Top 3 Music Streaming Services in 2018

Top 3 Music Streaming Services in 2018

It’s pretty obvious that everyone enjoys music. Thanks to modern technology we have access to more music now than ever before and can create playlists, share songs with each other, listen to our favorite songs without commercials, and more. A number of music streaming apps are what make all of these options possible but if you’re looking for one to sign up for it can be a little confusing since there are now so many. We’ve put together the top 3 best apps for streaming music featuring pros and cons so you can easily figure out which app is best for you.

Apple Music:

Apple Music is a streaming service that costs $9.99 a month. It gives listeners access to over 45 million songs and boasts great sound quality. A big pro to this app is that it gives you a 3-month trial with most iPhones and iPads at no charge so you can see for yourself if this app is right for you. They have almost 30 million subscribers and stream their music at 256kbps AAC. You can download up to 100,000 songs and listen to Beats 1 Radio. Pricing is the same when compared to Spotify, however, Spotify does have a free option available to users who can’t afford a monthly subscription. You can pay annually for Apple Music which is most recommended because it will save you $20.00 a year which is cheaper than Spotify.

Amazon Unlimited Music and Prime Music:

Amazon is the biggest competition for Apple Music and Spotify. The difference between Amazon Unlimited Music and Prime Music is that Prime Music is a feature included for Amazon Prime members and breaks down to $7.99 a month. Amazon Music Unlimited is $9.99 unless you are a Prime member ($7.99). It has a song library of over 40 million songs that are free of ads and can be easily downloaded. Prime Music features 2 million songs that are available to anyone with an Amazon Prime subscription at $79.00 annually. There is a free trial offer for 30 days.

There is an exclusive offer available to those with an Amazon Echo Smartspeaker. You can buy one or if you already have one all you have to do is ask the echo: “Alexa, try Amazon Music Unlimited.” and you will only have to pay $3.99 a month! This app offers the cheapest deal for anyone who has an Echo.

Spotify:

Spotify is the only music subscription service on this list that offers a completely free service. You will have to listen to ads if you use the free version. If you want to subscribe, the cost will be $9.99 a month. Spotify is the most popular music streaming app. You can build playlists from a song library of over 35 million songs, follow your favorite artists, and easily discover new music with the suggested artists or Discover Weekly feature. Spotify is the largest music subscription service and streams at 320kbps which is a faster rate than Apple Music.

Joshua Gruss is the Chairman of Round Hill Music.

Top 5 Country Music Songs of 2017

Top 5 Country Music Songs of 2017

The top five Country Music songs of 2017 are diverse. It seems there’s a song for any listener. There seemed to be a demand for songs that are honest and relate-able. Demand was also high for fresh content. These factors led to a fantastic 2017 for Country Music.

5. Luke Combs – “When It Rains It Pours”

This song is very upbeat. Luke Combs seemed to become popular overnight. He’s been described as a normal guy. He’s someone we can relate to. We all want to feel happy, and this song is here to help.

4. Midland – “Drinkin’ Problem”

Number four is relevant and traditional. The lyrics are clever and fun. Midland released this song during the perfect year. I think we all can relate to the lyrics. We just want to forget our troubles.
This song has a classic sound. It’s reminiscent of early Alan Jackson, but with a rougher feel.

3. Little Big Town – “Better Man”

Little Big town is no newcomer to the stage. It’s no surprise they landed the number three spot. Their songs are usually fun and positive. This year is different. Karen Fairchild sings about conflict, love, and loss. The honesty of the lyrics is heartbreaking.
It was well received by fans. This isn’t news to Little Big Town. Every year they bring amazing songs to the scene.

2. Carly Pearce – “Every Little Thing”

This ballad brings tears to your eyes. It’s another honest song about love and heartbreak. The lyrics are delivered in a smooth and velvety tone. It’s irresistible. Carly Pearce has a classic style that is hard to ignore. That’s why her song is number two.

1. Brantley Gilbert – “The Ones That Like Me”

Brantley Gilbert reached peak popularity in 2017. This song was overwhelmingly famous. Its message of self-acceptance was powerful. Brantley Gilbert stayed true to his sound, but taught us a lesson. Be true to yourself. The right people will stay. We can all learn from that.

Country Music evolved beautifully in 2017. So many new artists influenced the scene this year. They brought fresh sounds and classic twists. The staple artists didn’t fail to deliver either. The top songs had honest and relate-able lyrics. This raw and eclectic group of songs made for a great 2017. I look forward to seeing what Country Music has in store for us in 2018.

 

Joshua Gruss is the Chairman of Round Hill Music.

Top 10 Songs to Listen To While On a Road Trip

Josh Gruss - Top 10 Songs to Listen To While On a Road Trip

The key to any good road trip is the music that you listen to on the way to your destination. Some of the many beautiful things about music are that it brings you closer together with others and it helps bring out your innermost emotions. Here are the top 10 songs that you will definitely want to listen to on your next big road trip.

#10 – #7

10. Greedy – Ariana Grande – Ariana’s bright and beautiful vocals make this uptempo pop masterpiece one to sing as loud as possible to with everyone you’re with. The key change at the end of the song is sure to brighten everyone’s spirits, and make it a trip to remember.

9. Wonderwall – Oasis – It seems like everybody was born knowing the words to this song, so putting this on with your passengers will be a fun singalong for everyone in the car!

8. Tik Tok – Kesha – This classic pop anthem is a fun, catchy track that everyone will sing along to, whether or not they like it!

7. Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey – One of the best sing-along songs of all time. Go to any event, such as a wedding or bar mitzvah, and this will definitely be in the playlist. Singing it in the car? Even better.

#6 – #4

6. Dancing Queen – ABBA – A fun, uplifting track that people from all generations will know. Similar to Don’t Stop Believin’, you likely find yourself dancing to this song at many different events, so why not in the car too?

5. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen – This 1975 classic changed the course of music history forever, and is remembered as one of the greatest songs ever recorded. A song of this caliber certainly deserves to be listened to on the way to your next destination!

4. Thriller – Michael Jackson – Regarded as being extremely iconic and ahead of it’s time, this masterpiece will surely be sung along to in the car. Honestly, any of Michael’s songs would be perfect for a road trip. Super catchy, memorable, and uplifting!

Top 3 Songs

We’ve reached the top 3, and these 3 songs are not only catchy, but are relating to what you’re doing….driving!

3. On the Road Again – Willie Nelson – A 1975 classic with a theme perfectly fitting for a road trip!

2. Life is a Highway – Rascal Flatts – Everyone remembers this classic early 2000’s track. It’s a feel-good, windows down, hands in the air kind of song to put on the playlist!

1. Body Like A Back Road – Sam Hunt – A new, fun track that’s chill, makes you feel good, and reminds you that it’s (sometimes) okay to do 15 in a 30. Enjoy every moment of your road trip, life shouldn’t be hurried.

Josh Gruss is the CEO of Round Hill Music

5 Best Songs to Listen to While on a Plane

5 Best Songs to Listen to While on a Plane

Long flights can become extremely boring, but having a great playlist put together before the flight can make it much more enjoyable and bearable. Whether you’re into country music or rock n’ roll, these five songs are great to listen to while on a plane.

1. “Drunk on a Plane” by Dierks Bentley:

Okay, so let’s be honest… being drunk is always fun, and it’s hard to imagine that being drunk on a long flight (along with some great music!) won’t be able to make it much more bearable. This song is perfect for one of those flights because even if you aren’t drunk, you can sing along to the catchy lyrics and imagine yourself being drunk and having a grand ole’ time on your flight. Even though Bentley is going through a breakup in the song, it’s still fun and easy to sing along to!

2. “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly:

I think this one is pretty obvious–you can fly! While this song is about flying in a non-airplane sense, it’d be pretty funny to be on a long flight and hear this song pop up on your playlist. Do you believe you can touch the sky? You probably can if you just open the window, but that presents other problems…

3. “Paper Planes” by M.I.A.:

If you’re sleepy during that long flight, this song is the perfect pick-me-up. It’s extremely catchy and you’ll have a hard time not singing along (or at least doing hand motions) when it comes on. The rap beat and catchy lyrics will have you dancing up and down the aisles and will help you forget about that guy snoring so loudly beside you.

4. “Vacation” by The Go-Go’s:

Even if you’re not on a flight heading towards a vacation destination, this song will perk you right up and make you feel like you are. Escaping on a plane is a great feeling, and you can turn this trip into a vacation, even if only in your mind!

5. “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by The Proclaimers:

Another catchy classic! Whether you’re flying home to family, a loved one, old friends, etc., this song will pump you up for your landing. You’re traveling to somewhere, and on long flights, the destination usually is the first thing on your mind. Let The Proclaimers sing you straight to it!

When putting together your flight playlist, don’t forget to include these five great songs to listen to while traveling on a plane! They will make your flight more enjoyable and get you ready to land.

 

Joshua Gruss is the Chairman, CEO and founder of Round Hill Music.

3 Songs That Boost Productivity at Work

3 Songs That Boost Productivity at Work

Music to Work With:

We’ve all been here: sitting at our desk, glancing at the clock, pacing back-and-forth to and from the coffee machine, the bathroom, the window, wishing the day was at an end. But just because we don’t feel inspired to work doesn’t mean we get the day off. Work still piles up, meetings need to be prepared for, and presentations need to be completed. When that workday sluggishness hits you hard, don’t reach for yet another cup of coffee. Instead, put in your headphones and let these three songs guide you to productivity.

“Ether” by Mogwai:

Mogwai is an instrumental post-rock band whose music is both beautiful and inspiring. “Ether” is a melodious tune that starts off slow and builds up over the course of its 5-minute run time. What makes this song so special is the way that it slowly layers more and more instruments into the mix until, by the climax of the song, you’ve forgotten all about how tired you are and, without realizing it, have begun working in earnest. For best results, begin by listening carefully to the music, but keep your work open and in front of you. After the trumpets start in, get to work. By the time the song is over, you’ll be in the flow-state of productivity.

“Flight From the City” by Jóhann Jóhannsson:

Jóhannsson was best known for his work on soundtracks for movies such as “Arrival” and “Blade Runner: 2049.” But his most recent solo album, Orphée, is a beautiful, melodious, complex ode to urban life. His songs don’t include lyrics in the traditional sense, and “Flight From the City” is no exception. A single, soulful piano plays with such verve and gravitas that it completely sucks you in. Listen to this one if you’re feeling perpetually distracted by outside thoughts, because it helps you to focus and forget about your other woes. As the piano sonorously trundles forth, as if literally leaving a city by foot, you’ll leave all of your stressors behind and be ready to charge forth into the muck of work.

“Doin Ya Thang” by Oliver Dollar:

In a totally different vein, “Doin Ya Thang” is a classic Chicago deep-house track. If what you really need is to get into the groove to complete hours upon hours of repetitive work, then Oliver Dollar can help. The repetitive beat is balanced out by amusing, talk-y lyrics that can easily be ignored or, if you’re feeling in the mood, listened to with the kind of fugue state half-ear that repetitive work lends itself to. Find yourself bopping your head along with the beat and, as the talking lyrics flow forth, grinning from ear to ear.

Joshua Gruss is the Chairman, CEO and founder of Round Hill Music.

How Music Affects Your Memory

How Music Affects Your Memory

Many students listen to music while studying, whether it be mainstream pop or instrumental jazz. Even more people love to play soft music at their desk, claiming it helps them to focus. At the same time, an equal number of people prefer a silent working environment. These people say that they simply cannot focus on music and studies at the same time. Luckily, scientific research can help us reach a conclusion. How does music affect your memory?

Prior Research on Music:

Research done on music alone (without a work or study component) has found consistent results. We listen to music because it makes us feel good. How? When we hear a song we like, our brain releases dopamine, which is associated with pleasure and reward. That’s why you get that “music high” when you hear the opening notes of your favorite song.

Scientific Research on Music and Memory:

A Finnish study was done in which participants listened to an array of songs of both pop and orchestral varieties. They then picked three songs that they really liked, and three that they were neutral about. The participants were also asked if they had any prior musical experience. They were randomly assigned to listen to either a positive or a neutral song while learning Japanese characters, and a positive or a neutral song while being tested on those Japanese characters. This study found that those participants without any musical experience learned the characters better while hearing a positive song. However, they tested better while hearing a neutral song.
On the other hand, though, participants with musical training actually had the opposite result: they learned better with a neutral song, and tested better with a positive song.

What Does This Mean?

There are several explanations to the study’s findings. One may say that those with musical training– i.e. they’ve participated in a band, orchestra, choir, etc. – were actually distracted by the positive song while learning. These musicians have been trained to identify positive musical characteristics; thus, when listening to a song they really liked, they focused on the music, instead of learning the Japanese characters. When musicians listened to neutral (neither good nor bad) music, they were not distracted by any positive or negative musical characteristics.
To the same tune, perhaps non-musically-inclined participants learned better with a positive song, because the positive song released dopamine and made them feel good. In other words, they enjoyed studying, so they studied better.

In short, much more research is needed to determine whether or not music actually affects your memory. However, this study presents a valuable insight. If you have no musical training, create a study playlist of all your favorite songs. If you’re a musician, however, don’t listen to amazing music while you’re studying; try to choose music that you feel neither good nor bad about.

Joshua Gruss is the Chairman, CEO and founder of Round Hill Music.

Top 10 Music Videos of all Time

Top 10 Music Videos of all Time

Humans from all walks of life and culture have one aspect in common, they love music. We have created all kinds of music with all kinds of items. This has been refined and explored deeper over the centuries. In the present day, music videos have become quite popular. They add movement, visuals, and sometimes a story, to go with the song. This article will be listing the top 10 music videos of all time and why they made the list.

1) “Thriller” by Michael Jackson (1982) – Michael Jackson was a world famous singer during his time and Thriller was easily his most recognizable song. The high energy and dance sequences make this a truly memorable music video. It’s referenced all over pop-culture.

2) “Single Ladies” (Put a Ring on it) by Beyoncé (2009) – Beyoncé is one of the top modern stars in the world. This music video stands out for being simple yet effective in its approach with quick cuts and fast movements.

3) “Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift (2015) – She is another global sensation in the music world. The music video in particular stands out for its high budget set pieces and how it mixes with the visuals with the song.

4) “Opposites Attract” by Paula Abdul (1989) – Before becoming an American Idol judge, Paula Abdul was famous in her own right. This music video combines real life and 2D animations in a clean way.

5) “Formation” by Beyoncé (2016) – Her style is so profound that she gets another spot in this top 10 list. This music video has an interesting blend of southern and black culture.

6) “Hotline Bling” by Drake (2015) – On the flip-side, Drake is one of the most famous modern male singers. This music video even spawned a meme that has spread across social media.

7) “Cry Me a River” by Justin Timberlake (2002) – He performed at the super bowl last month. This music video demonstrates that his talent extends way back to his early days.

8) “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga (2009) – Lady Gaga is known for her unusual outfits and this music video strongly displays how that compliments her style.

9) “Hurt” by Johnny Cash (2002) – Unlike many of the music videos on this list, the music video for Hurt is very clamming and melancholy. It’s the kind of song one can relax to.

10) “Gangnam Style” by PSI (2010) – This might just be the most famous music video on this list. It’s currently the most viewed video ever on YouTube.

There are countless music videos out there. This list highlights the best of the best among a wide variety of genres from across several decades of music. The art of music videos will continue to evolve and in time this list may shift.

 

Joshua Gruss is the Chairman, CEO and founder of Round Hill Music.

Top 5 Workout Songs

Top 5 Workout Songs

Let’s face it. It’s very hard to get motivated during a workout if you don’t have some great tunes playing. Have no tunes and it’s hard to focus in general in the gym. However, there is a wide range of great workout songs to listen to while at the gym. In this article, we’re going to be breaking down my top five and why they are my top five. Let’s get started!

1. 300 Violin Orchestra by Jorge Quintero:

This song is just instrumental gold. It’s not as famous as Requiem for a Dream but it’s a way better pump up. The reason that this is such a great instrumental is due to the suspense it creates. It slowly starts gaining suspense with the violins and synths along with the drums in the background. All of a sudden, the music stops and then the beat drops. Overall, the song is very hard to put into words. If you haven’t heard it, I highly recommend that you do and even put it on your playlist.

2. Requiem for a Dream by Clint Mansell:

The violins and the scales they play over and over is what makes this song a hit. Along with 300 violin orchestra, this song has a lot of suspense created. Unlike 300 Violin, this song has a very dramatic beat in the background rather than an array of drums. This song was basically orchestrated by both a choir and an orchestra. In the end, the two combined to make instrumental gold.

3. Till I Collapse by Eminem:

Unlike the previous two songs, this song is not an instrumental. Instead, it is a rap song made by rapper Eminem. The reason why this song is on my list is because of the aggressive rap along with the great metaphors Eminem spits in the song. He’s not screaming but he’s not rapping in a normal voice either. It almost seems as if he is mad which makes me attack my workout even harder. There are many remixes of this song as well. I’d consider checking out the Stradeus trap remix along with the Neffex remix especially if you are a fan of electronic dance music.

4. Lose Yourself by Eminem:

Similar to ‘Till I Collapse, Eminem brings the same flow in his hit song Lose Yourself. In this song, it feels like Eminem is speaking directly to his listener. He states that great opportunities don’t come too often and that it’s your decision if you want to take advantage of every opportunity or not. The song also goes over Eminem’s rough past and his dedication to work hard and persevere in times of struggle. When you’re struggling during a workout, this song will help lift you up.

5. I’d Love To Change the World by Jetta (Matstubs Remix):

This song is similar to the first two in the suspense it creates. However, the chorus is what takes the cake. The well-orchestrated instruments just give you the motivation to push through your workout. Overall, it is a very empowering song.

All in all, these are my top five workout songs.

 

Joshua Gruss is the Chairman, CEO and founder of Round Hill Music.

 

Top 5 Marvel Studio Movie Soundtracks

 

Top 5 Marvel Studio Movie Soundtracks

Black Panther: The Album is turning the music industry upside down with its hot dynamic soundtracks. Is this album the best musical offering from Marvel Studios? With Kendrick Lamar at the helm, it’s easy for anyone to say that this album is in a class by itself. Lamar did an exceptional job with organizing soundtracks that makes you think and dance.

After the release of Black Panther: The Album, I started thinking about Marvel soundtracks released in the past. In my humble opinion, I believe Marvel has the tendency of being very conservative when it comes to releasing soundtracks for their blockbuster movies. However, there are several phenomenal soundtracks that left a deep impression on me. Let’s take a close look at them.

5. Iron Man 2 – AC/DC

How can you go wrong with AC/DC? AC/DC is one of the most prolific rock-n-roll bands of all time. Besides their talent for taking over the stage, their unique sound separates them from other legendary rock-n-roll bands. It’s exciting to see Iron Man take down the bad guys while “Back in Black”, “War Machine, and “Shoot to Thrill” is playing in the background.

4. Spiderman Homecoming – Michael Giacchino

Bringing this talented composer on board for this project was a no brainer. Giacchino has an exceptional reputation when it comes to creating music that compliments characters in movies. His talent helped him to give the classic Spiderman theme a contemporary beat that hypes you up for a young man who’s responsible for saving the world.

3. Captain America: The First Avenger – Alan Silvestri

This orchestral score is perfect for a classic movie that features one of the most beloved Marvel characters of all time. I fell in love with “Farewell to Bucky” and “Passage of Time”. You can hear the deep tones of sadness and triumph. This soundtrack compliments an American Hero that rises to glory back in the 20th Century.

2. Thor: Ragnarok – Mark Mothersbaugh

Marvel needed a creative sound that could help showcase a galactic battle taking place between the most powerful Marvel characters off all time. Mothersbaugh, member of the stylish 80’s band Devo, used synthesizers to create up tempo beats for the soundtrack. After listening to the soundtrack, you can easily tell that Mothersbaugh injected his creativity into this project.

1. Doctor Strange – Michael Giacchino

Michael Giacchino brought more light into the Marvel Universe with this soundtrack for a movie that features one of the most bizarre superheroes in the universe. The track “A Long Strange Trip” reminds us of how psychedelic rock can make us dance to the electric guitar and heavy drum beats. This album is filled with nostalgic tunes that take you back to the turbulent sixties. I guess this is why this album is so special to me and millions of other die-hard Marvel fans around the globe.

The new Black Panther album has raised the bar for upcoming Marvel soundtracks. It will be interesting to see what will take place in Marvel’s world of music in the future. The producers have their work cut out for them.

 

Joshua Gruss is the Chairman, CEO and founder of Round Hill Music.

Top 5 Most Underrated Songs of All Time

Top 5 Most Underrated Songs of All Time

It’s easy to find songs when they’re given their proper due. Some great songs, though, never quite got the respect that they deserve. Below are five of the most underrated songs of all time, songs that deserve a little more respect than they got upon release.

1. I’m Still Standing:

It’s really hard to call any song by Elton John underrated, but this one probably counts. This song got a ton of airplay, but it never really ranked up there with Elton’s classics. The song is almost ridiculously catchy and has all the elements that made some of Elton John’s biggest hits catch fire, but it never made it higher than #12 on the US charts. While that’s an amazing showing for almost anyone else, it’s a bit of a letdown for Elton. The song still stands up to criticism today, which can’t be said for some of his other better-rated work.

2. Breed:

Nirvana’s relatively tiny catalog is full of not only hits but some all-time classics. If you were alive during the early 1990s, you probably not most of them by heart. One you might not remember, though, is Breed – a brutally fast and musically complex piece that feels at odds with a lot of the band’s other work. The fact that it’s so often forgotten is a real shame, as it was a tantalizing look at just how good Nirvana really was.

3. So Lonesome I Could Cry:

While the Hank Williams, Sr. version rightfully gets a lot of praise from fans, it’s the Johnny Cash cover that has been overlooked. It’s not surprising, of course – it came out on American IV: The Man Comes Around which was full of amazing covers. In fact, it was destined to be overlooked the moment that Cash’s cover of Hurt was recorded. Even with that said, this is an amazing cover that deserves much more attention than it ever got. Fortunately, fans of Cash’s later work can still find this song with relatively little effort.

4. Matthew Good Band:

If you’re looking for something fantastic and didn’t spend a lot of time listening to MTV2 during the late 1990s, you might have overlooked this song. The Matthew Good Band’s opus is a fantastic alternative track, one that got relatively little rotation as it was lost in the pre-millennial shuffle. It’s a shame, too, as the song’s solid structure and outstanding chorus really stand out on repeat listens. Unfortunately, the song has largely been forgotten by all but a few diehards. It’s a good example of a great song that was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

5. Thunder:

If you know the Runaways at all, it’s probably from Cherry Bomb. Thunder, though, is a similarly snarly piece of fun that’s actually a bit better from a technical standpoint. While those that remember the band today probably spend more time thinking about the individual members’ later careers and the whirlwind that surrounded their personal lives, Thunder remains one of the best overall rock songs from the 1970s.

Joshua Gruss is the Chairman, CEO and founder of Round Hill Music.