Music

Abbey Road

In a review for Rolling Stone, Ed Ward called it “complicated instead of complex”. Over at The New York Times, Nik Cohn said “individually, the album’s songs are nothing special”, while Albert Goldman boldly declared “[it] is not one of The Beatles’ greatest albums” in Life magazine. It was clear Abbey Road obtained mixed reviews, at best, back in 1969, but somewhere along the way, in between the forty-five years since its release, it became one of the most beloved albums of all time, not just in The Beatles back catalogue, but among the other great albums in music history.

Abbey Road was the first full LP from The Beatles that I had ever listened too. My Dad tried to pursued me from going further than their Greatest Hits collection, believing many albums contain to many throwaway tracks. Me on the other hand, for some reason, believed that albums were like books, and only listening to the hit singles, would be like only reading the most exciting chapters. It is astonishing I still think this was to this day in the digital age, when it is so easy to grab select tracks from the iTunes store. Anyway I’m glad Abbey Road was the first of the band’s I got to enjoy. If I had started with say “Please Please Me” or “Beatles For Sale”, I might of really found some fillers. But not here. Not on Abbey Road.

Again Ed Ward said of the album, “complicated instead of complex”. By this point in the bands short time together, the relationship between the four Liverpool lads was already so complicated, and they didn’t need for their music to be complex anymore. All they need to do was to find simplicity. Songs like Come Together, Something, Oh Darling, and Octopus’s Garden are what make the album. There isn’t much to them, other then being really good rock tracks, but because they were made by John, Paul, George, and Ringo they became something more than just songs.

iTunes Top 100

I always find it hard to discuss what music I like because it can be quite varied. Now I’m not saying my music tastes are that disperse, or that I’m “sa indie” for having a mix of Kanye, John Mayer, The Beatles, and Taylor Swift in my most played, but at they end of the day it is quite a mix of artists. So I thought I share my top one-hundred most played on iTunes, as it is a peek into what I listen to most, and also as these songs kind of form a collection of the sounds coming out of bedroom over the last two years.

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No new U2 album till 2015 (Update: Rep denies these claims)

According to Billboard, U2 are delaying the releases of their next album, so they can book in new recording sessions with producers Ryan Tedder and Paul Epworth, meaning the follow up to No Line On The Horizon, won’t be seen till 2015. This also pushed back the accompanying tour to Summer of 2015.

It was expected for the Irish rock group to release new music late last year, when dates got moved to Summer this year. Now the new arrival date could be in the early months of 2015.

Read more at Rolling Stone: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/u2-delay-new-album-and-tour-to-2015-20140307

Update: A representative for U2 has told that the bands 13th album is still planned to be released this year. Billboard last week broke the news that the band would have to delay any new material, due to extra recording sessions with Ryan Tedder and Paul Epworth, till next year. While the sessions with Tedder and Epworth will still happen, it looks as though we will hear the currently untitled album in Summer which, according to Bono who spoke to USA Today, was the original date.

Sounds so soulful, don’t you agree?: Kanye West’s The Collage Dropout turns ten!

2004 was a big year for popular culture. We saw the launch of Facebook (then known as the Facebook), endured a nipplegate at the Superbowl, was introduced to some Desperate Housewives, and said goodbye to out Friends. But nothing can complete with Kanye West’s arrival onto the music scene, not just as a talented producer, but as a rapper of the kind we hadn’t seen before. Nobody knew back then, I don’t think even Kanye truly knew, how much of a iconic figure, on stage and off, the 27 year old “Through The Wire” singer would become.

Recorded over four years beginning in 1999, his debut was a struggle to get to the shelves. Kanye began to find success when he produced a track on Jay Z’s The Dynasty: Roc La Familia as a up-and-coming artist, and received even more recognition for his work on The Blueprint, released in 2001, when he crafted hits like “Izzo (H.O.V.A)” and “Heart of the City (Ain’t No Love)”. Even with his mainstream success, “Izzo” making it to number eight on the Billboard Hot 100, Capitol Records decided against taking him on after a series of meetings, and Roc-A-Fella Records reluctantly took him onboard in fear of him taking his work elsewhere. On October 23, 2002, Kanye fell asleep at the wheel while driving home from a California recording studio, which left him with a shattered jaw. The crash was near-fatal, so Kanye was lucky for only his jaw to be wired shut in reconstructive surgery. All of this lead to “Through the Wire”, the first song to be heard out of his work, where he expressed his experiance in the accident, and took Kanye in the right direction for his debut saying, “all the better artists have expressed what they are going through”, and that is exactly what he intended to do. When “Through the Wire” became available on the Get Well Soon… mixtape, Kanye also announced he was working on a album called The Collage Dropout, and told that its overall theme was “make your own decisions. Don’t let society tell you, ‘This is what you have to do.’” This instantly drew me in towards the album and all it represented.

You could say I was a latecomer to the genre of hip-hop. Before I first downloaded Yeezus, I had listened to Watch The Throne (West’s full album collaboration with mentor and friend Jay Z), and of course had heard of Kanye’s commercial hits like “Stronger” and “Gold Digger”, but never dug deeper. I remember the first time I listened to Kanye’s experimental 2013 album. I was at school. It was a cold morning. I had a free period, when I was meant to be studying, but wasn’t. I, within an hour, was hooked on this work of art. Getting home I had to have more. Over and over again I listen to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, till I became sick of it. The next Kanye West LP that received heavy rotation from me was his first.

The Collage Dropout is a great achievement in its own right. His music was about family,  religion, consumerism, and his other personal struggles. He was able to shake of the gangster tag that came along with being a rapper at the time, all while crafting his debut album. People forget that his first album peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 (only being held off by Norah Jones’ Feels Like Home) and was nominated for both Album of the Year and Best Rap Album at the 2005 Grammy Awards (he would go on to win Best Rap Album, while losing Album of the Year to Ray Charles for Genius Love Company). All this was from a guy that nobody wanted to take a chance on. These days Kanye West receives most of the medias attention for punching photographers every second day and being part of the force that is Kimye, which can be considers the 2010’s version of Brangelina. But on the 10th of Febuary, 2014, Kanye West needs to be seen as the incredible artist that he truly is.

Tyler Oakley & Liam Payne

Fandom – The community that surrounds a tv show/movie/book etc. Fanfiction writers, artists, poets, and cosplayers are all members of that fandom. Fandoms often consist of message boards, livejournal communities, and people.

 

If there is one thing I don’t understand, it’s the One Direction fandom(known as Directioners, collectively). If I had to picture them in my head I would imagine the crazy hyena’s featured in Walt Disney’s The Lion King. The are made up of crazy and, at more times than not, cruel teenage girls, that make their voice heard on social media sites Twitter and Tumblr.

 

I myself have been a fan of the band. I discovered the band shortly after their debut single, “What Makes You Beautiful”, was released, which was before they rose to fame and superstardom in my home country, Australia. But from very early on I’ve felt unwilling to call myself a fan, because of the way their fandom works.

 

Their are numours instances I could pinpoint from the past but I’d rather focus on the events of the past twenty four hours. The comotion started when Liam Payne, memeber of the band, tweeted this: 

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Which gained attention with many wondering WHY? after Willie Robertson’s past anti-gay comments he made in December. Many tweeted the pop star questioning the tweet. Among them was Youtube vlogger and LGTB youth advocate Tyler Oakley asking:

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In the last hour Payne went on a little tweeting rampage and tried to explain his words:

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He them returned Tyler’s questioning by calling him out as “not being a fan”, which is something that young directioners tweet about Tyler constantly. By this stage I was thinking I was looking at troubled teen Justin Bieber’s twitter not good-boy Liam Payne’s.

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Liam finished his rant with these comments:

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By the end of it, Tyler Oakley was the fandom’s target(once again) and he began receiving tweets saying he was kicked out of the fandom, never being a true fan, and even receiving deaths threats(isn’t the first time this has happened between the fandom and Oakley). What I gather out of this is Liam Payne is not made out for a career as a musician, if he can’t deal with the media. It’s the nature of the beast. Fame and the money go hand in hand with the paparazzi and bloggers. Earlier this week he said he wished he could leave the house without people asking for photo’s. Now he gets mad when sites such as Perez Hilton, and Buzzfeed are posting about his antics. In this day and age when you tweet about something like Duck Dynasty, which is still a somewhat controversial topic, and how you respect their family values, then you will have people talking about your actions. You’re famous. I don’t know what you expect. Next time maybe keep your opinions, which only person with some knowledge about social media would know would spark debate, to yourself. 

 

Justin Bieber’s ‘retirement’ tweet was a joke, and so is his album sales in Australia

The Canadian pop star’s tweet, which was retweeted by over 300,000 accounts, has now been claimed to be a prank. One which his fans were not really amused by. It becomes clear that this was most likely a stunt pulled by Justin’s team, to get the world talking again, right before his new compilation album, ‘Journals’, and new film, ‘Believe’, were released. 

 

All the publicity in the world could not help Bieber at the moment though. His newest album includes the ten singles he promoted during ‘Music Mondays’ and five new tracks. The ten songs released between the months of October and December did not sell that well themselves, so it was no shock that ‘Journals’, which features many of the songs all ready released, only sold 4607 copies in Australia and debuted at number 35 on the ARIA Charts. To put things into comparison, in the lead up to Christmas, Beyonce’s self titled visual album sold 26,904 copies. 

 

Making things worse, the sequel to the successful ‘Never Say Never’, did not pull in the kind of money at the Box Office that his management was hoping for. The music doco only pulled in $3.1 million, in North America, during its first three days, and is only expected to make $4.5 over its five day debut. The numbers would be disappointing when comparing to ‘Never Say Never’, which earned $29.5 Million on debut, and went on to become the highest grossing concert film of all time in America.

 

This is strange as I feel that some of the stuff on ‘Journals’, is his strongest yet. I consider Heartbreaker to one of the best songs I’ve heard Justin sing, and Bad Day and All That Matters, have more personnel content when compared to hit singles Boyfriend and Baby. Maybe a early retirement wouldn’t of been the worse thing for Bieber, as he would of been able to quit while on top, or maybe the recent bad press and dismal sales will spur him on to come back better than ever. Only time will tell.