Brit Awards 2014

Hosted by an intoxicated James Corden for just shy of two and a half hours, the entirety of the Brit Awards event evolved into a painful endurance of television. Hosted in London two weeks ago, the occasion acted as a showcase of all the best in British music. Apparently.
With the Artic Monkeys picking up ‘Album of the Year’ and ‘Best British Group’, it inspired frontman for the band, Alex Turner, to congratulate himself and peer review his work as ‘saving rock and roll’ as a contrast to the usual ‘sludge’. However, the modest singer seems to have forgotten about changing his accent on the Monkeys’ newest album –AM – just to reach an American audience. Selling out, though, would probably be most unfavourable among many of the greats of rock and roll – accidentally casting him into the defamed ‘sludge’ isle.
Human zombie David Bowie picked up the ‘Best British Male Artist’ award – 30 years since last receiving the title, and featured an interesting debacle for his acceptance speech. Adding a final nib at the end of his swift diction – ‘And Scotland, stay with us.’ Like he thinks his own voice carries that much gospel, and would be single-handedly saving the UK. Either that or the 67 year old is outstandingly arrogant.
brits2014-statues-pianoOn another note, and moving away from the pretentions of the event; some good awards were given away to deserving artists. A small party-bag of independent and new artists were cherry-picked for nominations, supporting small-gone-big artists – just like the Brit’s are meant too. Bastille, Rudimental and Lorde all swept up an accolade at the night, despite only recently entering public eye.
However, the Brits have evolved into a festival of morbid pretensions where watching singers and celebs pat each other on the back is an excruciating challenge of viewership. Although quite cute in its original ideas of rivalling the AMA’s or Grammy’s, the event still has a while to travel.

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25 Reasons Why The Saturdays Are The Best Thing Since The Spice Girls

A list appeared on Buzzfeed a week or so ago about how Little Mix are the best thing since the Spice Girls. Although ‘the Mix’ have got ‘Move’ under their belts, Buzzfeed missed a key detail: The Saturdays.

Here are The Saturdays.

The Saturdays

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They are the best thing since the Spice Girls.

The Spice Girls

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1. They have some incredible songs. Exhibit A:

2. Exhibit B:

3. Exhibit C:

(the list goes on)

4. They have the best B-sides.

5. Not forgetting some album tracks that really should have been singles.

6. They consistently have the best single covers in the UK.

All Fired Up

(Polydor)

Not Giving Up

(Polydor)

7. That logo.

Work

(Polydor)

8. They made the humble bar chart the chicest way to travel.

Up

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9. This is the most fashionable use of umbrellas since ‘Umbrella (feat. Jay-Z)’.

Issues

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9. They had the best music reality show of all time. The moment when they heard that ‘Missing You’ was Number 1 in the mid-weeks was priceless.

10. It got to Number 3, which led to this. It’s almost refreshing to see a band be disappointed with a chart position (rather than the usual media-trained spiel).

11. This also made it much more special when they got their first Number 1. It was like watching your child at their graduation.

12. They have phenomenal hair and equally brilliant hairography.

All Fired Up

(Source: thesatsgifs.tumblr.com)

13. They’ve mastered the art of ‘hiding a pregnancy in a music video’.

(THAT BUSH).

14. They have the cutest children in pop.

❤️

A post shared by UNA HEALY (@unahealy) on

15. They had a choreography session to help them walk in time. The struggle is real.

16. Una is married to Ben Foden. What a beautiful couple.

Just taken our seats at the @PrideOfBritain awards X

A post shared by UNA HEALY (@unahealy) on

17. Rochelle is married to Marvin from JLS, making them the UK’s Jay-Z and Beyoncé.

Happiness makes me whole ❤️

A post shared by R O C H E L L E H U M E S (@rochellehumes) on

18. Frankie is engaged to Wayne Bridge (Posh and Becks?)

So much love ❤️

A post shared by Frankie Bridge (@francescabridge) on

19. She’s the youngest ambassador that mental health charity ‘Mind’ has ever had (she’s basically the best role model).

20. Mollie is a beacon of joy.

21. And she loves Britney. You literally cannot go wrong with anyone that loves Britney (this has not been clinically tested etc).

22. Vanessa’s voice.

23. They’re really good at selling stuff.

Honestly, who doesn’t want one of those curling ‘things’ after watching that?

24. They’re actually just really good friends.

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(source: fieryfrankie.tumblr.com)

25. But mostly, what an incredible discography.

#MakeAMoveTour Hits London

thEvery level of the Shepherds Bush 02 Empire was packed with Gavin DeGraw fans, who were anxiously awaiting his arrival on stage. This sold out concert would be the second night of his Make A Move tour and the first time he had been back to London in 2 years.

He jumped straight into the set featuring songs off of his third studio album, Make A Move and appropriately, that was the first song of the night. Right from the beginning, the audience were echoing back the lyrics of his songs to him making it feel like we were all apart of this musical journey. Besides a “thank you” or “how are y’all feeling?” there was little interruption between songs as he seamlessly moved with his band through  a combination of songs from the third, second and first albums. Songs from the first album included “Chariot” (title song) and “Follow Through”.

But the song that everyone was waiting for was “I Don’t Wanna Be” and he made us wait it out, painfully until pretty much the end of the night. This tune put him on the map since it was the theme song to a famous show called One Tree Hill. He was reminded of this, when a crazed fan in the stalls shrieked: ONE. TREE. HILL!

The more insane the audience got with their howling and shrieking, the more he fed off of it. He bravely ventured into the stalls and embraced the clawing/grabbing of the female members. One thing that impressed me was the artistry that he displayed live. Some of the songs that I had listened to over and over again via my iPhone only grabbed me with the live arrangements with his incredibly gifted band. This was solidified for me when he covered a Billy Joel and Adele song – one had a piano arrangement and one with the band, that included a guitar solo.

He gave his all to the audience and in return the audience were committed, joyful and interactive the whole night.

Gavin DeGraw Instagram

Gavin DeGraw Instagram

If he is coming to a city or town near you, CATCH HIM WHILE YOU CAN!

The Queen still reigns

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It was the by far the biggest thing to come out of the music industry in 2013. Beyoncé’s brand new self-titled 5th album dropped on the 13th of December last year, surprising not just the fans, but everyone in the industry too.

After taking a break from the limelight to spend quality time with baby daughter Blue Ivy, Mrs. Carter made the comeback of a lifetime with what she likes to call her ‘visual album’ – 14 tracks with a music video accompanying each, as well as 3 bonus music videos. The album sees collaborations with husband Jay-Z, Frank Ocean, Drake and even Blue Ivy herself. Recording began in 2012 and continued under strict secrecy during her 2013 world tour. The album was unexpectedly released on iTunes on the 13th of December with absolutely no prior announcements or promotions and generated around 1.2 million tweets within the first 12 hours, with the Guardian hailing the release as ‘Beyoncégeddon’.

The new album is very different to Beyoncé’s usual sound. After the initial phases of excitement wore off the general public, lots of fans took to twitter and other social media sites to express their opinions. There was a lot of disappointment, as Beyoncé usually writes signature anthems of sorts, and this album saw her show a completely different side of her, but mostly people loved it. She describes the album as a ‘labour of love’ and something that is ‘incredibly personal’. Through the album, Beyoncé aimed to connect with her fans on a deeper level, by baring herself to them completely. It is her singing about sex and fear and passion and insecurity, all culminating into this wonderful, raw body of music.

Whilst it was risky of her to sing about such personal subjects, it has only got her more respect. It’s exciting to see how her sound has changed and how her music is evolving with her as she turns the page into a new chapter of her life. Yes, there were fans that were disappointed because they were expecting tunes like ‘Single Ladies’ again, but on the whole, the response to the album has been explosive.

Beyoncé’s 5th album has shown that, even in the midst of having her first child and touring the world, she can still make an absolutely kick ass album, AND manage to keep the entire thing a secret. After all, there is a reason why they call her Queen Bey.

Katy Perry… Record breaker

Katy PerryKaty Perry is one of the most successful women in pop today worth a steady 95 million dollars! Releasing her first single in 2008, ‘I Kissed A Girl’ went straight in to the Billboard charts at number 1 and stayed there for 7 weeks matching a record made by The Beatles. The debut single was nominated for 5 MTV video awards and was the most watched video on MySpace in 2008. Impressively it also made it to number 1 in 22 countries! How’s that for a first single?!

6 years on and Ms Perry is still dominating the charts with her latest single ‘Dark Horse’ but what makes the pop starlet so good?

Katy Perry’s second album ‘Teenage Dream’ equals the record set by only Michael Jackson of 5 number 1 singles released from the Teenage_Dream_(Katy_Perry_song)same album. Last Friday Night, Teenage Dream, ET, Firework and California Girls are all catchy, pop songs that you’ll be forced to set on repeat. However, the success of her songs is really owed to the lyrics.

‘Firework’ is all about building self esteem perfectly inspiring her mainly teenage audience, ‘Teenage Dream’ is an upbeat love song perfect for its release in the summer and ‘California Gurls’ shows Jay-Z New York isn’t the only place dreams are made!

Setting the bar pretty high, ‘The One That Got Away’ would then make the sixth number one single released from the album, is there any stopping this woman?

The lyrics of her songs are what sets her apart from her competition which is why she is so successful. Every twenty-something young woman can easily relate to  Teenage Dream and The One That Got Away at some point in their lives making the more enjoyable. Her HUGE appeal also comes from the fact she’s gorgeous (don’t deny it) and isn’t stick thin meaning we can reach for that Snickers without feeling guilty!

Teenage Dream is one of my all time favourite albums and clearly, millions of you agree as she continues to sell albums and break records.

I Dream Of Debuts Gone By – 4 Original Albums You Might’ve Missed.

The past few years have held host to a brevity of interesting and exciting album releases in the pop genre. Sets such as Lady GaGa and Miley have all heightened the standard demanded from new releases today. However, some of the biggest names in popular music have a large portion of their original albums ignored or forgotten. Works that originated many years and decades ago lost in the collective minds of today’s music-lover.

Lights (2010)
Ellie_Goulding_-_Lights_(album)
Now, not taking too far back of a step to start with – Ellie Goulding’s debut ‘Lights’ threw the young, British singer into the limelight almost immediately. Released at the start of this decade, the carefully composed set list does herald many well remembered favourites – including ‘Starry Eyed’, ‘Guns and Horses’ along with Elton John cover; ‘Your Song’. Despite only making it to 26th in the UK Albums Chart – it was enough to propel her into the consciousness of the British public – compelling her to write and release her more popular second studio album – ‘Halcyon’ in 2012.

Take That and Party (1992)
take_that_-_take_that_e_party_-_front
Okay, okay – admittedly considered a ‘dad-band’, the boys’ development and contribution to pop is undeniable. Their first album released in the early nineties showcased the abilities of British groups with their two stand out singles – ‘It Only Takes a Minute’ and ‘A Million Love Songs’. The resulting effects of their twenty plus year reign in pop is the string of boy band popularity in the UK, influencing groups such as Blue and Westlife. With a new album due later this year, their long-standing popularity still stands the test of time.

Homework (1997)
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Not normally considered a pop group – Daft Punk’s new foray into the genre with ‘Random Access Memories’ marked a new stage in the French-duo’s constantly evolving sound. After receiving accolade after accolade last year (and also notably at this years’ Brits) the band have gained more sterling international recognition. If ‘Get Lucky’ and ‘Lose Yourself to Dance’ introduced you Daft Punk – the evolution of the group’s attitude towards a spectrum of genres; (house, electro, funk and pop) is never more present in their debut.

Taylor Swift (2006)
Taylor Swift-Taylor Swift [Front]
Although it’s only been a brief five-year gap between ‘RED’ and her debut, Taylor Swift’s self-titled album highlights the rapid adaption of a solo artist’s music genre. Originally combing standard pop sounds with her own home-grown taste of banjo string and accordion, the country-style twist is well received. Also, the singer of ‘22’ sounds fresher in her early days, straying from the confines of a multitude of different styles but still pleasing; if anything – more so. Impressive especially for a girl who was 16 at the time.

Lily Allen: Still Alright?

Lily Allen

(Parlophone)

In the time before acoustic guitars and faux-modesty, Lily Allen was Britain’s finest female pop star. She had two triple platinum albums. Plus ‘The Fear’. What a song.

In 2010, she took a break (she called it a retirement but seeing as she’s back it was more of a hiatus).

But something has changed since her return to pop. Her appearance on last weeks episode of The Graham Norton Show failed to impress the tweeting public.

In a review of her new single ‘Air Balloon’, Robert Copsey of Digital Spy wrote: “she’s only three songs into her comeback, but Lily Allen is already starting to sound fed up.” Has Lily Allen failed to rekindle what she left in 2010?

The answer is no: Lily Allen is better than ever.

‘Somewhere Only We Know’ was literally terrible. She doesn’t particularly like it though. So much so that she called the Radio 1 Breakfast Show to get it removed from the database. It’s this self-awareness that separates her from the pack. Is Ellie Goulding’s favourite Ellie Goulding song the Leona Lewis reject ‘Burn’? Probably not.

‘Somewhere Only We Know’ aside, Lily Allen is yet to hit a bum note during her comeback. ‘Hard Out Here’ is a proper comeback single. Controversy is matched here equally by general brilliance, which is further combined with an intelligent video (the ‘Baggy Pussy’ balloons are still genius). Eva Wiseman (from The Observer) called the song ‘a feminist text with a really catchy drum beat. This is not JUST a pop song, this is an open letter to the Mail Online.’

New single ‘Air Balloon’ is completely different though. Bradley Stern, of MuuMuse, writes ‘sure, it’s not nearly as biting as ‘Hard Out Here’. But does it need to be?” No, it doesn’t. Releasing two controversial singles in a row rarely works. Even Miley Cyrus gave in and released the melodic ‘Wrecking Ball’ after ‘We Can’t Stop’.

Her (incredibly titled) album ‘Sheezus’ is out in May, and includes a song called ‘Chipping Norton’, which is about the phone hacking scandal. In an interview with Q Magazine (Issue 331), she said ‘I like to be frank, whether it’s about sex or politics or feminism’.

Lily Allen hasn’t lost it. Forget balls, she has the biggest tits in pop.

Sam Smith takes london

It was the sudden flashing lights and the collective, euphoric scream, filling the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire that signaled Sam Smith’s arrival on to the stage. Kicking off his first London show on his sold out first UK tour ever with the song he named his E.P after – “Nirvana”, he had fans singing his lyrics to him right from the first second.

blog sam  Following “Nirvana”, Sam performed a number of his original songs including his  latest single, current UK Number 1 “Money on My Mind” as well as songs he is  featured on, such as the worldwide hit ‘La La La’ which he recorded with Naughty  Boy, and Disclosure’s “Latch”.

Performing at this venue was clearly very personal for Sam, who explained to the  fans that it was a dream come true to play there for his first London show. He told  everyone on the top balcony that he’d left chocolates for them, because he knew  they weren’t the best seats, which seemed to make them love him even more!

Even if he was nervous, it only worked to his advantage. His meek “I’m so sorry if I  burp, I’ve just had a massive Nandos!” only reeled his audience in even further, as did his cheeky smile and his chuckle when a female fan yelled ‘you’re a sex god!’ in between songs. His lively cover of the Arctic Monkey’s ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ had everyone dancing and shouting the lyrics as if their lives depended on it, and he fed off the energy and put on an incredible show.

What amazed me was that listening to Sam Smith live was like listening to his studio recordings; the passionate tone and soulfulness was amplified at the concert, and the chemistry between him and his band was great. Even though this was his first show in London the musicianship of him and his band gave the impression that these were experienced performers, undaunted by performing in the capital.

Personally, I am a huge fan of Sam Smith, and this concert was everything I had hoped for and more – I fully recommend getting tickets for one of his next gigs otherwise you’re missing out!

Spring, Coming Soon…

keep-calm-spring-is-coming-7

Londoners, we have survived the winter…barely!

The last week or so there have more consistent glimpses that spring is approaching with the more frequent sunny days instead of rain downpours. The only way to properly prepare for spring is to have a playlist for your iPhone, iPad or on your Spotify.

Surely you have already started composing your playlist but to help you out, here’s 5 songs to get you hopping for the arrival of spring:

1. Tomorrow (from ‘Annie the Musical’)

With lyrics like when I’m stuck with a day that’s grey and lonely/I just stick up my chin and grin and so oh/the sun will come out, tomorrow; it’s hard not to feel excited about the possibility of waking up with the sun shining through your window on a daily basis. 

2. Dance Apocalyptic (by Janelle Monae)

Janelle Monae’s star is rising quickly since the release of her new album “Electric Lady”, a dance/electric pop album. But Dance Apocalyptic is the song to dance to at picnics or for the house parties when the patios and yards are back in session after a long hibernation. 

3. Here Comes The Sun (by the Beatles) 

Fun fact about this song – George Harrison’s was inspired to write this song from the long winters that England experiences and personally, felt like they went on forever. It seems appropriate for the winter that we have experienced this year.

“Here comes the sun and I say, it’s alright” 

4. Flowers In Your Hair (by the Lumineers)

This song by the band The Lumineers is a beautiful song to get you into the zen mood to welcome spring as your best possible self and ease you out of the winter blues. 

5. Beautiful Day (by U2)

To finish the songs off is a classic song by U2 to welcome you into the spring state of mind and enjoy getting the clothes out for the picnics and festivals. 

Will ’24’ be Adele’s best album?

AdeleAOTYMulti award winning, Brit School success Adele is set to release her new album earlier than expected.

Reports last year suggested the new album would be released mid-2014 however an insider last week said: ‘Label bosses are getting very excited and word has spread around the industry like wildfire to expect Adele’s new material imminently.’

Her two previous albums, 19 and 21 have seen her swoop an impressive ten Grammys.

But what can we expect for album number three? ‘Rumour has it’ (see what I did there?) Adele has teamed up with the likes of Prince, Phil Collins and super soughtafter songwriter Diane Warren to compose her third album and if that line up is anything to go by, it could be her best album yet!

Inspiration for previous album material has come from heartbreak with former love interest and photographer Alex Sturrock, hence the severe hate for men, drowning of sorrows and the need to reach for untitledthat tub of Ben and Jerry’s.

Since the release of her last album 21, in early 2011 Adele has had a pretty good three years. Her former ‘bad luck in love label’ has been tarnished as she is now happily engaged to CEO of Drop4Drop, Simon Konecki and gave birth to gorgeous baby boy ‘Angelo’ on October 19th 2012.

So, we’re thinking this next album will be full of ‘lovey dovey’ songs, tales of motherhood and dedication serenades to her bouncing boy. Last year, Adele did admit this album would be more stripped down and acoustically led although there was suggestions of her also working with more modern artists like superstar DJ and producer Calvin Harris and Florence and the Machine in order for her music to “move with the times”.

Following on from her simple, number based album titles Adele’s publicist Paul Moss revealed the third studio album would be called 24, with the first single being released in March.

Straying from her power ballad roots with full orchestras will leave fans eagerly anticipating the third album in the hope the pop songstress won’t be changing her material too much and be forced to mould into other chart toppers. Her first five years in the limelight have seen Adele flourish and I’m sure her next album will indeed be a little different but definitely even better than her last.