♪ mn music wonderland

Jan 14

Special: MNMW Top Music Of The Year 2011 - Part 2

Part 2 of MNMW Top Music Of The Year 2011:

Video of the Year: Boy & Bear - Feeding Line

It’s just way beautiful, way romantic, a very memorable video indeed.

Album Of The Year: Will Young - Echoes (RCA/ Sony)

Elegantly depressed… fantastic new style and direction while at the core you still find the real him. I seem can’t stop playing it, I’ve been playing this album for months, it’s grown so much on me. Each time, I found something different and wonderful in a particular song, a fine, wonderfully crafted album, that said it all. It is not an album for everyone but if you dive into it, you may get rewarded. I think this could be his best album by far…

Albums - Hornable Mentions:  (in no preference order)

Adele - 21 (XL/ Columbia)
James Blake - James Blake (A&M/ Polydor)
Lady Gaga - Born This Way (Interscope/ Universal)
Nicola Roberts - Cinderella’s Eyes (Polydor)

Artist Of The Year: Will Young

Yeah, anyone who gets the title of album of the year should get this one, it makes sense. That’s it, good work, Mr Young.

Music year 2011 in conclusion: This had been a good year of music, especially the latter half of it when it seemed there’s suddenly a rush of good works, fine and varied. Looking forward for a brand new year of good music, keep up the good work artists!!

Jan 13

Special: MNMW Top Music Of The Year 2011 - Part 1

A year’s flown by, it’s again to have a summary of the past year and present my top music of the year 2011:

Single/ song of the year and top 20 singles/ songs of the year:

Single/ song of the year:

1. Bright Light Bright Light - How To Make A Heart

A instant catch on me when it was first released, and it’s been there in my head, in my heart since then, it’s just I haven’t really realized that it’s always been there, until now. And now, it’s still here, maybe it will never really go away, so any song reaching this state will at least get some title like this one if not more, bravo!!

2. Adele - Set fire To The Rain
3. Bon Iver - Holocène
4. Will Young - Come On
5. Adele - Someone Like You 
6. Lana Del Rey - Video Games
7. Will Young - Runaway
8. Will Young - Happy Now
9. James Morrison feat. Jessie J - Up
10. Boy & Bear - Feeding Line
11. Metronomy - The Bay
12. Nicola Roberts - Lucky Day
13. Lady Gaga - Edge Of Glory
14. Kasabian - Days Are Forgotten
15. Patrick Wolf - Together
16. Darren Hayes - Black Out The Sun
17. Maria Mena - This Too Shall Pass
18. Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Starlight
19. James Blake & Bon Iver - Fall Creek Boys Choir
20. Olly Murs feat. Rizzle Kicks - Heart Skips A Beat 

Part 2 with video of the year, album of the year and artist of the year…

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

Special - Rap Special

Rap isn’t my thing, but even so, I find these 2 interesting and addictive:

Nas - Nasty

Compare to chart topping mega heavy beat with super catchy, sugary hook lines hip-hops, I find myself preferring this old school, simple, straight forwards style. It has its special charm if they know how to put it. I have to say the beat is very addictive. And I like the video too.

genre: rap, east coast hip hop
rating: 4/5 stars 

The Ting Tings - Hang It Up

They are back! I always like a bit of their fun pop/indie pop style. I think this isn’t strictly rap but I like this chant-rapping style. This is really like their hit “Shut Up and Let Me Go” though, but also offerring something new. Fun poppy + colorful +chant rapping = highly fun and attractive for us. :D

genre: indie pop, dance-punk, rap, hip hop
rating: 4/5 stars 


Sep 28

Video Special: Beautiful Videos

Here are some of the recent videos which I think are really beautiful:

Bon Iver - Holocene: How beautiful is it? Such wonderful scenery. Calm, pure, innocent, peaceful.

video rating: 4/5 stars 

Boy & Bear - Feeding Line:  Um, how romantic, very clever too, girls will love it, Valentines’ first choice . ^_^ Great song accompanied with a great video.

video rating: 4.5/5 stars

Nicola Roberts - Lucky Day: It seems it’s a really good day with good weather huh? Sunny, colorful, pretty girl, everyone will like it, guaranteed at least.  

video rating: 4/5 stars

Olly Murs - Heart Skips A Beat: How colorful and energetic huh? See all these folks, jumping, singing and dancing, how youthful, go on old folks, start recalling your good ole days and be sad…

video 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

Special: A Rock Special - Incubus, Hard-Fi, Kasabian

6 songs from 3 rock bands, kind of similar but also kind of different, all fantastic:

Incubus - Adolescents, Promises Promises

They are cool. It’s kind of dark, but very captivating. “Adolescents” is fast paced and impressive; “Promises Promises” is a rock ballad, in the same league but soothing you out, after the attack, lol. And it has kept growing and growing since my first listen. Give it a try.

genre: alternative rock
ratings: A: 4/5 stars; PP: 4/5 stars 

Hard-Fi - Good for Nothing, Fire in the House

I’ve been a fan for quite some time, their dance rock is just so attractive for me. “Cash Machine”, “Suburban Knights” and “Tied up too Tight” are all huge for me. “Good for Nothing” is a very impressive comeback single. It’s kind of groovy and infectious. It feels like they’ve matured a lot through this new direction. It feels quite new but not losing their root, great track. “Fire in the House” is more relaxed and dancey but still tight and sophisticated, I like it a lot. It’s a great comeback for me!!

genre: indie rock, alternative rock, dance rock
ratings: GFN: 4/5 stars;  FITH: 4/5 stars 

Kasabian - Switchblade SmilesDays Are Forgotten

They didn’t disappoint! These two comeback singles are superb! “Switchblade Smiles” is kind of aggressive, it just want to rock you deep inside with angry vocals and fast pace vigorous arrangments. I think it succeeded, it’s left a deep impression on me, it’s dark but artistic, it’s simply awesome. “Days are Forgotten” is HUGE. It’s ace, hands down. An epic Kasabian rock ballad you don’t wanna miss. I love the “ah” verse, I love the super sweet chorus, I love the flow, the energy, I love the whole song from start to finish, brilliantly ace, period. Welcome back, welcome back!!! I’m ecstatic!! :DD

genre: indie rock, neo-psychedelia, space rock, electronic rock
ratings: SS: 4/5 stars; DAF: 4.5/5 stars

Aug 21

Revisited Special: An Amy Winehouse Special

We have to admit we’ve lost a great talent, and it’s time to remember some of her best moments. Amy only has 2 albums, while I think “Frank (2003)” is a great jazz/soul album, to be frank, um, my favorites all lie in “Back to Black (2006)”. Here are my 3 favorite Amy Winehouse singles:

You Know I’m no Good (feat. Ghostface Killah)

I surely love the album version but this remix version is just ace. It’s powerful, it’s fierce and more street, not necessary more street is great, but in this case, it’s wonderful.

genre: soul, jazz, r&b, alternative hip-hop
rating: 4/5 stars 

Tears Dry on Their Own

The title seems sad, but oh my dear, this is like spring, it’s beautiful and shiny all over the song you can feel it, the “sha-la-la” ending just confirms it! A very interesting and sturdy number and the video is interesting too, look at Amy in there, it’s quite funny, lol.

genre: soul, r&b 
rating: 4/5 stars

Love is a Losing Game

It’s dreamy and slightly sad. It’s also very soft, soothing. Despite the title, it actually doesn’t feel that bad after hearing it. And the flow is very good. Outstanding track.

genre: r&b, soul, doo-wop, jazz 
rating: 4/5 stars  

It’s probably Amy’s bad habits that took Amy’s life, but Amy’s an undeniably talented artist, let’s learn from her good but not her bad. I think she’ll be holding a place in many music lovers’ heart forever. 

M.I.A.’s tribute - 27

M.I.A. had made a song for her pal, it’s kind of typical M.I.A., I like it, have a listen. And the lyrics are kind of intriguing, have a look below.

27 by _M_I_A_

said your all mouth and no brains 
all rock stars go to heaven 
you said you’ll be dead at 27 
when we drunk in a English tavern 
the owner poured you the Bourbon 
and you drunk your self so rotten 
he got so rich he bought a Bentley 
and moved himself to Devon

you started dirty dancing 
and you bar tended a dozen 
i took you to the clinic 
to get you clean but you couldn’t 
said in 2 days ur 27 and and ur destiny was comin 
and ur papa passed so sudden 
and left you with lil somin

you blew that money on a mountain of drugs 
and staged your self a bedin 
a month later when i popped in 
your still high but the winter set in 
i bought you a coffee and a muffin 
and you quoted me some Lenin 
i wished i was that clever 
but thats what kept me coming 
your friendship did mean somin 
but you left me for nothin 
when i left, you befriended a rope 
and i found you both were hanging. 

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

Feb 15

Special/ Revisited: Comfort Tunes

If your heart and soul ever need comforting, I think these tunes suit the category.

Tori Amos - A Sorta Fairy Tale (2002)

I love Tori. She may have lost her fire, but I enjoy this calm Tori too. She’s just being herself, telling how she feels, whether it’s angry or pleasant. I have to say I prefer the album version though, the brilliance is extended.

genre: rock, pop
rating: 4/5 stars

Beck - Lost Cause (2002)

He’s quiry, I like that. This is mind soothing, lovely. This, however, comes as quite tamed, but I’m rather ok with it. :)

genre: folk
rating: 4/5 stars

Moby - Natural Blues (2000)

This comes from his 1999 mega album “Play”, so many wonderful things there. And this one is certainly comforting, with the use of some wonderful samples. It’s a little sad though, but I adore it, for some reason, this little song comes into my head from time to time. For the videos, I have to say I prefer the animated one, I like that slightly sad little fellow.

genre: electronica
rating: 4/5 stars