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.

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.

REVISITING TOMMY PAGE’S LAST ALBUM

ALBUM                                 :           TEN TILL MIDNIGHT

ARTIST                                  :           TOMMY PAGE

GENRE                                   :           POP

Date Released                     :        2010

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He had quite a successful run during the late eighties with hits charting on Billboard charts such as “A Zillion Kisses,” “A Shoulder To Cry On,” “I’ll Be Your Everything,” and Turn On The Radio. However, he was more successful behind the scenes as he became one of the most successful recording artists who excelled as record executive.  But, despite his stint behind the record, he was able to release few albums intended maybe to satisfy his loyal fans.

Reminisce his early hit with “I’ll Be Your Everything” a live performance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l49AwDb4twk.

In this album, you have a compilation of older songs and new songs.  Some of the news songs in this album can be considered as rejects from his previous albums.  The musical vibe of this album is like crossing musical genre’s.  Part of the whole album sound like 80’s pop and some songs sound like a chill out or EDM music.

Listen to “Only My Imagination” in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=so0es9JIwmc.

Best tracks to listen aside from “A Shoulder To Cry On,” are “Dream Come True (a heavy and pulsating tune,)” Kissing In The Rain (which is like a Gazebo song,) “Only My Imagination (which borrows some refrain from Duran Duran’s Say A Prayer,)”and “Right On Track (which is EDM version of Breakfast Club ditty.)”
Watch fan made video of “Right On Track.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vhn3tK7lIo8.

I say the album is really good for his loyal fans, but for other musical fans, they opt to listen only to the recommended tracks and will not bother to listen to the whole album.  Thus, I rate this record 2.5 stars.

RATING DESCRIPTION

1 stars = Ignore it

2 stars = risk it

3 stars = borrow or buy it

4 stars = buy it and keep it

5 stars = buy, keep, and treasure it

 

 

DEFINITELY ONE FOR BEST ALBUMS OF ALL TIMES

ALBUM                                :           WE GOT IT FROM HERE THANK YOU

                                                           FOR YOUR SERVICE

ARTIST                                  :           A TRIBE CALLED QUEST

GENRE                                   :           HIP / HOP / RAP

Date Released                      :        2016

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The problem with most rap and hip hop album is that they tend to sound generic and the only thing that separates the individual album from each other is on the verses.  Thus, A Tribe Called Quest new album is always a welcome phenomenon for hardcore rap and hip hop fans.  I believed that it is not a dare when you say that this group is perhaps the most talented and creative rap and hip hop act ever to grace the scene.

Watch official video off “We The People” in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vO2Su3erRIA.

This act really knows how to craft good hip hop and rap songs.  For example, in “Kids,” the infusion of video game sound, one listen to good verses and imagine playing a Nintendo game.  In “Enough,” it asked “is it enough?” and you clamor for more hard rap and hip hop sounds. Perhaps, it is their creative way of telling listeners not to expect pop music from them.  They take whining to another level when they complained and sing that there are no niggers in “The Space Program.”  A unique way of lambasting the realities of life without damning the obvious.

Watch and sing along with “Space Program” lyric video in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6nPcGCO0ow.

Almost all tracks in this album are great to listen to. Yes, it  is worth the wait.  This album came nearly 20 years after their last studio album was released.  I rate this record perfect 5 stars

Watch live performance of “Dis Generation” in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DOOu3wPQfE.

RATING DESCRIPTION

1 stars = Ignore it

2 stars = risk it

3 stars = borrow or buy it

4 stars = buy it and keep it

5 stars = buy, keep, and treasure it

 

 

AN ELECTRIFYING ALBUM

ALBUM                                 :           STATE OF SHOCK

ARTIST                                  :           THE ELEKTRICS

GENRE                                   :           SYNTH POP, PUNK, INDIE POP

DATE RELEASED                 :           1981

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Here are some tips on how to listen to this album effectively.  First, you need to be conscious that this album was released nearly 35 years ago.  Therefore, the sound, vibe, and music of this album naturally sounds dated to young music fans out there.  Second, just treat this album as going back to the past and discover amazing things about the 80’s and this band was one of it.

Listen to “When The Night Comes Down” in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYKNdtBDqWM.

If you are thinking of appreciating this album based on the first premise, you can say that this band might be quite ahead of its time.  For example, you might think that “When The Night Comes Down” might sound like “Owner of The Lonely Heart,” but you must remember that this album was released in 1981 and YES song was released in 1983. In “Go Now,” you might hear some familiar refrain of THE RAMONES “ I Wanna Be Sedated,” yet the latter track saw the light of day back in the late 80’s.

Listen to “Go Now” in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kJCgau-g9U

If you are using the second premise, you would have realized after listening to this record that this is a great album.  It has songs that can make you dance, bounce, and even bang your head. Think of hitting the dancefloor with “Building Buildings,” “Rocket Ride” (this track reminds me of Devo’s “Dr. Detroit,”), and “When The Night Come’s Down.”

Listen to “Building Buildings” in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deCgNBN9t9g.

If you are looking for great 80’s album, this is a must have and I rate this record 4 stars out of 5 stars.

RATING DESCRIPTION

1 stars = Ignore it

2 stars = risk it

3 stars = borrow or buy it

4 stars = buy it and keep it

5 stars = buy, keep, and treasure it

SPECTACULARLY SPEKTOR

ALBUM                                 :           REMEMBER US TO LIFE

ARTIST                                  :           REGINA SPEKTOR

GENRE                                   :           JAZZ / POP

Date Released                      :        2016

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If you are looking for an album that will cater to your artistic whims and caprices then, you should listen to this album. The problem with art record is that it tends to be boring and you forced yourself to listen to it even though you cannot comprehend the art thing of the album.  For example, most Bjork album is considered as artistic album but after listening to her records, you are not impressed with the record as you felt that the singer is the only one who understands her art.

Listen to “Bleeding Heart” in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAy4RMI82NQ.

In this record, Regina Spektor, probably did not have an idea that she is Bjork in pop and jazz domain.  Thus, her records are not boring and listeners are excited to discover her songs.  This is because the art album she offered is not monotonous in sounds but rather a compilation of melodies and hooks that are usually absent in art albums.  Also in this record, there is no forcing of the art.  In fact, Regina might not be aware that she is creating an art album.

Listen to “The One Who Stayed and The One Who Left” in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3n81BNbVLdo.

Although, this is an art album, it doesn’t mean that the whole album is excellent.  It is good for a Regina Spektor album but only time will tell if this record holds up and will become one of the revered classic albums in the future.  Perhaps, it is the fact that most of the songs here are piano and vocal combo, makes one wish that she could have made a more upbeat album. Best track to listen in here are “Bleeding Heart,” “Grand Hotel,” “The Light,” “The Trapper and the Furrier,” “The One Who Stayed and The One Who Left,” and “End of Thought.”

Listen to live performance of “The Trapper and The Furrier” in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ee0WrZM4Kko.

I rate this album 4.5 stars out of 5 stars.

RATING DESCRIPTION

1 stars = Ignore it

2 stars = risk it

3 stars = borrow or buy it

4 stars = buy it and keep it

5 stars = buy, keep, and treasure it