Sunday, August 30, 2009

Top 20

20. The Saturdays - Unofficial
19. Richgirl - Uncharted Waters
18. G-Dragon - Breathe
17. JoJo - Forever In My Life
16. Esmee Denters - Again
15. Super Junior - Carnival
14. Jesse McCartney - Crash and Burn
13. Jordin Sparks - No Parade
12. Super Junior - It's You
11. Pixie Lott - Boys and Girls
10. Industry - Burn
9. Britt Nicole - Like A Star
8. The Saturdays - Forever is Over
7. SM Town Winter 2007 - Only Love
6. Britt Nicole - Have Your Way
5. Jewelry - Vari2ty (NE)
4. DBSK/TVXQ/Tohoshinki - 12:34
3. Girls' Generation/SNSD - Tell Me Your Wish (Genie)
2. DBSK/TVXQ/Tohoshinki - O (Jung Ban Hap)
1. SHINee - A.MI.GO. (1 Week)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

An introduction to Philippine Pop Music - Sugarfree

By suggestion, I'm gonna start featuring some Filipino artists from time to time.

Music by the Philippine industry is called OPM - these are ORIGINAL songs written by Filipinos for the Filipino market. The genre spans bands and solo artists though I've seen only one vocal group (and they're pretty old - Apo). Songs are written in either Filipino or English but I personally prefer Filipino 'coz I find it strange when I hear English songs.

I honestly don't like about 95% of the stuff that comes out but the other 5% is either good or brilliant. This is one of the near-brilliant.

I first came to know of Sugarfree's existence in 6th grade (2006, I believe) when my dad began working with them as the producer for their third album. I'm not biased in any way but I honestly think that third album had some of the most brilliant songs. See exhibit A, the final single from the album (translated the title is Don't Cry [anymore]):
I saw them live last night for their final major concert in a while. I know it's not like me to say it but I loved every, single song - even the ones I didn't like from the records. Last night gave me some spark of hope that the Philippine industry isn't all going down the drain - for me, at least.

Sugarfree may never achieve the fame and popularity that some really annoying and crappy bands (*AHEM* Hale *AHEM) have but I'm absolutely sure that they've carved their own niche in the industry. Singing silly love songs for ten years isn't an easy task, mind you.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


OK, so if you follow me on Twitter and have seen the (very few) tweets I've written these past few days, you'll know that I haven't been in a very good mood. I haven't been writing or listening to new music or whatever and it's really getting into my head.

I don't really have to tell you why I want a short break from blogging but it'll help me get some stuff off my chest so why not.

We have this ethnic dance/song contest coming up NEXT WEEK and we were only told about its' existence last friday. Our adviser has never had a class lose any competitions so there's no excuse not to win. The only problem is, there's only about 6 of us doing the music and the people designated for the dancing aren't making an progress. I and my friends have been working our butts off, frantically trying to transport two large sets of Philippine gongs (kulintangs that only fit in Pajeros.) from my house to school while learning everything and cleaning up the performances. I've hardly had any sleep since Saturday thinking of what the crap I'm going to do.

That's the first reason - I've hardly had any sleep at all and I'm buried in academic and extra-curricular work.

Then there's the fact that I don't think I won that literary award that literally means my future to me. I haven't gotten a notification letter and the awarding ceremony is on September 1. I know I shouldn't let it affect me because it's 'just an award' and I can try again next year but it's easier said than done. I frankly don't want to think about my future right now because I don't think it's very bright and I don't think people see me as a very good writer.

So there. No blogging from me for a certain period of time - not sure. Just wish me luck trying to figure out what the crap I'm gonna do in the next few days.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Top 20

This was supposed to be published this morning but I was in too much of a hurry to leave the house. Sorry about that!

ANYWAY. SM artists dominate this week's top 5 - hurrah! hahah.

20. Westlife - As Love Is My Witness
19. Richgirl - Uncharted Waters (NE)
18. G-Dragon - Breathe (NE)
17. Esmee Denters - Again (NE)
16. The Saturdays - Unofficial
15. Super Junior - Carnival
14. JoJo - Forever In My Life
13. Jordin Sparks - No Parade
12. Super Junior - It's You
11. Pixie Lott - Boys and Girls
10. Industry - Burn
9. Jesse McCartney - Crash and Burn (NE)
8. Britt Nicole - Have Your Way
7. Britt Nicole - Like A Star
6. The Saturdays - Forever is Over (NE)
5. SM Town Winter 2007 - Only Love
4. DBSK/TVXQ/Tohoshinki - 12:34
3. DBSK/TVXQ/Tohoshinki - O (Jung Ban Hap) (NE)
2. SHINee - A.MI.GO.
1. Girls' Generation/SNSD - Tell Me Your Wish (Genie) (3 non-consecutive weeks)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Saturdays - Forever Is Over

AH! AH! AH! AH! AH! Let me compose myself first. *breathes*

OK. Here we go:The Saturdays are the textbook example on how to break the pop industry these days - there's no question that even if the girls have never had a number one single, they're one of the most talked about new pop acts and that's enough to warrant success. They started off as a direct spin-off of the reigning girl group (in this case, GA) - the songs mirrored what they were doing a year back. Even if they were probably made to follow the mould GA had created, they weren't thin on the quality and musicality - they really, honestly had the makings of a hit.

That move works for a debut album but that era of their music is all done and over - it's time to welcome the new Saturdays.

The point of what they did during their first album was to actually get them the attention (good or bad) and cement their presence in the industry. It wasn't done for creativity or credibility (although Work is still one of the most brilliant pop songs ever) - it was done as an introduction. Now that their second album is due and (I presume) done, there's something they had to do and may I say that they did it damn well.

The girls need to make a sound that's distinctly them and they need to steer away but not clear of what their first album offered. I put the most pressure and importance on a sophomore album because it says so much about the artist - this is one of them. This new album will show us if the girls really have the ability to release songs worthy of the hype, keep us interested in them and have the right to be called artists in every sense of the word.

When I first heard the clip last night, I wasn't impressed but told myself to save the judgement for until I'd heard the entire song. Now that I have, my previous thoughts are all wrong.

The song is just like how Genie was for me, only that the 'I don't like it but it's OK' stage lasted for a few hours - overnight. It's a new sound for the girls over-all and on the surface but the more you listen to it, the more you hear bits and pieces of the previous album. They aren't obvious but the little emphasis on them is enough for a semi-trained ear to notice.

Everything starts out European techno-y and the vocals are clean but the chorus kicks in and the whole song explodes with this rock but ever so slightly techno instrumentation and Vanessa's intellectually (meaning you have to think about it to realize that she has one of the most gorgeous voices ever) jaw-dropping vocals carry the chorus. Throughout the song you hear the emphasis on the rock elements and less on the processed side - the middle 8 even boasts of some electric guitar!

All in all it's a great song but the more important thing to commend the girls on is successfully transitioning from their first to second albums - now all we need to hear are the other tracks!

5/5 Like duh. Need I say more?

Thursday, August 20, 2009


It's on this week's top 20, it's all I've been talking about on Twitter for the past few days (even recommended it to Paul!) and I'm clearly obsessed with the song so it's time I write something nice about it.
The thing about this band that still to this day baffles me is how they can dance together doing the exact same things and still SING THAT EFFIN' DAMN WELL. Then there's the fact that they get all the good songs - I'm not kidding!

A.MI.GO was sort of like how Genie was to me at the start - an OK song. When I first heard this it was just after I had heard Replay - it must've been too much brilliance to handle. I don't know why I listened to it again though but I did and for crap's sake it's one of the most brilliant songs ever thought about.

Over-all the song's very heavily padded, processed and backing-tracked but the strange thing about it is that when they do this live and even in the recorded version, it sounds natural. The original recording doesn't have auto-tune throughout except for maybe five seconds towards the end but that's hardly noticed.

Whoever produced this song is a genius - no doubt.

The verses are saturated but the vocals still manage to stand out above everything else - they're amazing, if I may say so. Everyone has a solo but now I know why these guys were put together. As a group the vocals are very good, I'd love to hear some serious a capella work from them but individually they complement each other - the level of vocals is even throughout the song.

There's four guys in this group that can sing their lungs off (the fifth is a rapper.) - the leader has a beautiful deep-ish timbre added to a really, really smooth voice and there's one guy with a strangely brilliant quality to his voice (to those who know their names, I'm talking about Jonghyun). It's got a deep timbre but when he hits the high notes, something else happens - no matter how hard I try, I can't properly describe what his voice sounds like. There's another guy (Key) who reminds me a lot of someone from NLT - he's the one that makes SHINee sound like NLT to my ears. Lastly, the youngest (Taemin) has one of the smoothest, cleanest voices in pop right below Shane Westlife.

The song basically revolves around the vocals - I'd imagine if anyone else sang this song it wouldn't sound this good. Who said all songs like this had to be auto-tuned?! If they have the voices, why bastardize them? Doesn't make sense, really.


The live performance that did it for me:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Yes people, the X Factor 6 officially starts THIS SATURDAY on AUGUST 22! I'll see if the auditions and early stages are worth writing about but for sure, the top 12 live shows will have WEEKLY RECAPS! hahah.

The X Factor is WAY BETTER than American Idol, any day.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

G-Dragon - Heartbreaker

Finally, a review of a recent K-pop song! Let's take a moment to celebrate. *jumps around*

OK, on to business.I will sum up this review before I give my in-depth review - I don't like this song.

Putting aside all prejudice including the fact that it's being speculated to be a direct copy of some American rapper's single, there are a few things that make this song not good in my books. G-Dragon may have written some of my favorite Big Bang songs and the simple fact that he writes songs for the effin' band may have made me deeply respect the guy's creativity but this song has all the wrong elements.

The whole song, backbeat in particular, sounds too much like something Britney or some washed-up popstar turned drug addict would never get enough of. If this was done the right way by someone who knows what he's doing I wouldn't have a problem with the song - it's just that this sounds like a really desperate attempt to imitate American pop.

The verses are repetitive to the point of bang-in-your-head until you start bleeding which can be a good thing if you're Super Junior and you know the difference between a good melody and one or two notes badly repeated over the course of three minutes put on top of an overused loop.

The songs I want from Korea aren't the American copycats because I'd rather listen to the real stuff, I want the songs that I can identify as Korean the minute I hear the music even without lyrics.

The one good thing about this song is that throughout most of the song he's singing. One good point - I commend the guy. hahah.

It all boils down to the fact that if you don't know what the crap you're doing - it will sound cheap, generic and people will find nothing special in it. At least I won't and I'm a moderately tough critic to please - I know if a song was made by someone musical or an amateur.

I'm not saying G-Dragon's an amateur musician because in his defense, my favorite Big Bang songs have mostly been written by the guy - he has talent. I think the case here is that he isn't in his element but seeing the progress he's made with Big Bang, I'd give him a few more months of doing this and he'd have aced the art of repetitive but not annoying songs.

I've heard the so-called 'K-pop sound' and I know what songs from Korea generally sound like - this does not fit into the category. Yes, it may be in Korean but that's not my only basis because I judge on a purely musical level.

However, I do sort of like the song at the end of the video - haven't heard it in full yet but that's what I'm looking for from the guy.

2/5 - He can do better, I know he can and he SHOULD.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Yes, I can't believe it's been ten weeks either!

In celebration of almost a hundred songs (could be more!) going in and out of the chart over the plan of ten weeks, here are the songs that have stayed longer than the rest - proving that they're truly some of the most brilliant songs I've heard this year.

Ola - Sky’s the Limit (4 weeks)
Demi Lovato - Gift of a Friend (4 weeks)
BSB - Straight Through My Heart (Soldier Down) (4 weeks)
BoA - My Boy (4 weeks)
Agnes Carlsson - Release Me (4 weeks)
Kim Joon - Be OK (5 weeks)
Jordin Sparks - No Parade (5 weeks)
JLS - Beat Again (5 weeks)
Industry - My Baby’s Waiting (5 weeks)
Britt Nicole - The Lost Get Found (5 weeks)
BoA - Etude (5 weeks)
JoJo - 25 to Life (6 weeks)
SNSD - Boyfriend (7 weeks)
Ju-Taun - Let Me In (7 weeks)
Big Bang - Gara Gara Go! (7 weeks)
SNSD - Tell Me Your Wish (Genie) (8 weeks)
The Saturdays - Unofficial (9 weeks)

Also, a complete list of the number ones by order of their first week at number one:

JLS - Beat Again (1 week)
JoJo - 25 To Life (2 weeks)
The Saturdays - Unofficial (2 weeks)
Ju-Taun - Let Me In (1 week)
Kim Joon - Be OK (1 week)
Namie Amuro - Girl Talk (1 week)
SNSD - Tell Me Your Wish (Genie) (2 non-consecutive weeks, CURRENT NUMBER ONE)
Britt Nicole - Have Your Way (1 week)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Top 20

20. Big Bang - Gara Gara Go!
19. BSB - Straight Through My Heart (Soldier Down)
18. Mya - Paradise (Ryan Leslie Remix)
17. JoJo - Forever In My Life (NE)
16. Samantha Jade - Step Up (NE)
15. The Saturdays - Unofficial
14. Blake Lewis - Sad Song
13. Jordin Sparks - No Parade
12. Pixie Lott - Boys and Girls
11. Westlife - As Love Is My Witness (NE)
10. DBSK/TVXQ/Tohoshinki - Purple Line
9. Super Junior - It's You (RE)
8. Super Junior - Carnival (NE)
7. Industry - Burn
6. SHINee - A.MI.GO. (NE)
5. Britt Nicole - Like A Star (NE)
4. SM Town Winter 2007 - Only Love (NE)
3. DBSK/TVXQ/Tohoshinki - 12:34 (NE)
2. Britt Nicole - Have Your Way
1. Girls' Generation/SNSD - Tell Me Your Wish (Genie) (2 non-consecutive weeks)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Two boybands from different generations.

First boyband - One Call. The reincarnation of NLT with some members of the aforementioned band, I wouldn't count on One Call hitting the big time. We've seen NLT call it quits, Varsity Fanclub push back their album release date then replace a member and haven't heard a single gigantic, possibly life-changing announcement from V Factory - new boybands in the US aren't doing very well.

If you take the facts, that's what might happen but if you ask me, someone has to do it and if neither V Factory or Varsity Fanclub are doing anything, then One Call may be a blessing in disguise.

Temporary Love sounds like hit material - the song screams 'give me a good dance routine and make a bunch of club remixes', I don't like most parts of it and over-all, it sounds like a superstar producer or someone who wants to be a superstar producer was the mastermind behind this song.

The best part is the middle 8, in my humble opinion. It's so different from the rest of the song but the melody is divine and the vocals are gorgeous. It makes an impact - even for those few seconds.

3.9/5 - I need a bit more from these guys. They need to give me a song worth hearing.

These boys need to learn a ton of things from the Gods of boybands - BSB. They've given us a bunch of amazing songs/demos of their upcoming album and they sure know how to put one together. There's a Forever-esque song, one that doesn't sound like them but is them, a heap of brilliantly made songs and the lead single which sounds like how a BSB song should sound like in 2009.

The first thing One Call and all these new boybands should learn from BSB is to actually get an album out. The second? Use a formula - it's what pop music's all about.

All In My Head is for the fangirls - me included. It's the song on the album that'll plant the idea of having the guys actually fall in love with us in our heads. A sweet melody, descriptive lyrics and a simple instrumentation. Add that to their always-top form vocals and you have the perfect boyband midtempo verging on ballad that's a MUST for all boyband albums. (see: my post on deconstructing the perfect boyband album)



Friday, August 14, 2009

It's time for me to defend the music industry I want to strangle.

My own - The Philippine music industry. It's time I speak up because I am sick and tired of all the generalizations about the culture I was raised with.

As I was reading over a K-pop blog, they featured the fact that K-pop is getting pretty big here - stuff about Sandara and stuff. I said OK, I may not like it but I can't do anything about the *wannabe* Wondergirls being gigantic here. I don't know how but I found myself reading the comments but after scrolling down for a few seconds, my morning was officially ruined.

There we people talking about how ugly we are, how all we do is copy from foreign artists, never do anything for ourselves, only strip our clothes off well and sing "shit kiddie songs".


The Philippine music industry may have some stupid people on top, uncreative artists releasing albums that sell a ton of records and a stupid music channel that shows trash and wrong lyrics but hold on - DOESN'T EVERY COUNTRY HAVE SOME OF THEM? Of all the things I hate, apart from disrespect I hate racist people the most. But that's the same thing, really.

Whatever I may want to be or dream of being, I'm still a Filipino. I may be only half a Filipino by blood but The Philippines is the country that I grew up in - it was the country that raised me. I grew up learning PHILIPPINE history, watching Philippine news, surrounded by Philippine personalities. Our politicians may be corrupt, we may be poor and a puppet of the United States and 60% of the music here may really suck but we're a country, we're people and WE DESERVE RESPECT.

That's all I ask, really. It's all I give and it's all I want in return for the respect I show.

I hate it when people call others ugly - who the effin' crap are they to tell someone that? We all have different definitions of beauty and if you tell someone they're ugly they may think that they're beautiful. DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH IT HURTS TO BE CALLED UGLY OR NEVER BE CALLED BEAUTIFUL? It's unbreably painful. In my whole life I've only been called 'pretty' once and it was by someone I had just met.

I can vouch right now in front of a church or a courtroom if I have to that FILIPINOS ARE EXTREMELY CREATIVE. If you can only see the amount and quality of original music being circulated around the indie market who have no stupid money-centric capitalist morons controlling their music, you'd think twice about saying all we do are covers and 'shit kiddy songs'. All over the world, the only reason why crap, unoriginal and generic music is released is because of the morons running the damn record companies - Korea, The US, The UK and pretty much every single country with a thriving music industry are no different from us.

The reason why I don't like OPM (Original Philippine/Filipino Music) is because it's not my taste - I have my own esthetic and my own concept of what makes a beautiful song. If I strip that away from my brain, there are bands and artists that honestly make technically and artistically outstanding music here.

I'm angry at the fact that just because people think we suck at English, text with annoying sticky caps, have the cheezy-est and corny-est variety shows the world over and just because we truly have one of the most corrupt governments in the world that we have no right to be creative - THAT WE HAVE NO RIGHT TO BE PEOPLE.

Friday 'night' post: CELEBRATIONS ALL AROUND!!!

OK, it's not nighttime yet but it's Friday and my posts on Friday are always like this - deal with it.

Celebration for various reasons - personal and music-related. My exams are done - all the hard work kinda paid off. SO, I don't have homework, no projects to catch up on and nothing to study this week. Thus, I WILL BLOG A HELL OF A LOT. Yay for everyone!

I've been MIA here pretty much the whole week - Twitter and Tumblr (the sites with less critical thinking) have been my sanctuaries. There's been a ton of stuff out this week, K-pop and Western. And because it's been AGES since my last post - this one will be pretty lengthy.

The first order of business today - Send It On. It's pretty much the modern day version of the Disney Channel Circle of Friends (that were existent back when I was in elementary school more than 3 years ago..) with the 'singers' - Jo Bros, Miley, Demi and Selena and not some random bunch of actors made to sing. OK, maybe the girls started out as actresses but you get my point. Right? Right.The best part of this song? The fact that Demi Lovato sounds the most decent out of the six. The worst? The fact that Miley's in it. I'm sorry but these songs just don't go with the girl - she has a voice, yes but they're giving her the wrong songs. She doesn't sound horrid or scary but when you hear Demi's solo it makes you wonder how you were able to survive Miley. Trust me, it would sound a lot better if it was just Demi and Selena with the Jonas Brothers (even if they suck).

Selena isn't as bad as I thought she'd be either.


Time for some K-pop. I like the genre - deal with it. hahah.

The first time I heard Super Junior's contribution to SM Town I was neutral about it - not bad but not outstanding. The more I listened to it though, the more the melody stuck in my ears. To those who don't know, SM Town is basically Sooman's way of earning a ton of money without that much effort - all his artists making one gimmick-y album with an accompanying concert. The music videos are usually low-budget like mirages of old performances (like this years') and the concert is padded with current/recent singles. Earns a ton of money, as always.

So all throughout this morning I was listening to the song thinking it was absolute genius (and that it sounded a lot like one of my favorites on their third album) - and it actually is. It's very light and summer-y and the verses are gorgeous. Need I say more?

When I got the chance to log on and read up on K-pop (I still don't know a thing compared to other bloggers, thank you very much.), I found out that the song's a cover. Of a 2005 song from the Netherlands. Not that I find it bad or anything but I just noticed something with SM and their boybands.

The first Western SM cover I heard was SHINee's Juliette - a cover of Corbin Bleu's Deal With It. I brushed it off a bit, thinking it was just a random cover or something. The second cover I heard was DBSK/TVXQ/Tohoshinki's Mirotic - a cover or Sarah Connor's Under My Skin. She's German, btw. The THIRD cover was from SHINee again - there's a song on their first album that's a cover of Mario Vazquez's Everytime I.. - one of the most brilliant American R&B songs ever thought of in the first place.

And now this song. OK - a possible theory is that Sooman is too greedy to pay songwriters who write original songs so he just gets a random Western song that was never a hit and translates it to Korean. Good idea Sooman, good idea.

4.4/5 - the rap and strange sounds throughout did it.

Another boyband - this time from the other side of the world.



Do you know how long I've waited for a new Westlife song? DO YOU? HUH? NO!


Whatever genre I may get addicted to, whatever boyband or girl group I may think has the most gorgeous songs, I am a Westlife fan and I forever will be. I live with hope that someday Simon Cowell will give the lads a chance to write their own songs or even just give them songs that aren't ballads or covers.Even as a fan, I will be as subjective as I can be - no biases, no prejudice in this review of the new song. I've waited long and hard for this but I will treat it like every other song I review. I PROMISE. If I give it a perfect score, then it's because it deserves it - nothing else.

At the beginning, As Love Is My Witness sounds like your standard Westlife song - ballad. I should've guessed that when they said no more covers they didn't say no more ballads. Mark's part is first - new, welcome change. My theory is correct that if you restrain him, he's a very good singer - he should honestly sing the first verse from now on (if you let him loose at the middle-8 live he might shatter your eardrums - fact). The chorus is sweet with Nicky and Kian backing. The second verse is drop-dead gorgeous - I wonder how I lived without Shane's absolutely brilliantly amazing voice. He's got one of the most refined and smoothest voices in all of pop - really. He got the middle 8, too!

Westlife taught me the importance of a good middle-8 and how much weight it has on a song. Thus, this song has a truly gorgeous middle 8. Honestly.

Over-all the melody is beautiful. It's not one of those ballads that are very resonant to my ears and even if I'm still dreaming of the day Simon comes to his senses and gives them an album full of up-tempos, they still do what they do extremely well.

One constructive comment though - change the hideous arrangement. It sounds cheap, too dated in the bad way and just plain sad - it weighs the whole song down. The melody's gorgeous and the arrangement is OK at the key change with the pretty string section but honestly, the percussion section throughout is HIDEOUS, a disgrace to put it simply. It would sound a lot nicer if they made the piano part a lot more flow-y and get rid of whatever's playing at the beginning - sounds too stereotypical and overused.

Oh, and please re-mix and re-master the vocals on this - they sound like the producers don't know what the heck they were doing with the mastering. Or maybe this hasn't been mastered yet. OOOHH - UNMASTERED! hahah.

4.2/5 - I know they can do better than this - they better.

Monday, August 10, 2009

DBSK - Purple Line

It's been a while since I've 'formally' reviewed something Korean, hasn't it?

No matter how much I try to hide it, the only DBSK/TVQX/Tohoshinki song I actually really, really liked before was Mirotic - not enough for me to fall at their feet. For the longest time I ignored the band and although I knew they're probably SM's biggest international earners, I hadn't found a song that moved me. While I was looking through my friend's iPod (she's a j-pop person, go figure.) I was really, really surprised to see Tohoshinki. I got curious, thankfully and heard Purple Line.

I've heard things about how this song was written by Sooman (In my language if you change the 'oo' into a 'u' that's a tube-like thing made of sweet, sticky rice and coconuts. hahah. He's 'master' SM, tell me if I got that wrong) but went to number one in Japan. Cool.

The title alone will get you interested - what the crap does a 'purple line' have to do with anything? It's intriguing but the song is far from unusual.

Purple Line is pretty much centered around the strong backbeat - it dominates everything. The feel of this song is 'intense' and 'heavy' but it's not like Mirotic, it's a lot edgier. The verses are strong but not over the top, the chorus is catchy and has the required random English words (can't really understand Korean that well - something about really wanting something. Dunno.) so all in all it's worth your time.

As someone who doesn't know the politics/reasons behind the member selection and who can't even put the members' names to their faces, may I say one thing? Yunho isn't a very good singer if you put him beside Junsu or Yoochun and the other 3. Yeah, the guy isn't THAT bad but his voice is so nasal - I heard it here and on Wrong Number. I guess it really IS dance or rot and die in Korea - everyone's saying Yunho's the best dancer. Can't judge though - don't know a thing about dancing.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Top 20

Surprise, surprise! Britt Nicole is number one! The Saturdays make a BIG leap to number 4 to show that I'm not angry at the girls but at their STUPID RECORD COMPANY and Industry are doing very well at number two! hahah.

20. Cobra Starship with Leighton Meester - Good Girls Go Bad (NE)
19. Girls' Generation/SNSD - Boyfriend
18. Ju-Taun - Let Me In
17. ST Day - Afraid
16. Big Bang - Gara Gara Go!
15. BSB - Straight Through My Heart (Soldier Down)
14. Ayumi Hamasaki - Real Me
13. Kim Joon - Be OK
12. DBSK/TVXQ/Tohoshinki - Purple Line (NE)
11. Blake Lewis - Sad Song
10. SHINee - Romantic
9. Jade Ewen - My Man (NE)
8. Samantha Jade - Secret (NE)
7. Jordin Sparks - No Parade
6. Pixie Lott - Boys and Girls (NE)
5. Mya - Paradise (Ryan Leslie Remix) (NE)
4. The Saturdays - Unofficial
3. Industry - Burn
2. Girls' Generation/SNSD - Tell Me Your Wish (Genie) (Video below.)
1. Britt Nicole - Have Your Way (1 Week, NE)
One of the best ideas for a performance.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Britt Nicole - The Lost Get Found

I'm partial to CCM/Christian Music for two reasons. One because I'm a protestant in a predominantly Catholic country and about 70% of my 'religiousness' is centered around music and the ability to sing as worship - CCM has always been a part of my music library. The second reason is purely musical - the genre CONSISTENTLY produces some of the most beautifully heart-wrenching and moving songs I have ever heard.

That's what this album is - beautiful in every sense of the word. Even if you're not 'Christian'/Protestant (Christianity includes Catholicism, I don't see why some sectors of Protestantism call themselves 'Christians' - I'm a Christian but my sub-church is Protestantism) you'll enjoy the album - the girl is talented and the songs are entertaining at the very least.

The album opens with Britt's carrier single - the epic The Lost Get Found. When I first heard the song I was speechless, everything about it gave me goosebumps. Heck, even the lyrics moved me to a certain extent! The thing with Britt is that she has the ability to take a pop melody, slap on some inspirational lyrics and not make the song sound the least bit corny. If you put in some lyrics about love and stuff it would still make sense - nothing about the music would change.

I tweeted a few hours back that 30 seconds into How We Roll, I was convinced that The Lost Get Found was going to make my afternoon - even my week. It's a funky, feet-stomping number that's a complete contrast to the previous song. You can't not get up and dance or tap your foot at the very least. The opening piano of Safe is beautiful but not the most beautiful. It's good enough though - the verse will make you listen throughout the whole song. Basically it's that one piano loop that makes the whole song - it's there throughout but you only notice it when it's nice and serene. Brilliant.

The start of Hanging On sounds like it could be the ending theme song to a Lizzie McGuirre-esque movie but as it progresses, heck it can fit into any Disney movie! It's nice a sweet - it doesn't explode, just stays constantly at one level throughout. Headphones puts this girl beside the Katy Perrys and Lenkas of the world but she doesn't hit you over the head nor is she too subdued - she's pop. The track has hints of funky-ness and once again, tapping your foot will become subconscious less than a minute into this song. Yay.

Welcome To The Show doesn't sound circus-y at all despite the strange start put boy are you in for a treat. Her pronunciation is verging on Brit and the chorus just explodes, in a good way. This track shows that she can be rock-y intense and serious and it was unexpected to say the least but it's not uncalled for - if you think about it this makes sense on the album. The middle 8 is clearly the highlight with heavy drums and high notes all over the place - this girl CAN SING.

Walk On Water reminds me of her first album - the piano with the vocals and the melody all string together perfectly but once the bass line comes in and the guitar builds the song up, I realize that her first album is done and over with. She's grown but not completely. The melody is beautiful, worthy of my swooning and the chorus gave me goosebumps. That's what songs should do to people.

Glow is another guitar-centered number with a stomping beat. The electro bits after the chorus make the song cool - love that touch. The middle 8 is epic and the chorus is intriguing - the makings of a good pop song! Feel The Light is another one of those beautiful melodies you just can't get enough of. It's beautiful but overshadowed by these next two tracks.

Like A Star reminds me of something that could be in a Kylie album but no - it's on Britt Nicole's. The song could be on a chick-flick and blend right in and yet, I wouldn't want it to be - I like where it is. What makes this song different from all the others on the album is that most importantly, this was the song that made me smile without realizing it. It's the song that made me stop whatever I was doing (I believe I was reading Tweets..) and just listen. It's the song that made me look at Britt Nicole in a different light now that she's given me a brilliant pop song. Brilliant.

Have Your Way is probably the most beautiful song I've heard all year. All the emotion put into this song is astounding. The start with just her and a bit of piano is so passionate and dramatic and the song as a whole is haunting. I'm not making this up - if you tell me to name the most beautiful song of the year, this is it. Jordin Sparks' Was I The Only One may be the most beautiful on Battlefield but it's nothing compared to Have Your Way.

It was hard choosing my favorite song on the album but in the end, I chose the song that subconsciously made me smile - the one that proves to me that music deserves the massive amount of respect I give it and that it's far more powerful than I think it is. (Was that way too serious?) Even with those criteria - I have 2 favorite songs on the album.

So, to sum up the album:
Best Track: Have Your Way is a notch higher than Like A Star but they're the best of the best.
Better Tracks: Everything else - honestly.
My Least Favorite Track: NONE OF THEM.
THE RATING: 5/5, it's deserving.

I did not have fun today.

So all over the internet, news about the Saturdays visiting my home country were circulating. Ken reported it first (as far as I know..) and soon people followed suit. I wanted to go so badly - The Sats are and forever will be one of the best UK girl groups we've heard. I was depressed yesterday because one, I was so tired and two, I couldn't go see The Saturdays. I woke up this morning, told my parents that the girls would be in Megamall (one of the gigantic malls here..) and planned to go. I checked the time on multiple websites - SIX IN THE EVENING. So OK, I'd leave the house at 4 and get there 4:30, walk around, get some Starbucks, relax and go watch my favorite (active) girl group perform brilliant pop songs.

So I left the house at 4, right on time. Me, being a time-freak who always gets there 30 minutes to an hour early for everything.

Lo and behold, when I got into the mall at exactly 4:30...


All that was left was the autograph signing. So just to make my trip worth it, I bought an album I already have, almost cried in front of Mollie and didn't get to enjoy dinner and going around the mall.

Frankie wasn't there. I completely forgot to ask why because I was so pre-occupied with the fact that I MAY NEVER BE ABLE TO SEE THE SATURDAYS LIVE EVER AGAIN. NEVERR.

MCA Universal, the next time you bring someone here who isn't Lady GaGa or Rihanna or someone who makes crappy, boring, annoying and worthless music - PLEASE GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT. I was there 1 1/2 hours early for the time YOU TOLD ME and I was STILL late. WHAT KIND OF RECORD COMPANY DOES THAT? Then you made me PAY to get their autographs and talk to them and actually make my trip somehow 'worth it'? HOW MONEY-HUNGRY ARE YOU?

I'm not angry at the girls - they were lovely, my opinion on them hasn't changed. I told Mollie about the fact that I was late because Polydor gave me the wrong time, told Vanessa about the fact that I'm a music blogger and I wanted to give them a good concert review and they were sympathetic - considering that they knew nothing about me and had never met me before that 1 minute encounter.

4/5 of The Sats signed my second copy of Chasing Lights and 3/5 of them signed the crappy 'free' poster of an old promo pic that was released months ago that I got.

I'm furious at MCA. I dragged my parents to a gigantic mall only to get autographs? I know people kill for them but I'd rather see the girls sing live than get their signatures on an album jacket. I love music - seeing them live would tell me whether my adoration for them is worth it.

Friday, August 7, 2009

*Dances around room*


Dammit. And I thought I was never gonna be able to see them live.

If any of you are planning to go today, here's Ken's review of their gig last night (really near my house, thank you very much.)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Two Jades, two songs - the same rating. Strange, huh?

Samantha Jade's new but not that new offering Secret is a departure from her old and insanely brilliant stuff but thankfully, it's enough to keep me interested in the girl. One thing though - I thought she got dropped by Atlantic? Apparently not.

If she wasn't dropped by Atlantic, may I complain about one thing? I'VE BEEN WAITING 2 YEARS FOR HER ALBUM, WHERE THE CRAP IS IT? I first heard Turnaround in 2007 - at the time her album was expected to be released by the end of the year. Talent gone to waste, if you're to ask me.

The song reminds me of Britney + The Saturdays with more Britney. The redeemers? One, the fact that this girl has some sort of voice and uses the damn thing and two, it's pop - done well and sung right.

The other thing is that the middle 8 has successfully made this whole song the best new song of the week for me. Expect a top 10 debut at the very least next week!


Before (Step Up):
After/Now (Secret):

The other Jade? Jade Ewen. I know it's been ages since My Man leaked but the video came out so it's time to review it.

Jade Ewen's Eurovision entry may have sucked like hell but listening to this song, she isn't that bad. Yes, she's a voice we've heard before and an image we've seen tons of times but amongst all these girls who sound and look like Jade, she's doing quite well, to tell you the truth.

There's nothing special about her voice but it's good. The song as a whole is strong - it has it's good and bad points but altogether it's not bad. The melodies of the verses and middle 8 are exceptional and the chorus for me is a little resonant but bearable.

All in all, not a bad effort, Miss Ewen - top 10 at the very least.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Top 20

I completely forgot this last Monday so here it is, the top 20 of the week.

After 5 consecutive weeks on the chart, SNSD's hit Genie FINALLY claims number one on my chart. Well-deserved girls, WELL-DESERVED.

20. Big Bang - Gara Gara Go!
19. Girls' Generation/SNSD - Boyfriend
18. Ju-Taun - Let Me In
17. The Saturdays - Unofficial
16. Kristinia DeBarge - Speak Up
15. Brown Eyed Girls - I'll Do Well
14. SHINee - Romantic (Re-entry, RE)
13. ST Day - Afraid (NE)
12. Ayumi Hamasaki - Real Me (NE)
11. BSB - Straight Through My Heart (Soldier Down)
10. Xing - Hi Five (NE)
9. Shinhwa - Once In A Lifetime
8. Kim Joon - Be OK
7. No Angels - One Life (NE)
6. Jordin Sparks - No Parade
5. Blake Lewis - Sad Song
4. Kara - Secretly (NE)
3. Industry - Burn (NE)
2. Namie Amuro - Girl Talk
1. Girls' Generation/SNSD - Tell Me Your Wish (Genie) (1 Week)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Industry - Burn

I need to unwind - I just finished writing a 24-page paper in my native tongue about how our culture should be ours and no one else's. Great.

Industry are most probably God's gift to pop music this year - everything about this band shows how good pop music can be. I only have one problem though, the girl who sings the most has a voice with parts that I get sick of after one listen. I'm dead serious - if you make the two guys sing one whole song without the girl, I'd fall at the song's feet and never want to listen to anything else again. But her voice can be insanely brilliant most of the time.

That aside, the song is a masterpiece. Whoever wrote this song should be put on a pedestal and worshipped for eternity.

The piano part is insane - whoever thought of making it go on throughout the whole song is a genius. It's a very nice buffer - gives the song another dimension and softens everything up. The processed stuff don't seem so fabricated after all and there are parts that can pass for a lullaby in my book.

The second verse is so-so to my ears but the middle-8 is brilliantly scream-y. Yes, the notes are really, really high but the melody makes me melt every time. Like hell.

My favorite part of the song? The first verse. Before everything gets manic and the girl screams all over the place, this is the reason why I love Industry. They can do big, monstrous and pop all the way but they can be reserved and faint-worthy. That voice - I can die right now and not have any regrets. And it's processed at all the right points. Not excessively, it's just enough to soften and smoothen the high notes. That's what auto-tune is supposed to do.

Will this be number one? I sure hope so - it deserves to be but judging by the fact that I never get these things right, it may not.