REVIEW : My Story – Barima Pages

REVIEW : My Story -  Barima Pages

If there has been any more ridiculed act on Twitter from Ghana than Paedae, C Zar and D Cryme, it surely has to be the upcoming rapper Barima Pages. He has been hated on to the extent that recently he tweeted that he was retiring his music career. However in what seems like a change of mind, the 313 signee released a single off his upcoming EP, ‘KIRM’.

In “My Story”, releases a bit of frustration and plays the pity card to his listeners. Lyrics in the song would draw one’s mind back to Eminem though they are not delivered with matching ‘hate for humanity’. The artist constantly keeps saying how he ‘struggles everyday’ and how his ‘life is complicated’.
Lyrics like

‘I’m broke
People think it’s a joke
I struggle everyday but I don’t peddle coke’

and

 ‘The money no de, why you go whip me’ 

invoke a certain piteous feeling towards him from emotional listeners and makes one wonder whether what he really speaks of is HIS story.
According to Pages however, that is actually the truth, the actual sad story of his life. And it seems he uses the pity aspect of his lines like not having a correct dad figure, wearing hand-me-downs and such to draw more listeners, but lyrics-wise the rapper prove himself quite good though not someone who pushes your mind into thought
The lines lack the metaphorical feeling I look for in rappers but generally, the song is a good listen and a worthy download though the song will die out with the instrumentals. If only he would reduce the elements in his instrumental more people might connect with his music
But I do wonder how someone who tweets via Blackberry could label himself as broke, I’ve seen worse and yet they don’t complain. Pages has to learn to appreciate

 

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REVIEW: Falou – Efya

REVIEW: Falou - Efya
Some weeks ago Efya released via microblogging site, Twitter, her lastest single and the Ghanaian Twitter community (at least the one’s I follow) instantly went ablaze with chatter of how good she was. I however in my usual adamant mood decided not to download it for no objective reason. [I guess I just didn’t feel like it]
However, a week or so later, I was forced to download it when I heard a certain lady I held in high regards for her excellent taste in music say she ‘loved Efya’s version more than the original ‘Obianuju‘. Not knowing what song had gotten her all jittery and not wanting to succumb to her asking for the name of a song she expected me to know, I took to Mr. Google, barrading him with all sort of phrases centered around the keywords ‘Efya Obianuju Cover’. I was redirected almost immediately to the very song I had earlier not paid attention to, Efya’s ‘Falou
Falou is referred to by some enthusiasts as the feminine version of Duncan.Mighty’s hit single, ‘Obianuju‘, I believe otherwise. Miss Jane Awindor, took a  hippity song that would die out when the time for its instrumentals had passed and created timeless music out of it, the kind you would still want to listen to even after ten years.
Falou is a ‘vocals-oriented‘ song with a background instrumental of violin and piano pieces reminiscent of London Orchestras. It is the type of song anyone would gladly listen to under dimmed lights whiles cuddling next to that special person. The only semblance Falou bears with the original song is that the artiste uses same words.
Generally, Efya delivers a sensational yet delicate piece in Falou and as much praise has already been given to the vocal ability of the one-time Stars Of The Future, contestant, it goes without saying that she gave 9/10 vocal performance [the one for too much ad libs] 



According to Kobby Graham,

More than anything, it’s the concept that completely and utterly melts me. Anyone can take an instrumental and slap some vocals over it.

But a Hans Zimmer instrumental?

Yes. Homegirl has taken Duncan Mighty’s lyrics from ‘Obianuju’, slowed them way, way down and placed them on top of Zimmer’s brooding score from the Christopher Nolan-directed, Leonardo DiCaprio-starring hit movie, ‘Inception’.

And what better time to release this single than when the original Obianuju song is gradually dying out. A worthy download, a classic listen

REVIEW: Dark Knight Rises…Does It?

Few films have had as much hype surrounding them as “The Dark Knight Rises,” and with good reason — the final chapter in writer-director Christopher Nolan’s epic Batman trilogy promised a grand conclusion to the Caped Crusader’s tale.
So does it measure up, or will fanboys leave the theater regretting the death threats they were issuing to reviewers who gave the flick negative comments? (Speaking of which — I’m nice, please don’t come after me.)
We’ll get to that in a sec. First, the basic plot essentially boils down as follows…
It’s been eight years since the Dark Knight (Christian Bale) took the fall for the evil-doings of revered D.A. Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart). The Bat’s alter-ego Bruce Wayne has also vanished from society, rumors swirling as to why he’s disappeared.
In reality, Wayne is physically and mentally broken after not only losing his love Rachel (Maggie Gyllenhaal), but also giving up his guise as Gotham’s protector. He’s lost all sense of purpose. Our crimefighter is now holed up in Wayne Manor, more Howard Hughes than dashing billionaire playboy.
During a charity event at the estate, burglar Selina Kyle aka Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) gets her hands on Wayne’s family jewels (literally, she steals his mom’s pearls). This prompts Bruce to reenter society, where all has appeared calm on the surface, but trouble’s been brewing underground thanks to the monstrous bad guy known as Bane (Tom Hardy).
Bane terrorizes Gotham, playing mind games, turning citizens against each other and upending society as we know it. It’s up to Batman to save the city he loves — with the help of old friends Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman), corporate officer/tech genius Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) and longtime butler Alfred (Michael Caine), and new allies Officer John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard), a socialite philanthropist who sits on the board of Wayne Enterprises — but can he make it out alive?
From the moment the movie starts, you’re treated to an insane, gravity-defying action scene that feels reminiscent of the stunning “Inception” hallway fight, and it immediately sets the tone for your next 2 hours and 45 minutes. Buckle up, kids, you’re in for a ride.
As expected, Nolan does a masterful job with stunning visuals, cool new Bat gadgets and phenomenal fights. The hand-to-hand combat scene between Batman and Bane is terrifying and brutal, and the climax of the film — an amazing city-spanning sequence that lasts a good 30 minutes (I’m guessing; I definitely wasn’t look at my watch) — is simply mind-boggling in every possible way.
The returning cast is of course stellar, and Bale does a great job showing Wayne/Batman as a vulnerable and aging man who fights through more adversities than we typically see from a superhero.
The addition of so much of the “Inception” cast to the film was fantastic. Hardy packed on 30 pounds of muscle to portray evil-incarnate Bane, and he acts the hell out of the part which isn’t easy as most of his face is masked for the whole flick. Sure, he sounds like Sean Connery, but we’ll take it! Gordon-Levitt is also a real highlight, and there’s definitely a gasp-worthy reveal with his character at the end of the film.
Hathaway is a bit of a let down, however. While we enjoy her as Selina, her sassy/sultriness as Catwoman seems incredibly forced and at times cheesy. We just didn’t buy her attitude, but she sure can wear that catsuit.
Yes, the plot is convoluted, a couple twists at the end seem haphazard, and the sound mixing is horrible — our staffers who saw it didn’t understand like 1/3 of what Bane said, yet we still clearly got the message that he’s not someone you’d want to bump into in a dark alley. But overall, does the good outweigh the bad? Without a doubt.
“The Dark Knight Rises” is an entertaining and grand finale to an epic trilogy, and if you can weather the bumps along the way, you’ll definitely enjoy the ride. The film hits theaters Friday.

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REVIEW: channel ORANGE [ALBUM] – Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean must be breathing a pretty big sigh of relief right now. Since he posted his “my first love was man” confession on his Tumblr page last week, the internet chatter on the matter has been largely positive.

Beyoncé wrote the guy a poem, Russell Simmons of Def Jam wrote “we love you” back and even Busta Rhymes managed to come up with a quote that was basically the tough-guy equivalent of saying “some of my best mates are bisexual… honest.”

You’ve got to wonder how many people were aware of Frank Ocean’s musical output before he decided to do the unthinkable and bust his bare fist through the glass ceiling of hip-hop’s code of sexuality. You’ve got to wonder how many people would be streaming his album right now, off that same Tumblr page on which he posted his deeply personal confession just a few days ago. A half-educated guess would say ‘not as many as there are right now. for sure.’

That’s not to say that Ocean isn’t worthy of the attention, though. His talent is palpable; you don’t even have to get as far as the album stream for evidence of this. His live performance of ‘Bad Religion‘ on Jimmy Fallon‘s show last night (July 9, 2012) was rich with tension and spiked with electricity. It made for chilling viewing and Ocean exuded a serious air of “THIS is why I’m here.”

 And it’s that track that marks the pinnacle of Frank’s debut album. ‘Bad Religion’ is as chilling on record as it was to witness Ocean facing his public, in the midst of the media furore that had been escalated around him. He begins the song by imploring a taxi driver “it’s rush hour / so take to the streets if you wanna / just out-run the demons, could ya?”

It’s almost a shame that ‘Bad Religion’ falls so late in the tracklisting for ‘Channel Orange’; the trajectory of the album seems to be all about-face, starting with a half-sewn tapestry of sketchy ideas, feeling more like a work in progress than a collection of finished songs, before it reveals its highlight in a tardy fashion. Ocean’s identity doesn’t seem to be able to bust out of the schlocky R&B cliché that he drenches himself in, for the first part of the album.

 At times, his personality rises above the parapet and it’s notable when it does; the sass of ‘Pilot Jones,’ is punchy, as he questions “I don’t know why I keep trying to keep a grown woman sober.” The groove on ‘Lost‘ hits you in the solar plexus and it’s underpinned by a simple, infectious bass line as he takes you on a global trip of isolation. In between these high points, though, Ocean’s inaugural long-player feels sketchy, as though he’s yet to settle into his niche.

Frankly, an album’s worth of “bad Religion’ and it’s successor, ‘Pink Matter,’ featuring Andre 3000 – which is equally arresting – would have worked well. A shame, then, that Ocean decided to fill ‘Channel Orange’ with R&B cliché, jaded nu-soul rhythms and half-finished ideas. It’s well worth persevering with Channel Orange; Frank Ocean is clearly a man possessing a talent worth paying attention. Let’s hope he shows the same bravery and honesty in his music as he has done with his private life, made public.

Harley Arvon

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