OPUS 2 JAY 2014 WORLD CONCERT/周杰伦《魔天伦2》世界巡回大马演唱会 – Musings of A Super Fan

BY RUBY GEGE

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So I finally did it! After eight years of being a super fan, I saw Jay for the first time ever last night for a two and half hour show! Held on a Saturday, 15 Nov 2014, it was an amazing concert. As a seasoned performer, Jay really knows what he’s doing. There were around 4 to 5 set changes with big props and performances were categorized based on themes. There was the hi-tech theme, school/magician theme, hip-hop theme, piano theme, Zhong Guo Feng theme, guitar/acoustic theme and the last chilled/laid back theme. 

The view from my seat
The view from my seat
I didn't know that Jay's fan colour is pink. But hey, I can live with that.
I didn’t know that Jay’s fan colour is pink. But hey, I can live with that.

The downside of the concert is that I went alone. By myself. A random tall girl with a black headscarf appearing out of nowhere who couldn’t speak more than ten words of Mandarin amidst the 10-11,000 audiences shouting words I don’t understand except for Zhou Jie Lun. So each time he talked, I just stared at him in awe, too amazed by the fact that he was standing in front of me, twenty metres away. Almost fainted. Almost had a seizure. Almost died of hyperactivity. I didn’t care. I didn’t need to understand him. Yes, people, I love him that much! 

His Piano Session!!
His Piano Session!!
His Zhong Guo Feng set (fusion traditional/modern Mandarin songs)
His Zhong Guo Feng set (fusion traditional/modern Mandarin songs)

I think there were more of us non-Mandarin speaking fans back in 2006 (my first year of becoming a fan). We had a number of English forums catering for fans who don’t understand Mandarin. With the help of superbly kind Chinese-speaking moderators, we get translations, explanations and discussions about his music, lyrics and everything Jay-related. It was like an awkwardly awesome universe of its own. Sadly, the forum had been closed down, I think. I guess with the rise of KPop, Mandopop has been sidelined and confined mostly to Mandarin-speaking audiences. But websites like jaychoustudio.com and Jay Chou Diaoness’s Facebook page have been of great help for a fan who cannot read Chinese characters like me. Thank God for these souls! 

How else can an obsessed fan like me find release?!! Haha.

His impromptu keyboard session. Trust me, his hands are magical each time they touch the keys!!
His impromptu keyboard session. Trust me, his hands are magical each time they touch the keys!!
His guitar session! And yes, his hands are also amazing here!
His guitar session! And yes, his hands are also amazing here!

The GREAT GREAT ASPECT of the concert is that he sang all the songs I love love love!!!! Okay, not all. He did not sing Wo Bu Pei, Ju Hua Tai and Fa Ru Xue but that’s okay. However, some songs I thought he was not going to sing, he sang!!! Ke Ai Nu Ren, Long Juan Feng, Qing Tian, Si Mian Chu Ge, Qi Li Xiang, Dao Xiang (a duet with a lucky fan! I was so jealous I almost cried!) and many more. These are some of Jay’s songs you know people will remember and sing along for the rest of their lives. You know what I felt? Do you? It’s like I fell in love again with him over and over and over again! Arghhh… speaking as a crazy fangirl, how can he be so perfect? How can he sing so well? And play the piano so well? And the guitar so well? And walk around and sing so well? And talk so well? (though I understood not one sentence except for “Hao Bu Hao” to which I shouted back “Hao!!!”)

I swore to God when he began singing Long Juan Feng, I was so happy I almost peed! And sang along to Ke Ai Nu Ren with all my heart (though I know my pronunciation is bad. Really, who cares?!)

It is an interesting experience, to be honest. For the past 8 years, I am literally the only Jay Chou fan I know (excluding the cyber world). None of my best friends listen to Mandopop or even understand why I am so devoted to him but they accept me the way I am (but they sometimes tease me by saying that Jay looks like a vegetable seller, which he does not!) Even when I began to have more and more Mandarin-speaking friends, most of them end up being Wang Lee Hom’s fans. And ask me why I love Jay so much, too. Only when I went to his concert that I realized how much I was in a little world of Jay fandom on my own. He had legions of fans whom I had never met and communicated with. The downside of not being well-versed in Mandarin, I must say. *cries*

The parking guard asked me – “are you Malay or Chinese?” I laughed awkwardly, unsure of what to say. “I’m Malay, brother, but I’m going to a Taiwanese singer’s concert.” The brother said he was confused for a while. After the concert ended, a Chinese uncle stared at me in surprise. “Waah, you also like Jay Chou. Are you Chinese or Malay?” Again, I answered awkwardly, “I’m Malay.” Then, he asked, “do you speak Chinese?” I shook my head. He laughed in a manner I was not sure implied slight surprise or approval. “Haha, 1Malaysia!” he joked. Hahahaha. Never have I felt so awkward being a Malay before, considering that I don’t really feel Malay 90% of the time in real life. Hahahahaha. But then, my headscarf is not much of a help in avoiding the stares. What to do… when you do look different from thousands around you. 

Maybe because I’ve been his fan for a very long time, I find it weird that other people think that it’s odd to have a fan like me. Music is a universal languange and that is the main thing that led me to Jay. Then, the lyrics. And the concept. Then, of course lah, I jumped into the whole fandom without any hesitation and stayed there for many years.  

Since my seat did not have a great view, I didn’t take get to take a lot of pictures. Or maybe because I was too focused on looking at him and only him, like what a crazy fangirl would do. In all honestly, I truly enjoyed his concert. His voice sounds way better and his show was so much fun. A day has passed and I am still experiencing the exhausting high post-concert. I am still tired, too happy to go out and lock myself in my room writing this blog post. I feel like smiling all day without a reason.

And I miss him already! I wish I can go to his concert everyday. Ahhh, post-concert depression syndrom begins… now. Jayyyyyyy, I miss you!! *cries*

Quoting my Facebook status – How can love be so intense even when there’s a language barrier? 

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MY FAVOURITE LADY GAGA SONGS – Tribute to the Great Singer-Songwriter that She Is!

by Ruby Gege

lady_gaga_no_makeup_4I love Mother Monster. Palah Chingu loves Mother Monster. Fatma Chingu loves Mother Monster. To have the Three Chingu besotted with the same artist can only mean one thing – that that artist is super great, super good and have super crazy amazing songs. And yes, Lady Gaga, she has it all!

I woke up this morning and decided to listen to her songs, as I always do at least once a week. And suddenly, my head starts to list down my most favourite of her songs, which is many. Aside from being great tracks, the songs usually mean something for me. I tend to interpret the songs’ meaning to my own situation and somehow, they became the ‘background score’ for my life.

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When I like an artist, I don’t judge his or her personal life unless it is involved with criminal matters. I think artists should be judged based on their performance and musical products. People may say what they want about Lady Gaga but she is one completely devoted follower to her arts. People used to associate her ‘weirdness’ with conspiracy theories – which might be true or false – but overtime, they began to realize that that is just the way she produces art to the masses. Flashy, explosive, unique and different. Just different.

2793992-3x2-940x627Why do I respect and admire her? Because I think her art has affected me in a way that makes me comfortable being myself. The message that I got from her is to be comfortable with the person that you are, no matter how judgmental the society can be towards you. Be proud of yourself and don’t be afraid of expressing your feelings. She often pushes to the extreme – in lifestyle and in performing, doing things that few can imagine – so that when her fans try to be themselves, they have courage to do so. Her songs are often sexual and she is also judged a lot about that. But, sexuality is a human thing. It is part of us. All of us feel lust and truthfully, we should not be ashamed of feeling it.

Okay, enough rambling. Now, to the songs!!

1 – JUST DANCE

Album: The Fame

The song that changed it all. The song that introduced the entity of Lady Gaga to the world.

I, for one, personally believe that this song is responsible for the freedom of so many souls. Souls that have been repressed by culture and social expectations and the voices that have been telling us how to be and how to behave. The song is catchy, not over-dramatic and Gaga’s voice is harmoniously balanced with the electronica beats. The music is great, her vocal is great – and the song still succeeds in being a great dance song we can go crazy to. After all these years, after a number of great albums and so many great songs, Just Dance remains my favourite. Because she freed a part of me with that song.

2 – HEAVY METAL LOVER

Album: Born This Way

The song is ethereal. Gaga’s vocal is unclear, almost whispering. I love the song because of its consistent beat and it is the type of song you can laid back and enjoy, whilst having a strong cup of coffee or cigarette. It’s dancey but not dramatic. It is, in a way, a love song but a complicated one. Gaga sings at the beginning – “I want your whiskey mouth all over my blonde south”. But she ends every chorus with – “I can be your girl, girl, girl but would you love me if I rule the world?” It’s like a subtle challenge – the man may love her when he knows her, but would he still feel the same way knowing that she is constantly on the world stage, on the spotlight surrounded by millions of her fans?

3 – MONSTER

Album: The Fame Monster

The first time I listened to this song, I kept repeating it for the next 2 years of my life. No joke! This song is influenced by the tale of the Red Riding Hood, about Gaga falling in love with a man she described as a monster. However, repeatedly, she kept telling herself – “could I love him?” at the same time reminding herself that “he ate my heart. He’s a monster in my bed.” It is a tale of a forbidden love. Gaga knew the man was bad for him and was going to end up hurting her but she could not let go.

4 – APPLAUSE

Album: Artpop

Applause, for me, is a simple song about ambition. It is about knowing what you want to do with your life, the ideals you want to live for and to achieve your dreams. Gaga set an example here by describing her own obsession with fame and her stage. “I lived for the applause,” she sang, an anthem all performers abide to, and continue with “Give me that thing that I love!”. It’s a strong powerful song that I always listen to when I need to pump up my spirits doing work. Hahahahaha. Never give up, remember your dreams and if you fall down, get the fuck up already.

5 -ALEJANDRO

Album: The Fame Monster

The Fame Monster deals a lot with Gaga’s relationship with her increasing mega-fame, which I believe she translated it into a form of a man in the album. She loves and hates the man at the same time, finding it difficult to stay with him but refusing to leave him. Alejandro, similar to Monster, is one of those songs. I love the song because it’s melancholic, depressing yet catchy and intriguing at the same time. And what a great song for karaoke!!

6 – BAD ROMANCE

Album: The Fame Monster

To think of it, all of the songs in The Fame Monster deserves a place here but then, there’s not enough space. Anyway, Bad Romance is the song that somehow secured Lady Gaga’ s permanent position in the pop universe. The song is direct, very out-there and loud. It epitomizes Gaga’s love for fame, love, creativity and everything crazy that comes with it. My favourite verse? “Walk, walk, fashion, baby, work it, move that bitch crazy…” It’s so powerful that you can’t help but to let go of yourself as you karaoke to the song.

“I want your love, and I want your revenge. I want your love, I don’t want to be friends.”

7 – LOVEGAME

Album: The Fame

Lovegame is one of Gaga’s most sexual songs. She has a different standard altogether when creating songs of that category – love and romance are insignificant and the focal point of these songs revolve around plain desires, lust and attraction. It’s simple – she wants him or her and she wants it bad. It actually introduced to people how far Gaga is willing to go to express herself and she’s not afraid to talk about sex. And sing about it.

8 – JUDAS

Album: Born This Way

Judas is actually Three Chinguz’s official anthem karaoke song. Me, Palah and Fatma would sing this song whenever we are karaoke-ing together, WITHOUT FAIL. Why do we love this song so much though it sounds a bit weird and too radical to our ears? Because it is weird and radical. It’s different. It pushes Gaga’s artistic expression to a whole new spectrum people did not expect. It is the song everybody hates to love and loves to hate.

9 – SPEECHLESS

Album: The Fame Monster

Despite whatever people say about Lady Gaga, she is an amazing singer and has produced great ballads. Speechless was written for her father and displayed their complicated yet loving relationship. She sings of how fame and boys in her life don’t really matter compared to her father, which is sweet. It was an ode to daughter-hood. A sad song that made me cried a number of times, it is Gaga at her most heartfelt moment.

10 – MARRY THE NIGHT

Album: Born This Way

I love this song because it is a great song Gaga sings about herself. It is a sane song, lacking the elements of craziness and radical-ity so familiar to us. The song talks about herself and the devotion to her arts. It is not so much a clubby songs but the beat is great. The ending part is great, where the music just plays itself.

“I’m a warrior queen, lives passionately tonight…”

11 – G.U.Y

Album: Artpop

My favourite song in Artpop because it has a great beat and Gaga did not sound over-dramatic here. She sings about the lust and love she has for the man she loves. It is a direct sexual song but infused a little bit with love. Is it a sex song? Or is it a love song? Or is it both? I’d go with both.

12 – FASHION

Album: Artpop

“Looking good and feeling fine, looking good and feeling fine!” Gaga sings as the song starts. Fashion is a song about confidence and feeling good and comfortable about yourself. A great morning anthem! And remember to always feel fine about yourself!

_____________________________

Okay, I am so fucking tired listing and listening and choosing all the songs. Lady Gaga has a great repertoire and her works have been amazing. The songs not listed here are not less amazing than the ones listed. But the songs I chose are the ones I can relate to. And that touches my heart. And make my day better.

Thank you, Mother Monster. We will always love you.

 

My New Flame, Priyanka Chopra

By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu

Before Barfi, no one ever thought Priyanka can act (what i’m trying to say that she can act but not brilliantly). Don’t blame me for saying so because I think she’s terrific in Anjaana Anjaani, Fashion, 7 khoon Maaf and Barfi. It is not her fault that people could not get past her gorgous body and exotic face. I mean, if you look at her, you know she looks different. Not bad different but good different. Well, if you beg to disagree with me, go on because she was after all Miss World Pageant 2000. Anyway, my intention here is not to write about Priyanka Chopra’s acting ability. I am sure all of you knew that she’s one of the fine actresses in Bollywood Industry right now. She earned so many awards and praised by critics for her films like Fashion (2008), 7 Khoon Maaf (2011) and Barfi (2012).

I am here just to spazzing how I love that she agreed to do item song for 2 films in 2012 and 1 film for 2013. Katrina Kaif will always be my goddess but damn, Priyanka may able to steal the title. Oh my god, this is so not straight statement from me. Haha.

  1. Asalaam E Ishqum – Gunday (2014)

The moment I listened to this song in cinema, I was instantly hooked. Everything is so masala and overdramatic. Priyanka as a cabaret girl in this song just blew me away. I mean, who the fuck does not want to tap that ass (Palah, please control your lust). I am a freaking straight girl but if I get any chance with her, well that could turn out to be another story. She’s hot in her own music video ‘Erotic’ but it is incomparable in this music video. I wish Ranveer and Arjun didn’t featured in the video though the voice of male playback singer in the song is so addictive. I don’t know how many times I raped the repeat button on my Ipod for this song only.

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  1. Ram Chahe Leela – Ram Leela (2013)

Ram Chahe Leela might not appeal you at first, but It will grows on you. I mean, Ram Leela film’s sound track is pretty damn good. From Ang Laga De, Lahu Munh Lag Gaya to Nagada Sang Dhol, you will be hooked to all of it right away. Ram Chahe Leela might take a longer time for me to like it, but hey, In the end, i love it as much as other song. Priyanka agreed to cameo for this song and she delivered the hell of a dance in the film. The voice of playback singer in the song also suited her looks well.

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  1. Babli Badmaash Hai (2013)

I don’t really love Babli Badmaash. The hype around the song is so huge that when I listened to it, I am kind of disappointed. This is the first item song that Priyanka agreed to do in Bollywood. When Priyanka fans spreading the word about how good it was, I was actually feeling ‘Mehhhhh’ about the song. The dance routine is good and Priyanka in black leather tight one piece suit with neon light attached is freaking weird but sexy in the same time. Maybe I just didn’t love the song. I still enjoy Priyanka in this anyway (or maybe because John Abraham was in there too). Haha.

babli_badmaash babli-badmaash-hai Priyanka-Chopra-Babli-Badmaash pryanaka-babli

Austin Mahone & The Appeal of a Fresh Young Face in Pop

BY RUBY CHINGU

In an unprecedented move, I am going to dedicate this post to the fangirling of one freaking young dude who is on his way to pop-stardom, Austin Mahone.

A few hours ago, I realize that I am becoming his fan. NOT GOOD. Not good. Super not good. This is not supposed to be happening.  He is 17 years old and I am 23. No. No. *falls in love* Okay, I’m done. Hahaha. Thus, on a more serious note, I am going to ramble about why I think I am interested in his music and his stage image in general, at the same time commenting on the similar images shared by his peers and artists his age as well.

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The kid Austin Mahone. Too kid-like looking for my taste

I think men who have that streak of innocence shown on their faces are very attractive. Not that it adds to their beauty but maybe because it’s rare. But then, that innocence shown on their faces can be traced back to their ages. They’re young, they’re fresh and they generally offer new things for us listeners to enjoy. Nowadays, the radios are pretty much saturated with weird clubby music (which I love) and some other boring pop star stuffs. Truth to be told, radios LOVE recycling songs they deem famous. Once, I heard three radios were playing Monster by Eminem and Rihanna at the same fucking time.

C’mon people, we know the song’s good but if you guys are going to repeat the song a million times, all of Malaysia will get super fucking bored with it!

Moving on…. Thus, when Austin Mahone popped into the Malaysian airwaves through his catchy song, What About Love last year, he gained the attention of listeners. I personally am not a fan of the song. It’s a great song – it’s catchy, it’s dancey and it also sounds very young and naive. Kinda reminds me of the great boyband era songs from the 1990s, but with a more polished production. Palah told me she liked the song, which did not surprised me. Hahaha but then maybe because the song is too lovey dovey for my taste, thus I find it quite… lame and cheesy?

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Beanie & snowcaps discarded… Hello grown-up Austin. Now I don’t feel so bad about liking you, kiddo!

Then, a few weeks ago, Austin’s new song, Mmm Yeah (not sure how many Ms the title has) began making rounds in the radio and I was instantly hooked. The song in itself is a club hit! And featuring no-less the club music resident hit-maker, Pitbull. I am not a fan of Pitbull in general but I have to say, he has been involved in some of the best songs in recent years. He may be lacking in his rap skills but that dude has taste in contemporary music. Say what you want about Pitbull but somehow, he knows what we listeners want. Hahahaha. Can’t believe I’m complimenting Pitbull right now. 

Unlike What About Love, Mmm Yeah is not about love. Its lyrical content is mainly about the singer’s attraction to a girl, who keeps ignoring him. He tries to talk to her but she rebuffs him, not convinced by his words. Thus, the only thing he can say as she walks away is… “Mmm yeah” – perhaps as some sort of a praise to the girl who has managed to make him feel that  she ignores him, his desperation to make her notice him increases. The song’s meaning is a bit shallow, of course, but then this is a teen-pop dance track. And then, you have Pitbull’s verse. Which basically adult-ize the entire thing! Hahaha. What the hell am I rambling about?! The beat is good, the melody is good.

What makes it a better song that What About Love? What make Mmm Yeah works for me, aside from the Pitbull magic? (fuck, this is not even a valid question I should be asking. Hahaha. What contribution can this question give to improve humanity? But well… Hahaha. Palah and Fatma are so going to puke at this post. Because I find my new fangirling over this teenager so irrational, I am trying hard to rationalize it. Hahaha)

I think the confidence he displayed in the song is vital. It is the main attraction of the song. The reason I find What About Love is that its content is too melodramatic for a dance track. When I listen to a dance track, I want something I can enjoy listening to. A bit light-hearted, a bit fun, a little flirtatious, a little humorous, and most importantly, the singer must sound unabashedly confident while singing it. I think that’s why Rihanna’s dance songs have all been successful. Rihanna is gifted with that vocal that makes her sound unique and powerful. The first time I listened to Mmm Yeah, I did not recognize that the singer’s voice belonged to Austin. Why? Because his style is different from What About Love. And never in a million years I thought a newbie like Austin could have Pitbull featured in his song. Hahaha.

Then, I began checking out his live performance. And surprisingly, he is a great performer. He dances but he is not confined to his dance moves to really enjoy the stage. I’ve read in interviews that he did not really intend to be a pop star a few years back but somehow, his performances indicate that this is something he should be doing for the rest of his lives.

I do fervently hope he does not pull a Justin Bieber and screw up later in life like most teen pop stars do, though somehow it seems inevitable. But pop stars are human, too. People may think Rihanna screwed up a few times but she still manages to retain her legion of fans mainly because the music she is offering to the listeners are pretty damn good. Notwithstanding your personal lives, your artistic products would be the main pawns in this game of music industry.

You know what? Fuck it. Fuck all my ramblings and rationalizations. He’s cute. He’s young. He is so in my radar for at least two years to come. Hahahaha.

p/s: Ruby, stop sounding so psychotic!

[ALBUM REVIEW] 2NE1 “CRUSH”

By: Fatma Chingu

Hands in the air people cause 2NE1 is back!!!!! (like a month ago)...

Blackjacks all over the globe rejoice for the release of the 2nd full-length album from our beloved 2NE1 since their first album back in 2011.

credit: young-ajummah.com

Don’t ask me to rate this album because naturally I would give the perfect score . But man I do enjoy this album so much. This may sound exaggerated but CRUSH made me proud to be a BLACKJACK. *shake hip*

TRACK #1 : CRUSH 

How does CL says “I’m the hot stuff?” Instead of saying how the boys drool over them and smacked down by their sexiness or cuteness, she described their undeniable aura (with explicit narcissism) in the first verse of the song:

“I’m the hot crush of all girls, giving the rush that makes your heart pound,

Pretty unnis like me because they got prettier if they like me..”

Word girl.. And the chorus goes like:

They love me cuz I’m hot

They love me cuz I’m cold

They love me cuz I’m real

They love me cuz I kill

This song is the best jam when I’m in front of the mirror. Of course I can only sing the chorus part cause they’re in English. And maybe some gibberish Korean lines. *Swagger mode*

P/S: CL wrote the lyrics of this song. That’s so cool.

TRACK #2 : COME BACK HOME

Whoa this one caught me off-guard. How do you mash reggae,electronic and dance pop in one track yet sounded so delicious?! I literally repeat this song for one week straight after the MV was released. And the music video,gosh it does look expensive with all the CG and fancy effects (YG was said to spent half million on this one). I love it and apparently there is a message behind this video i.e. Nowadays people are trapped in virtual paradise (translation: technology) and depart themselves from the real world where the real happiness lies. Its evident in today’s society and basically Papa YG wants to spread the message : GET A LIFE.

There is also the unplugged version of this song. I love this version more because of CL’s slow rap in the middle of the song plus Minzy sounds amazing in this.

TRACK#3: GOTTA BE YOU

The title pretty much explained everything. *laughs*

This song sings out the plea of a lover who doesn’t want to replace her lover with a new one. Normally the songs with this theme will play out the mellow tunes or slow ballad layered with agonized facial expression by the singers to express their desperation. It played out the exact opposite for this one. The upbeat melody and energetic dance moves accompany Dara saying “It ain’t over till it’s over” pretty much relay the message that she’s not letting you go. Who said we cannot dance out our feelings eh? Next time I’ll tell you how angry I am with a chicken dance-Krump version. *flap flap*

TRACK #4: IF I WERE YOU

This is my FAVOURITE track in this album. It’s a slow pop song that never gets old. What makes it better CL wrote the lyrics and co-composed the song. The direction of the song is similar to Beyonce “If I Were a Boy” and the lyrics basically narrated the thoughts of a girl who wishes that the guy could stand in her shoes so he would realized how much pain he had caused her and eventually would make him treat her better. And again Minzy has proven she’s not only a great dancer but her vocal is top-notch. Bravo maknae!! And CL’s whisper in the end shows that she is an old soul, not just a tough rapper.

TRACK #5: GOOD TO YOU

Good girls got hurt by a bad guy. Typical but it happens. Naive girl innocently loves a playboy who in the end of the day picks a bad girl over the good girl. The ironic fact about this song is the lyrics are written by GD and Teddy. I mean how does men express the innocence of a girl loving a bad guy wholeheartedly. Owh, Korean drama have plenty of that. It figures.

Disclaimer: This is only an opinion. I do not know GD or Teddy personally. Don’t throw stones at me.

TRACK #6: MTBD (MENTAL BREAKDOWN)-CL SOLO

I could totally groove to this song. While “Baddest Female” is a slow swag (as I want to call it), “Mental Breakdown” tempo is on a faster pace. So it’s a faster swag (sorry for the lame language). And frankly I only listened to this song once the live performance was released. Personally I enjoyed it much more when it is accompanied with CL doing her crank and bad ass moves while rapping fiercely onstage. On top of that, who does not love it when two hunky topless guys moving their body in sexy waves alongside the sizzling CL?

TRACK #7: HAPPY

Don’t be fooled by the smiles and bright colours in the MV. It’s actually a sad song. Who knew right? Initially I thought that the song was about rising up from sadness and be happy. When I read the lyrics however it’s different and kind of depressing at some angles. The lyrics literally described them as the girls who blamed themselves for the breakup and feeling sorry for their ex therefore wishing them to be happy for days to come. How is that for a consolation? That’s too dark for me man. Bright colours and breakup are not meant to each other.Sobbing and smashing up things are more like it. But the MV is cute. 

TRACK #8: SCREAM (KOREAN VERSION)

The was their 1st Japanese original single. So this is the only song that is not new in this album. This song is a song you dance to in the club to release some steam (of anger) over your cheating boyfriend and you wanna show him that you could move on. Like Beyonce always said, to the left, to the left!

It’s enjoyable to listen to especially when you’re alone in your room and you want to dance as if you’re in a club.

TRACK #9: BABY I MISS YOU

Fooled again. Without the subtitle I thought the song is about a lover who misses her other half. Yeah that’s what the title suggested isn’t it. With subtitle, the song is actually about a girl who has yet to confess her feelings to the guy she likes and now having love sickness. What a twist CL. And CL totally got me at the monologue. She makes a confession sound cool. Damn girl now I love you more.

So as a whole I guess the concept of this album (most of it)involves the girl’s perspective on relationships (heartbreaks due to their involvement with bad boys) and on the other side the album displayed their charisma and unique artistry as well-rounded performer. With that I end my review.


TVXQ – SOMETHING [Commentary]

by Ruby Chingu

Palah and Fatma Chinguz will be so annoyed at this post but what the hell… Imma do it anyway.

Seven years ago, when I was an immature eager youth, I was absorbed into the word of super-fanatic fandom of TVXQ, a boyband (almost the only boyband ever at that time) from South Korea. It was my first introduction to the world of K-Pop, which I have now abandoned. However, TVXQ, being my first major devotion, will always have a special place in my heart as it reminded me a lot of my teenage years where life was less bitter and revolved mainly around cute guys, cute guys and more cute guys. Little did I know at least half of them eventually turned out to be gay. *sobs*

I am beginning to sound like a 40 years old. Grrr…

K-Pop is an eccentric visual-centered universe. Everything is about looks, dance moves, flashy music videos and less about the quality of the music itself. Idols, or singer/dancers MUST be pretty or handsome. Despite the seemingly shallow appearance, it says a lot about the world today. We cannot deny the fact that visually-pleasing things make us happy and relieve us from the ugly nature of reality. And K-Pop is one of the best escapism medium I have encountered. However, the excessive focus towards the visual and not the musical quality of the artists would sooner or later bore the hell out of the listeners with the repetitive cycle. It is inevitable. In the effort to maintain their popularity, entertainment companies would try their best to re-invent the images of these girl groups and boybands (IMAGE, not music). The images are recycled again and again to the extend of being formulaic. Upon reaching adulthood, I found my interest towards K-Pop has diminished altogether – a surprising thing since it used to be the focal point of my life.

When my sister told me that TVXQ has just released their latest music video for their tenth album, I did not really feel any excitement but curiosity. I was their fan for six years and could somehow predict whatever products they were offering to the public. Upon coming home to my sister’s iPad, I was prepared to be majorly disappointed. I pressed the play button and locked my eyes towards the screen for a good four minutes to their new song titled ‘Something’.

Something? Like really? Like you guys cannot think of a better name after coming out with 6 albums?

However, the song and the music video, despite the oh-so-lame title, is actually quite good. Not very TVXQ-ish, I have to say. Honestly, I was expecting the music video to be all robotic, surreal, out-of this world dancey with awkward facial expressions like their previous  videos. The weird expressions are still there but TVXQ’s Something utilized the swing jazz style, an unexplored territory for the group mainly known for their heavy choreography and over-the-top rock influenced music. The song is fun and their vocals are great. For the first time in many years, they have produced a song that many adults can enjoy. My sister, not so suprisingly, dislikes the song and preferred the weak Catch Me single, which, for me, was more hype than substance.

She’s fourteen and a fan of Girls’ Generation. Her opinion, clearly, can be disregarded. Haha.

Something is also the only South Korean song I’ve listened to for the past 3 months. I’m happy to know that it is a feel-good song. Compared to their previous lead singles, Something can be said to be the most innovative. The boyband has no choice but to reinvent themselves for the sake of their fans, who are also aging alongside them. They can no longer sustain their popularity by relying on their fandom. The older people gets, the higher expectations they have for the favourite artists in terms of music and maturity. Good looks and suave moves aside, K-Pop idols have to produce albums that are worth listening to in the car or iPods on the way to work. TVXQ seems to be heading that way, I suppose, and this single serves as a good sign.

It makes me feel glad. They are doing well though they are pretty much a part of my history now. *sobs*

ARTPOP – Lady Gaga (2013 Album Review)

BY RUBY CHINGU

Behold… the album we all have been waiting for….. at least for me and my chingus.

ggggALBUM TITLE: ARTPOP

ARTIST: LADY GAGA (also known as Mother Monsters. Her fans called themselves Little Monsters.)

RATING: 8/10

Lady Gaga’s music has been a common passion among us three chingus since we first met back in 2008. She had just started her career with  the awesome Just Dance single. Who knew the striking blonde girl with a pair square-shaped spectacles and robot-like outfits could, one day, change people’s perception about pop music. But Lady Gaga did it anyway and though I can sincerely comment that beneath all that flashes and controversies and weird gossips about her, she is a damned good musician.

I don’t think anyone can ever deny that after listening to her amazing four albums, which I love!

Being a little monster, I had a very high expectation on Artpop, her third studio album. I was very scared that I would be disappointed. The Fame, her first album, remains her strongest, most self-asserting work to date. The album defined her identity. The second album, The Fame Monster (people may argue it’s an EP but for me, the work is distinctive enough to warrant it a separated identity from The Fame) represents the darker side of her obsession and limitless creativity.  It took me quite a while to like Born This Way, her third release.  It has some of the greatest tracks of the decade – Speechless, Judas, Heavy Metal Lover – but I did think it was quite overdramatic.

gaga

That is the problem or, perhaps for some, the special factor about Lady Gaga. She loves fame, she loves glamour, she loves fashion. Her obsessions with these things overshadow the true wonder of her songs. To most who do not listen to her music, it tends to create a very bad impression. However, once she is stripped of all the factors I mentioned, it cannot be denied that she has a great voice and sings live AMAZINGLY, she put an utmost effort in each of her performances and most importantly, she entertains successfully.

As for ARTPOP, I love it very much. It is safe to say, the whole album is great. Unlike others (I think), I prefer the less-dramatic Gaga. In this album, she did tone down the drama. She sounds less rebellious, as if she is going against the world. The first time I heard the album, I was already obsessed with more than half the tracks (which is great. Some of the albums I bought have no more than three agreeable tracks). And this album has 15 tracks to choose from.

That is, people, what I call making your listeners happy. And I am happy indeed!

The tracks are as follows:-

1) Aura – not my favourite. It sounds a bit too dramatic for me. And noisy.

2 ) Venus – not my favourite. It has a catchy chorus but the verses are a bit bland. The part where she mentioned the names of the planets is a bit out of place, I think.

3) G.U.Y – or Girl Under You. My favourite track. People tend to get judgmental when singers sing about sex. But hey, why should they not sing about sex if they do have a sex life? Especially if it’s good. A sex song should only fail if they fail to turn you on. However, G.U.Y turns me on.

4) Sexxx Dreams – Not my favourite. The song did not really manage to capture me.

5) Jewels N’ Drugs – My least favourite. A plain bad hip hop song for me.

6) Manicure  – A fun great dance track. Makes you want to stand up and shake your hips!

7) Do What U Want (Featuring R. Kelly) – Lady Gaga’s voice is superb here! She sounds assertive, firm and assertive which blends well with R. Kelly’s voice. A great pop song. Not so dancey but groovy, if you get what I mean.

8) ARTPOP – A mediocre track. I think the song is okay but I would not say I like it.The verse after the second chorus is great, though.

9) Swine – One of the songs that took me quite a while to like. An energetic song. Great bass track.  I love the chorus where she sang…. “you’re so disgusting, you’re just a pig inside!

10) Donatella – The lyrics of this song is kind of shallow BUT I LOVE IT! Come on, everyone is shallow to a certain extent. Only hypocrites deny such a truth. An appreciation to every honest shallow fashionista out there. Because we are born this way, baby.

11) Fashion! – My favourite track, along with G.U.Y. for its beats, rhythm, composition, everything. It is simply Gaga-ly amazing. My favourite lines? “Looking good and feeling fine…. Looking and feeling fine….

12) Mary Jane Holland – An agreeable track. Not really my favourite.

13) Dope – The only ballad song in this album. Great vocals, again. She sounds sad, depressed and heartbroken yet she wants to fix things so badly. Her second best ballad performance (because Speechless will always remain no. 1 for me)

14) Gypsy – Quite agreeable but not really memorable for me.

15 – Applause – The reason why I bought this album. I’m surprised why people are not obsessing over this song. Applause is a wonderful song. Every element of the song is inspirational! It is about dreams, strong will, one’s desperate desire for success and how to stand up for yourself against the people who are trying to bring you down. I am and will always be proud to sing my heart out to this song in every karaoke session I attend to. Honestly, like her, we, too, live for the approval of other people around us.

Overall, ARTPOP is a wonderful album. I have been reading on the internet that it receives mostly mixed reviews. The negative ones are due to the fact that the album is centered pretty much on fame, glamour and sex, themes which had been utilized in her previous albums. But I did not really expect her to sing about something else. She has always been honest that she lives her life for the career of Lady Gaga. Whether that person is more of a pop star or a normal human being, it is for her to decide.

If one ignores her notorious reputation and the supposed shock values relating to her,  ARTPOP can be quite enjoyable to listen to. Notwithstanding the mega pop star status she carries, rest assured that she never fails as a singer and a musician.

ggg

Dear Mother Monster, we love you. We hope to attend your concert one day. Most likely overseas. We would dress up and scream our lungs out. We would cry out of happiness. Sadly, that will be too far in the future. Don’t think you can perform in Malaysia. Because I’m sure the government or the censorship board will never let you in and the narrow-minded people would irrationally go hullaballoo over your presence. *cries*