Saturday, February 28, 2009

Presenting... The Pop Reviews Now Awards!!!!!

Yesss! We're only a month away from Pop Reviews Now's FIRST anniversary and I thought it would be apt to celebrate all the new music that came out during my year online. Thus, the Pop Reviews Now Awards are here! I have shortlists and a few winners already but there are categories I need a little help in, so starting today, you guys can VOTE for your favorites in some of the major awards. Here's a complete list of the awards:Non-Voting Categories(I'll choose the winners!)
Best Live Album
Best EP
Best Compilation/Soundtrack
Best Unreleased/Standalone Song
Best Pop Act
Best Collaboration(live or recorded)
Best Band
Best New Artist
Best Website
Best MySpace
Who'll make it huge in the near future

Voting Categories(YOU choose!)
Best Album
Best Single
Best Album track
Best Female Solo
Best Male Solo
Best Music Video

And as I thought it would be really messy to put the awards here, I've created a new site just for the awards. The link will be up on the nav bar later but if you want to view it now..

Stephen Gately - Stay

The first time I heard New Beginning I had no idea which songs were the singles and which songs were hits. So I heard the album and Stay became my favorite song. In true 'me' fashion, it was his last and lowest-charting single.

The version I knew of before I went YouTube-hopping for his stuff today was the one on the album and that was much more piano/guitar-based with less 2000-ish pop elements. It sounded a lot older as well than the single version, which I didn't like the first time I heard(about on hour ago?) but now I think it's pure and utter brilliance.

So let's talk about the album version first. As I said a while ago, it's more piano/guitar-based and the vocals are smoother - they sound like the song came straight out of a studio, which it did. Towards the end the vocals are all heavily layered and you can hardly make out Stephen's voice anymore. Still, amazing melody and this version has it's quirks.

The single/video version is much more 2000 pop, the arrangement sounds like ...Baby One More Time. His vocals are a lot more raw as well, they layering on the album version is gone and it's just him singing with minimal backing during the choruses. One reason why I think they made the song like this was for the dance routine. The album version was nice, but a dance routine didn't go very well with it. At least not as much as this one does.

Either version, I LOVE THE SONG. Brilliant melody, great arrangement.


Friday, February 27, 2009

New Music!

Haven't been posting, sorry about that. haha.
  • The new Lady Sovereign album is out. Haven't heard the whole thing yet but I'll try to whip up a review in the next few weeks.
  • There's a new JLo's new single is apparently a recently leaked song, Hooked On You. I like it, it's very... American, very JLo. I love the melody, the arrangement's fine and her vocals are so-so as always so am looking forward to the new album!
  • I FINALLY found the last Liberty X album! Yay! Have been listening to it for the past few days, it's amazing as always!
  • There's a new Corbin Bleu song out as well but I'm not convinced. One the outside it sounds like a fairly good song but there's something about the melody that makes me uneasy, that makes me not want to listen to it. Moments That Matter is still the standout track so far. Amazing stuff, but I'm not so sure if there's enough amazing stuff on his new album to pull it through.
  • Am currently addicted to Shontelle. It's late, I know but I just got a hold of her album recently and I only got the chance to listen to it a few days ago. I LOVE the songs, she's very contemporary and she sounds like all the big singers at the moment but she's not. She's got her own identity and she's got a grip on what music is right now. She's almost as amazing as Karina for me..
  • Jesse McCartney's re-release is slowly coming together. There's a live version of a rumored song on it, Body Language and may I say, he's amazing. He's R&B and yet he's being himself, the artist we saw in his first two albums. Can't wait! haha!
  • This year's American Idol is not that they promised us it would be, amazing. There have only been about four or five good performances so far and even those weren't as good as last year plus the fact that one guy during the first week didn't get in just because he had no 'personality' but his voice was gorgeous. I'm scared for the show, to be honest. The contestants cannot just keep on murdering these amazing pop songs and make them bland, off-key and horrible performances.
  • The Black Eyed Peas have a new song out. Not a big fan, but you gotta admit, it's a very BEP song and it'll most probably be this huge hit. They're good technically, they've mastered the craft but they're personally not my taste, that's it. I do however love how after a lot of new artists keep coming out, they still manage to give us something worth listening to and something that's them.
  • Am currently in love as well with the piano mix of Alesha Dixon's Breathe Slow. Love the original song but the piano mix has an even bigger contrast than the original. Alesha's voice isn't exactly smooth and the piano just flows, I LOVE it! haha. It has a lot less instruments as well.. yay!
  • There's a new Mary J Blige song out, What Love Is and I'm slowly falling in love with it. Very mellow compared to Just Fine but the melody is just brilliant, it makes ma want to listen to her other albums now! Amazing vocals as usual, she better release more new stuff soon!
  • Rihanna's got a new song as well, following the Chris Brown incident. It's so-so, but I've stopped liking Rihanna for a long time now. Not that I'm saying she's not a good singer or anything but I do think she's too overrated. She releases songs, she's a singer just like everyone else in the industry and she may be a good performer and all but there are people better than her.
I promise to post a little more than this past week, I've been to busy with schoolwork and getting sick and all. Will be back tomorrow with another post!

Monday, February 23, 2009


I'm too excited.

I was looking around Pixie Lott's(amazing) myspace and I saw a song I haven't heard yet, Here We Go Again so I loaded it. When I hit play, I was surprised, IT'S A RED ONE SONG! But that's not the best part yet. Yes, it's got that trademark RedOne thing(I can't describe it, you know it when you hear it..) but IT SOUNDS NOTHING LIKE JUST DANCE!

FINALLY RedOne, you give me something different, something that's you but doesn't sound like a crappy copy of just Dance, hurrah! Plus it's very Pixie as well, I love it!

If you wanna hear the song in question, head on over to Pixie's MySpace(the link is on the sidebar..).. yay!

It's like they just disappeared...

A few years ago, there were some new artists who were releasing songs, new material and gearing up for their first or second albums but 2008 came and went and they still didn't have an album out. Here are a few artists who'll forever have a TBA tag on my music library.

The artist I've been waiting for the most is a girl called Gia Farrell. Her brilliant first single was on the Happy Feet soundtrack and for me it gave new meaning to pop music. It was fun, vibrant but contemporary and her vocals were one of the best I've ever heard. Her album was slated for a 2007 release but like others on this list, it never materialized. Throughout 2008 new songs from her would randomly sprout out, Obvious and Can and Cannot Do being the cream of the crop. I wiki-ed her just now and apparently, she was dropped by Atlantic in 2007. Garrr. Unless someone signs her quick, I'm afraid she'll never have an album. Ugh.

Now a pop group I've been watching out for since forever is A-List Alliance. I forgot how I came across them but I did and I've been listening to their stuff since forever. They remind me of a newer, more dance/electronica-based Liberty X and I haven't heard anything from them in almost a year now except for a few YouTube videos and their dormant MySpace. Where'd they go????

LAX used to be an amazing band, even if I only ever heard two songs from them. Once they became Kali, I lost interest. I heard the song, hated it and it's like they disappeared from the face of the earth. All I can find of them now are a few YouTube videos but I can't find their MySpace. 

Another big question mark for me is Asia Cruise. She's Pinay so I got curious about her. I've only really heard one song from her, Walk Me Out(it came close to entering my year-end countdown last year!) and I liked it. I did a little research and she hasn't been dropped, her myspace is up and running and apparently, the album is due this year! It better come out..

Avenue had a pretty bumpy ride, but the one song from them that's out is brilliant. They were the boyband that got disqualified from X Factor in 2006(Kian from Westlife was one of Louis' judges that year..!) because they were formed by a record company and had a management deal. So they were out and last year they released a single. I take it didn't do well because the album isn't out yet. They were supposed to go on tour this month but it was cancelled. Hmm.

Cassie burst onto the scene in 2006 with her R&B number one single Me&U and I remember that song in particular very well. 2006 was the year I got addicted to Westlife, the year my whole music addiction started. Because I was waiting for Westlife to somehow sprout out on local music channels and radio stations, I'd hear this. Of course we were months behind and it only hit radio here about four months after it was released in the US but what the heck, I knew nothing about music yet. So there, I was addicted. I loved the album and the subsequent singles but it's like after Long Way 2 Go flopped, she disappeared. She's had some material circulating but no album yet and apparently it's due for a spring release. Hmm..

I have absolutely no idea how I stumbled upon Samantha Jade but I did and thank God for that. She's had two singles but they didn't do very well and the album was originally scheduled for a 2006 release. Obviously it didn't pull through because it's 2009 now and all we have from her are four songs. Late last year a new song leaked but the buzz died down as fast as it started and now wiki's saying that she's going into film. Is this all we will ever get from her? ugh.

Along with Westlife, I was also really addicted to TRL in 2006, mainly because I discovered the wonders of MTV at the same time. So I was watching TRL(which was a week behind here..) and I saw Teddy Geiger. I liked the song, I got the album and I loved it, end of story. Around last year, I got curious about him again and I did some research, apparently he was bringing out a new album. So I got excited but then I forgot about it so when I checked a while ago, Columbia already dropped him. garr.

It's a shame these artists might never see the light of a number one single anymore and that their albums will forever remain 'TBA' but you never know, we might just hear something from them again one day..Gia , LAX

Alex Roots..

hmm. Was looking around PJ a while ago and I saw this. She's interesting, I don't think it's brilliant or anything yet but there's something about this song just I like. Sort of like what I thought of Girls Aloud when I first heard them so she's not hopeless yet.

Alex Roots is like one of those artists that take time and a lot of material out for me to absolutely adore but when I do, I REALLY adore them. The song itself is like a Kerli song during the verses and then it turns into this British Avril pop/rock thing once the chorus hits. I'm slowly liking this song, but I'm still a bit tentative about her. Maybe I'll go listen to her MySpace stuff...

3.5/5, I'm not convinced yet.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Well, well. We just reached the 25,000 unique visitors mark yesterday which means 25,000 people have read and scoured through Pop Reviews Now! Yay!

Thanks guys, it's been amazing so far, here's to another 25,000! yipeeeeeeeeeee! haha.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

New Music!

Sorry for not posting in ages, have been busy with school and nothing extremely exciting has been happening so I waited for all the new stuff to flow in..
  • I know I've said that by the few songs that've been circulating from the Hannah Montana movie, I wasn't so impressed with the soundtrack. One new song off it though has done all the right things. Always Find Your Way Back Home is standard Disney/Hannah Montana, catchy melodies and lyrics about dreams and home and friends but this song has the most gorgeous melody. Haha.
  • There's a new BoA song out, I Did It For Love and aside from the strange laughing, it's not that bad. There are parts that just explode but I'm still a bit uncomfortable about her singing in English and I can't seem to forget how bad Eat You Up was but oh well, this is a bit better.
  • The Veronicas did a stripped version of Burnin' Up and may I say, it's not that bad. I wouldn't listen to it for no reason but I wouldn't take it out of my library either!
  • I FINALLY got The Saturdays' Comic Relief single in HQ and I've been listening to it heaps. I kind of like the Wideboys Radio Edit, it's not that different from the original track..
  • I know I'm a year and something late but I'm slowly getting addicted to Adele. I've heard the first three tracks on the album and I love them all! Will listen to the rest later..
  • There're three new Jordin Sparks clips, Let It Rain is amazing, Walking On Snow is even more amazing but Papercut is BRILLIANT!
  • It's official, following their first ever BRIT, it was announced that Untouchable will be the next single off Out of Control! haha. I love the song..
  • Speaking of the BRITs, Duffy was the big winner that night, she won three out of her four nominations but the Ting Tings' performance with Estelle was the best part of the night for me, WHY DIDN'T THEY WIN???????!!!!! Garrr.
hmm.. more coming this week, watch out!

Kelly Clarkson - All I Ever Wanted

When I first heard My Life Would Suck Without You, it's like I was brought back to 2004/2005 when Since You've Been Gone was the biggest thing since anything and I suddenly got excited about Kelly Clarkson again. The lead-up to my first listen of the album was filled with listening to the two songs that had leaked, her number one single and the much disputed track, The Day We Fell Apart. I was expecting nothing less than brilliance.

What did I get? A confused, generic and just plain mediocre album. The songs have no cohesion, one minute she's pop/rock, the next she's bubblegum pop and what makes it worse is that I've heard this all before, all the songs sound like some other hit song from 2003-2006.

Don't Let Me Stop You sounds like an Everlife or Superchic[k] song they'd put in a Disney movie and Already Gone reminds me of a more modern, lighter Paula Cole song. The start of If I Can't Have You reminds me of Natalie Bassingthwaighte's Catch Me If You Can while Save You sounds like a Snow Patrol/The Fray song. Ready sounds like a Kelly-ized Sara Bareilles song and I Want You reminds me of a Mandy Moore Wild Hope-era song

The songs themselves as just songs are gorgeous, the melodies and the instrumentals are brilliant but this is supposed to be an album, not just a bunch of random songs thrown together haphazardly.

To sum it all up, nothing, no matter how hard Kelly Clarkson and her production team tries will ever match the glory of Breakaway, nothing. Breakaway was in a league of it's own, it defined a generation and All I Ever Wanted will forever be the album that tried so desperately to revive Breakaway's glory.

SO, to sum up the album:
Best Track: I Do Not Hook Up
Better Tracks: Save You, Don't Let Me Stop You
Least Favorite Track: If No One Will Listen
THE RATING: 3.5/5, for being confused and mediocre

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Five of the best boyband love songs from the most uncommon suspects..

Really, REALLY late for Valentine's day but it's better late than never, right? Plus, I'll be ending the boyband special pretty soon as well.. aww.

Boyband love songs are made to be sung at the end of concerts and to make all the girls burst into tears, it's a fact of life I'm afraid. Westlife are synonymous with these kinds of songs, they are after all 'the kings of the ballad' but most other boybands have these kinds of songs, so which ones really make the girls cry?

But there's a little twist on this post that I didn't tell you about. These ballads are all from the most unlikely boybands. They may seem tough or really have a reputation of not singing a lot of ballads but whatever it is, as long as majority of their stuff aren't ballads(that don't talk about regret or the girl leaving them..), they qualify. haha.

Another Level may seem like this really tough, 'street'-ish band but they do have a soft side, you know. From The Heart is epic, AND it was on the Notting Hill soundtrack(which also had Ronan Keating's debut single in it..) so it was relatively big. YouTube won't let me embed the video but it's here if you want to see it.

East 17 was another very 'street'/urban band during their time so it was surprising that their biggest hit was a ballad, Stay Another Day. It's gorgeous though, if I may say so. Girls Aloud did a version as well, it was a b-side to something and they performed it the night they were crowned Christmas number one for their first and only time(haha..).

Blue were like the Another Level of their time and they had one big hit here in Asia, Best In Me. They're not known that much for their 'proclamation of love' songs so they qualify, OK? haha. Defensive, much? Anyway, I love the melody and isn't Duncan hot? haha, my boyband addiction coming out.

I know that the penultimate NSYNC ballad is This I Promise You but I do like Music of My Heart much better so that's the one I'll be talking about. Just like the other songs, it's absolutely gorgeous and it got them an Emmy nomination!(correct me if I'm wrong..) The video's standard 90's boyband as well, they just stand there while translucent people walk by and bla bla bla.. I've got a thing for videos like that though, I like! haha. BRILLIANT song.

Speaking of NSYNC, 5ive were supposed to be Simon Cowell/Britain's answer to the aforementioned boyband so obviously, they had a lot of uptempos and dance-y stuff. They still however, made time for a few ballads and Until The Time Is Through is my favorite, plus the fact that it was a single so you probably already know it.. hmm. pretty song.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The return of fun.

That boyband love songs post will come, I just have to get my head around making it. While waiting, lemme just write some thoughts down.

I know I'm not the first to notice but I thought I'd say it anyway, pop is certainly coming back this year. It took me a few more listens to convince myself that it's real but I'm delighted by the return of fun, perky and upbeat pop songs amidst all those I-Hate-Your-Guts rock or heavy R&B stuff that had been coming out. Even with the deteriorating record sales and piracy all over the place, the return of pop will make me want to go out and buy albums even more now.

It feels like 2005 again (of course I don't really know what 2005 felt like music-wise but by the albums and the songs from 2005 that I've heard, it was a pretty good year for pop.) or even 2006.

Pop may never be like what it was five, six years ago but I can confidently say that it's getting somewhere thanks to the acts who stuck by the label during the 'down period' so to say and yes, even Disney. I wouldn't say 2008 was a bad year for pop, but I do think that there was very little of it reaching mainstream audiences but this year is different, I just know it.

Kelly Clarkson's now number one single is perky, fun American pop. Of course it's not the BSB/90's pop but it's something that when you hear it, you know it's American. It's a characteristic American song and even though I think that nothing will come close to Since You've Been Gone, this is pretty close. It's SYBG but not.

Corbin Bleu's Moments That Matter made me smile when I first heard it, and I think that's something important in a pop song, it has to somehow make the listeners happy, not just because the song is brilliant but because it's happy and it's perky and it's worth smiling for, worth supporting.

The Saturdays' Comic Relief single is fun, it's a song I want to play over and over again but I don't get sick of. Nearly 60 plays already and I'm still listening to it, it's infectious, it sticks to my head and it's brilliant. As much as I love the GA+ Sugababes Comic Relief thing, it just wasn't fun for me. I loved the Boyzone song and obviously the Westlife one because they were fun, they were uptempos with actual melodies and they sold a heck of a lot for charity.

In comes Tania Christopher, who has brilliantly made 2009's Forever. Like all the other songs I've mentioned, it's fun but what sets it apart is its obvious mainstream sound. R&B is obviously a big thing in the US and although I absolutely adore the genre, it can get repetitive. You have all these generic Usher/Beyonce wannabes coming and going with all these mediocre songs. Once in a while though, someone with all the right things shows up with the right song and blows us away. I think Tania is just that.

The song that inspired this post is the new offering from Mandy Moore's upcoming album. With the demise of perky pop, her 2007 album sounded like a bland Lily Allen without the tongue-in-cheek lyrics. Don't get me wrong, the songs were gorgeous but I feel like she went from this late 90's/early 2000's pop princess to a bland "folk" singer. I Could Break Your Heart Any Day Of The Week is close to what I thought she'd be doing in 2007, and I sure as hell am glad that she's doing it now. I do hope she gets the chart success she deserves, the song is brilliant.

I believe that pop songs are songs that make you want to turn the volume up and be happy, carefree and not think for those three minutes(or more..) and these songs just prove my point.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Dayyyy!

Hmm. Am thinking of what to post in celebration.

Expect a 'Best Boyband Love Songs' post later today! haha.!

Tania Christopher - Just Like You

I honestly had no idea who this girl was until today and I'm baffled.
I honestly think 2009 will be one of the most amazing years music has ever had and this girl just solidifies my thoughts. From what I'm getting, she's young(somewhere in the realm of JoJo and Bayje) and she has a good enough voice to compete with the others in her genre. I've heard Hypnotized, it's amazing, I've heard Show Me, it's just as amazing but Just Like You shows me how good she really is and that there's actually a future for her in music.

It's like a mix of a Lady GaGa song(during the verses..) with the fun that Chris Brown's Forever effortlessly has plus the 'empowering' Disney lyrics, in a class all on it's own. Last year's fun hit song was Forever and this is slowly becoming my favorite fun/R&B/dance-ish song of the year, easily. Could it be a US hit? Not sure but if it is, she'll go a long way.

The Rating: 5/5!!!

Looking ahead...

I said that 2009 would be an amazing year for music and quite a number of new albums have been released now even more new songs are slowly circulating so what's in store for the pop scene over the next few months? Here are some artists who've given us a little taste of what's to come(and a few who haven't.).
  • A bonus track off Kelly Clarkson's new album has leaked and although some people are speculating that it's not really her, I do think it's her. It sounds like her and the song is just divine so even if it isn't, I'd like to know who it is! haha. If this is what we're getting(plus some demos by other artists have also surfaced, haven't heard them yet..) in the full-length album then my calendar will have a big, fat red mark on the release date! haha.
  • Marie Serneholt's Melodifestivalen song is not bad but as long as I have an I Need A House-esque track on it, I'm happy.
  • This year's Comic Relief single(which I'm getting really addicted to.. it's brilliantly catchy!) was secured by The Saturdays and it's everywhere already! Late last year Digital Spy bashed all hopes of getting a re-release of their debut album(I'm too lazy to look for the article but I will). I do think they need a few original albums just to plant their existence firmly into people's minds. Maybe on their third or fourth albums they can do a re-release but now's not the time. I wonder what's in store for them this year, after the Comic Relief thing.
  • Fight For Love is the reported first single from Elliot Yamin's second album(rumored to also be called Fight For Love) and along with that a few rumors have come up that he's teaming up with Stargate and even Diane Warren(she can write one heck of a ballad..) for the album. I do like the two songs out now, so will be following the development of this. haha.
  • Also rumored are the follow-up singles from Lily Allen's new album. Apparently they're Not Fair and Back To The Start.. hmm.
  • Armed with a mind-blowing voice(which sounds a lot like JoJo), a Stargate-produced lead single whose video was directed by the guy who brought us the videos to Rihanna's monster singles Unfaithful, We Ride, Disturbia and Take A Bow, Beyonce's Irreplaceable and heaps more, Bayje better come up with that album soon. It's been at least a year since I've heard of her and the tracks on her Myspace are brilliant so this is definitely one of the albums I'm anticipating the most this year.
  • It's been three years since her last album and JoJo hasn't given us anything, nothing, not even a little taste of what her new album's gonna sound like. I'm not angry or anything but I've been waiting three years for an album from the girl who started my music addiction and I'm really, really excited! After a label change, early last year rumors were that the album would be out in time for her 18th birthday but apparently, All I Want Is Everything will be out this year instead. Oh, and her website's being revamped..
  • Lady Sovereign's new album is apparently coming out this year. I love her drastic but not change in sound and her new grown up image, it's working! I Got You Dancing was like a Ting Tings song(although not as good..), annoyingly awesome, it was stuck in my head for weeks, it still is! The follow-up single is So Human and although I prefer the first one, it's a nice preview of the album! yay!
  • Just when I was thinking of what happened to Keke Palmer, wiki is saying that Sony has apparently signed her and the album is scheduled for a spring release. Hmm(when's spring, btw? don't blame me, we only have two seasons here!), no new singles out yet? tsk. tsk. They better have this really huge PR campaign if they want the album to sell..
  • So I'm guessing that because of the Rihanna incident, Chris Brown's career has come to a screeching halt. Radio stations have pulled out his songs from their playlists, his ad campaigns have been suspended and the Sesame Street episode he did won't be shown again, ever. I feel sorry for his career, it's come a long way but he is going to court for beating Rihanna up so it's both their careers down the drain for now(at least.. Rihanna may be able to bounce back faster than him..). I'm also guessing that there won't be any new releases from him(or her..), at least this year if he can get his act together quick enough for people to not loose interest in him and not go crazy or something. Shame, he was starting to get close to Craig David in my books.
There's tons more new stuff to talk about so a part two might follow! haha.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


You do realize that I'm freaking out right now..


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

New Music!

I still cannot believe how I survived January when there's so much new music out now!
  • First off, three video premieres. Taylor Swift's White Horse, The Ting Ting's We Walk AND The Saturdays' Comic Relief single, Just Can't Get Enough(will get to that later...)! All amazing! Yipeeeee!
  • One of the two main reasons why I'm so excited to day is because...The Confessions of a Shopaholic Soundtrack's out! I'm hyperventilating!!!!!!!!!! I'm addicted to the series(I read all five in a day!) but I've heard a few songs off the soundtrack and I got really excited! Will listen to the soundtrack tonight and watch the movie this weekend when it comes out! haha. I've heard that a couple of RedOne tracks made their way into the album so I'll have to listen.
  • There are two new Elliot Yamin songs out, I'm in love with them! Loved his first album and judging by the two tracks, Show Me and Fight For Love, his second album might even be better! Yay!
  • There's a new Natalie Imbruglia song out, My God and it's ok. Nothing special and I like Glorious much better! haha. Will be waiting for her album though.
  • Now, the new Saturdays' song. It's a cover and it's for Comic Relief so most likely it'll chart within the top three or even at number one. I have no idea what the original version sounds like, I think I knew the song before I heard this but I'm not so sure and from what I've heard, it's not bad. 
  • There's a new Michelle Branch track as well. Haven't heard it but will do after I finish the Shopaholic soundtrack! haha.
  • Marie Serneholt has a new song as well, Disconnect Me from the Melodifestivalen. It's not bad, but not my cup of tea. I still prefer I Need A House over it.
  • Speaking of Marie Serneholt, I was looking through old A*Teens videos yesterday and I'm slowly falling in love with the songs all over again! They kind of lost their spark for me a few months ago but I do love Perfect Match and Upside Down! haha.
I guess that's it, will have to whip up my review of the Shopaholic Soundtrack. yay!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Rant: Taylor Swift..

When I wrote my reviews for both of her albums, I didn't realize the influence she has and probably will still have in the future on the music industry. I knew she wrote her own songs and she was really good at it but she really does have a pull on the music today.

She's done extremely well figures-wise, number one singles, number one albums and millions of records sold but it just hit me a few days ago that she's signed to an independent label. Not a big four, not a subsidiary of a big four, an independent label. So tell me, if all these Disney artists were on independent labels without their huge promo blitzes and TV shows on Disney Channel, their cross-marketing and their nice studios with auto-tuning and pre-recorded stuff, would they come close, let alone match what Taylor has done? I think not.

Taylor Swift is incredibly good at what she does, but she's incredibly good at giving people what they want as well. You can have all the good songs in the world but not have anyone notice you because it doesn't appeal to them but you see, Taylor Swift wants us to think that she's just like you and me.

It's she's having a conversation with us, all five million or so and she makes us think that we're the only ones she's talking to. It's like getting a glimpse of her life and finding out that she's not some record company robot, she's a girl with real feelings and a brain, a brain that she actually picks up and uses.

Have you noticed, you don't see her in gossip columns, you don't hear about her stumbling out of a club at an ungodly hour and you don't see her doing what everyone else her age is doing. Heck, I don't think I've seen even five sets of paparazzi shots from her. I think that's part of why she sells so much.

We listeners are smart, and we don't like it when record executives think we're stupid. Taylor knows that, and she knows that we have morals and non-celebrities may do some really stupid things but we don't do it out in the streets, do we? I'm not saying that celebrities don't have morals but you get my point, right?

This is going nowhere, I've got to be up at five tomorrow! ugh.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Natalie Bassingthwaighte - 1,000 Stars

If you replaced the album cover with a Disney movie poster, asked different artists to sing the songs and gave it to me, I would've still thought this album was brilliant. It's a pop album, I can imagine the songs to come straight out of a Disney movie but you know what?

They're not. That's what I love about this album. It is what it is and there's not beating around the bush. It's a pop album and it's not trying to be ground-breaking or anything(although I'm pretty sure it it's ground-breaking..), it's a bunch of amazing pop songs.

Although I must admit, the first track, Catch Me if You Can seems really, really out of place. You've got this really brilliant pop album ahead of you and what do you hear first? A song that could easily be in a spy movie or with a few alterations a Gossip Girl commercial. After that rather strange opening though, a familiar track comes on, Someday Soon. This is the song that kept me on my toes about this album. Alive got my attention and Someday Soon kept me wanting more. The album version sounds a bit different though, do the vocals seem stronger and the instrumentals a bit more padded or is it just my imagination?

1,000 Stars is a song I would envision as the standard power ballad for Hilary Duff, Lindsay Lohan or some young triple-threat from their generation but no, Natalie Bassingthwaighte got it! Yay for her! The first verse is so-so but the moment you hear the chorus, it'll want to make you break down in tears. After the(rather short) chorus the second verse makes much more sense and then the chorus hits again and you just want to repeat that part over and over and over again, it's driving me insane. I love the contrast of the melody, the very simple, barely there verses and the epic, repetitive chorus, it's gorgeous.

This girl seems to like contrast and clashing. If you remember what I said about Alive when it was on my year-end countdown, I said that I loved the friction of her slightly rough voice and the 'grainy' instruments and I say exactly the same thing. I think it was the right single to launch the album, you need something to get people curious about you and that was exactly what it did to me. I was curious about the song and yet it seemed familiar. haha.

Not For You sounds like something Everlife or Superchic[k] would sing for a Disney live-action movie soundtrack. I love every part of the song, these kinds of songs are usually the ones that I'll listen to a lot when I first get them, get sick of them and I'll forget about it for two months then when I'm so bored, I'll remember the song, listen to it and just smile at brilliance.

Feel The Fire is very Hilary Duff. It's not Lindsay Lohan pop/rock, it's Hilary Duff sweet slightly electro-pop. I do love the melody but it's as if this track goes right through me. I can listen to this while reading a book or doing something else and I wouldn't stop and just listen. It's a great track, there's just nothing different or exceptionally brilliant about it.

I quite like Supernatural. The melody of the verse, with a little work remotely sounds like something The Ting Tings would do. The chorus however, puts Natalie right back in my good books. Of course it's no comparison to 1,000 Stars but it's very fun and for some strange reason it reminds me of something my dad used to listen to when I was a kid. Hmm. I do love the chorus and the middle 8, they're brilliant.

I always wonder why all these pop albums have at least one mid-tempo/ballad-y track with a very R&B beat to it. The verses of Why Do I sound very R&B and it if weren't for the electro stuff during the chorus, I'd say it's VERY R&B-ish. I like the piano to Turn the Lights Out, it sounds very epic like those tracks with the music videos that have the singer in a room of this really old castle, playing the piano in a black or red dress. Really, I'm serious!

This Can't Be Love reminds me a lot of Fruit Machine, with the instrumentals and all, mixed with a Lindsay Lohan song. Nothing special but I do adore the stuff at the start and during the second verse. Superhuman, not to be confused with Supernatural reminds me a lot of Marie Serneholt's I Need A House. I love the whole thing, one of the tracks that makes me want to close my eyes and just listen for a second. The melody's brilliant all throughout as well, one of the more consistent songs on the album.

Why do they always put the good tracks together at the very end? Love Like This is brilliant! It makes Someday Soon sound ordinary and believe me, it's far from ordinary. This track however, is in a league of it's own. It may remind me a lot of Someday Soon but it's soooooooooo much better! haha. In His Eyes is the most bare track in the album. No electronic machines, no heavy production, just Natalie, a guitar and one or two other stuff. It's refreshing, after all the heavily produced songs and it's a very nice ending to the album, it makes me want to listen to the whole album again and again. Now I see why Catch Me If You Can was put in the album.

1,000 Stars is like a story unraveling in front of you. You go from strange to slow to fast to brilliant but in the end, you're right back where you started so you want to do it all over again. This is definitely an album I'll be listening to for ages!

So, to sum up the album:
Best Track: Definitely 1,000 Stars.
Better Tracks: Someday Soon, Alive, Not For You, Supernatural, Superhuman, Love Like This, In His Eyes
Least Favorite Track: Could You Be Loved didn't really go well with me.

YAY! haha.

Am whipping up the review as we speak!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Can I freak out now????

How about now?



I don't care if I'm waaaaaay up, HE'S COMING! IT'S LIVE!


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Lily Allen - It's Not Me, It's You

It took some time but it's here! haha.
I was very, very young when acts like 5ive, Samantha Mumba and STEPS ruled the UK charts and when I mean young I mean that I was five in 1999 plus the fact that I live halfway across the world from the country in question. So for the past two years, I've been giving myself a crash course in Brit pop from the 90's all the way up to now and it's only this year that I got sort-of up to date with what the hits at the moment sound like. Late 2008 and 2009 introduced me to Gabriella Cilmi, Coldplay, the reformed Take That and countless other pop acts today.

It's true, from what I've seen Brit pop has slowly shifted in several directions. Some people like Leona Lewis went with US trends, R&B and Dance while others like The Ting Tings and Lily Allen herself chose to redefine Brit pop and make it the way it is now, fun, tongue-in-cheek and quirky songs with lots of spunk and that little bit of British obnoxiousness(at least that's what I get from you guys! Don't take it the wrong way! haha...).

I've never listened to a Lily Allen album before this, to be completely honest so I have no idea what her previous album had. Of course I've heard the singles from her first album but for some reason I never bothered to listen to the rest of it. I even listened to the first single from this album and I wasn't that convinced the first time, so I had no intention to listen to this. Still, it was all I saw around the blogs so I thought I'd at least give it a shot, right?

So I did.

The first thing I noticed about this album as a whole is it's irony. The music part is very happy synth-pop and Lily's voice is nice and light and you expect nice, happy lyrics but when you listen to the lyrics themselves, (I don't usually judge the lyrics but this seems right!), they're just plain strange. Actually from what I'm getting if Popjustice made an album themselves the lyrics would sound something like this.

I like the songs themselves, the melodies and the instrumentals and everything else though, they're nice.

Everyone's At It and Not Fair sound similar to me, and they're at the same place in terms of me liking them, haha. The Fear is a cute little synth-pop song with very in-your-face lyrics with death and stuff like that but I actually really like it now. 22 has slightly more percussion and beats in it and I just love the melody, brilliance. I say the same thing for I Could Say as well, I like the fact that she's singing at the start then slowly the drums and the beats come in, it reminds me of a less electro-pop With Every Heartbeat. hmm.

Never Gonna Happen has it's quirks and I like it. Very Gabriella Cilmi/Amy Winehouse-ish with that very pop chorus, cool! haha. F*** You, amidst it's title, is very spunky and it reminds me of something straight out of the 50's/60's, minus the lyrics. Him is another cute song, it's like something you'd hear in a movie about the country, brilliant melody. I like one of the bonus tracks, Fag Hag. It's R&B-ish at the start but then it reminds me of a more subdued Ting Tings song.

So, to sum up the album:
Best Track: I Could Say
Better Tracks: The Fear, 22, Never Gonna Happen, Him, Fag Hag, F*** You
Least Favorite Track: Not a very big fan of He Wasn't Here

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

*freaks out*

That Lily Allen review will come, I've heard about half of the album(I was in school, I didn't have time to listen to it well!) so maybe by Friday or something I can finish up a review, I've started it already. ANYWAY
Corbin may not be able to sing live but this song is SHEER BRILLIANCE.

Disney has done it again. After all the disasters last year with Miley, Vanessa and countless others, they're finally back in my good books thanks to Corbin. No matter how juvenile they lyrics of Disney songs may seem, the melodies help keep pop alive in the US. The UK has morphed it's pop into something brilliant(like the Lily Allen album..) but what has the US given us? Countless pop/rock bands and even more R&B wannabes. Disney however, has been making pop, sometimes bad, sometimes good.

I've heard this sung live(haha.. it was err.. pleasant.), but I haven't heard the full recorded version until just now(only about 4 minutes ago..) and I was grinning ear to ear when I heard it in full for the first time. Yeah, it's processed a heck of a lot but so are most albums these days and though I don't exactly like processing, the melody of this song is just mind-blowing.

The song makes you smile, the melody is repetitive but varied in the right way and it's got just enough brilliance in the hook to stick it in your head. It's in no way annoying, you'll want to listen to it over and over and over again, just to make sure that it's really a song. haha. At least that's what I'm doing!

I feel genuine brilliance here so the rest of the album better come soon. haha.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Wait for it..

It's Not Me, It's You has arrived!
I have my copy already, will listen to it tonight and tomorrow.
Since I have school, that review might have to wait 'till the weekend(or not if I like the album enough..)

Monday, February 2, 2009

I really, truly, can't believe it.

This time I'm serious. Sometimes I say that it's brilliant when it's not but now I'm just, speechless with my mouth wide open and everything.


I knew they wrote the brilliant Coming For You for JoJo but I didn't know that they also wrote the following(MIND-BLOWING) songs:
  • Brie Larson's Loser in Me AND Whatever
  • Craig David's 2 Steps Back and Rise and Fall AND You Don't Miss Your Water('Till The Well Runs Dry)
  • Alesha Dixon's Breathe Slow
  • Javine's Let Me Go
  • JoJo's Good Ol' AND Leave
  • Lemar's If She Knew
  • Mario Vazquez's Everytime I...
  • Skye Sweetnam's Kiss A Girl
  • Fantasia's Truth Is
(The one's in bold are the most mind-blowing of them all..)

Can this day get any better? Yes it can! Because after I wrap up the boybands special(sometime this month..), THE NEXT SPECIAL WILL BE DEDICATED TO THESE GUYS. I'll be going over their discography while the boyband special finishes then the songs I absolutely adore will get their own reviews.

Yipeeeeeeeee! haha.

The Ting Tings - We Started Nothing

I have school tomorrow, so will post some stuff tonight.I've said it before but I'll say it again, The Ting Tings are annoyingly awesome. Say what you like about them giving you headaches and stuff like that but at least their stuff is more fun than what any other R&B or pop singer gave us last year.

Other people have brilliant songs that aren't really noticed, amazing melodies that make you want to cry and in-your-face marketing campaigns that annoy you but what do the Ting Tings have? Hooks that are literally hooks. Hooks that after one listen, get stuck in your head and you won't feel at peace until you hear it again and again or go out and buy the album or single.

If the hooks weren't any good I would say that it's on great publicity campaign but since the hooks are brilliant and the songs just don't want to leave my head, I'll put it down to sheer brilliance. They're not repetitive either with it comes to the songs, each song is different but the annoyingness(is that even a word?) neatly ties everything together. I won't be talking about all the songs, but from the previous paragraphs I think you get what this album is about.

Great DJ sounds like your run of the mill guitar-based Brit song but everything changes when you hear the hook. It's not as annoying as some of the other songs on the album but it's annoying enough to have charted inside the UK Top 40. However, that song was just a taste of what's to come.

That's Not My Name is probably one of the most annoying songs you will ever hear(at least that's what I think!). It doesn't seem very annoying during the first verse but starting from the build-up the chorus, everything changes. By the time the chorus kicks in, you may very well get a headache(I did when I first heard it and my mom does whenever I play it!) but it doesn't matter, the song is brilliant! I remember the first time I heard this song, it was on MTV here and I was like 'what the hell is that song?' and I got researching right away. It's the epitome of annoying awesomemess, to put it simply.

One of my favorite tracks on the album has got to be Fruit Machine, it's like a mix of That's Not My Name and Shut Up and Let Me Go. It's got the annoyingness that TNMN has but it's got the melodiousness that Shut Up and Let Me Go has. Speaking of Shut Up and Let Me Go, the annoying part of that song is the instrumental, the vocals are not as annoying as TMNM but still in true Ting Tings style, it indeed sticks in your head.

I quite like Traffic Light, it's a cute song, a nice rest from all the head-banging, repetitive songs. The instrumental's like an into for a kid's TV show and there's actually singing all throughout the song! Not that I'm saying they should do more of this, I like the annoying stuff but this is a sweet song. I like. haha.

So, to sum up the album:
Best Track: That's Not My Name and Fruit Machine, I can't choose!
Better Tracks: Shut Up and Let Me Go, Traffic Light, Great DJ, Keep Your Head, We Started Nothing
Least Favorite Track: Impacilla Carpisung hasn't made as big an impression on me as the other tracks have yet.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

New Music!

It's been three days since my last new music post and there's already heaps more! That's what I'm talking about, people! Keep the new music gushing in!
  • I've heard the new Lady Sovereign single in HQ already, I love it even more! Will be eagerly waiting for her album.
  • There's a new Paula DeAnda song out called Roll the Credits, and I love it! I love her stuff, can you believe I actually bought her physical album? Haha, it's brilliant. I so cannot wait for her new album, if it's half as good as her first then it'll be brilliant.
  • Thanks to Poster Girl, I am now addicted to Chris Brown's Froze. I mean, why wouldn't I? I'm pretty sure he won't be able to emulate what he did with Forever this year but this is close! Melodically it's just brilliant and then you add everything else and if he keeps on making songs like this, he might be able to give Craig David a run for his money!
  • There's also another song with a similar title that I'm massively addicted to at the moment, Frozen. So it's a RedOne song by Tami Chynn(am getting her first album.. she seems interesting) with Akon, what a surprise. It's not the radically different but not RedOne that I want but it's pretty close! Still, RedOne makes the most amazing melodies you can ever have in dance songs so you gotta give some credit where it's due.
  • Lady GaGa's Cherrytree Sessions EP is out, and I LOVE it! We've heard the acoustic version of Poker Face(which is brilliant..) and Just Dance already but Eh, Eh(Nothing Else I Can Say) is another song to add to my 'brilliance' playlist! With an electric piano and a human beatbox, you CANNOT go wrong! haha.
  • Out On The Floor is the new JLO song and it's rumored to be her new single, I LOVE IT! The only JLO song I really loved was Hold You Down but this is brilliance, I might just be anticipating her album! I have Brave but for some reason I never listened to it, maybe I will tonight(any suggestions on which I should love or skip?). haha.
  • A year late but I'm kind of, sort of, er.. loving last year's winning Eurovision song. I like it, it's Russian, right? Blame the British Eurovision show for letting me hear it!
  • Speaking of the devil, the British Eurovision entry sucks! It's a bland, tasteless Idol winner's song, made worse by Jade's generic diva wannabe voice(I have this liking for the twins.. they're interesting and very Brit..).
  • Nick Lachey? Covering, no slaughtering, Take That's Patience? I didn't think it was humanely possible but it is! He not only slaughtered the song though, I hear it's gonna be a single! Hmmmm. I like the song but he made it all wimpy, eeeeew.
  • So now that the Cheetah Girls are no more, Adrienne has two songs on the Shopaholic soundtrack(I bought the book last Friday, haven't opened it yet though! haha.) and I'm liking them. Not loving yet but if I hear both in full I might love them. haha.
That much? In three days? I'm a happy blogger!


This was first on my personal blog but it's music-related so I decided to post it here..
I watched High School Musical 3 for the first time a while ago, and I cried. Now you might think, why would someone like me cry over something like that?

I cried because three years ago on June 5, 2006 at seven-thirty in the evening I was sitting in front of the TV, my thumb on the record button of the remote pointed to the VCR recorder, ready to tape and document the first airing of High School Musical in Asia. I cried because three years ago, I bought the limited edition soundtrack the day it hit stores here and I still have the receipt to prove it. I cried because two years ago, for my grade school graduation, my cousin in the US sent me the Remix DVD and it's there on my dresser, right next to my Westlife DVDs.

I cried because two years ago, I was waiting day and night to hear the second movie's soundtrack and when I did, I was blown away. I cried because a week later, I saw the movie before any of my classmates saw it and it wasn't what I was expecting. I cried because last year, I was the first one to let my classmates hear Now Or Never but I never watched the movie in the cinema.

I cried because the songs are brilliant, because every other new musical nowadays is compared to it. I cried because I'd like to think I've witnessed Vanessa Hudgens, Zac Efron, Corbin Bleu and all the other main cast members go from DCOM actors/actresses to superstars.

But most of all, I cried because whether or not me or you or anyone else likes these movies, it defined my generation. This will be the movie that people in the future will associate us with, not Twilight or any other movie, THIS is the one that we'll carry with us to wherever we go.