Charli XCX ‘Superlove’ – Single Review

Charli_XCX_-_SuperLove

‘Superlove’ marks a change of direction for Charli, after a moody and experimental electropop debut in True Romance, she has set her sights on a more upbeat and simple kind of pop. ‘Superlove’ is a four chord pop song in the best way, its complexities lie within its apparent simplicity. The lyrics are fast and XCX squeezes all that she can into the chorus, making tongue twisters and evoking imagery so fast that it draws you in. Charli brings her eccentricities to the pop genre equating love to more destructive behaviour such as “you’re my favourite drug / I smoke you in the club”. The opposites of this jovial music and the darker lyrical content is what makes this song most memorable. Overall, this song is fun. After a really heavy debut, production wise and lyrically, Charli seems to have remembered that she is young and full of life and ‘Superlove’ reflects that realization. It’s still got that Charli XCX touch of being a dense track, but the hectic soundscape suits her.

4/5

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Catching Fire – Film Review

Gripping, intriguing and dazzling are words to describe the sequel to the 2012 blockbuster The Hunger Games. Catching, the middle child of a trilogy is a strong comeback from the slightly underwhelming first outgoing of the series.

‘The Girl on Fire’ Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is back and this time is breaking all of the cinematic conventions of a female lead all over again. Lawrence gives a powerful performance, leading a strong cast of veterans such as a subtle, calculating Philip Seymour Hoffman, who plays Plutarch Heavensbee, and a scene stealing, Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman. Though, Jena Malone (Sucker Punch) and Sam Claflin (Snow White & the Huntsman) hold their own as the vicious Johanna Mason and the charming Finnick Odair.

Jennifer Lawrence once again proves why she is an Oscar winner as she immerses herself into the complex character that is Katniss. Opposite from her is Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth who also give great performances. One also cannot forget the great performance of the talented singer-turned-actor Lenny Kravitz who plays the gold eye-rimmed Cinna.

Kudos must be given to writers Simon Beaufoy and Michael deBruyn who do a great job of staying close to the original narrative of the novel and bringing it to life, while also creating new moments unique to the film flawlessly.  Any fan of the book series’ dream. Francis Lawrence does a great job of bringing across the urgency of this thrill ride of a sequel. The cinematography is shockingly beautiful in contrast to the ruthlessness of the plot.

If you weren’t too impressed by the first movie, this sequel definitely brings you back into the phenomena that is The Hunger Games Trilogy. This movie is what happens when the passion for the craft of filmmaking is put ahead of money-making. Bring on Mockingjay!

4/5

Imagine Dragons @ Brixton Academy (25/11/2013) – Live Review

The house lights go down for the third time and back of the stage is illuminated with demon eyes, blinking in the darkness under the hood of the picturesque frame of Brixton Academy. A few silhouettes pace across the stage and the lights come up as the band begin pounding on several drums around the stage in a rhythmic and tribal tradition. Lead singer, Dan Reynolds trades his drumsticks for the microphone and belting out the opening lines of their iTunes promotional single ‘Round and Round’ with bright orange and yellow lights, mimicking the tone of the single cover.

“When we could out on the stage I felt refreshed” despite being on tour for over a year, and flying over from LA, hot off a killer performance and Favourite Artist – Alternative Rock win at the AMA the night before. Every song sounds like a hit, and the band are full of energy and attitude as though fighting up for your attention.

Every song is a hit, the crowd know every word to every song to the amazement of the band as they perform songs from their debut album Night Visions as well as their previous EPs from the past five years, including ‘It’s Time’, ‘On Top of the World’, and their new single ‘Demons’.

A strong factor of this show apart from Imagine Dragons’ was the opening acts: Australian AltRock band, Atlas Genius and 23 year-old Geordie, Dan Croll, who go above and beyond to warm up the frozen crowd and bring up energy levels.

Although Dan is front and centre, every band member get their time to shine. lead guitarist, Wayne Serman’s guitar solos match his “classic rock” hair-do as he thrashes his locks about. The bassist, Ben McKee is energized as he spends his every non-playing moment hyping up the crowd whereas drummer, Dan Platzman, despite not being at the forefront cannot be ignored as never misses a beat and even takes the time during a room stilling performance of ‘Lay Me Down’ to play the viola.

“We feel so blessed to be able to play such a beautiful venue played by so many greats” Dan says, in more awe than the screaming girls in the front row reaching to touch his hand, before the band begins throwing themselves around the stage to Blur’s ‘Song #1’ which gets the whole crowd jumping for the first time all night instead of just the front excluding ‘It’s Time’.

But the crowd doesn’t come alive like when the “oohs” and strum of an acoustic guitar begin, signifying the band’s international hit ‘Radioactive’. As the band begin their tribal drum introduction, the crowd begin singing the first verse eager, to get the thumping and chanting of the chorus. The band drops everything for another drum sequence so precisely executed that it sounds hypnotizing, building to a crescendo that is the crowd yelling the lyrics, as though battling to drown out the band.

As a blue hue covers the stage and the band walks away saying goodnight, the crowd chants “We want more!” until the band comes out and performs one last time.

The band clearly “feels like home” at this London venue and go out of their way to give a riveting performance that has the crowd buzzing as they pour out into the streets of Brixton.

10/10