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2017 might not have been the best year for some of us – concerts got cancelled, pop icons released seemingly disappointing singles, and lastly, we lost American musician Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington of Linkin Park.

But since we’re approaching the year of the dog this coming Chinese New Year, it’s high time to reflect on music legends who were born in the year of this Chinese zodiac.

Known for their good character and ability to empathize with human emotions, like all dogs do, these music legends have made their mark in the music industry during the past few decades. Certainly, music that we’re listening to now would not be the same if not for these icons.

Let’s listen to some overlooked songs by these 5 music legends born in the year of the dog.


Elvis Presley (January 8, 1935) – A Mess of Blues

The King of Rock and Roll proves that he also got the chops for the blues in this mellow underrated song.


Freddie Mercury (September 5, 1946) – Let Me Live

This underrated Queen track opens with hair-raising harmonies and leads the listener to an awe-inspiring adventure from start to finish.


David Bowie (January 8, 1947) – Moonage Daydream

I first discovered this song in the film Frances Ha and it has been my one of my go-to dance anthems, despite its dark lyrics.


Prince (June 7, 1958) – Darling Nikki

The song might not have topped the charts allegedly because of its sexual lyrical content, but Darling Nikki remains to be a well-loved track with Rihanna even covering the song during her 2011 Loud tour.


Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958) – Speechless

Give this sentimental ballad the listen it deserves this year and indulge yourself in a stirring 3-minute wonder.


Photo credit: Richard E. Aaron & Peter Still (Getty), Reuters, Roger Marshutz (MPTV) & DAGMAR

In case you needed something uplifting this new year, just remember that an EDM version of Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On exists.

The Canadian singer and DJ teamed up at a benefit show for Omnia Nightclub’s Las Vegas Victims Fund in the US last November and blessed everyone with this gem.

We can’t deny that the remix is indeed a banger, but what caught most people’s attention is Dion’s entertaining “Mom dance moves” – a far cry her gracious demeanour.


Watch the video here:

Photo credit: Denise Truscell

Another entry for listicle season is here! This time round, we've gathered some truly outstanding singles of 2017, while making sure our selections are sufficiently diverse. Let's cut to the chase- here are our top 10 picks:


10. Dua Lip - New Rules

Post-breakup complications are candidly dissected in this tropical hit, nominated by fellow writer Letazia. When Dua Lipa declares her ‘new rules’ in the standout pre-chorus, the ominous synth melody prods at her projected confidence, betraying her underlying disquietude. The chill-out drop is a respite that is only momentary, for she admits in the verses that she has yet to learn. New Rules isn’t an Aunt Agony column imparting wisdom, it’s a song that deeply empathizes with the struggle, while finding strength in it.


9. Lorde - Perfect Places

I used to overlook this track for not being as musically adventurous as its Melodrama counterparts, but over time, I fell in love with the song’s unpolished beauty, the way it bares a burning malaise too raw and real. Lorde astutely depicts what it means to oscillate between self-denial and self-loathing, to feel hopelessly lost in attempts to escape it all, as every reiteration of the deceptively modest phrase ‘perfect places’ stings sharper than before. 'Green Light' may be a more compelling showcase of nontraditional pop songcraft, but 'Perfect Places' sticks harder, and cuts deeper. 


8. Selena Gomez - Bad Liar

Fascinating how the bassline from a classic Talking Heads hit four decades back found home again in a Selena Gomez song- the original’s sinister tension is reinterpreted as a game of coy flirtations with a crush. The minimalistic production complements her introverted persona’s stream-of-consciousness musings- a stylistic direction that reconciles her technical vocal shortcomings perfectly. I'd take this over her unconvincing attempts at seductive crooning (which resurfaced in her subsequent single... never mind) anytime.


 7. LOONA 1/3 - Sonatine

This unconventional K-pop ballad may be easily overlooked in favor of the genre’s more upbeat offerings, but a closer listening unveils the beauty of its arrangement- unique harmonies, a tango interpolation, orchestral flourishes that unfold the song layer by layer, like doors opening into unknown worlds. The chorus’ chord progression never fully resolves itself, kindling a sense of distance and longing, though its major key ending glimmers with hope. In search of the elusive, the girls come close, yet not quite there. 


6. Haim - Little of Your Love

“This single made up for the lack of overall appeal for Haim’s latest record.” Writer Teejay wrote, “There might only be a few bangers from the album, but this is certainly one of them. It’s propelling melody complements Haim’s percussive voices so well it makes you want to buy your own disco ball (which I did) - definitely one of the most jammable singles released this year.” It's evidence that Haim is indeed at their best when they are serving infectious power hooks.


5. Mondo Grosso - Labyrinth 

Feathery vocals dance atop a beat that recalls Daft Punk’s rawer, more sentimental work. Mondo Grosso makes an incredible comeback after more than a decade with this celestial deep house gem, which features vocalist Hikari Mitsushima asking her lover to be immersed in the moment. At the same time, hesitation lingers in her delivery, like a body dipping into the waters. Radiating with warmth, Labyrinth captures romance in its silent thrills and tension. 


4. Harry Styles - Sign of the Times

Harry Styles’ immense power ballad was fellow writer Donwei’s pick of 2017: “After the announcement of One Direction's hiatus and months of anticipation for the his solo debut, Harry could not have released a better single. Sign of the Times single-handedly shut the naysayers up and prove that he is more than just a pretty face. The beauty of this track lies in its repetition, that oddly doesn't feel dreary but instead grows onto you with each listen.”


3. Kendrick Lamar - DNA

I don’t know why HUMBLE. is the standard critic's pick when 1) its rhymes are average for Kendrick standards 2) its beat is (below) average for Mike WiLL Made-It standards 3) DNA. exists. Kendrick delivers sharp braggadocio while critiquing systematic racism over a heavy bass and distorted guitar, but the defining moment truly arrives at the beat switch- a brilliant sardonic sample of FOX news, warped into abrasive, borderline claustrophobic sonics, which the rapper absolutely tears at without any mercy.


2. Rina Sawayama - Alterlife

In this busy track about “finding yourself through trying to become other people”, as described by the British singer herself, classic R&B melodies are bent and repurposed into an euphoric futuristic anthem, propelled by a retro video game guitar line. The production is incredibly dense and teeming with all sorts of influences from industrial to 80s glam metal, but the real magic lies in how cohesively everything falls into place. It's a musical window into an alternate cyberpunk universe, where people race through neon-saturated cityscapes into the night.


1. Lil Uzi Vert - XO TOUR Llif3

Soundcloud rap is the new emo, and XO Tour Llif3 is the crowning masterpiece of the genre. It does not make for a comfortable listening experience: it reeks of nihilism, destruction and manic episodes, via a murky beat that evokes a twisted kind of high. The first line, “I don’t really care if you cry”, is delivered with a chilling apathy, and the indifference drags on throughout the song before it all collapses with Uzi’s sudden, almost incoherent cries for help. Yet those cries feel oddly distant at the same time, as if they came from a broken, corroded being. It's not just another #edgy song, and neither is it trying to be. This is genuine pain distilled into a devastating blow of a track, a powerful release that will go down as a classic in years to come.



Photo Credit: Megan Eagles, Erskine Records Ltd, Getty / Raymond Hall

For better or worse, 2017 has witnessed a surge in popularity for trap-leaning hip hop and the embrace of rappers as the new rockstars in full force.

The fallout from the genre is everywhere, ranging from the obnoxious prominence of hypebeast culture to your uncannily lacklustre Top 40 blockbuster. While this fad might not be everyone’s cup of tea, there are some creations however, that should be universally scorned.

We could tell you we didn’t enjoy roasting these sorry excuses for music but then we’d be lying!  


10. Young and Menace - Fall Out Boy

Teejay: I seriously don’t get why everyone is trying to sound more techno these days. Fall Out Boy disappoint us yet again with this migraine of a song, proving that they’ve certainly strayed away from their well-loved previous efforts, Save Rock and Roll for instance. The song’s constant change in dynamics doesn’t make it as “listenable” as you’d want it to be, unfortunately.


9. Look What You Made Me Do - Taylor Swift

Aside from the subliminal Mean Girls reference and the objective superiority over its Katy Perry counterpart, Swish Swish (though that’s not saying much), it takes a certain degree of effort to relate to New Taylor’s isolationist and ultimately unlikable plane of existence. The pettiness and whole reputation concept is dated and simply tacky at this point. The only thing LWYMMD furthers is Swift’s streak for less-than-memorable lead singles much to her detriment, not that it matters.   


8. Bon Appetit - Katy Perry

Xinyi: There is a fine line between being provocative and derogatory. This song definitely crossed the innuendo line for me, in fact listening to the track made me slightly uncomfortable. Let’s not even talk about the music video… Lyrically, lines like “Got me spread like a buffet”, “Well I'm open 24” and “I'm on the menu” were overly cringey and just derogatory. This song was a step worse than her previous song Birthday from Prism with even more explicit food innuendos.


7. Thumbs - Sabrina Carpenter

Linda: The instrumental rips off Sam Sparro's Black & Gold, but watered down to Britney at her most generic. Much worse are the fake-deep, directionless lyrics- she lists down ways people undermine themselves without actually engaging with the subject matter. Instead, she speaks from a cynical distance - “That's just the way of the world.” I'm fine with mediocre societal critique if it still comes from a genuine place (e.g. Alessia Cara), but in this song, not only does she lack insight, she doesn't touch upon about how a broken world actually makes her feel - just a cynical smirk that takes pride in “seeing through things.” The fact that this smug commentary is coming from a privileged teen makes this x100 more annoying. Girl, the reason why you're not like those people you're describing is because you're rich, white and attractive.



6. Paris - The Chainsmokers

Teejay: This generation’s obsession with everything EDM led to hyping up songs that don’t even deserve to be on the charts. A particularly bad song can get away with a catchy beat, but this one doesn’t even fall into that category. It has an anti-climactic chorus that leaves you hanging and lyrics that could be written by teenagers on spring break.



5. Meant to Be - Bebe Rhexa ft. Florida Georgia Line

I’ll be honest – I plucked this one right out of Singapore’s Top Hits on Spotify just for sticking out like a sore thumb and boy did I strike gold. For a song about letting go and following the natural order of things, this cliché-driven, cross-genre collaboration comes across as painfully forced – an  unabashedly commercial enterprise much like that sweet product placement spot that does not go unnoticed. Yeah alright be simultaneous but not like, hitchhiking simultaneous…



4. Shape of You - Ed Sheeran

Donwei: There are some songs that you don't care much for and there are others that you detest with a burning passion. For me, Shape Of You definitely belongs to the latter group. This single triggers me on so many levels and it doesn't help how overplayed it is. While it would be unfair to say that Ed Sheeran should go back to making generic love songs (which he is great at!), there surely are other ways to diversify his music portfolio.


3. Swish Swish - Katy Perry

Letazia: This single was really disappointing, kinda expected more from Katy. I don't really know what to say about this single but I think the fact that Katy Kats were underwhelmed by this song says a lot.

Solihin: Can confirm, even a Nicki Minaj verse and her throwaway encouragement to “Get it together, Katy” could not salvage this weak-ass attempt at a Taylor Swift diss track. Receipts? Yes, I’d like one so I could get a refund for every time I heard a lethargic basketball metaphor.


2. Thunder – Imagine Dragons

Just when you thought that the Grammy popularity circle jerk this year actually didn’t turn out to be that terrible, The Recording Academy just had to acknowledge the gigantic deuce in the room by nominating it for Best Group Performance. How is popular stadium rock band Imagine Dragons still considered innovative or even alternative in any shape or form when they have the gall to let loose such a mind-numbingly dumb track. Bad song. Bad! Not good!!


1. Gucci Gang - Lil Pump

Linda: I can forgive off-beat rapping if the rapper has charisma or sharp punchlines – sadly Lil Pump doesn't have any of those either. I guess Soundcloud rappers are inherently divisive with their monotone, dead-eyed rapping, but I think such a style can be effective in evoking a kind of sickening bleakness (see: XO TOUR Llif3). Gucci Gang stops short of such a feeling due to its boring flow and half-assed delivery over a typical, skeletal beat. It's also pretty weird hearing a 17-year-old (yes, that's his actual age) rap "My bitch love do cocaine, ooh". Dude needs to go back to school.


Photo credit: Holger, Interscope Records, Rich Fury, Dimitrios Kambouris

In case everyone has forgotten, Taylor Swift started out as a country-pop singer famous for her seemingly fake Southern American accent mostly noticeable on her debut album.

But did you know that the former country pop star released a Christmas EP entitled The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection?

The 6-track EP was released in 2007 during the advent of her popularity and includes 2 original songs.

If you’re in for a nostalgic treat, listen to our top 3 picks from the EP here:


Last Christmas


Santa Baby


Christmas Must Be Something More (Original Song)

Photo credit: Big Machine Records

2017 has been a draining slow burn of a year. There was virtually no moment when looking at the news didn't make for a depressing experience.

At the same time, it solidified the role of music as a refuge more than ever.

We've browsed through the pool of releases in pop, R&B, rock and hip-hop, to put together a list of the best albums of the year. Here's some music for some rough times.


10. Vince Staples - Big Fish Theory

Branded as 'Afro-futurism' by the 24-year-old rapper, Big Fish Theory's vision extends past the trends of the today, into the sounds of tomorrow- glacial, metallic beats seemingly fed through a wormhole from a dystopian future. Lethargy pervades his lyrics and delivery, occasionally sinking him beneath the cacophony of it all, as the bass grinds on like the machinery of circumstance. However, when his simmering anger finally emerges, he wields the relentless sonics like a weapon on tracks such as BagBak- delivering results that are raw and cutting.


9. Alex Cameron - Forced Witness

Glistening synthpop coupled with lyrics detailing douchebaggery of the lowest kind makes for an unsettling listening experience- while you find yourself grooving to the hook-laden music, it feels strange to do so over such misogynistic ramblings of a disempowered but delusional man (not going to quote the lyrics here, for the sake of decency, but feel free to look them up). Alex Cameron effectively highlights the ugly ridiculousness of his alter-ego’s worldview through contrastingly bright production and self-aware jabs, serving one of the more interesting releases of 2017. Also, Studmuffin96 for song title of the year.


8. Red Velvet - Perfect Velvet

Stylized with sticky hooks and harmonies more exquisite than anything on Western radio, while recalling a kaleidoscopic sea of influences ranging from warped future bass to throwback disco, Perfect Velvet showcases refined pop songcraft that is captivating and experimental. It’s releases like this that continue to position Red Velvet on the forefront of one of the more rewardingly daring pop music scenes out there. Our full review here.   


7. Paramore - After Laughter

Sadness feels truer when it is situated in the backdrop of taxing attempts to appear happy. Paramore, recalling their tumultuous history, present an evolved 80s-inspired sound that embodies this very feeling- arpeggiated guitar lines, animated synths, and their cleverest lyrics to date conjure color and mania in passionate bursts. Hayley Williams further evokes a sense of volatility through her performance- sharp inflections, spoken outbursts and varied vocal rhythms. Devastating and infectious, in equal parts. Our full review here.


6. The Shins - Heartworms

As our writer Donwei notes- “The Shins are always a good fall-back whenever you're in need of a dose of indie music. Having consistently put out solid albums throughout their career, Heartworms is no exception. With gems scattered across the album, the band (thankfully) retains their signature sound and heart-wrenching lyrics under the disguise of feel-good vibes.” An introspective and organic record, it is something you can always come home to.


5. The xx - I See You

The xx are known for recreating intimacy that emits warmth and ambiguity, akin to the substance of a shadow. They continue to advance their art form on their third album, with smarter sampling, less meekness and more curious production choices. Dangerous, the album opener, announces their renewed ambition with a brassy, garage-influenced production that is unlike anything they have put out previously. We finally see light spilling through the cracks of the monochromatic universe they've built since debut, onto new grounds. 


4. Phoenix - Ti Amo

Writer Teejay wrote, “If you’re looking for some fresh yet timeless synth-pop, Phoenix will never disappoint. It’s the paradox you never knew you needed. For a band that’s been part of the music scene for almost 20 years, Phoenix never lost their ability to keep up with the times while still incorporating their signature head-bob inducing songs.” Sleek, romantic, summer-kissed music that provides a respite from the chaos.


3. Kelela - Take Me Apart

A synthesis of the corporeal and surreal, Kelela delves in the physical- the throbbing ache of love and desire- amidst the hazy atmospherics courtesy of experimental electronic producers like Jam City and Arca. On her previous effort Cut 4 Me, she came off as more of a decorative edge to the main body of her producers’ works, but on this album, she takes over the spacey, off-kilter beats, imbuing her vulnerability into their alien quality. Emotional yet forward-thinking, Take Me Apart is the best R&B release of 2017.


2. Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.

Kendrick continues to show the world why he is the among, if not the top of the rap royalty of this generation. Top tier flow, delivery, punchlines, storytelling and beats. Through arrestingly personal narratives, he seeks optimism and humanity in the bleakness of the world, delivering a masterpiece of a rap album.


1. Lorde- Melodrama

I was slightly hesitant about ranking this as number one, albeit it seemed like a predictable pick- but upon another spin of the record, I can't imagine another album in its place. It's no wonder why Melodrama resonates deeply with so many- as writer Solihin pertinently puts it, "Rather than wallow in the depths of pubescent grief, the New Zealander wrestles with it, comes out on top and wears its skin as her own for all to see. Expanding her minimalist sound to accommodate the emotionally chaotic narrative, Lorde's sophomore outing vividly and poetically captures the maddening ebbs and flows of late teenage-hood, lending listeners glimpses into her synesthesia-hued world."

12 Gifts Every Fandom Needs This Christmas

By Thursday, 07 December 2017 14:00

The season of giving is upon us once again.

If you are thinking of what gifts to get a fandom-obsessed person, you have come to the right place. Put aside the usual CDs, biographies and posters, we have got some interesting finds for you.

Regardless of whom they idolise, we’re sure you will find something suitable here!


1.     Pins - For the ones that like it subtle.

Beyonce Lemonade Pin | One Direction Pin Set | Drake Pin


2.     Iron Ons – For the ones that like to jazz up their outfits.

Justin Bieber Patch | Sia Patch | Ed Sheeran’s Shape Of You Patch


3.     Stickers – For the ones that want to spice up their life.

Spice Girls | Fifth Harmony | The 1975


4.     Phone cases – For the ones that cannot keep their hands off their idols.

Shawn Mendes | Maroon 5 | Ariana Grande


5.     Notebooks – For the busy ones.

Selena Gomez | Troye Sivan | Rihanna


6.     Totebags – For the ones that love shopping.

Sound of Music | Justin Bieber’s Purpose Tour | Taylor Swift’s Squad


7.     Mugs – For that morning tea or coffee.

Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk | Mariah Carey | Justin Timberlake


8.     Figurines – For the ones who love collectibles.

Shakira | Amy Winehouse | The Beatles


9.     T-shirts – For the ones that aren’t afraid to tell the world.

Harry Styles | Shawn Mendes | Halsey


10.Keychains – For the ones who never wish to lose their keys.

David Bowie | Troye Sivan | Kanye West & Kim Kardashian


11.Socks – For the ones that are always on their toes.

The Rolling Stones | Steve Aoki | Big Bang


12.Earrings – For the ones that like to keep music by their ears.

5SOS’ Safety Pin | Drake | Justin Bieber


Happy Holidays!

Picture Credits: Giphy, Lyashenko -

A few bands might have cancelled their shows or even skipped Singapore during their Asia tour this year, but we can’t deny that we’ve also been blessed with a range of memorable concerts in 2017.

But what exactly makes a concert memorable? It’s not just the music anymore, it’s the overall experience made possible by fellow audience members, the lighting, the pyrotechnics, the stage presence, and even the venue.

Read what our writers had to say about their top concerts of 2017!

*Click the images to read our concert reviews!


Teejay: “While Glass Animals’ set at Laneway Festival can't exactly be counted as a concert, their show was still exhilarating from start to finish – we’ve got a fantastic setlist in addition to their kaleidoscopic stage setup and their wild gimmicks (pineapple inflatables being thrown around). This was one of those rare moments where I’m grateful to be standing in the middle of the moshpit instead of my usual front spot because the infectious energy of the crowd made listening to Glass Animals’ music live such an unforgettable and euphoric experience.”


Leo: “The UK quartet's return to Singapore was easily the top arena show of the year. The rainbow of lights on the audience wristbands, cannon-fired confetti, inflatable balls, and pyrotechnic fire displays make the entire experience a kind of sensory overload. With a setlist spanning from their breakout hit Yellow to recent collaborations with The Chainsmokers and Beyoncé, Coldplay's performance was a pure spectacle and proved why they are still pop heavyweights.”


Letazia: “This was the girlband's first time performing in Singapore. Since they were still on their 7/27 tour, I was very impressed that they were able to adapt and change the arrangements to their songs in such a short amount of time considering that they had just lost one band member.”


Teejay: “Honne’s dreamy soundscapes created such an atmospheric ambience in the tiny Esplanade Annexe Studio. The lack of energy onstage was sort of given because of the duo’s assumed introverted nature. But their songs undoubtedly sounded flawless live. Toss up a bit of mellow lighting in there and you’ve got yourself a spiritual experience.”


Solihin: “As one of the few bands from The Scene™ whose music I can safely get behind even after more than a decade, The Maine's sound blossomed beautifully with Lovely, Little, Lonely. Third time's the charm as they say and this is a hardworking group who makes making music and touring look easy.”


Donwei: “Deryck Whibley is an amazing frontman and really knows how to put on a show and work a crowd. Sum 41's concert here in August is possibly the most interactive and energetic one I've ever been to, not that I should expect any less of these pop punk veterans. Despite initially hating the idea of travelling to Jurong East for the gig, I actually really liked Zepp@BIGBOX as a concert venue!”


Solihin: “No fancy light shows. No surprise musical guests. Just two hours plus of solid rock and also some roll. Only Dave Grohl and company could ever convince me to pay actual money for a seat at the National Stadium, still leave me completely floored and wistful for a bygone era that not many seem fit or overly keen on inheriting. Dad rock forever.”


Donwei: “Mew's gig is at the SOTA Concert Hall is possibly one of the smallest most intimate concerts I have ever attended and in my opinion, was pretty damn near perfect. The atmosphere, psychedelic visuals and music complemented each other flawlessly, and I could only wish that there were more concerts like this in Singapore.”


Letazia: “Ed Sheeran's voice was pure perfection. The concert had a mix of upbeat songs and slow chill ballads. Other than the obvious fact that Ed has an incredible voice, his rapping skills are out of this world. The set was very well designed too. A NIGHT TO REMEMBER.”


Xinyi: “It’s just Harry innit? Styles hung up his boyband shoes to put on rockstar boots for his second visit to Singapore. The mix of slow-sentimental tracks in between high-energy rock out songs created the perfect mood. The biggest star of the show was his pure voice and how versatile he was, performing every track spot on. The moment the show ended, I was already anticipating his show next May.”



What’s your favorite concert of 2017? Share them with us in the comments section below!


Photo credit: Unusual Entertainment, Upsurge Productions, Aloysius Lim, Live Nation Lushington SG, @aa_fiq via Twitter, Symmetry Entertainment, Ariffin Jamar for The Straits Times, Moonbeats Asia, Alvin Ho for LAMC Productions, Spin or Bin Music

In her latest feature on PAPER magazine, Nicki Minaj unapologetically flaunts herself with a couple of clones in sexual poses.

While there might have been a tremendous amount of support for these “Break The Internet” photos, a few remained half-heartedly convinced.

Our verdict? Well, we’re on the fence.


On Self-Objectification

These photos can be easily assumed as an example of self-objection. There’s nothing wrong with being naked. But posing in overtly sexual positions and making it available for public consumption somehow perpetuate the male gaze. The association of her “nakedness” with promiscuous acts does not entirely contribute to the desexualization of the female body, especially not when you're openly touching yourself in such places. Miley Cyrus’ MTV VMA performance is a case in point as she later confessed about feeling sexualized after twerking in a latex suit onstage.


On Female Empowerment

The glorification of Nicki Minaj’s photos is warranted by her agency to perform sexualized acts on her own body without inflicting anyone else’s morality. Perhaps cloning herself was also a metaphor for what she’s trying to communicate. It’s hard not to praise someone who could have intended to convey a positive message of female empowerment by showing that women are indeed in control of their own sexualities. This makes any other interpretation of her actions irrelevant, as how you view yourself is what’s important.

Despite the public’s ranging opinions, what truly matters is Nicki’s personal intention. Did she really do it to empower fellow women or perpetuate the male gaze for marketing purposes? I guess we’ll never know.


Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Photo credit: PAPER Magazine

Nothing spells inefficiency like a whole Wikipedia page chronicling your every mishap dating back to 2011. That is the current state of Singapore’s once-exemplary Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) which locals have now learned to know and loathe.

Imagine you were going on your merry way to a major national examination, notes in hand only to be halted dead in your tracks due to a “traction power fault” which resulted in a 2-hour train service disruption and affected up to 70,000 commuters. One in ten of the students late for that particular A-level happened to be you. 

It’s a rite of passage/an inconvenient truth/part of the circle of life to be disappointed by the second oldest metro system in Southeast Asia – is one even Singaporean if they haven’t somehow been burdened by it? SMRT has attained peak levels of #fail in 2017 so we’re here to serve up several relatable remedies which might either temporarily soothe your transportation sorrows or just stoke your fury even more.     


1. Stressed Out –Twenty One Pilots

Presumably, your nerves are already on edge from the daily pressures of education or employment so it really doesn’t help that the faceless SMRT Corporation insists on diverting your regularly scheduled route, putting you on the spot and forcing you to overcome the mental hurdle of deciphering which of the bus services you rarely take is the speediest solution. You might develop a schizophrenic secondary personality like Blurryface just to cope with the added stress or even decide that adult tricycles are the answer.


2. See You Again – Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth

As much as everyone would like to steer well clear of a tragic accident, it is undeniable that the Joo Koon collision last week raises alarms about lapses in safety, the first in 24 years and let’s not forget the added risk of lightning striking twice.  Never has Singapore’s transportation system bore more resemblance to the nightmarish hellhole depicted in that one Korean film about a train. With delays averaging at 2 hours, it’s difficult nowadays to describe your commute as anything less than an arduous journey that necessitates a farewell ballad and one which could very well be your last. 


3. Apologize – Timbaland ft. One Republic

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan has made himself an easy target for public dissatisfaction. From his derisive comments about press coverage to his apparent fondness for shifting the blame in the direction of anyone else but himself, it took 29 injured commuters to pry out an apology from the man/meme himself. Too little too late, sir.


4. Power – Kanye West

Let me preface this by stating for the record that I am in no way qualified to talk economics. So correct my humble observation that last year’s privatisation of a public good (aka the backbone of Singapore’s transport system) hasn’t exactly done wonders for the common man. The falsification of maintenance records and the reluctance to call a spade a spade is surely symptomatic of a complacent, profit-based organisation who might not necessarily be motivated to excel seeing that competition is little to none. 


5. Taxi – The Maine

And in the backseat when you asked me

"Is the sadness everlasting?"

I pulled you closer, looked at you and said

“Love, I think it is”

As the last resort and your wallet’s biggest enemy, Grab/Uber’s surge pricing on any other day should be a deterrent but desperate times call for desperate measures and it doesn’t seem like the our MRT woes are going away anytime soon. crying

Photo credit:

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