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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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The Definitive Track-by-Track Ranking of Taylor Swift's 'reputation' Nobody Asked For
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Teejay

James Arthur's soaring success in 2016 might have been surprising for both fans and critics. His three year hiatus from the music industry would've been though of as a hindrance, but the 28-year-old crooner dominated the charts last year with his hit song, Say You Won't Let Go.

Though one might just know him from the aforementioned single and his controversial dispute with Simon Cowell, James is literally "Back from the Edge", as his sophomore album title suggests.

It definitely shows that the singer has more music in him as he discussed more intimate issues such dealing with anxiety, producing more heart-felt music, and of course, visiting Singapore.

Get to know James better in our interview below!

 

1. Say You Won’t Let Go has been dominating the charts and is deemed by many fans as a “depressing” track. Could you share with us the inspiration behind the song?

I wouldn't say it's a depressing track at all. It's a love story that I think everybody can relate too. If anything, it's a positive track about finding and being with that person. All my writing is influenced by life experiences but I like to create songs that are universally relatable.

 

2. Could you share with us one musician that you listened to as a child that has greatly influenced your current artistic style?

I have so many musical influences, from rap to soul. I like to explore with new styles all the time so I wouldn't pin point one specific artist as I believe you can get influences and inspiration from a variety of genres which I think is really important.

 

3. What challenges did you encounter in making the album, Back From The Edge?

I think the only challenge was how my music would be perceived by everyone. I am really proud of this album and the work and creativity that went in to it. I think there is always doubts and concerns about releasing music but I wanted to go with I felt was right this time round. This is such an honest and autobiographical album, I guess having that out there was a little scary. But the reaction has been amazing and I'm so pleased and proud of it.

 

4. What would be your best memory from 2016?

There are so many. It's been such a whirlwind year and having a number 1 single and album comeback was a feeling and moment I can't explain. The year 2016 has been the best Memory overall.

 

5. You’ve mentioned in a previous interview that watching X Factor gives you anxiety. Do you feel the same way when you play shows or write music?

I guess it's always good to have some nerves before writing and playing live music, as it gives you that drive to better yourself each time. Anxiety is a different beast in itself and it's built into my character. I have to deal with my anxiety in many of ways, but writing and playing live is where I am most comfortable.

 

6. Name one song from your debut album that still strongly resonates with you now.

I resonate with each of the album tracks as they all mean something different for me.

 

7. Will you be planning to bring Back From The Edge Tour to Singapore?

Of course! Would love to come over there and see you guys!

 

8. What message would you give to your Singapore fans?

Just a massive thank you... for believing in me and sticking with me. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the fans so this is all for them as it is for me.

 

 

Photo Credit: Columbia Records

Indie pop band The xx slowly hypes up the release of their latest album I See You, which is to be released on January 13, with a new single, Say Something Loving.

The xx seems to be attracting new listeners despite the 5 year gap between their previous incarnation, Coexist and the lastest, I See You. But the trio is back with better atmospheric tracks in 2017, confessing how their new sound will be more "open and expansive."

Though it's undeniable that On Hold did successfully carry the band's striking return, Say Something Loving unfortunately remains in the realm of mediocrity. This is not to say that the track is not worth a listen. It still keeps the 80's influence on The xx's music alive with psychedelic synths and slow verses reminscent of the band New Order. But it clearly lacks that unique "jam" potential.

******

Listen to Say Something Loving here:

 

What did you think of The xx's new song? Share them with us!

 

Photo Credit: Laura Coulson

With Twenty One Pilots becoming one of 2016’s rising bands, the duo certainly has made a name for themselves.

Their apparent influence have inspired another band, Those Who Dream, to recreate all of their MVs into one innovative video while covering Twenty One Pilots' Guns For Hands.

While the cover itself is pretty mediocre, we can’t deny that Those Who Dream has an eye for aesthetically pleasing visuals and precision – just observe the eerie similarity in certain scenes!

Check it out here:

Photo Credit: Celebmix

Jut a couple of years ago, I was drawn to the indie folk goddess that is Ingrid Michaelson. That was the time when everyone in Secondary school was obsessed with trying to learn how to play the ukulele just so they can post videos of themselves singing You and I.

But that period of time is nothing but a memory now, as Ingrid Michaelson has evolved from our secret little sweetheart to a more mature vocalist.

Though I certainly would prefer her more melodious songs than her current pop-sounding releases, there's still something nostalgic about listening to her ethereal vocals.

Her vocal prowess is amongst the most unique of many and she proves it with this stripped down rendition of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas on SiriusXM.

Though not without some flaws, this cover proves that she still got what it takes to send shivers down our spines and just for a little while.

******

Watch the video here:

Photo Credit: cityoftenants

Aside from his naughty and comedic photos on Instagram, John O'Callaghan of The Maine is also known for his poetic rants and philosophical musings on Twitter.

Having done short inspirational speeches during gigs, it's no surprise to occasionally stumble upon some of his "emo" tweets, which of course, capture the attention of most hopeless romantics.

But as cheesy as they may sometimes be and with a few exceptions, most of his tweets are actually profound and uplifting (especially when it's past midnight and you find yourself endlessly scrolling through Twitter). He's able to put our deepest thoughts into words in the most genuine way and remind us of the good in life. 

So, in light the year ending, here are 10 of John O'Callaghan's tweets of 2016.

 

1. 

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

5.

 

6.

 

7.

 

8.

 

9.

 

10.

 

Photo Credit: Jenson Carter

The literal Bohemian Rhapsody video might come off as cheesy for some fans, but we can’t deny the brilliance of the whole concept.

Produced by Corridor, the short film brings Queen’s hit to life as it literally portrays every word of the song in a dramatic storyline. By literally, this means that even the word “Oooh” was turned into actual sobbing (skip to 1:04).

You could never really understand the emotional intensity of a song unless you visually see it being performed in front of you live. But in this case, we were able to feel Freddie Mercury’s words just from our screens, thanks to this brilliant interpretation.

*****

Watch the video here:

Photo Credit: EMI

It's that time of the year again when we spend hours going through our photo albums and sobbing at the mere thought that the best concerts that happened this year only exist in our memories and can only be accessed through our screens.

Unless someone actually invents a working time machine, we won’t be able to relive those psychedelic concert moments. But for now, we’ll have to make do with some reminiscing.

Immortalizing these special gigs through words and a bunch of pictures is what we're here for. So let’s take a trip down memory lane and look back at some of the best concerts* in 2016 picked by our very own Spin or Bin Music writers!

*Click the images to read our concert reviews!

 

Donwei: "Floor Jansen's impeccable vocals set a whole new benchmark for live shows for me. Nightwish was also my first metal concert so that was a cool experience since the crowd gave off a different vibe from what I was used to. There was this young mum in front of me who was carrying her sleeping son (probably still in kindergarten and idk how he managed to sleep during the concert). When the band started playing 'Storytime', the mum woke him up (cuz apparently that's his fav song) and put him on the floor where he just started jumping and screaming along to the song lol"

 

Donwei: "I've never listened to their music before but soon became a fan after going for their concert. I think it's so easy to underestimate them for their young ages and for the genre that they are categorised in but wow Brad Simpson really does have great stage presence. It also helped that we got to meet them for the interview and that they are total qts!!!"

 

Teejay: "Though The 1975's SG gig wasn't really for a solo tour, seeing my favorite band the second time around at Laneway was beyond surreal. I got to meet fellow 1975-obsessed fans and saw the band's stunning neon-themed visuals for the first time! Also, I saw Ross Macdonald again, which made it even more memorable."

 

Letazia: "They basically took the roof off The Star Theatre with their AMAZING vocals. I know that they are great singers but after watching them LIVE in concert, I can most definitely say that they don't just sing their songs but they PUT ON A SHOW for their fans, making sure that the ticket was worth every cent to watch them SLAY their performances."

 

Letazia: "This girl's vocal range was absolutely INSANE. And to think that she sounded so incredible even though she was not feeling her best. SAY WHAT. Yes, she's a super talented singer-songwriter that is so underrated in this music industry. I think that once you attend a Jessie J concert, there is no denying of all the talented bones in her body. And her interactions with her fans are the cutest!"

 

Donwei: "And also while I wouldn't say that Panic! At The Disco's concert was the BEST, it felt pretty surreal to see Brendon Urie in the flesh after fangirling and being obsessed over him and the band all through my sec school and poly days. Now it feels like I can finally close that chapter haha."

 

Teejay: "Queen and Adam Lambert's set was mind-blowing in so many ways. Hearing songs from my childhood in real life while drowning in my own sweat was one of the most memorable experiences ever. You know the show was good when you caught yourself picturing that exact moment in slow motion while it's happening. Let's also add the fact that there was golden confetti falling down on the crowd while I was exiting the moshpit. It was so memorable that here I am romanticizing the whole gig all over again."

Holmen: "It's been a dream come true to witness one of the most influential rock bands in the world put on a show worthy to be named one of the best ever performances to take place at the Singapore GP ever. Adam Lambert also gave a better vocal performance than his stint at the New Year's Eve show at the Floating Platform this year."

 

Solihin: "There is something truly purifying about being vulnerable against the onslaught of Mother Nature while attempting (still) to make the best of your gloriously muddy festival experience. An event that trumps the infamous "Rainway" of 2010, the sophomore edition of Neon Lights should be praised not only for its continually diverse attractions but also for managing to foster a sense of communion free of irony. Ok but seriously, the vouchers have gotta go, though."

*****

 

Is your favorite concert of 2016 on our list? Share it with us!

 

Photo Credit: LAMC Productions, Alvin Ho for Laneway Festival & Singapore GP Singapore, Cherlynn Lian / Laneway Festival Singapore, Neon Lights, Live Nation Lushington SG (facebook)

For the alternative rock band, Kings of Leon, making an album isn’t so much about pleasing an audience. The quartet has already found success in their most well-received album, Only By The Night. Not so much of a game changer, their recent effort WALLS radiates their struggle of keeping a steady musical momentum.

According to frontman Caleb Followill, the album is reminiscent of the metaphor, “the walls coming down.” A slightly cheesy take on learning how to break free. Though for Kings of Leon, it holds a personal part in their entire journey as a band and perhaps as brothers. In the words of Followill himself, “there is some real stuff being said.”

The record opens with Waste A Moment, a thundering track that carries their signature crunchy riffs. This is followed by the soft, almost indie-like, mellow intro in Reverend that finds its way to a powerful chorus.

The most noteworthy track, however, is Around The World smothered in a frolicking opening just begging to be admired. The track then flawlessly transitions to Find Me, a song carrying that certain repetitive melody seeping into almost every track in the album. Unfortunately, the title track and ballad, Walls, happens to be one of the those tracks.

Despite the disappointing lack of variety, we've got songs like Conversation Piece with Followill's beaming country-like vocals and Muchacho, an ethereal piece illuminating a vibrant aura far from their usual angst.

Though confessing how much of a challenge it was to produce this record, Kings of Leon undoubtedly delivered. But, this of course, is in spite of the record's lack of angst that seems to be seeping through repetitive rock melodies. After all, what's Kings of Leon without their signature and familiar garage sound anyway?

Listen to WALLS here:

Track gems: Around The World, Eyes On You, Muchacho

 

Photo Credit: Supplied, RCA Records

We came. We fought. We conquered. (Well, at least some lucky people out there.)

With Coldplay's ticket sales being dubbed as an "unprecedented" event, it's safe to say that their two shows in Singapore might just be the most awaited concert in 2017. I mean, the last time we've experienced this kind of intense hoarding was during Taylor Swift and Michael Jackson's shows in our tiny island. 

While it did take me three tries before finally scoring a ticket (thanks to a really dedicated friend who managed to get through the virtual waiting room), the experience definitely wasn't a smooth one. I've spent hours lurking on the concert event's page on Facebook, scrolling down desperate fans' pleas, finding strength in the fact that I'm not the only one stuck in the virtual waiting room. 

Though it's pretty understandable that most people who didn't get tickets are pissed, some of them decided to turn their despair and disappointment into hilarious posts on Facebook and Twitter.

Here are 10 hilarious posts that perfectly sum up our emotions during the Coldplay ticket sales:

 

1. When this guy accurately depicts our feelings about the Virtual Waiting Room

 

 

2. I mean, it's another reason why 2016 is just not a good year

 

 

3. You realize how tough the ticket sales battle was when it's comparable to Singapore's education system

 

 

4. When you just turn to Coldplay for consolation 

 

 

5. When you spend more hours in the Virtual Waiting Room than you can ever stay still in a lecture (DUDE, 4 HOURS???)

 

 

6. When even Chris Martin is disappointed

 

 

7. When some people are just trying to lighten the mood

 

 

8. When you realize that resellers are selling one ticket equivalent to your entire tuition fees

 

 

9. When you know someone just had to say it... even though it's downright brutal

 

 

10. But at the end of the day, you realize that despite the struggle, it brought fans together

 

Photo Credit: shareonfb.com

With just almost a year succeeding the release of their previous album, Get Weird, Little Mix proves that 2016 isn’t as bad as everyone thinks it is. Along with a successful tour, the hardworking girl-group delivers a rhythmic pop record, Glory Days, that is reminiscent of their adorable quirks and emotional heartaches.

Channeling their feisty attitudes, Little Mix delves straight into the topic of romance with Shout Out to My Ex. Dubbed as the new dance anthem for the brokenhearted, the well-received track speaks so much of the quartet’s advocacy that being single is not entirely synonymous to being miserable.

Following the topic of love is a song devoid of it. Little Mix belts out their dilemmas in F.U., a fiery ballad accompanied by enthralling chord progressions and the girl’s signature harmonies. What follows this is a jazzy track called Oops featuring one of this generation’s most melodically creative artists, Charlie Puth. Puth’s harmonious trademark is evident in the song’s soft-hearted and captivating melody, both encapsulating the type of sound one needs to hear for a little rejuvenation. If not the best, Oops remains to be one of those songs you should play on repeat.

You Gotta Not marks the end of the melodic intensity in the album. However, the vibrant jingle still falls under the "catchy category" with it's intense beats and sassy lyrics that seem to mock the girls' previous lovers - "I don't get paid to babysit no one."

With Little Mix' authenticity, it's not a surprise that the record still includes sentimental tracks like Your Love and Nobody Like You, despite their desire for it to represent independence and the ultimate "girl power."

Glory Days maintains an energy and vigor incomparable to any pop albums released this year. It satisfied our cravings for fun dance-pop music in a world full of "indie wannabes". This is prood that Little Mix have mastered the art of what constitutes a feel-good pop record in their five years in the industry.

For whatever endeavor they've experienced, the girl-group still manifests an aura that is true themselves and delivers it to like-minded fans through their unapologetically fun music.

Listen to the album here:

 

Track Gems: Oops, Shout Out to My Ex, You Gotta Not, F.U. 

 

Photo Credit: musicweekly.asia, Syco, and Columbia records