Watch: Wild Heart, The Vamps

My favourite up and coming boyband, The Vamps, have just released the video for their new single “Wild Heart”. Filmed while the boys were in LA, the video is set on a party bus and really makes you wish you were rocking out on there with them.

The song is as perfect and catchy as you’d expect from the cute British teens, and will have you singing about their wild hearts at the top of your lungs (much to the relief of those around you who are just happy for something other than One Direction).

frangipani princess xoxo

Watch: Twisted

Do you love Disney, Wicked, and/or Team Starkid? Well, you’re in luck, as Team Starkid have just released their latest parody musical, Twisted, onto youtube. A retelling of Aladdin, making Aladdin a douchebag and Jafar the misunderstood hero, the musical is as hilarious and brilliantly clever as you’d expect a Starkid Production to be.

You can watch the first part below to get a taste, or click here to watch the whole show:

frangipani princess xoxo

Joe Jonas Opens Up

Joe Jonas has broken his silence and opened up to New York Magazine on his life as a Jonas Brother. And wow, revealing would be an understatement.

It’s weird, The Jonas Brothers have been my favourite band for almost seven years, and this one article has shown me that I really don’t know much about them at all.

This article, more than anything, shows the control that publicists and managers have over artists. I’m studying media, so I suppose I understand more than most people what goes on behind the scenes, but even for me it’s shocking to hear it in the artists’ own words. It’s a two way problem, really: the media needs to learn to respect the privacy of artists, and management and publicity teams need to let the artists live. It’s something we really need to seriously work on fixing.

Here’s some of my favourite excerpts from the article, but you should really read the whole thing.

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Music Review: Midnight Memories, One Direction

It’s pretty clear that One Direction don’t really need to worry about their album sales.

Their new album Midnight Memories, officially released on the 25th of November, was another in a long line of One Direction material to be leaked, this time making its way online an entire week before it was due to be released. One has to question if this was in fact a clever marketing strategy, as it has become the fastest-selling album in Amazon UK’s history, and is currently number 1 on iTunes in several countries. Maybe 1D have simply beaten the internet.

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The album’s first single, Best Song Ever, from its Baba O’Reilly rip-off opening signalled an album built on fun, huge stadium songs. (Possibly the best thing about the song, however, remains Zayn Malik’s brief yet alluring brush with drag, as secretary Veronica in the song’s video.) By contrast, the second single, Story of My Life, is more of a Mumford and Sons affair, presenting quiet, pensive lyrics and frantic strumming guitars.

The album, however, manages to consistently draw on both these styles, and is not the confusing and dissident mess initially suggested by its singles. Classic homage is strewn throughout the album, with songs reminiscent of The Police (Diana), Joan Jett (Midnight Memories), KISS and Van Halen (Little Black Dress), and Rick Springfield (Does He Know?). Equally, barnyard romps Happily and Through the Dark are the main representations of the band’s newfound flirtation with British folk rock. What results is a weirdly coherent smorgasbord of sounds.

There are some clear standout songs on the album. You and I, the album’s clearest ballad number, is a simple and beautiful number about the power of love to overcome external forces—an overwrought premise on its surface, but made new by nuanced and metaphorical lyrics. I can almost see the blinding light of 50 000 tween iPhones waving back and forth now. Don’t Forget Where You Belong, penned by Niall Horan and boyband of days past McFly, is another standout track, channelling the ambient pop rock sounds of bands such as OneRepublic. The song, an adorable ode about finding a home in your friends while on the road, marks another refreshing change for the band, in that not every song on this album is about wooing/being heartbroken by a girl. In a similar vein, this album features a never-before-heard amount of gender non-specific songs—to the point where there are more instances of vocal acrobatics from Zayn Malik, the band’s own Mercedes Jones, than there specific references to a girl.

Better Than Words, a song composed primarily of the titles of other songs, which according to co-writer Julian Bunetta, was conceived of in the bathroom by band member Liam Payne, has also become a fan favourite. The song is lighthearted, lazily sexy, and a little bit silly, and gives the band another opportunity to exhibit their impressive and vastly matured vocal chops. Other highlights on the album include Something Great (penned by Harry “I’m Finally In A Hipster Band” Styles and Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody), Louis Tomlinson’s main offering in Strong, and the powerful Right Now.

Of course, the album is still full of the same laughable and occasionally offensive pop waffle as the previous two, even if the music itself is of a far higher quality. Songs such as deluxe edition track Why Don’t We Go There? feature some Unfortunate Implications—in the song, 1D attempt to coax someone who has voiced a desire “take it slow”, to “give in tonight, and let me set you free”. It’s definitely no Kiss You.

Another candidate for Dumbest Lyrics Ever is the 80s hair band-esque jam Little Black Dress.  Ignoring the blatant objectification entirely, in this song, a black dress floats independently around the room at a party, somewhat ghostlike, and starts turning heads (presumably in terror) with its presence. The boys of One Direction are intrigued by this dress, and naturally wish to know more about it. “Little black dress, did you come here alone?” they ask, obviously confused about how it could have, given it’s a dress without a wearer. “Little black dress, what’s your favourite song?” I’ll bet Lana Del Rey’s Blue Jeans gets it going. It’s entirely possible that One Direction are simply overcome with desire for the dress itself. Maybe Zayn’s drag stint went over better than we know. Let’s just hope this doesn’t result in a One Direction Brand formalwear line.

That all said, this album’s lyrics are a lot less creepy and coercive on the whole. Most importantly, the music comes across as far more real—for the primary reason that, for the most part, these are their own songs, stories, and emotions on display. They resonate, in particular for long time fans of the band, because they resonate with their singers.

It’s second nature to want to split up an album of this kind, and indeed a band of this kind, into fractions and catgeories—25% classic rock, 25% Appalachian folk, 25% intense homoerotic tension and 25% accidental misogyny. However, what makes this offering from the world’s favourite boy band so different is that it is the first One Direction album which has felt like, well, an album. Certainly there are (very, very heavy handed and obvious) influences there, but ultimately the sound we’re hearing is the band themselves.

Whether you’ve already downloaded it or not, I recommend you procure this album legally.

Midnight Memories is out now via Sony Records. 

Rating: 5/5

Charlie @ frangipani princess

1D Day

Sunday (Australian time) is an exciting day for Whovians, but it’s also an exciting day for Directioners. Despite the fact that the 23rd of November has been the Doctor Who Anniversary for, well, fifty years, One Direction went ahead and chose that day for their international seven hour day of celebration. Much controversy and fandom fighting ensured, but at the end of the day, both are going ahead and have millions of fans eagerly anticipating the events.

Interestingly, it was announced today that 1D Day will be broadcast live into the “Doctor Who Live: The Afterparty on BBC3” which will feature a number of past Doctors and Companions. That’s the kind of decision that has the potential to make a lot of people very annoyed, but it’s also clever marketing. Although, it would be more effective if even one of the boys had ever even vaguely mentioned anything to do with Doctor Who.

1D Day, which will begin at 6am AEDT Sunday, will be broadcast on Youtube and Google+ and will feature numerous guest stars including Simon Cowell, Celine Dion, Robbie Williams, Piers Morgan, and The Muppets. It will also include behind the scenes footage, special plays of songs from Midnight Memories (which would have been more effective if the entire album hadn’t leaked), and Guinness World Record Attempts.

Fans have also had the opportunity to participate in 1D Day Challenges over the past few weeks, and will now be able to see some of their work showed live in the broadcast. Fans can also participate by using the hashtag  #1DDayLive, using the official Zappar App, and by playing along with the official 1D Day Quiz.

The boys will be also dropping into celebratory fan hangouts on Google+, as well as having a chat called One Big Drop In. You can find out more information about the hangouts here.

I’m a Directioner and a Whovian, but I’ll have to say I’m a lot more excited for the 50th Anniversary than I am for what is basically a giant live chat that, knowing the power of the Directioners, will probably just crash.

For the less cynical Directioners out there, it’s sure to be a fun day, and if I can stop crying over the fact that David Tennant will be back on my screen, I may tune in for a little while.

frangipani princess xoxo

Midnight Memories Has Leaked

This is not a drill.

One Direction’s third album, Midnight Memories, has leaked one week before it’s official release date (everything to do with those boys leaks, it’s quite hilarious). For about five minutes I pretended I was going to wait for the official release but then my download finished and I started crying.

It’s perfect. PERFECT. PERFECT. PERFECT. 

My favourite songs so far are Through The Dark, Happily, and Don’t Forget Where You Belong, but I’m actually yet to find a song I don’t like.

As promised, their sound has changed, and there’s lots of folksy vibes to the album. Another description I’m hearing a lot is “Eighties” which to me means “absolutely addictive beautiful sing at the top of your lungs songs”.

The homoerotic subtext is everywhere, too. Just listen to the chorus of Happily and tell me there’s not a deeper meaning to those lyrics. Just try.

I’ll be back with a more coherent review when I’ve stopped crying/screaming/fangirling so hard I fall off my bed.

Here’s hoping an Australian leg of the Where We Are tour gets announced, like now, so we can scream these songs live like they were totally designed for.

frangipani princess xoxo

The Day Of The Doctor: One Week To Go

In one week, it will be the most monumental day for Whovians since the relaunch of the series in 2005. Saturday the 23rd of November (which is Sunday the 24th of November for us Aussies) marks the 50th Anniversary of the very first time Doctor Who graced our television screens.

Yesterday, the BBC held it’s Children In Need gala and the BBC launched a special clip from the Anniversary Special. Needless to say, when David Tennant picked up that fez, I was well past hysterical. It’s no secret that Ten is my favourite Doctor, so to see him back, even if it is just for one seventy-five minute special, is well beyond my wildest dreams.

You can also watch the official trailer, and the mini-episode prequel, The Night Of The Doctor. In the prequel, we finally get to see the Eighth Doctor regenerate, which is a Pretty Big Deal (especially since none of the original run Doctors have been invited back for the special, which is causing minor controversy throughout the fandom).

Despite the controversy, fans (especially New Who fans like me who haven’t actually seen the original series, whoops) are super excited to see favourites David Tennant and Billie Piper back, but there has been speculation that Billie will not be reprising her role as much loved companion Rose Tyler. Will she be Rose? Will she be Bad Wolf? Will she be something else all together? I guess we’ll just have to try and survive the next seven sleeps and find out.

I’ll be celebrating the 50th by attending my lovely friend Mish’s Doctor Who themed sleepover party. What will you be doing to mark The Day Of The Doctor?

frangipani princess xoxo

Watch: Emma Approved

My favourite Jane Austen book has always been Emma (I know, controversial opinion), and my obsession with the movie Clueless just furthers my love. There’s something about meddling Emma and her match-making obsession with love that has always drawn me in. So when I heard that the creators of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries were making a new web-series based on Emma, I was beyond excited.

Fast forward to today, and we have the first instalment of “Emma Approved”. So far, it looks interesting. Not sure if it will be as good as TLBD, but I love the story so much I’m willing to stick it out.

Give it a watch, and let me know what you think!

frangipani princess xoxo