Friday, May 26, 2017

Thoughts on One Direction Embracing a New Music Direction



I loved One Direction. As someone who grew up in the 90s loving boy bands, is it any surprise really that I loved 1D? Their songs were kinda hard not to love anyway. But like so many boy bands before them, they parted ways and it all started with Zayn Malik leaving the group and pursuing a solo career. Who would've thought right? People including me always thought it would be Harry Styles who'd be the first to leave the group and go solo. That kinda reminds me really of the time N'Sync said they're taking a hiatus and the next thing we knew, Justin Timberlake was releasing his solo album.

Anyway, 1D is back. Well, not as One Direction the group but as solo artists. So now I'm sharing my thoughts on their new songs.

Zayn

Well it truly was a shock to hear Zayn's new music when he debuted his new album, Mind of Mine post 1D. It was so far off from the songs he used to sing when he was a member of One Direction. From bubble gum pop to seductive and scandalous - he sang about sex and drugs after all. A music critic described his debut album as having similarities to The Weeknd which come to think of it is true. Zayn's music does remind of that. I think the broody, yes-I'm-a-grown-ass-man-who's-having-sex worked for Zayn really in shedding his boy band image.

He's released a new single this year for his sophomore album, Zayn: Still Got Time.



This is definitely not The Weeknd music. It's more Drake this time around. I like this song. It's got a gentle and playful beat to it. And Zayn's buttery smooth voice is just perfect as he sings to a girl, you've still got plenty of time to find and fall in love. Who wouldn't swoon really? It's far different from his first album that had the heavy beats where Zayn showed off his vocal range ability - particularly the high notes with his falsetto voice.


Harry

I've always been a fan of Harry. #Haylor shipper right here!

So Harry has finally dropped his first album after One Direction! While his first single from the album is Signs of the Times, I don't care much for it. It's supposed to be an anthem according to my friend, Fate who made a full review of his album. My favorite song from his album is Two Ghosts - a story about two lovers who were once in love but somehow drifted apart and are now just two strangers. I do believe this song is about Taylor Swift.


I agree with Fate's review that this album shows off versatility. For this particular song, Harry reminds me of Robbie Williams. But critics say overall his album channels Mick Jagger. Either way, with his stage presence which he showcased again at James Corden's The Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke, his fashion sense, his good looks and talent, I just know Harry's going places.

Niall

In total, since 1D announced their hiatus, Niall has released two songs for his yet-to-be-named solo album and I've listened to both songs.

This Town showcases a post-1D Niall singing about a loss love on an acoustic guitar. Very Ed Sheeran. It's a beautiful sad song.



Slow Hands is Niall borrowing a page from Justin Bieber's book. It's got a sexy and dance-able beat to it. Seriously sexy. Zayn's songs are also sexy but like I said, his approach took the shock approach. Niall's on the other hand pays tribute to his boy band roots. I would say Niall's got a promising future especially if he sticks to the kind of music he's creating now.




I'd like my geeky hot crush to sing this to me while we make out please! Ha! Ha! 

Louis

Unlike the others, Louis has only dropped one song post 1D: Just Hold On, a collaboration with Steve Aoki. One critic says it seems like Louis is channeling Calvin Harris in this. Overall, I think it's a cute song with a nice upbeat tune to it. The meaning behind the song is inspiring. It's saying when you're going through a rough patch, don't give up. Just keep going. I enjoyed listening to this more than Harry's Signs of the Time.



Last but not the least, Liam

Liam's the last of the guys to release a solo album/single. According to an interview he did, he almost didn't venture into becoming a solo artist. He thought of just sticking to song writing. But well opportunity knocked and he answered. As a first time try, I would say, Strip That Down isn't so bad. Doesn't this song remind you of Ed Sheeran, Divide album? Well that's probably because Ed Sheeran wrote this song for Liam! That's the opportunity that came knocking.



Ever since its release, I've been listening to this every morning as I get ready for work. It's got a very cute and catchy tune but don't digest the lyrics too much. When I did, I realized what a cocky, shallow song this is. Honestly. Liam singing about girls being all over him when he walks into a party, driving a Ferrari and stealing a girl from his man. No heart at all. For someone who wants to shed his boy band image and show he's an adult now, Liam fails with this approach.

I would describe this as a hook up song where after the other falls asleep, the guy or the girl quietly slips out of the room, without so much as a goodbye or an intent to stay in touch. I can't imagine Liam singing this to Cheryl, his girlfriend and baby mama. But like I said, it's got a real nice beat to it so it's no wonder it's a hit song.


With all the guys venturing into being solo artists territory, I think it's safe to say it's truly goodbye to 1D. But I think it's wonderful that they're still around, releasing new music.



 



Tuesday, May 16, 2017

#MYOH2017 Took Us Back to the 90s


Confession: It was an old flame that started my love for Havaianas. 

I remember that very first pair of Havaianas - the soles were ocean blue with golden like waves design  on it and gold straps. He sure picked out a good pair to give to me because from then on, I would buy myself a pair every so often.

There was a time I loved wearing Havainas so much (because they're so comfy and cute!) that I would wear them to the office. If I didn't have a meeting to go to that day, it was the only footwear you'd find me in. Ha! Ha! I knoooow - not a proper office attire. But I was young and had not much care for fashion. So casual wear at the office meant wearing Havaianas to work.

I know there's a lot of other people who love Havaianas and would be willing to shell out Php1k or more for a pair. Isn't it a wonder an event such as Make Your Own Havaianas which lets you customize a pair by mixing and matching soles, straps and pins, exist and has in fact been an annual event for over a decade now.

Another confession: MYOH 2017 was my first time to attend the event. My friends from work, Eileen and Nicole are apparently big fans of the flip flop brand because they've been attending the event annually. This year, Eileen invited me to go - probably because I mentioned I'm in need of a new pair of flip flops.

So off I trooped to SM Megamall last Thursday to attend my very first Make Your Own Havaianas event.

This is me with Nicole. Eileen was going to take a photo of me posing alone in this glow in the dark backdrop but then this eager lady showed up so there pinagbigyan ko! Ha! Ha!




The annual event always has a theme. This year, it was all about the 90's.



This was the view from the second floor of SM Megamall Fashion Hall. Not a lot of people down there. That's because the event was really set to open to the public that Friday, May 12 to 14. Thursday was apparently for the fans of the brand and the media. Good thing really because I have little patience for long lines and I don't like dealing with a crowd.

Also, I'm just going to note that design wise, this was quite simple. But you know, it's the 90s. I'm not sure you can actually describe that decade much visually. Nicole and Eileen said the same thing. After all, they had been to the past MYOH events where they had themes like Japan (so hello cherry blossoms, ramen and sushi!). But I suppose the simplicity is also because this year's MYOH is not just happening once. It's going to be happening in different parts of the Metro and some provinces.

I honestly had no idea what was going to happen at the event. I imagined we'd actually be making our own Havaianas - like a DIY project. Where have I been living that I didn't know what actually happens at this event? Ha! Ha! Frankly though, I'm relieved it's not DIY because I have no DIY skill.



So I was handed this. Apparently, this is where you mark the box of your selected sole color, strap color and the pins you'd like.

Nicole showing me how the whole Make Your Own Havaianas work


And so I started to mix and match my own pair 

Check out the 90's inspired pins 

I'm a little deep in thought here on what pair to create and what pins to put. So many nice options to choose from!


But well, I finally decided on my pair - actually two pairs. And this is me finally getting my own customized Havaianas done.



This is Karl - he was the one who actually did the work of making my own Havaianas

The pair is considered sold once the pins are put on the strap so it's important that 1) you are set on the pin or pins you're getting because once they're placed, there's no removing them (well it can be removed but it will take a long time to do so) 2) you fit your customized pair before the pins are placed to make sure they actually fit your feet comfortably (Nicole and Nikko had an issue with their pairs though they were not the ones at fault in that scenario). 

So here they are - the two pairs of Havaianas I bought! I got a little carried away truth be told. I was just going to get one pair. But well... they are cute!

I thought I'd get a pair in green 'cos well favorite color 

Boombox pin 

And a shoutout to the 90s pin 

For my second pair, I thought I'd get a commemorative pair to mark my first ever Make Your Own Havaianas event!
In case you're wondering about the sole design, that's supposed to be a tetris game - at least that's what I was told! 

I got a TV pin this time 

and a cassette tape! Remember cassettes? 


Meet Nic, Nikko and Eileen - the peeps who accompanied me at MYOH, guided me on what to do and oh yes, of course, took my photos!



Aside from the 90s music playing in the background of the venue, there was this 90s collage photo board.


Oh look! Pin ups of the 90s heartthrobs - there's Leonardo DiCaprio, Nick Carter and Devon Sawa. I once thought Leo and Nick were twins! Cos well they're both blonde, blue eyed and beautiful! I had pin ups of those three guys in my room before plus JTT (Jonathan Taylor Thomas). Hmm... I've only now come to realize that I had a thing for blonde guys when I was a teenager!

There was a photo of a young and handsome Prince William too but Nicole's covered his beautiful face! Ha! Ha! I remember a lot of the girls from 6th grade class swooning over this British royal. I believe it was right around the time Princess Diana, his mother died when a lot of girls were hit with the British royal fever. Never had a crush on him though.  



I enjoyed my very first Make Your Own Havaianas event and I so want to come back next year. Thank you Eileen and Nicole for bringing me with you! 



If you missed the SM Megamall Fashion Hall Make Your Own Havaianas 2017 event, don't fret! Here are the other schedules and venues where you can catch the event: 

  • 📍May 18-21: All Flip-Flops Bonifacio High Street, All Flip-Flops SM Iloilo, and All Flip-Flops SM Tarlac
  • May 25-28: Alabang Town Center, All Flip-Flops SM Naga, and All Flip-Flops SM Cabanatuan
  • June 1-4: All Flip-Flops Robinsons Ermita, Sole Patrol Robinsons Calasiao
  • June 8-12: All Flip-Flops TriNoma, All Flip-Flops Ayala Cebu
  • June 15-18: All Flip-Flops SM Lanang Premier, All Flip-Flops SM Seaside, All Flip-Flops SM MOA
  • June 22-25: CommonThread Rockwell
  • June 29-July 2: All Flip-Flops SM Mega Mall, Red Dot Laoag, Centrio Mall Activity Center




Monday, May 1, 2017

Remember High School?

Sure I remember my high school. Not everything about it of course but I remember a lot from that time. Why am I blogging about high school? Well, I recently found out that the movie, Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion is already 20 years old!   




I seriously liked this movie. I mean what's not to like? From Romy and Michelle's sparkly dresses to Romy and Michelle telling their old classmates they invented post-its when asked the question "What are you up to?" to that memorable dance scene at the end part of the movie. And of course, there's the overall story of Romy and Michelle realizing they don't need to pretend to be anyone else because they were pretty cool the way they were and that the important thing was they had each other - friends - whom they could be themselves with.  



And how apt that I'm talking about Romy and Michelle's High School when my high school batch had a reunion about a month ago? The alumni batch president was coming to visit from Canada and so a batch get together was planned at least a year in advance. There was even a Facebook event page created for it where people could RSVP. I answered "Maybe". 

No bitterness okay? I had a good high school experience. Fun in its own way. I was simply not sure I wanted to go. In the end, I did go to the reunion after watching Wicked at the Theatre at Solaire with Anerine, a friend since sixth grade. 

Here are just a couple of photos I grabbed from our Facebook page taken by my batchmates. Check us out.




We're wearing older faces. Some faces didn't change. Some I didn't quite recognize quickly. Some got hot - hellooo Aldrin, Mr. Sharp Shooter! but on that night, the topics centered around well what else? Our high school experience! 

We talked about the teachers we had:
  • our kooky teacher (my old, and I mean old 4th yr. high school adviser)
  • our gym teacher who - yes had a muscular body (you could tell just by looking at his chest) but really not hot but is kind of a heartthrob among some of the female students (I suppose it's because there was a lack of the male population in school)
  • and the strict ones - the disciplinarians who kept us in the classroom long after school's dismissed to teach us a lesson for being so noisy and rowdy

Some talked about favorite activities we had in high school like:

  •  a trip to the library - not for the books but for the computers and the air con. You see, back then our classrooms were not air conditioned (which I am so thankful for because I'm super lamigin) and the Internet with its chat sites were so new (OptiChat was the go-to chat site back then. Silly classmates just chatted with each other online anyway).  
  • Sayawit - If you have to ask what that is, well simply put it's sayaw and awit put together. It's a thing held in school around February, about a month before the finals and school closes for the summer. All high school students, from all batches, are required to perform on stage. Freshmen and sophomores are made to dance - folk dance while the juniors and seniors sang folk songs. No classes were held during that time of the year because we all had to practice. 

Like Romy and Michelle, I wasn't part of the A group - you know the popular ones neither was I part of the C group - the very smart ones but because I had my friends in high school, I had fun.    

Actually, just like Romy in the movie, I had a huge crush on someone in high school.  We were classmates in freshman year and we were even seatmates. For me he had it all - he was cute with a smile that could make your knees go jelly (debatable my high school friends would say but there were plenty of other girls in school who would have agreed with me), he was smart too (in fact he was so good with Math, on Teachers Day, he was always picked as the student teacher), he could dance (yep the boy had the moves on the dance floor) and he could play the guitar. He was nice but also sort of a bad boy too (he'd get in fights with the upper batch and instead of getting turned off, he just appealed to me so much more. Ha! Ha! Ha!)

I had hoped that my fate would be just like Sandy Fink's. He had a crush on Michelle in high school and when he came to the reunion, he hoped he'd see her again. Well, I had hoped he'd be there at the batch reunion. I don't have a crush on him anymore but it would have been nice to see him again - in person. How would I have felt if I saw him? Would I still get those butterflies in my stomach at the sight of him? Would my knees still feel like weak if he smiled at me? Unfortunately, these all remain to be questions left unanswered. Oh well. Fate didn't have it in the cards for us to meet again. He was there. I saw pictures of him with the others. He's still cute. Some of my friends who were at the reunion also told me he was there. But he left before we got there. Sobrang hesitant ko pa kasi umattend! Ha! Ha! Ha!

Well, I still had a nice time seeing my batch mates in person even though I didn't see him and even though I know what some of the others are up to nowadays thanks to Facebook.