The seemingly unending male domination on these reality singing shows is officially over! We've seen it on American Idol and now with this show's Top 8 stacked with 7 talented ladies. It's also interesting to note that half of them are COUNTRY singers. They should just name the show Country Voice instead no? Don't get me wrong, I'm fine with the genre, but this season is fast losing the diversity that was once very refreshing.
Oh, and both Shakira and Usher are left with just one finalist each. Wow. But, enough of that..
This was, yet again, another strong week for The Voice. Some perceived frontrunners faltered, which somehow gave way for a couple of dark horses to shine this week. At this rate, it's almost impossible to predict with such a strong group of finalists. There were no legit duds this season and things will get more predictable as we whittle down the batch into a small group.
The Good Great Gatsby was a technical spectacle - practically to a fault. Everything looked and sounded amazing from the fantastic cinematography to the flashy visual style to the refreshing modern infusion of jazz and hip hop, but the frenetic film editing and camera work and the dizzying almost chaotic technique of direction eventually got tiring to a point where I had a serious headache. The story also felt like a mere afterthought as if they knew they had a great material and decided to focus on the lavish production and visual effects. I found the whole idea interesting and the way Baz Luhrmann attacked it was quite intriguing, but with everything running
in full throttle, I somehow wanted the story to be right there with it. Good thing, the casting was fantastic and everyone delivered superb performances especially Leonardo DiCaprio and Joel Edgerton. The Great Gatsby was something to marvel at visually and sadly, nothing else. 7
The Star Trek reboot in 2009 managed to breathe new life into the franchise and while I did have my reservations about this installment, Star Trek Into Darkness is possibly one of the most satisfying sequels I've seen in a while. It actually turned out way better than I thought. Sure, the story felt like more of the same from its predecessor and parts of it were slightly predictable and safe, but it was still relentlessly exciting filled with
fantastic special effects, top notch cinematography, lavish production
design and superbly choreographed action set pieces. The occasional bits of humor was still there and the great chemistry between Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto was still very much palpable. Simply put, Star Trek Into Darkness was an exhilarating fast paced action extravaganza and a one fine piece of entertainment. 9
Here is American Idol Season 12 Champ, Candice Glover's debut single, I Am Beautiful.
Who knew? Strangely, the studio version of I Am Beautiful is actually FAR better than her live performance, which is odd for Candice. Maybe the slick production made it work no? I loved her exciting, declaiming vocals, the huge, all-stops out chorus with towering beat and the sparse break. It lacked a bit in originality as this sounded like a Jordin Sparks leftover, but this still "fits her like a Glover", to borrow Keith Urban's words. Haha.
Here is Kree Harrison's supposed "winning" single had she won American Idol, All Cried Out.
Not going to lie, I actually prefer All Cried Out over Candice's I Am Beautiful. To me, this is a perfect representation of Kree as an artist and the music she wants to make. Sure, it's a weepy ballad and some people may see this as a total snoozer, but her interpretation was flawless, her vocals were achingly gorgeous and it has a good structure and a hook that you can remember despite being slightly generic. This seriously made me see how successful she can be as a country singer. Enjoy!
Unprecedented! Yes, this season's third place finisher and apparently, TPTB's chosen one ALSO released her debut single, You Set Me Free. That's right! The song that made her THE frontrunner after performing this original song in front of the judges during Hollywood week.
While I'm not exactly a big fan of Angie Miller - there's something about her voice and her inflections that just doesn't work for me - I can't deny the fact that You Set Me Free is actually a great track. It has that soaring quality and it's a well-written song. Not sure if I'm liking the production on this as I was hoping it's more stripped down just like how she performed it on American Idol - this felt like she was trying to compete with all the instrumentation - but I'm actually surprised with the dynamics she incorporated on this particular arrangement. Enjoy!