Sunday, March 22, 2009; 4:48 PM
Don't say you wanna, don't say you were gonna~
Time to move away from my monotonous life lately with a little bit of entertainment blogging! And no, I shall not blog about Britney, because God knows I tweet about her way too much already. Crap, I think I'm obsessed. Just the other day I went to the record store and picked up a copy of 2001's Britney Spears Live in Las Vegas DVD and had to smuggle it under my jacket while waiting in line to pay - my friend wouldn't even line up beside me for fear of exile! When I went to the counter to hand over my cash, I was praying that the cashier wouldn't look at me like I was a slutty social outcast and say something cleverly snarky like, "Nice day for herpes!"

Luckily, she didn't - actually I think the cashier is a closet Britney fan as well, judging from the way she nodded slightly in approval as she scanned in my purchase! In actuality, I think a LOT of us are closet Britney fans. That co-worker of yours tapping her heels in time to her headphones as she's typing up a proposal? Yep, Brit fan. That middle-aged man reading the gossip section of the newspaper on the train? Brit fan. That quiet bespectacled girl in the corner that nobody ever notices? Brit fan. That homeless man on the street begging for change? Brit fan. Your gay best friend? Need I say it? BRIT FAN.
I am personally of the opinion that Britney fans get more flak for being her fan than any other celebrity! I have copped more insults, laughs and eye-rolling than your average transsexual for being a Britney fan than for any other reason! And I have had enough!! It's time to embrace my Brit-sexuality!

Also, I'm not sure how this turned into another Britney post when I said it wouldn't! !!!! !!111!! exclamation mark !! ! !!!

Anyways, to move away from all things Spear-related, I have been also somewhat following BoA's and Utada Hikaru's efforts to try and break into the mainstream American market - and falling somewhat short. Oh, it's not that they're no good - in fact they're pretty good - it's just that I think they are trying too hard. I managed to sample both BoA's and Utada's debut American album (well-- in Utada's case, second attempt album) and it is sad to say - even though I am not American (although I follow mainstream pop American music like a cult) and I am 100% Asian (I have seen the Edison Chen sex scandal photos, go me!) - I still find that both albums fall short. Which is sad, because I would really like to see an Asian celebrity make it big states-wise, for a change.

BoA's album - aptly titled 'BoA' (I had to lol at myself for that one) is a compendium of highly charged dance tracks which would not seem out of place at a nightclub. However, tune after tune of highly synthesized dance beats and edited vocals soon gets old real quick. Halfway through, I think I needed a break and was craving a nice, juicy ballad. Once I listened to the first few tracks, everything else started to sound strangely similar. Also, her accent really bothers me. To give her credit, BoA only just recently started learning English, but oh geez, my pet peeve is the fobby english accent and even though she did a fantastic job of concealing it - there are moments when I just wanted to scream, "Make it stop!"

Nevertheless, it is a decent attempt and there are a few catchy tunes which are annoying enough to stay in your head all day long - like the annoying 'Did Ya', the somewhat annoying "I-I-I-I did it - did it - did it -did it - did it - for love", and the even more annoying 'Dress Off'. The english version of 'Girls on Top' quickly became my new jam. Everything else, I press 'Skip' when it comes on my iPod.
Favourite songs : Did Ya, Girls on Top

As for Utada - I am so sad to say that even though it was a decent R&B, mainstream pop album - nothing really jumped out at me. The release single, 'Come back to me' was good, but forgettable. The only track that I loved (and am guilty of having on 'Repeat') is the addictive 'Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence - FYI', with little lilts of piano and strings, somewhat reminiscent of her better Japanese material. Every other track sounded exactly the same as any other mainstream R&B / pop album out there and I forgot them all as soon as I heard it. Also, her lyrics are somewhat cringe-worthy. A good album, but not likely to stand out in the crowd.
Favourite songs : Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence - FYI

Overall, I have to say I preferred BoA's album. Perhaps I'm being a little over-critical, and let me say first and foremost that this is just my opinion - but I really wish they would have not tried so hard to be mainstream and just stuck to the kind of music that made them so popular in the East. Utada's songs have always had a unique flavour to them - like Sakura Drops (my personal fav), Sanctuary and Deep River. BoA has always had catchy beats and sweet ballads crossed with killer dance moves - I loved Atlantis Princess, Eien and Lose Your Mind - so really, if it ain't broke, why fix it? Americans do know how to appreciate good tracks, and screaming I I I I did it did it did it for love love love love isn't exactly record-breaking material now.

Although, it did work for Rihanna and her Umbrella ella ella ella eh eh eh eh, so I digress.

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Anonymous Shezael said...
For a person who's leaning towards metal like me, the song did quite a good job to impress with its catchiness (is this even a valid word?).

Her English pronunciation is quite good, well at least for me, when, you compare it to other Jpop singer.


OK OK, at least for this Did Ya song. If you hear 'Eat You Up', you'll be much annoyed. Ha ha XD