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2013 in Music: Girls Run The World

It’s obvious , the divas dominated the charts, the airwaves and the awards shows. And they sure made some hella noise. Still, healthy competition came from their male counterparts.  Justin Timberlake brought his sexy back back for his two, yes 2, albums: The 20/20 Experience 1 & 2. I really dig his signature Pop/RNB sound and you think by now he and Timbaland would’ve run out of ideas. Plus those ballads, you can never go wrong with a JT love song. *swoon* You also can’t overlook (they’re everywhere!) the mega success of One Direction whose Midnight Memories topped the Billboard 200, gave them the record for the only group to have their first 3 albums debut at no. 1. For me they’re eye-candy so let them do what they want but seriously the tattoos have got to stop (ehem Harry). At least Liam still looks clean for the most part. Even the rap gods bowed down: Jay Z, who officially removed the “-” from his name (uhm, okay), still leads the pack with Magna Carta… Holy Grail. Late this year, Eminem released part 2 of his breakout The Marshall Mathers LP. And of course, Yeezus, which he refers to as his god name. Like really? ugh so over him. Yeah, I’m talking about you Kanye.

89956-Miley-Cyrus-wrecking-ball-spac-AsYq

2013 was literally a pop female explosion. Let’s just say it, ratchet as everything she does right now. Miley is the blockbuster hit. I love all the pop albums that came out but damn, Bangerz is my jam yo!! Didn’t know Southern Pop/Hip-hop got it goin’ on. And THAT kitty is so cute. Since we’re in the topic let’s move on to Katy Perry. Prism presented her in a different light. Light as in bright and as in feather. Like a breath of fresh air and you can tell she’s in a good place. The songs came from a good place. Newcomer Lorde making waves with Royals and recently, Team. She’s the ultimate outsider and we relate to her because of it. Don’t forget earlier this year, Disney Alums Demi Lovato and the now solo, Selena Gomez both shined with their respective releases.  Demi was an emotional piece, showcasing her vulnerability and vocal strength. I’d like to think she’s the Christina from Selena’s Britney. Stars Dance was a dance fest. Fun and sexy. Yeah, you should try watching the Come and Get It video, whut. My personal fave, Sara Bareilles, also came out with the power anthem, Brave off The Blessed Unrest. Happy for her Album of the Year Grammy nomination!  Speaking of award shows, Taylor Swift is still reaping the rewards from last year’s Red. That record is awesome. For months Lady Gaga teased us with her ARTPOP. It even came with an app. So when she said she lives for the Applause then I’m more than willing to give it. Paws up, monsters! The record’s unconventional. I mean it’s still mostly electro dance music but I don’t know, maybe that’s what happens when you infuse Pop with Art. LOL, I’m talking shit am I? Can I just say something about that Gaga-Xtina performance of Do What U Want on The Voice Finale? I GAGGED. I LIVE for this kind of thing.

christina-gaga

Capping off the year, It’s-Britney-Bitch Spears gives us her most personal record. They say that all the time, how personal can you get? Kidding. The first single Work Bitch brought us back the Dance-ney we always loved. So we held hands in tears, in awe as she gyrated to her British accent. But just like that we were caught unguarded. We were not prepared.

Beyonce-AlbumQUEEN Bey rendered all them artists irrelevant by dropping a bomb an album out of nowhere. Sure we heard she’s recording but with no single close to year end we all thought we were safe from the onslaught. But we’re not, no one is and we all just died from Beyonce realnezz. This bitch had enough time from her Mrs. Carter World Tour to even conceptualize, shoot music videos for all the tracks. Well she did it on B’Day so she can do it again. So there it goes, who run the world? Anyone dare say the contrary?

Red Is All Kinds Of Intense

I can’t even begin to describe how I love this album. Personally, this is her best effort yet. There are no ‘yawn’ songs here. And I didn’t feel like the sound is too repetitive. Something I’ve had a problem with on her previous records. Taylor Swift is a songwriter first and foremost and this album is (another) proof. Her lyrical prowess is golden; how she can narrate a simple, casual experience or story and turn it into music that is relatable and enjoyable. I like how she described why she named the album Red:

All the different emotions that are written about on this album… all of that — in my mind, all those emotions are red. You know, there’s nothing in between. There’s nothing beige about any of those feelings.

You don’t how many times I’ve played this album on repeat. I’m seriously considering not to write a review but rather just post every lyric I like from each song, hahaha! The 16 tracks are as follows:

taylor-swift-red-single-artwork-400x400State Of Grace. When I first heard it, I thought it was very unlike Swift – sound-wise which is great because it means she’s trying out new things. This is a song that “grows” on you, at least that’s what happened with me. Fave lyrics: And i never saw you coming/ And I’ll never be the same.

Red is an instant darling, just listen to it. Should be a future single. 🙂 Fave lyrics: (I like all of it! haha but if I have to choose) Memorizing him was as easy as knowing all the words to your old favorite tune/ Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you’ve never met/ But loving him was red.

Treacherous. She takes it slow and easy but still hitting it home with every word. Fave lyrics: And i’d be smart to walk away/ But you’re quick sand/ This slope is treacherous/ And I, I, I like it.

I Knew You Were Trouble is the first upbeat number and also a personal favorite. The music video’s out already! Check hereFave lyrics: Cause I knew you were trouble when you walked in/ So shame on me now/ Flew me to places I’d never been/ Til you put me down oh.

All Too Well is a masterpiece among several others. Love this song! (Warning: you’ll probably read that phrase throughout this post) Fave lyrics: (Again all of it :p ) Cause here we are again on that little town street/ You almost ran the red cause you were looking over at me/ Wind in my hair, I was there, I remember it all too well.

22 is fun and best sung among friends. That bit “Who’s Taylor Swift anyway?” is funny. Fave lyrics: We’re happy free confused and lonely at the same time/ It’s miserable and magical oh yeah/ Tonight’s the night when we forget about the deadlines/ It’s time uh oh.

I Almost Do. Needless to say, I love this song! 😀 It’s kind of sad actually but the sentiment’s nice (running out of adjectives here). Fave lyrics: I bet/ You think I either moved on or hate you/ Cause each time you reach out there’s no reply/ I bet it never, ever occurred to you that I can’t say hello to you/ And risk another goodbye.

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together. Ah, the catchy first single which really doesn’t define the collection. So if you find this song too ‘pop’, don’t give up on this album just yet. P.S. Love the spoken lyrics! Fave lyrics: You go talk to your friends/ Talk to my friends/ Talk to me/ But we/ Are never ever, ever, ever/ Getting back together.

Stay Stay Stay is another playful/girly track. No problem with me, hahaha especially this cute lyric coming up. Fave lyrics: This morning I said we should talk about it/ Cause I read you should never leave a fight unresolved/ That’s when you came in wearing a football helmet/ And said okay let’s talk.

The Last Time features Snow Patrol front-man Gary Lightbody. It’s the better of the 2 collaborations in the album. I like the outro of this song too. Fave lyrics: This is the last time I’m asking you this/ Put my name on the top of your list.

Holy Ground. You just find yourself singing along to. Maybe even bump your head to it but in a Taylor Swift way. 😀  Fave lyrics: And darling, it was good never looking down/ And right there where we stood was holy ground.

Sad Beautiful Tragic takes a turn again for the sad song route. I guess this is my least fave from the record. No fave lyrics (yet).

The Lucky One talks about the price of fame kinda like Britney’s Lucky. I like this for the melody. Fave lyrics: Another name goes up in lights/ You wonder if you’ll make it out alive.

Everything Has Changed with Ed Sheeran. I don’t know much about this guy but he’s everywhere. It’s a nice duet, their voices blended together just fine. Fave lyrics: All I know is a simple name/ And everything has changed/ All I know is you held the door/ You’ll be mine and I’ll be yours/ All I know since yesterday is everything has changed.

Starlight is the last upbeat song and like Holy Ground, something great to sing along with. Fave lyrics: I said oh my, what a marvelous tune/ It was the best night, never would forget how we moved/ The whole place was dressed to the nines/ And we were dancing dancing/ Like we’re made of starlight, starlight.

Begin Again. The 2nd single which weirdly sits as the last track, I fell in love to upon hearing. How could you not when it goes: Fave lyrics: And you throw your head back laughing like a/ Little kid/ I think it’s strange that you think I’m funny cause/ He never did/ I’ve been spending the last 8 months/ Thinking all love ever does/ Is break and burn and end/ But on a Wednesday in a café/ I watched it begin again.

Red is indeed all kinds of intense, all kinds of emotion. Love, Sadness, Laughter, Hope, Grief, Anger. But valid everyday emotions, nonetheless. That’s why her songs are always so endearing and likeable. I’m proud to say, Taylor Swift you have made me a fan once again.

Well then, ’til the next sound trip! 🙂

Rihanna Talks That Talk Good

I know this is a late post, I’ve been planning to write this review since December anyways I finally had the time and motivation to do so, so here it is.

Talk That Talk is Rihanna’s 6th studio album and my personal favorite. Yes, more than Good Girl Gone Bad and Loud. I really like this hip-hop electro direction she’s going with her albums but her ballads always get me. She sets the tone with the 2nd released single, You Da One. A catchy love song with that Barbados feel only she puts out there. Where Have You Been is dance pop at its finest; once it starts you feel like you’re in the club dancing then she follows through with her smash hit, We Found Love so you’re in for a treat. Talk That Talk, Cockiness (Love It) give you hard and badass but my go-to rock out song would be Roc Me Out – it’s just gangsta but Cockiness gets a special mention for its lyrics, check it.

I love when she takes it slow with We All Want Love, Drunk On Love and Fool In Love. The best part of the album for me. These tracks showcases her vulnerable and soft side with lyrics like “We all want someone there to hold/ We just want somebody/ We all wanna be somebody’s one and only/ We all wanna be warm when it’s cold” and “Take me away/ I wear my heart on my sleeve/ Always let love take the lead/ I may be a little naive, yeah/ You know I’m drunk on love” and “Mama, I found a man/ Who loves me and understands/ Papa, he’s quite a man/ He adores me, he’s my biggest fan/ And don’t get me wrong/ I know he’s not perfect in your eyes/ But somehow he’s flawless in mine”

Last of the noteworthy tracks are Farewell – we all can relate to this one and Do Ya Thang, a fun uptempo song squeezed in at the end.

Here’s the full tracklisting:

1. You Da One

2. Where Have You Been

3. We Found Love (feat. Calvin Harris)

4. Talk That Talk (feat. Jay-Z)

5. Cockiness (Love It)

6. Birthday Cake

7. We All Want Love

8. Drunk On Love

9. Roc Me Out

10. Watch N’ Learn

11. Farewell

12. Red Lipstick*

13. Do Ya Thang*

14. Fool In Love*

*Deluxe edition bonus tracks

I raised an eyebrow for the album cover above but I kinda liked it over time. I do raise concern with her music videos lately. I feel they don’t do justice. News is she’s releasing a remix of Birthday Cake with Chris Brown so this will get interesting. Let’s wait and hear. Til then, give the record a spin now!

Burlesque: Better Than Most Movies Featuring Singers

At long last, Christina’s acting début via the musical Burlesque is already screening in Manila.  And I enjoyed it – the music was great, the acting was not Oscar-worthy but who cares, the writing though cliché in parts is fun and engaging. But I guess that’s what the movie is aiming for: to entertain and they succeeded. Obviously, the next step is to compare and I understood why the critics were harsh. We have all these hit musicals like Moulin Rouge, Chicago and Dreamgirls and we also have the ‘singers-trying-to-act’ type of films that were hardly anything good. Since Burlesque falls on both categories, it’s like double jeopardy. I have to say, I think Burlesque fades in comparison to the musicals mentioned in context of depth and relevance, the movie is quite simple. Small-town girl with incredible talent pursues her career in the land of dreams aka L.A. and ends up on an intriguing burlesque lounge. Add the charming, not to mention attractive, bartender and we have an instant love story. But for the 2nd category, Burlesque shines. Christina delivers a believable performance and you know what she really looks good on screen. She appears younger and thinner as compared to when you see her lately. The production value is incredible and the music is enticing and feel-good, I want to buy the soundtrack! It doesn’t suck at all which is saying something. And can I just say, I never heard singing like that in a long time, her vocals are at its peak. For the rest of the cast, surprisingly I was not bothered much by Cher (sorry I don’t get her), Kristen Bell and Julianne Hough were great additions to the performers, Stanley Tucci always impresses me and Cam Gigandet, your body is to die for – I love you already. I want to give a huge shout out to your perfect ass, by the way.

Bad Girl GaGa!

Telephone has premiered today on E!. This video marking the 2nd collaboration between GaGa and B has been much-anticipated and talked about.

More like a short film (it’s over 9 minutes long), it didn’t relate to the song once again kind of what happened to Paparazzi which coincidentally is where the story picked up. I immediately loved this track upon hearing The Fame Monster and its supposed to be a fun song – about dancing and stuff but instead she turned it into one of her creepy, twisted creations. Beyonce a.k.a. “Honey B” was also just as weird. There where funny parts though, I did laugh on the line saying: “You know what they say, once you kill the cow, you’ve got to make a burger.” And I know we’re talking about GaGa here but the wardrobe, man! There’s really nothing much.

In a nutshell, I didn’t like it. Still think the song is awesome! And oh, you can watch the video here. 🙂

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