Laurie En

Laurie En

English account.

Goodbye Lullaby, Avril Lavigne sets her breakup to music

mercredi 26 juin 2013      Goodbye Lullaby

This fourth studio album is a real introspection into the divorce of the Canadian singer and her until-then-husband, Deryck Whibley, Sum 41's frontman - who though contributed to this new opus. Avril Lavigne focuses her lyrics on love relationships, undeniably built on her personal experience and on the empty periods she felt along her marital separation from the one she described as the love of her life. The heartbreaking tracks Not Enough, Remember When and Goodbye are especially representative of this final point, describing with a sincere emotion the setbacks of an ending love story.

Goodbye Lullaby is more intimate than the singer's previous albums, expressing her will to "feel" her music more than to drown it under endless guitar riffs. And the first song of the album, the short intro Black Star (which is also the name of Avril Lavigne's fragrance), is a good and pure start in which the fragile voice of the artist is only accompanied by a piano. The Canadian opens up new horizons, exploring ranges she wasn't used to, without departing from the sound that made her succeed with the hit What the Hell, an energetic track close to what she used us to. In the same bouncy pop-rock style, Smile is inevitably going to make us... smile, like a note of hope and optimism in this ode to a past romance. These two songs are unfortunately the only rock tracks of this album, clearly not recommended during hard heartbreak periods... Wish You Were Here and Everybody Hurts, tinged with melancholy, may refer to two major rock bands – Pink Floyd and R.E.M – but don't expect to hear electric guitars or hellish rhythms.

This album - except the songs
What the Hell and Smile – is very homogenous with its many ballads and love declarations. Touching and of good quality, but there is still something missing, we could thing that Avril needed this album to turn the "Deryck" page. So if the mission is accomplished, we have to congratulate her... but also to wish her to come back very soon with a more entertaining and rock album ! (which release seems to be expected for September 2013)

Minutes To Midnight , Linkin Park's sound has reached maturity

jeudi 20 juin 2013      Minutes To Midnight (Explicit Version) [Explicit]

After Hybrid Theory and Meteora, Minutes to Midnight is the third studio album of the Californian band Linkin Park and had been launched in 2007. This album, more melodious and studied, undeniably marks a watershed for the band. Evolving from the metal sound that made it succeed, the group wants to prove it is able to evolve, to mature, and we can hear it in the pop tone of some tracks which are close to some of the band U2.

The singer, Chester Bennington, spends on this CD more time singing than screaming - which is much pleasant, his voice is really charming and suits well many genres. Even the MC Mike Shinoda (who is less heard compared to the previous albums) has a song on his own with In Between.
Guitar riffs are less violent, often with keyboards or even violins backings, giving this album an atmosphere which stands out from the Linkin Park sound we were used to. However, their energie and the power of their music can still be felt on the songs Given Up, Bleed It Out and No More Sorrow (whose introduction is shivering, even more when played live).

Full of grace and positive energy, Minutes to Midnight also stands out from its predecessors by the songs' lyrics, which are less focused on personal feelings and deal with more general and often serious topics such as terrorism or natural disasters.

This album may destabilize early fans and has by the way been welcomed by mitigated critics, as is often the case when a band gets off its usual genre. But time had come for Linkin Park to mature, and then to make their music evolve in parallel. The only thing we could accused Minutes to Midnight of is its more mainstream tone, more asserted than on the two previous albums through the many ballads
(Leave Out All the Rest, Shadow of the Day, Hands Held High, Valentine's Day, The Little Things Give You Away) and its softer but efficient rock track What I've Done. The songs are so addictive we quickly forget the band was trying to attract a wider audience, and we find ourselves listening to the album over and over again, without getting tired of it. 

More diversified than
Hybrid Theory and Meteora, the melodious and elaborate side of Minutes to Midnight is going to please the expected audience, just as the band explains in its booklet: they didn't want just to rely on the sound that contributed to their success, but are trying to explore new horizons and to push back their limits... Mission accomplished for Linkin Park, this album amply deserves five stars from TheCafeBook!

City of Glass: Ultimate face-to-face with Valentine

mercredi 19 juin 2013      City of Glass: Mortal Instruments, Book 3 (The Mortal Instruments)

Maybe the densest and the most exciting book of The Mortal Instruments series, City of Glass is the last volume of the first trilogy and brings us back to Alicante, this foreign country where the Shadowhunters come from. Our heroes Jace and Clary are both there and we encounter new characters, still as charismatic as the ones we already know.
Among them, the astonishing and puzzling Sebastian who will manage to draw all our young heroine's attention on him, the Daylighter Simon, but also the inspirational and still unpredictable Isabelle, Alec or Magnus. The Shadowhunters have to choose between fighting with the Downworlders (vampires, werewolves, fairies...) or against them.
Between conspiracies and lies, laughter and tears, the story is still so plentiful, the mix is catchy and the reader is going to be conquered for the third time.

Is Clary going to manage to save her mother? Are she and Jace going to find some stability in their relation? Is Simon going to be spared by the anger of his fellows? Here are some of the questions we would like to get answered over these six hundred delicious pages that you will read straight through.

This novel, classified in the category “young adult”, stands out from the other fantasy books by its modernity and link with actuality: gay couple, social networks, love triangles... Cassandra Clare knows how to match the perfect balance between the genres, going from relationships between characters to fight scenes without losing the sense of her stories.
So there is no risk to be drowned among romantic monologues or to spend five chapters on the same battlefield. There is action, suspense does not stop: this opus will not allow you to relax for a second!

Some reviews about City of Glass:
"The Mortal Instruments series is a story world that I love to live in. I hate to see the story end, but if it has to end, then City of Glass is the most perfect way for that to happen. Beautiful!"
– Stephenie Meyer, internationally bestselling author of Twilight

"This book has terror, unexpected twists, sorrow—it is tragedy edged by lightning, driven by power and love. Clare keeps getting better!"
– Tamora Pierce, bestselling author of The Will of the Empress

"City of Glass is beautifully written and interwoven with amazingly unforgettable characters and moments; everything is brought full circle and I have to say that I want to get back on the ride and do it all over again and again."
The Ravenous Reader

Enter into the very close world of Manhattan's elite

mardi 18 juin 2013      Gossip Girl - Season 1 [DVD]

Even though the series became worship, we don't get rid of watching the beginnings of the East Coast's craziest teenargers again and again! We meet Serena, Blair, Nate, Chuck and their happy fellows in one of the most prestigious private schools in Manhattan. These young people, outrageously wealthy and full of themselves, live under the omniscient and continuous surveillance of Gossip Girl, an anonymous and mysterious blogger who spends her days relating their most compromising adventures on her website - illustrated by explicit pictures.

This first season adapted from the YA books' series written by Cecily von Ziegesar is a delightfully paced introduction to shopping sprees, bickering, depraved parties of this NYC's golden youth. Serena comes back to the Big Apple after a whole year's absence: where has she been? Why did she go without telling anyone? Is she going to find her place back within her bunch of friends? This return may not please Blair very much, it won't go unnoticed by an unknown lonely boy from Brooklyn.

The first episodes set the scenes, we quickly manage to get to know the main characters as well as the affinities between them. We are caught in a ballet of limos and yellow cabs, following our young heros in the most luxurious hotels, the craziest parties and the trendiest shops of America's largest city.
Whether they are touching, unfriendly or annoying, none of the characters will leave the viewer indifferent and the many rebounds (stories of love, friendship, rivalry, police arrests and other searches) will manage to keep the audience spellbound throughout the season.

Jealousy, lust, desire, deadly sins are at every corner of the Fifth Avenue. We are going to find our own lives so ordinary and boring...

Here's the trailer for the first season to make you want to watch it, you can discover the faces and particularities of the main characters and some amazing NY spots:

Wretched and Divine: definitely worth checking out!

lundi 10 juin 2013      Wretched and Divine: The Story Of The Wild Ones [+digital ...

In the field of rock, and even more in the one of metal/hardcore, many young bands gaining in popularity and gathering more and more fans are often denigrated by early "metallers" (these are often older than the band's members, wearing beards and spending more time playing WoW or drinking beers than learning guitar). Having some trouble blossoming in their social life, they are desperate to see such a youngsters' band, not necessarily very experienced, managing to unleash entire crowds of young (girl) rockers and set their sights on young emerging groups. Just to see if they have the guts to grab on their guitars and track their way to success. Black Veil Brides is a perfect example of these controversial and demeaned bands that still fill many concert halls around the world.

Black Veil Brides' members are above all recognizable by their pale looks, their smoky outlined eyes and the black war paintings on their cheeks. Musically speaking, the powerful and raspy voice of Andy Biersack and the endless guitar solos - on
the right path to match Avenged Sevenfold's ones, despite the differences in experience between both - are the group's strenghts, those shaping its identity.
It must be concluded that Wretched and Divine - The Story of the Wild Ones perfectly makes sense with its 19 tracks - including 13 songs, others being baroque opera interludes. The first song I Am Bulletproof is already compelling and we listen to the rest of the album without any big surprise, but also without any disappointment either. The band does not give us any reason to switch to another track, even if we may not fancy listening to the album over and over again... The CD is coherent but still multifarious since we listen to post-hardcore tracks alongside softer ballads, and we discover two more or less astonishing featurings: the first with the singer of The Used, Days Are Numbered, and the second on Lost It All with Juliet Simms, singer of Automatic Loveletter, who is none other than... Andy Biersack's girlfriend. This explains that.

This new opus is described bu Black Veil Brides as a "post-hardcore-opera" album-concept. Written black in white it may seem strange, but the challenge seems to be ably met by the young Americans - especially with powerful tracks such as In The End,
I Am Bulletproof, Wretched and Divine et Nobody's Hero.
Before relying on BVB haters, take some time to listen to this third album. Some may remain sceptical about Wretched and Divine, but it certainly is the band's most elaborate and best work to date, proving that Andy Biersack and his band have well evolved since their beginnigs... and also that they are a force to be reckoned with in the future of glam metal and hardcore.

Watch the official video of In The End, one of the greatest songs of Wretched and Divine :