Penny Tai (On the Way Home (回家路上)) Album Review

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Malaysian singer, Penny Tai’s new album On the Way Home (回家路上) is by far one of the best albums she has ever produced.

The album takes me by surprise with Tai’s soothing vocals and her breaking out of her comfort zone and experimenting something different than her previous albums.

In On the Way Home (回家路上) she returns to her root and be proud of who she is and what made her today.

It’s pretty amazing, too, to see Tai opts for a total image change (though not always the better). I’ve always like her MVs too. She has that think-out-of-the-box spirit when it comes to making her own MV (music videos) and uses plenty of natural lighting to enhance the mood of her song.

So far, the album has been quite a surprise and each time the experience is different from the previous one.

The lyrics are amazing and almost lyrical, if you’d allowed me. There’s always a story and that’s important.

Pretty loveable, eccentric (in a good way) and a happy-go-lucky, On the Way Home (回家路上) is made just for anyone.

Rating: 4/5

Ko Chen-Tung (Be Yourself) Album Review

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Newcomer Ko Chen-Tung of Gidden Ko’s You Are the Apple of My Eyes fame has finally released his debut album, Be Yourself.

Now, as much as I like that lad, his debut album, made merely-passable to calm hardcore fans, didn’t quite make the cut among music critics.

Be Yourself is somewhat an album that’s here but not really there. Its a fun album, yes, but Ko’s voice lacks the power to capture listeners for the first time. If anything, his voice sounds “too sweet” to blend in with the slow-rock melody.

Ko has that clean voice, that a lot of artists today lack off, and that’s where the problem lies. Instead of experimenting with different vocals, the entire album sounds almost the same, that its boring…

No offence, really, but song like Be My Baby lacks the raspy-emotional vocal, that one would hope for.

Much to my disappointment Ko is playing too safe on his side. What happened to that I’ve-got-nothing-to-loose-brat in that movie, You Are the Apple of My Eyes?

Too safe, lacking an impressive vocal and bland, Be Yourself is made solely for fans. There is very little to expect from the album itself and even lesser from Ko himself.

Let’s just hope that things will get better for Ko next time, when he releases his second EP – if there is any.

Rating: 3/5

Quick update

What I do so far: I am an entertainment writer, entertainment journalist, lifestyle writer, fashion writer and travel journalist.

Besides this, I also do movie, music and food reviews both as a freelancer and full-time writer.

I can be contacted via email at loong.waiting@gmail.com

Categories: Uncategorized

Movie Review: Black Swan (2011)

As published in Malay Mail

Expectations are high for the Oscar-nominated film Black Swan (the film was also nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Cinema­tography and Best Film Editing).

Even though this movie is the talk of Holly­wood-town and has be hailed by many critics as a must-watch movie, Black Swan still falls in the acquired-taste sort of genre. In fact, it won’t be a surprise if many movie-goers end up cursing the filmmaker.

For this reviewer, the movie is both poetic and sad, that any regular fans might find it hard to digest. Black Swan dwells too much on the emotion; and its approach is slightly raw by our local standards.

However, the dark and yet compelling storytelling might as well turn the story into an instant hit among fans.

The story revolves around Nina (Natalie Portman) who is a ballerina at a prestigious New York City ballet compa­ny; and like most ballerinas, she strives to be a perfect and flawless dancer.

Read the rest of the entry HERE

Raymond Lam Come To Me Live in Malaysia 2011

This post is specially dedicated to a friend, who is a huge fan of Raymond Lam, with a little message: “Don’t worry, he’ll be back for a promo in March.”

Here are some shots I took from the concert:

My favourite shot of the night

Movie Review: The King’s Speech (2011)

Watched “The King’s Speech” today, and boy, what a story, really!

No, I don’t mean the bad reviews, but “The King’s Speech” really gets into its centre point. The story is simple, straight to the point; though I must admit, that the whole plot is pretty predictable right from the beginning. It’s a matter of how the director arranges his ensembles and how he fits those pieces together.

The movie is picture-perfect, making it too good to even look at. Yes, there’s a pun there. The picture-perfect quality gives it another plus point, even you hate the whole idea and plot. Simply put it, even if you dislike the story, you can still marvel at the cinematography.

The story starts off shakily, where it appears to be draggy in the beginning before settling in into some final scores. The result is simply marvelous. There are a lot of familiar faces throughout the movie, but three main leads (Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush) stand out the most. Oh, it’s such a relief to be able to see Carter plays a “more normal” role, and she shows us that she hasn’t lost any of her magical touch – be it a subtle or weird roles.

The movie boost an excellent camerawork, playing mostly with “the rule of third.”  The effect is magical and stunning.

“The King’s Speech” isn’t for everyone, though. If you enjoy melodramatic work, this is the perfect treat for you. And unless you don’t mind a slow story, the movie can be enjoyable. Otherwise, my advice is, stay out of the majesty’s way.

Movie Review: Sanctum (2011)

I went for a preview of ‘Sanctum’ this morning at the cinema, and I almost collapsed and died of asphyxiation on my seat – right there and then.

Yes, it’s a movie but the intensity is so real that whenever the actors loses their breathing tank, I feel like fighting for air and will claw at anything just to get that one single breath.

‘Sanctum’ is about a group of cave explorers who were trapped in a cave, when the area was hit by tropical cyclone. The movie explores the possibility of human’s instinct to survive.

‘Sanctum,’ like most Hollywood’s disaster film, it gauges on what we’re mist afraid of. A big endless, unexplored cave; dumped in some water and throw in some panicky actors and you have an instant hit. But really, who would have care whether he or she survives or not, it’s a movie for goodness sake! But let me assure you: just like reality, the intensity is real.

The story is good but I still find parts of it missing. What happened to the rest of the crew on the surface? Where are the rescue mission that comes just in time like you see in all Hollywood movies? Err… Nevermind that.

Rhys Wakefield did an excellent job acting alongside Richard Roxburgh as his son. Both display great father and son chemistry onscreen. I totally loath Richard’s character, when he acted alongside Michelle Yeoh in ‘Silverhawk.’ Here in ‘Sanctum’ he is likable throughout.

It is a relief to see annoying characters get written off the fastest the writers can. And they don’t always get to die in the nicest way.

For those who prefers to stay dry but longed for an adventure, I highly recommend ‘Sanctum’ for an adrenaline-infused fun. Do watch out, though, as ‘Sanctum’ is not for the faint-hearted and claustrophobic individuals.

Till then, happy cave-diving!