The Sean Maloney Show SM B e a u t e

Make Up Artist, Actor and Journalist

Category: Music

P R I S M

Three years after the release of Teenage Dream, the Californian pop princess is back with a bang hoping her new album can follow in its success.

The multi-platinum selling album smashed it’s way into the record books for producing five number one singles, and now Katy Perry is back with her third studio album, Prism. A mix of electropop bangers and tear jerking power ballads, Perry delivers a fearlessly honest snapshot of her delicate private life.

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As the lead songwriter of the albums opening track, ‘Roar’, Perry kicks off with stadium sized guitar riffs, complete with a rousing chorus, stomping mid tempo beat and an epic sing along ear snagging hook. ‘Roar’ promises to deliver whilst creatively reflects the philosophy of the album.

Perry’s assertive return is underscored by other early tastes from the album including ‘Dark Horse’, which features a menacing bass-line, furious beat and a sharply styled guest verse from Juicy J.

Prism’s triumphant parade continues with the banging house-influenced groove and a whistling hook of Perry’s euphoric, “sleep all day – party all night” anthem ‘Walking On Air’, this soaring ’90s house number innovatively celebrates the highs of being in love.

‘Legendary Lovers’ has effortless hints of Bollywood in the production; a thumping anthem that flattens the jungle around it like a herd of elephants. Followed by flirty pop-gem ‘Birthday’, giving fans what they really want which takes us back to Perry’s ‘California Girls’ days as she teases the boys with her assets, once again accompanied by a foot stomping pop beat and Perry’s famous echoing vocals throughout.

Willing to bare her heart throughout the record, ‘Unconditionally’ reveals Perry’s naivety for accommodating her ex-husbands past by singing “I will love you unconditionally”. The way Perry turns dark and pensive on the more subdued ‘Ghost’, haunted by her ex husband as he ended their marriage by mobile phone, Perry sings “You sent a text, It’s like the wind changed your mind”.

Staying true to its namesake, Prism displays the full spectrum of Katy Perry’s emotions, but the star leaves the hardest hit until last. A tender tearjerker track, ‘By The Grace Of God’ is led by light piano and soft cool vocals as she confesses overcoming suicidal thoughts following the breakdown of her marriage. Completing Prism sounding like a woman and an artist who’s finally found herself, Katy Perry sets herself up for another record breaking studio smasher.

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Parklife Festival busiest and biggest one to date.

AN OVER-WHELMING amount of festivalgoer’s and music fans flocked Manchester’s Heaton Park on 8th and 9th June, for the opening of the annual Parklife festival.

An expectancy of over 50,000 people attending the festival from countries as far as France and Germany poses to be the busiest and biggest Parklife yet.

With artists such as Rita Ora, Disclosure, Example and many more, this year is expected to be packed out as the Manchester based festival reaches out to the popular mainstream audience.

There is a real sense of summer fun and community spirit, especially as there are lots of locals hitting the festival too.

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Benjamin Greg, 23, a keen festival goer and student, Nottingham said: “With names like Rita Ora, Sub Focus and Rudimental, you would be silly not to come, one of the cheapest festivals and one of the best line-ups.

Making Parklife into an overnight camping festival would really compete with other festivals.”

Anneliese McDonough, 34, local resident, said: “I love it when the festival comes to the City, brings a real sense of youth and community. It’s 2 days out of the year so you can’t really complain”

“Last year I even went to the festival and if I didn’t have plans this year, I would be there again”

This year, more mainstream artists such as Example, Rita Ora, Rudimental and Disclosure were all added to the ever-growing line up in a bid to increase ticket sales.

Nicola Woodcock, 24, festival volunteer, Manchester said: “I’ve volunteered every year, it’s not the most glamorous job but the atmosphere is electric. I would recommend it to everyone.

It’s a lot of hard work but you get to see your favourite acts free of charge and be in the best environment ever.

Festivals are a cheaper alternative to holidays, students can’t afford to go on holiday and with Manchester having the biggest student population Parklife fits in perfectly.”

The overall summer atmosphere surrounding the festival, met by 26 degrees weather shaped up to be a sold out event.

By Sean Maloney

 

Bo Bruce – Save Me

Beauty comes in the form of “The Voice” runner up Bo Bruce as her haunting tones and slow sounding rhythms reach our ears after a long anticipated wait.

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Bo Bruce is a singer-songwriter, born in Wiltshire on 25 November 1984 and is now signed to Mercury Records. Before auditioning for The Voice UK, Bo  Bruce appeared on Channel 4’s hit reality show Orange Unsigned Act in 2009, where she finished in fourth place.

Bo Bruce has performed live frequently and in December 2010 she independently released a self-written EP, entitled Search The Night. However after various attempts of trying to break into the music industry Bo Bruce is now better known for her appearance on talent show The Voice UK. Bo’s debut album Before I Sleep and debut single Save Me are both scheduled for release on 29 April 2013.

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The wait is over, “Before I Sleep” is the debut album from the singer songwriter and “Save Me” being the first single from the truly breathtaking album.

With Bo Bruce gaining 60,000 followers on twitter and signed to Mercury Records, it’s positive to say the launch of Before I Sleep is going to be rather exciting. The Save me video is individual and gives an element of a fairy tale to this haunting but addictive track. Bo’s vocals throughout are strong and her signature harmonic leaves listeners breathless.

Watch the eye catching and unmissable video below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCK2AGDxXtg

Can’t be tamed?

After a night of glitz, glamour and awards, the Brit Awards 2013 are over, but did they even start?

The Brit Awards are notoriously known for their outlandish live appearances and unpredictable performances, however this year it just seemed too predictable from the beginning. After  quick glance back at the nominees back in January it was almost certain which stars had already won. amongst the nominee’s were a few surprises such as Calvin Harris for best male and Jessie Ware for best female, which both failed to pick up nominations. Emeli Sandé – whose debut LP Our Version of Events was last year’s biggest seller – took home the coveted ‘Best Album’ award, while Mumford & Sons, whose latest set Babel was the fastest-selling record of 2012, predictably won ‘Best Band.

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The night was steadily held together by James Corden who even himself seemed more interested in last years show as he kept referring to the time he cut Adele’s speech short. His small joke towards Harry Styles involving Sharon Osborne and Annie Lennox offered a brief moment of relief.

Awards aside, the opening performance from Muse of ‘Supremacy’ – accompanied by a wall of violinists and indoor fireworks – was spectacular, while Taylor Swift completed her transition from doe-eyed country singer to fully fledged popstar with a dress-ripping rendition of ‘Trouble’. Possibly the best performance of the night. Frustratingly, neither picked up a much-deserved gong. The return of Justin Timeberlake’s performance of his new single mirrors was an average performance but due to the lack of entertainment throughout the show was seen to be amazing. When comparing the Brits to the VMA’s there’s no competition, the VMA’s win it hands down.

Fingers crossed next year will give us something to talk about?

Disappointing Comeback.

Back and disappointing as ever. 

In early January 2013, via his official Twitter account, Justin Timberlake posted a tweet, “I think I’M READY”, before posting a link to a YouTube video which shows him walking into a studio and explains his absence from releasing new songs. This resulted in Justin releasing “Suit & Tie”. His highly anticipated and secretly planned return was on everybody’s mind.

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When I first heard “Suit & Tie” I couldn’t believe my ears, the song was slow and almost lazily put together with repetition at its best, the song replayed the words Suit & Tie over and over so much I began to think my iTunes had crashed. It almost feels like it needs to be speeded up or even turned down. teaming up with king of R&B JAY-Z, this seemed like an almost tactical and clever move from Timberlake to boost sales, whilst I believe JAZ-Z made the song his own and more suited to him rather than Timberlake himself. Justin Timberlake known for his boy next door look and his cool and risky music has taken a back seat whilst “old man” Justin Timberlake has returned to music disappointing fans of what they expected to be one of the biggest come backs yet… Lets just leave the come backs to come back queen Britney Spears.

Michael Cragg of The Guardian wrote that “Suit & Tie” feels like the work of someone “luxuriating in the fact they’re making music again” and not someone “desperate to redefine pop in the face of its recent club-related slump”. He stated that the song is not a “sound-redefining, statement-making, globe-conquering comeback single” like “SexyBack” (2006) was, but “more of a midway point” between his previous singles “Señorita” and “Summer Love“. I couldn’t agree more with Michael Cragg, Justin’s new single isn’t statement making and is nothing like his hit single ‘Sexy Back’. Timberlake was always going to be under scrutiny from the media on the release of a highly anticipated comeback, but being a fan of Justin Timberlake’s earlier music, Suit & Tie just seems like a disappointing slope back into his old shoes when fans were expecting much, much more. Unfortunately Suit & Tie only reached Number 3 on the UK Top 40 Singles Chart and Number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, this is a great achievement, but still far from expectation.

Timberlake is due to perform at the UK Brit Awards 2013 tonight, 20th February, he will be performing a new single called Mirrors.

Sweet Nothing

Calvin Harris and Florence Welch return for round two with club smasher “Sweet Nothing” but will this be a bittersweet second UK Number 1 for UK artists.

“Sweet Nothing” is the second follow-up single from Calvin Harris and Florence Welch after the UK Number 1 smash hit “Spectrum” which claimed the UK top spot on July 5th. Calvin Harris and Florence Welch’s latest collaboration belts over darting sounds and pulsing beats, resulting in a chorus more pacy than Sunday’s F1 Grand Prix. After hours of being released on 14th October, this face paced club hit accompanied by the haunting yet soulful sounds of Florence Welch hit Number 1 on the UK iTunes top spot and is on trend throughout social networking sites with outstanding reviews. “Sweet Nothing” is on track for gaining Number 1 in the UK Top 40. A second victory for the outstanding vocals of Florence Welch and Scottish DJ Calvin Harris.

Ellie Goulding – Halcyon

After bagging “critics choice award” at The Brit Awards but then loosing her away, being called “boring” and “bland”, could Ellie Goulding ever have a successful comeback after the extremely successful “Lights”?

After the incredibly famous devut album “lights” – Ellie Goulding had a lot to live up to by also claiming “critics choice award” at the Brit Awards, however when the Starry eyed singer covered ” Your Song” for the John Lewis advert, it seemed the young yet talented artists had lost her way in the music industry going from pop to past.

Distinctive, developed, unique and incredibly engaging – just a few words to describe the brit award winner’s second studio album “Halcyon”. This album is gripping and shows that Ellie Goulding has found her niche market and used that to explode her music into the electo pop genre. Ellie Goulding can finally lose the “Starry Eyed Star” status, as I believe this album will be incredibly successful. Halcyon is set for number 1 album on 14th October 2012. Fusing gentle tones together with a stomping beat, however the juxtaposition doesn’t result in a clash but it’s nothing short of a story throughout the electric and gripping sounds that is Halcyon. The second track ‘My Blood’ has a daunting and fluent sound that steers away from the pop genre. However Ellie Goulding’s first single off the album, Anything Could Happen is a great example of modern pop. Album title track ‘Halcyon ‘is a stand out song with lyrics ‘You show me what it feels like to be lonely, you show me what it feels like to be alone’ This creates a sense of vulnerability but the serious power behind her voice makes it incredibly engaging and exceeds all expectations. More a journal rather than an album, this proves the singer/songwriter has well and truly found her feet delivering the powerful vocals and lyrical genius behind this fast selling number 1 album.

Florence + The Machine – Ceremonials

Just when you think the haunting sound that is Florence + The Machine, can’t get any better… 

There was panic throughout the music industry whether Florence + The Machine would ever return to the music industry, after achieving such global success on the band’s debut album, Lungs, which was released on 6 July 2009. “Lungs” held the number-two position for its first five weeks on the UK album charts. On 17 January 2010, the album reached the top position, after being on the chart for twenty-eight consecutive weeks, making it one of the best-selling albums of 2009 and 2010. An amazing achievement for such an underrated band at this time in the music industry. Florence Welch then later returned with her band after completing her second studio album “Ceremonials ” which was released in October 2011 and as expected debuted at number one in the UK and number six in the US.

Ceremonials is described as a mixture of sounds and genres such as rock, soul, alternative and a splash of pop. Ceremonials contained “Breath of Life” which was the official soundtrack to Snow White & The Huntsman released in 2012. On the first listen this track is a divine rush of beats and whispers, leaving your head swaying and body moving to the haunting yet soulful voice of Florence Welch. Also on the number one smash hit “Ceremonials” was Spectrum, a track which was remixed by the award winning, Scottish DJ Calvin Harris. This remix of a brilliantly written piece of art was released on July 5th 2012 and went straight into the UK top 40 at number 1. claiming Florence + The Machine’s first UK number 1. However there was something special about this fastest selling single of the year. The fact Florence’s voice was placed on a dance track and pushed straight into the mainstream charts, I believe gained her more followers and fans who instantaneously fell in love with a song that blends two separate genre’s of music creating what can only be described as a master piece.

Ceremonials is an album that can be played all day and all night long without even realising its on repeat. Each track on the award winning album is a step into the world of Florence + The Machines mind. When listening to Ceremonials, the feeling of cautiousness comes to mind, when Florence Welch was asked by her label if she would like to follow the success of “Lungs” her reply was “No no no no, I cant just leave Lungs behind”. After toying with the nation Florence + The Machine created their second masterpiece. However the thought of “what if” springs to mind; what if Florence + The Machine threw caution to wind? Well I guess we will have to wait for the eagerly anticipated third album.

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