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Archive for August, 2009

Song Of The Week

This week’s song of the week will always hold a special place in my heart. It is …

Fill My Little World by The Feeling

 Fill_My_Little_World

This was the first song by The Feeling that I ever heard, and ultimately the song that changed my life! Even now, over three years later, it is still one of my favorite songs (if not, my favorite), and never fails to make me smile. And of course, nothing compares to seeing it performed live!

I know this is going to sound really soppy, but I’ve made so many great friendships through this band, and none of it would have happened if I’d never have heard this song. Thank you Fill My Little World!

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Last night, I watched a 4 Music exclusive called Mika: Through The Looking Glass, in which Mika was interviewed about his new album “The Boy Who Knew Too Much” and performed some of his new tracks. Here are my first impressions:

A little similar to "Life In Cartoon Motion" - don't you think?

A little similar to "Life In Cartoon Motion" - don't you think?

Rain: Mika mentions in the interview that this song was originally written as a “break up letter”, which he turned into a song because he thought it would be “funny to put it into a dance track”.

The song gets off to a very promising start, it has a good dance beat to it, and the lyrics e.g “I’m caught in a trap, I can’t look back” do seem to have a darker and less childish feel to his debut album. Also I find it hard not to sing along to the line “I hate days like this”. However…

The chorus is where the song looses me I’m afraid. It’s not necessarily that the chorus is bad, and I’ll admit it’s very catchy, but it just goes on too long! All it basically is, is Mika saying “Rain” over and over again for approximately 30 seconds. If it had a few different words, or if it didn’t go on for quite so long, it would be a good chorus.

All in all, this song is good, it just could have done with a little more work.

Dr. John was written about a character Mika has made up who is “obsessed with voodoo”. This was inspired by Mika’s “fascination with dark magic” as a child.

UnfortunatelyLive performance of Dr. John this song also suffers with a chorus problem. Perhaps it had a lot to do with the performance and lighting, but once again I felt this song was a lot darker than his earlier stuff, and I was just getting into it when it was interrupted by a chorus very reminiscent of “Billy Brown”.

Of course once again it is a catchy song, I’ll admit I woke up with it in my head. This is not necessarily a good thing as it is already starting to really get on my nerves. Catchy songs are great in terms of record sales, but not always in terms of good songwriting.

So far my first taste of “The Boy Who Knew Too Much” has taught me that, just when you think Mika has put a different spin on his songs, “Life In Cartoon Motion” comes back to haunt you. Lets see if the next two songs can change my mind…

Blame It On The Girls Mika claims is written about his “sisters more than anything” and the people who brought him up which becomes clear early on in the song.

At this point I have to congratulate Mika, because this is the first Mika song (possibly ever) that I’ve heard which doesn’t overuse and over exaggerate falsetto. In fact there is very little falsetto used. This I feel has always been his downfall as well as his appeal. I don’t have a problem with falsetto in songs, in fact usually I’m a big fan of it, but when Mika does it I often find it a little too much, it just seems too squeaky and becomes very annoying.

The only real criticism I have of this song is that it is quite repetitive – but hey, a little repetition never hurt anyone!!

We Are GoldenMika then performed “We Are Golden” to see my review click here

I See You, like all of the new tracks so far, has a very promising opening… And a promising middle and end! It is a piano based song and the first verse and chorus are near on beautiful.

I have two main criticisms of this song. The first is that falsetto is not necessary in this song. The problem is that if his voice is at a similar pitch to the piano he is playing – it blends in with the piano music and sounds more like backing than lead vocals.

Secondly, by the second chorus, an R&B style beat has kicked in, which disappointed me, as this is not the direction I would’ve liked the song to have taken. I feel that this could easily have become a powerful ballad without the unnecessary falsetto and annoying beat.

 He’s getting there!

The clear overuse of falsetto is still there, and I would hardly describe it as sounding more “Gothic” (particularly in the choruses) but he’s definitely getting there!

Generally I would say that the new tracks are good, and are an improvement on “Life In Cartoon Motion”, but I don’t feel that this is Mika’s full potential. I think that given time these songs will grow on me, but I’m ultimately holding out for album number 3. I’m hoping that by then he will have improved his sound even more, in the same way that I feel “Final Straw” – Snow Patrol’s third album was when they really began to shine, and their music has continued to get better and better.

“The Boy Who Knew Too Much” is released 21st September.

Watch “Mika: Through The Looking Glass”

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Ready for a blast from the past? This weeks song of the week is…

Video Killed The Radio Star by The Buggles

Video Killed The Radio Star

Need I say more?

I think we can all agree, that this is undoubtedly one of the greatest songs ever written. It’s not just a classic pop song – it’s THE classic pop song! Whenever this song comes on the radio, I defy anyone not to sing along!

This song has definitely stood the test of time, and will live on forever! Surely everyone, everywhere knows and loves this song, and whenever it is played it has the ability to put you in a great mood!

That is why I believe that this is arguably the greatest pop song ever written!

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This is my weekly feature (as you can tell from the title!) which will basically be a song which I feel deserves some attention! for example, a song that I can get out of my head at the moment, or a song which I feel demonstrates great musical talent and should be celebrated etc.

So, without further ado, this weeks song of the week is…

Paparazzi By Lady Gaga

Paparazzi

Now, I would not say I was a fan of  Lady Gaga’s music, in fact quite the opposite however, for some reason I can’t seem to get this song out of my head!

Her debut single “Just Dance” I found quite annoying (and overplayed!), and “Poker Face” didn’t seem much better, but maybe 3 is the magic number, as finally I have found something I like about her music!

I don’t deny, I still believe it is overplayed, it’s constantly on the radio and every music channel, and I don’t believe it showcases any extraordinary musical talent (sorry Gaga fans) but, for now at least I am enjoying Paparazzi… let’s hope it lasts!

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Mika, master of the catchy pop hook, could be likened to Marmite in the way that you either love or hate his music. His debut album “Life In Cartoon Motion” featured some fantastic pop songs such as “Grace Kelly” and “Happy Ending”, however it also included songs which I felt took Cheesy Pop a tad too far, and became annoying very quickly such as “Lollipop”. So there’s my general outlook on Mika’s first album, but can “We Are Golden” compete with the likes of “Grace Kelly”?

No.We Are Golden

I have to admit, the first time I heard this song it was accompanied by the video, which definitely does not enhance the song in any way. The video features Mika parading around his bedroom, doing push-ups and jumping on his bed in his underwear – not appealing! That aside, my first impressions of the song are that Mika has done the impossible – the song is less catchy than his older stuff, yet somehow MORE annoying!

The song contains yet more random and inapropriate falsetto, and potentially the most annoying chorus of any song ever! Mika persistently whines “We are golden” over and over! Yet somehow the song does have a good dance rhythm. Frankly I think the song would be vastly improved if the vocal was removed entirely! (He does have a good voice, but it does not come across at all in this song!)

I must say, from Mika’s second album I was hoping for a slight move away from the incredibly cheesy “Kids TV theme” sound which so much of his last album was corrupted with. There is beauty hidden deep within (most of) his songs which I was hoping would become more obvious in this album. So I am disappointed, I know he is capable of crafting a genuinely brilliant song… but alas, this is not it.

Of course I’m sure “Hard-core”  Mika fans will love it, but it’s just not for me. All those people who weren’t fond of the last album: this song is very unlikely to persuade you become a Mika fan. I can only hope that this song does not accurately portray the whole album and that there will be some genuinely well crafted songs on it.

2/5

“We Are Golden” is released on 7th September

Mika’s upcoming LP “The Boy Who Knew Too Much” is released on 21st September

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Uprising is released in the UK 7th September

album cover for "The Resistance"

album cover for "The Resistance"

Muse, for me are one of the few bands I know of who seem to be able to take on any genre of music and excel(the other most notable being The Feeling). They have the ability to make even R&B sound good! (which, believe me, not many people can pull off!) And guess what? They’ve done it again!!
“Uprising” is Muse’s first single from their upcoming album “The Resistance” released on 14th September, which takes another genre which I’m not particularly fond of, but is once again a gem. Now the only artists I can think of off the top of my head who have made good dance tracks in the past are Sophie Ellis Bextor and once again The Feeling (you might notice a pattern!) But Muse are always able to surprise me. This song is very different from any Muse song I have heard before, with a riff which could be mistaken for Goldfrapp and consistent cries of “come on” and “hey”! But Muse have made the genre their own by adding a “Spacey” feel to the song, a powerful chorus with a strong political message (which you can’t help but sing along to), and of course Matt Bellamy’s stunning vocals!
My only concern with this song is that I pretty much fell in love with it instantly, which usually means that the song will get old very quickly, I usually find that songs which take time to grow on me end up being the best. That being said there are some songs which I have instantly liked and still to this day I like them more the more I listen to them (Turn It Up – The Feeling, Starlight – Muse to name a few).
To  me, “Uprising” seems like another wonderful example of  just how versatile Muse can be with their music, and I trust “The Resistance” will offer us more proof of this and of course some more classic style Muse tracks.

4/5

To listen to “Uprising” and “United States Of Eurasia” (another track from “The Resistance”) click this link  http://muse.mu/media-player/

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Hello world!

Hello World indeed!

I’m Nikki, and this is my blog! I’m a huge fan of music, and I will use this blog to write reviews of singles, albums and concerts, as well as much more! I also plan to have regular features such as song of the week and some news articles (music related of course!).  At this point it may be important to note that my favorite band are The Feeling (you may notice this as you read my posts!!) and generally my favorite genre of music is pop/rock. I will try not to be bias in my reviews, but I am quite opinionated when it comes to music!!

You have been warned 😛

Now go forth, and enjoy my blog!!!

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