Thursday, April 16, 2009

Review Day

There are no spoilers in these reviews.

Slumdog Millionaire (R):
Rebecca and I watched this a couple weeks ago and enjoyed it a lot, she more than I. I felt like it was a perfectly agreeable movie, but a little too overhyped for what it was. The movie tells the story of a poor Indian fellow who ends up doing amazingly well on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Suspected of being a cheater, he tells the stories behind how he knew each answer through flashback.

Final Grade: B+

Traveling Light by Courtney Jaye:
This was a Pandora recommendation, and features a strong singer with catchy slightly-country songs. I haven't listened to this CD as much as the other two reviewed today, but it's pleasant to have on, even if none of the songs have stuck out yet as memorable. You can listen to online samples here -- #2 is the song I heard on Pandora.

Final Grade: B

One Cell in the Sea by A Fine Frenzy:
This CD is the reason I've devoted less time to the others, since it's been playing in my car all week long. Fine (or Ms. Frenzy if you aren't tight with her as I am) focuses on whimsical, dreamy lyrics and harmonic textures in her songs (somewhat like Ingrid Michaelson's arrangements) and has two distinct singing voices: one that's richly wispy and another that's bright and clear, reminiscent of Nelly Furtado. Sometimes her clear voice is a little too shrill, but this is only noticeable in a couple songs. The song, You Picked Me is well-constructed and well-performed, and a strong contender for my 2009 songs of the year. You can listen to online samples here -- My favourites include #1, #4, #5, #6, and #10.

Final Grade: A-

Room Noises by Eisley:
You can immediately tell that Eisley is a young band -- this CD was their first back in 2005 when the siblings-turned-band were still high-school age. The singing isn't perfect, and they have the classic new composer problem of overusing certain textures (you don't have to sing in every moment of every song), but you can also tell that there are some great ideas in here that could germinate into something more as they mature. They're as whimsical as A Fine Frenzy, but more tempo-oriented. You can listen to online samples here -- I really like #10.

Final Grade: B-

Man bites python
Cop says oral sex to blame for drug test results
Farting on food leads to arrest

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