Sabtu, 30 November 2013

The Star Online: Entertainment: Music

Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Entertainment: Music

Raw side of Blunt


Folk balladeer James Blunt gives a glimpse of his life in 'honest and innocent' new album.

The journey and sense of human achievement when man first landed on the moon is what English singer-songwriter James Blunt immediately talks about when asked about his fourth and latest album – the aptly-titled Moon Landing.

The 39-year-old folk-rockster, best known for his 2004 hit emotional folk ballad You're Beautiful, says in a telephone interview from Britain: "It's really about a journey to go back and find the man with whom I recorded the first album – producer Tom Rockroth – and we locked ourselves in a studio for a year and I wrote the songs without an audience in mind."

The result is an album that Blunt describes as "raw, honest and innocent in many ways".

He adds that it is a collection of songs which are "deeply personal, recorded in a way without hiding behind great musicians, without losing the songs behind lots of production".

Released last month, Moon Landing offers the hit single Bonfire Heart, Blunt's first chart-topping single in several years.

It debuted at No. 6 before peaking at No. 2 the following week on the UK singles chart.

Blunt says of the song, which was co-written with Grammy-winning American singer-songwriter Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic: "It's what all humans need, it's the human condition to need connection. It's like we don't need so much, we just need someone to light the spark in our bonfire heart."

He re-emphasises the thread of honesty running through the album and adds: "Before, I was writing songs with an audience in mind, and writing songs to fill large arenas, but you find that it's not necessarily as rewarding as doing songs where I give more of myself."

Blunt, a former Kosovo army veteran, found fame back in 2005 after the release of his debut album Back To Bedlam, which was produced by Rockroth, Moon Landing's producer.

The acclaimed album, which produced the hit singles You're Beautiful and Goodbye My Lover, sold 11 million copies worldwide and was the highest-selling album in the UK in 2005, with close to 2.4 million copies sold.

He went on to release his sophomore album All The Lost Souls (2007) and Some Kind Of Trouble (2010), which did not do quite as well as his debut album, but received fairly warm reviews from the critics.

While Blunt is known for his heart-on-sleeve brand of folk ballads, his social media activity has also shown him to have a witty and funny side.

With more than 244,000 followers on Twitter, he has recently garnered fame for his laugh-out-loud witty replies to tweets that slam him or his work.

For example, a user had tweeted: "Only two people call me beautiful. Thank you mum and James Blunt", to which Blunt replied: "I'm so sorry. I thought you were someone else."

When asked about being a Twitter sensation, he plays it down, saying: "Twitter is a strange thing, isn't it? I just check what's going on and answer a couple of tweets, then go back to the real life."

And if fans want a glimpse into his personal life, just listen to his songs.

Blunt, who says he holds on "pretty close to my private life", kept mum on whether he was attached or getting married.

He says: "What I do is that I put a lot of my private life into my songs. No matter where you're from, we do have the same emotions and feel the same way (about things), and so in this album (Moon Landing), you can hear some songs of celebration and great sadness too. So yeah, there's real life in there." – The Straits Times, Singapore/Asia News Network

Super Junior keeps the party going


Super Junior proved its K-pop pedigree with a slick show in Kuala Lumpur.

THERE is something about the K-pop phenomenon that just cannot be denied. It still commands a sizeable audience in these parts.

A weekend filled with massive festivals – Urbanscapes 2013 and the dance-based Wicked Festival 2013 – didn't lessen the K-pop buzz surrounding Super Junior's sold-out concert at the Putra Indoor Stadium in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur last Saturday.

A crowd of nearly 10,000 thronged the stadium for this K-pop love-in filled with music, dance and state-of-the-art razzle dazzle.

With tickets ranging RM238 to RM658, you can't argue a K-pop gig with a top act is a highly-bankable proposition.

From teenagers and their mums and dads, to young adults, Super Junior attracted a wide range of fans.

Formed in 2005, Super Junior is regarded as one of the pioneers of the K-pop genre. This "super franchise" group, orginally with 13 members, is regarded as South Korea's One Direction.

The group currently comprises Shindong, Sungmin, Eunhyuk, Donghae, Siwon, Ryeowook, and Kyuhyun.

In Kuala Lumpur, they were joined by sub-group Super Junior-M members Henry Lau and Zhou Mi (a Canadian and China national respectively) as well as Heechul, who had recently completed his 23-month national military service in South Korea in August.

Emerging as dashing secret agents, the South Korean heartthrobs led their Malaysian fans into a world of espionage and dangerous missions.

For added drama, some of the lads played spies and others assassins.

The sweet-talking K-pop boyband, with vastly experienced members aged 24-30, opened the Kuala Lumpur show with hits such as Mr Simple, Bonamana, Super Girl, It's You, and Sexy, Free And Single.

To the delight of their fans, every tune was accompanied by slick dance moves, broad smiles and a cheeky joke or two.

Stamina was vital as the costume-changing stars entertained local fans with 35 songs during the three-hour-long show.

Super Junior in top form as the group played the K-pop hits and more for the bumper crowd at the Putra Indoor Stadium in Kuala Lumpur last Saturday.

Super Junior in top form as the group, featuring main man Siwon (second from left) rocked the K-pop hits at the Putra Indoor Stadium.

The elaborate stage rig at Stadium Putra was said to have cost approximately RM1.65mil to produce, and up to a month to construct. No small change there!

This Super Show 5 Super Junior World Tour in Kuala Lumpur was organised by Star Planet.

The group has been on the road since March with an international concert trek, which also included a gig at Wembley Arena in London and a guest lecture at the Oxford Union earlier this month.

But Super Junior is essentially a party experience – not an industry research paper. Wowing fans effortlessly with their slick footwork and catchy melodies, the boys also stole many hearts with their side-splitting antics, whether they were cross-dressing or cosplaying or simply clowning around on stage as they interacted with their fans.

The playful performers, who ran around the stage, brought down the house when they gamely "cosplayed" a hilarious assortment of popular movie superheroes.

Kangin was Thor, Kyuhyun was Loki, Eunhyuk was Wolverine, Donghae was Iron Man, Siwon was Captain America, Ryeowook was Spider-Man, Shindong was The Incredible Hulk, Sungmin was Wong Fei-Hung, Henry was Son Goku (Dragon Ball), Zhou Mi was Woody (Toy Story), and Heechul was the white bear villain in the fun performance.

Part of the cross-dressing segment also saw the audience in stitches as four SuJu members started hamming it up as popular female K-pop stars and performing their hottest hits.

Siwon thrilled the audience with Son Dambi's Saturday Night, Ryeowook with (S.E.S) Bada's Loving You, Kangin with (Brown Eyed Girls) Gain's Bloom, Sungmin with (4Minute) Hyuna's Ice Cream, and even Sistar's Alone when they came together as a quartet.

When SuJu offered its emotional farewell with the crowd favourite Marry You (and some very heartfelt proposals), fans clamoured for an encore, leading to the group closing its dazzling show with Sorry, Sorry, Show Me Your Love, Sapphire Blue and So I.

Urbanscapes leaves an impression


Urbanscapes 2013 proved to be more than a hipster jukebox.

FLORAL prints and stand-up comedy were all the rage at the recently concluded Urbanscapes 2013 held at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park (MAEPS) in Serdang, Selangor. That guaranteed a visual feast of fashion and laughs on the sidelines.

Indeed, the two-day Urbanscapes had the makings for a great weekend away from the city. This festival, which had its humble beginnings at an Italian restaurant in Kuala Lumpur in 2002, has come a long way. The new venue MAEPS – which is the largest so far – follows in the festival's preference for the outdoor format as seen with previous editions at KL Sentral, KLPac and Padang Astaka in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

As much as this 11th edition of the festival was about celebrating the creative arts, it was mainly driven by the music programming.

The music was presented on four stages, with local, regional and international names tasked to attract the masses.

For starters, there was Scottish indie rock act Franz Ferdinand, which made for a very capable headlining draw at Urbanscapes 2013.

Just like Icelandic group Sigur Ros at last year's Urbanscapes, it's apparent the festival organisers found the "right" sort of experienced band in Franz Ferdinand, with a strong album catalogue and wide-ranging appeal. Despite a hipster-dictated music scene, it was good to find guitar-driven indie rock pushed to the frontliners.

On Sunday night, Franz Ferdinand lived up to expectations on the main stage as it closed out the festival.

Fronted by Alex Kapranos, alongside bassist Bob Hardy, guitarist Nick McCarthy and drummer Paul Thomson, the Glasgow-raised band alone were worth the price of admission. Franz Ferdinand kicked off its entertaining 90-minute set with its latest single Bullet from the new album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action. After addressing the crowd with an obligatory terima kasih, Kapranos and chums continued to rock hard with classics like The Dark Of The Matinee and Do You Want To.

Of course, the Malaysian festival crowd lapped up every song by the energetic Franz Ferdinand and everybody partied like it was 2004!

Canadian indie folk darlings Tegan and Sara headlined the two-day festival on Saturday.

Canadian indie folk darlings Tegan And Sara blurred the lines between indie folk and electronic pop.

Some ingenious food vendors even took advantage of festivalgoers' enthusiasm for the band. How could you not part with RM10 for a pack of rice and chicken for something that sounds as hip as Nasi Kukus Franz Ferdinand?

Of course, the festival wasn't only about the Scottish rock stars. Those who came through the gates early on both days had plenty of live music to discover.

For the fans – young and old, the sight of veteran homegrown bands like Nicestupidplayground (from Sarawak) and Damn Dirty Apes (Penang) on Saturday's Upfront stage was a blast as these acts are rarely seen live in the Klang Valley. If anything, Nicestupidplayground's hit Bedroom Window, which was released in 1996, remains a classic that transcends the generation gap between fans.

For Saturday's international headliner, Canadian indie folk darlings Tegan and Sara mesmerised the crowd with favourites like Alligator and latest single Closer. It was all about sublime harmonies underpinned by indie pop smarts from the twins.

The thing about Urbanscapes, over the years, is, the music makes a connection even if you are not a fan at first. Like all decent festivals, that's how you pick up new music.

Independent singer-songwriters like The Venopian Solitude and Bihzhu caught the ear. Both were relatively unknown to the broader masses, but they left many curious and wanting to know more about their music after Urbanscapes.

And if you were a kaki joget looking for a good time, then the Deer In The Park tent was probably the best banging "club" in Serdang last weekend.

We already told you about Franz Ferdinand's epic set on Sunday. But earlier in the day, there were also noteworthy shows, especially by Singapore bands – the guitar-friendly Plainsunset and the groovy-sounding Obedient Wives Club. In this case, it was always good to be spying on each other's music scene.

Kyoto Protocol's Hairi Haneefa and Fuad Alhabshi gave a nod to Two Door Cinema Club by covering their song Eat That Up, It¿s Good for You.

Kyoto Protocol's Hairi Haneefa and Fuad Alhabshi (right) played the fest on both days, notably as a replacement act on Sunday.

For a daytime act, Da Vagabonds, led by Noh Salleh (from Hujan), grabbed the attention with its Mod-meets-kenduri kahwin inspired music. Yes, that's an honest compliment. We also wonder how many Vespa riders made their way to Serdang?

A little soul music on a Sunday evening was also a refreshing thing. British a capella group Black Voices were a pure delight as it brought the smiles with a set of crowd-pleasers, including a version of Rasa Sayang soaked in gospel music goodness.

However, the cheery mood at Urbanscapes was marred by the last-minute cancellation of Northern Irish indie band Two Door Cinema Club on Sunday. The popular band announced it had to back out due to vocalist Alex Trimble suffering from laryngitis. The festival organisers plugged the gap by roping in local act Kyoto Protocol for an encore gig.

For any Urbanscapes pub quiz later on, Kyoto Protocol will go down as the first act to play on both days of the fest. If Psy can play (Oppa) Gangnam Style twice in one concert, why not our own Kyoto Protocol with Pussycat on separate days? As a deft touch, frontman Fuad led the Kyoto Protocol boys on a cover of Two Door Cinema Club's Eat That Up, It's Good For You.

The show had to go on without Two Door Cinema Club, and much credit must go to the crowd that trooped on with the "can do" festival spirit.

A Capella group Black Voices wowed the crowd with a splendid cover of Rasa Sayang.

British a capella group Black Voices brought the warmth of soul music to the festival.

In the end, no festival is perfect. Urbanscapes 2013 tried its best to include everything from bubble tea, veteran comedian Patrick Teoh, free ice cream to hip-swaying indie rockers at the two-day festival (attended by 18,000).

Yes, the organisers succeeded in making Urbanscapes the right place to be last weekend. For some, the festival's tingling sensation remains a lasting one.


0 ulasan:

Catat Ulasan


The Star Online

Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved