris Taylor’s voice stuck in my head.He has a catchy and unique voice, I’m not going to lie! I was looking forward to listening to track 8 ”Dreams Come True” and I have to say it was probably the one song on the album that I would consider putting on my Ipod. It’s kind of a motivating song. I could totally use it for the gym to get me in the ”zone”. My dream is to lose weight so when he sings ” dreams come true you’re the right thing” I became inspired but does that make me a fan? I don’t know. I can’t tell if I developed a connection with this album because something’s there but I wouldn’t go out of my way to listen to CANT in the future. I didn’t know what to expect from this album to be honest. What’s challenging for me is trying to understand what the artist is really saying in his lyrics. I’m having a hard time deciding if I like the album or not and that’s really frustrating! I’m the kind of person that automatically knows whether I like or dislike something. I’ve had days when I hated a song the first time I listened to it and then heard it again several times and developed a love for the song. As of now, I rate this album a 3 because I feel like there is potential that this album will grow on me. They haven’t won me over just yet. Time will only tell, CANT it?

Album Rating : 3+ ( The plus is just because he’s a blonde cutie and I do like his voice!)

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