Archive for Pop

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

Seriously Recommended: Jade Valerie’s “Bittersweet Symphony”

Posted in Jade Valerie, Music, Sweetbox with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 25 December, 2008 by Nicola

Bittersweet Symphony by Jade Valerie is by far my favourite thing to have come out of my Christmas stocking this year.  And I am not saying that lightly as I was given over a dozen albums, seven DVDs, a bloody keyboard, a gorgeous photoframe, a custom made calender and a Wall-E toy (it’s so awesome, by the way!)

This isn’t really a review.  This is a desperate plea.  A plea to every European out there.  FUCKING BUY THIS WOMAN’S FUCKING STUFF.  Why?  Because she is awesome, and is only big in Asia.  Asia.  How random is that?  Why Asia?  She’s American, works in Germany and lives in London.  ASIA?!  Where does Asia come into it?  Continue reading

Nicola’s Top Ten Christmas Songs

Posted in Christmas, Holidays, Lists, Personal Musings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 18 December, 2008 by Nicola

10. Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas
We speak of the original of course.  I don’t know which is worse, the second or the third, but regardless, this one is brilliant.  For me, it’s not even that it’s for a worthy cause, it’s that it’s actually quite good!  The “FEED THE WORLD” chorus has a kind of sing-a-long-in-the-car element to it.  Sadly it’s a bit preachy, but the song is laced with so much nostalgia and Christmassy feeling that I can actually ignore the message in the song.  Happy days.

9. Kate Bush – December Will Be Magic Again
It’s just different, isn’t it?  I love her bizarreness and this track sounds like something Danny Elfman composed.  The atmosphere is great and the chorus has that eerie sense of magic to it (no pun intended).  It’s not like you can dance or jump to it, but you can watch Kate Bush being a bit of a freak, and that’s why we love her.  Or I love her, at least.

Continue reading

X-Factor Finalists That Got Record Deals

Posted in Lists, Personal Musings, Television, X-Factor with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 15 December, 2008 by Nicola

Oh, I don’t know.  I do not feel like thinking today.  Had another long boring day at work (don’t we all) and I have a massive home made shepherds pie in my belly that has made me sluggish.  So.  I basically feel like giving my verdict on every X-Factor finalist that got a record deal.  I am starting this without knowing how many artists this actually entails and will probably end up writing this article for over two hours like I always do.  But here it goes, in reverse date order.

SERIES 5

ALEXANDRA BURKE *****
She definitely has one of the strongest voices that the show has produced, and the deserving winner of 2008, but she does not have much originality.  There are already so many artists like her.  But she does have what it takes.  She has shown that she can take the pressure, shown that she can take set backs, shown that she can dance and shown that she dance.  Obviously.  Best of luck to her, but she will not be as big as Leona Lewis.

DIANA VICKERS  *****
Yes, I know she hasn’t officially got a deal, but let’s not be dense.  She’ll get one.  Vickers was my favourite of series five.  She has not the strongest voice, nor does she sing in a such a way that will maintain what she does have for long.  She was, however, quite original; for an X-Factor contestant, anyway.  I adored her version of U2‘s ‘With Or Without You’.  I was only sorry that the red tops picked on her, and that people were getting hung up on her hand movements. Continue reading

A Guide to “Fly II” by Sarah Brightman

Posted in Music, Sarah Brightman with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 11 December, 2008 by Nicola

This article is for anyone who is seeking more information on the rare Fly II and/or having difficulty in obtaining it.  On this page you can learn of its origins, details of what is on it, where to get it, and where else individual songs can be found other than on Fly II.  Each song will be discussed individually.

WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?

Fly II was briefly made available to fans at concert venues during her La Luna tour in 2001.  It was then very briefly made available on Sarah Brightman‘s official store on her Official Website in 2002.  It was then priced between $15-$25.  It sold out, however, and Brightman’s team have since vowed that it will not make a reappearence.  It is not known how many copies were made but there is probably no more than 3000 copies. Continue reading

Current and Near Future Endeavors

Posted in Diary, Personal Musings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 5 December, 2008 by Nicola

Here is a list with what I am currently engaged with, so expect a review soon, and what I am expecting to read, watch or listen to in the future.  In order.

BOOKS

Currently reading:

  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Future reads:

  • Shirley by Charlotte Bronte
  • The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo
  • The Life and Death on Anne Boleyn by E. W. Ives

MUSIC

Awaiting reviews:

  • A Winter Symphony by Sarah Brightman
  • Spirit by Leona Lewis
  • Funhouse by P!nk

Future listens:

  • Bittersweet Symphony by Jade Valerie
  • V for Vendetta Film Score by Dario Marianelli
  • Tenor at the Movies by Jonathan Ansell

FILMS

Awaiting reviews:

  • Twilight (2008)
  • Howl’s Moving Castle (2005)

Future viewing:

  • The Edge of Love (2008)
  • The Duchess (2008)

I will try to get all of these done, so if you are interested in any, keep an eye out.  If anyone spots anything in my future endeavors that should be avoided at all costs, make sure to warn me!

Sarah Brightman’s “Love Changes Everything”

Posted in Music, Sarah Brightman with tags , , , , , , , on 2 December, 2008 by Nicola

Every now and again, Andrew Lloyd Webber likes to cash in on his ex-wife’s success and release these albums. This is Webber’s sixth release of Sarah Brightman singing his material (or fifth, it depends how you view the album The Songs That Got Away).

It is the sixth, and it’s also the weakest. It has some tracks that fans have not heard Sarah sing before, which is probably where its market value is coming from, but these new tracks are so atrocious that it is little wonder why they have been locked up inside the Webber recording vault until now. Actually, the wonder is why he decided to let them out! Continue reading