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Album Review: Our Top 3 Tracks From BTS' EP 'Love Yourself: Her'
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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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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

We’ve all heard of the saying,"Two is better than one," but is it really?

Every once in a while, we'd catch our favourite musicians with new singles featuring certain artists. Like any other creative, musicians also need to experiment with different styles they might not have tried before, while some try to play it safe and collaborate with artists of the same genre.

Just a few months ago, McCartney surprised us with FourFiveSeconds, a collaboration with Rihanna and Kanye West which I surprisingly dig. But that’s not always the case, we all have heard of “failed” collab attempts. Here are five music collaborations that have been playing in your local radio stations; Are collabs really working? You decide.

 

Entropy Bleachers + Grimes: Taking a risk (but it worked!)

The two artists’ second time working together proves that it doesn’t always have to work the first time around. Though different from the typical electro-pop sound, this odd mixture worked with Bleacher’s pop style blending perfectly well with Grimes’ witch house feel. Some critics say that Grimes’ sounded like Carly Rae Jepsen in this song, but I beg to differ!

 

UpOlly Murs + Demi Lovato: Playing safe

It won’t be a surprise if I hear this 'feel-good' song together with some movie credits. Murs and Lovato definitely know how to merge their sound together without one overpowering the other. With Murs leading the verses, Lovato with the chorus and occasional vocal harmonies, Up will be staying at the top of the charts for quite some time.

 

Worth It - Fifth Harmony + Kid Ink: Taking a risk

I would say that the sax opening became the signature element of the song. However, I have to give the credit to Fifth Harmony for owning this one. There wasn’t any Kid Ink vibe to it. Not a win-win situation, I must say.

 

Outside - Calvin Harris + Ellie Goulding: Playing safe

I’d refer to this genre as electro-pop-dance, one that you’d usually hear playing in clubs. Harris and Goulding seem to complement each other’s style in this song, better than their first work together - I Need Your Love. 

 
 
 
Love Me Harder - Ariana Grande + The Weeknd: Taking a risk

You know that one song you can’t seem to escape in every retail store you enter? It’s this song. Sexual lyrics disguised in a catchy tune. Grande is far from sweet and innocent with this new collab but it seems to attract a huge group of fans. I’d say they’re both taking a risk but it seems to click.

 

Pretty Girls - Britney Spears + Iggy Azalea: DEFINITELY TAKING A RISK!

Now this is something I wouldn't call "quality music." But if you like songs with severe auto-tune and repetitive lyrics, then you'd probably love this one. Pretty Girls was released on 4th May 2015 and has already garnered more than 150K views on the day of the release. It wouldn't come as a surprise as this is the "Princess of Pop" we're talking about. Perhaps she made a wrong decision collaborating with Iggy Azalea. Britney, you were already doing good!

Photo credit: Sony Music

Tuesday, 28 April 2015 03:35

Album Review: San Cisco - Gracetown

2 years after their Singapore gig at Camp Symmetry, the Australian Indie Pop band, San Cisco, releases their 2nd album, Gracetown. With catchy bass-lines and beatboxing, the quartet revives the definition of “eargasmic” through their new tunes. Though only in their early 20s, San Cisco have definitely set their upbeat signature style, one which gets them at the top of the charts.

I had at least 3 songs from their self-titled debut album that I’d be replaying over and over until my eardrums tell me to just STOP. Most of their tracks will get you on your feet, or if you’re the less energetic type, you’ll find yourself tapping your fingers.

The lady of the group, drummer Scarlett Stevens, surprised us with her beatboxing skills in Magic. Beware, once you’ve listened to it, you won’t be able to get it out of your head.

Eccentric would be the perfect word to describe the quartet’s style. They were also able to incorporate this through their music videos, namely, Run and Too Much Time Together. The trippy images in Run’s music video would remind you of Chvrches’ Guns.

 

 
 
I wouldn’t say I’m a fan of their semi-slow songs like Super slow (pun intended, I guess), Mistakes, and About You. For me, these songs are for one-time listening, ones which you’ll probably skip on shuffle mode. San Cisco should definitely stick to their funky+groovy melodies.

However, the rest of the album was able to make up for the unimpressive semi-slow songs. You’d be following Wash It All Away’s bass-lines all throughout the verses and Skool will surely give you the juno vibe. 

Track Gems: Too Much Time Together, Run, Bitter Winter, Magic

Photo Credit: Fat Possum Records/Island City Records

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