What I’m listening to this weekend

I bought Lana Del Rey’s CD today and I look forward to putting it onto my iPod and listening to the whole album.

Somehow I missed last summer’s hype about Lana Del Rey which isn’t really surprising as I tend to avoid music in the charts because most of it isn’t to my taste. But when I heard her song, Video Games, played on the radio a couple of months ago I loved the song and wanted to find out what other songs she sings. And I have since become aware of the continuing hype that surrounds this singer. I am also aware that a lot of the media are delighting in ‘Lana-bashing’ and there is a huge amount of bitchy criticism floating around but I enjoy her music; I think she is a fresh, new talent who deserves to be applauded, not torn apart by the media.

This is the title track from her album. Take a listen and see what you think…

Video linked from YouTube. No copyright infringement intended – I do not own any rights over this video.

Taylor Swift/The Civil Wars

This hauntingly beautiful song is very different to anything she has sung before. It features the twice-Grammy nominated duo, The Civil Wars, who wrote the song with Swift for the upcoming movie, The Hunger Games. I don’t know anything about The Hunger Games but I like this song!

Go have a listen!

Safe & Sound by Taylor Swift ft. The Civil Wars (video linked from YouTube – no copyright infringement intended)

Music: “Holocene” by Bon Iver

For this weekend’s tune, I decided to share a beautiful song and a beautiful music video with you.

This music video was filmed in Iceland and the peacefulness of the scenery really blends with the song. Bon Iver (derived from bon hiver, which is French for “have a good winter”, according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bon_Iver) is an indie folk band and although not all of their tracks are my kind of music, I heard this song playing on the radio and love it.

(video embedded from the official Bon Iver YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/boniver)

“I’m just a summer girl”: Country Strong movie review

I just watched the movie, Country Strong, and I feel let-down by it. Some movies I watch leave me with varying emotions but the only lingering trace of Country Strong is the extremely catchy tune, Summer Girl, which Leighton Meester’s character sings in the movie.

I am a fan of country music and so I settled down to watch Country Strong, expecting a plot-driven movie with some pleasant interludes of country tunes. I got the catchy music scenes; in fact, these took up a large part of the movie. But the plot was sorely lacking.

Country Strong focuses on a country music star, Kelly Canter (Gywneth Paltrow), who has just gotten out of rehab, as well as an up-and-coming country music singer, Chiles Stanton (played by Leighton Meester of Gossip Girl fame).  A few romantic entanglements are thrown into the mix by the arrival of ambitious song-writer, Beau ( Garrett Hedlund). Kelly’s husband/career manager, James (Tim McGraw), completes the character line-up.

However, the characters failed to successfully hook me into the story. I can’t fault the acting; Paltrow, Meester, Hedlund and McGraw all performed well and the movie looks and sounds excellent. But I wasn’t left feeling satisfied at the end and my verdict is simply “meh”. Country Strong is not a bad movie but it is not a great one either because, in my opinion, it needs something extra. Maybe it was the lack of suspense  which meant that my attention wandered at times. Overall, I think the screenplay was too muddled and it would have been better if we had more focus on character tensions and less of the syrupy clichés. It just didn’t convince me.

My verdict: 5.5/10.

Videos sourced from YouTube.

Music: Metric and Adele

Every two or three weeks, I would like to share some of my current favorite tunes and artists with you. This week, Metric and Adele.

Metric are an indie rock band from Canada which I only recently discovered. Gimme Sympathy is a really fun song and very catchy too. Their music varies but this song stands out. Another one to check out on YouTube is Sick Muse.

You might not have heard of Metric before but you have probably heard of the English singer-songwriter Adele. Her second album, 21, has reached the top of album charts across the world and her songs are getting a lot of radio airtime at the moment. I own her first album, 19, which I bought when it was released in 2008 but I prefer her latest album because, in my opinion, there is more depth to her voice and to the lyrics. I also like the variety of songs and the way each one shows off her vocal ability. Set Fire to the Rain is possibly my favorite Adele song at the moment but Rolling in the Deep is not far behind.

Videos from YouTube.

Baby, “Never Grow Up”

I want to start by saying that this blog isn’t going to be a ‘personal blog’ about my life, family etc because I have no doubt that reading about some stranger’s probably quite boring life will not interest you at all (I’m cheating a little and saying that this post comes under the Music category).

I had the inspiration for this post when I had my mp3 player on shuffle and Taylor Swift’s song, “Never Grow Up”, started to play.  For some reason, every time I hear this song it reminds me of my niece, M**.

M is 9 months old and very beautiful, and the lyrics of “Never Grow Up” always make me think of her: her pretty smile, her intelligent eyes, her determined nature. The way she laughs and her cute little frown when she isn’t quite sure about something…

“To you, everything’s funny

You’ve got nothing to regret

I’d give all I have, honey

If you could stay like that” (lyrics copyright Taylor Swift)

So, M, although you won’t be able to read this for a few years, I just wanted to say how glad and proud I am to be your aunt.

** for privacy reasons, I do not disclose names of family members so I have chosen to use initials only.

Public domain image sourced from: Mother And Baby by Anna Cervova