Boyband Against Boyband

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Source: Telegraph

With the insane success that One Direction, a product of X Factor have had, the comparisons  to other boybands like the Backstreet Boys have been floating around Twitter for a few months now. Even celebrities such as Ashley Tisdale (High School Musical 1,2 an 3; The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and Hellcats) are making the connection:

@ashleytisdale: Honestly One Direction‘s ‘One Thing’ is taking me back to teenage days listening toBackstreet Boys. I LOVE this song!

The questions that some people might ask, include: are One Direction a carbon copy of the Backstreet Boys? Will their current fans go wild if they come back for a reunion  8 years after they split and release 2 new albums plus go on tour?

On the surface, these two boy bands may appear to have a lot in common but when you look deeper there are distinct differences. Some obvious similarities that jump out are, they both – have five members, the members of One Direction are in the same age range of the Backstreet Boys when they formed back in 1993 and have a huge fanbase in Europe.

In my opinion, a lot of what sets the Backstreet Boys apart from One Direction fall under the “generation differences” category. A lot has changed since the 90s in the music industry. The different beginnings of each group is what pops into my head. The Backstreet Boys (referred by their fans as ‘BSB’) started as a vocal harmony group and answered an advertisement to audition for record labels. The platform that X Factor gives wasn’t available to them. In addition, they weren’t each hand chosen by the Hand of God (aka Simon Cowell) to be in a group in front of a live audience every week. An audience that then fuelled the Twitter conversation about them during and after each show.

What auditions looked like in 1993 versus One Direction’s:

Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson’s charisma and free spirit cannot be denied but the use of social media has been their biggest asset. Through tools like Instagram and Twitter, they are able to relate to their audience on a human level as just regular lads who happen to be part of an internationally famous boyband.

Their songs portray that image as well. The image that I would describe as regular teenagers who are going through the phases of heartbreak, relationships and growing up. But as time goes on and their audience grow, will they grow with them?

Something the Backstreet Boys have done seamlessly throughout the years!

Choons To Chillax To

sammyBeing a uni student, balancing deadlines, sleep cycles and what to eat for dinner can sometimes get quite overbearing. Stress affects everyone, but I find that having a soothing playlist is often the best remedy for any problem, so here is a small selection of tunes that are perfect to listen to after a long day when you just need to unwind.

 1) Sam Smith – Nirvana (Acoustic version)

Sam Smith has one of the most beautifully soulful voices I have ever heard. He’s releasing his debut album in May, however he has already released his E.P Nirvana. You can’t go wrong with a bit of Sam at any time!

2) Bastille – Oblivion

This song is a song that I often play when I can’t sleep – and it always works.

3) Sam Smith x Nile Rodgers x Disclosure x Jimmy Napes – Together

This tune is brilliant because it’s really versatile in a way, it kind of adapts to suit your mood. I find it’s perfect to both unwind to and to play when I’m getting ready to go out! The combination of Sam Smith, Nile Rodgers, Disclosure and Jimmy Napes is phenomenal.

4) Mogwai – Wizard Motor

I only discovered this one recently, but sometimes songs without lyrics are perfect for easy listening after a long day. It’s quite different, but so soothing and hey, no words to memorize, just quality music!

5) UB40 – Red, Red wine

‘Nuff said.

6) Hey Now – London Grammar

It’s not just this one song, the entire album is absolutely incredible. Named ‘If You Wait’ the bands debut album is full of haunting melodies and soft instrumentals that are perfect to relax to. 

7) Jose Gonzalez- Heartbeats

This song has a lot good memories for me, so whenever I play it, I get to relive them. I think it’s amazing when a song is able to do that.

8) Lana Del Rey – Video Games

No relaxing playlist is complete without a bit of Lana. Her voice continues to mesmerise me no matter how many times I listen to her. This is a great, slow track, really peaceful.

So these are a few songs from my relaxation playlist; get in touch in the comments section of this post or via our facebook page if you have any others that you’d like to share, we’d love to have a listen!

Review: Tove Lo – ‘Not On Drugs’

Tove Lo(Universal)

Swedish pop is the best kind of music, isn’t it? Obviously there’s Robyn, connoisseur of sad disco and Loreen, whose dance music is perhaps best suited to a rave in the wilderness. Add to that the likes of Icona Pop, Say Lou Lou and Agnes and there really is no contest (Melodifestivalen – the Eurovision song selection – aside)

Sweden’s next great pop hope is Tove Lo, whose new song ‘Not On Drugs’ premiered earlier on Swedish radio.

The song starts firmly in Lana Del Rey territory: downbeat and melancholic. Don’t be mistaken though: this is an intelligent love song.

Then the chorus happens.

Tove Lo’s ‘thing’ is the barnstorming chorus. The chorus on last years ‘Habits’ could raise the dead (note the great use of the word ‘twinkie’ in the verse). She came in even harder  (like a wrecking ball?) on ‘Out Of Mind’. Her hardest hit though is on ‘Not On Drugs’, with a chorus infectious enough to get even the most casual fan bopping.

In many ways this and ‘Habits’ are a two-part ‘experience’. The former talks about being so in love that you feel high, the latter is about using drugs to get over someone. Is this lazy song-writing? Perhaps, but if it isn’t broke…

The production is very good too. It starts of subdued before climbing over the trenches onto an electronic minefield. But then a woman who has worked with Max Martin and Xenomania isn’t going to release a badly produced song, let’s be completely honest.

‘Not On Drugs’ isn’t flaw free, however. The vocals have lost some of the dirt that was present on the (now removed) demo, which sounds like she was actually high on love. She dubs her music ‘dirrrrty POP!’, and she has scrubbed a bit too hard here.

Having said all that, what an incredible song. Let’s imagine for a moment being Tove Lo and knowing that you have this song in your repertoire. Does she pat herself on the back every night? She should do.

‘Not On Drugs’ is taken from her EP ‘Truth Serum’, which is out March 3 (AKA MONDAY).

(You would be able to listen to it but it’s been removed from Soundcloud ‘lol’)

EDIT: here’s it is:

A Show Taylored For Fans

Taylor

 

(Big Machine Records)

Following up the ‘RED’ album from 2012, the RED tour that hit London earlier this February proved why Taylor Swift could produce sell-out shows around the world. Fireworks, bright lights and big name special guests – all moulded together with a touch of sheer flamboyance, all culminated to give the tour that feeling of expectations being exceeded.

Highlights included a swing rendition of the her own, ‘You Belong With Me’, a brief visit from ‘The Script’ front man Danny Donoghue and a full, on stage party for her finale song – ‘We Are Never Getting Back Together’.

However, sometimes the 24 year-olds’ lust for exuberance transformed into a degree of self-indulgence. Granted, with 7 Grammy’s under her belt – she’s entitled to flaunt, but the constant rotation of costume change made the music standstill on more than a few occasions. It brings about the chilling echo of 15,000 impatient fans around the arena – all anticipating the next performance from yonder stage, smothered in black.

Yet when the lights spark up again, basking viewers in a familiar red glow, and the screams begin again – attention is drawn at a newly redressed stage of dancers, props and of course Taylor herself, suited in new gladrags. And when the act resumes, it makes it feel kinda worth the wait.

The bulk of her song choices revolved around the album, not too surprising as both tour and release share the same name. But what came as a disappointment was the show only featured a small handful of ‘old’ Swift. It was felt, as snippets of film were played showing the singer’s career development through family video, that the originals were still missed.  A snippet of ‘Our Song’ was played to much fanfare from the crowd, showing that these favourites were still loved – but, instead of ‘Picture to Burn’ and ‘Cold As You Are’, we were clumped with ‘State of Grace’ and ‘Holy Ground’. Yet, this wasn’t too major of a sacrifice  – as both were brilliantly performed, and still excited the crowd as much as an original ever could.

Sadly, though, after almost a year of touring worldwide, the RED tour has come to an end. Yet while disappointing, with the announcement of a fifth studio album on the horizon, it’s safe to look forward to another Swift entry into the charts from Taylor.

The 7 Worst Things To Come Out Of The X Factor

X Factor season is looming and as thousands of hopefuls audition in front of the big 4, here are 7 memorable contestants who we HATE to love!

7) Chloe Victoria! (Don’t be tight man this is ma life)

Having just split up with her boyfriend of 6 years and no CD player to practice on Simon eventually gives in.

*Hear those mini violins?*

6) Ablisa (sorry, but who even are you? *cue punch in the face)

The cousins/sisters/bestfriends clearly aren’t in a sisterhood sorority; the punch in the face, the painful singing, the shouting at the crowd, it was always going to be a no.

5) Brazilian beauty Wagner!

Bongo playing, chest beating, lion taming Wagner exploded onto our TV screens in 2010 and obviously, Louis loved him. The Brazilians’ success couldn’t last forever though when he got booted out of the competition in week 8!

4) Robert Unwin aka ‘Chicken factory guy’

Who can forget this guy back in 2006! Unsure whether he had the ‘X Factor’, Simon soon put that one to bed naming him the worst singer he has ever heard.

3) Chico time…

All the way back in 2005 the torso stroking, ab flashing Chico sung (kinda) and most definitely danced all over our screens singing about his love of ‘Curvy cola bottle bodies’ and even dedicating a time frame all to himself!

2) Rylan Clark

Gary accused him of trying to see how many songs he could destroy during his time on the show. TOTES. AMAZE.

Finally, in at number one… The best double act to come out of the X Factor:

1) JEDWARD (John and Edward, duh)

This pair jumped cart wheeled and roly pollied all the way from Ireland in 2009 and annoyed the nation like two flies that needed swatting! Eventually, we grew attached to these funky haired flies and they are now worth a whopping 5 million pounds! After releasing an album, touring the world and starring in a vid with Vanilla Ice there is no stopping this pop duo!

There you have it. 7 stars that were catapulted into our lives providing us with the best and the worst moments of TV over the past 10 years!