ALBUM REVIEW - Taylor Swift '1989'

Taylor Swift is the ultimate pop princess; forget Britney or Katy Perry this delightful fun figure of a lady is back on form in the creation of her new album. As the album hit its release date I saw twitter explode with excitement as the ‘Swifties’ got a hold of their copies and listened till their ears bled. I happened to buy this album because I fell in love with Shake it Off when I saw the music video on a chart show whilst getting ready for a heavy night out. I still conclude it is the best song to get you out of bed and dancing around your room even it is 6am and still dark outside.

It’s fair to start this review by saying how adaptable Taylor Swift is; I was recently talking to a huge fan of her old school songs, who deeply misses her country lyrics and her sickly sweet voice. But Swift has grown up and with the release of ‘I Knew You Were Trouble,’ and ‘We Are Never Getting Back Together,’ it created the path for sure pop stardom which has helped to cement her songs as classics for radio. Yes, the songs of break-ups that have helped to terrify potential boyfriends are still there but they have a grown-up feel helping to transfer Swift from barefoot, guitar playing chick to the hard hitting pop princess that we see today! It’s a big change but does it work out? Let’s find out!

We start with ‘Welcome to New York.’ Much like New York sang by Alicia Keys you know this song is just not going to go away; the song sings about being broken hearted in the city that nobody but you, yes you understands. It’s a little whimsical and after hearing Shake It Off I’m surprised the album didn’t start with something punchier for the listener to really get their teeth into. It also talks of putting your broken heart in a drawer; not my style I must admit but for Taylor apparently this works! Blank Space the next song on the album, she opens up about her long list of ex-lovers and tells them where to put it, ultimately asking them not to judge her on this alone. Lyrics like ‘you look like my next mistake,’ show how far Taylor has come from her original albums.

Out of the woods actually sounds like it could have come straight out of the Lion King. It’s a little odd if I’m honest but it’s nice to have another big change from this lady; it’s got a strong beat and it’s catchy as all Taylor’s songs are.  All You Had To Say makes me smile because it’s Taylor doing what she does best and that is whack out a song that ladies can listen to when they’re with their girlfriends, drinking white wine and eating pizza whilst cursing their latest man to the back of beyond; it’s catchy as always and you cannot help but think she knows exactly what she’s doing. Shake It Off is my favourite song on the album’ it’s loud, bright, brash and so god damn catchy! You can hear me singing this in the shower in the morning, on the bus, on the train, walking home, and dancing in the subways I cannot get enough of it. Additionally singing the wordy part in the middle 8 with your girls over a bottle of wine is the perfect way to spend the evening. It’s just perfect pop music with a little bit of edge and it shows off her voice wonderfully; top track! I wish you would honestly sounds like a number of tracks on her red album. It’s got an 80’s synth vibe and it talks about breaking up (once again) It’s a pretty standard Taylor track but I wish she could have sung about something else, it’s catchy but only just halfway through the album I was getting a little tired of the angsty break up songs.

Now comes something I was not expecting but kind of loved in a terrible way; it’s ultimately a put down of Katy Perry and it’s odd because I don’t think Taylor comes across as particularly callous to other female performers but here she has definitely taken the chance to throw a few catty comments. Lyrics including ‘You live like that, you live with ghosts’ which apparently refers to Perry’s song about the breakup of her marriage whilst lyrics such as  ‘the jealous of cherry lips,’ also refers to the pop starlet. Perry seemed to take a swipe back stating on twitter  ‘Watch out for the Regina George in sheep's clothing..’ oooo-errrr.

Wildest Dreams is unfortunately a near miss for me as although it shows off her voice and it packs a punch it feels like she is trying to replicate Lana Del Rey. The problem is that Taylor’s voice is a little too cutesy to carry it off and it falls flat as you’re hoping to hear the dulcet tones of Miss Rey. There’s not quite enough grit to pull it off but it’s close and it definitely shows that Taylor is adapting her voice to attract new listeners. How you get the girl is noticeably the catchiest song on the album I tell you not! It’s poppy, preppy and typical new Taylor I loved it, but I didn’t love singing it for the next two days of my life. Now, one thing I’ve missed from this album is a slow ballad style song and This Love is probably the closest you’re going to get, it’s a nice change but I wish there were a couple more slow burners earlier in the album. When reviewing albums I’m always looking for the arena style track that fans are going to love screaming on her tour and I think I know places is the one on this stellar album. With the lyrics ‘They are hunters, we are the foxes,’ You can almost hear the screams! We finish with Clean and it’s a wonderful way to end the album with a collaboration with Imogen Heap. The song is clean and fresh and it finishes the album off perfectly; the harmonies are also sublime.

Overall I really enjoyed this album there are a few hits and misses but I like the new sound of Miss Swift and I can’t wait to hear her next album!


Ferne McCann Dives Into The World Of Fashion

We have a slight woman crush on star of the Bafta Award Winning TOWIE, Ferne McCann, so we were super excited to find out we’ll be seeing a whole lot more from her in 2015!

She’s only been on the show 18 months but she instantly became an honourary original and a much loved key figure, this is exactly why brand ‘Ferne McCann’ is becoming an actual, real life, marketable, thing!

Her super huge and loyal fan base, teamed with her savvy sense of style have seen Ferne racking up the brand endorsement deals from fronting ‘By Caprice Lingerie’ to ‘Mecca Bingo’! All of which proving incredibly lucrative for the brands, she’s like money on nicely tanned legs!

Brand ‘Ferne McCann’ will unsurprisingly focus on the world of fashion with her brand new website (which we hear is coming VERY soon) channeling her love for all things fashion and beauty.

Ferne told us “This is a natural progression for me. Fashion is a huge passion of mine and I want to share with others my ideas and personal style

If her first ever clothing line selling out in two days is a anything to go by whatever she does next is bound to be a hit! We can’t wait to see what one of our fave Essex beauties has up her perfectly styled sleeve…

The Only Way Is Essexmas

It felt like forever since the last series of TOWIE ended, how dare they all go on holiday’s and live actual lives?! Thankfully our Essex taste buds were treated to a mouthwatering helping of festive action. There was a booze cruise, wood chopping, make ups and bus shoving! Here’s what we learnt…

1. Mario and Lockie got wood.
2. Diags does Christmas decorations like a thumb-less kid colours in.
3. Bobby thinks boats have turbulence.
4. Mario can do math’s.
5. Cain Dingle is a god, shame on you Mario!
6. Bobby seeing Gemma on the ferry was like an owner being reunited with their dog that ran away 12 years ago.
7. “Oh shit I've swallowed it” we bet that’s not the first time Ferne’s said that.
8. You can take the Lewis out of Essex but you can’t take the Essex out of Lewis 'oui plonk mate'
9. It only took Gemma 3 minutes to start giving people life advice they didn't ask for.
10. Ricky has a song. An actual song. With music and words and stuff! He's not that easy na na na na not that easy. He just got another 7% more attractive.
11. Mario and Ricky are no longer just Beard brothers, they’re now ink kin.
12. Gemma doesn't talk about Ferne behind her back... flashback to 5 scenes earlier.
13. Lockie needs to work on a low volume phone voice either that or Danielle has hearing like Labrador.
14. Our love for Danielle became as strong as our love for cheesecake and our dislike for Gemma became as strong as our dislike for feet in the space of one conversation.
15. Vas the narrator was looking on trend, nicely styled tea towel.
16. The Ricky Shepard look is a grower not a shower.
17. Fat Dan does it for us. We feel dirty.
18. Billie doesn't do subtle.
19. Tommy and Georgia are the blonde posh and becks... If you squint and press mute.
20. Ferne the troublemaker? Pot, kettle, gold sequins.
21. Watching Ricky and Jess be civil is like watching one dog stroke another, awkward but adorable.
22. That Christmas carol? We wouldn't recommend a second TOWIE single.

You can pre-order Ricky's single HERE and do a good deed, 20% will be going to The Cure Parkinsons Trust.

Band Aid Nxt Gen.

Band Aid 30, made up of an enviable list of famous voices went on sale a few weeks ago, going on to raise a fair few pennies for those effected by the Ebola crisis… yay for charity!

Taking inspiration from this act of charitable creativity a host of up and coming, talented singers; the next generation, have decided to team up to record and release the famous ‘Do They Know Its Christmas Time’ track with the hope to raise even more pennies. Bless ‘em.

Band Aid The Next Generation, or ‘Nxt Gen’ as they’ve decided to spell it (because they’re totes young and cool, you get me) boasts an impressive list of future stars with well known faces from shows such as X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent lending their voices to the cause.

Lydia Lucy, Charlie Healy (who we definitely kind of love), Micky Dumoulin and Kitty Brucknell to name a few.

Featured on the track are all these talented folks… @lydialucy, @SamTompkinsUK, @mickydumoulin, @06cutkelvin, @lukewhiteoffic, @ginavan_hoof, @holmariemusic, @statesidebb, @bendavidpryer, @charlietherisk, @kittybrucknell, @jamieeldridgeuk, @asialovemusiq, @awallhead, @altonwahlberg & @mullallymusic! Quite a posse!

You can buy the track from itunes right now itunes.apple.com/gb/album/do-they-know-its-christmas, so go please your ears and help some people in the process!


Bumper Xmas Gift Guide

The 25th December sure does creep up on you every single year! No matter how many times you utter the infamous 'i'm going to be so organised this year' sentence, you'll always find yourself struggling for gift ideas as the day gets ever closer. We do it every bloody year! So this year we've put together a bumper gift guide for some last minute inspiration, with gift ideas for anyone from fashion junkies to music nerds to fitness fanatics... there's something for everyone!