Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Glee Music 2: Special Education

Here it is! The songs for Glee Season 2's Sectionals episode, Special Education.

Overall, this is possibly one of the more unexpected mix of music this season. I mean, the songs are all diverse but it's actually a good thing. Quite frankly, I was expecting to be disappointed, but I'm clearly leaving quite happy. I'm not sure though if this trumps the song choices made at last season's Sectionals, but I'm pretty satisfied. Enjoy!!

(I've Had) The Time Of My Life
Sure, Quinn doesn't have a powerful voice compared to Rachel and Sam's voice isn't as distinct as Finn's but I definitely think they both deserve to be in the spotlight for Sectionals. This, to me, is the perfect competition for them to do so. I love both Rachel and Finn but I'm somehow tired of their duets. This rendition is refreshing, if I'm being honest. Oh, and somehow I'm pretty certain they are just saving Rachel for a diva battle against Sunshine at Regionals and Nationals. 7/10

Seriously? Moments like this make the fact that Santana didn't sing at all up until the Madonna episode even more frustrating. I adore Santana's version of this song - it's phenomenal even. Yes, last season's Sectionals solo, Don't Rain On My Parade is still leagues ahead, but this, to me, is the musical moment when everybody turns their head and notices her. Brilliant. 9/10

Hey, Soul Sister
I liked Teenage Dream more, but this one is very enjoyable to listen to as well. Now, seeing the performance and hearing the full song are two different things, but I still get just a little disappointed by it, almost as if I were expecting something more energetic from them. Still, it's a good good song and Blaine (Darren Criss) seems to be the new star rising from this show. 8/10

Dog Days Are Over
Frankly, this would have been a much better Sectionals number than (I've Had) Time Of My Life. Really. Their version of this song is freakin' awesome! I mean, this makes me miss the underdog feel of Glee. This, to me, is a great number for New Directions and I'm really hoping that they'd focus on them as a group more often. I also love that Tina and Mercedes have a duet. Can't wait to see the actual performance on the show. 9/10

Don't Cry For Me Argentina (Kurt Version)
I have to be honest, I really prefer Kurt's voice in a lower register. I'm not liking the key he's singing in - its too high. No, there isn't a pitch problem or anything but its just mere preference. That said, I still think he absolutely does a lovely job on the song. His take on it is full of raw emotions and is beautifully sung. Yes, Rachel's version, to me, is superior, but he obviously holds his own. I just think female power ballads like this aren't his specialty, as I Wanna Hold Your Hand is, in my opinion, his best vocal performance. 8/10

Don't Cry For Me Argentina (Rachel Version)
Rachel never really ceases to amaze me. Great delivery, range is stunning, and the emotions are beautifully expressed. This, to me, is truly a stunning vocal performance, and I don't think she'll disappoint in the acting department either come actual episode. It's just too weird that this isn't what's being sung at Sectionals this season. Seriously. That simple fact blows my little mind! Haha. 9/10

The Living Years
Let's just say, I'm intrigued to see the performance. I love the arrangement and they actually sound lovely but it becomes boring after the first 2 minutes. That being said, it seems like The Hipsters will pose some solid competition for New Directions and The Warblers. Ha! I'm hoping New Directions has some kick ass choreography for their numbers, because I don't know how they can vocally beat the other teams with their song selections - even though I really think Valerie is crazy good. 7/10

(all 7 songs)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Movie Review: My Amnesia Girl

50 First Dates rip-off? Think again.

Admittedly, I'm not the biggest fan of locally produced films unless it's under Star Cinema. I mean, they have been VERY consistent with their films as most - if not all - received critical and commercial successes and yes, for a local movie outfit, that's an impressive feat! So, while I seriously had some apprehensions going into this film, I was surprised to have actually loved it. I guess, Star Cinema did it again!

Now, just like any other Star Cinema romantic comedies, the story wasn't out of the ordinary. It was, yet again, molded with their usual formula and the inclusion of that compulsory "happy ending" made the film too convenient. But granted that the outcome of the plot - and the story in general - was a little too predictable, I thought the road getting there was surprisingly sharp and entertaining.

I liked that there were quite a few witty - and at times, corny - lines and exchanges, and the delivery and comedic timing of the cast were just about perfect. Sure, the whole premise was a bit contrived, but this was exactly the reason why we have movies like this: to escape into the fantasy of romance and humor.

But what made this film a cut above the rest was its impressive leads. John Lloyd Cruz was brilliant! Though I never doubted his talent, I was pleasantly surprised to see him hold his own even on comedic scenes. Who knew?  Toni Gonzaga, on the other hand, has gone up another notch in her acting career. I thought her dramatic turns coupled with her comedic skills were impeccably timed.

And to whoever decided to cast Toni and John Lloyd in this movie together was indeed a genius. I was a bit iffy when I learned about the team up but clearly, their chemistry was so natural and palpable that it was one of the main reasons why this film worked. Plus, of course, the very dependable supporting cast did deliver good performances as well.

Ultimately, there was something refreshing about the film's undemanding humor and unabashed feel good factor. A superb cast, fun premise and punchy dialogue made this a must see local film. And while this movie isn't going to win any acting awards, nor will it become one's favorite movie of all time, I think that it does exactly what it is supposed to do: ENTERTAIN!

Easily my favorite Star Cinema release this year.. so far!

RATING: 8/10

Music: Farmer's Daughter - Crystal Bowersox

Here is Crystal Bowersox's - American Idol 9 runner-up - debut single for her upcoming album off the same name. Her album, Farmer's Daughter will be released on December 14, 2010.

Now, apparently, this song has two versions. This is the old version where there's still not much hint of production mix. The new version sounds better as it turns up the vocals and bass lines but this one isn't too shabby either. At least, you get to listen to the song. It pretty much sounds the same, of course, with different production. I'd say add a little slide guitar flourishes somewhere and this is a country song already. Ha! Enjoy.


Listen to the final version HERE.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

X Factor UK 7: Top 7 Performances

Ugh! X Factor is making my posts kind of repetitive. I mean, with the contestants coming up with the same level of performances every single week, I could just literally copy and paste last week's post to save time. Haha.

No one stepped up this week with a fun, exciting and well sung performance - fine, maybe Matt but that's already a given. And people say American Idol has awful contestants? Yikes! This, to me, is turning out to be a worse crop of singers compared to the sleepy season that was American Idol 9.

Matt Cardle proved that he's just way better compared to the other contestants. No, he still can't pull off swagger, or really that kind of sexy - see, I Love Rock and Roll - but vocally he's miles better than anyone else and that includes Rebecca Ferguson. I admit, her arrangement of U2's song was a nice stab at something different. However, she doesn't have the vocal personality to really pull it off. I'm sorry but her voice just isn’t as good as it’s been made out to be, even though it - usually - can hit the notes well. Others were blah including Cher Lloyd.

Now, I have to mention Wagner because his performance was - for Wagner - good. Granted, good for Wagner is like.. still not good, but it’s an improvement. Mary Byrne, meanwhile, seems to be going the way of Susan Boyle and she’s having the same emotional impact - which, is to say, none. Haha.

Anyway, here's how I rate the performances after the jump!

Creep 3/10
Addicted to Love 1/10

One Direction
Summer of 69 7/10
You Are So Beautiful 7/10

Mary Byrne
All I Want Is You 5/10
Brass In Pocket 5/10

Rebecca Ferguson
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For 7/10
Satisfaction 8/10

Matt Cardle
I Love Rock and Roll 8/10
Nights In The White Satin 9/10

Katie Waissel
Sex On Fire 6/10
Everybody Hurts 8/10

Cher Lloyd
Girlfriend 7/10
Walk This Way 7/10

Album: Glee: The Music, Volume 4

Well, I give to you the Glee: The Music, Volume 4. Yay!

This is a compilation of some songs that were released for Season 2. Sixteen tracks, which constitute performances from eight of the first nine episodes of the season. Too bad, they didn't include Charice's version of Listen. Enjoy!


1. Empire State Of Mind
2. Billionaire
3. Me Against The Music
4. Stronger
5. Toxic
6. The Only Exception
7. I Want To Hold Your Hand
8. One Of Us
9. River Deep, Mountain High
10. Lucky
11. One Love (People Get Ready)
12. Teenage Dream
13. Forget You
14. Marry You
15. Sway
16. Just The Way You Are
17. Valerie
18. (I've Had) The Time Of My Life


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Idol News: Lee DeWyze's Album Sold Lower Than Any Other 'Idol' Winner

The numbers are out and it's confirmed! Lee DeWyze debuts at #19 on The Billboard 200!!

Susan Boyle, as expected, pulled the biggest number for this week's album releases with sales of 335,000 copies, which was a rare 5% increase from her last week's sales. The 10-year-old America's Got Talent runner-up Jackie Evancho came in second with 239,000 copies sold. A couple of big names also released their albums last week including Rihanna, who came in third with 207,000 copies and Josh Groban with 191,000 copies for the fourth place. Glee's Christmas album even started with a decent number at eighth with 161,000 copies.

Now, for our main man, Lee DeWyze! He debuts at #19 this week with a disappointing 39,000 copies. It is indeed way off compared to the other American Idol winners - even with Kris Allen. Kris Allen, the album, debuted at #11 last year and his numbers were higher compared to Lee. Overall, this makes Lee DeWyze the lowest selling album debut for an American Idol winner and the 26th highest selling first week album debut for an Idol contestant just beating Allison Iraheta and behind Tamyra Gray.

To be honest, I’m a little disappointed but not surprised that Lee’s final sales aren’t higher for its first week. I think this numbers are really bad and there’s no other way to spin this. Could Season 9 be the season where there's absolutely no breakout star? Somehow, I kind of feel bad for Lee, I guess there was really no interest in this season, which was reflected from iTunes sales, tour sales, and now album sales. Personally, this is not going to be pretty for Crystal Bowersox or Casey James either. Let's see.


DEBUT ALBUM - first week of sales [Winners]

1. Ruben Studdard - “Soulful” - 416,569 (# 1)
2. Carrie Underwood - “Some Hearts” - 314,549 (# 2)
3. Taylor Hicks - “Taylor Hicks” - 298,199 (# 2)
4. Kelly Clarkson - “Thankful” - 297,000 (# 1)
5. David Cook - “David Cook” - 279,578 (#3)
6. Fantasia Barrino - “Free Yourself” - 239,389 (#8)
7. Jordin Sparks - “Jordin Sparks” - 119,119 (#10)
8. Kris Allen - "Kris Allen" - 80,000 (#11)
9. Lee DeWyze- "Live It Up" - 39,000 (#19)

DEBUT ALBUM - first week of sales [All]

01. Clay Aiken - “Measure of a Man” - 612,859 (# 1)
02. Ruben Studdard - “Soulful” - 416,569 (# 1)
03. Carrie Underwood - “Some Hearts” - 314,549 (# 2)
04. Daughtry - “Daughtry” - 303,677 (#2)
05. Taylor Hicks - “Taylor Hicks” - 298,199 (# 2)
06. Kelly Clarkson - “Thankful” - 297,000 (# 1)
07. David Cook - “David Cook” - 279,578 (#3)
08. Fantasia Barrino - “Free Yourself” - 239,389 (#8)
09. Bo Bice - “The Real Thing” - 226,976 (# 4)
10. Jennifer Hudson - “Jennifer Hudson” - 217,185 (#2)
11. Adam Lambert - For Your Entertainment - 198,446 (#3)
12. David Archuleta - “David Archuleta” - 183,000 (#2)
13. Jordin Sparks - “Jordin Sparks” - 119,119 (#10)
14. Katharine McPhee - “Katharine McPhee” - 115,761 (# 2)
15. Blake Lewis - “Blake Lewis” - 98,000 (#10)
16. Elliott Yamin - “Elliott Yamin” - 90,439 (#3)
17. Kris Allen - "Kris Allen" - 80,000 (#11)
18. Kellie Pickler - “Small Town Girl” - 79,133 (#9)
19. Danny Gokey - "My Best Days" -  65,000 (#4)
20. Bucky Covington - “Bucky Covington” - 60,814 (#4)
21. Josh Gracin - “Joshua Gracin” - 57,048 (#11)
22. Justin Guarini- “Justin Guarini” - 57,000 (# 20)
23. Kimberly Locke - "One Love" - 56,894 (#16)
24. Diana DeGarmo - "Blue Skies" - 47,000 (#52)
25. Tamyra Gray - "Dreamer" - 39,091 (#23)
26. Lee DeWyze - "Live It Up" - 39,000 (#19)
27. Allison Iraheta - "Just Like You" - 32,000 (#31)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Glee Season 2: Hey Soul Sister Sneak Peek

I know this is a bit late - I was out for the last 24 hours, I guess - but what the heck, I'll still post this! Haha.

Check out Dalton Academy's performance at this season's sectionals. It's Blaine (Darren Criss) and Kurt - along with the other Warblers - version of Train's Hey Soul Sister. Now, for the record, I like Blaine's voice because of his good vocal technique but the overall choreography - or lack thereof - and that it relied heavily on a capella were the reasons why I felt it was so-so to me. It just didn't live up to their rendition of Teenage Dream. That being said, I think I prefer his version over the original. I don't know. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Glee Season 2: Sectionals Spoilers!!

Ok! So, I have here a few spoilers for Glee Season 2's Sectionals!! Songs, costume and a possible twist. Again, read at your own risk!

Sectionals spoilers after the jump!!

First things first, Kurt does transfer to Dalton Academy and still at that school in this episode. Now, since New Directions need a 12th member for Sectionals to qualify, I wonder who will replace him..

Maybe, this picture can answer that million dollar question. Ha! Is this the Twilight-obsessed AV geek? The girl Jacob was with during New Direction's performance of Toxic?
Sectionals Program

I wonder though why Matt Rutherford's name is still part of The New Directions. I thought he transferred already. Hmm.

Now, as for the costume, I don't get it. Haha. Seriously.

And, for the song spoilers..

- Valerie - Santana (Naya Rivera)
- (I've Had) The Time of My Life - Quinn (Dianna Agron) and  Sam (Chord Overstreet). Apparently, they'll enter from the sides just like Finn and Rachel.
- Hey, Soul Sister - Blane (Darren Criss)
- In The Living Years - TBA

Listen to Valerie HERE.
Listen to (I've Had) The Time of My Life HERE.

Glee Season 2: Furt Episode Review

Season 2, Episode 8

Absolutely one of the strongest episodes of the season. Seriously. I have never been so happy watching Glee since Season 1 Finale and I had the biggest smile on my face the whole time. I say, when Glee is good, it’s really, really good. It's like the good old days of Glee - think Preggers episode. Ha!

Now, one thing I love about Glee is that I always feel happier and uplifted at the end of every episode. This week, however, I just didn't feel that. I'm not complaining though because I genuinely like how this show has the ability to make me cry and laugh at the same time. Crazy no?


- Sue showed so much maturity by standing up for Kurt and even quitting her position as principal because she couldn't support the school board's handling of the Kurt-Karofsky situation. But yes, she PROMISED Kurt that she would watch out for him and have his back. Very admirable. Honestly, it's like Sue Sylvester as principal was one of the best things that happened in McKinley High. Didn't expect that.

- The Glee club actually sticking up for Kurt was fantastic! Really. I loved that they rallied. The scene with the girls trying to set it in motion was great and the boys rising up to Karofsky was really something else. Heck, Mike Chang actually was a presence in that scene. I actually also felt Puck's frustration at not being able to get involved in that "fight".

- The Sam-Quinn scene was adorable. They are a cute couple and they sing well together. Plus, their chemistry is just insanely palpable. I loved Sam's speech and promises to her. It seriously just made me melt to a pile of goo. Haha.

- Two weeks ago, with Never Been Kissed episode, I felt really frustrated with the whole bullying theme for some weird reason. However, this week, it didn't really bother me AT ALL. Maybe because it was a little more realistically handled compared to the episode I mentioned.

- The speeches of both Carol and Burt turned me into an emotional wreck. Somehow, I like that they gave light on the loss of the deceased parents of both Finn and Kurt and how Carol and Burt brought the other one out of that long period of mourning. I loved that they acknowledge themselves as one family. It was a beautiful moment, to say the very least.

- Kurt transferring to the magical fairytale school full of puppies, rainbows and everything nice was a good way to put depth to the main storyline. It really broke my heart to see him walk away from everyone. Mercedes' face was devastated along with Finn, and I thought that scene was really well done. Heartbreaking.

- Across the board, the acting in this episode was superb! I like Rachel in this episode.


- As much as I love Carol Burnett, the whole Sue storyline kind of ruined it for me. It wasn't funny and the idea itself was ridiculous, even for Sue. I actually thought this sub-plot was unnecessary. I mean, there was enough amazing Sue moments and lines as a principal dealing with the bullying situation, and adding her "wedding" was just plain dumb. It felt like a forced story line and it was almost like they were trying too hard to fit all these guest stars in.

- Finn's speech, though touching, felt a little odd. Suddenly, it was, again, all about Kurt and not about Carol and Burt? I didn't get that.

-This is not entirely a bad thing, but I do hope they ease up on the Kurt storylines. I mean, they just have to give the other supporting actors a chance to develop. Seriously.


OHIO was ok. As I've said, Sue and Carol Burnett's storyline was a complete waste of time, so I didn't actually care for this musical number that much. It was ok - the episode could survive without it.

MARRY YOU. Yes, they copied the infamous YouTube "Forever Wedding" scene - just like The Office - but this performance was beyond incredible as well. I mean, I loved that everyone got to shine in this number. I enjoyed every bit of it - from Finn and Rachel, to the cuteness that was Sam and Quinn, and yes, even to Brittany and Artie even though I don't like them as a couple. But of course, Carol and Burt dancing was absolutely adorable.

SWAY was good. It was nice that it didn't focus much on Will Schuester singing. It was a special moment for the newlyweds. It was cute. That is all. Ha!

JUST THE WAY YOU ARE. This was a very touching musical performance, but somehow it didn't make sense. Haha. That's a song Finn would sing to Rachel or even maybe Carole - which he did - but Kurt? They could have done another song. I thought the idea was cute and all, just not the appropriate song.

Download music HERE.
Download episode HERE.
Watch the preview for next episode HERE.

Glee Season 2: Special Education Teaser

Next week, it's Glee Season 2, Sectionals!! Gah!! So many things happened in today's episode that I was somewhat overwhelmed - in a good way, of course. I can't wait for next week. It's the New Directions vs. The Warblers  vs. The Hipsters. Bring it on!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Glee Music 2: Furt

Here are the songs for Glee's next episode, Furt

I like how these past couple of episodes have only had 4 song. It seems Ryan Murphy was being honest when he said over the summer that they would cut down to four maybe five songs an episode. Great! Oh, and I also like the variety this week - Classic Broadway to Bruno Mars!

As usual, these are not yet the iTunes versions but I'll replace them as soon as it's available - probably on Monday.

ETA: These are already the iTunes-rip versions

Just The Way You Are
At first, yes, lyrically it would fit Finn most, but vocally it would probably suit Sam better than Finn. However, this makes me want to take it back. He sounds good in this song. I really like his voice on certain songs - Losing My Religion, for example - and I think he did this song justice. Not his best but good enough. 8/10

Marry You
Another Bruno Mars song. I like this! I didn't really care who sings this song because I'm just super psyched that they're singing it, but after I heard Finn, Rachel, Quinn, Sam, Tina and Artie - and I think I also heard Santana and Puck somewhere, not sure though - on this track, I was like in Glee heaven. Haha. I just love that there are a lot of small solos in it and everyone gets a chance to sing. Plus, this song sounds fun. 9/10

 This is a really unusual song choice, aside from the obvious that Glee is set in Ohio. Haha. But honestly, I somehow like the Broadway feel to it and Carol Burnett and Sue Sylvester in one song - legendary! I can't wait to see the actual performance of this. It actually sounds cute. 7/10

I'm not entirely a fan of Will Schuester as a character or even his singing - I don't know - but since I need to be objective, I think this is one of his best recordings to date. His voice is so smooth like butter and it fits perfectly with the song. Is it for me? No. However, fans of Mr. Schue will most definitely enjoy this. 7/10

(all 4 tracks)

Glee Music 2: Valerie

Wow! Santana's solo for Sectionals is here!!!

A few days ago, I posted New Direction's other song for Sectionals, (I've Had) The Time Of My Life and this is, obviously, their second song with Santana on lead vocals. Honestly, I can't help but be giddy about this song. Santana just keeps laying down those smokin' vocals. This is AMAZING! I'd say, the world needs more bisexual cheerleaders with voices like Santana's in them. Haha. Enjoy!

Sectionals Spoilers HERE.
Sectionals Promo Photos HERE.

Download links will be up this coming Friday, together with the other songs for that episode.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Glee Season 2: Special Education Promo Pictures

Here it is!! The Sectionals Promo Photos for Season 2's 9th episode entitled, Special Education.

Obviously, this is the episode where New Directions compete against the Warblers and the Hipsters in a sectionals competition. I wouldn't say anything else about the pictures but just take a look and see some "changes". Haha. I. Can't. Wait.

Glee Season 2: Sectionals Spoilers HERE.

Check out the photos after the jump!!

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