Monthly Archives: August 2013

Album: Pet Shop Boys – “Electric” (2013)

Hot on the heels of my first ever Christina Aguilera album, this month I’ve also been sampling the delights of the first ever Pet Shop Boys album I’ve ever listened to. They seem to be descending into a (well-respected) niche in this country, with the fanbase supporting their recent album releases, and a brief flurry of interested when they got their Lifetime Achievement BRIT Award a few years back and launched a 2-disc greatest hits collection.

I’m fairly well-versed on their hits, particularly during their more popular spells during the 90s. I remember older hits like “It’s a sin” from primary school, when I didn’t even really listen to music. The 90s and hits like “Go West” and “Se a vida e” are vivid memories, while later singles like “I don’t know what you want but I can’t give it anymore” are still popular on my iPod. Even 00s singles like “Flamboyant”, “Minimal” and “Miracles” are much-loved. But for some reason I’ve never explored them that much.

So now it’s time to start that, in perhaps the worst way possible, by trying out their most recent album. What really piqued my interest was the producer, a certain Stuart Price who has engineered some of my all-time favourite songs, like Kylie’s “All the lovers” and Madonna’s “Confessions on a Dance Floor” album. His work with other acts is usually reliable, so it’s a exciting prospect to have him on board with this. Anyway, enough chatting, here we go. Continue reading

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Single: Miley Cyrus – “We can’t stop” (2013)

TWERK TWERK TWERK, I feel like that’s all I’ve heard about this week, about Miley stole the show with her now notorious performance at the VMAs, where she lurched around the stage, tongue hanging out, ass hanging out, twerking away and eventually getting bummed by Robin Thicke dressed as Beetlejuice.

I think I’ve seen the performance about three times, and at the gym I’d seen the video without audio a bunch of times, but I only just realised that I don’t actually know how the song goes. Maybe it doesn’t matter now, it’s gone so viral that the original product is almost secondary.

Perhaps not totally secondary, as she surprisingly scored her first UK No.1 with the song a few weeks ago, and made No.2 in the United States, her joint-highest position there. Who knows, after last weekend’s display it might even make a push for the top spot. Continue reading

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Single: The Saturdays – “Disco Love”

It always gives me a little warm glow to see the latest instalment in the ongoing fiasco/career of the UK’s de facto biggest girlband, The Saturdays. Marking 5 years since their debut, they have notched up 12 top 10 singles in the UK, out of 15 releases. Surprisingly though, this has never quite translate to album sales and thus their future has never been entirely stable.

saturdays disco loveThings were looking bright at the start of the year when they unexpectedly scored their biggest hit to date with “What about us?”, their first No.1. Followup “Gentleman” didn’t fare quite as well, stopping short of the top 10 and dropping quickly. But undeterred, and with a 4th-ish studio album ready to go (did “Headlines” count?), they are playing it a little safer. Continue reading

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Eurovision Reloaded: Riga 2003 – My #10 – #6

Home stretch now as we reach my top 10 songs from 2003’s Eurovision Song Contest, hosted in Latvia. While some of the songs haven’t aged especially well, the upper echelon will happily find a place on my iPod after this writeup is done.

Eurovision 2003 Latvia Riga logo

All in all, I think the results for the contest – as close as they were – turned out pretty reasonably, I don’t think there were many songs that did well that I didn’t like to some extent. In fact, my top 10 shares 7 songs with the actual top 10, as I’m sure avid fans of this blog(!) might have pieced together already. But which outsiders made the top rung? Continue reading


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Film: “Kick Ass 2” (2013)

I think I enjoyed “Kick Ass”. It wasn’t that long ago, but weirdly I can’t really remember much about it, except the violence. I honestly thought I had been de-sensitised by overdosing on gory slasher movies. Maybe it was more convincing, but I was surprised at how flinchy I was. Either way, it was pretty good.

“Kick Ass 2” picks up where that left off, as we rejoin our two heroes Dave & Mindy, aka Kick Ass & Hit Girl, both in retirement. Mindy’s retirement and struggle to have a normal childhood are imposed on her, and she grudgingly accepts this out of respect for her guardian. Dave on the other hand, backed away after the intense violence of the previous film’s plot, but is soon feeling reckless and wants to participate in the superhero movement that he started.

The clash between Dave & Mindy leads them on largely separate plots, despite them going to the same school. It feels like a bit of a waste, as it leaves Dave’s plot all the less engaging without her. Dave joins a crime-fighting force of heroes, led by the polite but ultra-violent Colonel Stars & Stripes. Continue reading

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