SWEENØ / My Diary of Pain / An Album of Honesty & Power Where Oli Speaks from the Heart, the Mind & the Soul.

It is an absolute honour for me to share with you, my review of Oli Regan’s recently released début album, My Diary of Pain.

As a Mental Health Sufferer who suffers from Bipolar & ADHD, both of which among many other Mental Health conditions, is often overlooked, Oli Regan channels his true feelings, emotions, strength, rawness and energy into this album, My Diary of Pain.

My Diary of Pain certainly is an eye-opener, because it has a sense of power that you can’t quite describe, but the rawness of Oli’s voice on this album really stands out, as he speaks from the heart, the mind and the soul about how he really feels.

When you listen to Oli Regan’s album all the way through, you begin to not only understand and appreciate life more, but you begin to realise that life is filled with pain and that pain can strike you at certain points in your life, but with resilience, care, compassion, support, love and respect, the world can be a better place and that negativity can disappear altogether from all existence.

For Oli, an ambassador for Time to Change, to really put his heart, his mind and his soul into producing My Diary of Pain, you can’t help but appreciate Oli Regan entirely for producing such an interesting and powerful album.

SWEENØ – My Diary of Pain (Official Album Artwork)

Oli’s EP, My Diary of Pain, is really powerful and he has created that cut-throat approach where it’s no fuss, no messing about, just get on with it and for Oli, he’s made sure to highlight that this world is already messed up enough as it is and the only way we can all make it a better place is if we all put in the hard work and graft now and make sure that negativity is completely non-existent and that positivity blossoms in this world.

My words of praise go to Oli Regan (SWEENØ):Oli, keep expressing yourself and keep raising awareness to end this negative stigma that is attached to Mental Health, you’re awesome!

To listen to Oli Regan’s album, click or tap the Play button below to listen to My Diary of Pain.

Trust me, Oli Regan’s album, My Diary of Pain is worth a listen, because it reflects on how he feels about this world and everything else in general and it’s worth a listen.

If you enjoyed my review of Oli Regan (SWEENØ)’s album, My Diary of Pain, please feel free to comment below. Your feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

© Oli Regan, OnPoint Headshots, SWEENØ 2017

© The photograph used above of Oli Regan (SWEENØ), including the album, My Diary of Pain, the Official Album Artwork of My Diary of Pain and the logo, SWEENØ, are all copyright of Oli Regan, OnPoint Headshots & SWEENØ. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

Album Rating: 10 / 10

Bruno Mars / 24K Magic / Bruno is Back!

With it being just 4 years since Unorthodox Jukebox, which spanned the smash hit songs, Locked Out of Heaven & Treasure, Bruno Mars is Back! As 24K Magic marked Bruno Mars’ comeback to the music scene, two years after the smash hit record, Uptown Funk, which he released alongside Mark Ronson just weeks after Fleur East (The X Factor 2014 Runner-Up, 2nd Place to our Croydon lad, Ben Haenow, the winner of the X Factor 2014) performed the record on the X Factor, it was safe to say that it was like Bruno Mars had never been away from the music scene.

Having listened to Bruno Mars’ album, 24K Magic, I knew I was in for a treat, as the record packs a punch in its own right, and with Bruno Mars’ own sound and raw vocals, I just knew the record was going to sound so good. If Doo-Wops & Hooligans and Unorthodox Jukebox were anything to go by, 24K Magic proves that Bruno Mars unique sound will last for many, many years.

One of the songs on the album is dedicated to Gianni Versace, as it’s titled: “Versace on the Floor”, and I won’t lie to you, it’s so good!

The album itself delivers the unique sound that Bruno Mars created for his first two albums, and because of the fact he carried that same unique sound with Mark Ronson’s smash-hit record, Uptown Funk, the album, 24K Magic, carries that unique sound and really shows off the raw vocals of Bruno Mars’ voice.

24K Magic not only marks Bruno Mars’ comeback to the music scene, but it also delivers a promising sound that will really kick off Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic World Tour next year.

What do I think of Bruno Mars’ album, 24K Magic? I think it’s such a good album, because he has managed to reinvent his music in a unique way where his style changes every time, but at the same time, because his past albums contain the unique sound, this new album, although it contains that unique sound as well, also carries another new sound with it that really can give you goosebumps.

Overall, I absolutely love Bruno Mars’ album, 24K Magic, and I wholeheartedly recommend his album to all of you.

If you enjoyed my review of Bruno Mars’ album, 24K Magic, please feel free to submit feedback below. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

© Bruno Mars, Elektra Records & Atlantic Records 2016

© Any names / titles / promotional images used, such as the photograph of Bruno Mars (the official photograph used on the final album release of 24K Magic), the 24K Magic album title, including Bruno Mars’ name are all copyright of Bruno Mars, Elektra Records & Atlantic Records. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

Lady Gaga / Joanne / Out Now!

Following her remarkable comeback to the music scene, which saw Perfect Illusion go straight to Number 1 around the world, with a few other singles that followed shortly after, Lady Gaga’s highly anticipated fifth studio album, JOANNE, is officially out now!

Having listened to and purchased the deluxe edition album today, I can honestly say I love it and in all honesty, this is Lady Gaga‘s return to the music scene, three years after her third studio album, ARTPOP, and two years since her fourth studio album, Cheek to Cheek, which was a collaboration album she did with the music legend, Tony Bennett.

I will be honest, as honesty is the best policy where anything is concerned, but JOANNE is Lady Gaga’s best effort since ARTPOP, as JOANNE has a progressive sound that carries throughout the entire album, and to hear her really sing her heart out through this fifth studio album, I can’t help but get goosebumps just listening to this record.

Contained below is the JOANNE Album Artwork, the tracklist and CD Artwork, as posted by Lady Gaga on her Instagram page.

LADY GAGA / JOANNE NEW ALBUM OCT 21

A post shared by Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) on

LADY GAGA / #JOANNE / OCT 21 DELUXE TRACKLIST

A post shared by Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) on

LADY GAGA / #JOANNE / OCT 21 CD LABEL

A post shared by Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) on

It’s such a good record, and as a massive fan of Lady Gaga’s music, I can honestly say she has definitely pulled out all of the stops for this fifth studio album. Perfect Illusion was the record, in my opinion, that gained momentum and popularity within the first 24 hours of its release, with Million Reasons putting Lady Gaga’s fifth studio album, JOANNE, to centre stage.

Having worked on and produced the album with Mark Ronson, BloodPop, RedOne, Jeff Bhasker, Emile Haynie, Josh Homme and Kevin Parker, I can honestly say this is her best work, and you cannot fault such a fantastic record like this.

JOANNE Album Rating: 10/10

If you enjoyed my music review of Lady Gaga’s fifth studio album, JOANNE, please feel free to submit your feedback below. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

© Lady Gaga, Streamline Records & Interscope Records 2016

© Any logos / promotional images used, such as the LADY GAGA & JOANNE logos, the JOANNE album artwork, the album tracklist and the CD artwork are all courtesy of the record labels and the artist itself. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

Remembering Amy Winehouse 5 Years On (1983 – 2011)

It’s hard to think it was exactly five years ago today that we lost the iconic music legend, Amy Winehouse. The time has flown but it doesn’t really feel like it has when you consider the news of Amy’s death was announced on this day five years ago, it just feels unreal. I was actually heartbroken when I found out she died because it’s like the musician we all came to know and love over the years had gone within a flash.

I wanted to pay tribute to Amy Winehouse by reflecting on her music career, as well as iconic songs that I felt really got to the bottom of what life can be like from anyone’s perspective as well as her own.

Amy Winehouse’s record, Stronger than Me, which came from her first studio album, Frank, had that sensual, yet realistic feeling that I could relate to, as it was based on someone who she may have felt was a lot stronger than her, but really she was the strong one, but I could relate to that song almost instantly, because it’s like the feeling I would feel, such as whether I know someone who is stronger than I am, was creating the bigger picture. It was, to me, like a concept, but except it was like a jigsaw puzzle where even though she sung it, it’s like she wasn’t stronger than she thought, given she may have thought someone else was stronger than her, but really she was stronger than she first thought.

The song, Tears Dry On Their Own, taken from Amy Winehouse’s album, Back to Black, had that instant connection, because although she did that song based around the relationship she was in, I felt that song connected to me completely because it’s like you may feel that sense of hurt, that sense of pain from an experience you want to forget, but as you forget, you get stronger, and you find that those tears will dry themselves and you won’t cry anymore for anything that is now past history, and to me, that’s how I feel every time I listen to Tears Dry On Their Own, because you don’t necessarily have to be in a relationship to know what it feels like, even in friendships or even at certain stages where you may feel like you have been taken for granted, you know what it will feel like if you have experienced a certain period of time in your life where something’s gone horribly wrong, but although you may feel weak inside, really you’re not, you’re actually stronger than you think and you know that you can move on and forget what you shouldn’t care about anymore.

Back to Black brought with it a relatable feeling, because when Amy Winehouse said this line: “We only say goodbye with words, I died a hundred times“, it’s like every time you say goodbye to someone, or even to anyone, it’s like you lose a part of yourself, the same for the other person as well, and it’s like you have died more than once, but really, you’re in the state of mind where everything just appears to be out of control, but also out of your hands, and also at the same time, like as if your whole world has fallen apart just the same as the other person in mind. I sometimes feel like that, which is why this song in general, does make me feel like I have been there, and I have, I have experienced moments of upset recently after going through a seriously bad patch whilst at college, but it was having everyone there, friends and family, and even close friends that kept me going through a seriously bad experience and I feel a lot stronger now than before, because I have got through the pain with everyone by my side. That’s why this song connects me to the overall feeling of what Amy said in this particular song altogether.

Our Day Will Come, which is taken from Amy Winehouse’s posthumous third studio album, is the song I love because it has that positive feeling that goes with it, as it not only has that positive connection to it, but it’s a song I would always listen to everyday and never get tired of. I would never get tired listening to Amy Winehouse and her music, because her music is the kind of music I will listen to.

Although Amy Winehouse is gone, she will never be forgotten. She will always be remembered in mine and everyone’s hearts forever. We miss you Amy Winehouse xxxxxxxxxx.

Alex Smithson

Artistic Interpretation #4: Amy Winehouse (27)

Five years on since her untimely death on the 23rd July 2011, Amy Winehouse, the iconic music legend that made her mark with her unique musical sound, released two of her most iconic albums, which were Frank, and also Back to Black. Her posthumous third studio album, Lioness: Hidden Treasures, consisted of some new songs which were previously unreleased, including different versions of certain tracks that we listened to and grew to love, given that the iconic look for Back to Black and Lioness: Hidden Treasures saw Amy Winehouse with the iconic beehive hairstyle, which has since become the biggest trendsetter for all independent women in fashion.

I took the opportunity to draw Amy Winehouse, as I wanted to pay my full respects and pay homage to the iconic music legend as it has been five years since her passing. She was a talented young musician who was gone too soon. I’ve put her age, 27, in brackets, in the article title, as that number is the age she was when she passed away on the 23rd July 2011.

Amy
Amy Winehouse Tribute Drawing

I also wanted to make Amy Winehouse’s memory and music as colourful as possible by using the same drawing to create a tribute montage, showing her life in music from my perspective, but also yours and everyone else’s perspective.

Amy Tribute Montage
Amy Winehouse Drawing Tribute Montage

Amy Winehouse was and always will be the iconic music legend of our time. She will never be forgotten for the everlasting impact she left on the world and will always remain forever in our hearts, our minds, our bodies and our souls. We will always love and miss you Amy Winehouse xxxxxxxxxx.

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: November 2015

After an eventful month, I will be rounding off November by taking a look back at the articles I’ve published over the course of this month.

1.11.2015 – I welcomed you all back to Mother Nature for what would be a bitter cold and chilly November, as this month would see the cold and bad weather getting even worse, given that patches of mist and fog had opened November to a near-wintry landscape. In this article, I also mentioned that the next few weeks were going to be very busy for me, considering that I had my studies to worry about, among other things.

3.11.2015 – As censorship is often the most-talked about controversial issue that is still going on today, I decided to express my own views, and also explained why I thought that censorship was a very good idea, and how it would help all of us to put an end to abuse, forms of bullying, including cyber-bullying.

7.11.2015 – It was exactly one year ago to this day that I had my braces off, and I explained what it’s been like for me since I had them off on the 7th November 2014, and I mentioned that not much had changed, though I did admit that it felt completely different to the way my teeth felt before I had the braces fitted. I also mentioned that there would come a time in life where we would all face the possibility of having a few teeth out in order for the process to become a lot easier for us. Well, my time came to experience the pain of having two of my teeth out, and yes, it was horrible, but at the same time, it was going through that horrific pain that got me the perfect smile that I wanted.

Also on this day, I asked you all how life in general would matter to you, as I saw from my own perspective that life in general matters to us, as we should value the lives that we are given, and to make sure that we make the most of the time that we all have in this world. I also said that I appreciate life entirely and that I am entirely grateful for the fact that I was brought into this world, as I have learned so much in the space of the time I’ve been around.

8.11.2015 – On this day, I gave a 5 bullet-pointed list based on the five main fears that scared me, given that I asked all of you: “What 5 Main Fears Scare You?”. My 5 main fears were having a fear of heights, the second fear was to do with the level of protection that the United Kingdom has at the moment. The third fear was to do with travel, given that I often fear for my own safety. The fourth fear was to do with falling over when I would least expect it and the fifth fear was the tendency of fearing the element of time going so quickly.

13.11.2015 – Exactly 5 weeks after he released his collaboration of Second Hand Heart with the Piece by Piece American singer, Kelly Clarkson, Ben Haenow finally released his long-awaited debut album to the world. After spending 10 months out of the spotlight, considering he won the 2014 version of The X Factor, Ben Haenow decided to take as much time as he needed to make sure that this album would achieve the sound that he wanted. I gave my full overview on his debut album, considering that it was absolutely perfect, and I also mentioned that his debut album would be available to listen to on Mother Nature through the Spotify widget located in his own widget, which would also remain as a permanent fixture on this website. I gave the overall album rating of Ben Haenow’s self-titled debut album a 10/10.

15.11.2015 – In light of the horrific events that occurred in Paris, following a devastating massacre that resulted in the loss of 132 or more lives on Friday 13th November 2015 (Vendredi 13 Novembre 2015), I announced on Mother Nature that I would not publish any articles for one whole week, as I wanted to pay my full respects to the victims who lost their lives in Paris on the night of the 13th November. I also requested for all of you to put the Pray for Paris sign up on your blog, as I wanted to make sure that we could all pay respect to all of those who lost their lives as a result of the devastating massacre.

Also on this day, Mother Nature changed it’s orange and white colours to the blue, white and red flag colours, as I wanted to make sure that my full respects were paid to the 132 victims who lost their lives on the 13th November 2015.

[1 Week Hiatus Out of Respect to Paris – 16th – 22nd November 2015]

27.11.2015 – With their EP, Life Goes On, being made available for release the following day, my close friend Charlie Philbrick from the Drowned Out band treated me to an early listen of him and his band’s EP (Extended Play), and it was an absolutely awesome EP, and also mind-blowing as well. I also mentioned that one of the band members in Charlie’s band has certain vocal elements in her voice that remind me of Christina Aguilera.

28.11.2015 – On Thursday 26th November 2015, I headed down to some parts of Croydon with some of my classmates from my UAL (University of the Arts London) Level 3 Diploma Film & Photography Course, as we were doing some filming for our project which is currently based around Ghost Stories. I thought, considering that I was with my group, it would be the perfect opportunity for me to snap some photographs down Surrey Street Market, Crown Hill and also around Croydon. As of Thursday 26th November 2015, filming for my group was actually finished, and I was absolutely pleased with the way the production of the film had gone, despite a small faux pas moment from a member of the public, but aside that, me and my group absolutely enjoyed filming for this project, despite the weather conditions. I snapped the photographs in that article with my iPod touch (5th Generation).

30.11.2015 – With her third album becoming the number one most pre-ordered album, with her album still remaining number one just after it was released, Adele finally delighted us all with her much awaited album, 25, which is the first album in a while since she last released music. In just the space of the first week alone, Adele officially broke the sales records in the US with 3.38 million in sales, with her ‘Hello’ video spanning over 500,000,000+ views, also with the sales record in the UK showing that a whopping 800,307 copies of Adele’s 25 album were sold in the first week alone, which had beaten the 18-year long record that the former music group, Oasis, once held with their 1997 album: “Be Here Now”.

Thank you all for a good month, and I’ll see you all in December. This month was eventful in so many aspects given what happened in Paris, including other events that happened in the world, but to any of those victims in Paris, including the victims outside of Paris that lost their lives this month, my full respects go to you and all your families at such a sad time, but, at the end of the day, we will all unite together now to make sure that everyone is protected, and that what happened in Paris and everywhere else never happens again, ever. Still, my full respects go out to you, your families and everyone you know at such a sad time xxxxxxxxx.

Alex Smithson

ADELE | 25 | Special Music Feature

With her third album becoming the number one most pre-ordered album, with her album still remaining number one just after it was released, Adele has finally delighted us all with her much awaited album, 25, which is the first album in a while since she last released music. In just the space of the first week alone, Adele has officially broken the sales records in the US with 3.38 million in sales, with her ‘Hello’ video spanning over 500,000,000+ views, also with the sales record in the UK showing that a whopping 800,307 copies of Adele’s 25 album were sold in the first week alone, which also beats the 18-year long record that the former music group, Oasis, once held with their 1997 album: “Be Here Now”.

Before the album was announced, Adele sent the whole of Twitter into meltdown after premiering a 30-second advert of her comeback record: “Hello”, which aired while The X Factor was on an ad break. In theory, she kind of did a Beyoncé moment, because the advert was completely unexpected, but once I heard her voice, I thought: “Oh my god!!! It’s Adele!!! She’s finally back!!! At last!!!! Welcome back Adele, we missed you!!!”, which just goes to prove that none of us knew what type of new music was to come.

On the day of Adele’s 25 album release, I listened to Adele’s new album after it arrived through the post, and I must admit, I thought it was absolutely fantastic, because her voice has matured and she appears more and more relaxed now given that she spent a two-year long hiatus from the music industry altogether to focus on bringing up her son, Angelo, who she gave birth to on the 19th October 2012.

This new album brings with it a new kind of sound that is absolutely enjoyable and also happy, but also at the same time, absolutely heartwarming, because you can listen to Adele all day and never get tired of her music, because her music and her voice are timeless, and her music will never date, which just proves that if she has managed to get three albums out in her time, and have all three of them become chart-topping albums as well, including winning 2 Ivor Novello Awards, 10 Grammy Awards, 4 Brit Awards, 1 Academy Award, 1 Oscar Award and 1 Golden Globe Award, including many more other various awards, then that just indicates that a musician doesn’t have to prove themselves in order to have a big success, and Adele has sold 3 albums, 25 involved, with massive successes across the board without needing to prove herself to anyone, and that is why I love her music because she has the bubbly personality and a powerful voice that go well together with absolutely no problem at all.

Since the release of 25 on the 20th November, Adele’s album, at the end of the first week, became the Official Number 1 album on the Official Charts, as well as being Number 1 on iTunes.

Adele most recently said that she was inspired by Madonna’s 1998 album, Ray of Light, which was the main influential album that inspired her to write 25.

Below is the Official Album Artwork for Adele’s third album, 25:

© Official Album Cover - ADELE & XL Recordings 2015
© Official Album Cover – ADELE & XL Recordings 2015

Below are two of the latest music videos released by Adele from her 25 album: “Hello” and “When We Were Young“:

What do I think of the whole album overall? I absolutely love 25, because Adele has taken all of the much needed time to make this album, in order to produce the perfect sound possible. I love this album as well mainly because it is heartwarming, and 25 is completely open, as Adele has explored so many emotions from so many different perspectives and aspects, but the different kind of perspectives and aspects that we are all more familiar with.

The album is like a story, because it shows her mature from her 19 and 21 days into the 25 days, when she was at that age, even though she is now 27. Overall, I absolutely love the album, and I believe that Adele’s 25 album and her “Hello” video, including her live rendition of “When We Were Young” will certainly keep her album in the Top 10, the Top 20, the Top 50 and the Top 100.

Overall Rating for the Official “Hello” Music Video: 10/10

Overall Rating for the Official “When We Were Young” Music Video: 10/10

Overall Album Rating for 25: 10/10

Alex Smithson

© ADELE 2015

© XL Recordings 2015

© The Adele Logo, the 25 Album Logo, the Official 25 Album Artwork and the wide-scale Featured Image have all been used courtesy of the record labels and the artist. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

Ben Haenow (The Deluxe Edition) | Croydon | Special Music Feature

Coming exactly 5 weeks today after he released his collaboration of Second Hand Heart with the Piece by Piece American singer, Kelly Clarkson, Ben Haenow has finally released his long-awaited debut album to the world.

After spending 10 months out of the spotlight, considering he won the X Factor last year, Ben Haenow decided to take as much time as he needed to make sure this album achieved the sound that he wanted, as he didn’t want to release an album less than 6 months after winning, which has, in the past, been the usual method after a contestant has won on the show. Well, not this time, as Ben Haenow has taken all of the time he’s wanted to take to make sure this album is perfect.

The three songs he released from his album, which were Second Hand Heart (feat. Kelly Clarkson), Make it Back to Me & All Yours, were all made available for purchase in the weeks leading up to today’s release, and for this album to be a powerhouse pop-rock album, Ben Haenow has most certainly hit all of the right notes and has also done this album justice. It really is that good, you just can’t miss out on the opportunity of listening to his debut album.

Ben Haenow - Official Standard Album Artwork
© Ben Haenow, SYCO Entertainment & RCA Records 2015 (Official Standard Album Artwork)
Ben Haenow (The Deluxe Edition) - Official Deluxe Album Artwork
© Ben Haenow, SYCO Entertainment & RCA Records 2015 (Official Deluxe Album Artwork)

To show my love and full support to our Croydon lad, Ben Haenow, I have taken to GIMP to use both of these debut album covers, and I have merged both of them together to make this for Ben:

Ben Haenow (The Deluxe Edition) - Customised Final Album Artwork
© Ben Haenow, SYCO Entertainment & RCA Records 2015 (Official Fan-Made Customised Deluxe Album Artwork)

What do I think of Ben Haenow’s finally-released debut album overall? I absolutely love it, he really has hit the right notes, and to be honest, I’m absolutely glad that I pre-ordered his album and received it, as it feels like he’s given us all something back we can always feel proud of, knowing that we’re absolutely proud of him, and even I am absolutely proud of Ben Haenow.

My full recommendation to all of you is to give his debut album a listen, and I am absolutely pleased to announce that starting from now, Ben Haenow’s self-titled debut album is now available to stream via the Spotify Playlist that’s located in the “Ben Haenow” widget on the right of this website. This album will also remain as a permanent fixture on Mother Nature.

We love you Ben!!!!! I absolutely love this album of yours, and I believe, hand on heart, that you’re going to be in the music business for a very, very long time. I will always believe in you, not just because you’ve done the whole of Croydon proud, but because you have also done me proud as well. I will always support you no matter what, and I’m absolutely glad that I’ll be behind you 100% all the way to support you in your musical career. This is your time to shine. We love you Ben Haenow :-)!!!!!!!!!

Overall Album Rating: 10/10

Alex Smithson

© Ben Haenow 2015

© SYCO Entertainment & RCA Records 2015

© The Ben Haenow Logo, the Official Standard Album Cover, the Deluxe Album Cover, the Customised Fan-Made Deluxe Album Cover and the wide-scale Featured Image, including ‘The Deluxe Edition’ logo have all been used courtesy of the record labels and the artist. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

iOS 8.4 Available Now. Go & Get it!!!!!

Coming just weeks after iOS 9 was unveiled at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (also known as WWDC), iOS 8.4 has just officially been released to the masses. With this update comes the official Apple Music service, as well as many of the other new features that are now available in this update. This update came two hours early ahead of the usual release time that Apple have normally stuck to since the first ever iPhone, iPod touch and iPad were released.

Also, the Music app has officially been redesigned and includes new features, such as Recently Added, which is seen most commonly in iTunes. As well as that, the music player has finally got a mini player as you would most commonly see in iTunes as well, and to top it all off, Up Next and other further features in the Music app have finally been added.

Upon opening the Music application, you’ll be greeted with the Apple Music logo and background, with two options that will come up, giving you the chance to choose whether you want to start your 3-month free trial with Apple Music today, or if you don’t, you get the chance to just go to your music library.

Here is the full changelog for iOS 8.4, covering the features that are new to the software, as well as the music application’s icon being given a redesign, ready for the iOS 9 update coming in the Autumn:

This update introduces Apple Music — a revolutionary music service, 24/7 global radio, and a way for fans to connect with their favourite artists — all included in the redesigned Music app. iOS 8.4 also includes improvements for iBooks and bug fixes.

Apple Music

  • Become an Apple Music member to play from millions of songs in the Apple Music catalogue, or keep them offline for playback later.
  • For You: Members can see playlist and album recommendations, hand-picked by music experts.
  • New: Members can find the latest, greatest new music available — direct from our editors.
  • Radio: Tune in to music, interviews and exclusive radio shows on Beats 1, play radio stations created by our editors, or create your own from any artist or song.
  • Connect: See shared thoughts, photos, music and videos from artists you follow, then join the conversation.
  • My Music: Play from all your iTunes purchases, songs from Apple Music, and playlists in one place.
  • Completely redesigned music player that includes new features such as Recently Added, Mini Player, Up Next and more.
  • iTunes Store: Still the best place to buy your favourite music — one song or album at a time
  • Availability and features may vary by country.

iBooks improvements and fixes

  • Browse, listen and download audiobooks from inside iBooks.
  • Enjoy the all-new Now Playing feature, designed specifically for audiobooks.
  • Books that are Made for iBooks now work on iPhone in addition to iPad.
  • Find and pre-order books in a series straight from your library.
  • Improves accessibility of widgets, glossary and navigation in books made with iBooks Author.
  • New default Chinese font.
  • New setting to turn off Auto-Night theme in your library.
  • Resolves an issue that may have prevented Hide Purchases from working.
  • Resolves an issue that may have prevented downloading books from iCloud.

Other improvements and bug fixes

  • Fixes an issue where receiving a specific series of Unicode characters causes device to reboot.
  • Fixes an issue that prevented GPS accessories from providing location data.
  • Fixes an issue where deleted Apple Watch apps could re-install.

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website:

http://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT1222

After an extremely long wait, iTunes Radio has officially arrived in the United Kingdom, and can now be found next to the playlist icon. Also, Beats 1 and many other various radio stations are now available within the Music app. Apple Music Connect is also a welcome of open arms, meaning that after some time, you can now follow your favourite musicians, either through tapping on the “Follow” button, or by tapping on the “Automatically Follow Artists” button when you add the music from your iTunes Library to your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad device.

At last, after a long wait, landscape mode for music videos has officially returned to the Music app, a commonly used feature that was in iOS 6.

The Music application has had a major design overhaul and has also been more of a focus for Apple, considering that the Apple Music service has just officially been launched today.

Below are the screenshots that show iOS 8.4, and the redesigned Music application all in action (including iTunes Radio UK & Beats 1 Radio).

I have checked in the Music app, and it’s a luck of the draw, if you feel that you don’t want to subscribe to Apple Music, there is an option to say no, as Apple have put an option below the “Start 3 Month Free Trial” button, saying “Go to My Music”. This is a wise move from Apple, as this means that you don’t have to worry about it, you can still use the Music app for free, and making purchases in the iTunes Store and the App Store, including the desktop version of the iTunes Store mean that you can still use iTunes and the Music app for free without having to pay, unless you’ve already started the 3-month free trial with Apple Music today.

If you haven’t already, please make sure to go ahead and upgrade your iPhone, iPod touch (5th Generation) or iPad to the latest software. This iOS update is much better now and is worth the upgrade. It is also the most stable software update that Apple have released before the final version of iOS 9 arrives in the Autumn.

To update your iOS Device, go to the Settings app, then to General, and then to Software Update, where the update will be available to download and install.

Until then, enjoy the update!!!

Alex Smithson

© Apple 2015

© iOS Logo Copyright of Apple.

© Any of the logos, including the screenshots that have references of musicians and their album artwork, that’s including the changelog that was used in this article are all courtesy of Apple. No Copyright Infringement Intended.