NO FAKING JUST FOR VOCAL PERFORMANCE

Album                                    :           Fake It Till We Die

Artist                                      :           Anouk

Genre                                      :           Pop

Date Released                     :           2016

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It is quite unfortunate that Anouk will become a shadow of Adele.  This is album will not prove just how talented this singer is but somehow listeners especially the first time ones would think that Anouk is a clone of the British female superstar songstress.  This could be attributed to the fact that the songs in this album are songs that Adele would probably sing would include in any of her previous albums if given the chance like in the case of Waste Your Water; she sang this song like Adele is singing in the lower key registration.

Listen to I Just Met A Man in here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcHm4e2g5Uw

However, when one gets to listen seriously with this album, one realizes that Anouk is quite unique and if there is a comparison, she could be compared as Sade’s pop version instead of the jazzy one.  This album is more raw compared with Adele’s last two albums.  Anouk relies on pure musical instruments and feels like a demo version instead of a more polished album like that of Adele.  As a result, one gets to feel the right kind of emotion not only as a reaction to Anouk’s vocal performance but of the lyrics as well.  Perhaps, it was quite a stroke of genius on her part that she shunned away from using too many synths and that she did not drown in the musical background and basked wonderfully on the hidden gem of the song.

Listen to My Man in here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkLg8WaLqEs

Best tracks to listen to are Brothers and Sisters, My Man (which sounds like a Steve Winwood track,) I Just Met A Man, Burn, Handyman, and Take It Slow.  With that, I rate this record 4 stars out of five stars.

Listen to Burn in here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFpECOifhfo

That moment when 150,000 Glastonbury attendees sang Foo Fighters’ “Best of You” in unison — Consequence of Sound

A performance at Glastonbury can be a humbling experience — even for the biggest bands. Case in point: Foo Fighters’ Saturday night headlining set and the moment when the band watched in awe as 150,000 people sang back to them in unison. “This is exactly what I fucking hoped would happen!” Dave Grohl proclaimed in…

via That moment when 150,000 Glastonbury attendees sang Foo Fighters’ “Best of You” in unison — Consequence of Sound

THERE IS NO DRAMA BUT STILL A GREAT POP ALBUM

Album                                    :           Melodrama

Artist                                      :           Lorde

Genre                                    :           Pop

Date Released                     :           2017

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This album has a good album and listeners expect a confessional album.  What else would you expect if you choose the word MELODRAMA as an album title.  In her first album, Lorde delivered the goods and she was critics favorite and in this record, many are anticipating if she will deliver the much dreaded sophomore album syndrome or will listeners clamor for her third album the soonest time possible.

Watch lyric video here

This second album is perhaps a departure from her first album and is more pop.  It could be attributed that she partnered with some famous names in pop genre like Tove Lo.  Thus, Homemade Dynamite sounds like a re-arranged version of Tove Lo’s I Like Them Young.  It is a departure as she had a piano only ballad with the song Liability. She sang about her being too much in this song, she appeared to be a Janis Joplin clone and perhaps she should do this kind of song very often to feel the void left by Ms. Joplin.

Watch “Green Light” here

In Hard Feelings,  you have a song that can be mashed up to a Madonna song; Body Shop. Thus, cementing further the notion that this is indeed a pop album instead of rock or alternative rock.  And Green Light¸ just prove that she can be a dance artist as well even if the song has some rock hooks.  You just imagine how will the dance mix or remixed version will ignite the dancefloors.  Because of Jack Antonoff involvement in this record, it became more apparent the pop DNA of this record.  And finally, Supercut is the kind of record most pop girls would beg to make it their own.  s

Watch “Hardfeelings/Loveless” here

She succeeded in bringing a more mainstream or pop album.  Maybe, we could say that her own brand of pop record is what listeners are looking for in order to get excited with pop genre again as pop records have become more generic.  With that I rate this record, 4.5 stars out of 5 stars.

 

WITNESS THE KATE TRANSFORMATION

Album                                    :           Witness

Artist                                      :           Katy Perry

Genre                                     :           Pop

Date Released                     :           2017

Probably, the album title may suggest that listeners should witness a transformation in her in terms of music.  Every pop girl in the world has that album that could be considered as turnaround album.  Thus, Madonna (of course has several game changing albums), Beyonce has Formation, Gaga has Cheek to Cheek, Janet has Rhythm Nation and among others.  Witness is Katy’s turn to sing about ideas close to her heart.  If Madonna has Confessions on the Dancefloor, then this is her album that will make listeners hear her say BULLSHIT to those who affected her.

Watch live version of Swish Swish in here

Thus, she sings about not bragging about not being able to break her in Hey Hey Hey. She wants something new when you want to tell her in Dejavu. She’s wishing somebody for Karma to break on that person in Swish Swish.  She’s brandishing her power and what she can do in Power.  She no longer roar in Mind Maze as was already disenchanted and needed more salvation.  She asked what good it will do if she juggled, struggled, and reopened the wound; and instead she want to save something as draft while taking a deep breath in Saved It As Draft. 

Listen to audio version of Witness in here

Musically, the whole album is a rollercoaster of sounds.  It has upbeat, middle of the road pop, and ballads.  It is in the ballads that she was very effective as musically and lyrically we can say that we are witnessing indeed a new Katy Perry.  In the upbeat songs, do not expect a Teenage Dream type of songs.  In here, you might think that this is a Gwen Stefanni, Beyonce, and Rihanna album merged together when you talk of dance and fast songs.

On first listening, you will find the album generic. But once you are done with second serving, Bon Appetit, it is and you will crave for more listening pleasure with this album.  It will grow on you.  With that, I rate this record 4 stars out of 5 stars.  Grab or download your copy now and cherish it.

NOT ACTUALLY MONOTONOUS; LIKE 80’S POP/ROCK MUSIC THOUGH

ALBUM                            :       TOGETHER TILL THE END

ARTIST                            :       MONO INC

YEAR                               :       2017

GENRE                            :       ROCK

The moment you hear the first few bars of the first song in this album, you already feel some problems with the record.  First, musically the album is structured to make it like a Broadway album, even though the genre is rock.  As a result, you have a rock album that weaves a story in each song and some of the songs connect together. However, the stories of the song could not connect with the listeners easily.  Perhaps it is the preachy attitude or lyrics that are the turn off factor. Second, being a narrative album, you get to hear a story.  A story it is but unfortunately, the narrative of the album is quite trite and it uses lots of tried and tried cliché.  Third, the vibe of the whole album has the sound of a cheap record.

Watch “Children of the Dark” in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocbLw49Or44

With these problems, it is quite surprising that it is still an engaging album.  This could be attributed that to infusion of upbeat rock songs and some of the songs sound like 80’s synth-pop or 80’s rock.  For a narrative album, it is also surprising to take note the lack of rock ballad in this album.

Watch “Across the Waves” in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8R4SFT3pbUo

It is also a good thing that the album included remix version of some of the songs and indeed the four remixed songs solidified the belief that Mono Inc is better doing at other musical genre. In fact, the remixed version sounded better than the original album version as in the case of the song “Across The Wave.” I rate this record 3 stars.

A New Direction From An Ex-One Direction Member

Song                        :       Sign of The Times

Artist                       :       Harry Styles

Date Released       :       April 2017

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There are a lot of things that you can say about the debut song of Harry Styles. First, it can be his “Take A Bow” song, you know the kind of song that motivates people to move on.  But in this song, Harry does not only encourage, he lifts people up. Second, the song is not only a fusion but a merging of styles.  Perhaps, he was just being true to his name when it comes to style.  Third, the song is like a male Sinead O’ Connor “Nothing Compare’s To You.” Or, you can describe the song as being sung by a male Annie Lennox.  Fourth, it is a trip down to memory lane when music was all about good lyrics, hooks, and melodies.

Listen to this new song on this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0GKGpObgPY.

The first song of the year candidate is already delivered.  The song is indeed surprising considering his pop background with One Direction.  The video is also simple but complements the sullen atmosphere the song wants to project and at the same time invigorates listeners to move on. Yes, the song is not perfect as you hear familiar refrain from different song favorite of yours but, Harry sang it in a way that he is the original singer of these familiar refrains.

I rate both the song and video of “Sign of The Times” with 5 stars.

MY TOMMY PAGE TRIBUTE

tommy-page-first-album

Image from Amazon

I discovered Tommy Page in the late eighties and at that time I splurged on cassette tapes.  My barometer of buying cassette tapes was either based on familiarity, popularity, and of course the attractiveness of the cover or the performer.  It was on the latter part that I took a gamble with Tommy Page and I bought his first because he looked like a GQ model on the cover.  I instantly like my purchase because I love his “A Zillion KIsses,” “Making My Move,” “A Shoulder To Cry On,” and “Turning Me On.”  Of course, all the songs in his first album were bubblegum pop and listening to it was like a guilty pleasure.

Thus, when his second album was released, I waited for it in my favorite record bar in Zamboanga City.  My anticipation started when I watched the first video of the lead single “I’ll Be Your Everything” and there was him and that New Kids On The Block Kid.  He looked even better on the album cover of his second album compared with that of his first album.

tommy-page-is-dead

Screenschot from US Online magazine

It was quite sad to know that he is dead at 46 years old. As of this writing, there are only mere speculations as to the cause of his death.  So, here are my favorite Tommy Page songs.

  1.  Whenever You Close Your Eyes – it was a typical 90’s ballad but what made this song quite adorable because of Michael Bolton singing back-up in this record.  Watch the official music video in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdBW3CX-7UE

2.  I’ll Be Your Everything – many would asked why this song is not on top of my list.  Well, there was nothing great on this song except his good looks but I kinda liked the idea then of him working with the famous boy band at that time. Watch the official music video on this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTki_oqDLqk&index=1&list=RDrTki_oqDLqk

3.  Wouldn’t It Be Good – a cover version of Nick Kershaw most popular song.  His version was very satisfactory as it did not depart from the original version and he made it so 90’s.  Listen to this song on this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96nhQybNWkQ

4.  You Are My Heaven – many pop stars’ discography would not be complete if they don;t have a Dianne Warren collaboration.  The song is so 90’s and it made on my list as it was the vocal harmony that he made with Madonna’s back vocalist Donna de Lory. Click on this link to listen to this song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzbPavWBPg0

5.  Only In My Imagination – this song just confirmed what I suspected during electronica days in the 90’s that Tommy Page voice would complement well in this musical genre.  The mashing up with Duran Duran’s “Save A Prayer” worked so well.

6.  Don’t Give Up On Love – his duet with Safire was one of the most underrated pop songs of all time.  Listen on this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnBsNm_s81A

GOODBYE TOMMY PAGE, MAY YOUR SOUL REST IN PEACE AND THANK YOU FOR THE MUSIC.