Weekly Listen: James Bay brings the Chaos and the Calm to our ears

This week, I’m spicing things up and doing a weekly listen instead of the usual Weekly Watch. (This will be a rather short post as I’m currently in the stressful deadline period for my last year at uni!)

James Bay’s debut album, ‘Chaos and the Calm’, hit the shelves today and I’ve been listening to it as I’ve been working throughout the day so I thought I’d share my opinion.

This may be one of the most anticipated albums of the year after James Bay won the Critics Choice Award at this year’s BRIT awards and sold out his entire UK tour. It’s pretty impressive to sell out a tour before the release of the first album.

The single, ‘Hold Back The River’, received a remarkable reception and set James off to a great start in gaining support from the public and critics.

On to the album, it certainly has both the chaos and the calm as named. I was partially expecting this album to be slow ballads but there is a real change of tempo throughout the album.

James Bay has a beautiful voice which I have fell in love with. It’s soulful, powerful, soft, familiar and different all at the same time.

I think there is many relatable songs on this album, it is clear the lyrics are from the heart.

One of my favourite more upbeat songs is ‘Best Fake Smile’, which is not a style I was expecting from James Bay. Also, it has a brilliant name!

My favourite slower track is ‘Need the Sun to Break’. It really exposes his voice and shows how wonderful his voice is.

The only criticism I have of the album is James’ voice is pretty similar throughout, which is great if you fall in love with his voice like me, but if it isn’t your cup of tea then you’ll be disappointed with the entire album.

This album is definitely worth listen. I won’t say too much and let you judge for yourself! (Also, because I need to go back to writing essays!)

If you’ve not heard of James Bay yet… Have you been living underneath a rock? Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of him, go listen to the album now and you’re all caught up! Hope you enjoy the new music as much as I am.

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Weekly Watch: India’s Daughter – A Harrowing Documentary on Rape in India

This weekly watch has come from an article I read on The Guardian, “India’s Daughter: ‘I made a film on rape in India. Men’s brutal attitudes truly shocked me’”. It tells you of the harrowing personal experience that film-maker, Leslee Udwin, went through as she created a documentary on rape in India. There’s no need for me to repeat the article but I beg you to go read it.

However, I do want to share with you what crossed my mind when reading it and encourage you to watch the documentary. The article is truly shocking, it made me think how do we live in a world where something like this can happen?

I’m coming to the end of a degree in Journalism and PR so I feel like I look upon articles with slight skepticism but this online article really stopped me in my tracks and got me thinking.

Gender inequality is still clearly present in our world today. We have many campaigns fighting for gender equality to be achieved, such as HeForShe, UK Feminista and many more, but it is nowhere near enough. According to the HeForShe website, 9,440 men in India have joined the HeForShe movement but the country has a population of 1.252 billion so why are more men not fighting for gender equality?

I can’t imagine living in a world where women are expected to stay home at night to avoid rape and people believe “You can’t clap with one hand – it takes two hands. A decent girl won’t roam around at night. A girl is more responsible for rape than a boy”. This is appalling.

The documentary airs on BBC 4 but maybe it should be on a more popular channel to raise awareness of what is going on outside of the places we live?

I haven’t seen the documentary but if this Guardian article is anything to go by then it should be a eye-opening and emotional watch. I hope the documentary is as remarkably shocking as Yvonne Roberts’ article suggests.

The documentary airs this Sunday (8th March) on BBC 4 at 10pm. Update: BBC brings forward airing of India’s Daughter to Wednesday (4th March) on BBC 4 at 10pm.

Weekly Watch: Band Aid is Back

Bob Geldof is back with a new Band Aid line-up and the D0 They Know It’s Christmas? single to help fight Ebola in West Africa.

The Band Aid 30 line-up is remarkable with One Direction, Ed Sheeran, Rita Ora, Sam Smith, Emeli Sandé, Ellie Goulding, Bastille, Bono, Paloma Faith, Guy Garvey of Elbow, Olly Murs, Seal, Sinead O’Connor, Queen’s Roger Taylor, Jessie Ware and Coldplay’s Chris Martin.

The video even features some famous You-Tubers including Zoella Sugg and Joe and Alfie Deyes. The vloggers are helping to spread the word about the video to their millions of subscribers.

100% of the purchase goes to the cause and you can buy the single on iTunes here: http://po.st/DoTheyKnow

This is a worthy cause and a great way of donating as you get the classic Christmas song too!

Buy the Song. Stop the Virus.

Weekly Watch: John Lewis Release Their Christmas Advert (and it’s super cute!)

John Lewis are known for their Christmas adverts and we have been waiting for the grand unveiling of the 2014 ad.

The wait has been worth it as the retailer’s advertisement tells an adorable story of a young boy and his best friend Monty the penguin. John Lewis describe the advert as “a tale of friendship, love and giving someone the gift they’ve been dreaming of this Christmas.”

This ad is going to be hard to top this Christmas as this is an adorable story which will have you saying “Awww”!

Tom Odell is the lucky artist who got to record the song for the advert and sings John Lennon’s ‘Real Love’. It has become a tradition for the song featured on the annual John Lewis advert to reach the UK Singles Chart. Lily Allen in 2013 topped the charts with her rendition of ‘Somewhere Only We Know’, Gabrielle Aplin also reached number 1 with her cover of ‘The Power of Love’ in 2012 and Ellie Goulding in 2010 landed number 2 with ‘Your Song’. Will Tom Odell be the next artist to top the charts for John Lewis?

A Monty the Penguin cuddly toy and book can be bought in John Lewis stores and online. There is also an app available for smart phones.

Weekly Watch: Daniel Radcliffe Can Rap!

Harry Potter star, Daniel Radcliffe, impressed viewers with his rap skills on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Who would of thought Harry Potter could rap?

Daniel Radcliffe, appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to talk about his new film, Horns, but the interview took a turn and he ended up performing a rap on the show. He shares his love for learning lyrically hard raps, Eminem and Plan B.

The British actor rapped Blackalicious’ Alphabet Aerobics and the further down the alphabet you get, the even more impressed you’ll be!

As the rap goes on you’ll be eagerly cheering him along as it gets faster and faster.

This is a must watch, especially if you’re a Harry Potter fan!

Weekly Watch: Sneaky Starbucks

Have you ever wondered how Starbucks always manage to spell your name wrong? Is it just a publicity stunt to get people to tell their online friends?

Comedian, Paul Gale, has created a video which has to make you think whether Starbucks staff’s misspelling of the most simple names is actually done on purpose.

Are Starbucks purposely spelling people’s names wrong to get their customers to upload pictures to social media sites and tell their friends? It makes sense as they get a huge amount of publicity from customers sharing online and surely it’s not upsetting enough for their consumers to boycott the coffee shop.

This is something we will never find out if it’s true or false as Starbucks’ PR team would look guilty either way if they were to comment!

Check out this blog (http://starbucksspelling.tumblr.com/) with tonnes of photos of Starbucks misspellings which is sure to give you some laughs!

Oh dear, Starbucks! Photo courtesy of http://www.reshareworthy.com

 

Weekly Watch: Mockingjay Part 1 Trailer

As the next sequel in The Hunger Games films dawns closer, it’s trailer time as the Mockingjay Part 1 trailer is released. The trailer, named ‘The Mockingjay Lives’, features a large amount of drama with the districts going to war with the Capitol.

After breaking out of the games, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and her fellow tributes, family and friends battle against the Capitol for a better life. However, Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) is left behind under the capture of the Capitol and Katniss is determined to set him free.

Mockingjay Part 1 is the third film in the sequel which is based on the series of books by Suzanne Collins.

If the trailer is anything to go by, Mockingjay Part 1 is sure to be a hit with The Hunger Games fans.Although, splitting the book into two films is most likely going to result in part 1 ending with a huge cliffhanger! (If you’ve read the books, this won’t annoy you as much as those who haven’t!)

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is to be released in cinemas on November 21st.