Movie Review: Focus (’15 John Requa & Glenn Ficarra)

Focus is a lot. I mean, it was really a lot. From its story line to the twists and turns, “Focus” lacks focus (no pun intended). But then it works, as the film successfully allow itself to be entertaining. There were no dull moments. The lead stars – in particular, Will Smith – were charming and charismatic. The hilarity is proven to be its selling point. Sure the writing is a little messy and the script seems to be a giant ball of everything but there are really parts that shined beautifully here. Overall, the film doesn’t disappoint at all and it is a film which you seem to forget its technical flaws if the way it was crafted is shiny and took its glory on the entertainment perspective. 7

The Voice UK 4: Blind Auditions (Part 4)

The Voice UK 4 - Blind Auditions

The last installment of our Blind Auditions coverage will be on the fourth coach and the one who came so close last season but didn’t really got that crown, although his artist was the strongest one: Ricky Wilson

Good Lord, Ricky is really distracting. Damn he is so good looking. Haha. But actually I feel really bad on the results last season. He was so close but again, maybe UK has their own reasons.

So let’s see if Ricky will find a stronger set of team this season or will he come close again.

This will be the last part as we will be heading on the Battle Rounds this Sunday! I’m excited.

Presenting,

TEAM RICKY

1. Letitia George
Stay With Me

– I’ve heard better versions but Letitia proved to be a strong vocalist as well. Her lower register sounded beautiful and the liberties she took sounds pretty nice too. 7

2. Hannah Symons
Powerless

– This is uneven for me. Some parts sound really good but some were off pitch and shaky. 6

3. Stevie McCrorie
All I Want

– That raspy tone of his is delicious. This was an absolute treat for me. I love his dynamics. His vocal control needed work especially that low register but overall, this was a strong audition. 8

4. Jade Hewitt
Here For The Party

– I find her a little too karaoke. Great command on stage though. 5

5. Classical Reflection
Nella Fantasia

– This is ghostly ethereal and weird for me. I guess this is not my cup of tea in the long run. 4

6. Shellyann
Kiss From A Rose

– Breathy in parts but this was decent enough. Not memorable though. 6

7. Emmanuel Nwamadi
The Sweetest Taboo

– While he showcased dynamics and his vocals were smooth in parts, this is a sleeper. It was so boring, halway I just didn’t care. 4

8. Tim Arnold
Running Up That Hill

– This was tuneless all through out. I just didn’t get it to be honest. 3

9. Hannah Wildes
All Good Things (Come To An End)

– Her vocals sounded lovely in parts. Her voice got drown a bit by the backtrack but this is decent. 7

10. Vikesh Champaneri
Hometown Glory

– His verses were muddled and his phrasing needed work but there is a richness in his tone that could actually be a threat if coached properly. 6

11. Christina Matovu
If I Go

– Mostly breathy. Pitch needed work. It was okay but forgettable. 6

12. Autumn Sharif
Crying For No Reason

– I like her tone. While I do think her chest or head voice could work here, her high register couldnve been better. But this is a nice little audition with enough build up to boast for. 7

New Track: Tori Kelly – Nobody Love

It’s here! It has been released many days ago as lyric video and on itunes but the video finally arrived. Yay. This is a very catchy pop song. A follow up to her song “Dear No One“, Tori released yet another digital single and she accomplished to capture the audience by this simple yet adorable tune. It is not as if it was the best written song, but it works to appeal mostly the young audience. It sounds current, now and radio friendly. No wonder, radio plays of the song is crazy!

Check out her latest music video below:

American Idol XIV: Top 24 (Part 2)

Last night the guys gave underwhelming to good performances, with a couple of 1-2 standouts. Tonight, it is the girls turn to charm America and battle it out for that spot in Top 16. Again, 4 girls will be eliminated (same as the boys), so I think this will be a very tight battle.

My early favorites are: Jax, Tyanna Jones, Sarina Joi-Crowe and Katherine Winston. I hope they do well tonight.

Now let us rank the top 12.

12. Shannon Berthiaume
Who Knew

– Aside from the fact that she had pitch problems, her verses were muddled that I don’t know if she got drowned by the band or she forgot her lyrics or she missed her timing. But this was painful. 3

11. Loren Lott
Note To God

– Her vocals were uneven in places. The high register was overwrought, almost feel like she was showboating. She was so disconnected with the track and her low register is really off pitch. 3.5

10. Alexis Gomez
Gunpowder & Lead

– Too karaoke for me. Sorry. 4

9. Shi Scott
Umbrella

– The dark quality in the performance actually worked for me as it created a different texture from the usual versions we’ve heard before but Shi is really a struggling vocalist no? Her vocals were mostly uneven and flat. The first part was okay. The second part, I thought sounded decent. 4.5

8. Katherine Winston
Safe & Sound

– Safe. Lifeless. Shaky vocals. Ugh. 4.5

7. Lovey James
Love Runs Out

– The first half is muddles and pitch too low for her. The second half sounded really nice and I’m glad she recover from an unpleasant first half. 5

6. Adanna Duru
Rather Be

– A mid-tempo, almost slowed down version of this dance tune is risky and I thought the first half sounded really beautiful. Those quiet moments were gorgeous. But when the band hits in and she started taking on those high register, she just started screaming at us. 6

5. Joey Cook
Someone Like You

– It was a polarizing performance. The giggle in between is weird for me. Not her best vocals but she showed quirkiness and originality in here. This is decent. 6

4. Maddie Walker
Love Gets Me Everytime

– Surprisingly, her vocals were consistently on point. This is decent but not memorable at all. I may have enjoyed it now but I am not sure if I could recall this at all comes midnight. 6.5

3. Tyanna Jones
Lips Are Movin’

– Not as good as last week. This sound really current and now and Tyanna is milking on that vibe that she has. Her vocals were okay but I feel that this was really safe for her. 7

2. Jax
Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)

– First half was impressive. Her vocals were mostly front and center. It was a too theatrical for me but she really knows how to play the game. 7.5

1. Sarina Joi-Crowe
Mamma Knows Best

– 2 Jessie J songs in a row? She must really love her no? Vocally this was technically great. I mean, no doubt. Her vocal control was fantastic. Her dynamics were on point. This was really good. 8

The Voice UK 4: Blind Auditions (Part 3)

The Voice UK 4 - Blind Auditions

The third part of our coverage will focus to icon: Sir Tom Jones

I am not sure if Tom’s range of song choices has helped his artists in the past but he definitely scored a technical singer last season in the name of, Sarah Barker. They went far, reaching the finals and placing 3rd during that season. Tom usually is under the radar but his artists are either in the middle of the pack or struggling to be current. Nonetheless, I am hopeful for Tom’s team this season.

TEAM TOM

1. Howard Rose
My Generation

– This is.. weird. Haha. I am not really if his guitar playing is off key or the timing is messed up. This just didn’t work with me and his falsettos sounded screechy. 4

2. Sasha Simone
XO/Royals

– The transition between two songs sounded pretty nice. Her first half is better than the second with some shaky parts. This is decent. 6

3. Stephanie Webber
Mama’s Broken Heart

– She’s comfortable up stage but she sounds really generic. 5

4. Daniel Duke
I’m Gonna Be (500 miles)

– Last minute turns? Haha. I’ve heard a lot of versions of this song already and the most recent one is from Jay James (X Factor UK 11). This is too sleepy for me. I mean, maybe it is the quality of his tone that keeps me off guard and a bit boring. 4

5. Kim Alvord
Scream (Funk My Life Up)

– Her verses were mostly uneven and her high register needed more power for her to reach it out. 5

6. Rosa Iamele
White Noise

– She started really well. I like how she managed to keep the track simple. And the build up sounded gorgeous but I wish the high register was stronger and her vocal support was a bit shaky. 7

7. Sharon Murphy
Forever Young

– Too outdated. Sharp. Flat. 4

8. Cai Williams
License To kill

– Eh? 3

9. Claudia Rose
Love You I Do

– Claudia lacks spunk and swag when she did this Jennifer Hudson song but she sure has some power vocals to keep it up. She just needs to work on her dynamics and to keep the performance more interesting because this felt decent but people won’t care long enough. 6.5

10. Lara Lee
There Are Worse Things I Could Do

– Lara is technical singer. This is drcent but not memorable. 6

11. Roisin Geraghty-McDonagh
Coat Of Many Colors

– Again, too generic! 5

12. Lisa Ward
Weak

– Her vocals were a little uneven in parts but then she probably is one of Tom’s strongest vocalist. 6.5

Album Review: James Reid – Reid Alert EP

Reid Alert EP (James Reid)

I did this album review for a friend and surprisingly I enjoyed listening to this 6 track EP. A little background: James Reid is a former Big Brother (Philippines) housemate and eventually won his season. He took a hiatus in his showbiz career and out of nowhere, he was launched together with another up and coming teen star, in a movie that was well received and put them in the rising stars seat.

Backed up with a successful management team and a giant network, James Reid has managed to showcased his talent in acting, dancing and singing, making him a dangerous triple threat. Recently, under Viva Records, he launched his EP album that contains 6 tracks.

Reid Alert EP – the album title is cliche but witty – boasts a couple of dance tune, two collaboration and the unusual english track titles with Filipino verses inflections. One thing I noticed though, the songs sound really close to each other no? They sound almost alike. Haha.

Huwag Ka Nang Humirit is the opening track which also is a good introduction of what to expect in the totality of the album. Probably my favorite track from this EP, “Huwag ka nang humirit” has an infectious chorus with James vocals smooth and slick that at some point I thought it was a Sam Concepcion song.

Following up a strong first track: Hanap-Hanap is a collaboration of James’ on screen partner, Nadine Lustre. This will mark as their third or fourth collaboration and why one will complain if they actually sound good together. With the song, a little generic for my taste and it never really allow itself to differentiate from their past collaborations, it is still a song that is radio ready, current and would appeal greatly to a mass number of listeners.

Next is the song entitled, 10, and this will mark as the other collaboration on the album. This time it is with Elise Estrada and I don’t have any idea who she is. But here’s my problem or maybe issue with this especially “10” is a follow up track of “Hanap-hanap”: They sound so (almost) similar that I feel like, “10” is a continuation of “Hanap-Hanap” and for me, personally, it just didn’t work. Of course, the Nadine collaboration worked well but the Elise Estrada felt underproduced.

Randomantic and Bonfire Love Song are the 4th and 5th track and suffer the same case of the 2nd and 3rd track. But here, a play of english title track with inflection of Filipino verses is tricky but somehow worked in most parts. Again, James sounded really nice but the tracks felt underproduced.

Lastly, the album concludes with Babalik, mid-tempo pop track that allows James to keep his vocals mostly front and center. Yet, keeps a refreshing ball of sexy attitude in the track that wasn’t overkilled. Nonetheless, I thought it really worked especially with James’ quality of voice.

All in all, the EP will definitely satisfy his followers but will find it hard to olease musical critics. Nonetheless, I enjoyed most of his songs with “Huwag Ka Nang Humirit” flagshipping the album.

Album Rating: 6/10

Cover: Chvrches – Cry Me A River

IMG_2168

The artist behind beautiful songs such as “The mother we share” and “Recover” dropped by BBC Radio 1 for some awesome cover performance. Yup. Chvrches did some gorgeous cover of this Justin Timberlake hit and put her stamp on it as if it was first written for her. Of course, nothing can really top Justin but this is fairly decent cover to be honest.

Check out this fantastic cover below: