Category: Music

Walk Off The Earth – R.E.V.O

R.E.V.OCouple of days ago, I got home to find that my awesome wife had gone on and bought me Walk Off The Earth’s new album R.E.V.O, which was just released this week.

For those of you who don’t know Walk Off The Earth, they’re a very talented Canadian band that formed in 2006 in Burlington, Ontario, and has gained success around the world by making low-budget music videos of covers and originals. Their 5-people-playing-one-guitar interpretation of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” exploded on Youtube garnering well over 35 million views in under 2 weeks.

I’ve been hooked on the videos they’ve been posting on their YouTube channel for quite a while, and listening to some of their songs on Grooveshark; and both their original songs as well as their covers are just great music. I actually like their covers more than the versions by their original performers in most cases (e.g. Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble“).

The album has a combination of songs that Walk Off The Earth have recorded over the past while, some of which would be familiar to fans who follow their YouTube channel, and ones that are new tracks. It also includes their acoustic, 5-people-playing-one-guitar, cover of “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye.

I’ve been listening to the album the past couple of days, and I totally recommend checking them and the album out. Some of my favorite tracks off the album are: Red Hands, Gang of Rhythm, Speeches, Summer Vibe, and No Ulterior Motives.

They’re another great example of an indie music band or artist that used YouTube to get their music out there, build a huge following, and then through that get a record deal to be able to further their dream of making more music at a more professional level.

It used to be gigs at clubs and auditions and such that would get the word out about new bands and artists, and even though that still happens obviously, there’s more and more reliance on the internet and specifically sites like YouTube and SoundCloud for the build-up phase.

And I think that’s the going to become the norm for all new music acts, where record labels only sign up bands and artists who have garnered enough attention and interest from people to take it to the next level.
It also gives some power to the bands and artists, where they have a bit more choice as to whether they want to go with a record label or not, and puts them in a stronger position during deal negotiations as they already have a fanbase and exposure to build upon.
Yet another way in which the music industry is being changed because of the internet.

Anyway, long story short, make sure you check out Walk Off The Earth and their music; and let me know what you think.

RIP Michael Jackson, Legendary Musical Genius And King Of Pop

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson, the legendary musical genius and king of pop has passed away at the age of 50 after suffering a fatal heart attack.

I learned the news this morning by accident while I was on IMDB looking for a review about a movie. While the site was redirecting me to the search results page, I saw the news on the right hand column, and I froze. I couldn’t believe it. It couldn’t be possible. Michael Jackson can’t just die like that!

Of course he’s not going to live forever and neither is any one of us; but he can’t just die like that!

Michael Jackson isn’t just anybody, he is a music legend by all standards, his songs were the soundtrack for a whole generation’s best moments growing up, his sound is as enjoyable and awesome today as it ever was.

I can’t remember one childhood or teenage memory of mine without a Michael Jackson song dominating the charts and breaking new ground with its musical style and its video going steps further than anyone else.

We went out for a drive a bit earlier and we played The Essential Michael Jackson album that was released a few years ago with some of his greatest hits, and a flood of memories came back to my wife and I, and it struck us how songs he wrote a decade or two ago still sound amazing, fresher and more creative than any song out there.

There never was, is or will be anyone like him; a perfect performer, entertainer and musical genius.

Everybody knew Michael Jackson, from all generations, in every little corner of the world. He was the ultimate celebrity.

Michael Jackson the man might have died, but Michael Jackson the legend will live forever through his music that will continue to entertain for generations, and will continue to be as fresh and exciting as it was the day it was released. He will live forever through the memories of a whole generation of people who grew up with his music, trying to moonwalk just like him, buying jackets and gloves like his, watching in endless admiration whenever he performed.

I was a fan, through his great days when everyone was crazy about him, and through the hard times when it felt like everyone turned against him and started calling him a freak. I am still a fan, and always will be. I enjoyed and still enjoy every single album he released. Michael Jackson and his music will always hold a special place in my heart and in my household.

To this day, it’s still eating me up from inside that I wasn’t able to attend his concert in Tunisia, that happened just days after I moved to Jordan in 1996. Now, I’ll never get the chance to ever see the King of Pop live, an experience of a lifetime.

Rest in peace Michael Jackson; We love you; you’ll always be remembered and missed.
The world has lost an irreplaceable King.

Jill Sobule Tries To Make Fan Funded Album

Jill SobuleAmerican singer-songwriter Jill Sobule is another artist attempting to break away from the recording industry machine; her approach is by turning to her fans to fund her next album.

She has launched a website called Jill’s Next Record through which she’s collecting donations from her fans in an attempt to come up with $75,000 for recording the album and other related costs.

In return for her fan’s donations, she will be giving them prizes according to the size of the donation.
Donations can go from $25 up to $10,000; while her prizes go from sending out an advanced copy of the CD to being mentioned on the CD to getting a house concert or even getting to sing on the CD with her.

I really think it’s an interesting approach, and a very good way to break free from the greedy music industry giants. I wish Jill the best of luck in getting her album made and that her fans enjoy every bit of it.

Bora Yoon Plays Music Using Mobile Phones

So, what do you know, mobile phones can serve to produce music that isn’t always as annoying as ringtones…

“A cell phone is as good an instrument as a piano,” says Bora Yoon, a 27-year-old Korean-American who is becoming famous for playing the portable phone as a musical instrument. On Friday Yoon performed at the Time Warner Center’s Jazz at Lincoln Center in Manhattan, the dream stage for aspiring jazz artists.

The performance sponsored by Samsung Electronics proved that cell phones can indeed serve as high-tech instruments. Violinist and vocalist Yoon used the tones of the phone’s keys, and combined them with piano, violin, xylophone and loudspeaker sounds. The music, on top of her bright purple dress and the night view of Central Park outside the concert hall, impressed the audience.

[Source: Digital Chosun Ilbo]

It sounds pretty cool, I’d really like to listen to the resulting music.
I’ll be searching for some sound or video clips.

James Morrison – Undiscovered

One of the CDs I’ve been listening to a lot in the car recently is “Undiscovered” by English singer/songwriter James Morrison.

I came to know James Morrison through his song “You Give Me Something” which is a really cool song, and then after hearing another of his songs called “Wonderful World”, I just had to buy the album. I wasn’t let down, the whole album is a magnificent ride through a set of great tunes and lyrics.

James’ style reminds me a lot of James Blunt and KT Tunstall with evident influences by greats like Cat Stevens, Otis Redding and Van Morrison; it’s a mix of pop/rock and soul music, with a layer of simple yet powerful and touching lyrics on top.

I can’t say which songs are my favourites because I appreciate every song on this album and enjoy it greatly, but the ones I listen to the most I guess are still “You Give Me Something” and “Wonderful World”.

I really recommend this album for people into the pop/rock or soul genres, or who enjoyed music by the likes of James Blunt and KT Tunstall; you won’t be dissapointed, this album is a delight.

My score for this album would be 8.5/10.

You can buy this album here: James Morrison (Undiscovered).

Take That – Beautiful World

It might not be information that a lot of people know about me, or that a lot of people would be openly proud of, but I was actually a fan of Take That back in the 90’s, in my teenage years; although when you come to think of it, I was more a fan of Gary Barlow than the whole band, because it was the songs he wrote and sang that I liked the most.

Anyway, ten years after their split, Take That re-united last year and launched a number of reunion concerts in the UK that were very successful, and so they decided to work on some new material; the result of that effort is the album “Beautiful World“, which moves towards a more adult pop/rock style.

I bought the album when I was in Take That’s hometown Manchester last January, and I’ve been listening to it in my car over the past weeks.

This album is the kind of album you have to listen to a number of times before you fully appreciate it, it’s quite different from Take That’s previous albums, but still it’s the one album you can actually refer to as a true Take That album. I’ll explain; in the previous albums, most of the songs were written and performed by Gary Barlow, with only a song or two by one of the other band members per album. In this album, most of the songs were written by all of Take That, and all the band members got to sing, which makes it quite different in its style and feel. At first it even feels as thought it’s just a compilation of a number of solo projects by each band member, but then after listening to it a number of times, you see how they blend together in one album.

My favourite song off this album has to be “Patience“, performed by Gary Barlow, which was the first single off the album and shot straight to #1.

Some of my other faves off this album are: Shine (second single, also #1), Beautiful World, Reach Out, Mancunian Way, Wooden Boat.

I recommend this album to everyone who is into the pop/rock sound, and of course to anyone who was a Take That fan before; It could take some getting used to at first, but you’ll end up loving this album.

Buy it now!

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Stadium Arcadium

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium ArcadiumAn album, actually double-album, I’ve been listening to a lot these past days is “Stadium Arcadium” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers; I’m a big fan of RHCP and their music, and this album just oozes more of their trademark cool tunes, rhymes and lyrics.

Almost four years passed between the release of their last album “By The Way” and this one, and the band recorded enough songs for three albums over that period, which explains why they went ahead and released this two-hour, 28-track double-disc collection (Disc 1: Jupiter / Disc 2: Mars).

The album is a mix between what they did on “By The Way” and “Californication” with a number of new touches and directions here and there.

My favourite songs off the album up to now are: Snow (Hey Oh), Dani California, Hey, Tell Me Baby, Desecration Smile, Stadium Arcadium, Hard to Concentrate.

A lot of people say they like the ‘Mars’ disc more, but up to now, they’re quite tied for me, each one having its strengths.

What I love about RHCP’s music is that you never grow bored of it no matter how many times you listen to the CD, it always has a fresh, cool feel to it, and this album feels the same way too. The proof is that this album is nearly a year old now, plus I still listen to their older albums a lot too.

I really recommend this album to all RHCP fans and music lovers who are into this genre.

My score for it is: 8.5/10

Future Arab Super Star Season 4

The fourth season of Future TV’s Arab Super Star show will be kicking off in a few days. The first episode will be on Sunday, January 14th.

The contestants have been chosen from 8 different countries after a number of auditions in several countries including the US and Canada.

The judges this season will be the same as in the last season: Elias El Rahbani, Ziad Boutros, Fadia Tanab and Abdallah El Qa