Archive for May, 2010

Paparazzi Cover – from greyson97

So I’ve never done this before, but I had to share this with the blogging world. A 12 year old, named Greyson Michael Chance, posted his cover of Lady GaGa’s Paparazzi on YouTube (greyson97). Now, I hate people that are younger than me who can, single-handedly, trample all over my singing, but I can’t hate this kid. I was in awe of him. Please, please, please listen to this kid, it’s the best cover I have ever heard. YouTube profile link: here.


I wrote this a while back for a competition, and I thought I’d post here to see if I can get any feedback from it. Give it a read and let me know what you think, I’ll post the song underneath for reference, if needed.

Everything is dark apart from one light on a close up of Kelly’s lips, coloured with black lipstick, as she sings “It’s like you’re a drug”. The drum beat changes the shot. It cuts to a shot of Kelly’s “boyfriend” in the video, putting his arm around another girl by a magazine cart. The cart is situated on a quiet street, not too much noise or many people busting about, it’s just those two really on the street with the cart and the seller. They’re smiling and talking as he puts his arm around her. She’s the typical attractive blonde girl. Quite tall, long flowing blonde hair, slim. Wearing a short, colourful dress with purple heels.Kelly’s boyfriend is tall, brown-haired and dark eyes. He’s casually dressed in blue jeans and a white shirt, the top buttons are open as it’s a warm sunny day outside. The camera lingers with the girl and Kelly’s boyfriend before panning round to Kelly’s house down the street. It’s a cottage house as we pan in through the top window into Kelly’s bedroom on the line “And I know”. She begins singing the words (I let you… etc) as she’s gets up out of bed and walks to the window to stare out into the street. She puts her hands down on the window pane and turns her head back round to her empty bed on “The only company I see is misery” and then turns back to stare through the window on “all around”. Kelly’s wearing a black nightdress which goes down to her knees. She has smudged make up and slightly red, teary eyes from evident lack of sleep. Her hair is big from the lack of brushing, typical morning hair.

As the next verse starts, it cuts to later on in the day, with Kelly’s boyfriend and the blonde girl in an ice-cream parlour. They’ve bought a milkshake and some vanilla ice-cream to share. The girl has the ice cream, Kelly’s boyfriend has the milkshake at the moment. He drinks through the straw(on the line ‘sucking the life from me’) looking at the girl, who is staring back at him while she eats the ice-cream in a seductive manner. It then cut backs to Kelly, on the line “And I know..”, downstairs in the kitchen of her house pouring herself a glass of water, already half full, from a clear jug, as she sings along, not blinking, just staring out the window as the glass overflows with water, until the line “..quit you over time.” where she turns her head sharply to look at the clock, cut to the clock on “time” showing you’re the time 6:30 with the second-hand 5 seconds after half six, when her boyfriend should be home. She drops the glass of water, which hits the floor on the drum beat of the word “breathe”, and runs to the door and opens it as the chorus continues. She sees that he’s not home and begins to cry heavily. Her legs give way at the doorway and she falls to her knees in her black nightdress (still not changed the way she’s looked since we saw her in the morning, makeup even more smudged now, bloodshot eyes) with her shaking her head and putting her hands on her head.  We get to the line ‘In my thoughts… In my dreams’ and on “thoughts” and “dreams” it cuts to two different shots, one on each word, of her boyfriend with the girl. One still of his arm around her by the cart, and one still of them staring at each other at the parlour. Cuts back on “taking over me” as she stares up into the sky, with mascara running down her eyes, and then back down as her boyfriend comes walking to the door. She seems him on the first “It’s like I’m not me” and his footsteps walk in time with the piano notes before the second “It’s like I’m not me” where she hugs him and whispers in his ear those words at the end of the chorus.

The next verse begins in the same way as the first, A close up on Kelly’s lips singing “It’s like I’m lost” with nothing else to be seen before cutting to her boyfriend walking down the street helping one of the female neighbours wash her car. The black car is soaped up and the female with long, brown hair, wearing blue denim shorts and a bikini top, is getting rather friendly with Kelly’s boyfriend as she removes his top to ‘make sure he doesn’t get it wet’. Cut’s back to Kelly on “And I know” as she’s washing her hands in the bathroom, scrubbing frantically as she sings, staring into the mirror in front of her, her hands red raw. She looks out the window just to her left and sees her topless boyfriend and the brunette in a bikini. Throwing her nail brush, which she’d be scrubbing herself with, into the bath on the word ‘breathe’ (in time with the drum beat) she storms down the stairs, angry tears pouring down her cheeks, with a close up of her face as she sings “I’m addicted to you”. She gets to the door and opens it on “thoughts” and closes it behind her quietly on “dreams” and on the line “you’ve taken over me” we have a shot from behind Kelly, with her head on the right of the shot, and her view of her boyfriend and the brunette in the rest of the shot. As we get to the second “it’s like I’m not me” she turns her head to the left so we can see the side of her face, as she sings that line.

As we get to the bridge of the song, “I’m hooked on you…” we have a moving shot, watching the front of Kelly as she walks slowly down the path, almost zombified by what she’s seen. Her footsteps in time with the music as it gets more and more dramatic. She reaches them on the first “get me through this”. Her face, a mess from running and smudged make up, her hair all matted and knotted, her eyes dark from the smudging. She picks up the bucket of water and empties the mucky water quickly on the grass at the word “fix” before throwing the bucket at the brunette on the word “hit”, grabbing her boyfriend by the back of his neck and pulling him in closer to her as she sings “just one more time then that’s it” before pushing him away into her black car, his back hitting the door of it on “through this”.

She walks back as the final chorus begins, her face drenched in tears and black make up. Her boyfriend runs to catch up with her as she tilts her head to the side singing “I’m addicted to you” she gets back to the house, opens the door on “dreams”, pushes him out onto the other side of the door on “you’ve taken over me” and slams the door behind her. She turns her back on the big brown door as you see his face through the tiny window, near the higher end of the door, behind her. On “it’s like I’m not me” she slides down the door to the bottom where she sits down, knees tucked up to her chest, then staring straight into the camera for the final “it’s like I’m not me” with a close up on her face. As soon as that’s said, the camera zooms out to see her, a crying mess, on the floor against the door, with her boyfriend’s head still by the window in the door.

Usually, when you think of 4th place in a talent competition like The X Factor, you think of, generally, nothing. That’s because they didn’t make it to the final three, or the final show, and, therefore, discharged from your memory. But following a lead role in London’s West End, Diana Vickers then put together her debut album, ready to show the world what they missed when they voted her out in the semi-finals. However, if she had won, Diana would not have had the opportunities she has gotten from finishing fourth. She would’ve lost all her uniqueness, and her own quirky personally, which would’ve been filtered out from the winner’s mainstream transformation. After having her debut single go to #1 in the UK Charts, Vickers released her album 2 weeks later on May 3rd 2009.

Her lead single, titled Once, begins the album, and although it sounds more pop than first expected when she releases her first single, it still has the highlights of quirkiness that Diana fans fell in love with on the show. Once has an electronic baseline, merged with the occasional piano added in there. Her chorus is catchy, going from a medium tempo with “I’m only gunna let you kill me once” before continuing the line where she repeats the word “once” where it explodes into life. I really love the chord pattern in the second half of the chorus. Remake Me & You has an intro that reminds me of Alphabeat’s Fascination. It’s a fast paced number that doesn’t really strike me as the Indie root that I thought Diana would go down. It’s another electro-pop song that would belong on radio. Sometimes the backing track overpowers Vickers’ fragile voice, and at other time it’s vice-versa, showing that Diana has power in her too. I love the little “ah'”s she sings along with the bridges. The pace is slowed down slightly with the next track, The Boy Who Murdered Love. The chorus uses a similar repetitive lyric pattern which never fails to be catchy (Cast your minds back to Rihanna’s Umbrella). The vocal style that was heard in X Factor is ever-present here. I really enjoy the chorus, and as the first two songs, it’s a real radio song too. Four Leaf Clover is the first song to really surprise me on the album. It’s a slow ballad, which, even though ballads are inevitable on any album, pleases me extremely. It shows her versatility. Her maturity. And her vulnerability. It’s a beautiful, haunting song filled with so much hurt and passion. Her vocals are soothing and gentle, something completely different from what is usually discovered on reality television. I love the acoustic guitar in the background too. Put It Back Together Again is another slow song. Her wispy voice on top of, what feels like, an atmosphere-building orchestra. Singing “I think we’ll be alright” in her upper register sounds magical, before continuing into her falsetto (“I think we will survive”) which, other than the occasional yodel-like sound (that I love by the way), is something that we’re not treated to that often. You’ll Never Get To Heaven brings the up-tempo songs back on track, and probably becomes one of my favourite songs on the album. It starts off pretty slowly, in energy rather than tempo, but builds up to a banging chorus. The baseline in the background is clearly dance-infused and added to her vocal melody forms a perfect chorus. The slower energy verses create the anticipation for a great chorus, in which it delivers. Me & You, a similarly named song to an earlier song, thankfully, has a completely different sound to it. It’s a slower song with an acoustic feel to it. “It’s me & you, stuck like glue” begins the chorus having the same melody, continuing on to the third line which also has the same melody, but the fourth line is a harmonical delight. The piano, tambourine and light drum beat gives the song an intimate feel to it. My Hip speeds up the pace dramatically, involving an unlikely brass sound in the intro. This song sounds like a summer radio hit. It’s probably one of my favourite’s on ‘…Cherry Tree‘. “Your hand is back where it belongs, on my hip, on my hip” is a catchy lyric and tune which won’t fail to get stuck on your head. I just love the trumpets in this song. N.U.M.B is another slow ballad. Another heartfelt, personal song. Yet, I don’t feel like it’s a repeated song, or feel cheated from the lack of originality. Because that’s exactly what it is. Original. The song is emotional and melodic, but it feels like Vickers is whispering her inner feelings to you, and only you. Like she’s trusting you with her own personal thoughts in song. The huge long note at the end is almost surprising, she can hold her own. Hit has an almost futuristic intro to it. Like you’ve been zapped by a robot! This song is an upbeat change from the previous song, the verses are silky and energetic, the musical bridge is funky and the baseline is dirty and electronic. The “hey, oh”s are also somewhat addictive. Notice switches back to the slow-quick pattern that Diana has going on during her album. When she gets into the end of the verse and start of the bridge, in her upper register, it reminds me of an Avril Lavigne ballad. But better. All of her ballads seem sincere and believable and that’s what really warms me to her slower songs on the album. Jumping Into Rivers was a track that was leaked mid-July last year and Vickers decided to put it on her album. I can’t say I was a huge fan at first, a little disappointed when I first heard it. But after a good long listen to it, I became, gradually, more positive about it. The song has a chilled out feel to it, definitely like it’s a ‘lay on the beach’ song. I love the sound of the acoustic guitar backing up Diana’s vocals. Chasing You finishes off the album. It’s a slower song, once more, but has an electro-pop baseline. I actually love the chorus, and the fact that the last song involves violins. I also enjoy the moment of silence between the verses and choruses.

I have to say that I’m extremely surprised over the quality of the album. It shows diversity, versatility and maturity beyond her 19 years. This album is currently at #1 on the iTunes album chart and possibly set to go #1 in the UK albums chart. This is far better than Alexandra Burke’s album of fillers (possibly due to the fact that she won and lost all originality) and JLS’ let-down of an album, prominently showcasing an R&B sound (rather than the old-school Soul “Boys II Men” feel I’d hoped for) and I’m not even going to mention the failure that is Eoghan Quigg. 9/10