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'Music That Matters': The Stories Behind Alice Minguez's Debut Album

by Alice Minguez 5 years ago in album reviews
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What about these songs make them 'music that matters?'

The "trippy" music video for "Caged Mind," which appears on Music That Matters as track #2.

Alice Minguez. Maybe you haven't heard of her...but if you've ever used the popular karaoke app Smule Sing! Karaoke, you've most likely heard her voice! Alice's major claim to fame in the past has been a massive 11K+ followers on the social singing platform. On April 20th, 2018, however, Alice officially upped her game and joined the small number of "Smulean natives" (e.g., Em Rossi, Tom Bleasby, Sarah Cleary) who have moved on to the "major leagues" of the music world. Namely, she released her debut album, titled Music That Matters.

The album begins with “The Demons,” a song whose tone isn’t quite as dark as the title would suggest. It is simultaneously comical in a tongue-in-cheek kind of way and completely serious in the anger it expresses toward an unnamed person, who Alice reveals is a particularly unkind social worker she once had the displeasure of meeting. Alice says this social worker’s unique quality was the ability to make you feel like the only way to avoid being demonized is to become a demon! Because, as the lyrics say, “The only ones who can’t be demonized / Are the ones who’re already demons.”

“Caged Mind,” which can be heard in the music video associated with this article, is a grungy, punky, alt-rock inspired tune that Alice created in collaboration with several other musicians (See the song credits for more details). The lyrics convey the observation that (to quote the band Boys Like Girls) “We’re all addicted to something that takes away the pain.”

“Memories of You” is a collaboration between Alice Minguez and composer Thilina Amarasena. The lyrics, written by Alice, tell the sorrowful story of the aftermath of an unbearable loss. This song isn’t about anyone in particular; it just characterizes the human experience of heart-wrenching grief.

This is the only song on Music That Matters whose lyrics were not written by Alice. To read about the full story behind this track, see the following press feature from Creative Edge Music.

Inspired by the 2018 ProCollabs Valentine’s Day Challenge, “Cross My Heart” is a creative fusion between the slow introductory ballad and the upbeat, dance-worthy electronic groove it morphs into. The lyrics are a fun play on the common phrase “cross my heart.”

“Today is a Good Day to Die” may be a phrase you recognize, if you’re familiar with Klingons. If not, just know that Alice’s song of the same name is a serious, introspective work that addresses feelings of deep, constant depression. Depression is a serious ailment that takes lives every day, and Alice’s dark lyrics make that quite clear.

This song was inspired by Dante’s Inferno, which is famous for its concept of Hell as being composed of layers or circles. Alice adds to that vision by imagining a tenth circle—a place for people who have committed crimes so heinous that even Dante’s ninth circle can’t contain the evil.

“Ode to the Outcasts” is exactly what its title suggests. Namely, it is an inspirational and encouraging ode to all the people in the world who have ever felt left out, lonely, and misunderstood. This quasi-hip hop tune especially resonates with Alice’s younger listeners who are still stuck in the savage jungle that is high school or middle school.

“Pro” is the first in Alice’s series of explicitly eating disorder-themed songs. It is dark, catchy, and lyrically clever, and it is a favorite among people in the eating disorder world.

A full list of Alice Minguez’s eating disorder-related songs can be found here.

Alice is slowly gaining recognition among her peers as one of the go-to vocalists for songs whose lyrics are in Spanish. This is in part thanks to “Libre,” Alice’s first Spanish song. The lyrics for “Libre” were written by Alice herself, who is not a native Spanish speaker (contrary to popular belief) but took Spanish classes for a number of years in school.

“What You Need to Know About Me” is the second electronic track on this album. It starts out with a tribal vibe but quickly evolves into a catchy EDM-inspired sound with a catchy melody. The lyrics chronicle the impact that adverse childhood experiences (commonly abbreviated to “ACEs”) can have on a person’s entire life.

The R&B/soul aspect of Alice’s style really shines through on “That Bottle.” The lyrics are written from the point of view of a partner of someone who struggles with alcoholism.

Alice’s inspiration for “Reality Terminated” was a piece by philosopher Robert Nozick titled “The Experience Machine.” Specifically, Alice intended this song to encourage caution when using psychotropic medications, although she stresses that the song makes good use of artistic license and that there is nothing inherently wrong about such medications, which are frequently very helpful to people who deal with various types of mental conditions.

Alice’s song “Screams Unheard” addresses another hot social issue: self-harm. Alice’s voice soars above the dark, emotional instrumentals, and is slyly critical of the common criticism of people who self-harm as “just looking for attention.”

The second of the twin bookends that sandwich the track list, “The Demons” (Lana M. Remix) is a flawless hip hop-style remix of Alice’s original version. The original vocals were creatively altered by Lana M. and her mixing magic and set against a darker, more demon-esque track, and the result is absolutely fantastic.

Can't get enough of Alice Minguez?

Fans who were left craving more after listening to Music That Matters can rejoice: there is plenty more original music by Alice Minguez (or featuring Alice Minguez) out there! There are too many tracks to name them all, but here are a few recommendations:

"Living for Me"

"Wonders (of the World)"

"Wrath"

"I Breathe You In"

Alice also has several new projects in the works! In particular, keep an eye out for her upcoming collaboration with BandLab’s star rapper/freestyle artist, Trip Trapper, as well as her work as one of the lead vocalists for the emerging experimental band Cosmic Collision.

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About the author

Alice Minguez

Alice is a freelance writer who contributes to Vocal in her spare time. Learn more about Alice at https://www.constant-content.com/Author/121259-Alice_Minguez-details-0.htm, where she has professionally-written articles for sale.

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