Saturday, 31 August 2013

Album Review: Yours Truly (Ariana Grande)

Hot off the charts is Ariana Grande's first album 'Yours Truly', officially released yesterday (August 30th, 2013) in Australia. First things first, here's the song list:

1. Honeymoon Avenue
2. Baby I
3. Right There (feat. Big Sean)
4. Tattooed Heart
5. Lovin It
6. Piano
7. Daydreamin
8. The Way (feat. Mac Miller)
9. You'll Never Know
10. Almost Is Never Enough (feat. Nathan Sykes)
11. Popular Song (feat. Mika)
12. Better Left Unsaid
13. The Way (feat. Mac Miller) (Spanglish Version)

Overall, I think that this is a pretty solid album. If you have $20, and live near JB HI-FI, I say go for it. Would you go out of your way to get it? If you're an Arianator, of course! But for those of you who just want some music to listen to in the car? Maybe, maybe not.

Honeymoon Avenue

Ariana starts off her album with a bang. This song, although seemingly not her style, has a great beat and delves into a sort of R&B feel. I really liked this song, and think it will go well on the charts. I can definitely see this blasting through our car speakers on the radio in no time.

Baby I

Previously released as single, Baby I is a classic example of Ariana's pop style. Although her vocal abilities are clear, I am not a big fan of the song itself. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate it or anything, it just isn't one of my favourites. She can do so much more, and it kind of comes across as a cop out to the pop market. If you're into that kind of music, this is the song for you. But if you're more like me, and prefer her edgier, less 'cookie-cutter' material, than you might wanna skip this track.

Right There (feat. Big Sean)

One of the many collaborations on the album, 'Right There' is a catchy song with more of a 90's R&B feel than any other track on the album. The only thing I don't like about the song is that you can tell it is heavily edited, despite Ariana's incredible voice. I just feel that it detracts from the overall sound. However, the song itself is fun and catchy, and is certainly a winner. Personally, I can't wait to hear what it will sound like live.

Tattooed Heart

Not as mature as the other songs on the album, 'Tattooed Heart' is a sweet song that gives off a 50's kind of vibe. I actually really liked it, with the sugary backing vocals and the piano accompaniment. The song isn't pretending to be something it's not, and that's what I like about it. Ariana gets to show off her voice in a different style, not having to belt as she normally does. This different tone is interesting and is a nice addition to the album.

Lovin It

This upbeat song certainly ups the anti, and is a massive energy boost. The dynamics make it interesting to listen to, and the song as a whole is fun and full of life. It is probably among my top 5 on the album, and is definitely worth listening to or purchasing on iTunes.


Despite the name, 'Piano' is another upbeat pop song. It reminds me of the majority of songs on the radio at the moment, my inner hipster deciding not to like it for that very reason. It just seems as if she's trying a bit too hard to fall into that 'pop' genre, and be the same as everybody else, when she should be doing the opposite. Although I don't love it, I certainly don't hate it either. It's just kind of a 'nothing' song for me, but others may love it's pop style.


Originally the title track of the album, 'Daydreamin' is a sweet, youthful song. Although beginning with soft, breathy vocals, the song picks up and becomes more lively towards the chorus, as Ariana belts a bit as well. Although this song will probably not do so well on the charts, I quite liked it. The youthful feel was refreshing, and it just promotes a positive vibe. I highly suggest taking time to listen.


The Way (feat. Mac Miller)

Possibly the most well known song from the album, 'The Way' hit the charts early, being the first single released from 'Yours Truly'. This song has rightfully earned its popularity, as it is both modern and catchy, making it fun to listen to. You can tell that Ariana enjoys performing this, and it shows throughout the track, making everyone else enjoy listening to it as well. One of my favourites, this song holds its own and is certainly a hit.


You'll Never Know

This track has a prominent dance beat, and once again gives off a 90's vibe. I'm not necessarily sure whether or not that's a good thing, but I certainly enjoy listening to it. Although it isn't necessarily one of my favourites, 'You'll Never Know' is catchy and makes you feel good when listening to it (as most of Ariana's music does). Probably not one of the most memorable songs on the album, but it is fun nonetheless.

Almost Is Never Enough feat. Nathan Sykes

This acoustic ballad may not be one for the charts, but certainly is emotive. Ariana is able to show her more vulnerable side, yet still in a way that is commercially desirable. Her breathy delivery is sweet and heartfelt, and makes it an interesting track on the album. Purchasing this to play at a dance club would probably be a mistake, but in any other forum, I highly recommend it.

Popular Song feat. Mika

Despite not charting well when initially released, 'Popular Song' is actually one of my favourites on the album. It is fun and bubbly, and the quirky music video just enhances that joyful vibe. The message of the song is also great, and perhaps its the musical theatre buff in me coming out, but I think the inclusion of the riff from 'Popular' in hit musical 'Wicked' fits in seamlessly. So, if you haven't got it already, you should definitely download it, like, right now.


Better Left Unsaid

The final track on the album (save for the bonus iTunes extra), certainly ends 'Yours Truly' with a bang. Whether this is a good bang or a bad bang is up to you to decide however. Although this is a fun song, it is kind of uneven. It changes from a powerful song, to a fun song ideal for dancing. Although it is constantly changing, I still quite enjoyed listening to it. Not the best song on the album, but certainly not the worst.

The Way (feat. Mac Miller) (Spanglish Version)

I have to say, I really do not understand the point of this recorded version. The half of the song in English leaves the Spanish 'Arianators' confused, while the Spanish half left the English speaking 'Arianators' in the same state. Either way, pretty much everyone who listens to the song will only understand half of it. It kind of seems like an unnecessary track (which is probably why it isn't on the hard copy of the album, and only comes as a bonus on ITunes), especially considering the original was such a hit.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Pretty Little Liars: Season 4 Summer Finale (Spoiler Alerts)

Okay, well the Pretty Little Liars Season 4 summer finale came out yesterday on Fox 8 in Australia (or Tuesday on ABC Family in America). Whether or not you've watched it yet, you have probably heard that (stop reading now if you don't want to know), the newest addition to the A team is (drumroll please) . . . Mr Ezra Fitz.

It's all a bit confusing (I myself am yet to recover from the traumatic event). But before we come back to this shocker, I'll give you a brief overview of what happened in the rest of the episode. 

It all started when the girls received a box from 'A' containing weird looking magic 8 balls, each personally addressed. It warns the girls that if Hanna's mum (still on house arrest), is released, they'll be receiving a not-so-nice visit. 

Of course, being the teen drama that it is, Ashley Marin (Hanna's mum) is no longer being charged, promptly beginning 'World War A', and a new instalment of gifts. This time, they all receive a creepy children's coffin containing an infamous 'lookalike doll', identical to Mona, accompanied by a threatening text from 'A', endangering the life of said former enemy.

The girls don't seem to be upset about the possible death of their 'former enemy now sort of ally', but more about their possible connection to it. Anyway, Spencer and Hanna set their boyfriends on the Mona hunt, while they all indulge in their own relationship drama. Tension begins to rise for Aria and Jake, causing her to seek comfort in the only too willing arms of Ezra (cough- 'A'- cough). Spencer and Toby have a little spat, but are back on track in no time. Emily and Paige seem to have resolved their college fights, and have just decided to ignore the fact that they won't be together next year. While all of this was happening, we found out that the police are now looking for Cece Drake (who we found was also a member of the A team in last week's episode) as a suspect in the murder of Darren Wilden (although, I don't think there's anyone left who actually cares what happened to the guy).

A bunch of stuff happens after that- we see that Mona is safe on the porch of someone's house, and Toby sees Shana in a coffee shop holding some suspicious sheet about shifty doctor Wren. Emily and Paige investigate the whereabouts of Mona in a somewhat confusing French scene. The action really begins again when the girls receive yet another 'gift' from A. Despite initially believing it's an empty box, Spencer is miraculously able to identify it as a magic trick, and is somehow able to connect that to a magic show happening in Ravenswood (it just seems like a reach for some shameless cross-promotion for spin-off show 'Ravenswood' if you ask me, but whatever). Anyway, the girls make their way to the creepy town in the middle of nowhere, and attend said magic show. Aria is chosen from the crowd to come on stage and be the audience member to 'disappear' as a part of the show. As we are all focussed on the welfare of Aria, no one seems to notice that Emily has disappeared from the audience until Aria returns in one piece.

Finally realising that their friend has been taken, the girls spring into action and call said missing friend, who frantically answers after realising she has been locked in a box (deja vu anyone?).  Emily manages to tell them that she's about to be chopped in half by some kind of saw, and Spencer once again accesses her super human logic skills and manages to find where Emily is. Getting distracted once again, the girls see 'Red Coat' running away in the distance, and seem to forget about Emily, and just follow her. Luckily enough, 'Red Coat'  led them to where Emily was being held captive, and the girls manage to find her before she was chopped into tiny pieces (not that their sense of urgency was terribly high in the first place). Aria and Spencer left Hanna with the task of freeing Emily, as they went off in the direction of the infamous 'Red Coat'. It got a bit confusing at this point, as we figured out that the girls were both following different people. Spencer's 'Red Coat' led her out of the building and into a mysterious stairwell, and Aria's led her up the shaky looking scaffolding in the saw mill, where she managed to back her into a corner. Having learnt 2 karate lessons from 'ex-teacher now sort of boyfriend' Jake, Aria was well equipped to beat down one of the girls' biggest predators who had been targeting them for years (RIP logic). In the midst of the 'fight', Cece was revealed to be in the red coat, and somehow managed to fall over the end of the scaffold railing, clinging onto Aria for support. Being the good girl that she is (except for having an affair with her teacher and constantly lying to her friends and family), Aria tried to save Cece from falling, but ironically it was the cheap material of her coat that led her to toppling over the edge.

The girls choose this time to re-appear in the saw mill (I have no idea why Emily and Hanna weren't there in the first place, but anyway). Thinking that Cece/Red Coat is dead, they turn their attention to comforting a distraught Aria. As they are occupied by this, Cece manages to wake up and make a getaway, making it the second time in the hour that Aria has distracted them while someone important disappears. Thinking it's a lost cause, Spencer suddenly remembers that the other Red Coat had led her to some weird stairway, so she directed the girls there. Upon arriving, they discovered that it was A's headquarters. While snooping up there, they found out how A was able to watch them all the time, as it turned out all their houses and all the streets were bugged, ironically ignoring the fact that they were being watched at that point in time. How teenagers and young adults were able to rig the town's entire security system is beyond me, but I guess we'll just have to continue to suspend our disbelief.

The girls stay at 'A's Headquarters' for a while, until they realise that even Caleb's tech savvy skills are no match for the security system. Spencer manages to find A's bank records, and sees that Cece is on the pay roll, meaning that she can't possibly be Red Coat, and she was only a decoy back at the saw mill. They all then stumble upon a flyer for some party at the Ravenswood cemetery, and A seems to think that Alison will be there, leading the girls to believe that she is still alive and in as much danger as they are.

Obviously, the girls begin to make their way downstairs and to the party, when they run into Mrs. Grunwald, the shady ex house mother that Alison may or may not have been communicating with. However, in this chat with the girls, she seemed to be a bit more open than she was with Spencer a few episodes back. She claims that she has some weird psychic abilities, and said that she knew what the girls wanted to know. She continued, telling them that Alison was indeed contacting her about the mysterious 'board shorts'. But the biggest bombshell she dropped, was when she told them that on the night of Alison's 'death', she saw said girl had been buried alive, and pulled her out of the dirt (hence the weird hand we saw sticking out of a soil patch at the end of Season 3). She then took her to a hospital, and never saw her again. That left the girls, and everyone watching at home, super confused. Is Alison dead, alive, or is Mrs. Grunwald off her meds? We just don't know.

She left the girls with a warning to stay away from the party (stating that it would lead 'A' right to Alison), and an eery message of 'He's here', before walking away.

Choosing to ignore the older woman's advice, the girls make their way inside a costume shop to dress up for the evening ahead in Ravenswood. We see a dark figure watching them, and make their way into the lair the girls were in before. Then, biggest shocker of the night, it's Ezra, angrily slamming closed a wardrobe full of his black 'A' suits. What's he angry about? We're not really sure.

And you may be thinking 'There's no actual proof that Ezra's apart of the A team'. Think again. It was confirmed by executive producer Oliver Goldstick that the reveal is 'very real'

The episode then ends in its usual style, with A doing something creepy. This episode, A is playing around with some gas mask, seen photographed in the lair. No one really cared much about that though, as less than a minute before all of our faith in Ezra was shattered.

So there you have it. In one episode, we learnt more about the A team and the night of Alison's death than we have the entire season. If anyone was going to stop watching, they certainly aren't now. But what sucks is that we have to wait until October 22nd for the next instalment. At least the promo for the Halloween episode can hold us for the next 2 months. Til' next time . . .

Annabel xx


Hello and welcome to my random little blog. It just kind of sums up the random things I think about, and the shows I fangirl and obsess over. Please subscribe if you see anything you like. I'll be posting reviews of products I like, and good movies I watch. Also, I may post some download links occasionally. Hope this gives you a brief overview of the kind of stuff that will be on here. Hope you like it. Thank you. Til' next time . . .

Annabel xx