single of the week

Camila Cabello - Never Be The Same


album picks

Album Review: Don Diablo Changes The Game For DJs With 'FUTURE'
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7 Realest Lyrics About Life From Camila Cabello
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Album Review: Red Velvet's 'Perfect Velvet' Is The Best K-Pop Album of 2017
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Sade can be considered one of the reigning music legends, with a career spanning over three decades. Her Soldier of Love album was a major success – in it first week, the album hit gold in the United States. However, despite her usual practice of taking decade-long stretches between new album releases, Sade has decided to surprise everyone when she announced that she will be releasing a live DVD/CD Bring Me Home – Live 2011, which chronicles the mega-successful Sade Live tour.

The Bring Me Home: Live 2011 audio album has 13 songs, spanning across her entire discography. The cd opens with Soldier of Love. The distinctive military drums in the introduction of the song provides a nice build-up. The cheers of the audience was audible and that is perfectly understandable, especially when Sade started singing.

One of my favourite points when watching a concert is that moment of anticipation from the audience before the music act starts singing, and this anticipation was tremendously obvious in Soldier of Love, making me feel like I am part of the audience watching Sade perform.

Another track off the live album which I thoroughly enjoyed was Kiss of Life. The song is the third single from Sade’s fourth studio album, Love Deluxe, released in 1992. This track is a perfect example of how old is indeed gold. The bass line for the song makes it a tremendously groovy song. If you have heard the studio version of the song before and already love it, then you HAVE to listen to the live version.

Love Is Found is definitely my favourite off this entire live album. The introduction to the song is reminiscent to those classic TCM Turner movies, and the moment the song breaks into a mid-tempo electronic number – that was perfect. Most of the time, I dislike it when live performers use too much vocal effects while performing, but the added effects to Sade’s vocals in this song made it ten times better. It may be blasphemous to say this, but the song gives off the vibes very similar to Beyonce’s Naughty Girl, except that it has a lot more dimension and intensity to it. The roaring cheer from the crowd when the song ended truly says it all.

I wish more of her classics were included in the live album, but considering that the tour is in support of her Soldier of Love album, its only expected that she performs more of her latest songs. In general, the best part of the album is that there are no over the top playing or singing here. Its a nice balance of great vocals and fantastic musicality. Sade is not someone whom I would listen to on a daily basis, considering that her debut was way before I was even born, but this live album is definitely a nice change from the current Top 40 music that I am exposed to every day.

Never have I attended an event – be it a gig, showcase, or meet & greet – where the audience was made up almost entirely of pubescent girls with such powerful lungs.  But on Wednesday night, I did.

When I arrived at the Festive Grand Theatre @ Resorts World Sentosa for the screening of a yet-to-be-released One Direction DVD, I stuck out like a sore thumb, being probably the only one old enough to buy a drink. Not that age mattered though, since we were there for a sole purpose; to be the first in the world watch One Direction Up All Night – The Live Tour. No mistake there, first in the world. Not even the Directioners back in the boys’ homeland have this privilege, so thank you Sony Music Singapore for this!

Boy Thunder from 913FM (who was a replica of Louis Tomlinson for the night, in his striped shirt and maroon chinos) hosted the event, and seemed as anxious for the screening as we were.

Right before they screened the film, BT made us recite a ‘Singapore Directioners Oath’. In all honesty, I had no clue what that was. I never knew such a thing even existed! It went a little like “I will not hold back my tears, I will not restrict my fangirl in me” and the cherry to top it all off, “I will let my ovaries explode.” Well, that was… strange.

The film itself was every bit as brilliant as the boys promised it would be. A whole hour-and-a-half jam packed with footage from their gig in Bournemouth, England. Every second of the sold-out show was flashed on the mega screen. The girls (and a handful of boys) went insane, as if the five lads were really on stage, singing the songs off their album, Up All Night, live. I loved how almost everyone disregarded their comfy seats and chose to dance along instead. Plus, there were behind-the-scenes footage of the boys preparing for the show, which included a whole load of abs-flashing, muscle-flexing and just a lot of half-nakedness. Of course, this sent the girls into a frenzy, with their squeals reaching octaves so high, a glass window somewhere must’ve cracked. I’m not gonna spoil the film for you; I know how it feels to have someone spill all the details of a movie you’ve been planning to watch.

The preorder period for the DVD is over, but you can still purchase it from any CD-Rama or {prologue} outlets!

Shakira has been in the industry for over a decade so you may wonder whether she can add something new to her fourth live DVD. My worries were unfounded as the latest Live From Paris DVD is a combination of the reassuringly familiar with the new and inventive.

Filmed over two nights in Paris last June, it has some great highlights, notably the stunning, theatrical acoustic set comprising a cover of Metallica's Nothing Else Matters/ Despedida. The Latin pop siren continues to deliver excellent new performances of songs like She Wolf, Loca, and Gordita, in addition to earlier classics such as Hips Don't Lie, La Tortura and Osos Asi.

Shakira humbly reaches out to her fans throughout the entire night and is completely devout to her audience. Her performances shatter her stereotype as a "hip shaker". Although the stage set up was simple, Shakira was and continues to be the firework that work the crowd. For anyone who doesn't already know, compared to the other female performers with whom she's often bracketed by the media, Shakira has a great voice, a natural dancer's agility and grace that generally put the competition in the shade.

Her last words on the concert recordings are "a la prochaine" (until the next time), so I'm looking forward to her next tour and DVD.

At first glance, it seems Beyonce is going to sing lots of songs on the Live at Roseland: Elements of 4 DVD. Technically, the Destiny's Child and her older solo hits are sung as listed in the first half. But here's the catch - most of them lasted between 20 seconds to a minute, with lots of banter and video footage intertwined in between.

The scene that pulled at my heartstrings was where she was shown hugging a young fan during Irreplaceable where she did not do a single note of it (but that's not the point). He is one of her biggest fans and appeared to be younger than 13. Things became even more sentimental and touching when Beyonce gently suggested that he sing the song.

The second half features tracks from 4 where in contrast to the first half, songs were performed in full. The familiar Beyonce kicks in full throttle here - her All Girl band is off the chain, Bey's voice is out of this world and her dancing is straight up outrageous and unreal. Oh, but what's even more impressive is that she was 5 months pregnant! My favorite performances were Run The World, Rather Die Young, and End of Time. The ballads are amazingly performed with intimacy and the up-tempos feature an amazing set of lights to complete the well-known Beyonce choreography style. The R&B queen is such a dynamic performer and everything she does, she puts more heart and soul in it. She is one of few artists who allows her fans to journey with her through her most memorable experiences and I, as a non-fan, appreciate that.

Can Beyonce do no wrong these days? I truly believe she should give a course on how to do a live show and her first student should be Rihanna. This concert DVD proves her staying power, talent, and vocal ability.

I'll admit, I've been a Britney Spears fan since my secondary school days when I saw her prance around in that school-girl outfit. However, as a performer, she's slipped and fallen .... HARD.

Britney manages to improve upon her Circus Tour by actually mingling with the audience on the Femme Fatale Tour, which let's face it, she barely did at all the last time around. The bummer here is that she's still not putting much effort into the dancing, and the lip-syncing is just getting more and more embarrassing. In a world where Lady GaGa and Adele are both live singers, and selling out shows, the stakes are high, and Britney is missing the mark. To be honest, the fact that the princess of pop lip-syncs doesn't offend me - because we know that's the norm. It's the fact that these supposed live tracks are literally ripped off from the album, and are obviously fake. Most pop stars use a live backing track if they can't sing live but Britney (obviously) didn't take the time to even pre-record those live vocals.

That aside, Britney is a great burst of energy on stage and always been fun to watch. When I finally got passed the obvious lip-synching, the final song, Till The World Ends, had me putting my hands in the air, going WOAH OH OH OH OH OH!

If you are a Britney fan, you will love this DVD. If not, then leave negative comments aside and walk away. The Britney that people watch and observe today is no where near the Britney that people fell in love with 10 years ago.