Il Volo. ‘Nuff Said.

Okay, yeah, Jamie is probably sick of reading me talk about Il Volo…but I just can’t stop! It’s the Jonas Brothers obsession all over again, I tell you! And I’ll give you a warning before you read on: This is going to be mostly me fangirling over them. Don’t expect quality writing. At all.

First of all. I guess I should introduce who Il Volo is. They are Italian. Il Volo means “the flight” in Italian. They sing crossover opera-pop. And they are amazing. I first saw them on American Idol result show (the one where Haley got voted off). Nothing could describe my expression when I heard them. At first, I only heard their voices since I was studying on my laptop and wasn’t really looking at the TV screen, but their voices piqued my interest. I looked up, expecting to find a group about the same age as Il Divo. But no. No, my friends, these guys are most definitely not in their 30’s. They’re teenagers. Gianluca Ginoble (16), Ignazio Boschetto (16) and Piero Barone (17). And you know what’s crazy? Gianluca was born in Feb. 1995! He’s almost exactly my age! I freaked. I mean, I have never heard anyone my age sing like that. Seeing that Gianluca was born in 1995, I was hoping that Piero was born in early 1994, but no, he was born in 1993. So he’s supposed to be a graduating senior, and therefore, not as close to my age as I would like. (As you can see, I’m not actually a Gianluca fangirl. I am indeed a Piero fangirl.) Of course I know that I’ll never meet them. But still.

Now, I shall talk about why I love them so much. First: the appearance appeal. Ignazio, the chubby one, has the most adorable smile. With the dimples and all. So adorable. And he always smiles, so it’s like, when I’m watching him sing, I’m just so transfixed by his smile. Then there’s Gianluca, the guy my age, the one with curly hair. Apparently he won the Italian singing competition that all three of them entered. He does have a great voice. But the appearance appeal. His eyes are beautiful. Just…beautiful. Ahh. Whenever he stares into the camera when he sings, you just feel like melting. And now, we get to Piero. Oh, Piero. He’s just perfect, in all his nerd chic-ness. (Of course I’m being biased. What can I say? I love nerdy chic guys.) The glasses. The scarves. The smile. The spiky hair. The cute faces he makes when he sings. So. Freaking. Cute.

And now we move on to the voices. They are just unbelievable. Their voices are so mature for their age. I honestly have never heard anyone my age sing like that. They’re tenors, but Gianluca mostly covers the lower parts, which definitely fits him the best, and Piero and Ignazio covers the higher parts. Gianluca’s voice has this rumble–I can’t quite describe it. But it definitely has a very unique, beautiful texture. I think Ignazio doesn’t have as distinctive of a voice, but still, it’s pretty amazing how well he sings considering the fact that he’s sixteen (going on seventeen). And the first time you watch Piero sing, you would not believe that that voice is coming out of his mouth. Seriously. He has the most opera-ish voice out of all three, and it’s just so strong. Once again, I may be biased on this, but I think he has the best voice out of all three.

I think this isn’t the only thing that’s so special about them. There’s just something about the way they sing. When you watch them live, it’s just so mesmerizing. They just have a certain charm about them. It just draws you in when they start singing and bouncing to the music. They’re amazing. Period.

Oh, and I just found out that they apparently took part in the We Are the World 25 for Haiti. The Jonas Brothers were in that! Along with other great artists, of course. It’s just so cool, thinking about it. Il Volo and the Jonas Brothers in one room. I would be in hysterical-freak-out-mode if that ever happens again.

Anyway. I’ll leave you with two of my favorite Il Volo songs:


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A Very Potter Musical’s “Cho Chang”

Yes, yes, I know what you’re thinking if you’re reading this. Where have I been?! Well, I’ve been under a pile of homework, high school drama, a bunch of other blogs, and more. Life’s hectic, what am I supposed to do?

I’m sorry to say that lately, I’ve been listening to Top 40 music and therefore, I don’t have a lot of interesting music to write about. I mean, it’s not that Top 40 music isn’t interesting, it’s just that everyone knows about “Forget You” by Cee Lo Green or “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum. And you know, I’d like to write about something that not a lot of people know about, or something that I really truly think is amazing, like the Jonas Brothers. (Shut up to anyone who thinks that they’re gone from the music world. Because they’re not.)

Okay, so maybe Darren Criss is an official celebrity now that he’s in Glee, but not a lot of people know that he was in a Harry Potter fan musical before his career took off. It’s called A Very Potter Musical, and its sequel, A Very Potter Sequel. They’re hilarious and I recommend every Potter fan to go watch the Youtube phenomenon that is StarKid Productions.

First of all, to those of you who are living under a rock but for some odd reason has access to the Internet, Darren Criss is an actor/singer/songwriter who got his first big role in Glee as Blaine, an openly gay high school student in Kurt’s new school. Before becoming a celebrity of Glee fame, he was already a celebrity in the Harry Potter fan community because of his role as Harry Potter in the aforementioned fan musicals by StarKid Productions. This time, I’ll be talking about one of the songs he performed in A Very Potter Musical called “Cho Chang”.

Obviously, this song is about Harry’s love interest, Cho Chang. During this scene in the musical, Harry is asking Cho Chang out to the Yule Ball and decided to sing a song to her. It’s a very sweet and cute song with really creative rhymes.

The musical part of the song is very simple. Darren Criss plays guitar and sings in this song, like in most of the songs he performs as a solo in the musical. I think that the simplicity of it makes the song even more cute. They probably intended it to be a very cutesy number seeing that it’s about Harry trying to reveal his schoolboy crush on Cho.

I absolutely love the lyrics. They’re catchy and entertaining, with memorable rhyming lines like ‘I’m the Mickey to your Minnie, you’re the Tigger to my Winnie’. My favorite part would have to be when he tells Cho that he wants to take her to Winnipeg and informs her: ‘that’s in CANADA!’ and proceeds to sing Cho’s name over and over again. It’s very amusing and it captures the essence of the musical: a fun, entertaining parody of one of the world’s most popular franchise.

Below is the portion of the musical in which Darren Criss performs the “Cho Chang” song. The song starts around 1:40:

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Bondan Prakoso & Fade 2 Black’s “Unity”

I know I promised a September post and I’m nearly breaking my promise, but hey, it’s still a few more days till September ends! I was just really devastated because KSM split up. Okay, maybe not devastated but upset all the same.

Anyway, this time, I’ll be talking about an Indonesian song that I’m really addicted to right now. It’s called “Unity”, and it’s by a group that has a freakishly long name. They’re called Bondan Prakoso & Fade 2 Black. Bondan Prakoso is a person’s name, by the way.

So I’ll start with introducing the group. They’re a rock/rap group, which is really, really rare in Indonesia. There aren’t a lot of rappers in Indonesia. I only know one, other than Fade 2 Black. (Then again, I’m not exactly an expert in Indonesian music…) Anyway, the group consists of four people: Bondan Prakoso (vocalist & bassist), Tito Budidwinanto (rapper & beatboxer), Ardaninggar Nazir (rapper) and Danial Rajab Fahreza (rapper). I know, I know, the names are hard to remember… Doesn’t really matter, because I won’t really talk about each and every one of them.

I’ll just write up a little something about Bondan Prakoso, because he’s the one who created the group. He used to be a kid singer, apparently. Never heard of him before his collaboration with Fade 2 Black, though. Anyway, he is a pretty awesome bassist. Seriously, I watched a clip of him just playing the bass part for Unity, and I never thought that watching someone play bass would be that mesmerizing. You can really tell that he’s into his music. He’s awesome.

Anyway, now I’ll finally talk about “Unity”. It’s from their second album, called, well, “Unity”. Ha. First of all, let me just say it one more time: it is made out of total AWESOME-NESS. And maybe even head-bang-worthy. I may be exaggerating right now.

Procrastinations aside, this type of song is really rare in Indonesian music. I’d say it’s more heavy than most of the Indonesian stuff that are famous. I think Indonesian bands are more into plain pop music and sometimes rock or jazz. Also, the message in the song is really rare for an Indonesian song, too. They’re usually depressing, you know. Or if it’s not depressing, it’s comedy. But Bondan Prakoso & Fade 2 Black’s songs are mostly promoting optimism, and I just love that, because I’m really into that kind of stuff. For example, their latest single, “Kita Slamanya” or “Us Forever” is about long-lasting friendship. Definitely one of my favorites.

Anyway, more about “Unity”. It’s pretty self explanatory. It’s about unity and world peace. One of the lines in the song that really struck me was the one that mentioned “Bhineka Tunggal Ika” which means different but the same, and it’s like Indonesia’s motto. Or something along those lines. Sorry, I’m Indonesian, but I’m not an expert on this kind of stuff. International education and all that.

Now, for the music aspect of it. It opens with some bass, and then guitar and drums. It’s a unique start, actually. After that, Fade 2 Black starts rapping. They actually have some English lyrics in it, even though they’re not necessarily grammatically correct. But that’s just my editor side overreacting. My most favorite part of the song is when Bondan starts singing. It is so catchy! Seriously! I want to put a ton of exclamation marks so badly, but I figured that would just make it confusing to read. It’s just a catchy tune… We believe as one in time, we will be as one in mind…

If you listen closely to the instruments, it’s really entertaining to listen to the bass. Very interesting, because I rarely ever pay attention to that kind of stuff. Brunno would probably appreciate me saying this. Haha.

There’s one part that sounds kind of like some sort of campaign-type speech, and I thought that part dragged a little. Especially if you don’t understand the lyrics. You probably won’t be interested in that part. So I just wished that part was a little shorter. The bass part saved it from being boring.

But seriously, if you listen to this song a few times, the vocal part will be stuck in your head for days. That’s what happened to me, so I’m just warning you.

Phew, it’s almost one and a half pages long. You should be happy. Very happy.

Listen to it, and tell me what you think! Let me know if you want the translation of the lyrics or something.

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No, I’m not dead.

Sorry to anyone who’s reading (which is probably less than 3 people…), I’ve disappeared for a long time from this blog. It’s been hectic with the move and the overwhelming new school and all that. I promise I’ll start blogging again sometime in September, when I may be more settled.

Sneak peek of what’s coming in September:

Something Indonesian and unusual. Something that I am so addicted to listening right now. Something called UNITY. Stay tuned!

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KSM’s “Best Friends Forever”

Since it’s the end of the school year and I’m leaving Shenzhen for good, this post is dedicated to all the friends I met in China.

KSM is an all-girls band who opened for Honor Society and the Jonas Brothers. And yes, of course, that’s how I discovered this band. KSM consists of five girls: Kate (drums), Katie (guitar/vocals), Shae (guitar), Sophia (bass) and Shelby (vocals), and the name of the band comes from their initials and the first letter in ‘music’.

I love the simplicity of the beginning of the song “Best Friends Forever” from KSM‘s album “Read Between the Lines”. I think it captures the emotion of the song very well. Other than that, the composition of this song is pretty standard and predictable.

Shelby’s voice is really interesting, though. Very unique; I’ve never heard any other voice like hers. I think her voice fits this song. In some of the other songs, her voice can get a little shrieky at times. I actually prefer Katie’s voice. Her voice is more soft than Shelby’s, and I think it’s very pretty. Check out the song “Everytime You Go” if you’re interested in listening to Katie’s voice.

I think that it would be nice if they added a piano part in this song because I think of piano as a soft instrument, and I think it would work well with this song.

Anyway — to my best friends: I’ll miss you, and I dedicate this song to you. See you guys in a few years. =)

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This is sort of off-topic but…

I’m so hyper I have to post this: Lee DeWyze is 2010’s American Idol!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YESSSSSSS…. I don’t care what other people say about American Idol being rigged, he’s awesome, and he won the competition!!!! I feel like putting lots of smiley faces, but I won’t. Okay, maybe just one =D LOL.

Lee DeWyze Crystal Bowersox

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Boys Like Girls’s "Two Is Better Than One" Feat. Taylor Swift


Yay, I have a third May post!

This time I’m going to be writing about the song “Two Is Better Than One” by Boys Like Girls and Taylor Swift. At first, I was surprised they even collaborated and did a song together, because they are two very different artists. Boys Like Girls is more alternative, while Taylor Swift is country. But I really like the outcome; the mix between the two genres sounds really nice.

I think I’m feeling really cheerful this month, because I haven’t really been writing about depressing songs. Which is good, I guess, so that you’ll know that I’m not always depressing!

Anyway, the song. Yes. Now I’ll talk about the song.

The song starts simple, with just guitar and singing. The beginning sounds really Boys Like Girls-ish, very much their style. Especially the falsetto, which is pretty predictable, since that’s also present in Hero Heroine. And then it crescendoes and Taylor Swift comes in and sings in her oh-so-country voice, mixing up the two genres. I guess the song leans more to alternative, but with Taylor’s voice, it just gives the song a country twist.

My favorite part of the song is the climax, where there were lots of drums and guitar and strings, but it’s not too over the top. Then it goes back to the ordinary dynamics and it just makes me feel all calm and warm. And I just like the strings in the background overall. It makes it sound more majestic.

I wish there’s more Taylor in it, because the balance of male and female vocal is off and the male vocal overpowers the female voice. There’s only one part where Taylor sings alone, and maybe she could’ve sang a little in the first part.

Oh, and I have to say that this song is very repetitive. Why do I have to say that? Because repetitive songs gets stuck in my head and I’m warning you to never put it on loop. Trust me, you don’t want to do that.

This is also one of those simple songs, like “If You Could Be Anywhere”, which is my first post of the month. It’s just that Tom Felton‘s song is done in the most simple way, while this one has some climactic moment in it and it has more variety of instruments.

I think that’s it. Nothing else I want to talk about. So after you finish listening to it, please comment and add on to my analysis!

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