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Kelly Clarkson - Love So Soft

 

album picks

Album Review: 5 Must-Hear Tracks From Paramore’s Latest Record, ‘After Laughter’
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Album Review: Kasabian Revives Rock N’ Roll With New Record – 'For Crying Out Loud'
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New Band, half•alive's Amazing Talent Could Take Them Places!!
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4 X Katy Perry 'Prismatic' Tour tees

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When it comes to giving out the 80s vibe, there’s no other man who can do it effortlessly than Brandon Flowers. The Killers’ frontman seems to have made a smooth transition from alternative rock to the synth-pop genre with his second solo album, The Desired Effect.

If you’re an oldies junkie, this is one of those records you would have probably stolen from your Dad’s music collection – except it’s released in 2015. Flowers’ seems to have established a unique tone for his solo works with his more soothing vocals which are distinct in The Way It’s Always Been.

However, this album won’t probably get you hooked on first listen. The tracks will take time to grow on you despite it’s narrative lyrics and powerful basslines. I would compare it to an authenic meal I’m trying for the first time – weird on the first bite but will leave me wanting more.

Enough of the food metaphors, do give this record a try. Jam to Lonely Town and Diggin’ Up The Heart if you’re feeling like having a “Throwback Thursday." The disco days are back.

 

 

Track Gems: The Way It’s Always Been, Untangled Love, Diggin’ Up The Heart, Lonely Town

Photo credit: Island Records

What’s more exciting than a video filled with gangs of assassins uncharacteristically described as the “epitome of girl power?” NOTHING, according to excited fans.

Taylor Swift's constant updates on Instagram and the involvement of a number of her celebrity friends got everybody hyped for the release of the Bad Blood music video.

But was it really worth all the feels?

When it comes to giving off the “Divergent” vibe (shown above) and hauling around some badass kicks, Taylor certainly did not disappoint. However, after over-analyzing the video, it seems that there’s much more to it than its highly talked-about celebrity cameos.
 
The highly anticipated video opened with “death defying stunts” by Taylor and Selena Gomez who were both busy kicking some guys’ asses. However, Taylor was later pushed out a glass window - by none other than Selena.  I would have described the video as badass... until I discovered the inspiration behind it.

Critics and a few fans would agree that it’s Taylor’s artistic way of portraying her relationship with now frenemy, Katy Perry. As a self-proclaimed Feminist, Taylor received quite a bit of criticism about the video going against the feminist belief that women should support other women instead of bringing each other down. (They did, after all, literally throw some awesome punches.)
 
As a former “Swiftie,”  I did fall into the trap of eager anticipation, and had also looked forward to the release of the video - especially when my homegirl, Lena Dunham, is part of it. However, Lena only had a few seconds of “exposure” and all she did was smoke a cigar. I must say I expected more from the celebrity cameos just like these guys here;

 


Do you think it was worth the wait? Do share with us your thoughts! 

 

Photo credit: Big Machine Records

Before Nate Ruess became popularly known as Fun.’s frontman and ventured his way to a solo career, he made indie rock/pop tunes with Sam Means. Together, they called themselves The Format.

I would describe their style as something that can lift up your mood and calms you down in times of existential breakdowns. We all have those moments, don’t we?

Nate Ruess didn’t specify the reasons of The Format’s break up but they did leave behind 2 albums and 5 EPs. The band performed several shows, which earned them a pretty good number of fans.

The Format’s first album, Interventions + Lullabies, for some reason gave me the Lizzie Mcguire vibe. It captured the energy of the early 2000s – carefree with no responsibilities whatsoever. It fills me with nostalgia. Their sophomore album, Dog Problems, seems to appeal to me a whole lot more because of it's more captivating melodies. It’s a pity the band don’t make music together anymore.

In memory of The Format, let’s bring back 3 of their most popular songs:

 

 
 

Photo credit: theformat.com

Intimate - an overrated word used to describe this latest documentary of Kurt Cobain. The Brett Morgan film will give you access to one of the most intriguing mysteries that is Kurt’s mind. A realistic depiction of Kurt’s life. This is not only for hardcore Nirvana fans, but also to those who are curious about what goes on inside a creative genius’ head

The film follows a chronological order from Kurt’s childhood in Aberdeen to his battle with fame and drug addiction. Interviews with his close family and friends, from Courtney love, Nirvana’s bassist Kris Novoselic to his Father who seldom appears in front of the camera. Their words and personal relationship with Kurt contributed to the authenticity of the film.

Journals, paintings, drawings, audio-recordings, home videos and animations (shown below) represented Kurt’s thoughts in a variety of ways. From trippy images to journal entries, this documentary will make you feel like you’ve invaded Kurt’s privacy, though that’s what the film intends to do (in a non-offensive kind of way).

Montage of Heck will help fans understand Kurt’s battle with depression, and the reasons behind his “rebellious” acts. He discovered music in the middle of the chaos that is his mind. Kurt turned to art and music as a form of outlet to express his deepest frustrations with both himself and the people around him.

His dedication to Nirvana was shown through letters, scribbles of guitar chords and lyrics, and even sketches of the famous album cover, Nevermind.

Watching this film reminded me of the quote by Ned Vizzini, " All the physical suffering in the world couldn't compare to mental anguish." Though there’s only a brief mention of his death at the end, I believe the whole film sums up the reasons behind his suicide.

He was more than just the voice behind Smells Like Teen Spirit. He was man who fought hard to achieve happiness and contentment. This is not his backstory. It’s his life.

 Photo credit: Michel Linssen/Getty, HBO, Universal Pictures

Tuesday, 12 May 2015 04:02

Top 3 Must-Listen Mashups

Who says you need a proper studio to create musical masterpieces? Thanks to mashup softwares, fans are able to combine their favourite tunes to make the ultimate remix.

With the help of the ever so powerful Tumblr, I’ve compiled 3 mashups that you’ll surely love.

 

Royals + Come Together – Lorde + The Beatles

These two hits have definitely “come together” to create solid beats that you would have never imagined. The Beatle's classic rock sound complemented Royal's smooth synths. It’s not common for a 60s blues rock to find its way together with a 2013 pop song, but it did, and it sounds superb!

 
 

How To Be A Heartbreaker + Radioactive – Marina and the Diamonds + Imagine Dragons

What caught me is the dreamy intro that’ll probably make you feel like you’re floating. With How To Be A Heartbreaker’s slower tempo and Radioactive’s rhythmic instrumental, this mashup would be perfect for a Saturday afternoon’s mix.

 
 

When The Sun Goes Down + Somebody Told Me – Arctic Monkeys + The Killers

Scumbody Told Me. What a brilliantly named mashup. Aside from the well thought out title, this remix captures both of the songs’ spellbinding guitar riffs. Creatively introduced at 0:50, Somebody Told Me surprises us with Brandon Flower's edgy vocals that are later subtly exchanged with Alex Turner's. 

Photo credit: Apple Records, Capitol Records, Universal Music Group

If you've travelled from the 18th century to the future, surprise, surprise, it’s 2015 and apparently, body-criticism in the music industry is still more alive than ever. It would take years to put an end to the issue since we’re all still drooling over good-looking boy bands packed with abs and singing songs about women’s “booties.”

Singers like Adele, Christina Aguilera, Sam Smith and Kelly Clarkson have all received a fair amount of “fat-shaming.” The recent issue with Clarkson proves that we actually haven’t evolved as proper civilized human beings. It’s not right to judge an artist, let alone a person, based on something as personal as their bodies.

Sam Smith has revealed how food has controlled him, making it a coping mechanism. Perhaps, most of them have dealt with emotional struggles that we know nothing about. It's mentally traumatizing.

Kelly Clarkson has been dealing with such criticisms since the start of her career. The singer has been called “Chunky Monkey” and other distasteful insults. However, when asked about her haters, she responded with “Screw ‘em,” emphasizing that she has always been herself despite whatever size she is. (You go, Kelly!)

The thing is, “fat-shaming” doesn’t only affect artists but also their supporters who come to realize that weight is an issue that people will keep pointing out regardless of the circumstances. We have been brainwashed by a culture that flaws are something we need to get rid of instead of something to accept and live with.

Though I understand that an artist’s physical appearance is an essential part of the “popstar package,” I think it hinders their creativity. Showcasing themselves to look more presentable would tend to make them lose focus on their music. They're artists! Not barbie dolls!

Let's all end this, shall we?

Photo Credit: Getty Images

You may have heard a couple of their songs from films like The Fault In Our Stars, Horns and Love, Rosie. But this Irish group has more to offer. There is definitely no other way but up for Kodaline, especially with the release of their 2nd album, Coming Up For Air.

The album starts off with Honest which despite it's popularity, didn't really strike me as much as the other songs. However, I'm impressed by how they were able to arrange the order of the tracks in the album in such a way that it builds up a climax, leaving a good balance. There's a good mix of upbeat and slow tunes.

Autopilot, Coming Alive and Ready are tracks that give the signature Kodaline vibe that we've become familiar with. I've had these 3 songs on repeat since the album was released. Their solid sound is the lovechild of Coldplay and OneRepublic - compelling and expressive.

When there's a climax, there also needs to be a falling action. I have to give it to the track Moving On. I must say there's a contrast between the drum accompaniment in the 2nd verse and the whole mood of the song.

War may have a plain melody, but it somehow still leaves a mark due to its lyrics, "There's a war between my head and my heart." Now I understand how Kodaline's style falls into the folk rock genre. The album will make you want to dance and also cry your heart out with its soulful ballads.

However, Steve Garrigan, vocalist of the group, seems to be stepping up the game with his rich vocals in Love Will Set You Free. The smooth blending of the piano and guitar arrangement will get you hooked from the beginning. This song proves that they have the potential to sound like the band Journey without having to sacrifice their own style. Here's a live version of the song; It's flawless, get your tissues ready.

 

Do you adore this album as much as I do? Good news for you, Kodaline is gracing our island with their presence together with Sheppard! You can hear these majestic tunes live at Playspace at SCAPE on 13th August! See you there!

Track Gems: Autopilot, Unclear, Coming Alive, Ready, Love Will Set You Free

Photo Credit: Sony Music

Gone were the days when they reigned as members of the legendary bands The Beatles and The Smiths. That’s what we all thought.

But legends don’t die, do they?

Ringo Starr and Johnny Marr are still alive and kickin’ in this age of millennials. Though they will forever be referred to as members of their respective former bands, the two still continue to wow the current generation as they make new music and tour the world as solo artists

Ringo Starr, the former Beatles drummer, is spending most of his time promoting his latest studio album entitled, Postcards from Paradise. Having been predicted to be the only Beatle with an unstable solo career after the group’s break up, Starr has been proving critics wrong, especially with the release of his latest tunes in 2015 – 49 years later. Starr never fail to make me fall in love with his new songs like Rory and the Hurricane and Bridges. (I'm not saying this just because I'm a Beatles fan!) Though still with a bit of classic rock feel, Starr introduces jazz openings in songs like Island in the Sun.

 
 

Album discussions aside, the Philippines is running a social media campaign named Postcards for Ringo. The campaign was organized in the hopes of getting Ringo to visit the country after the Beatles’ not-so-pleasant experience in the 60s. Beatlemania is not dead.

You can watch the promo video here:

 

Dubbed as one of Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest guitarists and The Smiths' guitarist, Johnny Marr, continues to draw crowds with sold out shows in Manchester and Japan. He doesn’t seem to be abandoning the alternative rock genre with his latest hits such as Easy Money, I Feel You and The Messenger. I have this made up genre that I like to call “rock with a pinch of chill” and he seems to define it. With a mix of old and new guitar riffs, his 21st century sound would be something I’d be listening to while sipping an iced coffee on a hot summer day. In other words, every single day, if you live in Singapore.

Catch Johnny Marr live in Singapore at the University Cultural Centre Hall, NUS on 30th July!

Photo credit: Haydn Rydings Photography

We’ve all heard of The 1975, Ed Sheeran and Haim. They’ve had hits such as Chocolate, The A Team and The Wire. You’ve probably already listened to their albums on repeat, so here are 3 unreleased songs that are all good but did not make the cut.

Give them a chance; it’s their time to see the light. 

 

The Go - The 1975

This was one of the songs the British group recorded back when they were still known as Drive Like I Do.

I believe frontman Matty Healy have yet to establish his signature vocals when the song was recorded which takes off The 1975 element from it. Still, it has a catchy tune!

 

Undone - Ed Sheeran

Enough of the overrated “Thinking out loud.” I know you’re sick of it too.

This unreleased song is perfect for long train rides and afternoon ice cream parlor hangouts.  It’s almost as chill as Jack Johnson’s In Between Dreams.

However, I’d have to say I’m more of a fan of the acoustic guitar riffs than the melody.

 

When We Were Young - Haim

If you have a Friday night playlist that you’d play until midnight (or even after midnight if you’re an internet slave like me), then you better include this in it!

In all honesty, this has got to be one of my favorite songs from Haim. It tops most of their songs in their debut album, in my opinion.

It has a Two Door Cinema Club vibe to it which is not really that close to their style but somehow it worked in this song. Yes, the guitar riffs sounds weirdly similar to What You Know.

*****

It's not gonna be long until you hear new music from The 1975 and Haim as both bands are working on their sophomore albums. Be sure to watch out for that!

Photo Credit: SPOOK magazine