Category Archives: Music

The CONFIDENT REVIVAL.

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The month of October, 2015 saw two past Disney princesses Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez released their respective fifth albums (in Gomez‘s case,it’s her second solo after releasing three albums with her former band The Scene) namely Confident (SafehouseHollywoodIsland) and Revival (InterscopePolydor). Although the former BFF’s sounds are quite different, the message of their songs has a lot of similarities. Their music speaks about self-reliance, confidence, heartbreak and triumph. Just like what most people on their early 20’s are going through.

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All of us have our own generation of Disney girls; from 1990’s Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears [Mickey Mouse Club], Early 200’s Lindsay Lohan, Raven Symone and Hilary Duff [That’s So Raven, Lizzie McGuire, Herbie: Fully Loaded] and 2010’s Miley Cyrus and these two girls [Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place, Sonny with a Chance]. Although the early 2000’s era of Disney Channel is my all-time favorite; I have to agree that the MileyDemiSelena trinity is definitely the most interesting. We have the same age. I’ve seen them grew up the same time as me and went through a lot as well as they turned into a full-grown women. I am a witness of Miley‘s transformation from the cowboy girl partying in the USA to her shocking VMA performance in 2013 with Robin Thicke.

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We also saw ‘Delena‘ ended their friendship, threw light shades at each other and eventually reconcile. Just like normal teen girls going into adulthood, both had issues with their body image; especially Demi who suffered from bipolar and eating disorder due to bullying since age 12 and eventually going on facility treatment at 18 . In Selena‘s case, she revealed she was diagnosed with lupus late last year but decided to keep it private. I mean, who wants to go on treatment while everybody on the internet is hating on you, right?

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Anyways, enough of the negative vibes and let’s focus on the music, shall we?

The follow-up to her self-titled fourth LP, Lovato worked with producers and writers like Stargate, Max Martin and Ryan Tedder as well as her good friend, Australian rapper Iggy Azalea for the song Kingdom Come. Vocally speaking , she was at her best on this album! ‘Stone Cold’, ‘For You’ and ‘Lionheart’ showcased her true singing prowess!

However, just like other vocal powerhouses; she always has the tendency to oversing- be it in the studio or during live performances. Demi, girl, we already know you can sing- probably one of the best singers that came from Disney after Christina Aguilera, so there’s no need for you to do unnecessary overruns.

 

As much as I love Selena more than Demi; honestly speaking, she can’t sing. She’s not trying to- at least on this album. Demetria might have the pipes and gave all she got-vocal wise on Confident but I enjoyed Revival more. She’s truly inspiring and somewhat more relatable than Demi in my honest opinion.

Both of these young divas are on hiatus, and here’s hoping they’ll comeback someday; stronger than ever and of course with another great music!

My Playlist: 25 Greatest Albums. Part I

Now this is in random order, of course. Most of these albums on my playlist received universal critical acclaim; some are mixed and few of them were welcomed with negative feedbacks from critics upon its release. Nonetheless, I didn’t use anybody’s preference in creating this post but mine. 

THE MISEDUCATION OF LAURYN HILL.

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Released in ’98, ‘Miseducation‘ was welcomed with both commercial and critical success from critics and the GP. I am in my kindergarten days when this era happened so I haven’t really experienced it in its full glory.  Although I do see ‘Doo Woop (That Thing)‘ being played on MTV  (you know, back when MTV really plays music videos) and thought it was really a good song.  Shortly after the ‘Miseducation‘ era ended, Lauryn found her musical career and her personal life down the Hill. She suffered depression due to the pressure of making another album that can surpass or at least achieve the same status as her debut. She was also found guilty of tax-evasion in 2012-2013. But let’s not talk about her struggles, shall we? Recognized as her only studio album; ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill‘  opened the doors to other women in music especially in the hip-hop genre to succeed. She became the first woman to be nominated in ten categories at the ‘99 Grammy Awards and won five; another first for a female artist.  The album’s latest achievement was its  inclusion in the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

favorite track/s: To Zion.

BORN TO DIE

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If you’re familiar with my blog, you know I’m a big fan of Elizabeth Woolridge Grant a.k.a Lana Del Rey. As a matter of fact, my very first entry to the (professional) blogging world was my article about one of her latest studio album Ultraviolence.  But I’m going to be honest here. I actually find her boring at first. I didn’t even bother to check her out the first time I saw ‘Video Games‘ on Channel [V]. Unexpectedly, when I decided to give this album a spin; I instantly fell in love with how dark it is. It’s so different and I can’t stop listening. Lana is such a wonderful musician, dedicated to her craft more than achieving commercial success.  After several screen-name changes including Lizzy Grant, Lana Del Ray and May Jailer; Lana finally found a major label and a commercial success she always wanted. It was her first platinum-seller in the U.S and was re-issued as ‘Paradise‘.  Aside from the songs, one thing I like (or maybe the thing that I like the most) about ‘Born’ is the official CD cover. It’s simple yet haunting, just like the entire concept of the album. And it’s amazing how Lana can show you the mood for the entire set by just a simple gaze. She looks sexy but she is totally covered on the photo. She’s really a stunner. Absolutely gorgeous. When I first introduced Lana to my group of friends (they all love Pop music, by the way) the reaction was negative. “Sounds like you’re in a funeral”, “did someone died?” and ” She’s definitely Illuminati. Like a demon singing.” Even myself couldn’t understand how I became a Lana stan. I just think she’s a breath of fresh air. None of her songs are catchy, you can’t dance to it. As  a matter  of fact, it sounds boring and sleepy-ish. But at least, she’s not naked all the time and doesn’t look weird. She’s on her own lane.

favorite track/s: Summertime Sadness, National Anthem and Dark Paradise.

21

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Of course I have to include this album (although me thinks it’s a bit overrated).  The impact this album made on this (our) generation of music is undeniable. ‘21‘ helped revitalise the declining sales of music industry in general for two consecutive years (2011 and 2012). Let’s admit, as much as I enjoy pop music in general; music really sucks these days. Overly sexualized lyrics and music videos etc. Adele is a breath of fresh air. She deserves all the record-breaking success she had with this album. She doesn’t need fireworks, massive stage productions, dancers and revealing costumes to gain attention; just her standing with her mic singing is enough  for all her songs to become multi-platinum. I can’t wait for the third album though. She’s coming to slay so you better hide your faves! LOL!

favorite track/s: One and Only and Someone Like You.

STRIPPED

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The album that saved my life. Hands down, the best album ever! The message of this album alone (self-acceptance and equality) is enough to bring tears to my eyes. From start to finish, the album is life! Another thing that makes ‘Stripped‘ special is everytime I listen to it; it reminds me of my childhood a.k.a Britney v.s Christina era. The golden days of bubblegum pop era! Like! 

favorite track/s: Fighter, Infatuation, Cruz , Soar, and The Voice Within.

THE FAME MONSTER

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A fast follow-up to her glorious debut album ‘The Fame‘, ‘Monster‘ established GaGa as pop’s newest superstar. Enough with those Illuminati sh*t, this lady is talented and it’s pretty obvious she’s certain on what musical direction she wants to go to.

favorite track/s:Dance in the Dark, Speechless, Bad Romance and So Happy I Could Die.

LOUD

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If you’re a ‘RiRi stan’ or a big pop music fan as I am, you’ll be familiar with the term ‘RihVember‘. The term came from the fact that Rihanna releases her album every November of each year for four consecutive years namely: ‘Rated R‘ (2009) , ‘Loud‘ (2010) , ‘Talk That Talk‘ (2011) and ‘Unapologetic‘ (2012). Among these Riri eras; I’ve gotta say that Loud is my most favourite! From the singles consecutively reaching no.1 on Billboard Hot 100 to making history by playing 10 dates at the O2 Arena in London (the most by a female artist, breaking records set by Britney Spears with a total of 8 shows). The visual for this album is the best I’ve seen from the Bajan superstar. I mean, she can color her hair with different shades every single time but I’m pretty sure she can’t channel a red hair anymore since the red-haired Riri is exclusive for Loud era only. 

favorite track/s: What’s My Name, Cheers (Drink to That),  Fading, Only Girl (in the World)California King Bed and Complicated.

THE VELVET ROPE

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Janet Jackson will go down in history as one of the most talented female musicians ever. That’s a fact. The queen deserves that recognition not because of her last name or the popularity of her brother, but because she was able to make an impact in the pop culture until now and opened the doors for other female stars in the industry all by her own. 

To be honest, I found myself confused onto what album I would include from her. I’m not a big fan but her musical catalog is one of the best so I would consider another Janet album in the future (maybe on the part 2 of this article). The main reason why I chose ‘Velvet‘ first among her CD’s is because most music lovers agree that this is her best work to date. It’s the first time people saw the 50-year old singer with red hair, tattoos and body piercings. It’s also on this era where she dropped her last name and start promoting as ‘Janet’.  

The album’s content also sparked my interest and she have my biggest respect for being brave and bold in tackling sensitive issues like domestic violence, AIDS and homophobia. 

favorite track/s: Together Again, Empty and Every Time.

RAY OF LIGHT

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From queen Janet to another queen, Madonna. If Ms. Jackson has the ‘The Velvet Rope’, queen Madge has the ‘Ray of Light’. 

After starring in the musical Evita in 1996, she released ‘Light’ two years after as her seventh studio album and ninth overall. 

The musical atmosphere during that time was dominated by bubblegum pop stars like Backstreet Boys, ‘N Sync, Britney Spears and  Christina Aguilera. It was a bold move from her part to release an electronic-techno album on the mainstream pop scene. ‘Ray of Light’ is considered responsible for bringing the genre to the top of the music charts. The album also used Oriental themes like the Kaballah wisdom and ancient religions of Hinduism and Buddhism. Songs from the album was also inspired by her practice of Yoga, as well as the birth of her daughter Lourdes and her mother’s death. 

favorite track/s: The Power of Good-bye.

WHERE WE BELONG

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If you think you’ll not see an album from a 90’s boyband on this post…..think again! Compared to N’Sync and Backstreet Boys, these boys from Ireland has a better discography in my opinion. They didn’t make any cheesy,generic bubblegum pop. Their approach is more mature and this album is a pure gem!I’m a sucker for ballad songs and the physical copy that we have is a cassette tape. I remember me and my mom singing along to ‘All That I Need‘: “You’re the air that I breathe, girl you’re all that I need, And I wanna thank you lady.” Pure nostalgia! Good memories man, good memories! When I was less than 10 yrs. old, I am already familiar with  Boyzone and how good their music is; but since during their prime, I couldn’t care less about them, it makes me feel sad that I wasn’t able to enjoy their music knowing that they could never make another album like ‘Where We Belong‘ since one of the main vocals Stephen Gately isn’t with us anymore ( ICYDK, Gately died in October, 2009 of a congenital heart defect).

 favorite track/s: All That I NeedAnd IThat’s How Love GoesWhere Did You GoWhile the World Is Going Crazy and Will Be Yours.

1989

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The album that made me become a ‘Swiftie’! Yes!! I never hated the old Taylor Swift but I think her new image(post-RED era) is better. I mean her music is good and she’s a great songwriter; that’s a proven fact. But I just can’t relate to her songs before. Having a crush on a handsome football player,  falling in love with your best friend or those cheesy break-up songs for your ex-boyfriend.Not me.

Although ‘1989′ still have those kind of songs (Style and How You Get The Girl); most songs from the album showed the maturity in her lyrics: gender equality(Welcome to New York), making fun of how much people hate her (Shake It Off and Blank Space),revenge (Bad Blood) and being young and free (New Romantics).  

Here’s hoping she’ll consider Philippines to be part of her 1989 tour just in case she’ll add additional venues for the show.

favorite track/s: Welcome to New York, Blank Space, Style, Shake it Off, Clean, How You get the Girl, New Romantics , Out of the WoodsBad Blood………..can I just say?! I love the WHOLE ALBUM. Period.

WONDER WORLD

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 The first K-Pop entry on this list! I know a lot of you would raise your eyebrows thinking I just put this album in because of my severe love for KPOP but you’re wrong. Yes, KPOP is becoming more and more generic as time flies. Idols look and sound the same, as well as their songs (since they’re working with the same producers, same make-up artists and stylists). And i know you’re familiar with the Wonder Girls as well. They were able to put their name out there by releasing the catchiest, most generic KPOP anthems of the last decade (Nobody and Tell Me). But this album might will change the way you look at this group from JYP Entertainment.

Wonder World (released November 7, ’11) is the group’s sophomore album and their first full length album release after their moderately successful activities and promotions in America. I was a big ‘Wonderful’ (name of their fandom) and a witness of how this group dominated the KPOP scene by their singles all reaching No.1’s , triples crowns and all-kills on the charts. From ‘Tell Me‘ to ‘So Hot‘ to ‘Nobody‘; from Hyuna(4Minute) leaving to Yubin‘s chubby days; it was all going so well until JYP made the stupid decision (that he regrets until this day)to bring them in the U.S. Although Sohee,Sunye and the rest of the girls were able to achieve something (first and only KPOP group to enter the Billboard Hot 100 peaking at #76, starring on their own TeenNick made-for-television movie); it will be nothing compared to what they’re going to achieve if they stayed in Korea longer and keep on releasing catchy, danceable songs. I’m also certain that they could’ve been bigger than Girls’ Generation if they didn’t leave. Way back in 2007, when both groups are promoting together, GG couldn’t even stand a chance. The Wonder Girls fever is unstoppable back then.

Now, in case you’re wondering why I’m talking about their American promotions more instead of the album,  let me ask you this: “Did their US activities brought anything good to the group?” . YES. A big,fat YES! “Receipts?” This album. Wonder World is not you typical KPOP album. It doesn’t have that aegyo-ish  feels to it. It still has that Wonder Girls sound but it’s more mature and westernized for some obvious reasons. The girls also contributed to producing and writing some of the tracks for the LP and all of them have done an incredible job! It’s not about the chart success or the bragging rights to be the first Asian artists to breakout in the ever-so-racist US market. It’s the maturity of the girls themselves. Musically, they’ve grown so much. And as a fan who supported them since their debut, I am very,very proud.

And they recently made a comeback as a four-member band with the single ‘I Feel You’  and the third album ‘REBOOT’ last month.

 favorite track/s: Me,In

ON YOUR RADAR

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(“The Saturdays, ugh. My favorite UK gurls!” (in British accent)). While the whole world is crazy fighting over Fifth Harmony v.s Little Mix, there’s another girl group in the U.K who (in my opinion) gave up in finding ways to gain relevancy in the US and the rest of the world. They’re happy and satisfied in dominating both the bottom and top of the charts in UK and Australia. They are The Saturdays. And before you judge them and call them “another girl group”, just wanna remind you that they’ve been on the game since 2007.Yup, years before FH or LM has been formed via X-Factor.  3 of the five members are happily married and enjoying their new life as mothers. The group is currently on hiatus; right after finishing their first compilation album ‘Finest Selection‘ and its supporting tour, ‘Greatest Hits Live!’  One of the group’s main vocalists Rochelle Humes will be hosting The Xtra Factor , while the rest of the ladies will be focusing on their individual careers and personal lives. So while I’m waiting for their next album, I’ll just go ahead and listen to their amazing catalogue.

Like what I’ve said, The Saturdays aren’t really popular globally so if you’re interested about their sound, go listen to ‘Chasing Lights’ or ‘Wordshaker‘.  If you enjoyed the ride, then that’s the time you listen to ‘On Your Radar’.   All of their releases are quite phenomenal in my opinion, but if I had to choose one album per artists; then ‘Radar’ will be the chosen one. ‘Twas their most experimental album and they succeed (musically) and failed (commercially) with this one. If you wanna party, the track listing will work out just fine for you. No need to skip tracks because the ballads from this album are also good (maybe you can wipe your sweat while listening to ‘My Heart Takes Over’ or ‘Wish I Didn’t Know‘).

favorite tracks: ‘ I Say OK‘ , ‘My Heart Takes Over‘ , ‘Last Call‘ and ‘Faster‘.

 HOOK ME UP

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If I could include all of their three albums, I would! That’s how much I love these twins! I chose ‘Hook‘ tho because it is the parent album of one of the greatest songs of all time, ‘Untouched‘. This LP is sooooooo goooood! It’s the kind of CD you play without skipping any song. Also, my love for Lisa and Jess grew more after their 7-long year of hiatus because of label conflicts and all.  They stood up for what they believe in and I hope they’ll create more beautiful music in the coming years. 

favorite track/s: I love their entire discography!!!!

PURE HEROINE

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Upon the release of Lorde‘s ‘Pure Heroine‘, the kiwi girl is already receiving a lot of love from fans all over the world. Lead single ‘Royals‘ already peaked at No.1 on Billboard Hot 100, making her the youngest solo artist to achieve a US number-one single on the charts since 1987, ‘Heroine‘ welcomed with universal critical acclaim and achieved multi-platinum status in her native New Zealand, Australia and the United States. She was also included in Forbes magazine’s ’30 Under 30′  list of young people “who are changing our world”, the youngest under the music category. Time magazine put her on top of the list of the most influential teenagers in the world. Lorde also became the youngest New Zealand act to win Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance for ‘Royals‘ at the 56th Grammy Awards– all happened at a tender age of 16.

I’m not hating, the girl is so totally deserving; although she’s quite shady towards other artist. ‘Heroine‘ is a pure gem. It’s truly amazing how her artistry bloomed while she’s still so young. She doesn’t sing about sex, partying or boys. I can’t wait for this girl to grow up and experience life even more so she will give us more meaningful music in the future! With the type of musical climate we have today, she’s one of our last hope! 

favorite track/s: ‘400 Lux‘ and ‘Buzzcut Season‘.

SIDE EFFECTS OF YOU

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I’ve gotta say, this is my most favorite Fantasia album. Probably because it’s her only album that I paid attention to (I’m not trying to be shady, by the way). Added to the success of this LP is the good choice of singles and her ability to give justice to the song when given a live treatment. Not sure what I mean by that? Just check out her performance of ‘Lose To Win‘ on American Idol.

favorite track/s: In Deep

BLACK MESSIAH

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Released 14 years after his sophomore set ‘VooDoo‘, D’Angelo is back with 2014’s most critically successful album. Coming from someone who experienced being dropped from his former label, left by his girlfriend, his friend committed suicide, suffered insecurity, drug addiction and alcoholism; ‘Black Messiah‘ is the reflection of everything he’s been through and the current state of racism in America.

‘Messiah’ is more of a protest album and D’Angelo and his band promoted it while wearing “Black Lives Matter” and “I Can’t Breathe“statement shirts during their ‘The Charade‘ performance on ‘Saturday Night Live‘ as a tribute to the death of Eric Garner and Michael Brown that garnered worldwide attention about law enforcement’s relationship with Black Americans. 

          

CHANNEL ORANGE

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 Released after his universally-acclaimed mixtape, ‘nostalgia,ULTRA‘ is ‘channel ORANGE’; the much anticipated, best album of 2012 by American recording artist Frank Ocean. This album is soooo good when you listen to it as a whole. Don’t skip any songs and don’t even try to play it in shuffle. ‘Channel Orange‘ is great as it is. It’s my favorite travel album and I consider Christopher Breaux (Ocean‘s real name) as one of the most amazing songwriters that we have right now. 

favorite track/s: ‘Super Rich Kids‘ and ‘Sierra Leone‘.

REFLECTION

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From covering top hits on YouTube to becoming today’s most promising girl band; Fifth Harmony truly have come a long way and the future is brighter than ever before! I’m not really expecting too much from this album so you can just imagine how surprised I am when I heard ‘Reflection‘ for the first time!

I just hope that on the next album they will not put too much shine on Camilla anymore because the four other members are equally talented. Like, I understand that she’s the most popular on Twitter and Instagram but talent-wise, sorry but she isn’t the best singer or dancer. I like her. I like all of them. What I don’t like is how either Lauren or Dinah haven’t given any solo lines on at least one or two songs while Camilla sings 75% of all songs from the album. ITS.JUST.NOT.FAIR.       

favorite track/s : ‘Like Mariah‘ , ‘Sledgehammer‘ and ‘Going Nowhere‘.   

GIRLS’ GENERATION (JAPANESE)

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Although ‘Mr.Mr‘ is still my favorite single from Girls’ Generation, their self-titled debut Japanese studio album is definitely their best one; although I do think the addition of Japanese versions of ‘Gee‘ and ‘Hoot’ is a little out of place since the album sounds mature (by SNSD standards) over-all. I’m a huge fan of K-Pop (how many times do i have to say that, LOL) but every time a Korean idol group release something in Japan, it’s 10,000X better than their Korean discography. Maybe because idol groups only perform/promote one song per comeback so the rest of the songs are just fillers. Only few K-Pop albums are good from start to finish. After all, the Korean Entertainment in general are not after critical acclaims, it’s all about sales, charts and popularity. The Japanese music industry on the other hand, is the second (or third) biggest after America. They take their music more seriously. Even their second Japanese album ‘Girls & Peace‘ is a total fire and shits on their Korean releases like ‘The Boys‘.  

favorite track/s: ‘Born To Be A Lady‘, ‘The Great Escape‘ and ‘You-aholic‘, ‘Mr.Taxi‘, and ‘Let It Rain‘.

 OUR VERSION OF EVENTS

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Jessie J and Ellie Goulding might be the two most popular female Brits right now. Both are talented on their own rights. But if there’s a female singer from UK that deserves just as much recognition; it’s Emeli Sande. I love her artistry. Her songwriting style and her voice. ‘Our Version of Events’  became 2012’s best-selling album in the UK.

favorite track/s : ‘Where I Sleep‘.

COME AWAY WITH ME

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Brought to you by American jazz record label Blue Note is the biggest winner of the 2003 Grammy Awards; Norah Jones’ ‘Come Away with Me’. It is Jones‘ debut album and easily became one (if not the most) of her commercially and critically successful albums ever. I always feel good when I listen to this album. Very relaxing and soothing. Gives you inner peace and solace. All you need to do is to turn off the lights and close your eyes. Truly a classic!!

favorite track/s: ‘Shoot the Moon’

REBEL HEART

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Just like Fifth Harmony‘s ‘Reflection’; I also caught myself enjoying this album. It was totally unexpected. Giving this album a listen out of curiosity  is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! 🙂 🙂 In case you missed it, even before the Queen of Pop herself revealed the actual release date of ‘Rebel‘, there were already around six tracks that has leaked online after Madonna’s computer was hacked by an Israeli man. One of the first tracks I’ve heard from the album was ‘Bitch I’m Madonna’ , a song that features the Trinidadian belle Nicki Minaj. It was followed by the first and second singles ‘Living For Love‘ and ‘Ghosttown‘. Judging the LP by these songs alone, you know it was a generic pop album. It doesn’t interest me at all.  ……..Not until I landed on the track ‘Joan of Arc‘ and the bonus track ‘Rebel Heart’ . My feels on the album totally changed. Somehow it was a heartfelt album and it’s interesting how the 56-year-old entertainer still loves to talk about the struggles she had in the past knowing how big she became. It’s really inspirational. Of course, she would talk about her fame, her wealth and just being her. It’s a Madonna album. What do you expect?  It’s still a bummer how ‘Rebel Heart‘ is just a bonus track and just available on the deluxe edition of the LP. In my opinion, it’s still so much better than some songs on the standard version. And it’s the freaking title track! Hello! The first two singles from ‘Rebel‘ (‘Ghosttown’ and ‘Living‘) both tanked. Both didn’t enter the Hot 100 charts so I think Joan of Arc should be released as a third single because her performance of the song at the Ellen DeGeneres show received good reviews.

favorite track/s: ‘Joan of Arc’ and ‘Rebel Heart’.

FAN MAIL

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Promoted with the singles ‘NoScrubs‘ and ‘Unpretty‘, ‘FanMail’ is the third studio album from the BIGGEST selling RnB girl group of all time, TLC. Uhm, I don’t have much to say about this album because TLC‘s catalog of music is one of the best the 90’s could offer. I love everything they made. And I still haven’t fully moved on with the death of Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes. She’s simply one of the best rappers of all time! The heart and soul of the group. R.I.P baby girl!

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CHAPTER ONE

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Led by her debut single ‘Ghost’ which enjoyed the top spot in UK Official Singes Chart and became the fourth fastest selling single of 2014 is Ella Henderson‘s ‘Chapter One‘. Fresh from appearing at the ninth season of The X Factor in 2012 , the nineteen year-old signed a record deal with Sony Music. Compared to the season’s winner James Arthur, Ella’s debut was more of a success since she deserved to win in the first place.

This girl is so talented. She touches everyone’s heart whenever she performs.

 

AQUARIUS

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She is 2014’s best new artist in my opinion and I’m sure a lot of music lovers would agree with me. Although she’s been in the music scene since 2007 (as the lead singer of The Stunners), it was last year when she released her hotly anticipated debut album, Aquarius under RCA Records. Among all the newcomers, Ms. Kachingwe is one of the most hardworking. For a rookie, it’s quite impressive that she takes creative control of her career. From her image to her music. She’s in the middle of working and recording her second studio album ‘Joyride‘ but that didn’t stop her from creating and directing music videos from this album.  

favorite track/s:  ‘Aquarius‘, ‘Cold Sweat‘, ‘2 On‘, ‘All Hands On Deck‘ , ‘Feels Like Vegas’ and ‘Wildfire‘.

Is 2014 the WORST year for K-Pop?

I started listening to K-Pop since 2007. You know what they say, once you entered the world of K-Pop, you can never go out.

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……. And i don’t want to. As a matter of fact; my K-Pop obsession is at its peak last year. Yup, compared to the previous years, I’ve been more attached to K-Pop just recently.

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My SoShi addiction makes me watch Girls’ Generation videos everyday, I’ve become more and more attached to the OnKey couple and i’m starting to use K-Pop to describe my personality.

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2014 made me realize how fun it is to be a K-Pop fan. Before, i used to hide my craziness with the Korean culture as people might find it weird or silly. But I’ve realized that it makes me unique and even if I don’t understand the lyrics, catchy K-Pop songs top my playlist all the time!!

Unfortunately, 2014 also showed me the other side of K-Pop. And it’s not happy on that place. I don’t wanna go there, but I have to.

Are you ready to enter the DARK side?

Here’s the proof of why 2014 is the WORST year for K-Pop…….

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FEBRUARY, 2014

MR. MR.’S HON LEFT THE GROUP DUE TO CLAIMS OF HAVING A RELATIONSHIP WITH A TRANSGENDER.

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When I say “I love Mr. Mr!” , I’m referring to Girls’ Generation ‘s song; not the boy group. Although I’m not interested in listening to any of their songs, I can tell that they are a promising boy band based on the comments of my fellow K-Poppers. 

February 11 this year, a transgender woman posted a controversial status on her Facebook. According to her, she and a male idol were living together, having a sexual relationship and the idol took her money after he was signed with an agency and being able to join a boy group.

Although the allegations were revealed to be all lies by the transgender herself, the damage has been done. The group’s image and their emerging fan base were affected.

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Hon happens to be the latest addition to the group ( he joined October last year) and the first one to leave as well. 

MARCH,2014

MUSLIM COMMUNITY REACTED NEGATIVELY TO CL’S ‘MTBD’.

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I’m not a Blackjack but I enjoy 2NE1 ‘s music. MTBD or Mental Breakdown is a stand-out track from Crush. Since I am a Catholic, I’m not familiar with the Quran and how to recite it. Maybe that’s the reason why I didn’t notice the Quran sample while I’m listening to this song. Although I honestly think that they never meant to disrespect the Muslim community; it was really offensive and I completely understand the Korean Muslim Federation if somehow they felt like a verse from Quran should not be used for any types of entertainment especially a hip-hop song like Mental.

As a huge K-Pop fan, I’m pretty glad that YG made a quick response to the outrage. They already removed the controversial part of the song.

Here is CL in all her glory performing the edited version of the song.

APRIL,2014

JIYOUNG ANNOUNCED HER DEPARTURE FROM KARA

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The issue surrounding KARA members Nicole and Jiyoung and their expired contract with DSP media has been going on since late last year until earlier this year. Although Nicole already left the group and went straight to America before 2013 ends, the group’s maknae also followed her unnie’s footsteps. 

She went to London to study language and acting classes. She’s still young and she’s leaving the group not to pursue a solo career but to study and to grow. Who knows, maybe she will come back as a mature and charismatic woman in the future. So keep you head up gurl and stand out!

MAY, 2014

KRIS (WU YI FAN) LEFT EXO.

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EXO (K and M) debuted in April 8, 2012; four years after SHINee‘s. Since they are from SM Entertainment – the label responsible for creating K-Pop legends Super Junior, Girls’ Generation , BoA , TVXQ , Kangta , Shinhwa  and S.E.S ; the anticipation and expectation for the group was extremely high. Composing of 12 good-looking guys, EXO skyrocketed on top of the charts all over Asia and won the hearts of many fangirls. 

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I’m still not familiar with EXO when Kris ( Wu Yi Fan) decided to leave.  I don’t know what has been going on on their fandom during that time. But since EXO was very popular and an active group, reports stated that Kris wanted to nullify his contract with SM because of his health conditions particularly his heart disease. This case was very similar to Hangeng, the first Chinese celebrity to debut in K-Pop when he was a member of SuJu. Just like Kris, he stated that his contract with the company  included unfair sharing of profits and he was forced to do activities not included in the contract ended him having kidney failure due to overwork, again just like Kris‘.

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Other Exo members also showed their disappointment towards the Chinese member by calling his actions ‘irresponsible’ , leaving messages of disappointments during interviews and unfollowing him on Instagram

In my own opinion, you can’t really blame the members if somehow they felt that Kris betrayed them simply because he left in such a wrong timing! By the time he filed a case against SM, they are still promoting ‘Overdose‘ and was in the middle of preparations for their first concert ‘The Lost Planet‘. So imagine the stress that he caused as they need to re-arrange the choregraphy and blockings; as well as assigning memebrs who will cover his parts on their songs. Anyways, moving on to the next topic………..

 

JUNE, 2014

SASAENG FAN PLACED HIDDEN CAMERA INSIDE LUHAN’S HOTEL ROOM.

As if Kris‘ departure is not enough for Exo-Ls to contain, another scandal shook the fandom when a ‘sasaeng’ fan installed a hidden camera inside Luhan’s hotel room; shocking everyone after she posted the photo below. 

Although the fan already apologized, having an obsessed fan following the idols everywhere is very traumatic for them. You don’t know how far they can go to hurt them. 

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For those of you who are not familiar with what ‘sasaeng’ means, as described by Soompi, they are extreme fans who stalk their idols and invade their privacy with questionable methods. There are HUNDREDS of reports and cases of how a sasaeng fan can hurt the celebrity either mentally or physically. Every K-Pop group have their own share of sasaeng stories following them everywhere.

 

TAEYEON AND BAEKHYUN DATING

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“Thou shall not break a fangirl’s heart.” To be honest I don’t see anything wrong with Taeyeon and Baekhyun dating. Beakhyun is not my bias in EXO but the dude is really, really dorky and he always makes me laugh with his foolishness. Taeyeon, on the other hand is SNSD ‘s most mysterious member. During the earlier days of Girls’ Generation,up until the Genie era, Taengoo used to be so funny and dorky but she has changed a lot since then. I love her and as I’ve mentioned earlier, Baekhyun is such a funny guy so I’m really happy for them and I’m sure he makes Taeyeon laugh. 

However, I think it was easier for me to say this since Taeyeon is not my bias in GG and even if my bias Jessica starts dating, yes, I might be jealous but it won’t hurt me that much. As if I had a chance at her, and remember that our bias idol doesn’t even aware of our existence!

So to all Baekyun fangirls out there, just move on and no matter how much you love your bias, you are not / and will never be part of their private life and you need to respect them as well.

Video: Fans calling Baekhyun a ‘traitor’.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=714wlRjqGSg

 

PARK BOM’S ‘SMUGGLED DRUGS’ SCANDAL

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Crush‘ is the title of 2NE1 ‘s highly-anticipated second studio album; and it also described the fate of member Park Bom during the last period of their promotions as the public literally ‘crashed’ her down after it was revealed that the group’s main vocalist smuggled 82 pills of amphetamines. Although the incident happened 4 years ago, the scandal will haunt Bom forever as there were still some questions left unanswered such as 1.)  if the drug is illegal in Korea, then how come she was forgiven and wasn’t punished?, 2.) did she use the drug for medical purposes or something else?….

 

JULY, 2014

SULLI’S HIATUS FROM F(X).

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Calling Sulli a pretty girl is actually an understatement. As she matures; the f(x) ‘s visual maknae is getting more and more gorgeous as she matures. Fluorescent white skin, long legs and a sexy body. There’s no doubt Sulli is the one who ‘brings the boys out’! With a face like that, I’m pretty sure there are plenty of young, good-looking bachelors out there that would go head-over-heels for her. But it seems like young boys are not her style!

The 20-year old idol has been under fire several/multiple times in the past by dating Dynamic Duo‘s Choiza; who is by the way, 14 years older than her! Although their agencies denied their dating scandal, K-Netizens can’t be fooled and HELLO!!; they keep on denying their relationship but always going out in the public holding hands and getting cozy with each other.

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Choiza’s stolen wallet with Sulli’s pictures on it.

 

AUGUST, 2014

ARA AND YOONJO LEFT HELLOVENUS

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From PLEDIS Entertainment comes HelLOVEnus; the sister group of After School and NU’EST. The girls are on their way to the top if only their label promoted them simultaneously. For a debuting group, it is really important to have a follow-up single immediately right after a successful one. Knowing how messy Pledis is when it  comes to promoting and supporting their artists, we’re not surprised that this one will happen. The label is filled with talented and good-looking idols but most of them are not promoting at all! Since when did we have an After School comeback? See, I can’t even remember. It seems like Orange Caramel is the only act under this label. But I’m not complaining! They are still a small company and as of the moment, the sub-unit consisting of Nana, Lizzy and Raina is the only money-maker of the company (aside from Son Dam Bi of course). 

HelLOVEnus is a joint project of Fantagio and Pledis Entertainment through Tricell Media.  Apparently, the two companies decided to part ways and the latter decided to take back their artists (Ara and Yoonjo) while the former will continue with HelLOVEnus keeping the remaining four members. And just this October, the girls returned with two new members Seoyoung and Yeoreum as well as a sexy [tiring,boring] concept with their song ‘Sticky Sticky‘.

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KIM HYUN JOONG’S ASSAULT

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I was never a fan of Mr. Kim and looks like I will never be. Kekeke. Being a mama’s boy (and proud) and growing up with two elderly sisters, I’ve gained a lot of respect for women in general. In my personal opinion, hurting someone physically is the worst thing you could do to a person. How can he do that to his girlfriend? For such a hunk like him, his ex-lover is totally helpless. Poor girl…

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SEPTEMBER, 2014

GLAM’S DAHEE BLACKMAILING LEE BYUNG HUN

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44-year old actor Lee Byung Hun was on the headlines last year not because of his good acting or his successful Hollywood crossover but for some embarrassing reasons. 

The actor himself reported two women on their 20’s to the Gangnam Station police. According to Mr. Lee, the women are blackmailing him for huge amount of money and if he’s not willing to pay, the girls will release a video of them drinking and flirting.

It was later revealed that the two women the actor accusing of blackmailing were model Lee Ji Yeon and GLAM‘s member Dahee. Although the two ladies apologized, I somehow really feel bad for Dahee as she admitted that the main reason she blackmailed the actor was because of her need for money as it was reported that the idol still owes a huge amount of money to her agency because of training expenses and since GLAM isn’t really active promoting ; she really needs to find another way to get money. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

 

LADIES’ CODE FATAL CAR ACCIDENT

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All people who love K-Pop would agree that this is definitely the worst news this year. I mean, you biases might come and go, leave the group, file for a lawsuit and contract termination and all; but at the end of the day, your favorite member is healthy and alive. 

I love me some Ladies’ Code especially their song “Pretty Pretty‘. Although still considered as a rookie band and  a B-List girl group, the girls had a good run before the fatal car accident. The car crash came few days after my birthday. For a huge K-Pop fan like me, it’s really devastating. I can clearly remember the moment I visited allkpop.com and saw EunB ‘s face on the headline and wondered what’s up with her and why is she on the headlines, only to find out that she just died few minutes ago after clicking the article. 

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One of the most heart-breaking pictures I’ve ever seen. EunB’s favorite banana toy found near the area of the accident.

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While Korea mourns for the loss of EunB, the other 4 members are also on a critical condition especially RiSe who suffered major injury on her skull. Few days later, she also passed away and followed her closest member EunB in heaven….

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One thing I love about K-Pop is us fans’ never-ending love for our favorite groups and other groups in general. All fandoms gathered together to download one of their underrated songs called ‘I’m Fine , Thank You‘ which perfectly fits the fate of the two young women who were gone before us. It was considered as the group’s first number one on music charts. Feels good, but it’s sad that we have to see two members die before people start paying attention to them. R.I.P.

LYRICS:

Tears are blocking my sight again
In case I see you
It has already gotten late without me knowing
Again today, I only waited for you

I call out to you like a fool
Some day, you’ll see me too
I wait for a long time while tears well up
Like this, another day passes

Just for today, I cry
Be happy forever, good bye
It’s okay if you think of me and smile sometimes
I’m fine thank you
Thank you

If you go on with your life as nothing happened
You might forget me
Even if you remember me sometimes
I’ll be fine so don’t worry

When I miss you so much that it’s hard
Be the wind and blow over to me
Sometimes, call my name from the hill over there
Then run to me and hold me tight

I’m fine thank you
Thank you x2.

 

OCTOBER, 2014

JESSICA DROPPED FROM GIRLS’ GENERATION

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GG is my ultimate girl group and I never loved any other members the way I love our Ice Princess so it is easier for me to broadcast my opinion and how much I’ve hurt when Jessica was dropped from the band on a separate article. And here it is : https://ericgalabay.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/dont-take-our-ice-princess-goodbye-jessica/

 

LUHAN LEFT EXO

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Luhan is the second member of Exo to leave the group; for reasons we don’t know exactly about. I’m already on my way to become an Exo-L when this news broke up. For others, it is because of health reasons, similar to Kris; that SM overworked them, and Luhan was so sick during their concert tours but the company didn’t allowed him to take some rest. It was also suspected that aside from health issues, it is more of a personal reason. According to Luhan‘s bestfriend, the Chinese member realized that his parents are getting old and he wants to take care of them.

However, as time passes it was known that one of Luhan‘s main reason to leave is because of the unfair treatment between Exo-K and Exo-M. In a nutshell, in his own point of view, Exo-M always get the shorter end of the stick and all the favors and support from SM Entertainemnt always go to Exo-K.

 

MBLAQ’S LEE JOON AND THUNDER DEPARTED FROM J TUNE CAMP

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 This issue has been going on for months now, starting with Lee Joon not renewing his contract that has expired since October, followed by Thunder and rest is history. It was just this month that J. Tune Camp finally announced the departure of the two members.

Good luck boys!

 

THE TECHNO VALLEY TRAGEDY

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I feel very,very sad for the victims. They are my fellow K-Pop fans who went to the concert just to have fun and to see their favorite artists and groups perform. That’s the main reason why the tragedy happened. The fans were eager to have a better of view of the stage, that’s why they have no choice but to stand on the ventilation grate as tall as a three-story building. It is heart-breaking to see that some of them died from this unfortunate K-Pop event. I hope this kind of news will not occur this year.

 

 NOVEMBER, 2014

VIXX ‘S LEO UNDER FIRE FOR HIS ALOOF ATTITUDE ON WEEKLY IDOL.

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Korea has a lot of variety shows giving us, K-Pop fans more chances to see the different personalities of the members our idol groups. Weekly Idol is one of my favorites among these shows. 

The first week of November brought to light the issue about VIXX member Leo and his not-so-friendly attitude on Weekly Idol leaving the staff of the show unhappy hence the post about him by the writer of the show airing at MBC Every1 , Cha Yoon Ah:

“Has it been 2 years since I’ve last seen them when they debuted. To be honest, I wasn’t all that happy [to see them]..Because I really had a hard time filming their debut reality [show]. Because of the kids and agency as well”; “This would make my 2nd time meeting VIXX since ‘MyDOL’. The kids have not changed at all since their debut”; “As I write captions every week, at least one member in each group will say something fun and witty, I’m really not lying when I say there was no one this time. It’s not easy for me to feel like this as I’m a fan of male idols…”, and more along those lines.

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If you are going against a popular group like VIXX, then be ready for a Twitter war with thousands of hate tweets coming to your notifications page, from the most delusional fan girls of K-Pop! 

In my personal view, it was kind of unprofessional for her part to post this on Twitter, but I do understand her disappointments. Maybe her team had a hard time editing the scenes since they can’t find a single clip that is too funny to broadcast; it’s a variety show in the first place. Plus, Leo is an entertainer. It is never wrong to show your true color/personality on TV but at least try to be energetic when you are promoting, since you also need to take care of your group’s public image as well. I just think it is too much for her to deactivate her Twitter account and to resign on her job.

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Here are some clips from their infamous Weekly Idol guesting, as well as a short video of a shy and cold Leo posted by a fan on OneHallyu forums.

 

THE BAP LAWSUIT

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When we hear the slogan “we are one”, the boy group that comes to our mind is EXO of course. But there’s another boy group who seems to be more united than the former. It’s none other than BAP. While other idols wanted to leave their company as well as their respective groups individually, the six members joined forces to sue their current agency, TS Entertainment  in regards to the slave contract they have from the company.

DECEMBER, 2014

GOODBYE, JOOYEON! (JOOYEON GRADUATED FROM AFTER SCHOOL)

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Seriously, 2014 made it sure that it won’t end without its final shocker. She may not be as popular as Jessica but I love her just as much. Jooyeon is my favorite member from AfterSchool for one reason; just look at the set of pictures above. She is friggin’ gorgeous, more gorgeous than Nana if you ask me. But unfortunately, while Nana is getting all the phrase, Jupal remained unnoticed. It is quite sad that despite being one of the remaining original members(along with JungAh); she always get the shortest end of the stick. She debuted and graduated from her group but I felt like Pledis didn’t give her the chance to show her real talent. Anyways, i think it’s useless and too late for me to rant. She’s already gone and we ‘re not really sure if we will ever have an After School comeback in the near future. So goodluck girl, I hope people will notice you more now!

Lawsuits on my left, lawsuits on my right. Lawsuits everywhere! You have this bias on your favorite group, the next thing you know,  they’re gone. Seriously, what is with 2014!?! There’s got to be a negative vibe that traveled all year round around the k-pop world and I’m pretty sure that if we, k-Poppers around the world started our year with a positive outlook, it will do a domino effect and we will spread a positive vibe throughout 2015. I hope starting this month, visiting your favorite hallyu website won’t be a burden anymore. Kekekeke. hwaiting! HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Sae Hae Bok Mani Ba Deu Se Yo!!!!!!!

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Don’t Take Our Ice Princess! (Goodbye, Jessica)

I really took my time to post this. Probably because when the news was still fresh; I am too emotional that I’m afraid it will affect my opinion about the issue. Plus, I patiently waited for further statements from the 8 other members but K-Pop fans and SONEs got nothing but an apology and the generic “We promise to work harder” and ” Please give Girls’ Generation another chance” that we always heard from idols everytime they are on a scandal.  As of the moment, the only statement that we have was from SM Entertainment and from Jessica herself……..

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…….and those statements are really contradicting.

Let’s be clear here. When Girls’ Generation debuted with Wonder Girls in 2007, I was always on the latter’s side. Though I never really hated them either. But when Wonder Girls took an indefinite hiatus, SNSD slowly climbed my ultimate girl group bias list. And that’s when I noticed Jessica‘s alluring beauty and gentle charm.

Sica is such a big part of SNSD. Losing her is like losing half of SoShi‘s life. And i’m not exaggerating here. I will give you FACTS.

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Sica was the very first member of SNSD. Her training took seven years so she’s been with SM Entertainment for almost 15 years now. She was well-trained not only in singing but also in dancing. (Although I admit she seems to be very lazy to dance most of the time.)

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Ms. Jung also works as one of the group’s visuals. Although SNSD in general are all gorgeous and often called ‘Nine Goddesses’; Sica has one of the biggest following, esp. from the male fans (like your blogger ❤ ) .

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MaoMao (Jessica‘s Chinese nickname), along with Taeyeon are the main vocalists of the group. Although Sica‘s voice is weak compared to Taengoo‘s solid vocal prowess; I often mistaken Seohyun to be Taeyeon and vice versa when listening to SNSD‘s songs. But everytime Jessica‘s lines come, you know it’s her. Nobody can sound like her (not even Tiffany). She has a unique silky-smooth, high-pitched voice and I can’t imagine a Girls’ Generation song (in the future) without her voice.

 

I really love Jessica so much. Although I don’t want to be a delulu fanboy, I just can’t resist her. She’s everything I’m looking for, for a girl.  Honestly, when she said that she got dropped from her group by SM and the eight other members as well, I can’t explain the pain I felt. I was totally disappointed with the girls, whom I also love dearly. It’s not right to judge the other GG members that fast. But as a butthurt fan, I can’t help but to express my anger towards them. I unfollowed them on Instagram and I also posted hate Tweets to SeoHyun and their official Twitter account.

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SONEs are right, we don’t (and we will never) know what really happened between Jessica, the other members and SM Entertainment. It is really up to us if we will keep supporting Jessica alone, or we will still support Girls’ Generation as 8. I’m not sure yet. Yes, I’m still mad at Sunny, SooYoung, Yoona, Yuri, Fanny, TaeTae, SeoBaby and Hyo. But I know in my heart I still love them, but the way I look at them will never be the same. It is really bittersweet.

Netizens also said that this isn’t the first time that an idol started a fashion line while currently promoting as a member of their respective groups; the best example would be their fellow SM artist Yesung who are still active as a Super Junior member while enjoying his $$ from his own fashion brand. JYP Entertainment‘s Jia (miss A) and Taecyeon (2 PM) also have their own lines but their fellow members as well their agency are very supportive. But it’s Girls’ Generation we’re talking about here. Every group has its own rules. Maybe for GG, it’s unforgivable for a member to start doing other endeavors outside the group. It’s either they don’t want Jessica to use the group’s brand to promote her fashion business; or they forced her out of the group because other members will start to prioritize their own activities to, after her (if Jessica can do it, why can’t we?). And SM won’t like it. After all, SNSD is still the biggest money-maker of the company; dominating Asia and the world.

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Plus, even though Sica said it again and again that the group is still her top priority; maybe the 8 other members doesn’t feel the same. Remember that before their fan meeting in Shenzhen, China, Jessica was in New York and just get back to catch her flight to China.  Who knows, maybe she missed a lot of group rehearsals and while the other girls can’t make it to all of Girls’ Generation ‘s schedules just like her; at least they are promoting the group and it is still under the management of SM Entertainment ( e.g. TaeTiSeo ‘s ‘Holler‘ promotions and SooYoung filming a drama ). 

It is never wrong to follow your dreams and to do what you love while you’re still young. Every SONEs know that Jessica wanted to start her fashion brand ever since. But let’s be real here. It is easier said than done. Realistically speaking, it is humanely impossible for her to study in New York , doing her fashion business and still promoting with Girls’ Generation.

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To Jessica noona, take care always. It’s nice to see you healthier and stronger. We know it’s really hard for you and we know how you felt when the people you’ve been with for fifteen years turned their backs on you. I’m attracted to you mainly because of you beauty. But I admire you even more because you dream BIG. I hope BLANC and ECLARE will be a success and goodluck to your future endeavors as well! Tyler Kwon is so lucky to have you ( jealous!) . ~~Hwaiiiting! ~~

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Here are some reactions of SONEs with Jessica’s departure. It really made me cry. ☹ ☹

 

And here it is, the last video where we can see OT9………..

Dear readers, 

If you wanna read SM Entertainment’s statement, here it is : http://www.allkpop.com/article/2014/09/sm-entertainment-releases-official-statement-regarding-jessica-and-girls-generation

For Jessica Jung’s own testimony, it is available to read here.

http://www.allkpop.com/article/2014/09/jessica-releases-a-statement-of-her-own-explaining-she-was-one-sidedly-asked-to-leave-girls-generation-by-the-agency-members   

 

 

 

 

the BEST covers. (Studio Versions)

Welcome to the BEST covers series! This is a feature on my blog that shines a light on the best song covers. This will be divided into two parts; the LIVE version and the STUDIO version.

RUN (Original by Snow Patrol and covered by Leona Lewis )

I instantly became a fan of Snow Patrol after hearing Chasing Cars and Signal Fire on the radio. This is also a masterpiece but this is nothing compared to the aforementioned tracks.

When I heard Leona’s version for the first time, I knew I heard that same song before. The X-factor winner made me realized that this is so much better than any other Snow Patrol songs.

 

THE OTHER WOMAN (Original by Nina Simone and covered by Lana Del Rey )

Nothing can touch the original version of this song. Nina ‘s music is and will always be phenomenal. However, I will give Lana the credit as she deserves to. She made it her own song ( no one expect Lana to sing a jazz song), and even if it’s not an original composition, her vocals are at its finest.

 

CAN’T GIVE UP NOW  ( Original by  Mary Mary and covered by Mariah Carey )

The ‘We Belong Together’ diva introduced me to this song. But the Campbell sisters’ rendition has a different feel on it. I like this one better because Mariah ‘s version sounds ‘over-produced’ to me.

Heavenly ( No Ways Tired/ Can’t Give Up Now ) is simply a stand-out track on Mimi‘s 14th studio album. I don’t know why Can’t Give Up Now is just considered as a sample when clearly, she made a full cover of the Gospel track.

SUGAR RUSH  (Original by  A*TEENS  and covered by Dreamstreet )

As cheezy* as it gets, but A*Teens hit me hard with this one. As much as I hate it; but I found myself repeating this track over and over again. ‘Sugar’ is climbing up on my list as the best A*Teens song; along with Floorfiller and the eternal Upside Down.

……too bad, this isn’t even their OWN song. Yup, I was pretty disappointed too when I found out. Anyways, covering/sharing songs isn’t a new trend for the group as they originally formed to remake ALL the songs of ABBA. Don’t worry, those songs are not on my list.

Here is the version of the American boy-band Dreamstreet ; released only two months after  the radio debut of the  A*Teens ‘ version.

DO MY DANCE ( Original by Tyga and covered by Cassie )

Looking for some ‘pussy-anthem’ song? You do? Well both version will work for ‘ya. The “Do my dance on your d*ck” part is sooo cathy tho.

 

TO LOVE SOMEBODY ( Original by the Bee Gees and covered by Michael Bolton )

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Bolton wasn’t the first and definitely won’t be the last to cover this song. But vocal-wise, his version is my most favorite.

I WANT TO KNOW WHAT LOVE IS  ( Original by Foreigner  and covered by Mariah Carey and Tina Arena )

The signature song of British-American band Foreigner. Another example of a masterpiece loved by all generations. Mariah was the latest mainstream artist to make a cover of this song. Although it’s not a Top 40 hit, it will go down as one of the most-loved Mariah karaoke songs. A better favorite of mine is Tina Arena ‘s version in 1998. I loved the ”Lord help me to be strong…” part ( which was not included on the original version) all the way down to the high notes.

BORN TO BE A LADY ( recorded by Girls’ Generation / remake by Demi Lovato as ‘MISTAKE’ )

One of the most-loved Japanese ballads by SoShi. Even the girls get teary-eyed everytime they perform the song. This is just so beautiful.

And even if they are on their way to their 4th Japanese album; their debut album will always be the best. Even Korean SONes (their fandom name) will agree that their discography in Japan is better than their Korean releases.

Composed and produced by Leah Haywood, Daniel James and Shelly Peiken  (the same team who worked with SNSD ) gave Lovato this song and she instantly loved it. I don’t know who recorded it first; but I heard GG ‘s version first and I love it more.

HOT SUMMER ( originally recorded by Monrose and covered by f(x) )

A German song turned into a K-Pop summer anthem. The result? AWESOMENESS. Amber , Luna , Victoria , Krystal and my baby Sulli filled my summer with cuteness and prettiness overload. f(x) ‘s version killed the original, hands down!   

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Trivia: Sunny recently said in an interview that Girls’ Generation also recorded Hot Summer but later realized that the song suits f(x) more.

 

TAKE ME HOME ( song by Phil Collins ; covered by JoJo for her #LoveJo EP ).

It’s a shame I completely forgot how much I love this song and forgot to include it here on my list! But all is well now that I edited this post. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Lana Del Rey : Queen of Disaster and Ultraviolence.

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                After the success of her previous releases ‘Lana Del Rey [EP] (2012), ‘Born To Die‘ [LP] (2012), ‘Paradise‘ [EP and album re-release] (2012) and ‘Tropico‘ [EP and short film] (2013); Lana Del Rey is back with her latest offering – 2014’s Ultraviolence. The announcement of this album came out as a beautiful surprise at least for me; as the QUEEN herself said in the past that she doesn’t have any interest in releasing a follow-up album after ‘Born’. 

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              I have a very high expectation from this album. When you like the artist; it’s easier for you to fall in love with their songs. BTD gave me ‘Summertime Sadness’ , ‘Diet Mountain Dew’ , ‘National Anthem’ and my most fave ‘Dark Paradise‘. And, since I love Lana; don’t expect me to be too critical about ‘Ultra‘ ’cause I respect her vision as an artist.

BROOKLYN BABY

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This isn’t the first track on the album but I like to put it first on my playlist everytime simply because this is the best one ( in my opinion).  Everything about this song screams perfection and it slays me all the time!!

The song’s over-all aura will take you back to the ’70’s; as stated in the song. The sound is similar to your grandparents’ vinyl record collection.

Favorite #LanaQuote : ” Well my boyfriend’s in a band,
He plays guitar while I sing Lou Reed.”

CRUEL WORLD

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The opening track of the album. Lana’s vocals sounded different here. It’s a little too raspy and I love it that way. Don’t know if she did it on purpose; but she’s giving me Ariana Grande teas by eating out the words. I never really understood what she’s singin’.

The electric guitar at the beginning is perfection tho. Since this is track no. 1, it sets the mood for the rest of the album. It’s also kinda special to me becoz it was co-written by Lana’s guitarist; Blake Stranathan (a.k.a Blake Lee). My Instagram and Twitter followers know that I ship the Lana and Blake couple soooo much!

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favorite #LanaQuote: ” Got your bible, got your gun,
And you like to party and have fun.
And I like my candy and your women,
I’m finally happy now that you’re gone. “

OLD MONEY

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Boring song. Don’t get me wrong here; this is a masterpiece. We all have this certain song on our playlist that we don’t want to remove, but we press the ‘skip’ button everytime it plays. This is not the song that I need. It can’t help me stay up all night for my graveyard shift and it won’t give me the energy that I need while I’m riding the subway train @ 9PM everyday.

Favorite #LanaQuote: “My father’s love was always strong,
My mother’s glamour lives on and on,
Yet still inside I felt alone,
For reasons unknown to me.”

ULTRAVIOLENCE

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The title track and the 3rd official single. I’m not really sure if this track has a special meaning to Lana or it describes her romantic relationship. Well, i hope not. This song has been under fire for ‘glamorizing’ violence against women. And that, ladies and gentlemen is the reason why I am not a fan of this song. Everytime I listen to the lyrics; it reminds me of the 2012 New Delhi Bus Gang-rape incident.

Last July 30, 2014; an iPhone-shot music video was released under VICE‘s new music channel;  NOISEY.

Favorite #LanaQuote : “Cause I was filled with poison;
But blessed with beauty and rage.”

SHADES OF COOL

Produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys‘Shades ‘ was a quick follow-up to the lead single and kept the hype and momentum before the official release of the album.

An impressive track, I must say and I live for the tempo-change in the chorus!!

The MTV featured tattoo artist for the stars, Mark Mahoney  and directed by Beyonce‘s favorite director; Jake Nava .

Favorite #LanaQuote : ” My baby lives in shades of blue,
Blue eyes and jazz and attitude.
He lives in California too.
He drives a Chevy Malibu. “

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WEST COAST

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 “Down on the West Coast they got a sayin’.”

Charted and peaked at No.17 on Billboard Hot 100 , the song was released with universal critical acclaim. I was impressed with this comeback. The QUEEN never disappoints. From a mid-tempo pop and easy rock verse it shifts into a hypnotic chorus that everyone loves.

In order to promote the song, Lana’s VEVO released two videos :

For the official audio, click here.

For the official music video, click here.

Favorite #LanaQuote: “You’ve got the music in you, don’t you?”

 

SAD GIRL

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An obsessed Lana. A sad Lana. A bad Lana.

The “Bonnie on the side” part is so catchy.

Being a mistress is not what she wants; but we haven’t seen her man, yet. So don’t judge.

Favorite #LanaQuote : “He’s got the fire and he walks with it,
He’s got the fire and he talks with it. “

side note:  Lana also made a cover of Nina Simone‘s “The Other Woman” which is also about being a concubine.

PRETTY WHEN YOU CRY

Favorite #LanaQuote : “I’m pretty when i cry.”

It’s sad, so sad.  It’s a sad, sad song. Can’t even finish it.

Don’t wanna hear Lana cry again :’-(

Listen to a broken-hearted Lana below.

 

 

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MONEY POWER GLORY

My 2nd favorite track from UV. Can’t say much about the song as the lyrics itself is self-explanatory. Lana sings about her superficial side; she don’t want your love, she wants your MONEY, POWER AND GLORY.

Favorite #LanaQuote : You talk lots about God.
Freedom comes from the call.
But that’s not what this bitch wants.
No what I want at all.

 

 

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F*CKED MY WAY TO THE TOP

The most controversial and attention-seeking title of all the songs from the album. In this song, Lana released her inner diva.

Favorite #LanaQuote: “Life is awesome, i confess. What i do, i do best.” , “Mimickin’ me’s a fuckin’ bore”.

Watch the Riviera girl as she gives the song a live treatment after the jump.

 

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