My thoughts on ''Avril Lavigne'' and ''Britney Jean''

Avril Lavigne has recently released a self-titled studio album.  It is a great improvement on her previous album, Goodbye Lullaby (2011), but still fairly keeping to her image as the rebellious "teen", as signified in her music video for "Here's to Never Growing Up" where she imitates some scenes from her very first music video, "Complicated".
She's really pushing towards the edge with those raccoon-in-a-water-park eyes isn't she?
"Rock N Roll" is definitely the best track to sing along to, provided it's not the clean version of course.  "Let Me Go" is a lovely ballad performed together with Chad Kroeger; Avril really shows off her singing ability on this track.  "Hello Kitty" is obviously a tribute to her Japanese fans where she starts off with minna saiko arigatou, k-k-kawaii alternating between rap, pop and even dubstep.  This track reminds me of "I Got a Boy" by Girls' Generation where they successfully attempt the same in Korean.  "Bad Girl" is a great rock song to bang your head to, it also features Marilyn Manson making it sound even more eerie. The Japanese edition also has great cover versions for "How You Remind Me" (by Chad Kroeger) and "Bad Reputation" (by Joan Jett), give those a listen too.

Meanwhile, the "princess of pop", Britney Spears has also released an (almost) self-titled album, Britney Jean (her middle name is Jean).  I've just listened to the whole album and I can conclude this is not her best work.  The first single off the album, released way back in September, "Work Bitch", was initially an ear worm to me.  But when the music video got released, I immediately changed course.

Britney has looked pretty much the same for the past ten years (if you ignore her meltdown in '07)
"Perfume" is kinda meh.  A slow ballad ruined by her voice that sounds like a monotonous chicken with a cold.  Besides the lead single, the only track worthy to be mentioned is the first track, "Alien".  I think this song has single potential and it's actually musically superior to "Work Bitch". Not too much dubstep and an awesome hook.  

There's only one more thing I'd like to mention.  I have noticed a lot of similarities in the background dubstep of "Now That I Found You" (deluxe version bonus track) with Avicii's "Wake Me Up". I don't know if it was sampled, but it sure as heck sounds very similar.


My thoughts on Selena Gomez's new album: Stars Dance

  This is the first physical album I've bought in a few years and I have to say that that was the best idea I've had in years.  "Stars Dance" by Selena Gomez really has me bobbing my head and singing along to the tunes.
  Technically, this is her first solo release so musically the style of this album is slightly different from her releases with her band The Scene but it still captures the essence and sound of Selena, instead of going full-on 180 like another certain ex-Disney princess.  With this album, Selena Gomez tries to sound and appear more mature while still staying PG-13 (no cuss words or many sexual innuendos).

  "Birthday" has not been officially released as a single, but seeing as this album was released on her actual birthday (depending on the region worldwide) the pop star uploaded an unofficial video to her YouTube channel depicting her 21st birthday party.  The song has a nice hook to it and would, well, be a great track to dance to on your own birthday. The phrase 'jazz it up!' is heard repeatedly throughout the song and makes no sense to me whatsoever. "Slow Down" is the album's second single and it's been rocking my playlist since I got it. The music video depicts Selena dancing to the song in a club and asking for the 'song to slow down'. Hmm. Still a great song.  Her choreography could use some work though.

 "Stars Dance" is the third track on the album and is the album's title track. (duh, right?) Lyrically, this should have been Bruce Almighty's theme song, but this is a great song nonetheless.  "Like a Champion" sounds like a Rihanna song.  It's great and very catchy but I honestly think Rihanna could have made it into a number-one song off of her upcoming umpteenth album. (No, she's not yet announced it but it's bound to come since she's released a studio album annually since 2009, 2005 if you count that one reissue) "Come & Get It" was released as the lead single months ago, with Gomez performing the song live at the MTV Awards.  I watched the performance and instantly fell in love with it as it was catchy and had that "na na na na" in it that every single song has to have these days apparently.  "Save the Day" and "Undercover" are a few highlights on this album that could make it as singles, hopefully.  I have the international deluxe version and I'm also thankful that for once the bonus tracks are actually different songs instead of just remixes because I hate those.

Selena Gomez are not that impressive and can be compared to recording artist Jennifer Lopez but musically, she has her own style and sound.  I hope that any future releases by Selena (probably 2 years from now, since she's going on hiatus again) will be as good as this record and I recommend anyone to go out to the store and buy it.

Alternatively, you can buy it from these online retailers:
Amazon (mp3)
Amazon (CD)
Google Play
Walmart (CD+DVD)
Selena Gomez store

If you want to listen to the album before buying, click here for an unfortunately pitched-down upload on Selena's official YouTube channel.


My thoughts on Pokémon these days...

Okay, good news first!  I've recently come to learn about the existence of a new anime called The Origin and it follows the story of Red as he travels through Kanto to obtain the eight gym badges and become a Pokémon master.  Sound familiar? Not quite.  This anime is unrelated to the current anime series with Ash & co. and is based on the first two games: Red and Green (Blue in localized English versions).  The bad news?  It is an anime special as sort of an anniversary TV special prior to the release of X&Y to make nostalgic fans happy instead of an actual on-going anime series to replace the one we have now.  (Because NO, the un-aging Ash Ketchum of Pallet Town, who has NEVER won a league ever must live on like Peter Pan while he's supposed to be 25 and married to Misty with a kid or something)  Ok, rant in parentheses over.   Now, this special will air in Japan on October 2, 2013 so expect it to air in America late November-December.  (If you're more excited about the X and Y anime arc to air sometime in October as well, click here for a preview in Japanese)

As for the actual games that are to be released worldwide on October 12th, future best-selling games of 2013, Pokémon X and Y!  Two words: Mega Evolution.  Is it a good thing, is it a bad thing? For me, yes!  I've always wanted in-battle evolutions! Although, technically I meant regular evolutions that last because the new mega evolutions are only temporary and they only work when the Pokémon in question holds a special item called --insert name of Pokémon here--(n)ite.
Furthermore, it turns out that the new "forme" of Mewtwo that everyone's known about for quite some time since early this year is actually its "mega evolution".  Besides Lucario as you can see here, Blaziken, Ampharos, Absol, Mawile and Kangaskhan also get mega-evolutions.  Oh, and a new type has also been discovered: Fairy. big whoop Turns out Marill, Gardevoir and Jigglypuff were actually also Fairy-types all along.  Sylveon and a bunch of other new Gen-6 Pokémon are Fairy-type as well.

I also posted a comment/review/rant about Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity here.


My thoughts on the third season of Falling Skies

Falling Skies, my favorite post-apocalyptic show--right next to The Walking Dead of course--is back!
Three episodes have aired so far and I have to say, I like what I'm seeing.  Pope's badass attitude, the conflicts between Hal and Ben, the mysterious "mole" in town, and when are they going to invade the mothership?

Skipping ahead at least six months after the season 2 finale, Tom has been declared "President" of the New United States of America, Hal is a paraplegic, Anne has given birth to her baby and the alliance between the aliens (or Skitters, if you please) and the humans seems to have strengthened.

I'm looking forward to seeing the mystery behind Tom's new baby daughter.  Is she not-of-this-world, is she fast-aging and will we see an adult or at least teen version of her this season?  Is Anne going to do something crazy? 

What about Karen?  What is she doing to Hal in the forest?  Could Hal be this "mole" that seems to be turning everything upside-down?

We'll just have to wait and see.  Tune in to TNT this Sunday.


My thoughts on Vevo

Remember in 2009 when Vevo launched and replaced most of the music videos on YouTube?  They also have their own site which basically only allowed the United States and Canada to view it.  It was scheduled to go worldwide in 2010.

As of June 2013, it's still not available worldwide.  Besides the US and Canada, it is also available in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Poland, and Brazil, but that's only 13 countries and not even worldwide--nothing in Asia (or Antartica lol)  Apparently, they're having "licensing issues".  If it does go worldwide, what will happen to their videos on YouTube?

Currently, you can watch most of videos advertised by Vevo on YouTube, some are "unavailable in your country". You would think that if a professional company took over the music video uploading business, they would upload the highest quality available.  There are still plenty of 360p and 480p videos uploaded by Vevo channels.  Would these ever be replaced by 720p/1080p for videos in 16:9 aspect ratio? Probably not in this lifetime.  Apparently, they would have re-upload the video and lose all the views.

My thoughts on "The Wizards Return" and Selena Gomez

When I first heard that the cast of Wizards of Waverly Place was returning to make a TV special, I was skeptical.  I was also disappointed when I heard Justin (David Henrie) wasn't going to be in it.
I just watched it, and I gotta say that I appreciate them making a proper ending to the story.  (Although the plot of this special was predicting and the special effects were, as usual, very cheap)  I was also quite surprised to see the guy from Awkward (Beau Mirchoff) make a guest appearance.

I have been a fan of Selena Gomez ever since I bought the boxset of season 1 (I didn't watch it on Disney Channel) and her sarcastic acting side that has made Alex (the main character) what she is today.  To be honest, I wouldn't have minded seeing a fifth season of Alex going off to college, finding a job, etc.   I am looking forward to seeing her in Spring Breakers; I wonder how her acting is in a non-Disney film.

One thing I didn't understand is why a laugh track was included.  It just doesn't make sense in some scenes, especially some "action scenes".   The special would have been a lot better had they either made the fake fighting look better or removed it altogether


First post!

I'm starting this blog mainly because I've always wondered what the big buzz was about blogs.  And now I'm starting to see the value in this.  I'm mostly going to write my thoughts on things I see, listen to, watch locally and around the world.  Basically anything.

And as my debut post, I will be writing about the upcoming games, Pokémon X and Y and the handheld console they will be released for, the Nintendo 3DS (XL)
I've been looking forward to these games ever since they were announced back in January earlier this year.  I immediately started saving money for a Nintendo 3DS and ultimately bought a blue/black Nintendo 3DS XL three months later (with Super Mario 3D Land for free, yay).  And so far, I have to say I'm quite impressed with what Nintendo has come up with.  Although the 3D seems unnecessary and the touch (bottom) screen is still not capacitative, the graphics and its processing capability has greatly improved from its predecessor, the Nintendo DS (and all of its improved models).

I honestly can't wait to see what Game Freak will come up with for the new games as this video games generation has also increased its capacity per game (DS games are 256mb at most, 3DS games can go up to 2GB probably), therefore the games will have quite a lot more content (and let's not forget about DLC possibilities!).  I watched the Nintendo Direct@E3 2013 video and every teaser/preview coming out before October 12th has me hungry waiting for more.