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Nicki Minaj dives into her hip-hop roots in her latest album, The Pinkprint, which she hopes will live on to be the (pink) blueprint for female rappers.
She has gone for a more raw sound of rap and hip-hop and it's definitely a mature growth from her earlier dance pop tracks. The heavy opening track, All Things Go is a haunting autobiographical account of Nicki's past experiences such as the death of her own cousin and even a referenced abortion. What a eye-catching way to start the album.
Besides the infamous Anaconda which does not need any more discussing here, Nicki actually impressed with other tracks like lo-fi-ish Four Door Aventador and Want Some More which showed her egoistic alter ego, stating her 'only competition' then were Eminem, Kanye and Lil Wayne.
There were a number of hip-hop ballads in the album's tracklist that showed Nicki's lighter side such as the unsung The Crying Game which featured brilliantly soft vocals from British musician Jessie Ware. Altogether, The Pinkprint is a more honest display of Nicki's persona, translated into radio-friendly raps that connect her more to fans and listeners alike.
Track Cuts: All Things Go, Pills n Potions, Four Door Aventador
Demi Lovato just won't let 2014 go on to the next musical year just yet (Frozen pun intended).
The Heart Attack singer looks to remind everyone that she is still one of the best before the year ends with her re-release of her self-titled fourth album, Demi, which has many new refreshing tracks that sets it apart from the original record.
This deluxe version of her successful album includes her Target bonus track, I Hate You Don't Leave Me as well as the unreleased Up which features Olly Murs. Frozen fans, her version of the Disney movie's hit song Let It Go is also on the deluxe with her amazing live rendition of Ed Sheeran's Give Me Love and live versions of Nightingale, Neon Lights and Really Don't Care.
P.S. The Demi (Deluxe) also comes with a personal exclusive message from Demi to all the Lovatics out there.
Track Cuts: Heart Attack, Give Me Love (Cover), Made In The U.S.A.
Dropping their latest album, English Pop Rock McBusted (combination of McFly and Busted) gives us an edgy feel towards broken relations and hitches faced while growing up. Despite their differences as two separate bands, McBusted is still stained with harmony, strong personality and remarkable vocal layering.
The first half of the album is heavier in terms of crisp thumping drum beats and snaking guitar licks. The album opens with Air Guitar which reflects the phase of most teenagers when they are not part of the ‘Cool Kids’ social circle… uninvited kids to happening parties hence the only way to feel powerful is by imagining to be a Rockstar! Playing an air guitar and head banging to experience that one minute of fame. Close my eyes and see the crowd/ In my head I am a Rockstar.
Known for their acoustic elements, a hint of ‘McFly’ is being infused with Beautiful Girls Are The Loneliest which juxtaposes the views behold upon them. Everyone thinks that beautiful girls have a flock of suitors after them. However in relativity, the guys are lacking the courage to approach these beautiful girls as they perceive they are not good enough.
Tracks such as In Da Club and Back In Time summarize the wild and frolicking days which the boys had while passing that adolescence stage. It is definitely a different take as compared to the individual albums of McFly or Busted... but hey at least they tried to explore more options.
Perhaps for their next album a matured approach towards love could be undertaken instead of the high school slant of summer flings or teenage struggles.
Track Cuts: Air Guitar, Gone and Sensitive Guy
Photo Credits: Island Records
Following through her Crazy Stupid hit release which soared through the charts, Cheryl has released her latest album Only Human (it evokes a little Lady Gaga and Barbra Streisand feel). There is no doubt that the latest album is filled with soul and oomph which sparks electro-disco feel.
The QUESTION is did she bring her A Game lyrically for this release? Hmmm I’m not so sure about that, Cheryl does have a certain amount of astute, but personally I feel that this album is a MISS.
The opening track is rather unusual- a 1 min+ track which talks about the desires that humans are seeking for in a monologue manner which ties in with the theme Only Human.
To sum it up the album derives its power from intimacy (sex) and the longing for love. All In One Night opens up the door for physical intimacy. Let me open your mind/ Bring your body to mine/ Let me show you we can fall in love in one night.
The beats are more hypnotic as compared to the lyrics which are far from captivating. The only plus point is that Only Human manages to balance simple catchiness with listeners.
The album lacks substance and it sounds too desperate. Drop the techno move Cheryl and return to the sentimental days. Slow down the tempo, and resonate with listeners - connect through emotions instead of changing your style.
Track cuts: Tattoo, Yellow Love
Photo Credits: Polydor
Catapulting to fame in 2014, Gareth Fernandez has gained his well-deserved recognition in Singapore. A sophisticated and ingenious approach to his latest EP by amassing his past relationships and heartbreaks. This release is filled with creative success and proves to be a sensation among his fans.
Gareth has corroborated that he isn’t just a charismatic signer who ensnares the hearts of his female fans. This launch allows Gareth to explore his eclectic vocal range which leaves listeners in reverence. A definite SPIN for me.
Northern Lights is a timely release to tie in with Christmas, the longing of someone’s return. The jazz improvisations and buttery vocals are too glittery to be pinned down.
Envision yourself by the beach on a starry night as you spin this track, solitude starts to overwhelm you, the use of cymbals which resembles the crashing of oceans and motif guitar riffs that takes you on an emotional ride. A distinctive approach to beckon someone to come back home and the lyrics are not “in your face” or cliché.
Is it love or is just physical/ Are you really just a waste of my time/ I’m talking to god as I need a miracle. Physical strikes a familiar note of nostalgia among us as we question our love for someone if it’s based on genuine love or physicality.
The boundaries of techno, electro-acoustic music, and pop tunefulness are being delved into. There’s something about disco feels that never die. It’s going to be a hit dance track! An effect such as reverb enhances the overall appeal which echoes a sense of perplexity.
Moving On from one’s past relationship and forsaking the pleasant memories which you once shared will always be the hardest. This track encapsulates all aspects of this and the person whom you thought upon as your perfect soul mate proves to be wrong. I don't need a lot of reason to walk away with my pride/ Someway somehow I’m moving on and on.
A promising local musician, check out Gareth’s EP if you haven’t!
Track Cuts: Physical and Northern Lights
Photo Credits: Gareth Fernandez