Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Paramore 'Brand New Eyes' Album Review

Here is my review of Paramore's third studio album called "Brand New Eyes"



Paramore is a rock band containing Hayley Williams as the female lead singer, Josh Farro, Zach Farro, Jeremy Davis and Taylor York. I first heard of Paramore from a friend and upon listening to a few tracks, I was kind of hooked, but not completely convinced, until getting this album.

~~~ALBUM COVER~~~
The album cover is a subtle and interesting one, showing a shape of a butterfly. It is quite a interpretive and conceptual cover which links subtly with the songs within the album.

~~~TRACKLIST~~~
Most of the songs in this album have a rock genre, with a few exceptions which are more pop and slightly slower.

1. Careful
This is a fantastic start to the album. The song sets the tone for the rest of the album at a very high standard. Not only is this track addictive, it has substance and is so so catchy. I love this song, one of my favourites definitely. There is real emotion and you just want to join in and you can feel the emotion. One of THE best on here.

2. Ignorance
Another SOLID track which WOULD be the absolute best on this album if it does NOT have the bit "Ignorance is your best friend"... Perhaps due to my friend tainting this by singing that part in a cheesy way, it just made me feel a bit weird... It's a good song apart from that little bit. AND also the part when it goes "it's good it's good it's goooooood"... Hmm..

3. Playing God
I love this song, and it has some very interesting lines which include "Next time you point the finger, I might have to bend it back and break it off". I find songs with interesting lyrics so cool, and not only that, it has such an addictive rhythm, and catchy overall.

4. Brick by Boring Brick
All the songs so far have had a catchy intro, and this is no exception. This has perhaps THE best intro, the ups and downs are soo good. This is one of my favourite songs on the album. I think this shows off Hayley William's voice the best and allows her to express herself without being TOO shouty.

5. Turn it Off
Another catchy song... starts to feel slightly repetitive, but they are all unique in their own way, and has slight and subtle differences. This is slightly more soft with a growing strong and powerful chorus.

6. The only Exception
It is starting to move onto the slow songs, and this one I do not like that much. They should stick to the catchy rock stuff.

7. Feeling Sorry
By now it is feeling a bit samey but it is a strong track in itself. I personally do not like this a lot... rather too shouty! It is a strong change between The only exception and this, and this rather sudden jump is not fluid.

8. Looking Up
A good catchy song, but sounds a bit too much like Avril Lavigne, almost 100%. If I was told this was Avril Lavigne I would believe them. Nevertheless, it is a good catchy song, which this album is all about.

9. Where the lines Overlap
The song starts off slightly of a pop genre, but has some deep interesting lyrics. The song is upbeat and addictive. However, I do feel this wears out quite quickly and I would be bored of it after about two dozen plays. It HAS lasted longer than my initial thought, currently at 50 plays.

10. Misguided Ghosts
A slower track, and as I was recently listening to Amy Studt's My Paper Made Men, this sounds a lot like those tracks. I think this is a meaningful song just that it does NOT fit into the album very well. I tend to skip this track often but would listen to this with other songs of a slower nature.

11. All I wanted
This is also a slower track, but unlike "Misguided Ghosts", it is upbeat and has an interesting back beat and rhythm. Throughout the song, it draws you in and keeps you interested. It grows into a more rocky song which is nice.

12. Decode
This would've been most well known as being in Twilight, and very well it should be. It is a very awesome song with dark undertones. Whilst this hangs off the album, it is one unique song, as the other songs do not carry such a dark, slightly mysterious turn. Perhaps this hints to their next album being slightly darker in this way, which would be quite interesting. This sounds a bit like Evanescence in a more upbeat way.

~~~PRICE~~~
This can be purchased for about £10 hard copy, and about £7-8 digital download.

~~~OVERALL~~~
This album is really competent and is a fantastic third album for the band. I do feel though, that the "slower" songs are slotted in at some awkward positions, and that they are somewhat inconvenient and don't fit in very well, especially "The only exception". Perhaps that should be the ONLY exception... hmm...

My favourite tracks are Careful, Decode, Playing God and Brick by Boring Brick.

I really like the album as a whole, although some songs do sound a bit like Avril Lavigne, they do put their own mark on it to make it their own and create some original meaningful and interesting songs!

If you've not heard of Paramore, it's a great time to do so!!

Here is a video of their song, Brick by Boring Brick

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Carmen VS Kahlen

So Kahlen Rondot from Cycle 4 of ANTM came out as the finalist, second place, shooting some awesome photos during the competition but why has she not got any jobs in real life as a model? Because she looks like Carmen Cass, who is a working model. They look absolutely identical...

I feel sorry for Kahlen, she cannot control what she looks like and just because she looks like someone, noone wants her?

Perhaps its the idea of being overshadowed, but still, its her passion, well atleast it WAS.. not she's a bartender and wants to open her own bar...

See the pictures below and see if you can work out which one is Kahlen and which one is Camen...







Answers:

1) Kahlen
2) Carmen
3) Kahlen
4) Carmen

Admit it, you thought it was hard too!

Saturday, 26 September 2009

The Pac Man Chair

I found this and I absolutely adore it. It is such a retro piece of decor, I would love to have this chair somewhere! This design rocks, although I would have nowhere to put it... I have never been like addicted to Pac Man but played it before and the whole game is iconic and retro!

Friday, 25 September 2009

Scribblenauts DS Review

Scribblenauts is a new DS game that works on a concept that you can write ANYTHING and it comes up in game as a useable object, with which you can use to solve the level... Interesting? Read on.

~~~GAME COVER~~~
The game box has a colourful front, and well designed in my opinion with many objects coming from a notepad, which represents the game very well... Although slightly childish, the concept is very much adult, and anyone can play this!! Here's how...

~~~GENERAL OUTLINE~~~
Each "world" (there are 10 in total) have two sections, one action and one puzzle, and each divide has a further 10 levels. In total, there are 200 levels... and aim of which is to get a small yellow star.

That might sound easy, but there are many obstacles in the way. The star may be blocked by a trap, it might be at the bottom of the sea; or even guarded by a dragon. The aim is for you to summon objects which will aid you in collecting the star.

Without spoiling too much, you might write scuba kit in your notebad to dive, a car to drive, a rope to tie things with etc... the possibilities are endless (almost!)

After completing each level you can opt to complete it a further 3 times with different objects which is advanced mode... this is purely optional.

After completing each level, you are graded on the amount of objects used, the lower the better, the time spent, and creativity... which gain you game currency called OLLARS (It's pretty cringeable!) with which you can buy songs, avatars, and unlock new worlds!

~~~DIFFICULTY~~~
Each level ranges in difficulty and there are a variety of different hardnesses in each world, the world number does not correspond to its difficulty, although it can be assumed that it generally gets slightly more challenging.

I will have to say that the difficulty isn't in gaining the star, but believing that you could do certain things in game to your advantage, which actually makes certain levels uber-easy! I personally use a few objects over and over and passes levels really really quickly... Of course there's not much fun in that, so I'm going to have to do them on advanced mode.

~~~FLAWS~~~
The game advertises itself as being able to write anything and it comes up in game, which is of course FALSE. The game is for 7+ so there are a number of ground rules, for example, nothing vulgar (such as sexual parts), anything with copyright (such as Sims plumbob... XD I did try!) and anything that could be discriminatory.

However, I was surprised to find that you can summon *SPOLER ALERT*


GOD and the DEVIL... this is slightly controversial! But they have a range of "made believe" things as well... either way its up for the debate.. Personally touches like these make the game more surprising and uplifting... makes you go "WOW, I can't believe I can do this!"

However, SOME basic items are NOT in game. One level asked me to prepare breakfast, so I thought PANCAKES, but to my disappointment, that seems to be a food the Scribblenauts Team disliked and omitted it from the game. Instead, the chef had to eat birthday cake and wine.

~~~EXTRAS~~~
With your OLLARS you can buy Avatars, but these are only limited to about 9 which I found extremely disappointing! I would've expected a LOT more since the game has so many summonable characters!!

There are also songs you can buy, but I personally do not bother with them. Who would listen to them anyway? It's not like you could put songs from iTunes into it... really seemed pointless...

A nice feature is that on the start screen, there is a mini playable area, where you can just summon anything and watch them interact, and by summoning new objects, a new platform was unlocked (Ice, space, island etc).

~~~ENJOYMENT~~~
The game is extremely enjoyable, and one where you get many "Ooohs" and "wows"... The vast amount of ways in which one can solve a level is also to be praised, and sharing unique moments with others has also made my gaming experience more fun... It is hilarious what you can do in it...

Some people choose to play it very conventionally, whilst others play it with a more creative mind, summoning to their content the likes of Dragons, fairies and witches... and finding all these different objects and how to use them to your advantage is part of the learning process and a majority of the fun...

~~~PRICE~~~
The game can be purchased for around £30 in most game stores, and slightly cheaper online!

~~~OVERALL~~~
I have heard about this game for quite a while, and in the beginning was not very hyped up. As I previously played the game "Drawn to Life", where you can draw things and use them in game that was a really bad game in my opinion, did not keep my attention, I just gave up.

This is totally different. Not only is it addictive, it brings gaming to a whole new level, which reminds me I forgot to talk about graphics! Oops...

~~~GRAPHICS~~~
The graphics are pretty simple, mostly 2D, but the colourful animated settings and objects, and the particular attentions to detail make you forget all that! It is definitely a game that is great, as it does not need the graphics to push it up!

Anyway, as I was saying, it is an original concept, and it works, VERY WELL. I can see myself playing this, trying to pass a level, stuck and try again, and it has long lasting value... It is also a social game, where you share with your friends ways to complete levels, share experiences, unique exciting objects you summoned and so on.

I would recommend this to anyone who can write English, even 5 year olds plus, helps them to spell and recognise English and it provides an experience that anyone of any age would greatly appreciate.

I hope my review has convinced you to BUY this game, but if not, make sure you force your friends to so you can have a go too!


America's Next Top Model Cycle 13 Episode 4 RECAP

So yesterday i watched ANTM and it was an ok episode... dramawise, the tables were turned and this time it was lulu and ashley who were the biatches in the ep! they were talking about EVERYONE, literally... luckily, Nicole (who is soo sweet) was kind to Bianca who felt so bad for being in the bottom two twice in a row... but i dislike her and she won't last very long anyway....

They had a runway challenge which was walking tall against a normal sized model who compared to them were uber-tall! Some did well others didn't...

At photoshoot, they meant to elongate themself with the probs in the back and so on, and Nicole did an awesome job she looked like a GIANT!!! Seriously, was she on stilts or what?!

At Panel, Kara was called first although I didnt think she did very well.... she did terrible imo!

So my top 3 this week are:

1) Nicole
2) Erin
3) Jennifer


Nicole
Erin
Jennifer

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Tomoko Murakami- Wood Block Printing

I'm researching Wood Block Print artists for art and stumbled upon this great artist called Tomoko Murakami, whose work is absolutely magical and stunning!

The first time i saw it and I'm like WOW, the subtlety in colour is mesmerising whilst the harsh shapes of the printing is very strong. I perceive many messages from them and they are striking pieces.

There is a strong japanese style as she is printing on silk. I think it is also somethin valerie would like from her DP some sort of very mystical images....

here i have attached my favourites for you to see, but for more go to

www.mayu-art.com/Gallery.html

ENJOY!





Saturday, 19 September 2009

Scarlett Johansson fronts D&G's "Rose, The One"

Scarlett Johansson is fronting D&G (Dolce and Gabbana)'s new fragrance called Rose The One. She looks stunning in the adverts, a very blonde yet simplistic look- very Marilyn Monroe, as you can see in a previous ad by her.



Scarlett Johansson is really going places and she is doing well in the fashion and modelling side of things too! I can't wait for Iron Man 2, which stars her though... she's still best at acting.

Friday, 18 September 2009

America's Next Top Model Cycle 13 Episode 3 RECAP

I watched the third episode, and it was a double eliminatioN!!! One girl was eliminated after an interview with someone from Willhemina model agency... and that unlucky girl was Rachel (who i thought had potential!) but this was exposed in the previews the week before!! BAD EDITING ><

So basically the girls had a teach with Tyra learnign how to smile with your eyes, which Tyra horribly named "SMIZE" or "SCHMIZE"... >< LAME LAME LAME... and then had a challenge.. which was abit stupid..

for photoshoot they had to pose on a horse with a short jockey ><

The top three for me are the following:

1. brittany
2. nicole
3. Erin


Erin- She looks like Michelle from Cycle 4
Nicole- She looks like a ginger Blake Lively.

Brittany

Thursday, 10 September 2009

America's Next Top Model Cycle 13 Episode 1 and Episode 2 RECAP

So i watched both episodes tonight on youtube... the gimmick this cycle is that all models had to be 5 foot and 7 inches OR UNDER... so short models...

there are some good ones.. in ep one this blonde girl in big glasses was edgy but she didnt get through and also amber who DID get through "withdrew" for personal reasons.. perhaps she was asked to leave for being too edgy or that she believed in god and had a crazy personality??

anyway of the remaining girls, biana is a b**** and in the end lisa was eliminated she was the wild card...

my favourite is so far nicole.... she has a quiet personality but has awesome photo.




Kortnie?
Rae

Nicole

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

My Paper Made Men- Amy Studt Album Review

My Paper Made Men is the 2nd Studio album by Amy Studt, released digitally in 2008, featuring 10 new tracks.


~~~COVER~~~
The cover is a very stylish and personal design. I really like the two almost paper cut men as a frame for Amy Studt. The window effect works well. The simple orange background is also successful as it does not overcomplicate the design, or draw focus away.

As a second album, she got the cover art spot on!

~~~TRACKLIST~~~
1. Sad, Sad World
The album starts with a rather "interesting" song. The intro sounds as if it will be a typical Amy song, sounding similar to her previous album hits, but it breaks the mould as the singing and tune is very special. There is an awkwardness in the song, which works very well, almost like a tainted world.

There is a sad undertone, yet has uplifting elements. This song is very unique and does not conform to generics, which make this song memerable, and just by hearing the name, you can hear the song. I must admit that songs like this are very difficult to just "latch on to" immediately, but after listening to it again and again, you will GET it...

Although I was slightly bemused by the middle (coda?) where it goes all quiet and Amy is reduced to whispers. This was haunting but the repetition of the intro after was slightly confusing as well...

2. She Ran
This second song I feel is the closest Amy gets to a pop rock genre, and sounds alot like songs from her previous album, Misfit. This is a nice transition, as a second track, so we are not immediately thrown into this new style.

I really like the lyrics, and the song as a whole. Whilst the song conforms more to general song techniques there is an element of uniqueness, and this more upbeat song has a serious undertone which makes it NOT just pop which gets forgotten a week later.

This is perhaps one of my favourite songs.

3. Furniture
Furniture has a dark undertone, but again, is a lyrical masterpiece. I love the lyrics, and the dark tones, the tune, it is just mastered well. Originally I thought it was a bit depressing, but there is just so much meaning.

This song is also NOT easy to get into, but the chorus is just phenomenal. Again, this is one of the better tracks.

4. She walks Beautiful
Another slightly more upbeat track. This is one of my favourites as well due to the message in the song. From the first verse it draws you in easily and the change in tempo and tone makes this song powerful.

This song also allows Amy to show off her vocals, and they are great vocals which get underappreciated.

5. One Last Cigarette
I didn't really like this song when I first heard it, and even rated it 2 stars on my Windows Media Player. However, since listening to it recently again, it makes much more sense, and even just rating the lyrics it gets atleast a 4 star.

The song is slightly eerie, and gives an imagery of loneliness and again has a dark tone. However, there is a timeless quality about it, which gives it a potential to be a classic.

6. Nice Boys
On the surface, this song may just be another pop song... but it means so much more. The message of the song, the difference in message... this is one of my favourites again.

The quick tempo and upbeatness, whilst is fantastic as a pop song, is not what this song is about. I love that the messages are almost hiding in this tune, and you really have to listen to it to understand.

7. Walking Out
This song is easily forgotten. I personally can't think what this song is like just by looking at the name and have to hear it. But it has an addictive quality about it as well, whilst the chorus is somewhat ghostly and eerie.

The song overall is good, its not great. 4*

8. Chasing The Light
Another one of my favourites, as it has a powerful chorus! There are dark undertones hidden in the upbeat-ness of the song. The change of tone and tempo, again, like She Walks Beautiful, is a common technique used in this album, and works VERY well.

It is not SHOUTY at any point, and it is subtle which makes this a very enjoyable song.

9. Paper Made Men
Placing the album title song 9th on the tracklist says something. I personally found this really dark and slightly gruesome lyric wise but the messages, once you understand it, relieve the song of its "voodoo" quality. Once I got to this state, I found this song SO enjoyable, and has become one of my favourites.

10. Here Lies More
I also forget this track, and can't picture what its like until hearing it. It has a soft intro, and continues through as a soft song, but again has a powerful chorus. This soft finish is a fantastic touch to the whole album.

The eerie quality carries through in this song through the echoes, which provides consistancy. This song isn't one of my favourites but its good.

~~~PRICE~~~
This album can be bought on Amazon for under £10.

~~~OVERALL~~~
I was a big fan of Amy Studt after her singles "Under the thumb" and "Misfit" from her first album, and upon hearing the release of this album decided to try it, expecting pop rock tracks... boy was I disappointed. Upon first listening to it, I found the songs too depressing, and the dark tones just weren't me. Some songs "She walks Beautiful" and "Chasing the Light" were just bearable and were played no more than 40 times when I gave up whilst some tracks didn't even get past the 3 mark.

After reading the other review of My Paper Made Men on here, I decided to give it a second go, and I really like it. "My Paper Made Men" is a big transition from Amy's youth and contains many serious messages. Most of her songs sound personal, and the lyrics are written extremely well. Whilst some of the tunes or melody of the songs sound awkward it all works well, and is consistant.

Amy has a great voice and the lyrics in these songs are phenomenal, yet somehow people don't seem to know her and she is underappreciated and underrated.

The whole album has a slightly dark and satyrical feel about it, whilst some more upbeat songs merged in allow for a smoother transition from the old Amy to the new.

This album ISN'T for everyone, and for those used to the "old Amy" may find this too much to bear. But I do ask you to give her a second chance like I did, and you might just like it.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Olafur Eliasson

Before I even start talking about this amazing artist, I'm just going to declare my love for his works.. They are litereally AMAZING, and I would love to see them in real life...

He is perhaps most recently known for the New York Brooklyn Bridge Waterfalls, and I really like these, combining awesome elements and making them work.




This is another piece that I really like. It is fascinating that its not only this spherical prismic sculpture that is artistic but the rays it creates. I just can't stop staring at this, and would love one... it creates awesome colours and shapes I just can't comprehend.

I have no idea how this could be constructed, its so complicated, but its awesome! Makes you go wow.


This is at the Tate Modern. If I had heard about him before, I definitely would've went!! Darn it... but there will be more opportunities I'm sure...
This is perhaps one of my favourites, turning something so ordinary into something spectacular... It is also situated in such a place that the lines and shapes produced through photography is really stunning...

Olafur Eliasson's works are fascinating and really inspiring... He makes these really modern and breath-taking sculptures... Just love his work!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Restaurant City Facebook App


I have joined a Facebook Application called Restaurant City for about two months now, and I am now near the top!!


Here is my review:

Restaurant City is an app on Facebook made by Playfish, which lets you "run" your own restaurant. The premise of which is very simple. You hire staff, you buy the necessities, such as a cooker, table, chairs etc. and make money, earn exp, level up and so on...

Whilst it might be fun to begin with, once you set your staff their tasks, there is NOTHING for you to do, and frankly watching these small computer people do their tasks endlessly ISN'T much fun... so you think, fine, I'll exit and come back later.

NO. In order to level up, you MUST have the window open! This not only takes up computer memory, but is useless and frustrating when it interferes with other tasks...

That aside, it is quite addictive and competitive as you want to gain that level, unlock that plot of land, get more staff, get more money etc... the premise that makes MMORPGs successful. A clever thing they have is a leader board system in the form of a street, where the friend with the highest level is on the right most side of the screen and goes down accordingly etc...

~~~CLOTHING~~~
A nice little feature is the ability to dress your staff and your own little character. Personally, the range of outfits is at a bare minimum, and only a few I would actually consider using... Some cool ones include bunny ears, harry potter scar, and some more edgy outfits are available too.

~~~RECIPES~~~
The whole point of this IS a restaurant after all! And these are separated into four categories: Starter, Main, Dessert and Drinks.

Each of these also have about 15 different food recipes and encaptures ones in different ethnicities and cultures. Some favourites include: Caribbean Chicken Salad, Dim Sum and Bak Kut Teh.

Personally it would be nice to be able to cook yourself, a bit like cooking mama but this is absent.

~~~OBJECTS~~~
These are used to decorate the interior and exterior of your restaurant and too much emphasis is placed on this. They should upgrade other playable features instead!

They do have some cool objects such as mushroom tables and chairs. However, most interior design objects are ugly and unusable, and exterior objects are so common almost everyone's restaurant looks the same.

~~~OVERALL~~~
One good thing is they have regular updates to the game, such as new objects and new recipes. One mega annoying thing is that as you reach high levels, the exp needed for the next one is also exponentially increasing. I am currently 6th on the leader board and once I reach No 1, I think I will stop.

At the end of the day, it is absolutely pointless and what am I going to get from it? NOTHING.

UPDATE: Positive update is that now, you can exit the screen and still gain EXP!! This is ONE huge improvement and will certainly be much less tedious to us, and less "in the way" for our PCs while running it!!

Also, a recent update meant that you can now use REAL MONEY to buy game currency. Whilst many apps do this too, the constant reminder and persuasion of this DOES get annoying!

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