Twinkle’s Latest Album Succeeds Through Its Content And General Presentation

Courtesy: Twinkle Time Records

Approximately four years after the release of her then latest album, Just Dance, veteran thespian, dancer, singer, and family music entertainer Twinkle will release her fourth album, It’s OK to Be Me Friday.  Audiences of varying ages and backgrounds will find Twinkle’s forthcoming album interesting in large part because of its general presentation.  This will be discussed shortly.  In examining the album a little deeper, those audiences will find the record’s musical arrangements just as appealing as the album’s general presentation.  They will be examined a little later.  The lyrical themes that accompany the album’s musical arrangements round out the album’s most important elements and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make the album a unique addition to this year’s field of new family music albums.

Twinkle’s forthcoming album It’s OK to Be Me is a presentation that will appeal widely to audiences of varying ages and backgrounds.  That is due in no small part to its general presentation.  The presentation is important to address because Twinkle presents the album not once but twice over.  The first time, it is presented in English and the second in her native language, Spanish.  This is so important to note because it shows a clear effort on the part of Twinkle to yes, reach audiences who speak each language, but also a recognition that even here in the United States, there are so many people who speak some Spanish dialect.  So it shows a conscious effort by Twinkle to show respect toward that diversity.  Twinkle and all involved in the album’s presentation are to be commended for that directed effort to promote and respect cultural diversity in this aspect.  Speaking of that diversity, it plays into the album’s lyrical themes, which will be discussed later.  Before moving on to the album’s lyrical content though, the attention must first be turned to the album’s musical arrangements.

The musical arrangements featured in It’s OK to Be Me are important because they in themselves are diverse.  The diversity comes in their sounds and stylistic approaches.  Staying on that note, Twinkle has been and is being marketed as the children’s answer to Lady Gaga.  However, in listening to the diversity in the album’s musical arrangements such comparison is not fully telling.  Yes, there is some pop style music featured in these arrangements here.  However, there are also many more pop rock style compositions here than pure pop style works.  To that end, audiences can just as easily make comparison to works from the likes of Pink as to Lady Gaga.  That comparison is made obvious right from the outset of the 23-minute record (each 14-song run of the album is 23 minutes, so that is the run time being used here) in the form of the album’s title track.  The use of the rock style instrumentation, the electronics, and Twinkle’s vocal delivery makes that clear.  It is even clearer in the slightly later entry, ‘Keep It Movin’.  In reality, the closest that Twinkle comes to a Lady Gaga comparison in this record comes even later in ‘Love.’  Even that song is a stretch in terms of such comparison.  ‘Mask It Up’ takes audiences back to the golden age of funk and R&B in its arrangement, meanwhile, while ‘Together’ presents its own unique presentation.  There is a certain 80s pop sensibility to this song’s arrangement.  So again, there is plenty of variety and diversity in the album’s musical arrangements.  That variety and diversity is certain to engage and entertain audiences in itself, but to call Twinkle the Lady Gaga of family music is really incorrect.  That is, again in listening to this record, which even includes some rapping to enhance some of the songs.  Keeping all of this in mind, the album’s musical arrangement prove to do more than enough to make the record successful, too.  Keeping them in mind with the impact of the record’s dual presentation, the album proves even more of a success.  They are, collectively, still just a part of what makes the album work so well.  The lyrical themes that accompany the record’s musical arrangements are important to the presentation, too.

The lyrical themes that are featured alongside the album’s musical arrangements are important to examine because they are diverse in their own right.  For the most part, the record’s overarching theme is that of self-confidence.  Right from the album’s outset, she reminds listeners that they should take pride and confidence in themselves, no matter what others might think.  She makes that especially clear in the interlude, “Be The Flamingo,” in which she openly tells her audiences, “Always march to the beat of your own drum…celebrate your individuality, your uniqueness, and most importantly, accept all humankind for their differences.”  If only humans would heed this familiar commentary.  Speaking of the interlude, Twinkle follows each song with a spoken word style presentation that openly speaks on the lyrical content of its preceding companion work.  Getting back on the topic at hand, Twinkle reminds her listeners to always do what we do in life with love in ‘Love’ and its companion interlude, ‘One Word,’  This shows again, that noted variety and diversity in the album’s lyrical themes.  On yet another note, Twinkle encourages young listeners to wear their face coverings in ‘Mask Up’ and ‘For Humanity.’  So not only is Twinkle encouraging listeners to be proud of themselves in her new album, but she is also working to promote the greater good of the world in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  That is respectable in itself.  It also shows once more, that noted variety and diversity in the album’s lyrical content.  When all of this and the rest of the album’s lyrical content is considered together, no doubt is left as to the noted variety and diversity in said content.  It does just as much to make the album successful as the album’s musical content and its general presentation.  All things considered, they make the album a positive new offering from Twinkle.

Twinkle’s forthcoming album, It’s OK to Be Me is a presentation that is more than OK.  It is a presentation that audiences of all ages and backgrounds will find appealing.  That is proven in part through its general presentation.  The general presentation is important to address because it shows a conscious effort on the part of Twinkle and all involved in the album’s creation, to reach out to as many audiences as possible.  That effort in itself shows a respect for the diverse range of people who listen to her music.  That in itself is well-deserving of applause.  Speaking of diversity, the musical arrangements featured throughout the album are themselves diverse in sound and style.  They are mostly more comparable to works from Pink than Lady Gaga, though.  The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical arrangements is also diverse, touching on the diversity which the album (and Twinkle) respects, the nation’s current health situation, and more.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of this record.  All things considered, they make the album one of the best of this year’s new family music offerings.

It’s OK to Be Me is scheduled for release Friday through Twinkle’s own Twinkle Time Records.  More information on the album is available along with all of Twinkle’s latest news at:




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Le Coq Records Launches, Announces First Releases

Courtesy: Le Coq Records

Fledgling record label Le Coq Records announced its initial slate of new releases for 2021.

Starting the label was a personal decision by its founder Piero Pata and his partner, according to information about the label’s launch. The information states Pata wanted an outlet for her to return to jazz singing after spending much of her career as a Flamenco dancer.

Pata said in his own statement that the decision to launch the label also led to the decision to help other musical artists.

“As we embarked on this process, we met so many wonderful players,” said Pata. “We soon realized that Le Coq could be an ideal avenue to get their music out to the world.”

Keyboardist Bill Cunliffe, one of many artists already signed to Le Coq Records, spoke warmly of Pata when asked about joining the upstart label.

“Piero is great to work with because he’s all about the music,” said Cunliffe. “He shares that quality with all the great jazz producers. He’s also an artist himself, so he knows good from bad and he gives me the freedom to do what I need to do things right. No one can ask for a better producer than that.”

Le Coq Records Engineer Josh Connolly (Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar), echoed Cunliffe’s comments.

“Piero has a vision for quality,” said Connolly. “That’s true in everything that he does. He gives the artists complete creative freedom when it comes to the music, but he brings great ideas to the table. He likes to create situations that take people a little out of their comfort zones, but that can lead to something new. He provides an environment that is very nurturing and fruitful, which honestly doesn’t happen too often.”

Along with Cunliffe, Le Coq Records already boasts a roster that includes but is not limited to acts, such as keyboardist John Beasley, bassist John Pattituci, and famed drummer Marvin “Smitty” Smith and his fellow drummer Vinnie Colaiuta. Also on the label’s roster are vocalist Andy James, percussionist Alex Acuna, saxophonist Ralph Moore, and trumpeter Terell Stafford.

Many of the noted artists will feature on Le Coq Records’ forthcoming compilation record Le Coq Records presents The Jazz All Stars Vol. 1. The compilation is scheduled for release Jan. 8. James’ own record Tu Amor will follow on Jan. 22.

Saxophonist Rick Rick Margitza’s new record Sacred Hearts is set for release Feb. 5. A new, as yet untitled collaboration between Cunliffe, Pattituci, and Colaiuta is scheduled for release Feb. 19.

More information on Le Coq Records is available along with all of the label’s latest news at:



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Twinkle Debuts ‘Together’ Video

Courtesy: Waldmania PR

Family entertainer Twinkle wants people around the world to come “together.”

The kindie-pop star, who has been called the Lady Gaga of family music, debuted the video for her latest single ‘Together‘ May 22 through her official YouTube channel.  The song, which also features guest performances by MC Magic and saxophonist Izzi Def, boasts a guitar-driven pop sound that will appeal just as much to adults as it will to children.

The song’s lyrical theme will also connect widely to audiences as Twinkle urges everyone to come together rather than divide.  MC Magic adds his own touch to the song as he addresses the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, even going so far as to say, “I think we all gotta reach deep inside/And send a message to the king in the sky/Let him know next time we gon’ be better/Let him know that we gon’ stand  together/Hold each other up/Make the world a better place/Unite like a family/All one race.”  This is a message that will resonate with listeners of all ages.

Along with recording the song in English, Twinkle, who is Peruvian-American, also recorded her latest single in Spanish for her Spanish-speaking friends, family and audiences.  The song’s Spanish take is available to take in here.

More information on Twinkle’s new song and video is available along with all of her latest news at:






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Breaking Benjamin Guitarist Debuts ‘Shallow’ Cover

Courtesy: FM Management

Breaking Benjamin rhythm guitarist Keith Wallen has released a cover of the Lady Gaga/Bradley Cooper song ‘Shallow.’

The original song was included in the duo’s recent update of the classic movie A Star Is Born.  Wallen premiered the video of his performance of the song on Feb. 4.  His cover of the song is available now via Spotify and iTunes.

Wallen talked about how he came to cover the song during a recent interview.

“While on tour (as guitarist for Breaking Benjamin) I had the opportunity to see A Star is Born,” Wallen said.  “I was so inspired by the movie and the performance Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper gave in this film.  I love the song they sang together called ‘Shallow’ and thought it’d be fun to cover it!  Hope you guys like it.”

More information on Wallen’s take on ‘Shallow’ is available online now along with all of his latest news at:






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Don Jamieson Is As Irreverent And Funny As Ever On His New Comedy Album

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Don Jamieson, co-host of VH1’s hit show That Metal Show will release his new full length comedy album Tuesday, March 18thHell Bent For Laughter, Jamieson’s second full length comedy album, was recorded in December 2013 at Uncle Vinnie’s Comedy Club in Pleasant Beach, New Jersey.  Despite recording his show close to the new home that he tells his audience that he and his wife had bought, neither The Garden State nor its embattled governor are off limits to Jamieson in his show.  It’s just part of what will have audiences laughing uproariously.  Jamieson also goes after politicians, certain pop acts, and even some of his favorite rock bands of all time in his act just to note a little of what audiences can expect in this performance.  Regardless of whether it be for any of the noted material or that not noted, there is enough in this recording to have anyone laughing, even when they know they should be ashamed to be doing so.  It is a laugh riot and a must hear for anyone that needs a good laugh.

Don Jamieson covers so much ground in the show recorded for Hell Bent For Laughter.  He obviously has plenty of music related jokes and jokes related to That Metal Show.  But that’s not all he hits in his show.  Jamieson also justifiably gets plenty of laughs when he tells his audience about having bought a house in New Jersey with his wife.  Those laughs are thanks to jokes about his bad luck in the timing of having bought the house and about the cost of mortgage payments.  He laughs as he tells his audience that anyone that’s renting should keep doing so.  From there, he goes on to make jokes about embattled New Jersey governor Chris Christie, Christie’s potential run for the presidency, and of course his weight and weight loss.  It’s just one of a handful of moments throughout the show when Jamieson really shines in this show.  Audiences will agree when they hear his jokes for themselves.

Gov. Christie isn’t the only politician that Jamieson goes after in his latest comedy release.  He also goes after Vice President Joe Biden and how little people actually see him versus how much people see President Obama.  He makes a sharp joke about how much Biden spent on room service in one night at a hotel room at one point.  He really shows with both this joke and those aimed at Christie his ability to branch out and cover more than just music.  It shows his abilities as apolitical satirist as well as media personality, which bodes well if he ever decides to step away from his day job.  On an even deeper level, the fact that he would go after both a Republican and Democrat means that no one can even begin to accuse Jamieson of supporting one side or the other.  He gives equal time to both sides.  Anyone with any knowledge of how the media works will appreciate that reference.

The laughs that Jamieson gets with his political pot shots don’t stop there.  He also goes after some of the biggest names in pop culture as part of his act.  Those names include the likes of Lady Gaga, Whitney Houston, and even One Direction.  He basically accuses Lady Gaga of being a cross-dressing male.  And in terms of Whitney Houston, he shows just how irreverent he can be.  Some might even call his joke at Houston’s expense walking a very fine line.  It’s not the only time at which he walks that line, either.  Audiences will find he walks that line quite a bit throughout this set.  Getting back on topic, in going after One Direction, that joke is so off color that this critic would get in a lot of trouble for even beginning to repeat it.  It is something that audiences will have to hear for themselves to appreciate.   They’re not the only acts to taste Jamieson’s comedic venom so to speak, either.  He spreads the love, even making jabs at some of the biggest names in the rock industry.  Metallica, Motley Crue, Judas Priest, KISS, and Guns N’ Roses all get their moment in Jamieson’s set.  From calling Motley Crue Motley Karaoke thanks to how Vince Neil handles live shows to a crack about Metallica working with Lou Reed to jokes about songs from KISS and Judas Priest, Jamieson leaves no stone unturned.  He shows that he can get audiences laughing even in making jokes related to his regular day job even on these topics.  It shows that whether it be music, pop culture, politics, or even more blue material, Don Jamieson can entertain any audience.  And audiences will agree on this when they pick up Hell Bent For Laughter Tuesday, March 18th.  It is definitely a recording that will have anyone laughing nonstop.

Jamieson will hit the road beginning next Friday March, 14th for a stand-up tour to support Hell Bent For Laughter.  Audiences will get to hear some of his material when he kicks off his tour at the New Hope Cinema Grill in New Hope, Minnesota.  He will be joined by his co-hosts of That Metal Show on a handful of his upcoming live dates.  Fans can get a full rundown of Jamieson’s upcoming live appearances online now at,,, and  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at

White Tie Affair frontman talks solo debut, Lady Gaga, more

Good Monday morning, everyone.  I hope your week is off to a great start.  I’ve got another brand new review on the way.  But before I get into it, I’ve got another special treat of those of you that follow my daily ramblings.  While you wait for this morning’s brand new review, I’ve got an interview with White Tie Affair frontman Chris Wallace.  I had the honor of interviewing Chris recently.  I asked him about his dreams of being a musician, touring with Lady Gaga, and his brand new upcoming solo release, among other topics.  That album is due out this Summer, by the way.  So while you wait for this morning’s new review, why not sit back, grab that cup of coffee, and check out my interview with Chris Wallace.

PP:  Your bio mentions that you didn’t want to follow in your family’s footsteps.  And when you told people about your decision to try your hand in the music business, people talked down to you and tried to discourage you.  What was the reaction of your parents?  

CW:  My parents were always supportive in everything i wanted to do, but they had no idea how much of a dreamer I really was. They just thought it was a hobby I would grow out of. As soon as I got my first guitar there hasn’t really been a plan b to playing and writing music. Ha there still isn’t, and will prolly never be. I’m definitely a lifer. It’s just way to much fun.
PP:  You mention in your bio about pumping Queen in your car when you were growing up.  I’m curious, Queen aside, what were some of your favorite bands to listen to when you were growing up?

CW: I was really obsessed with the killers. for a while. I love how they blended dance, rock, pop and great songwriting to make amazing albums. I also love third eye blind, taking back sunday, and U2 . I’ve always been obsessed with great melodies in music. So also pretty much every pop song I’ve ever heard ha. 

PP:  I want to get in to the White Tie Affair for a little bit.  For the fans that might not know, how did the White Tie Affair originally come together? 

CW:  The white tie affair originally was just me. I grew up playing in local rock bands. One day in fall of 06, a  good friend convinced me to finish this pop song I was jokingly working on called ‘Mr Right.’ I produced and wrote it myself. A few weeks after the song was finished, I made up a band name (white tie affair) and put the song on MySpace. Seriously no more that 3 weeks later, I had several major label deal offers. My life had literally changed overnight. All because of one song…I put the band together and wrote our first album. We got to travel the world, play over 1000 shows, and I had such a great time!  

PP:  The feeling from White Tie Affair’s Facebook page is that you all are on pretty good terms, despite you striking out on your own.  So for fans of White Tie Affair, what are the band’s plans on recording another album?  Do you just consider doing this a side project, or do you see it taking prominence over White Tie Affair?

CW:  I don’t see myself doing another  white tie album. It was such a different time in my life. In workin on my solo project I’ve finally figured out how to add my personality and raw energy into the songs. The white tie affair was not nearly as personal as my upcoming album ‘Push Rewind.’ We are definitely on great terms tho. 

PP:  Getting back to the your bio, it mentions your tour with Lady Gaga.  Can you expand on how taht tour came to be?  Did her people come to you, or was it the other way around?  What was your initial reaction to being included on her tour?

CW:  I was actually turned on to lady gaga’s ‘the fame’ record way before she became a household name. I met her randomly after her set at lalapalooza 07 and had been following her career. So when my manager told me she was looking for acts for her tour. I immediately agreed we should submit for it. And when the tour started 9 months later, Lady Gaga was on her third #1 single and had become the biggest thing in music. It was more luck and timing and relationships that got me on that tour.  My initial reaction was… Wow this could be fun, but as her fame grew and grew and grew, It became more and more surreal. Gaga is such a great person and I learned so much from hangin out with her on that tour.  

PP:  Your bio mentions how you watched Axl Rose warm up for his show.  Are there any other favorite or least favorite moments that you can share with readers about your tour?  Are there any artists/bands that are on your “MUST” list in terms of who you’d love to tour with?

CW:  My favorite moment on tour had to be singing onstage with cindi lauper. A few years ago I was the opening act for 2 dates on her true colors tour. During our set, I glanced over and saw cindi lauper and Rosie o’donnel watching me play. If that wasn’t surreal enough… Right after my set they cornered me and told me how great I did. Cindi asked if I would come out and sing the second verse  of true colors with her. I went in my dressing room and listened to that song at least 30 times to prepare. Sharing the stage with such a music icon was something I could only dream of.   

PP:  You were really shy when you were growing up.  So are you still shy today, as an adult when you’re not performing?  Or do you find yourself a lot more open as a result of being such a huge star?

CW: I’m not shy at all anymore. I think it was just a part of growing up and finding myself. Music really helped me figure out how to express myself and the be person I wanted to be. Once I go in touch with who I was, it was hard to get me to stop talking haha.  
PP:  One more question before I go.  Your debut solo release comes out soon. For fans who have never heard The White Tie Affair or your music, what can they expect from your new album?

CW: At the core ‘push rewind’ has very hard hitting pop rock songs like ‘remember when’ and ‘keep me crazy.’ ..but there are also a few slower songs  like ‘ready to fall’ that i wrote on piano with a string quartet. Overall you can expect a high energy pop rock dance album that is very honest and personal.

Fans can keep up with all the latest from Chris Wallace online at, on Facebook at, and on Twitter at @chriswallace101.

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The Darkness announce new album, tour

British rock band The Darkness is back with its third full length studio release.  It has announced that its new album, “Hot Cakes” will hit see a Summer release.  It is currently slated to hit stores August 21st.  The new album wil be released on Wind-Up records both in North and South America.  It will be released via PIAS throughout the rest of the world.

The band will also kick off its world tour to support the album beginning today in Australia.  The tour will take the band through a handful of dates down under before bringing the band stateside beginning May 18th.  The U.S. leg of the band’s tour will take it through eight cities.  It includes stops at the famed Rocklahoma Festival and the Rock on The Range Festival. 

Following its brief U.S. leg, The Darkness will head overseas with Lady Gaga for a twenty-six date tour of Europe.  To keep up with The Darkness as it prepares to span the globe, go online to, on Facebook at, and on Twitter at