I hope you had a nice Valentine’s Day, especially if you’re part of the 55% of Americans that celebrate the day.
If you’re in a relationship, I hope you got chocolates, flowers, or whatever makes you happy. And, if you’re not seeing anyone, I hope you treated yourself to something nice.
Thank you for checking out my Random Friday Thoughts.
“HOUSE OF CARDS”
We just finished binge-watching the first four seasons of “House of Cards”.
I absolutely love Robin Wright as First Lady Claire Underwood and Kevin Spacey as President Frank Underwood.
Season five debuts on Netflix May 30, 2017.
If you haven’t watched the show and you love politics, you have to start!
Check out this amazing scene from season three. Claire has to tell the world that an American citizen jailed in Russia for being openly gay and protesting the country’s anti-LGBT laws committed suicide.
To Russia and the rest of the world that still think this way (Americans, #45, and his cabinet members, some of you could use some educating, too), wake up, open your eyes and your heart, and let’s start more of a dialogue!
A NEGRO TRAVEL GUIDE?
It’s sad to think this is reality, but it’s definitely not hard to believe in our country with all the hatred — then and now.
I was reading an “Out” magazine article that mentioned “The Negro Motorist Green Book”.
It was a resource travel guide that started publication in 1933.
Its purpose was to keep black motorists safe and to let them know what places refused to serve non-whites, provide information on “sundown towns”, predominately or all-white towns that practiced segregation, and much more.
After the Civil Rights Act of 1964, there must have been enough security (or hope) in the United States that it ceased publication in 1966.
Sadly, with the open hatred of people that aren’t white in the “post-January 20, 2017th world”, it might need to come back.
And, while we’re at it, maybe a rainbow version is needed, too, to keep the LGBT community safe from the haters, too!
PICK HIT FOR VALENTINE’S DAY
Last fall, as Michael Buble was ready to launch his latest album, “Nobody But Me”, he and his wife, model Luisana Lopilato, dropped out of the public eye when his 3-year-old son, Noah, was diagnosed with cancer.
Two weeks ago, Buble released this encouraging update:
Last Friday, the video to “I Believe in You” was released and if you don’t smile or shed a tear after seeing this video, hopefully you got a heart for Valentine’s Day because you need one. 🙂
Oh, if that didn’t encourage you to watch it, Derek Hough of “Dancing With The Stars” fame is absolutely drop dead gorgeous (and shirtless) in the video!!!!!!
REMEMBERING EMMANUELLE RIVA
With so many celebrity deaths already this year, the passing of French actress Emmanuelle Riva was pretty much overlooked in America. She died of cancer January 27, 2017, in Paris.
In 2012, she became the oldest woman to earn an Academy Award Best Actress nomination for her heartbreaking turn in “Amour”. (She was 85 at the time.)
“Amour” was my #6 movie of 2013.
Whether country music stations play her new songs or not, LeAnn Rimes’ albums usually debut in the Top Ten on the Country Albums charts.
Her last Top Ten album on the Billboard 200, which includes all genres, was 2007’s “Family”.
LeAnn Rimes is back with her latest album, “Remnants” and it’s flawless.
I definitely love LeAnn’s country music. My favorites in that genre are “Probably Wouldn’t Be This Way”, “Something’s Gotta Give”, “Some People”,”One Way Ticket (Because I Can)”, and “Big Deal”.
I met LeAnn in Salisbury, Maryland, in the fall of 2005. She was a sweetheart.
LeAnn has released many pop-oriented albums in her career and “Twisted Angel” (2002) is still one of my all-time favorites of hers.
Her new album, “Remnants” is the latest pop effort. It was released last fall in the U.K. and just came out last week here in the U.S.
The highest charting single from the new album is “Long Live Love”. The Dave Aude remix is currently #2 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart!
Twelve of the thirteen songs on “Remnants” are absolutely perfect!
My favorites are the soulful “Do It Wrong”, the religious-tinted “I Couldn’t Do That To Me”, “Love Is Love Is Love” (which LeAnn sings about not wanting to start an argument, just a conversation about tyrants, politics, religion, and love), the torch song-sounding “Outrageous Love”, and “The Story”.
Just because radio is missing out this amazing voice and music doesn’t mean you have to!
“SING IT NOW: SONGS OF FAITH & HOPE”
“Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope” is Reba McEntire’s 29th studio album, but it’s her first Christian album.
It debuted at #1 on this week’s Billboard County Albums chart and at the top of the Christian Albums chart, too. On the Billboard 200 Albums chart, which includes all music, it debuted all the way up at #4.
It sold 52,000 copies in its first week!
I’ve always wanted Reba to do a full gospel album after she recorded “Sky Full of Angels” for her 2003 “Room To Breathe” album.
The deluxe version of the new album features 22 songs.
“Back To God” is the first single.
On the gospel classics, Reba’s voice and musicianship are simple and stunning!
There are many songs that, if you didn’t know more about this album, you’d think they were just more Reba country songs.
But, as Reba once joked around the 1995 release of “Starting Over” album, whatever genre of music she sings becomes country when the words come out of her mouth.
The song I love the most on the album is “Swing Low Sweet Chariot”. The album version is four minutes of pure bliss!
My favorite “country” gospel numbers on this album are “I’ll Fly Away”, Hallelujah Amen”, “I Got The Lord on My Side”, “How Sweet Thou Art”, “Sing It Now”, “Oh Happy Day”, and “God And My Girlfriends”.
“Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope” is almost perfect. I think when an artist stretches an album out to 22 songs, there are ultimately a couple that wouldn’t have made the cut on a shorter album. But, I’ll take those songs here just to have more new Reba music.
With the divisive election last November and the circus of the past few weeks, this album does soothe the soul.
I was raised in a Pentecostal church that preached all about fire, brimstone, and damnation and I still find solace in gospel music!
Reba, if you’re listening, how about a bonafide dance album next? Your voice and EDM could be amazing!
With all the craziness in the world, make it the best in your little part of it!