Stephen King: Hates Stephenie Meyer, Loves J.K. Rowling

Posted in Books, J. K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer with tags , , , , , , , on 6 May, 2009 by Nicola

After reading this article of Stephen King praising J.K. Rowling and slagging off Stephenie Meyer, I have to say, I became rather more positive about the state of the world.

To make sure I would stay happy forever, I was cheered by this article that had a poll between Harry Potter and Twilight, and Harry has over three quarters of the vote.  I have to admit that I was worried that people would forget just how great Harry Potter was now that it is all finished and dusted, and with the Twilight series still very much in the lime light.  But I needn’t have worried.  Not to mention that the quarter of people that voted for Twilight are probaby fourteen year old fangirls.

The human race.  I have faith in you yet.

Hayley Westenra’s “Treasure”

Posted in Hayley Westenra, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 26 March, 2009 by Nicola

I cannot even begin to describe the amount of sweat and tears that went into trying to understand this album.  The amount of effort I put into this CD to try and like it.  I was waiting for some miracle, some revelation to appear out of thin air, as to why this album tends to be a favourite among Hayley Westenra fans.  Why it is so highly esteemed, why it is the pivot of discussion.  I am not so lucky this time.  I have failed.  I officially don’t get it.

Let me start with the postives.  I do enjoy two songs on this album and tellingly they are two songs that are co-written by Westenra herself.  ‘Let Me Lie’ and ‘Summer Rain’ are clear standout tracks from what is otherwise a highly predictable album. Continue reading

Hayley Westenra’s “Prayer”

Posted in Hayley Westenra, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 24 March, 2009 by Nicola

I am going to take a wild stab in the dark here and guess that no matter what type of music you listen to, that most Eastern country, Japan, has laughed in your face before when they received the coolest edition of that coolest album by the coolest artist.  Damn them.  Us Westerners are never content with our 12 track albums, we want the four bonus track edition that Japan or Taiwan have.  All the more reason to hop over CDJapan and make an account.  This beautiful album, Prayer, released only for the Japanese market is no exception.  It’s actually a goldmine what mouth-watering tracks for any Hayley Westenra fan.

This album basically has lots of tracks recorded by Westenra that are otherwise scattered all over the place.  To put this into perspective, if you want to buy all of these tracks without buying this album, you will have to buy up to twelve albums to make up the tracklisting.  You see how awesome this album is now?  Continue reading

Hayley Westenra’s “Odyssey”

Posted in Hayley Westenra, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 23 March, 2009 by Nicola

I have been putting off writing this review for a very long time.  Why?  The simple truth is that I could not quite decide how to review this album.  At first, I was quite content to review the first edition of Odyssey that I obtained, the one I know really well, but just out of curiousity, I picked the later edition up, the UK special edition, to see what the difference was.  I was struck stupid to realise that there’s a ten track difference.  You read that correctly. 

‘Well’, I thought, ‘this is stupid’.  Maybe I was too busy staring at paint and watching the sun rise and set to notice any commotion over at ‘TEAM HAYLEY WESTENRA‘ (i.e. the ever trustworthy HWI who have since told me that my original edition was never a UK edition) over this confusing blip in her discography, but I am on my own here, and I don’t quite know what to make of it.  It’s like I have had this hidden second album all this time without even realising it.  I don’t even know why I bought it, especially as I am quite strongly of the ‘SCREW YOUR MANY EDITIONS OF THE SAME ALBUM’ sentiment.

Okay, so if I could only let go of the fact that I basically have two different albums here under the same name, I could actually discuss the album(s). Continue reading

Michael Ball’s “Centre Stage”

Posted in Michael Ball, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , on 1 March, 2009 by Nicola

I do get tired of Michael Ball‘s albums. He basically spews out about three a year with the same songs over and over.  Especially from musicals, as he is a West End star and acts as such in the recording studio, never making any real concept albums.

To discuss Ball’s vocals is a bit of a moot point.  He’s a baritone.  He belts. He’s powerful.  He’s emotive. He’s over the top. You can pilot a plane through his vibrato, and so on.  He is very pleasent to listen to, has a beautiful tone and thus the material he records verges on tragic as it’s such a waste of a huge talent.  But there you are.  This is what we get from Michael Ball, and we have to make the most of it. Continue reading

Emilie Autumn’s “4 o’Clock” EP

Posted in Emilie Autumn, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , on 27 February, 2009 by Nicola

Emilie Autumn loves her EPs, especially when she has been riding the Opheliac horse since 2006, and has toured three times with it; I know, because I went to all of them.  It seems as if the EP format is a way to get out more material for her die-hard fans to rip their teeth into.

Comparisons with her previous EP are inevitible, and this EP is the clear winner, for there are no ‘repeats’ (unless you put ‘Organ Grinder’ in that category, but this could only previously be found on the Saw III soundtrack) and this EP flows and makes more sense as a whole. Far more atmospheric than the Liar/Dead Is The New Alive EP. Generally speaking, this EP follows the exact format as its predecessor, giving us a few original tracks, some remixes from Opheliac and some random extras. Continue reading

I Have Added A New Page

Posted in Diary, Personal Musings with tags on 24 February, 2009 by Nicola

My Internet Haunts has been added on this website.  It basically has all the websites I go to and links to my profiles.

You may have also noted the name change.  It’s temporary.  I just can’t think of anything witty or great.  All I know is that anything is better than Nicola’s Thoughts On Anything.  Any suggestions?

Hayley Westenra Marathon is still on.  I still have three more albums to review before I move on.  Though she will probably have released another one by the time I have finished.

Busy, busy, busy.