If you guys don’t already know, i’ve been pretty into the Canadian show Degrassi, it’s one of my favorite shows to watch actually, not only are the topics on that show always great and interesting to see, but believe it or not, Degrassi has some pretty great songs to it as well!!
I’m always intrigued with the way the songs come out, most of them sound very good and the people singing the songs, they make you believe that they themselves have written them, but obviously it’s not always like that, but the way they perform it will have you thinking that it’s an original song.
I always find the writing of the songs they have for the characters who are meant to be singing them to be pretty fascinating, one of my favorites is the song My Window by Jake Epstein who play Craig Manning on the show for a good few seasons, i’m not really sure what it is about the song, but it’s just really good, Jake’s vocal’s are pretty damn amazing in this song, I can’t really describe his voice, but what I can say is, it’s very unique……
The way he performs My window is just something of it’s own and when you listen to the song, the words, the lyrics to it is just……I can’t seem to get a wording on it properly at the moment, but it’s just so, let’s just to say you really feel it……but again Jake’s vocals with the songs is amazing here!!
As we all know everyone has their own voice when they sing, some are powerhouses, some more soulful and others just have their own category that they naturally add themselves in and Jake Epstein is one of those that is just in his own realm when he sings, it really is hard for me to put him some place and maybe he doesn’t need to be in a specific place, sure there are probably other artists that are pretty similar to him in other ways,
but Jake alone just has this very indescribable unique style to him that you just can’t seem to help, but admire and with way he brings you the song, even if you can’t really get an exact idea on where exactly to put him, you still feel it, sometimes you can’t quite put your finger on something, but you still have a feel to it in someway you know!? My window to me is a really great song, I was actually trying to look up the meaning of it, but I can’t seem to get it at the moment even when looking at the lyrics to it……..
Again I don’t know what it is, but there’s just something to this song as well as Jake Epstein’s performance of it that makes me want to re listen to it every time, it might take a good few listens just to really truly understand the meaning behind it and to be honest, I don’t really mind it……
These are the words and lyrics to one of the famous shows loved by many, the show people can’t seem to get enough of and the show people want back, that show ladies and gentlemen is Degrassi!!
Starting the journey with The Kids of Degrassi Street we watched and witness the growth of teens transitioning into Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High, introduced and welcomed the newer and Next Generation of the Next Class, following them through the highs and lows of their lives while also getting to know each and every character individually.
Some relatable and some not as much, but each one held a story that made an impact most of us would remember. Stories like Joey and Caitlin’s relationship, Spike’s (Christine) pregnancy, Jimmy’s changing life experience, the life of J.T. Yorke and so many other moments and memories from all the generations.
It’s crazy to see just how much this series has grown and expanded over the years with it originally premiering back in the late 70’s with the Kids of Degrassi Street, continuing on up until 2017 with Degrassi Next Class.
Being able to watch all these different generations from the show and seeing how different or similar some of the characters are from the previous timelines of Degrassi is incredible!!
Not only that, but the storylines from the series and the way they were able to restyle some of the topics that were expressed back in the late 70’s, 80’s and even early 90’s, to then bring them front and center for real life generations of this decade, is something worth admiring.
In the times where these topics were building, not many people felt comfortable speaking upon these topics because of how real and sensitive they were, so for the creators and writers of Degrassi to create an environment within a show that tackles, things like:
Teen pregnancy, drugs, mental disorders, self harm, different kinds of abuse and even tough situations like suicide as well as situations dealing with certain disabilities is quite fascinating because it wasn’t something that was seen often.
Now if you couldn’t already tell, just by everything i’ve stated, i’ve been pretty interested in all thing Degrassi lately and when I say interested I mean obsessed, i’m not ashamed to admit it, what can I say it’s a good show, that you can’t help, but get invested in.
Whenever I watch an episodes of Degrassi, I have this thing where I like to read the comment section and one of the comments had someone saying how even though Degrassi was very popular in Canada (Canada being it’s home place) over here in the states it was pretty much like a rare gem, because we didn’t really get or have shows like Degrassi, the formula it had to it and everything about it was just……
Let’s just say it’s hard to put into words……it was just different, different in a good way, it was that kind of show that coming across it, you’d be really curious to what it was about and you couldn’t help, but be drawn to it in some way, it’s just a really well put together kind of show.
You could tell just how dedicated the writers and everyone was with this show or series shall I say and how much it meant to them. You can always pick up on that kind of thing, even if shows like Degrassi aren’t really your thing, it’s nice knowing you can still appreciate everything about it!!
Watching every episode of it so far has been pretty intense firstly, but also very interesting and entertaining as well……the intense are of course the episodes and how they’re laid out and the interesting is everything else, with the different styles all the characters had to them, Spike with her famous hair, Joey and his fedora and Hawaiian shirts, all the different personalities from all the generations, just everything!!!
The 70’s and 80’s of Degrassi High and Junior High have more of a darker tone to it compared to The New Generation and New Class, however with New Generation and New Class, you also get those serious topics that you would from Degrassi High and Junior High, just in different ways of course.
When it come to The Kids of Degrassi Street however, well they start you off with the basics of when you’re a kid, some examples: A new family moves to town, a friend moves away, having crushes stuff like that…..Kids of Degrassi Street also tackle serious topics, but it’s not as full forced as it would be with the other versions of the show, which in a way is a good thing, because it would be really odd if it was like the other versions.
I always found decades like the 70s, 80’s and 90’s so fascinating……when you look back to those time whether you were apart of it or you just learned about it, you’ll notice a lot of different things from those decades compared to now, that you don’t really see much of anymore.
For example: The choice of clothing everyone wore, you’ll notice how comfortable, yet unique they were, which I love by the way!! Then you have the different sayings, such as Broomhead (which is another way to call someone an idiot) however I think it was in the show where that saying was used a lot…..not really sure if that was a popular saying back then……
Side Note:I noticed in the show that the word alright was used a lot, but I know that has nothing to do with the 80’s, just felt like pointing that out.
Compared to the different styles of today though and the different sayings and slangs they used, you’ll realize just how much everything’s evolved from within the time span of those times…….it’s just mad how much it’s changed since then!! I always wondered what it’d be like to experience the 80’s and 70’s and that in certain ways, with having to wear the kind of clothes they wore, speaking the way they did, even the school dances……
I know that’s random, but seriously what was that like!? The hairstyles they’d have too…..it’s just interesting to think about you know!?
I was born mid 90’s, but I didn’t really get to embrace the 90’s like how most people did, I know the fashion choices were pretty out of this world though, but other than that, didn’t really get to embrace it properly. I did get to experience part of the 80’s once…….that was something……sorry i’m getting a little lost in the nostalgia of decades that I haven’t really experienced.
The closes i’d say to me experiencing decades like the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s is the music really, I love old music……speaking of music, how about we talk more on Degrassi a bit, specifically it’s theme songs, both Degrassi High and Junior High’s theme were quite something, in the best way of course!!
At times at least……it’s actually pretty funny when you think about, because ahhh man was it both great and not at the same time……when you watch those old episodes of Degrassi High and Junior High, you’ll notice just how upbeat and peppy the theme was, I mean you have this very serious show that is Degrassi right and you would think because of the way the show is, the theme would fit with it……NOPE not at all, it’s really odd……
Knowing the kind of show Degrassi is and going back and hearing the theme that it had at one point and how joyful it was, you would think you were watching a whole different show until it starts.
There’s so many different moments in certain episodes where it’s extremely sad and very serious and you get to the ending of them, thinking the theme would stay put and not be heard for that specific episode……yet it plays anyway and you find yourself listening to a very cheerful Degrassi theme, while saying to yourself, “I don’t think that was the best way to end the episode or the episode could’ve done without the cheerful music at the end”
It was great though, I loved it, but it just came in so awkward at times……at least it was very catchy and let’s not forget they did bring us a new and improved Degrassi theme, now we can sit back in nostalgia and relive all the amazing Degrassi themes, how lucky are we!?
We even get to relive that famous bonus track by The Zit Remedy (a.k.a The Zits for a short while, until they went back to their original band name)
Final Thoughts: Now at season 3 of Degrassi: The Next Generation, I gotta say I don’t really know what made me want to watch the older versions from back then, but i’m glad I did look into them, because not only was it nice watching all those versions, but it gives you this whole yearbook on how the show came together, having everything make so much more sense compared to if you just watched it from Next Generation or New Class…..
Going back and looking to where it all first began, you then get bits and pieces added to the rest of the Degrassi series where you get to know all about the previous characters and what they were like and how they did things and just so much more and I think that’s great!! Watching the episodes now and seeing characters like Spike, Snake, Joey, Caitlin, Mr Raditch and others from the Degrassi High and Junior High series……
Seeing how they are now in Next Generation, is both crazy and pretty cool at the same time!! You’ve watched them as one personality for so long and then you see what they’re like older and it’s like, you can’t believe it……some you can see have stayed the same in some ways and there’s others who have changed a bit, but still have a bit of that personality that they did back in Junior High and Degrassi High and it’s just mad!!
I love how looking back at those series you can think to yourself “ahhh so that’s how that happen, I get it now” it makes you feel like you’re apart of it and shows like that stay memorable.
Last weekend, I decided to give some stuff a listen…..some of my favorite artists came out with some music recently that I hadn’t heard yet and since it’s been a while, I thought i’d check out one of their songs.
The song that i’ll be discussing today is called Weight and it’s by one of my all time favorites artists Alexz Johnson, Weight came out two weeks ago well sorta……the song technically came out a few years ago, but only recently officially released this year (try saying that line 5 times ha)
I knew about the song, but I had never heard it before until recently, although it’s the same song that she wrote all those years ago…….she did make a couple of changes to it, so even though it’s the same, it’s also pretty different at the same time.
Now before you even say it, I know a lot of you won’t know who she is and that’s because she’s not really popularly well known…..she’s an independent artist, a Canadian American artist, she’s also an actress, she’s been in a few shows as well as some movies that you might’ve seen or heard about, but this could also be the first time you’ve ever heard about them too.
You might know her from the movie Final Destination 3 or you might’ve seen her on her popular (well i’d like to think of it as popular) show called Instant Star (one of my all time favorite shows might I add) it was featured on then network The N (now known as TeenNick) along with shows like Degrassi (The Next Generation) Radio Free Roscoe and a few other ones.
You should definitely check out Instant Star, it’s a good one and i’m not just saying that because it’s my favorite show…….alright I am a little, but it’s a really good show and I think some of you might enjoy it, feel free to check out the other shows and movies too.
Although she is an actress, she mainly focuses on her music the most and believe me when I tell you she’s amazing!! I actually had the pleasure of meeting her not once, but twice when I attended two different live shows of hers, the first time was back in 2013 and the second meet was about 2 years ago in 2017, both times were great getting to meet her, she’s a lovely human being, down to earth, good sense of humor and just all around great!!
Without further ado, let’s get to this song of hers shall we!? Now I could go on and review it, as well as interpret the song, but in all honesty i’ve never once thought to review an Alexz Johnson song and i’ve never felt the need to try to interpret her songs before either, I always felt they spoke for themselves when listening to them.
I mean who knows maybe one day i’ll sit down and try to break down the lyrics to her songs, but for now we’re just going to talk about it, in the best way that I can explain it. Before I listened to Weight, I gotta be honest, I was nervous……not like bad nervous, more on the excited side of town, I wasn’t sure what to expect of it and that’s why I was nervous about it.
For those of you who don’t know, Alexz last album A Stranger Time, released almost 2 years ago (it’ll be 2 years come this September) and so it’s been a while since hearing anything new from her…….when I found out about Weight, I was caught off guard, I didn’t even know she was writing new stuff. It wasn’t until I went on one of my social medias to see her counting down to the release of the song to know about it, although I didn’t hear it on the release day, I was still buzzing to hear it!!
When I actually heard the song I thought i’d be a little calm listening to it, but the minute I hit the play button and heard her voice, I stopped it immediately……..I needed to get myself in order first before continuing on with the song, well I tried to continue on listening in a calmly fashion, it didn’t quite work out that way though…….I mean I was semi calm, but had some enthusiasm added to that calmness, but tell me how else do you react when one of your favorite artists releases a new song unexpectedly!?
Exactly, you react accordingly and by accordingly I mean how ever you feel that emotion to be during the moment and that was mine in the moment.
I also had the biggest smile on my face when listening to the song, even though I had no idea how I was going to write about it, once it had finished. Alexz never disappoints me with her music, even if there’s a song that i’m not too fond of, i’m still not disappointed with it……her music is just incredible and I think she’s uniquely wonderful!!
With that said, I don’t know if this will sound weird, but the way she speaks is the way she sings, that might sound confusing so i’ll try and explain, you know when you’re listening to an artist and you hear them talk and from the way they speak you wouldn’t think that their singing voice would be any different, but then you hear them sing something and you’re like “That voice did not just come out of you!? No way I would’ve never guessed!!”
That’s what I mean, but with Alexz, her voice is both so simple, yet so outstandingly out of this world at the same time, the power she has with it and the way she uses it with her music…….I love it!! She’s just really amazing, I got chills listening to her hit a high note towards the bridge of the song, that’s how good she is!!
Also yes I know anyone can give you chills with their singing, but there’s always that special one that is very different from the rest and gives you that special kind of feeling and Alexz is one of those people to me.
Whether it’s with her voice, her writing style, just everything, she’s just really incredible all around and with this song, well with any Alexz Johnson song really, in my opinion anyway, you can’t help, but want to listen to it and really take everything in that you’re listening to…….be it because of the lyrics or her voice, she leaves you without words and just makes you feel you know!?
I played the song more than once within the same night, so I can say I know a pretty good amount of the chorus now and other parts to the song too.
Now there’s other versions to the song Weight performed by Alexz Johnson herself of course, where she sings it in different ways, adding different things to it as well. In the original her voice is a little younger, but not too young, my first thought about it was that it sounded like a song that would’ve fit very well on her show Instant Star…..
Well the original one would’ve i’d say probably between the 3rd-4th season, but had there been a 5th season I think the newer version would go well, if you listen to it and you know the show you’d think so too.
In the original you’ll also hear a xylophone in the background, there’s other versions where you’ll still hear it, but there will be a few tweaks to it here and there each time you listen to it with the way her singing style is, the different instruments added to it and just the different transformations it went through to be what it is now.
The lyrics to the song changes a little as well and the arrangement of the song sorta changes too, there’s a lot of different changes you’ll notice when listening to it…….In the new version of what Weight came to be, the first thing you’ll notice is that the Xylophone was removed from the song completely, i’m not sure why though, I personally thought it gave the song some character and was quite nice in the background…..
However I could also understand why maybe she felt the need to remove it…….she might’ve thought at that time it went well with it, but once she re listened to it, she thought to herself “it’s good, but it could be better”or she most likely felt a recreation to it would do it a lot more justice.
That’s probably why we have all these different versions of it, maybe throughout the process of wanting to release the song in someway, she was trying to work out the right sound for it…..it took a decade for this song to be released officially and i’m sure now that we’ve got it, Alexz is very proud with the way it turned out, plus she got to release it her way and i’m pretty sure that’s a bonus in her book.
The sound and feel that Weight has to it now, I believe, that was the sound we were meant to hear, even though we’ve already heard the original version to it, what it turned out to be was what we were supposed to get from it and what we got turned out to be quite amazing, now we can listen to it as freely as we like without any worries!!
Final Thoughts:If you were to ask me whether I prefer the Original or the newer version of Weight, i’d say although I really did like the Xylophone in the background of the original…….
I would say the newer version of Weight takes the cake!! I really like the arrangement of the song and the style she chose to sing with this version, I think you feel the song more and I feel it’s actually quite better this way, because you get to hear the growth to it each time you listen to it from the other versions and then to this one and I think that’s great!! It’s like you’re walking through the process of it and getting to see the progress and journey of it as well and that’s something you don’t see nor hear too often.
I really do admire Alexz Johnson, i’ve been a fan of hers since her Instant Star days and have kept up with her since then and i’m just real glad to be a fan of hers and to be able to get to listen to these incredible songs that she creates, I can’t wait to hear what else she’s got coming along!! I’m sure it’s going to be something and I mean that in the best way possible.
If you haven’t heard any of her songs I would highly recommend giving them a listen, I don’t normally share her music with people because she’s a special one to me, but i’ll add you guys as an exception haha……
If you guys are interested in giving both versions a listen i’ll leave it for you, feel free to share your thoughts on the song and let me know which version you prefer!!