TV: “Children of the Universe” Molly Smitten-Downes Official Video

“As I am awakened with fire in my bones”

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(“Yes, I am fabulous!”)

Rather excitingly, the official video for Molly Smitten-Downes entry into Eurovision 2014 has been uploaded in the past few days. The video, available on her official youtube channel, shows Molly amongst her band lounging around on plush furniture and standing in front of flowers.

The official video has clearer audio than the studio version that was uploaded earlier in the year. The song is actually pretty good, and even incredible considering this is a UK entry. Personally, I didn’t need any more reasons to love Molly’s creation, but the luxurious official video does help.

However, as good as the song is, it all depends on the actual night. Eurovision semi-finals will take place on the 6th and 8th of May, and the UK has automatic entry into the finals, taking place on 10th of May 2014.

See the video below:

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TV: Star-Crossed – Episode 1 Summary + Review

“Roman, Roman, where for art thou..”

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(“You know, those aliens are pretty good looking….”)

Airing on: Sky

Genre: Romance, Drama, Sci-Fi, Aliens, Age: 13+

Released: 4th April 2014 – onwards

Aliens called Atrians have landed on earth in September 2014, and immediately face hostilities. Emery Whitehall finds a young Atrian boy hiding in her shed, close to where the alien ship has landed. She takes care of the frightened young boy, however the military finds him and shoots him in front of Emery.

Ten years later, and Emery is beginning her first day of high school after spending the last few years in hospital. She and her friend Julia watch as young Atrians are beginning the same school; a program to integrate them into the same society as humans. If this program is successful, it could mean the start of cohabitation by humans and Atrians, but high school is never easy.

Warning! May contain spoilers!

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Music: Janet Devlin – Hide & Seek – Album Review

“The Creatures of The Night. Me, Myself and I.”

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Artists: Janet Devlin

Age: 12th November 1994 (age 19)

Genre: Pop, Folk

Released: 3rd July 2014

I’m going through a big change in the music I listen to. Gone are the loud sounds, harsh vocals and lewd lyrics, I’m attracted more and more to soul-searching songs that feel like they explore the depths of the universe itself. There are very, very few artists that I can place within that category, and as such, they are getting a bit overplayed.

Janet Devlin is one of those singers that deserves recognition for having a beautiful voice. There is a rare quality in her young, bit-rough vocals, with it’s Irish lilt, and her album showcases her astonishingly understated vocals perfectly.

I first saw Janet Devlin on X Factor UK 2011, and in her auditions, she brought a charm and innocence to all her performances, and she’s good, very good.

Janet Devlin not only sings, but has co-written all the songs on this album. It adds that extra spark and personality to every line. Hide & Seek (obviously a reference to Imogen Heap, one of Devlin‘s influences) was first released in limited quantities last July (2013), but is set to re-released this summer.

The album explores Pop and Folk genres, and there are some upbeat songs, Wonderful, Working for the Man, that are mainstream pop. They are catchy enough, but sound hideously generic compared to quirky-piano-pop Creatures of the Night.

Walk Away, Who am I to You, Pick Me Up and the titular Hide & Seek, are pleasant songs that are perfect for putting on as background music. They don’t stand out in particular, but the feel is of good, solid, pop music. When was the last time I heard that? Probably not in a decade.

The standout tracks for me are Devlin‘s slower songs. If there is a reason to buy this album, it is for Crown of Thorns, Things We Lost In The Fire, Nothing Left to Hide, and the brilliantly haunting When We Were Young. I have never heard such a young voice sing so expressively, and against quiet accompaniment, and still move me.

There is an untrained quality to Devlin’s voice. A raw power that hasn’t grown into its own, and is so unusual in a world filled with auto-tune or power singers (and shriekers).

Not everyone will “get” her. There is a reason why she managed 5th on the X Factor, and had her album funded by PledgeMusic. However, if you love this type of sound, she is a great artist at the beginning of her career, filled with talent and great potential.

I know I am a fan.

See below for album previews:

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TV: Eurovision 2014 UK Entry “Children of the Universe” Molly Smitten-Downes

“Power to the people”

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The UK entry for Eurovision 2014 was shown a few days ago. The BBC version is the most publicised, featuring Molly Smitten-Downes singing a live version of her song “Children of the Universe”.

Described as cool and contemporary, Molly brings a different and modern style to the UK entry for Eurovision. Think 2010 winner Lena and her song “Satelitte“, but with an actual British accent. Molly stomps across the stage, reaches achingly beautiful notes with her voice, and oozes casualness with her henna tattoos.

Last year, Bonnie Tyler represented the UK. and although her fanbase was prominent in the audience, the song didn’t do well in the UK charts or in the competition. Bonnie Tyler crooned “Believe in Me“, and reached 19th place, scoring a mere 23 points.

Although British citizens like to scoff at Eurovion, and the “political voting” between countries, there is always that spark of hope that the UK will place in the Top 10 in the competition. I personally think that Molly Smitten-Downes offers the best chance of getting a high ranking (and dare I say, even winning) since Blue with “I Can“, back in 2011.

Eurovision Finals will be broadcast on the 10th of May 2014, following Semi-Finals on the 6th and 8th of May 2014. As one of the major countries backing the competition, the UK has an automatic entry into the Finals.

I will be aiming to do a live commentary on the competition.

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News: Words of Radiance (Stormlight Archive Book 2) Release Date

“Of Extreme OCD-ness”

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Author: Brandon Sanderson

Genre: Epic Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Age: YA+

Released: 6th March 2014 (UK version)

Following up on my post from eons ago, a lot of little details have appeared for the next book in the Stormlight Archive series. The release date for the UK version has also changed, and is now in March 2014. Pre-orders are being taken at all the usual places, (Amazon, Waterstones, etc) and this book is guaranteed to hit bestsellers’ lists all over the world.

However, in my usual infuriating way, I am refusing to pre-order this book, because… it isn’t the same size as the other books in the series. For some reason, newly released hardbacks and paperbacks are much larger than the paperbacks issued after the first year. (I’m not sure if this a UK-only issue, or not).

It is very obsessive compulsive, but I want to have an uniform collection, and since I only have the smaller paperback version of The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive Book 1), then the rest of the series will have to follow suit.

The few details that I have allowed myself about this book is that it is about Shallan, and there are  some new characters for the interludes.  For the rest, I have covered my ears, and  sang loudly so no spoilers will come to me.

As usual the UK version of Brandon Sanderson’s books have covers by Sam Green. I absolutely adore his art style.

Words of Radiance is available for Pre-order at £20.00 for the Hardback edition.

Purchased: Princess Jellyfish Collector’s Edition DVD Box Set (UK Edition)

“Super Anti-Nerd Makeover Time!!”

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Studio: Brain’s Base

Genre: Josei, Romance, Drama, Age: Adult

Released: 3rd September 2012  (US version)

I mentioned the release of the Princess Jellyfish Collector’s Edition in a previous post, and I remember rushing out pre-order it. It arrived sometime last year, but I haven’t yet put up any pictures of how stunning this collection is.

This edition comes with the Clara toy, which is a massive keyring-type plush. I always seem to have grubby hands whenever I come near this box, and haven’t had the nerves to take the plush toy out. It sort of rolls about in the box. From my initial impressions, I was expecting it to be larger, but the toy is no larger than the palm of my hand. That’s pretty big for a keyring, but not really for a plush toy.

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So far there is no BluRay release of this in the UK. The actual DVDs are contained in a cardboard slip inside the larger box. This slip features some truly stunning artwork. I’m not sure if this is from the manga, but it does look in a similar style. Unfortunately, there is no way of securing the cardboard slip when traveling, and my method is to place it inside a folder is it ever needs to be transported. (The larger box feels too awkward to carry around).

More information and pictures below:

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Book: The Dragon Reborn (The Wheel of Time Book 3) Review

“Where’s Rand?”

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Author: Robert Jordan

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Age: Adult

Released: 10th December 1992 (UK version)

The third book in the series is a bit strange, in my opinion. It draws away from Rand, who I firmly believe is the main character, despite the infinitely large cast.The book instead follows the various subgroups that are in a quest to follow Rand, and his path of destruction, whether they know it or not.

Warning! Contains spoilers!

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Anime: Sukitte Ii na yo (Say I Love You) – Episode 7 Summary + Review

“Wanna stay at my place?”

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(“That photographer wants me back…?”)

Studio: ZEXCS

Genre: Romance, Shoujo, Drama,  Age: 13+

Released: 28 September 2012 – onwards

From the previous episode, news of Yamato’s modelling career spreads like wildfire through the school. Megu-tan pleased with the attention that she and Yamato have been getting, and she breaks the news that her modelling agency has asked Yamato to continue modelling for them.

Warning! May contain spoilers!

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Anime: Sukitte Ii na yo (Say I Love You) – Episode 6 Summary + Review

“Someone new on the scene”

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(“Ba dum, Ba dum, Ba dum”)

Studio: ZEXCS

Genre: Romance, Shoujo, Drama,  Age: 13+

Released: 28 September 2012 – onwards

From the previous episode, Asami and Kenji are officially a couple, and are happy to talk about their perfect relationship in front of Yamato. Feeling soft towards Mei, Yamato is happy to show that they too are a good couple, although Mei is still shy of saying anything definite.

Warning! May contain spoilers!

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Music: SUPER JUNIOR – SPY – Single Review

“Do ru ru ru ru do ru u ru”

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Artists: SUPER JUNIOR

Genre: Kpop, Urban, Pop

Released: 5th October 2012

So apart from the obvious reasons of work, what else has been filling my life? Shopping. I had been walking through H&M and realised they had been playing Kpop. And not just any kpop either; SUPER JUNIOR!

Nearby customers will have to excuse my squeals of excitement, for although I am not a huge SuJu fan, it is an odd experience to hear it blasting through the loudspeakers in your average UK store. And it’s an almost recent song too!

Played blatantly. At full volume.

The actual song is a poppy upbeat thing which screams SuJu. The video is inspired by James Bond, although both the song and the video are a far cry from the recent sultry theme that Adele sang. The new accompanying dance is much more complex than I have seen in their recent releases, and although they have blood raining down and silhouettes of women, everything ties down nicely with the vanilla boyband-ness.

See the video below to see the world’s greatest boyband perform. Although it is nothing on the same greatness as Sorry, Sorry or BONAMANA  they have done kpop proud. SPY will be playing in your head for days.

See below for previews:

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