Friday, December 20, 2013

Another End of Year. And Another Review of Beyonce Newest Album.

So here we are: on the last month of the year. Another New Year. Another post about how your year go, how much you do, how much your resolutions fulfilled. Reflections. Badda-badda-do. Whatever.

So, I'm thinking about closing this year with a BANG. So do Beyonce. While I still turning my brain inside out (not really, but you get the gist), Queen B drop the bomb of the year in shape of an album consisted of 14 tracks, with 14 VIDEO CLIPS!!!

 Wow. Just... WOW.

Her album is quite dark, and minimalist. Yes there are fat and delicious bass line. But there are very few of those glittering laser and neon light. I'm counting maybe 2 or three. Others are filled with minimalist, slow and dark jam. And with retro, 80's feels sprinkle on the top.

Beyonce vocal, like always, soaring through the simple music, gliding and turning like bird through the sky. A dark, smooth, beautiful bird. Her technique is superb, her breath is strong, and wholly, she is just AWESOME.

As a whole, Beyonce is a very strong album. Yes, there aren't that many tracks which radio friendly. I like Pretty Hurts (really love the lyric), Partition (oh yeah), Jealous (simple yet strong), Rocket (nice vocal works there!), XO (simply sweet and cheerful) and, the last but not the leaset: Blue (featuring her daughter voice, which very cute).
Personally, I think those are the best tracks. Rocket got very nice vocal and melody works, but the lyric is ... let just say I'm not going to sing it loudly outside

And the video clips got very nice video works. Again, Pretty Hurts, Partition, Jealous, Rocket and Blue shines here. Blow is a fun, 80's retro video. XO is down to earth Beyonce. BUT! (yes, there will always be but) there's this Rihanna-esque from the videos. I keep expect Ri-Ri to pop-out from nowhere and sing the lines, like the one on Drunk in Love, Yonce (yep, you heard me right), and Haunted.
And it got lot of booty. And skins. And booty. Seriously. Yes we guys (I) love booty, but we (I) like them discreet, flash us (me) here and there and we (I) will keep thirsty for more. Flood us (me) in booty and we (I) will get sick of it. Eventually. Or maybe not. LOL.

So, there you are: my review of Queen B newest album, BOMB. Ignore me and enjoy the album (and the videos). This one is really nice and solid album. Just don't hit shuffle, because this album is best enjoyed straight from track 1 to track 14.

pssst... Queen B booty is really HOT!!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

It's Britney B*tch! Jean. A Review.

Yep, Britney is back. And her newest album is something to rave about.

Disclaimer: I'm rather fond of Britney, so I apologize if this review wasn't as clean as other reviews out there. After all, I'm not professional reviewer (as you can read on my previous reviews). So, you've been warned.

I've been waiting this album since I watch her Work B*tch video clip. That's one hell song, if you ask me. The lyric is really simple, and cheeky enough to balance the pounding beat. Yes, it's not as big as Till the World End, but explosive enough.

Back to the album, Alien is rather unusual track to open an album. But the lyrics...I'm wondering, just how much people out there who like me, keep seeing them self on the lyrics?!

//Lost in the world out of me myself and I // Was lonely then like an alien // I tried but I never figured it out // Why I always felt like a stranger in a crowd // But the stars in the sky look like home, take me home //
Second tracks, Work B*tch is like I said previously, is a cheeky song which I'm sure will burn those gold digger and lazy ass persons. Me included (what can I say?! I AM lazy). LOL

// You wanna hot body // You wanna Bugatti // You wanna Maserati // You better work b*tch //

Perfume, Til It's Gone, Passenger, and Don't Cry showing us the insecure, melancholy and vulnerable Britney. And the way she sings it, really differ with her usual sexy, crazy, robotic Britney. It's more.... raw. Even the auto-tune processing can't take away the rawness of her voice and emotions.
Yes there fat-pounding bass. And glittering neon-and laser. But the loneliness and melancholy still cut through.

I wish Britney duet with her sister is stronger, because Chillin' With You is just that: weak, forgettable song. The track is rather weird, it's like the producer can't decide where to go: nice and sweet acoustic or club worthy song. Tik Tik Boom and Body Ache is the usual club ready song. You know, the usual filler songs.

The Deluxe version comes with 4 new tracks: Brightest Morning Star, Hold On Tight, Now That I Found You and slow remixed version of Perfume. Personally, those extra tracks is album worthy. Better replace It Should Be Easy, Tik Tik Boom, and Body Ache with Brightest Morning Star, Hold On Tight, and Now That I Found You, then make Chillin' With You and remixed Perfume as Bonus Tracks. It would work better. I think.

So, there you go, my review. See the other side of Britney: the one who is insecure, soft and vulnerable. Yes, her voice isn't the best, it never has. But the rawness is new, and you can't deny the appeal of it.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My New Sennheiser HD600 (vs Goldring DR150)

Hello, hello... How are you guys? Sorry for the long interval between my posts, but my work life is getting into my blogging life. Pardon. So, here I am, wanting to post about my new Sennheiser HD600. Okay, maybe not so new, as I buy it as B-Stock, but well, its still new for me. Not bored yet? Well, read on!

I was happy with my Goldring DR150. For the price I paid, I got this wonderfully smooth and dark sound, with good sound-stage and positioning. It was easy to drive too; my FiiO E10 is more than enough to drive it. But I was growing unhappy, mainly because the grain on the sound, and plastic-y timbre which more and more apparent as I used to the sound.

So, I’m saving for an upgrade, and then after searching and asking on, my choice fall to either Sennheiser HD600 or HD650. But the price is really high here in Indonesia, much more than in the Europe or US. I was going to search for another, cheaper headphone but my good friend, who was completing his doctorate degree (damn, I'm so jealous!), said he was going home to Indonesia for 2 month, and offered to hand carry things for me. Yay! God bless you, my friend!

My HD600 is a B-Stock. FYI, B-Stock also known as Open-Box, so when I open the box and saw how it was in completely pristine condition, I knew I'm very lucky guy. It's practically new!
I'm not going to write a full review of this headphone. Mainly because this headphone is a classic and there were so many review out there about HD600, I don't have anything left to add. So I guess I'll just write an impression versus my DR150.

HD600 comes with this nice box, very handy to store the headphone when not in use, but rather troublesome to store because its big size. The headphone itself is slimmer than DR150, and the build quality is much better. DR150 looks like a plastic toy compared to HD600. The grill is much more open, you could see the internal driver from outside the grill. It's heavier too, and the clamp, oh dear God, the CLAMP! It's practically head-crusher. After very, very carefully bending the metal headband, the clamp is tolerable, although still quite tight. DR150 sit feather light in comparison, although the velour is not as comfortable.

People said HD600 as warm, dull headphone, but I found them quite neutral, even little bit leaning on brighter side. Yes, it's brighter than DR150, which has this dark sound to it. The treble on HD600 is fuller, smoother with no nasty peak. The bass isn't as big or as hard hitting as Dr150, but still punchy, more detailed and well controlled. Then the mid, oh dear God... So beautiful, detailed, and natural, my Dr150 sounded so mushy and plastic-y in comparison. But, I wish HD600 little bit darker. Just little bit, not as dark as my DR150. Maybe changing the tube (or valve) on my Aune T1 could remedy it?! (I'm NOT going to spill some 450 bucks for HD650!)

Ok, now, the not so good parts. First, as I said before, the clamp is quite tight. And it not exactly light headphone either. The impedance is quite high, 300 Ohm which need some amplifier to sound best. My FiiO E10 could drive it loud, but the sound is not as good as my Aune T1 which much more powerful. And the sound still has some grain in it, not so much as DR150, but its there. I guess the aging driver showing its weakness. Oh, and as I said before, I wish the sound little bit darker.

So that's my impression of my new HD600. I keep going back to it, especially when I listen to acoustic and vocal songs. The sound is so smooth and organic, and natural (I really can't stress this enough). For 250* Euro I paid, it was no regret.


*note: HD600 usually priced closer to 300 Euro, or 400 USD.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Review: Lightbringer Series

Hello, it's me again. I got this new nice novels called Lightbringer Series from Brent Weeks. Currently it's on second book from four book totals, making it a quartet. The first book is titled "Black Prism", while the second book is "The Blinding Knife".

I had to give it to Mr. Weeks, but this two books is ROCKS!!! I love the magic system use, splitting light and gave each of them different properties, it just so cool!!! It differ from the usual magic system (male - female, 5 elements, etc), and had potentials for development and variations. It's interesting.

The main characters is nice too. The development is the standard Epic Fantasy kind, but the characters himself is quite departure from the usual. The cowardliness, the dark past, the secret, the guild, the resentment, all laid bare. Very nice actually.

The story telling is pretty good. Some passage could be better, but nothing too distracting. The battles and actions are very good, very enjoyable. The way Mr. Weeks stringing up the stories is good, most of time I couldn't guess the story line. Sure the ending of book two is a little bit predictable, but the leading actions is very, very good.

The language, style and atmosphere is very manly. I found it quite hard how little female characters make impact on this novels. Sure Aliviana got some mayor portions, but the impact is just not there. The characters is just not strong enough, while other potentially strong characters such as the White, Karris and Marisia (the poor women) not getting enough actions.

I had to give warning though, point of view Black Prism (book one) is differs to The Blinding Knife (book two). The characters is still the same, it just the portion which differs. I kind of like it, giving different view, different story from other side. Also give me deeper view on the said characters.

Overall, I found this two books very engaging. Yes, there are one or two weak parts, but nothing big. For you fantasy book lovers, you should try this series.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Review: The 20/20 Experience by Justin Timberlake

So, how long it was? 6 months? More? Sorry guys, I was really busy, so this blog of mine been neglected. Now, I'm back, with another review. Here we go.

Mr. Justin Randall Timberlake back after 6 years of hiatus into musical scene. Not that he absent completely, what with his name printed on singles or albums credits. This album, titled The 20/20 Experience, released several months ago, and pretty much earn mixed review. Some said it was nothing special, but some, like me, love this album very much.

JT's vocal is exceptional, I love how his falsetto delivered: smoothly. The lyric is interesting too, some is classic (or overused, from another point of view), but some really is interesting, if sometimes cheesy. Well, this is a mainstream album after all.

Just like the usual, his songs is full of catchy hooks and refrains. I especially love Tunnel Vision, Spaceship Coupe and Mirror (and the video clip. Old peoples getting romantic is really adorable! The skin colored-clad dancers girls with silvery wig is rather creepy though). The cherry-bubbling Strawberry Bubblegum (sorry for the pun) is good too, while Pusher Love Girl had nice refrain. I think Suit & Tie will make good music for lyrical dance. The reggae-touched Let the Groove Get In is nice break on the album, although 7:12 long song is definitely not short. The closing song, Blue Ocean Floor started boring, but got interesting when the refrain kick in.

The 20/20 Experience is bit departure from his last album, Futuresex / Lovesounds, which glittered with lasers and neon lights. I got this warm and classic feeling from Timberlake's latest album. The strings, the trumpets (or saxophone or whatever it is, I'm not really into musical instruments :P) combined with bass, drums and electronics creating a piece of music which spanned generations. A truly marvelous album.

The richness in it, the layers of sounds and instrumentals is good too. The musics is very enjoyable listened on my Goldring DR150 and FiiO E10. Really, you had to try listening it using good equipment. Your free-on-packaging earphones just won't cut it. With good equipment, you will notice just how rich and layered this album is, everything will come alive.

Lot of songs in this album clocked unusually long. For modern pop songs, that is. Some feels nice, bridging form one song to another song, but some, I feel unnecessary. But I had to give it to Mr. JT for his daring.

So, that's what I feel from the newest album by Justin Timberlake, titled The 20/20 Experience. Personally, I think the title reflect the album perfectly.