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Skylar Grey
Natural Causes (Sept. 23rd, 2016)

Skylar Grey — Natural Causes (Sept. 23rd, 2016)

  Skylar Grey — Natural Causes (Sept. 23rd, 2016) Natural Causes (Sept. 23rd, 2016)Born: Holly Brook Hafermann, February 23, 1986, Mazomanie, Wisconsin, United States
Other names: Holly Brook
Occupation: Singer~Songwriter
Instruments: Vocals guitar piano keyboards
Album release: September 23rd, 2016
Record Label: KIDinaKORNER / Interscope
Genre: Pop, Alternative, Female Vocalists
Duration:     50:15
Tracks:
01. Intro — Wilderness     1:34
02. Jump     4:28
03. Lemonade     3:16
04. Kill for You (feat. Eminem)     4:52
05. Come up for Air     4:21
06. Real World     4:02
07. Straight Shooter     3:54    
08. Off Road     4:02
09. In My Garden     2:59
10. Moving Mountains     4:14
11. Picture Perfect     4:36
12. We Used to Be Bad     4:10
13. Closer     3:47
℗ 2016 KIDinaKORNER/Interscope Records
Writers:
♦»   Holly Hafermann     1, 2, 3, 9, 11, 13
♦»   Hafermann, Marshall Mathers     4, 5
♦»   Hafermann, Micah Powell     6
♦»   Hafermann, Jayson DeZuzio     7, 8
♦»   Hafermann, Mark Batson, Mike Elizondo     10
♦»   Hafermann, Jayson DeZuzio, Alex Da Kid     12
Personnel:
♦»   Skylar Grey — vocals
Additional musicians:
♦»   Eminem — vocals (track 4)
Additional personnel:
♦»   Alex da Kid — executive producer
♦»   Eminem — executive producer
♦»   Mark Batson — Producer , co~producer
♦»   Jayson DeZuzio — producer , writer
♦»   Larry Griffin Jr. — producer
♦»   Skylar Grey — producer , co~producer
♦»   J. Griffin — co~producer
♦»   Mike Elizondo — producer, co~producer
♦»   Luis Resto — producer
♣♦   Skylar Grey gears up to release her second major LP ‘Natural Causes.’ The album is proceeded by three singles, “Cannonball” which features fellow KIDinaKORNER label mates X Ambassadors, “Off Road”, and “Wreak Havoc.” The latter was featured on The official soundtrack to the motion picture Suicide Squad (2016). The singer has been working with a big names including Kaskade, deadmau5 and her usual collaborators like Alex da Kid, and Mike Del Rio.
Review
By Michael Smith, Published On September 18, 2016
♦♣   Don’t Look Down was a strong album from Skylar Grey. Whether you remember it for the sarcastic sexuality of its first single “C’mon Let Me Ride” with Eminem or the varied hip~hop influenced pop tracks that littered the album, there was barely a dead moment to mention on it, and even less negative things to say about it. Regardless, it’s blatantly clear that the stakes are even higher for Natural Causes, having to follow up such a strong album, and it doesn’t hold back in trying to top what came before.
♦♣   In terms of setting the mood, the album’s first full song Jump does this perfectly. The song makes perfect use of its sparse arrangement, revolving around a very minimal beat and hand clap combo backed by a repeating guitar line that moves the song forward as Grey sings over the top. As an angelic collection of vocal layers accompany her for the chorus, the song hits its peak, barely changing in style but soaring above the verses thanks to its newfound lightness, before its gritty guitar solo brings the song back into darker territory towards the end. Its minimalism is very indicative of the rest of the album, showing it off best here in one of the album’s true highlight moments.  That’s not to say that the rest suffers in comparison, though.
♦♣   Even while remaining minimal, the album changes its songs up in important ways that keeps it interesting yet conceptually tight. Lemonade mixes a trap beat with the strum of an acoustic guitar for a strange mixture of styles that culminates into a hazy chorus that melds the opposing styles to Grey’s near~rap vocals perfectly. Straight Shooter is the album’s most straightforward urban moment, with Grey’s quick vocal delivery in the verses and the chorus’ solid hook powering the song forward, only stopping for the slower bridge, where Grey’s chorus of vocal layers comes back to accompany her for an out of character moment of beautiful vocals that counters the aggressive chorus.
♦♣   Jump finally meets its match near the album’s end on “Picture Perfect”. The recurring layers of angelic vocals are an ever~present force in the song, which mixes trap beats and a constant bass line with small interludes of buzzing synths and accompanying guitar, making for a similarly airy track, albeit one with a more consistent beat and theme to it. Similarly, “We Used to Be Bad” is the best of the album’s acoustic~leaning moments, opening with an acoustic guitar and brass accompaniment before slowly expanding into a wall of synths and melodic drum beats, showing amazing progression from something simple into one of the most powerful arrangements on the album.
♦♣   If these tracks are the album’s stronger half, however, the rest is the amazing back~up that keeps it so consistent and forceful throughout its twelve track runtime. From the nod to Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek” on the a capella vocally edited intro “Wilderness” to the acoustic piano finale “Closer”, no track leaves a bad impression or even slips from your mind after listening to the album. It’s a non~stop onslaught of perfectly produced tracks, lacking the collaborations of “Don’t Look Down” but showing off Grey’s full solo potential because of this. Skylar Grey has hands down created her best material yet on “Natural Causes”, and created a veritable masterpiece that will be remembered long after 2016 is behind us.   ♦♣   http://renownedforsound.com/
Discography:
♦♣   Like Blood Like Honey (2006)
♦♣   Don’t Look Down (2013)
♦♣   Natural Causes (2016)
Website: http://www.skylargreymusic.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/skylargrey
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SkylarGrey/
♦♣♦»♦♣♦»♦♣♦»♦♣♦»♦♣♦»♦♣♦»♦♣♦»♦♣♦»♦♣♦»♦♣♦»♦♣♦»♦♣♦»♦♣♦»♦♣♦»♦♣♦»♦♣♦»♣

Skylar Grey
Natural Causes (Sept. 23rd, 2016)

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