Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Fame | Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga's debut album, The Fame, opens with "Just Dance" (featuring Colby O'Donis). It's a fun, party song and a fabulous introduction. From there, the listener is led to the more electronically serious songs, "Lovegame", "Paparazzi", and the infamous, "Poker Face". "Lovegame" is a bouncy, but somewhat stern track, which is perfect to lead to my favorite song from The Fame: "Paparazzi". "Paparazzi" is modern electronic art at its best, with its psychotically awesome lyrics and hardcore electric riffs. It's also one of the more mellow songs from this album, and it's quite phenominal in its strangeness and edginess. Anyone who listens to this and doesn't know that Lady Gaga is going to be as big as Madonna is crazy.

After the infectious "Poker Face" comes "Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)" - my least favorite from The Fame. It's a cute and corny short track, and is followed by a funky track entitled "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich". The next two songs are "The Fame" and "Money Honey". Both are materialistic songs that are obviously centralized around fame and money.

"Starstruck" includes Space Cowboy and Flo Rida. Flo Rida ruined the cool Lady Gaga and Space Cowboy Effect for me, but I'm sure most will disagree.

I liked "Boys Boys Boys". One of the things I've noticed about this album's lyrics is how Lady Gaga uses an unusual amount of imagery. That imagery is evident in this track, but it doesn't make this track as memorable as the others. "Paper Gangsta", for example, is one of the songs from The Fame that I find most memorable. The idea of combining piano with an edgy electric rythm was a very good idea, Ms. Gaga. This leads well into the blues-ish song, "Brown Eyes".

"I Like it Rough" is hard for me to understand lyric wise.

The ending note is track fourteen, "Summerboy". It's one of my favorite summer-based tunes, and a very nice end to The Fame, being one of two of the most innocent songs on The Fame.

From beginning to end, Lady Gaga experiments with sound and styles. All in all, she sings of love and fame in the most creative and visual of ways. It's catchy, it's classic, and it's the face of modern electronic music. This album is a very memorable piece of modern art in my collection of C.Ds and millions all over the world - let alone defined the future.
4/5 stars

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Juno | Directed by Jason Reitman | Written by Diablo Cody

Juno is about much more than teenage pregnancy. It's not about love, it's not about anything you'd really expect from something like this. It's a quirky, feminist flick (with quirky music to accompany it) that actually has some real meaning to it.

First off, it's realistically hilarious, before Juno learns she is pregnant and all through her pregnancy. Mainly because she's not a girly girl and isn't really popular and crushes on her teachers like the other girls do. She's sarcastic and she's her own person, yet at the same time she doesn't really know what she is. For this, I see a lot of myself in her.

All through her pregnancy, she goes through awkward confrontations with her best friend, Paulie, the father of her child and dealing with teachers and students at school that keep staring at her and give her less than friendly looks. This may sound like a typical comedy-drama, but again, it's more than what you'd think.

She deals with the adoption option and meets with the couple she found willing to adopt their baby. Their story is playing as well, about how Mark is an ex rock 'n roller and Vanessa is a perfectionist desperate for a baby, and how their odd relationship functions.

I'm not going to spoil it or anything, but all I can say is that it's touching in the end. "It started with a chair" and "It ended with a chair".

5/5 Stars

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Chopin Piano Favourites | Idil Biret

Don't you love Chopin?

Last night after hearing one of my favorite piano songs composed by Chopin I picked this C.D from my collection and listened the entire way through.

I may not be a big fan of the peppier piano pieces, but the darker ones, the minor chords, were beautiful always. This is quite a nice little collection of songs by this fabulous composer. However, I am a little bitter that one of my favorites, "Etude Op. 10 No. 3" was not to be found in my only Chopin collection.

My personal favorite is "Raindrop Prelude", and I also love "Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23" and "Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35, Funer, Funeral March".

Anyone that likes classical piano or Chopin will like this collection. Each piece is played very well. I've had collections like this in the past that weren't played very impressively, but I liked this one a lot; whoever was playing performed perfectly.

4.5/5 Stars

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Phantom of the Opera | Directed by Joel Schumacher | Written by Andrew Lloyd Webber

5/5 Stars

A musical work of genius!

Many, many people have seen the musical before seeing the film, but I did not. So I really didn't have any set expectations for this film, or any hopes.

The Phantom of the Opera takes place at an opera house that seems to be haunted by a particular "phantom" while the beautiful soprano, Christine, finally becomes recognized for her outstanding voice. Before you know it, you'll dive into a story of a most unusal love triangle. Yes, love triangles get old fast. But this one, as I already said, was most unusal. Even gripping.

This film is oftentimes operated like one big opera. Most lines are sung, not spoken. But the lines they sing and the poetry within, and the music... it's all literately some of the best things I've ever heard in my life. It sent chilles down my spine numerous times. It's all so dark and unique; dreamy. One of those dreams you never want to wake from because of all of the beauty in their hypnotizing abnormalities.

Gerard Butler sings in this movie, playing his role as the Phantom. His voice is always great, and most importantly, he shows so much emotion it seems impossible to even imagine to project. But, he did it. My favorite song he sung was "Music of the Night". Emmy Rossum (who plays Christine) was very surprising. I'd only seen her in one other film, The Day After Tomorrow, and I loved her, of course. Obviously, if you're in the film adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera, you have some serious talent. But how was I to know she had THAT MUCH of a singing talent! And so young! She is one of my top three favorite vocalists based on her mind blowing performance here. Her voice gave me most of the chills I felt, it was clear as a bell and beyond beautiful. Everything she sung sounded perfect. I especially loved these songs she sung (note: some of these were duets): "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again", "Raoul, I've Been There", "The Point of No Return", and "The Phantom of the Opera".

If you really get into it, as I did, the ending could make some people teary eyed. The works of art that make you cry are the best ones, especially when it's tragically beautiful like this.

I loved The Phantom of the Opera in every way. This story line, this gothic romance, will captivate you, keeping you in wonder of our main charecters, the Phantom and Christine. The music will give you chills, the ending will unleash a few tears (and a few chills there, as well). It's perfect. It's one of the most beautiful things ever written, and the greatest musical/opera film ever created.