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Offline BrownSugar  
#1 Posted : 28 December 2014 08:07:57(UTC)
BrownSugar
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Artist: Alicia Lena
Title: Almost Grown
Genres: R&B, Pop, Soul, Funk
Length: 24:38
Writer: A.Lena, W.Berry
Producer: Alicia Lena
Released: December 27th 2014

See It Now
Different Day
Won't Change A Thing
The Peace of Wild Things
(Poem by Wendell Berry)
Get By
The Phone Call
New Year
(Remix)

Almost Grown is the first mixtape by American R&B singer-songwriter and producer, Alicia Lena. The collection of tracks came as a surprise to both fans and the media as Lena had not teased or announced that she was working on any new material. "Almost Grown" is Lena's first official release since her 2012 studio album, Reign Over Me. The mixtape was released on December 27th 2014 via her official website and is currently free to download.

Since 2012, Lena was rumoured to be working on her fourth studio album set to be released by Tric-Jam records. After experiencing a delay with the record, Alicia put the project to one side and decided to focus on her love life before picking up where she left off at a later date. During her time away from the industry, Alicia entered a relationship with a man who still remains unnamed to this day. According to accounts, he is not related to the music industry in any way. Lena planned to start a family which again put the fourth album on hold. As of September 2014, the pair have separated and Alicia has since stated that the relationship became abusive for the most part of 2014. Her fragile mental state was the main reason behind the record's third delay and lack of public appearances as she "couldn't face anything" for months on end.

After taking some time to heal and figure out the direction in which she wanted to take her music career and personal life, Lena scrapped all of the work she had done from 2012 onward and began writing for the fourth album all over again in late 2014. "Almost Grown" serves as a "teaser" to the new studio album and many of the songs on the tape will appear on the album which is slated for a spring 2015 release. The mixtape explores the themes of healing a broken heart, working towards a new you, finding confidence and building strength. After leaving a very traumatising relationship and having to build herself back up again, Alicia wanted to channel all of that into her new music which has ultimately led to a bolder sound and image.





"See It Now"

"See It Now" is the opening track on Alicia Lena's debut mixtape, Almost Grown. The song is the first we've heard Lena's voice since her featured appearance on Sonyae's "New Year" and the first fully Lena penned track since her 2012 album, Reign Over Me. Lyrically, the song is about realising that a relationship was a mistake when it is already over and the damage has been done. Despite prior warnings from friends and loved ones, Lena could not see any faults in her partner or their relationship. It was only when the final blows were thrown that she realised that everyone else was right. She goes on to state in the song how hindsight is such a wonderful thing and while she is wise to it all and does not want to get back together, she has already played with the fire and still has to heal from the scars. Unfortunately, the damage is already done and she can only see it now. Despite the lyrics being rather deep, the song itself is built around a disco beat and her delivery is rather uplifting and cheery. It is a way of showing that she is trying to heal and almost forcing herself to be happy, throwing a serious situation into an upbeat disco track.



Took my phone off the hook 'cause I knew you'd soon be on the line
I wiped my tears on my sleeve and popped yet another bottle of wine
Haven't slept for three days straight and I still ain't even tired
I spark up one of your cigars you left, reminded me how I played with fire

I know that I should've seen it coming and I shouldn't sit here all alone
Been lying to myself, played with the Devil and tried to prove that I'm so grown

I looked into his eyes and he saw just how scared I was
He loved the power and pulled me in when I was feeling so lost
Don't blame me for letting him in, his signals were to strong to tune out
My girls are right, hindsight's a wonderful, it's too bad I can only see it now
I can see it now-ow-ow, I can see it now-ow, I can see it now-ow


Can Be Compared To




Different Day

"Different Day" is the second track to appear on Almost Grown, immediately taking over from the opener "See It Now". Unlike any other song on the mixtape, "Different Day" is the only one to talk about being in a relationship and actually enjoying it despite all of the chaos going on. It tells us the story of a couple who seem to get kicks out of arguing and breaking up with each other, just to make up again not long afterwards. It is a vicious circle as they know they cause a lot of hurt and damage to one another but can't seem to help themselves. It is the same thing day in and day out. While they are enjoying themselves at this moment in time, deep down they know that they will both burn out sooner or later. The song is built around a heavily influenced early 90's R&B/Soul/Funk beat and is said to be one of Lena's personal favourites. The full length version of the song is aid to feature a surprise collaborator and only the first part of the track appears as Lena wants to keep the full collaboration for the album. So far it is the only song confirmed for inclusion on her fourth studio album.



Baby I want to know as I'm walking out the doorway
What in the world were we even fighting for?
The last few hours are just another big blur to me
The red mist clears with the fresh air through the door

Honey I want to know as I'm smashing up your car
Why we couldn't have patched this up some time ago
Know you like it when I get mad, though does it have to go this far?
I swear one day we'll both lose it and go up in smoke

Let's break up and throw the laundry across the neighbourhood
Let's shake it up, tell me why hating you just feels so good?
Let's make up in the nasty ways that only we could
Then repeat, it's same good shit but on a different day
It's the same good shit but on a different day
It's the same good shit but on a different day



Can Be Compared To




Won't Change A Thing

"Won't Change A Thing" is the third track on the mixtape. It again explores the throwback sound which Alicia is experimenting with. This track in particular contains a very 70's disco influence which can also be heard on "See It Now" and "Get By". Lena's vocals are at their most powerful here and it is the first track in which she is taking the upper hand and saying that she doesn't need her lover and can't wait to say goodbye to him once and for all. Lena has said that the full version of this song was written within ten minutes and recorded straight afterwards. It is the one she is most proud of as it was the first full track she has laid down since 2012.



It's time that I break it you, I can't wait to move on
It's gonna feel so fucking good when you're gone
Feeling so incredible now that I'm not with you no more
And you save all of your stories, not one syllable is true
I saw you two with my own eyes, don't take me for some kind of fool

You wrapped me up in bed with the same old lies
Crept back out again, saying you left something behind
Come crawling back in with her lipstick down your mouth
Then I'm all yours until the next time you decide to go back around

Boy you must be tripping or out of your big old head
To think I would never click, never see right through you baby
I wanna know what was going around in your mind
Did you honestly think you would get away with trying to play me?
So you can go ahead and try to pick up all the pieces
But that don't mean shit to me
You can cry your little eyes out and miss out on nights of sleeping
But that won't even change a thing



Can Be Compared To




The Peace of Wild Things

The Peace of Wild Things is the fourth track on Almost Grown. It is a poem written by Wendell Berry and read aloud by Alicia Lena. The poem can have many different meanings, one being that of healing and showcasing that peace can even exist among the "wild" - reflecting Alicia's turbulent relationship and the way she is finally winding down after everything that has and is still going on around her. Berry is one of Lena's favourite poets and felt as though this piece of work in particular really embodied everything she experienced and wants to say. As Lena reads the poem with an even pace, pronouncing each word carefully, the sound of rain can be heard in the background, tapping against a window. The recording was taken in Alicia's bedroom and has not been edited in anyway, giving it a very raw and real feeling.


When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.



Get By

Get By is the fifth track on Almost Grown and the first full song to appear on the mixtape following three teasers and a poem. The mid-tempo 70's influenced R&B track continues the throwback feel to the whole record while still exploring the themes of healing and growth. Get By tells the story of how Alicia used to think her now ex partner was her entire world. She almost felt as if she couldn't breathe without him. When it was all over, Lena explains how she felt at rock bottom for a while but is slowly picking up the pieces. It might still be a work in progress and she may still feel hurt from time to time but she is slowly getting there and certainly doesn't need him back in her life. It is a long road to recovery but she is sure that she'll "get by" just fine. Along with "The Phone Call", this track is speculated to be released as an official single although Lena has not confirmed anything herself.



You took my hands when I couldn't see,
Held onto my heart and brought back the beat
Because of you I found some hope in tomorrow
Had no idea that I was heading for trouble
When I lost strength, you got me back on my feet
On top of the world when you were with me
Always thought you'd keep me going

Too good to be true, now what do I do?
Left here stranded with my heart torn in two
Because of you I didn't believe in tomorrow
Gripping onto another empty bottle
Gotta pull it together and fight my way through
I didn't get so far in life just to lose
Oh I just keep on going

So what if I slipped into darkness?
That's where the stars shine their brightest
It might take time but I know I'll get by
Brush it off, shake it off, keep on going
So much stronger than I look, I am golden
It might take time but I know I'll get by
Oh, I'll get by


Didn't think you'd turn your back on me
You kept me going, you were just like my IV
Now I'm hoping for a better tomorrow
Searching for a brand new path to follow
Too good to be true, I should have seen the signs
But what good are the eyes when the mind is blind?
Couldn't see where we were going

So what if I slipped into darkness?
That's where the stars shine their brightest
It might take time but I know I'll get by
Brush it off, shake it off, keep on going
So much stronger than I look, I am golden
It might take time but I know I'll get by
Oh, I'll get by


I was on my way out, almost six feet in the ground until you came around
I had hope, I gained strength, I thought that better days were ahead (yeah-eh)
Don't know why you lit me up just to burn it off, I'm all outta love

Too good to be true, now what do I do?
Left here stranded with my heart torn in two
How can I keep on going?

So what if I slipped into darkness?
That's where the stars shine their brightest
It might take time but I know I'll get by
Brush it off, shake it off, keep on going
So much stronger than I look, I am golden
It might take time but I know I'll get by
Oh, I-I-I-I-I-I-I'll, I'll get by


Can Be Compared To




The Phone Call

The Phone Call is the sixth track on Almost Grow. It is noted for being one of the most explicit tracks on the mixtape and is highlighted for being both "dark" and "experimental". While the whole mixtape infuses many new sounds for Lena (disco, funk and hip-hop), "The Phone Call" stands out for its urban appeal and it is said to be a strong contender for the first single to be lifted. The song is about two different phone calls. Alicia comes home to overhear her boyfriend "talking dirty" to another woman on the phone and she then confronts him. When he denies everything, Lena redials and proves that she was right about everything and breaks up with her boyfriend. She then calls one of her girlfriends and recalls the situation step by step.



Girl I really hope that you have some time
I know it's late but I need a friend right now
How could I have ever been so damn blind?
I gave him everything he wanted, what I do wrong?
I just can't seem to work this out

He shouldn't flatter himself thinking he's all I need
I don't even need to ask if that trick was better me
I hope that when he's going in, I'm still in his fantasy
That's if he can get it up before the new girl falls asleep

Man, I really should have known
How could I have ever trusted that little...

Well fuck that lying, cheating son of a gun
No one else could have loved him better than me
I remained faithful, waited on him hand and foot
I had no eyes for another, he was all that I could see


Last night when I finally made it back home
I heard him talking to her bout what they do in bed
Well he made his when he thought he was all alone
I walk in, he hangs up, I watch the sweat drip from his head
This is one thing I'll never understand

Man, I really should have known
How could I have ever trusted that little...

Well fuck that lying, cheating son of a gun
No one else could have loved him better than me
I remained faithful, waited on him hand and foot
I had no eyes for another, he was all that I could see


I gave him a chance to come to clean and set it straight
It would've still been over but some honesty would've saved his face
He said I was tripping, trying to make me look like the liar in this
So I redialed, he recoiled, she picked up, "hey sexy, what is it?"
When I returned you best believe I threw that phone back it him
If he'd have been straight up maybe I wouldn't have started smashing things

Well fuck that lying, cheating son of a gun
No one else could have loved him better than me
I remained faithful, waited on him hand and foot
I had no eyes for another, he was all that I could see

Well fuck that lying, cheating son of a gun
No one else could have loved him better than me
I remained faithful, waited on him hand and foot
I had no eyes for another, he was all that I could see


(repeat until fade)

Can Be Compared To




New Year [Remix]

New Year appears as the final track on the mixtape and it is a nod to the new year which is ahead and all of the new opportunities it will hopefully present Lena with. The original track was released by rapper Sonyae in the beginning of 2014 and Alicia featured on the chorus. It was Lena's only musical release until now. The song was originally more pop oriented and uplifting in sound but here, in this remixed version, the song has a stronger urban influence and sounds darker in tone. Alicia also takes on the verses, showcasing her rapping skills for the first time. She has a rich, husky tone which blends well with the slow beat and her overall performance is very relaxed as if to say she's more than ready for 2015. Alicia decided to include this remixed version on Almost Grown as it talks about new beginnings and leaving the bad behind which is one of the prominent themes on the mixtape.



Now I'm, I'm ready to take on, the brand new year
I dreamed of my future shining and my dream's finally here
No more pain and tears, the storm has gone and the sky is clear
For it's a new year and I'm going to shout it out and cheer
I wanna hear you say ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay
Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay
Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay. It's a new year. It's a new year.


Yeah the time's here, it's a new year. Know what that means? Drop all fears
We're getting ready for something special and new, so grab a couple beers
Cut the negativity let it disappear in this new year, now lemme hear your screams and cheers
Lemme her you chant loud enough to make me have to cover my ears
Ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend? Leave them in the past it's time to get past
Once you dump the trash you start to save a lot of your gas
Only then you can speed fast at last onto the right path, I'm speedin' past all the bad shit
Speed past the bad shit and sign a pact with freedom and happiness cos it's a new year, let the music blast

Now I'm, I'm ready to take on, the brand new year
I dreamed of my future shining and my dream's finally here
No more pain and tears, the storm has gone and the sky is clear
For it's a new year and I'm going to shout it out and cheer
I wanna hear you say ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay
Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay
Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay. It's a new year. It's a new year.


You gon' feel my wrath, my wrath of happiness. I am a warrior, you can call me Aeneas
I've conquered Nemesis, and I'm leavin' behind all the scars of ugliness
Eventually the light overcame all the darkness, so long to all the emptiness
I mean it's, it's a new year so it's a must that I steer into it well
I've got the proper gear and like a rocket I'm bursting out of this shell
Smelling the fresh scents in the air, start ringing the church bells
The sun light has appeared and I felt a new me ever since that clock struck twelve

Now I'm, I'm ready to take on, the brand new year
I dreamed of my future shining and my dream's finally here
No more pain and tears, the storm has gone and the sky is clear
For it's a new year and I'm going to shout it out and cheer
I wanna hear you say ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay
Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay
Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay. It's a new year. It's a new year.

Now lemme hear you say, lemme hear you say, ayyy
For the brand new year, yes it's a new year
For I am standing steady, for I amm ready ready to-day-ay
Ready to take off into the new year, into the new year
I wanna hear you say ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay
Cos it's a new year-ear, ear, ear, ear, ear, ear
Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay
Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay. It's a new year-ear.


Can Be Compared To




OOC: Sorry if this seems shoddy. I just threw it together over the last hour and a half. A mixture of boredom and needing to catch up on released :/
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WEEKEND: BILLY • DUSTYN • OSCAR • RILEY • SCOTT
PUBLIC WARNING: BEAU • CARTER LEE • JAKE • MYLES • ZANDER
THE STAT NERDS: BRIAN • CHRISTOPHER

JOSHUA GRIMMIE • LINCOLN • LAYLA • MERCEDES • MICHELLE GREEN
ANDREA • DENEIL • CHICAGO NOBODY • BLOOM • SONNY • VICTORIA BLACK
BLAKE • REUBEN • ELLIE-GRACE SUMMERS • ALFIE SUMMERS
MICAH DELISLE • JAMIE JACKSON • KONSTANTIN • FAYETTE • SAYYID

thanks 8 users thanked BrownSugar for this useful post.
snap_itshannah on 28/12/2014(UTC), DistortedAudio on 28/12/2014(UTC), Welat65 on 28/12/2014(UTC), AmyJayneXoX on 28/12/2014(UTC), erich hess on 28/12/2014(UTC), TishaJackson!!!! on 28/12/2014(UTC), Famouss7x7 on 28/12/2014(UTC), Princess_Valentine on 19/01/2015(UTC)
Offline TishaJackson!!!!  
#2 Posted : 28 December 2014 13:17:10(UTC)
TishaJackson!!!!
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Tisha: Thank you for this my sister! It feels so good to see a Black woman making soul music, and not trying to fit into a trend. Hell it's good to hear real soul/r&b music that transcends all formats. You make me proud. Hurry up with that album ;)

OOC: Wasn't expecting this! Great work!
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Offline chiliwilly  
#3 Posted : 28 December 2014 16:13:02(UTC)
chiliwilly
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Chilly Willy: what samples did you use that made ya have to put it out as a mixtape rather than an EP? Just curious.
Chili Willy's Soup Kitchen Recs

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That's me!

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thanks 1 user thanked chiliwilly for this useful post.
BrownSugar on 29/12/2014(UTC)
Offline Famouss7x7  
#4 Posted : 29 December 2014 04:01:36(UTC)
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Cassie: Wow! So good to see you back and serving to the masses Alicia! :) loving this. Really going to have New Year and Different Day on repeat hehe.

QueenAlexis: Not very impressed. Why are you selling out with this pop bullshit Alicia? Trying too hard. Let's go back to the drawing board for the album or this is going to be a disaster.

OOC: Nice job. You always do a great job on all your RPs. You definitely surprised me with the out of nowhere release. Makes things exciting lol. And yaaas to using the Feeling Myself remix ;)

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Cristina LakeAubrey MikkelSabinaJames UrieAustin NimmoMandy Williams The Wolverines
Jerry Holmes • Marina Balan • MiamiBYSNaomiSuzieAaron Styles
Brittany KnoxDennis Shaw • Gemma • Payton • Cassie Valentine • Jay-CNick UriePRÓXIMO

thanks 1 user thanked Famouss7x7 for this useful post.
BrownSugar on 29/12/2014(UTC)
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