♪ mn music wonderland

Nov 24

Special - Quiet Moments

There’s this voice saying - calm down calm down… Here’s a collection of 7 calm down songs.

Maria Mena - This Too Shall Pass, Homeless

Gorgeous ballads. “This Too Shall Pass” is bright and little uplifting while “Homless” is down right heartfelt, good song before dream, amazing vocals too.

genre: pop, folk, contemporary 
rating: 4/5 stars (both)

James Vincent McMorrow - We Don’t EatHigher Love

Haunting and beautiful. Something just swirl into your heart - chilly but pretty. Coincidentally, just like Maria, ”We Don’t Eat” is on the brighter side, with higher spirit while the cover song “Higher Love” (Steve Winwood) is cold yet emotional and touching, and only left you craving for more.

genre: folk, acoustic 
rating: 4/5 stars (both)

Lana Del Rey - Video Games

This is massive. Would you expect something this beautiful from a song titled “Video Games”? lol… Amazing vocal, beautiful melody suitably matched with a bare/minimum/subtle arrangement. Watch out for this girl, she’s gonna be big. Song of the year contender. 

genre: indie pop
rating: 4.5/5 stars

Charlene Soraia - Wherever You Will Go

Um… slightly cheesy, but I have a soft spot for this, nice cover (The Calling). Lovely voice with slight vulnerability, not bad at all.

genre: pop
rating: 3.5/5 stars


Rebecca Ferguson - Nothing’s Real But Love 

Soulful pop, simple and heart warming, heartfelt. The focus is on the vocal and nothing else is important. 

genre: soul, pop, blues
rating: 3.5/5 stars

Oct 24

Darren Hayes - Black Out The Sun, Bloodstained Heart

Darren Hayes - Black Out The Sun, Bloodstained Heart

Three in a row! I’d certainly love to have more doses of Darren. These are all ballad-y, but they also feel very new and different ~ wonderful, though there is room for improvements.

genre: pop, synthpop  
rating: BOTS: 4/5 stars, BH: 3.5/5 stars 

Oct 24

Revisited: Natasha Bedingfield - Soulmate

Natasha Bedingfield - Soulmate (2007)

Every once in a while, I need a dose of my guilty pleasure super cheesy love ballads. Ok, I admit I love this super cheesy chart aiming hit big ballad, especially hearing her singing live, it’s just part of me. Scold me in whichever way you like.

genre: pop rock, pop
rating: 4/5 stars


Sep 28

Revisited: Chet Lam (林一峰) - The Best Is Yet To Come

Chet Lam (林一峰) - The Best Is Yet To Come (2003)

Similarly this calms you down. Good acoustic Canto-pop number. I think my heart always has a place for this little song, it’s always there even if I’m not huming to it or has it in my head. And he’s really likable.

genre: canto-pop, pop, acoustic, city-folk, folk
rating: 4/5 stars

Sep 05

Special: Similar & Different - Olly Murs, Will Young

They both return, they have something in common and they have something different from.

Similarity: I think I had once mistaken an Olly Murs song as a new Will Young song or was it the other way round? I mean the vocals, I think many agree, they’re quite similar, at least on the surface. And they are both from tv singing competitions, one winner (Pop Idol), and one runner-up (X-factor). Difference: While they both sing pop music, their styles are different. Olly Murs music often reminds me of summer while Will Young music sometimes reminds me of autumn. This time, Olly continues and intensifies his cheeky reggae pop with some hip hop elements, while Will is taking his adult soul pop to a light dance direction:

Olly Murs feat. Rizzle Kicks - Heart Skips A Beat

I don’t know but Olly Murs music is playing magic on me, I think I have played his debut album an incredible amount of times. And this new single once again gained my attention immediately. It’s so catchy and yes, official forth summer tune this year. He gained one last year, scored another this year, will he continue next year?

genre: pop, reggae-fusion, hip hop, soul
rating: 4/5 stars

Will Young - Jealously, The Way I See

He’s on fire and jealous, these could be good signs ‘cos these two new songs are superb. I was very impressed with “History”, his collaboration with Groove Armanda. And I’ve always like to hear him in dance beats. And he’s finally doing it, I couldn’t be more excited. However, the dance direction taken on “Jealously” is light and is not instantly catchy, but a grower, give it some time and you can really start to get into the mood and groove. The dance feel on bonus track “The Way I See” is much more heavier and could be probably considered a dance-floor banger. I really like the arrangements here, it’s wonderful and delightful. 

genre: dance-pop
rating: J: 4/5 stars; TWIS: 4/5 stars


Aug 21

Nicola Roberts - Lucky Day

Nicola Roberts - Lucky Day

I’m a little bit ecstatic (can I describe ecstatic as “a little bit”?) again! After the fabulous “Beat of My Drum”, here comes the lovely “Lucky Day”. I like that her stuffs seem always a tab bit off mainstream, just a bit, not that far, but then it makes it so much fun and interesting and exciting!! We all love exciting right? This is exciting! (But then it is provided you know how to make it sounds good - this is not a formula!! lol.)

genre: pop, dance-pop
rating: 4/5 stars


Jul 10

Metronomy - The Bay

Metronomy - The Bay

After 2 wonderful singles, "She Wants", "The Look", this third single from them continues to be wonderful. This is sensational, infectious, and just right/ripe for this summer. I’ve made it my first summer tune for this year, and I think it definitely can be yours too. Watch that video, it’s even more convincing. B )

genre: electronic, pop
rating: 4/5 stars 

Jul 10

Special: That Brit band sound

Ok, stumbling into these 2 songs from these 2 bands has just renewed my love for Britpop/ British band sounds. One old, one new; one moody/sad, one happy, both nice, both brilliant:

Athlete - The Outsiders (2007-album/2008-ep) 

I’m down, I’m sad and I make this my accompanying sound. However this is smooth, this is inwards, this is superb, and somehow this soothes my mind a little bit..

genre: indie rock, alternative rock, post-britpop, electronic rock 
rating: 4/5 stars 

The Feeling - Set My World on Fire

I love “Sewn” and this renewed my love for their sound. And this is so happy, so if it is time to celebrate, celebrate with this song, ‘cos it seems nothing sounds happier than it recently… It’s like MEGA happy and it gives you strength. And… cheesy, oh yeah, I know why I’m so quickly in love with it now… lol

genre: pop rock, pop
rating: 4/5 stars

Jul 09

Darren Hayes - Talk Talk Talk

Darren Hayes - Talk Talk Talk

I still remember the time I bought that Savage Garden single, talk about how time flies by… Now Darren returns with this wonderful brand new single, actually it’s nothing too special, but then I can totally feel his emotion, his passion here, that’s enough for me to enjoy this song tremendously!! Nice, nice…

genre: electronica, pop, dance
rating: 4/5 stars


Jun 18

Album Review: Lady Gaga - Born This Way

Ok, so do I really need to talk about her? You guys are all over her, lol, yes, I have to talk about her, I talk about her music. Let me tell you why this album gets my heart. Gaga strikes the chord for me, I mean, hits the right notes that is, lol.

Marry The Night - This may sound a little bit “soft” for some, especially if you are expecting some bombastic track for opening. But it’s just right there for me, a good warm up opener for the yeah, bombastic tunes following. And for me this itself is good enough to be a single!

Born This Way - I have to admit I had doubt of it when this first came out. I mean I like its message, but musically, I thought it’s just ok, and I didn’t see it growing. Oh well, after having heard the album, this fits right in, and it did grow. I still have to say this isn’t the most stand out tune though. But then I was blown away by its remixes afterwards…

Government Hooker - This tune is way cool and crazy. A definite club banger. I can see it driving the crowd crazy. 

Judas - The “Poker Face”/”Bad Romance” of this album? I have to say I like this more! It fits in the album and stands out also, and it’s hyber catchy chorus is irresistible for me…

Americano - The “Alejandro” of this album? Well Alejandro is sweet and this is fierce. I like a little bit of “Hispanic” Gaga… lol.

Hair - This is pretty sweet, only it sounds a little bit “full” for me sometimes. The lyrics are fantastic though.

Scheiße - I was fooled and thought that was German too, lol. I was partly correct. It’s a fantastic club tune with a fucking interesting title, Gaga must love it.

Bloody Mary - Yeah, just the right timing to slow down a little bit. It’s still dance but it’s soft and smooth. I like it.

Black Jesus † Amen Fashion - Starts to revive again! It’s still a little mid-tempo (per Gaga terms), but it’s upwards. It’s grown on me a lot. I like it.

Bad Kids - Rock it. It’s pretty sweet inside though. I like her vocal here.

Fashion of His Love - There’s a vintage feel to it, and I see some Madonna here, but then Gaga is pretty much the new Madonna. Oh yeah, it’s a tribute to the late fashion designer, Alexander McQueen, I see why now.

Highway Unicorn (Road To Love) - The tide is high again, it’s quite europop, an ok tune for me. Not feeling too much at the time.

Heavy Metal Lover - Oh dear love it. Don’t be fooled by the title, it’s funny, the song is so not rock but a cute cute electropop/ dance/ europop number. Instantly one of my favourites.

Electric Chapel - Lol, Gaga is fooling us again, well not wholely, but just like the opposite of the previous track, this one has a pretty rock feel to it though it’s named “electric”. It’s still a dance song though. It’s epic, an instant love again. Gaga sounds exceptionally cute here. HML and EC are like a pair of opposites for me, funny.

The Queen - Lol, Gaga surely needs a song like this, she’s one of the new queens of pop! Only it sounds not that big as I wound expect it to be for a song titled this. It’s rather slowing down a bit? An ok tune for me.

Yoü and I - I don’t really know the play of words here, but I have to say I like this. It’s a different tune and sets itself from the rest of the album - a rock song,  and interestingly something I would consider a ballad for the album? Finally we can lay down and talk about emotions? Well only it’s a rock one and pretty rock! Lol… 

The Edge Of Glory - The grand ending song. I felt in love when I first heard it as a single. And it fits into the album here very well. It serves really well as an ending song for the album and good for standalone listen too. It’s just good, good good good…

If you’re gonna get the album, I suggest you getting the special edition ‘cause the remixes are very good. I mean outstanding.

Born This Way (Country Road Version) - A decent country rock take of the song. It actually makes the song even more likable. Maybe Gaga can use this version as the single? Well that may scare the fans away though, lol.

Judas (DJ White Shadow Remix) - A minimal take on the original. Mild and enjoyable, I like it.

Marry The Night (Zedd Remix) - A decent remix though it’s quite similar to the original. It also has a chilling feel to it. A typical club banger. I imagine lots of people dancing to this.

Scheiße” (DJ White Shadow Mugler) - A crazy long take of the original, very europop. I imagine Gaga performs it and dancing crazily along this.

Fashion of His Love” (Fernando Garibay Remix) - A ok more dance and light remix to the original, I don’t see too much difference from the original though. It’s, em, okay.

Born This Way (Jost & Naaf Remix) - This is crazy. This is HUGE. This is like making the original 200% better. This is like a perfect ending to this era. Starting with BTW the original and ends with BTW the perfect mix. You should get this, I’m dancing crazily to it!!

I pretty much like the whole album. I can see Gaga opting for a more rock direction this time around, and mix this element well to her pop/ dance root, I like it. Actually one of the strong points of this album is that all the tracks mix and match so well together, it flows so good, yet many of them stand out alone as well, many have single potential. They fit in and stand out both at the same time, plus they sound organic and not forced. But then, due to Gaga music’s nature, I’m afraid I still may get tired of these tunes pretty quickly. Sometimes I wish Gaga can do something a little bit more low profile so maybe the materials can last longer. But then (again, lol) I think, “over the top”, that is Lady Gaga, she’s born that way, and I should better be okay with it. Yeh alright, I’m okay. :) All in all, in general, Gaga has done a beautiful job here. Big thumbs up~!! ;)

Album: Born This Way - Lady Gaga
Label: Streamline/Interscope/Universal
Recommended: Marry The Night, Judas, Bloody Mary, Heavy Metal Lover, Electric Chapel, Yoü and I, The Edge Of Glory, Born This Way (Jost & Naaf Remix)

genre:  pop, dance, electronic, rock
rating: 4/5 stars

Singles up to date:
- Born This Way
- Judas
- Edge Of Glory
- Hair