Album Review – ARTPOP

Lady Gaga’s Artpop (Deluxe Version) is mainly a fast-paced adventure of well produced electronic music, but slows down a few times to show you the strength of her vocal talents. Most of the songs on the album are great for dark dancefloors, flashing lights and damaging decibel levels. Looking at the tracklist order, there is some semblance of a story at first, but that all goes out the window after the fourth track (Sexxx Dreams).

The most notable aspect of this album is the variety of sounds expressed by one artist. All of the songs are undoubtedly products of Gaga, but it is easy to hear inspirations from or similarities to other artists. The way she bellows away in Do what you want (my body) can be easily mistaken for a track by Christina Aguilera. The slow background, repetitive hook, sultry beat and monotone support vocals of Artpop mimic the music style of Madonna. Gypsy could easily be from a recent album by Kelly Clarkson. Fashion sounds like the music love-child of Chromeo and Jamiroquai (I can just hear it being played at the premiere of a designer’s new line or in clothing commercials). And yet they are all clearly the artistic blossoms of Lady Gaga. Some may say that is inconsistent, but her versatility is worth the applause (she does, after all, live for it).

The most surprising sound on the entire album is the track that will probably attract the hip-hop community more than anything because of the other featured artists. The heavy bass and scratchy electronic sound of Jewels ‘n Drugs features verses by T.I, Too-Short and Twista, lending the album a few dollars of street credit.

Artpop (Deluxe Version) is a predominantly electronic album which accomplishes to represent many things Lady Gaga stands for. It has sex, female empowerment, fashion, fame, dance tracks, night-life, money and partying. I hadn’t been searching for much in this album, as I wasn’t gaga about Gaga, which is probably why I was impressed. I listen to a lot of music, deleting songs from my ipod and library as soon as they rub me the wrong way. This album will probably stay complete in my library and get lots of replay. Loyal Gaga fans can expect many singles, remixes, and track rotations from this album. Also, three extra versions of Applause (by DJ White Shadow Electrotech, Viceroy and Empire of the Sun) are distinct bonuses.

Lyrics: 7/10
Vocals: 9/10
Production: 10/10
Replay: 10/10
Flow: 7/10
Track Strength: 9/10
Catchy: 9/10
Bonus Material: 8/10
Recommendation: 8/10
Endurance: 9/10

Total: 86/100

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PlayStation 4 – Over 1 Million Units Sold

The Playstation Game Blog

Over the weekend Sony announced that the PlayStation 4 sold over 1 million units within just 24 hours. This means that the PS4 is the most successful PlayStation launch ever, and one of the best console launches in history. The PS4 has also yet to release in other territories, such as Europe and Japan, so expect this number to rise soon.

Have you guys picked up your PS4? I’m personally loving mine and playing lots of Killzone Shadow Fall and Assassins Creed 4.

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On Being An Adult

SPOILER ALERT!!! If you don’t want to suddenly find out how the GOW series ends, I suggest you turn back.
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…….Ok. I warned you.

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“Wuteva, I do what I want!” It’s a quote I stole from South Park’s Eric Cartman and it’s exactly how I live my life.

I say it to my wife all the time in response to her telling me what to do. Now, let me be clear: I understand that the phrase is rebellious and rude. I understand it’s a go-to phrase for an immature person who doesn’t accept responsibility for their actions. I know it’s snide and is usually met with slatted eyes and reproach. I’m completely aware that I can’t use it all willy nilly, otherwise it would result in a lot more than just a look that says “who the fuck do you think you are?”

My point being, I’ve long come to terms with the purpose of the phrase and have been using it responsibly ever since.

When we were young, our parents limited everything we did. They said we weren’t old enough. They said we weren’t ready. Or they didn’t offer any explanation at all. “Because I said so.” And whether we accepted that answer or not was irrelevant, because they said so. So we got this attitude about being a child. There was this ever-brewing anger that bubbled up whenever someone stood in the way of what we wanted. It wasn’t fair. A six-year-old person is still a person, right? I remember making these (not so) quiet promises to whoever had “protected” me this time or foiled my well laid plans to get ice cream from the truck that they should just wait until I was an adult. I would have all the money and would buy all the ice cream and eat all the candy I wanted. Because as we all know, the moment you turn 18, you are granted a large sum of money. You should have heard of the many cars I planned on having. And the house! Oh my, the house I planned on having when I was a child was enormous enough to hold all my cars, a mountain of toys, all my wives (I’ll address that another day), and a room for my money. I didn’t need a bed. I would sleep on the cash. I even invited my family to visit from time to time.

So then came the day, so much sooner than my math had calculated, that I turned 18. I wasn’t expecting (a lot of) money anymore. I had long grown out of the silly ideals of my barely developed self, but I thought there would at least be some grand feeling involved with being recognized as an adult in the eyes of the man. I thought I would finally get everything I wanted. You know what the first thing was that I got? A punch. And then 18 more (one for good luck). Turning 18 doesn’t make you a man or a woman. It surely doesn’t make you an adult. It makes you legally responsible in a court of law. It makes you eligible for all of the government perks like financial aid and the draft. They don’t warn you that unless you’ve long been emancipated from your parents and have been raising yourself, you are no more grown than that foolish child. What they didn’t warn me of was that I would still be a boy.

No matter how happy I was with life, I didn’t have what I wanted. I didn’t even know what I wanted.
So how do you do what you want?
It starts by doing what you need. It starts with a whole lot of sacrifice.

I’ll refer to the story of Kratos from the God of War game series (Life often comes down to a game analogy). If my memory serves me correctly (feel free to correct me), Kratos was a general in a war who became angry at the gods after a series of unfortunate events led to the deaths of his wife and daughter (he might have been tricked into killing them). All he wanted after that was revenge, in the form of the deaths of all those responsible. At first it was it was simply Zeus and Ares, but things got out of hand, everyone got involved, and it turned into many hours of slaying mythical beasts and their masters. The entire series is Kratos on a gory rampage, sacrificing (or brutally killing) others to get his revenge. Even the game play dynamics require you to collect phoenixes feathers and Gorgons’ eyes and other various bodily trinkets, which the character sacrifices for larger health and magic bars.

Such is life.

I’m not saying you need to go out on a rampage to get what you want. I am absolutely not saying that. I’m saying you need to put aside other things to get what you want. You have to work. You have to work hard.  There are 24 hours in the day for all of us, yes, but that is literally the only thing we all have in common. Otherwise, we have to grind at different speeds and in different ways to get ahead. Jane Doe may have to work so much harder than Janice Dean for whatever unexplained reason (its her silly name, that’s why), but that doesn’t mean they aren’t both kicking their asses to get somewhere.

This doesn’t only concern a career and money. This applies to literally everything. You’re late and you wanna make the bus, you run. Why? Because you want to get there on time. Otherwise you would leave whenever you pleased. And if you say you don’t want to be there on time, it’s because you have to, I say, that’s because you want the result of getting on that bus in the first place. It’s really all about things we want, and the things we have to do to get them. It’s about giving into the necessary to accomplish dreams. I just got up and washed the dishes. I hate washing dishes. But, I wanted a clean bowl to put my soup in. I also didn’t want to have to wash them at a later date. I also didn’t want to hear from my roommate4life about them. Even now, as I am writing this, I am sacrificing precious time I should be spending on an assignment, because I love to write and this is fresh on my fingertips. I want to get it done.

You want a baller job? They aren’t giving that away at the unemployment office. But they are handing them at the end of a road filled with time, work, lots of reading, exhaustion, sleeping on public transportation, missed social calls, learning and an eventual understanding of who you want to be in life. Do what you want, but realize that everything comes at the cost of doing what you need. 

 

Short of Perfect

One day recently I was deep in a Marvel Comic, somewhere early in the infinity series, and it struck me: I have to get bigger. The whole idea behind the new series, teams, and characters is that there are threats greater than the powerful yet very limited Avengers team. They have to surpass what they are and become greater, larger, better connected, mobile, powerful. They had to upgrade. And they did. 

Back to my revelation. This blog was one of the things that came to mind when I opened up my thoughts to ideas. Many blogs came to mind actually, and they will eventually come to fruition, but I had to start somewhere. My problem with most situations is starting, but once I get started, I aim to finish (or continue, in the case of an online journal/publication). I often dont start because I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I didnt have a clear and well drawn picture of what I wanted, therefore, I never concluded to begin. I wanted a blog that could do this and looked like that and could attract these and bring me into the world of those, but I had absolutely no idea how to go about such an expedition. I mean, I’ve literally been mulling over the idea in my head for weeks. I’d come up with a million ideas and thrown away 99.99% and that still leaves me with 1000 ideas. I sat here for about 3 hours trolling the wordpress site for examples of things I could compare myself to, as well as things to aspire to become, and it was all so overwhelming. But that didnt discourage me. I actually now have more ideas. I have to get bigger, I keep telling myself.

So where to go from there?

You just do. I just…did. And ALL I have so far to show for myself are these words. But they are my words, and that was my entire point. 

So, this is me saying hello to whoever is reading this. I look forward to enjoying all the perks and love (and hate. I cant do without my haters) of the wordpress and internet community. 

I will get bigger. There will be more.