Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Episode 1345: Some Things I Really Like Right Now

An album, a book, a film. So Kris Allen (aka the guy who beat Adam Lambert to be crowned winner of Season 8 of American Idol) has finally released a sophomore album Thank You Camellia, and it's amazing. The production is crisp but not overly glossy, and Allen's vocals are brilliant. Given the music industry these days, you really have to respect a guy who can nail his falsetto on an acoustic track. Anyway, it's really refreshing to encounter a pop album that's not about sex, drugs or clubbing. When Allen sings about love, it's so earnest that should the album fail to find success, it's more an indictment of what our cultural norms are than the album's quality. (In fact, the only misstep in the album is the inclusion of a club remix as one of the bonus tracks. The remix has its moments, but on the whole is a perplexingly anaemic affair for a club track.) Another thing I'm appreciating at the moment is Phil Jourdan's Praise Of Motherhood. I got this from a Goodreads giveaway, and Scott's agreed to my reviewing it for The Cadaverine, but it was only today, while agonising over what book to take with me for my MRT ride to HarbourFront, that I impulsively picked it up from the pile of books on my table. It is beautiful and heartbreaking and powerful writing. Expect a link to a review soon! Finally, I met Ben Woon to catch The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, or the film that Thomas Docherty told us made him cry when he saw it. I can see why though, definitely caught myself starting to tear up during some scenes. There's just something about the mix of dry British humour and heartwarming storylines that makes for a very charming film. I don't mean that in the slightly condescending sense that 'charming' can be used these days (like 'quaint'); I just genuinely feel it's very appealing. Also nice to see a film that doesn't blatantly rely on the sex appeal of a youthful cast to sell itself (but the roguish Ronald Pickup was excellent), although I did enjoy Dev Patel's character. (Is he in danger of getting typecast though?) Definitely a film worth seeing if you haven't!

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