The Hangover Part III: Hangovers are over...

jeudi 25 juillet 2013      The Hangover Part III [DVD] [2013]

After having laughed for the first one, had a few smiles in the second, this third and last episode of The Hangover saga, released May 29, 2013 in theatres, was definitely expected. The first two adventures of Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), Doug (Justin Bartha) and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) have had great success thanks to their legendary hangovers and true treasure hunts to remember their crazy nights. For The Hangover part III, the concept is a bit different and the story much more linear. Indeed, two years have passed since the wedding of Stu. And Phil, Stu and Doug now lead a quiet life, away from the hassle of Las Vegas and Bangkok. Leslie Chow is behind bars of a Thai prison. Only Alan is still not stable, particularly affected by the death of his father. When he stops taking his medication, his friends decide to take him to a special institute. This is the moment chosen by a guy to kidnap Doug and ask for Chow (who has just escaped from prison) as a ransom...

To be honest, the main interest of this The Hangover part III is to provide an acceptable conclusion to the saga. The scenario is a bit more work than the two previous movies, but we immediately found the humor and characters that made ​​the success of the saga.
The story is this time focusing on Alan and Chow, both psychologically unstable but terribly endearing. The first is still immature despite his 40 years old, while the second is still crazy and addicted to cocaine and alcohol. Zach Galifianakis is particularly excellent, with his inevitable eccentricity. The characters played by Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms are, in turn, overshadowed, almost relegated to secondary characters, it would have been interesting to see them a little more on the screen before closing the saga. However, the movie has winks to previous episodes and we found almost all the characters crossed by our four buddies during their adventures in Vegas and Bangkok, pretty cool!
Once again, one of the highlights of the movie remains the post-credits scene, which I think is the best of the saga but I do not want to reveal too much...

The Hangover is over for good, and the third and last part is rather pleasant. The genre, sometimes closer to the action movie than pure comedy, may disappoint fans of hangovers and alcoholic evenings but The Hangover part III concludes the saga successfully.

Review: Alicia Keys - VH1 Storytellers

mardi 23 juillet 2013      Alicia Keys - VH1 Storytellers

Alicia Keys is definitely back on the front of the stage! Even though she made ​​a little less talk about her in recent years, the 14 Grammy Awards singer first released his fifth solo album Girl On fire in November, and released these days a live DVD recorded at the VH1 Storytellers show. For the uninitiated, VH1 Storytellers is an American television program in which an artist plays in front of a small audience and discusses his music and his experiences (both personal and artistic): the perfect opportunity to enjoy the sweet voice of the diva...

Registered on November 12, 2012, this mini-concert is held in a very classy jazz lounge atmosphere with a scene full of carpets and candles, and of course a majestic grand piano in the middle. The show lasts a good sixty minutes during which Alicia Keys had decided to take many songs of her discography, from the multi-platinum album The Diary of Alicia Keys to the latest Girl On Fire. Sometimes accompanied by a six-piece band, sometimes solo, Alicia Keys therefore performs her greatest hits such as No One, Fallin, If I Ain't Got You and Empire State Of Mind (Part II), but also benefits from the opportunity to play songs from her latest album like Brand New Me, a ballad co-written by Emeli Sandé, Not Even the King and of course the headlight single Girl on Fire.
As its name suggests, Storytellers is also designed to tell stories. In several interludes, Alicia expressed her motivations and secrets about some of her songs. We learn in particular that she sings Not Even The King to his son Egypt every night and that at first, Jay-Z refused her vocals for Empire State Of Mind, pretty fun when we know the success of the song now. But the best moment is undoubtedly the explanation of the creation of You Don't Know My Name, the first single from The Diary Of Alicia Keys, released in 2003. Alicia tells with passion the writing and producing of the song, results of Kanye West and John Legend's work, then unknown to the public at that time.

VH1 Storytellers is rather for Alicia Keys' fans who will be delighted to see and hear the diva in a quality live performance, intimate and full of anecdotes. However, for people who are not yet under the spell of Alicia's voice, this DVD can be a great way to discover the talented artist.

New Robin Thicke album: Blurred Lines and then that's it!

lundi 22 juillet 2013      Blurred Lines [Explicit] (Amazon Exclusive)

Unless you have lived in a cave with no TV and no radio in the last three months, you have hardly escaped to the success of Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines, one of the summer hits. A song that serves as the first single for his album of the same name, released in the UK on July 15 and on July 30 in the U.S. Let's be honest, Robin Thicke has released some big hits during his career, such as Lost Without U, Magic or Sex Therapy (which are also on the Blurred Lines EP) but has never managed to take the measure on a full album and his albums are often considered "one single album". What about this latest album?

For this sixth album, composed of 11 tracks, Robin Thicke is a little away from languorous R'n'B ballads that made ​​his success for an album that sounds more pop, soul and disco, the result of the influence of the rapper/producer Pharrell Williams. The album is a little different, more rhythmic, of what Robin Thicke had previously used us, but it is not a bad thing when you see how easy the singer raise the tempo on the single Blurred Lines.
Take It Easy On Me is a song that also may have a place in club playlists with its catchy rhythm and electro sounds. The track is very similar to Justin Timberlake's style, so we sometimes have the impression to hear him, and for good reason the song was produced by Timbaland, Justin's accredited producer.
Oo La La, a song that seems straight out of the 80s with its mid-disco mid-pop atmosphere, accompanied by the sweet voice of RT, a good chunk of the album.
The singer still sings a ballad, his trademark, on 4 The Rest Of My Life, a nice song but that however does not rise to the level of Lost Without You and Sex Therapy.
Apart from these few song, the rest of the album is rather disappointing. Trying too hard to try different styles (RT tries to rap on Top Of The World, unsuccessful...), the album loses coherence and lacks the expected freshness. Of course, some tunes are catchy and make you want to tap your feet and move your head like to Give It 2 ​​U featuring Kendrick Lamar but are not transcendent.

Blurred Lines is therefore in line with previous Robin Thicke's albums. An album, that ultimately has little interest, except to support the excellent single of the same name.

Jay-Z is back with Magna Carta... Holy Grail

jeudi 18 juillet 2013      Magna Carta... Holy Grail [Explicit] [+digital booklet]

When Jay-Z releases an album, he does things properly. Whether it is in solo or with his friend Kanye West, he always works twice as hard, especially the marketing. And Magna Carta ... Holy Grail is no exception to the rule because the 43-year-old rapper has once again launched an original concept by signing a partnership with Samsung to allow a million smartphone owners to download the album preview. But let's go back to the music, two years after the release of the very good Watch The Throne with Kanye West and four years after the more mixed The Blueprint 3, this twelfth solo album marks the return of Shawn Carter to business …

Magna Carta ... Holy Grail begins with the eponymous track of the album Holy Grail, featuring Justin Timberlake (who recently released his The 20/20 Experience). With its rhythmic beat and the sweet voice of JT, the first single is a sure hit and runs perfectly on the album. The topics covered by Jay-Z are varied and true to his personality, he speaks particularly of his success and his fame in FUTW and in F*ckwithmeyouknowigotit (featuring Rick Ross) to remind, once again, that he is number 1. The rapper also discusses the difficulties in his youth that made him what he is today in the very good Crown and La Familia. We also discover a new side of the rapper, who tells his doubts and fears as a new father on Jay Z Blue, a highlight of the album! In the excellent Picasso Baby, he tackles the themes of art and luxury, themes rarely (never?) discussed by rappers, but Jay-Z is a man of taste and he wants to show it. This is also the case on Tom Ford, a track focusing on fashion and the glory of the man who was Gucci's artistic director for a long time, and who confessed to be very flattered to have a song his in name. On the collaboration side, we find in addition to Justin Timberlake and Rick Ross, Beyonce of course for a disappointing song when we know the talent of both artists. However Oceans, a duet with Frank Ocean is completely successful and full of emotions. On BBC, Nas joined Jay-Z for a funky song, but not transcendng, too bad...

In summary, Jay-Z gives us an album of high quality and succeed to renew himself once again, proof that he masters his art to perfection. As he says himself, Magna Carta ... Holy Grail is not his best album (yes, he allows himself this kind of fancy during the promotion period!) but however it is not very far ... A 2013 must-have for any fan of rap music.

Watching Movies With The Sound Off: The Pittsburgh rapper is back

jeudi 11 juillet 2013      Watching Movies With The Sound Off (Deluxe Edition) [Explicit]

With his second album Watching Movies With The Sound Off, Mac Miller is back on the front of the stage less than two years after the success of Blue Side Park. The album's title comes from a rapper's habit to record in the studio while muted movies were playing, rather original! The cover is also original as it represents the rapper naked sitting at a table with the "Parental Advisory" logo to hide his family jewels. Mac Miller plays the card of provocation but with this WMWTSO the rapper from Pittsburgh has other strings to his bow …

The album consists of 16 tracks (19 for those who have the deluxe version) and contains many featurings : Earl Sweatshirt and Tyler the Creator of Odd Future, Action Bronson and Schoolboy Q among others, in other words the very best of the U.S. hip-hop scene at the moment. The first song The Room Star directly sets the tone for the rest of the album. Mac Miller has never been afraid to be introspective and he does not hesitate to share everything he goes through since the fame with his fans. I Am Who I Am, Remember and Someone Like You are in the same mold, the rapper says and shares his thoughts. Objects In The Mirror, produced by Pharrell, is a very "Neptunian" song with a catchy chorus and rather successful. The first single from the album, SDS, is a hovering track in a "psychedelic" style. Matches featuring Ab-Soul and Gees featuring Schoolboy Q Gees bring a touch of freshness and are also excellent. We regret their short-length because they are really great. Red Dot Music is also very good and the chorus of Action Bronson takes us straight to the mid 90s. Only one small downside, at the end of the album some songs are more disappointing and not necessarily worth listening unless you listen them to fall asleep. I am thinking particularly to Remember, Aquarium and Youforia. Fortunately bonus tracks Goosebumpz and O.K (featuring with Tyler The Creator) wake up us with a jolt and we are moving our head mechanically to conclude this deluxe edition.

Since the release of Blue Side Park, the Pittsburgh rapper has grown and Watching Movies With The Sound Off is a more mature and certainly more diverse album than the first one. For this album, Mac Miller has taken risks so there is inevitably some waste, but it's hard to blame him as some songs are striking and successful.