ANOTHER Gary Lightbody side project? After Reindeer Section and his usual Snow Patrol day job, this is the third 'band' he's put together now. At this rate he might just be able to challenge Jack White and Damon Albarn... ok maybe not.
Anyway, Tired Pony is apparently his attempt at making a 'country music' album. Why the hell he would want to make a fuckin' country music album is beyond me, but thankfully, The Place We Ran From actually does run away from being an actual pure country music album.
The 'band' consists of Lightbody (who writes most of the songs, hence the reason most of it sounds like a twang-y Snow Patrol album), R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, Belle & Sebastian's Richard Colburn and a few others (including Zooey Deschanel as well!). The music? Pretty damn good, actually.
Like I said, most of the songs DO sound a bit like Snow Patrol's usual stuff (Lightody's stop-start-stop-start style of song writing is very prominent), but they are more mellow, and more soothing than Snow Patrol's usual soaring, crashing chorus-driven hits.
Surprisingly though, my favorite songs here are those NOT sung by Lightbody primarily. Get On The Road (which Lightbody sings with Zooey), which although reminds me of Set The Fire To The Third Bar, is a beautifully executed duet that soars halfway through. Elsewhere, the Iaian Archer sung and written I Am A Landslide reminds me a little of Stevie Nick's Landslide (especially the line that actually mentions 'Landslide'), but the whole song is still wonderfully catchy and probably the most 'country' sounding of the lot. And then there's The Bood Book, sung with the deep baritone of Tom Smith (from Editors). Those songs stand out amongst the Lightbody led numbers even more because they don't sound like a country version of a Snow Patrol song, which is a good thing.
Don't get me wrong though, I love this album. It's just that I wish Lightbody had made a little more effort to make it sound less like a Snow Patrol album; much like what he did with his Reindeer Section albums. But it's still a good solid album though, not quite as country as Lightbody inplies, but still very much decent, especially if you're a Snow Patrol fan.
Tangled Not a Review. Known as Rapunzel here in Malaysia. Which is the original name anyway. Before Disney decided to change it to Tangled. Because apparently they wanna appeal to young boys, Who wouldn't watch a Disney princess movie called Rapunzel. HAH!
No matter what it's called, It's still pretty darn good. Certainly more memorable than Princess And The Frog, And harks back to some of Disney's best princess stories.
There's the pretty and feisty princess, The dashing male lead (voiced by Chuck!) The cute animal sidekicks (the chameleon is especially fun) The cackling evil witch/mother, And the Alan Menken songs!
At first I couldn't get over the fact that she CARRIES her hair around. Like, isn't it HEAVY? And doesn't it get DIRTY? But it's MAGIC hair. It has a song that heals things, So there's probably a song to clean her hair, A song to make it lighter, And even a song that kills any kutu that moves in.
The male lead sounds too much like Chuck for my liking though. Or maybe that's cos I just finished a 5-episode Chuck marathon. But he was pretty decent. Mandy Moore as Rapunzel was a little generic though. Why do ALL the Disney princess seem to sound the same?
Oooh, but the songs were not bad. Reminds me a bit of the old Disney fairytales. Beauty & The Biskut, Aladdin, Little Mermaid... It IS composed by Alan Menken after all. And they were pretty fun as well!
If you like the Disney fairytales of old, Then you'll probably like this. It's charming, fun, and quite entertaining too. The dialogue is fun, the animation is gorgeous, The music is great, the story is decent (though a bit 'EH?' at times). Yup, definitely lives up to the Disney princess stories of old. Better than Princess And the Frog, in fact.
Disney has really found its way back, Especially since John Lassater took over. Pixar influence for the win! First Bolt, then Princess And The Frog, And now this. What's next? Some weird goofjob called Mars Needs Moms. Oh dear...
Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows, Part One Harry Potter & The Movie Not Review, Part One Harry Potter & The Bloody Pointless Part One
Harry Potter & The Deadly Serious. Harry Potter & The Darkly Sorrows. Harry Potter & The Bleakly Hollow. Harry Potter & The Dramatically Slowest. Harry Potter & The Two Part Cash Cow. Harry Potter & The 2 1/2 hour Trailer
Harry Potter & The Dolby Stereo. Harry Potter & The Dobby Whatfors. Harry Potter & The Harry Potters. Harry Potter & The OMG THIS IS TAKING FOREVER!
Ok, it's not THAT bad. In fact, it's actually like the book. Some good bits here and there, A lot of sitting around in tents, At least 450000 pages / 45 minutes too long, And a lot of bloody pointless scenes.
There was a serious lack of Severus though. Snape was AWESOME in that brief (and chilling) opening scene. Then... habis. No more Snape. Saving Snape for the next one is it? Good to have more Bellatrix though. Helena Bonham Carter is awesome.
Ooooh, Emma Watson. Hot. Cleavage = 8 = just right. She's legal now, so it's ok to give a a cleavage rating. Not digging her new tomboy look though. (Not in the movie, of course) But she's still hot. BTW, why is Harry taking his shirt off all the time? Should give Emma Watson the clothes stripping duties.
Seriously, couldn't they have made it just ONE movie? Then they could have done away with this one. Condense everything into one movie, More action, less pointless chatty scenes. Then again, they're doing that to The Hobbit too. Oh dear. Oh well, at least this wasn't in 3D....
Sorry about the lack of updates here, I'm on leave preparing for a very very big event (of which I'll blog about later heh heh), and I'm usually too lazy to update the blog when I'm not at work (shhhhh).
Anyway, one of my regrets this year is I had to miss the Belle & Sebastian concert in Singapore in July because one of my friends was getting married on that very same day (she's a big fan of them as well, and was quite upset they scheduled their concert on the same day). I heard it was a great show. Sigh....
The band has a new album out now called Write About Love, and it's one of my personal favorite albums this year. There's just something about the songs in this album that sticks in my head and makes me subconsciously hum or sing the melody, and yet not annoy the heck out of me the way most songs that stick in your head do.
The title track (feat. Carey Mulligan of all people) is just so catchy (especially the chorus that goes "I hate my job, I'm working way too much, everyday I'm stuck in an office"); and so is the opening track I Didn't See It Coming. Calculating Bimbo is a deceptively gentle and tender song with some kickass lyrics, while I'm Not Living in the Real World is just pure joy.
The band also has a duet with Norah Jones on Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John - it's a great song, nice tune and all, but although I like it, somehow it just sounds too Norah Jones-y for me.
Sigh, now I wish I'd gone to see their concert... PLEASE come back, Belle & Sebastian!
If the answer is only one or two - Sex On Fire and/or Use Somebody, then why are you complaining about Come Around Sundown being 'too mainstream'? It's not like they've ever been mainstream before Only By The Night Anyway.
The Kings Of Leon have always been happy doing their own thing. I first heard of them in 2003 with Molly's Chambers, and then again with Aha Shake Heartbreak (which was awesomely mad).
Reta is right though, this album IS rather mellow, but since when was mellow a bad thing? I quite like it though, it's got some pretty decent songs. It IS a lot more mainstream and radio friendly than their older albums though (yes, even Only By The Night), and I get the feeling they were just being lazy when they recorded it. Or maybe they were just tired from all that sex on fire.
I have a theory though - Kings Of Leon are just messing with us, trying to get us to listen to country music and ignore them so they can go back to making awesome, non-mainstream stuff like Aha Shake Heartbreak or even Because Of The Night. Just listen to Back Down South and tell me that don't sound like country music... I tell you, they're trying to trick us into listening to all that twanging crap!
My personal favorites in the album are Birthday, Pyro and Mary (love the old school 'Ahhh ahhh-ing'), though Radioactive is probably the one that stands out most as a single (there's a much better remix version with a choir on the deluxe edition I think).
I liken this album to Wilco's Sky Blue Sky, where Jeff Tweedy and gang just toned everything down and delivered an album with just pure unadulterated melodies and songs. Come Around Sundown doesn't even come close to Sky Blue Sky, of course, but as a chillout album (as chillout out as rock music can get, that is), it's a decent album with decent songs.