Monday, July 13, 2009

Essential Listening: 'I Am A Bird Now' By Antony & The Johnsons

The iconic album cover is considered famous photo shots by Peter Hujar entitled Candy Darling on her Deathbed!( A Transsexual diva whose later died of AIDS). A New York based group who finally earned recognition by fans all over the world with Antony Hagerty second album;- 'I AM A Bird Now'. he may have a slight complexity in under standing his own gender, but i must admit he is an out standing singer & song writer. The genre his offering is 'Easy Listening' as what iTunes labeled it. But there's a hidden twist! ones may only noticed when Antony starts singing. Hmm.. You may wondering is it a dude or a chic on vocal here? A shaking vibratos, a lingua cabaret styled voiced, that surely will fill up your late night music lounging routine. The sound arrangement is a grande, classy type of album your looking at here. Most songs written by Antony himself. the songs talks about personal characteristic, self rage or complexity on genders that stunningly delivered in hamorniuos & dramatic kind of way.
Wraps with Antony's minimal piano playing, supported by strings, cello, double bass, violin delivered in orchestral forms & arrangement, this album is a blast! Not to be missed by high end audio owner out there. A delicate, soft & the sound emerge with semi core tunes. A vivid ride that wont let listeners down. Guest appearance from legendary 'The Velvets' ex-front-man; Lou Reed in 'Fist-full Of Love' & by long time comrade @ follower none other than Rufus Wainwright in 'What Can I Do?'. with this outstanding album, no wonder Lou Reed had personally regards Antony as an outstanding new song writer. While Rufus expressing his joy for the achievement that Antony finally received from publics.

The album vaguely won a 'Mercury Prize' award the same year it was launched. A fantastic journey for both Mr. Hagerty & listeners. The album is now vacant for us to enjoy this lovely, dark charming tales of his. Not forgetting this album also offers an analog kind of sound which is awesome, but the total playtime is rather short. My most alluring tracks is 'Bird Gherl' which was featured in the movie ' V For Vendetta' starring Hugo Weaving & Natalie Portman. You may hear the song played in the background during 'V's' performing his final slow danced with the girl before his ending battle with parliament. Highly recommended for everybody. Two thumbs up! a 5/5 stars killer album. A bit of advised here; a bit of 'gayness' wont harm you. One Word; ICONIC!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Lovely Bee...Zee Avi

I discovered her music through youtube few months ago and then reading her article in inflight entertainment magazines makes me so enthusiast to find more about her. First of all, she's Malaysian staying in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail and was born in Sarawak. She's also the firts female singer signed under Brushfire records (owned by Jack Johnson). I bought the cd from Amazon.com (I'm particular about cd pressing) and got delivered in 10 days time.

This album is really good that you can listen to all the songs without need to use "fwd" button on your remote control. It reminds me of Katie Melua's quality of album which I can just follow the drift till the end of tracks.

Zee voice are so beautiful, classic and yet also new & modern. Almost like Joanna Wang's voice but the texture of Zee's voice is raw, soothing & honest. Zee has an innocent, angelic quality to her voice that is uniquely her own, soulful yet somber Zee strikes just the right resonance in between those two.

As mentioned all the songs are excellent eventhough kantoi Malay song which I found the lyrics a little off in rhyming, but it was ok and fun. I'd prefer the youtube version with full band on kantoi to be featured in the album. Honey Bee with story telling lyrics, haunting voices are just so cool even better if you've seen the video clip (effect) as it connects really well when you listen to it.

On Monte, the guitar works are so good to be true from this young lady with harmonic plucks added to the song. Darlin' it ain't easy was in full band form and the bass line was catchy with nice "running" improvision and I didn't realized that I was foot tapping. Let me in with Zee on piano feels like in a large venue were captured very well with every note decays vanished in the large dark room.

Well, too many too mention in this album and she deserved all the praises but for sure my evening is not going to be with the same girl again. Katie, I'm sorry...I'd love to have Teh Tarik than Chamomile tea for now.

Recommended!

Essential Listening; 'Kind Of Blue' By Miles Davis

To be honest to all dear readers, 'Kind Of Blue' is the 1st jazz album that I ever bought. Being introduced by my ex-housemates to Miles's 'Sketches Of Spain' album. After a few spins I became addicted, longing for more. Suddenly this album captured my attention. A great album for an introduction to Miles Davis. It is still the best selling jazz album of all times. Facts can be retrieves from Colombia's record jazz album sleeve notes. Kind Of Blue may be considered the coolest jazz masterpiece. It is a trend-setter on how jazz album should sound like. With the released of the re-mastered edition album, it sounded perfectly due to the clarity of the treble & it's bass line. This new version also equips with 360' degrees surround sound experienced. The high pitched from Miles's trumpet also has been toned down for a better listening pleasure. Best to be heard on high end audio system. You'll get a feeling of being in a jazz lounge. This album will make you tapping your feet while playing it on air. A timeless value, a sheer work of genius from Miles & friends. Never failed to sound ahead of it's time. It will took some-times before you really get bored playing it on your system. Highly recommended for jazz starters & pro's. A Killer album from Miles Davis. Here's a 5/5 ratings on this one! A must buy album if you want to be in the same league with most of jazz enthusiast! Best to be played while sitting down & updating your blogs or while browsing on the web! TQ