Category Archives: Music Reviews

Roger Water’s Dark Side of the Moon Redux is a Cringfest

Roger Water’s re-recording of Pink Floyd’s 50-year-old classic without any of the Pink Floyd members is very unpleasant to listen through. His long-winded spoken words are a constant distraction. And when he sings, he does so in such a low-key that makes me cringe all the way. The only part that is remotely enjoyable is when Roger Water neither speaks nor sings. The music is okay though I miss the real music from the original setup. Some parts are quite enjoyable, like his bass line. And then he sings, that spoils everything.

Album artwork

I forced myself to listen to the entire album in one setting. Because I am one huge Pink Floyd fan. My verdict: the original classic is so much more epic than this.

Sorry Roger, David is way more talented than you. You probably thought that this “Redux” album would prove otherwise. The truth is, Pink Floyd was fine without you. You are not good without Pink Floyd.

Love Psychedelico’s New Live Recording is Truly Phenomenal – Live Tour 2022 “A revolution” at Showa Women’s University Hitomi Memorial Hall 2022/11/23

I am not a big live recording fan (classical music is an exception). I prefer studio recording whereby all the tracks are perfectly recorded and mastered. A great live recording requires every band member to do well and the song rendition should offer something different, something better than studio recording (otherwise, why bother?). Live Tour 2022 “A revolution” at Showa Women’s University Hitomi Memorial Hall 2022/11/23 ticks all the boxes for me. Before writing this blog entry, I was thinking hard about what other live albums I like. I can only come up with one. Pink Floyd’s Pulse (Live).

The recording quality is amazing. I can hear different tracks clearly. The band plays very tight offering a different experience from the studio recording. Kumi, the main singer, delivers the live vocal track well, soaring through the music, crisp and clear with good control. And of course, the songwriting is so unique whereby there is only one Love Psychedelico. With songs from their latest 2022 album all the way to their very first 2001 album, when Last Smile was performed, I was on an emotional high being taken all the way to the early 2000s. Life was simple back then.

Love Psychedelico, thank you for continue making music and be part of my life journey. Whenever I want to think of the good old days, I listen to your music.

CMT Crossroads Taylor Swift & Def Leppard (1998) / RED Taylor Swift (2012)

Once fine day, I saw a video clip posted by one of the Google+ users featuring Taylor Swift and Def Leppard performing Hysteria.  That electrifying performance is tantalizing in so many different ways.  First, as a huge fan of Def Leppard, to be able to see them perform live at this age, I mean, these guys still have it.  They still rock.  Later on, I read that Taylor Swift did this Crossroads collaboration partly because her mother is a big fan of Def Lepard.  That is kind of sweet of her.  Second, as you may have already known, I am a mega fan of Taylor Swift.  I am keen to see what the outcome of this collaboration would be, between a classic band like Def Leppard and a successful young female artist Taylor Swift one generation apart whereby the only commonality is the pop genre.

The main presentation has a total of eight songs.  Four tracks are from Def Lappard namely Photograph, Hysteria, When Love & Hate Collide, and Pour Some Sugar on Me.  Another four are Taylor Swift’s Picture to Burn, Love Story, Teardrops on My Guitar, and Should’ve Said No.  In addition, as bonus materials, there are three more tracks: Love, Our Song, and the all acoustic Two steps behind.

All the songs are nicely done.  Joe Elliott and Taylor Swift duet on each other’s songs.  Two bands are merged, very much like jamming on stage.  While I love all the tracks on this recording, When Love & Hate Collide and Teardrops on My Guitar stand out as my favorite tracks.  Interlaced onto the live performance is a set of interview that lends insight on the musical journey of both artists.  What a gem this DVD is.


I wasn’t too sure if I would love Taylor Swift’s fourth album RED.  But I have a high level of anticipation nonetheless.  I like her country root.  Over the year, she seems to have spilled over to the pop genre.  When We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together first debuted on Google Hangout, I wasn’t sure what to make out of it.  That song does grow on me over time, like the rest of RED.  One good thing about her experimental journey in collaborating with other artists such as Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol is that it shows a different side of her.  A sign of growth and maturity, which in turn influences her own production.

My favorite tracks though as the ones written by her in entirety.  As well as All Too Well that is co-written with Liz Rose.  The Liz Rose and Taylor Swift collaboration has produced 16 songs including White Horse, Teardrops on My Guitar, and You Belong with Me.  I am hoping for more like these in the future.

Has anyone managed to crack the codes in her lyrics by picking out all the oddly capitalized letters?  I have tried but have given up.

YUI – How Crazy Your Love

“How Crazy Your Love” is YUI’s fifth studio album.  I am a fan.  Hence you can imagine how painful it was for me to wait till the record hits the store here in Singapore when not too far away, in a place called Hong Kong, the album not only comes with a CD, but also a DVD recording of YUI’s live concert in Hong Kong.  Normally, it takes up to a month for a regional cut Japanese CD to arrive at our stores.  It takes even longer if the album contains video contents.  Having learned my lesson, I ordered online via HMV Hong Kong and have this special edition album (that comes with a YUI printed guitar pick!) delivered.

If you are a fan, the special edition is a must buy.  Her 2011 concert in Hong Kong has a listing of 17 songs plus 5 encores.  That is over 2 hours of entertainment.  Compare to her 2006 “Song of the Sun” concert, she now has more songs and has grown up to be a sweet 24.  Like the previous recording, she plays her guitars on stage.  Shy, she may seem, her live performance has exceeded my expectation.  I cannot wait to see the same concert recorded in Japan.  The DVD is lying somewhere inside my shelf.

It took me a bit of time to like “How Crazy Your Love”.  Perhaps my sensory system has been abused by over-produced music of recent time.  Or perhaps I wanted more rock music from the album or that missing killer slow song.  To be frank, YUI is not a great singer.  But she writes good songs.  So far, her albums are pretty consistent, in terms of style and delivery.  And I am still eagerly awaiting for her next production, which I hope to see later this year.

Back to the album, the more rock flavored “Rain” is my favorite.  The opening track “HELLO” is playful, and it seems to work really well in a live setting.  I also like “Separation”, which is more melody driven especially on the bridge.  I can’t say I love all 13 tracks.  But I can’t find one that I don’t like.  Fans out there.  What are you waiting for?

Anna Tsuchiya – Rule – Coming Out From The Nana Personality

I was so excited about Anna Tsuchiya (土屋アンナ) so much so that when alerted me of her 3rd album, I quickly dived in and made a purchase, when I was holidaying in Hong Kong.  Much cheaper than to buy the imported version in a local music store.  Much faster too.  It takes ages for Japanese albums to appear on the shelf here in Singapore.  I inquired.  And learned that HMV Singapore is of a retail outlet status.  Versus HMV Hong Kong, which is a distributer.  Apparently, if the disc comes with a DVD – which is very common for Japanese music – HMV Singapore has to wait until the distributor distributes.  I was used to blame the censorship board for the delay.  Now I know better.

In her first two albums – Strip Me? and Nudy Show! – Anna Tsuchiya was behind the persona of the famous Japanese anime character Nana.  A punk rocker.  Playing catchy upbeat rock songs.  “Rule” is her first album ventured outside ‘the voice of Nana’.  And it probably comes with no surprise that “Rule” is slightly different from her first two.  Her collaboration with the Japanese jazz instrumental band PE’Z has added one jazz track (“暴食系男子!!”) into her new album.  Then there is a theatrical themed song.  And one song (“Shout In The Rain”) with a sound texture that resembles the American rock bank Evanescence.  That song also reminds me of the style of other Japanese singer Oliver Lufkin (from the same anime).

It took me a little while to get used to her new personality and her expanded music direction.  I am delighted that her music has grown.  The album comes with a DVD that contains 5 music clips.  To be frank, I was hoping that my favorite tracks “Human Clay”, “Guilty”, and the slow song “Voice of Butterfly” would be featured as singles.  They are really catchy.

To showcase one of my favorite videos, here is a slow song called “Believe In Love”.