Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Katy Perry - Witness - Review

Prior to the release of Katy Perry's fifth album Witness, she teased us with promo art and Titles enough to excite even the casual fan. When I first saw the intended cover art, I was just shocked. I knew then that the album that art would contain would probably also disappoint. Still, I remained curious, and wondered if her new music would be as good as her last. As the singles rolled out, I realized that the songs were good, but nothing great, just a batch of good songs getting the treatment, and folks that's the whole album in a nutshell. Good songs, but nothing great.

In several of her promo interviews Katy stated that she was not going to rush the new album, but was going to just have fun, and experiment, try new collaborators, different styles while working with different producers. Clearly intent on being different.

When Katy declared back in February that her new album was going to be a new era for her and era of purposeful pop, everyone took note. Katy further added that the album was her mental liberation, sexual liberation, negative liberation, and spiritual liberation.

Then came June 9th the day the album dropped, and it quickly became the #1 on US Billboard Album Charts. In the short time since it has fallen quickly, as many negative reviews have ripped this album for it's too much sampling, borrowing, copying, and unnecessary vocal effects. Too much everyone seems to think. All the copying and appropriation on Witness seemingly has no end, that in and of itself is the boldest thing one could attest to.

The production from super-producer pop mastermind Max Martin, is erratic and just too much, when less would have sufficed.

The album cover art tells it all...Katy Perry does not even look recognizable. All you see is a woman with short cropped blonde hair, holding her hands over her eyes and the creepy eyeball in the mouth does not make the album appealing in any way at all.

It looks as though this pop-star diva doesn’t have a good grasp on her own identity, and it seems like with all of the experimenting she is trying to find's a sad affair.

All Witness does is reveal a young woman who has lost herself and is emotionally running on empty. As it stands, it's a fairly good album, but it's not as good as her previous efforts.

*Miss You More is a slow ballad, but definitely one of the best tracks on the album.

*Despite strength of song quality, the album suffers from there just being too many collaborators, and possibly a few too many songs.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Lorde - Melodrama Reviewed - Thumbs Down

Melodrama is the wrong title for this album. The word implies something sensational, dramatic and exciting. The album we get is nothing like that at all. Instead, we only get two songs that are even worth listening to. The first cut, Green Light, is good, but by now you've heard too many critics, so-called fans, and trolls complain that it sounds like Taylor Swift. Then we get besieged with rubbish material that should never have seen the light of day...any day...ever! Finally, we get to the last track, Perfect Places, and this is also good. Melodrama is Lorde's Mega Disaster and this album is among the worst to come out this year.

Lorde's first album had youthful hip teen talk language and mass appeal. This new album has no appeal. It's a self-indulgent, all me trip that is all boring. There's nothing here but the two songs I've already mentioned that might get any radio play.

This artist already seems to have the laissez-faire I don't care attitude and approach to things. Fans have waited four years for this album. She had nothing for an album a little more than a year ago, and she and her team were pressed for delivering an album. She had no songs of her own and had to rely on others to get anything done. The whole Melodrama came together in short time, with a batch of miserable songs that are not entertaining. It seems like the whole project was forced, and rushed to completion.

These songs give an indication that she doesn't really have any sense of direction. The worst thing to be at this stage of her promising career is aimless and uninspired.

Simply put, this album is awful. It is not worth the price. Buyer beware, you'll be disappointed.

Lorde's Melodrama debuted at #1 three weeks ago and has been falling fast since. Her first album Pure Heroine never hit #1, so chart performance is not always a good indicator of what you might be getting.

There are many positive reviews circulating that pour on the praise. I can't help but wonder how many of them are paid sponsored reviews.

Please feel free to leave a comment below and offer your opinion of Melodrama.

The President's Plane Is Missing Made for TV Movie

The President's Plane Is Missing

This is a made for TV movie that aired back in October of 1973. It is one of the rare made for TV films that are made so well and have everything it takes to make it worth watching again after so many years.

The movie is based on the novel by Robert J. Serling. The basic plotline as described on IMDB states … “While on the brink of a military confrontation with China, Air Force One crashes in the desert, killing the President. This brings Vice-President Kermit Madigan to power who, having been left in the dark by the president, must now rely on his predecessor's aides to guide him. But they have markedly different viewpoints and hidden agendas. Will he blunder his way into a nuclear exchange with the Chinese?”

That description fails to mention that the body of the President was NOT found in the wreckage of the aircraft when it was finally found, and this error of omission is really the main point of intrigue explored in the film. There is panic, confusion and those only interested in making war, not peace. Not to worry, there's a clever little angle and twist that resolves this well crafted story.

Check it out, I think you'll like it.

  • Buddy Ebsen as Vice President Kermit Madigan
  • Peter Graves as Mark Jones
  • Arthur Kennedy as Gunther Damon
  • Raymond Massey as Secretary of State Freeman Sharkey
  • Mercedes McCambridge as Hester Madigan
  • Rip Torn as National Security Advisor George Oldenburg
  • Louise Sorel as Joanna Spencer
  • Dabney Coleman as Senator Bert Haines
  • Joseph Campanella as Colonel Doug Henderson
  • Richard Eastham as General Colton
  • Byron Morrow as Admiral Phillips
  • Bill Walker as Thomas
  • Richard Bull as First Controller
  • Richard Stahl as Dentist
  • Gil Peterson as Tower Controller
  • Barry Cahill as Ground Crew Chief
  • Lillian Lehman as Genesse
  • James Sikking as Aide to Dunbar
  • Barbara Leigh as WAF
  • George Barrows as Mr. Meyers
  • John Amos as Marine Corporal
  • John Ward as Major D'Andrea
  • Tod Andrews as President Jeremy Haines
  • James Wainwright as General Ben Dunbar
  • James B. Smith as Major Earl Foster

Interesting fact:

This movie was filmed in 1971 but delayed for airing by ABC because that was the year of President Richard Nixon's trip to China and they didn't want to show the Chinese in a negative way. Instead, it aired on October 23rd 1973.

Latest Trend Stream-Ripping for Music Offline

Every year there is growth in music streaming and digital sales, never a decline. There are only changes in ways music is acquired. The music industry claims that stream-ripping is the latest, biggest trend ongoing that threatens the livelihood and motivating factors all recording artists need in order to create and survive. Ick...that was hard to write!

The big surprise to be learned is that customers are shying away from buying digital mp3 albums and are preferring to live stream whatever they desire from streaming services such as Spotify.

Hard to believe, but it's true. It seems people are willing to pay subscription fees to access music instead of buying it outright. Why? Many will contend that it's cheaper that way, and who wants their system bogged down with mp3's.

The main argument for judging prices of music mp3's to actual physical CD's and or DVD's is that they are often priced similar to the same, when in fact they are not the same.

I will agree with anyone who contends that digital media is over priced and should be re-evaluated. If consumers believed digital files were worth the price they'd buy it. The point being made, is that digital albums are priced too high, and that is a major reason for looking for alternatives.

Most everyone already knows about the many streaming services available, that said, there's still the growing trend of what is called stream-ripping where you can stream and download music files in mp3 format to your system for offline use.

It has been reported that there is a rise in this activity, and music labels are of course crying foul...claiming theft and piracy and suing websites that allow you to download and convert streaming content to files.

I definitely do not advocate piracy, but I think that the music industry claims are over exaggerated. Many of the people downloading files have already bought the same content in another format.

Unless you have bad, slow and unreliable internet I still don't see the need to actually download anything...there's so much free stuff on YouTube, all you need to do is create play-lists and Rock Out to your heart's content!

Record companies could do better by their customers. They could bundle digital versions on the actual physical copies, then you'd see a real drop in downloading activity. Expecting customers to pay for the same content, multiple times does nothing in the way of discouraging illegal per se downloading of media.

The main culprit being targeted by record labels today is

Suing and shutting down websites does not fix the problem. When one goes down another goes up.

The best solution is to try and do right by the customer.