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Kelly Clarkson - Wrapped in Red
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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
Much like the Parental Advisory label on his album, Nick Jonas' second solo album, uninspringly self-titled, Nick Jonas, is definitely a huge statement of his maturity and newfound sexuality (Cue underwear pics) This is Nick's first attempt at RnB, a genre which seems to be growing in numbers these days.
Chains is a decent introduction of what to expect from this album, with a steady beat driving Nick's smoother than usual vocals. Next up is the super-catchy Jealous which is one of the more radio-friendly tunes here. And with such clever lyric rhymes (hellish and jealous; who'd have thought of that?), everyone would love to have a go at singing this feel-good track.
Teacher is the most upbeat and danceable song I find here. Sexily sung verses prepare you for the 70's disco-synth hook in the chorus. Oppopsite to the first 3 singles, the slower tempo songs are not to be ignored either. The dark feel of Warning is one such track along with the well-produced Push which has this super-cool element and chill vibe to it.
Nick just can't stop working with the ladies, or is it the other way? He duets with long-time friend Demi Lovato rather awkwardly for me on Avalanche and with guest singer, Angel Haze, they add fierce vocals to the emotional Numb.
Overall, Nick Jonas' has bravely explored the far, unique reaches of the RnB category and has returned with an impressive number of songs and an even more impressively chiseled body.
Track Cuts: Push, Jealous, Chains
Photo credit: Island Def Jam
Motion, the fourth album from musician, Calvin Harris, is appropriately named as such given the many tracks that get your feet tapping, your head nodding and your body moving. The scottish DJ adds some twists to his familiar sounding dance tracks here, which really catch the ear.
The electronic album open with Faith, a pumping track prepping you for the rest of the upbeat songs such as the familiar sounding Under Control from which I could pick out some repeated elements from his previous works but he craftily edits the synths to sound brighter and thus, newer.
Unlike the first, the second half of this album features more familiar artists like Ellie Goulding on the Goulding-esque Outside, HAIM singing on the synth-poppy Pray To God and on the groovy vibes on Together which features the attitude of Gwen Stefani's vocals. Summer is my definite pick of the bunch. A chilled out starting verse building up to a jumpy chorus meant only one thing; this party's getting started.
Besides the typical rise and fall approach in some tracks, Calvin adds more instrumental aspects to this slightly more experimental album as seen in tracks like the eerie Slow Acid. That, along with the many singable and memorable songs here, contributes to a well produced dance/house/electronic/(whatever you wanna call it) album which is sure to get your energy running.
Track Cuts: Together, Summer, Under Control, Blame