Timbaland - Shock value 2

While it’s not exactly been languishing in development hell, Timbaland’s sequel to 2007’s starry Shock Value – which saw the likes of 50 Cent, Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado, Fall Out Boy, The Hives and even Elton John collaborate with the accolade-laden producer – has nevertheless seen its release date shunted and shunted until now. And a year-end emergence doesn’t bode well, pre-listen. Few artists unleash their newest wares in December, knowing full well they’re sure to be swallowed by the flood of festive specials and list-topping recommendations. It’s usually a case of damage limitation, labels hoping critical types have already clocked off for Christmas.

The first thing to note here is how the quality of guests has rather dropped since Timbaland’s last solo venture - furtadoand timberlake  return, but both are long-term associates of the man born Tim Mosley. RnB star brandy appears in her rap guise Bran’ Nu, but elsewhere the credibility tumbles to unforeseen lows. The frays spot on Undertow turns the piece into a slushy Keane-echoing nightmare of sugary excess; teeny popper jo jo– she scored a worldwide hit in 2004 with Leave (Get Out) – shrieks her way through Lose Control like Christina Aguilera having a temper tantrum; and the presence of Nickelback’s chad kroeger alone is enough to have many a recipient of this disc scratching it up straight out the box, if only to prevent any stranger picking it up from the second-hand racks.
Its not all bad though, and their maybe be one or two you might like.

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Jessie J - Who you are

It’s all well and good having a multi-octave voice, but without control it’s an accident waiting to happen. Jessie J – born Jessica Cornish in Redbridge – rushes up and down her scales on this anticipated debut album; but there’s more than one occasion where her fluctuating pitch is a pain in the ear.

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Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

In this day and age most artists are other artists: their lyrics someone else's clich├ęs, their careers an imitation, their passions a mere reference. Not Kanye West – well, at least not now. For in a genre whose death is declared on a regular basis, West has become three things: interesting, innovative and utterly, utterly mad.

Of course, some of this supposed insanity is nothing but self-mocking egomania. However, it's a darker form of self-deprecating madness which drives the majority of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy – the kind that only comes from losing love, experiencing death and being branded as the "abomination of Obama's nation" as he insists on the brilliantly pompous Power, right before contemplating suicide. One thing's for sure, dark days have been had.

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B.E.P - The Beginning

The dramatic, internet-fuelled crash in record sales has done weird things to pop. In decades passed, a gigantic global hit like previous Black Eyed Peas album the end would infuse the mastermind behind it with a megalomaniac confidence, leading him to make the next album into a self-indulgent art statement that would either be masterpiece or brazen folly. But times have changed, and the main thing that The Beginning reminds us is that William Adams, aka, led a self-consciously right-on, Fugees-lite, version of The Black Eyed Peas for eight years before hiring a singing blonde and grabbing a hit with the bland platitudes of Where is the Love?.

Therefore, and presumably with fear of past failure never far away, Will and company have followed monstrous success with an album that sounds like 2009’s Boom Boom Pow and I Gotta Feeling megahits got fed into a new software program that breaks songs into robot parts and reassembles them into infinite copies made slightly different by tiny details – a chic sample here, a kc and the sunshine band melody there, a tweak of the ubiquitous auto-tuner everywhere. The Beginning is a depressing listen, not because the music’s that bad, but because it implies that even the most successful pop producer on the planet can’t afford to indulge in anything that might be construed as intelligent or interesting, lest the masses run away screaming in terror. It betrays a contempt for its audience, and disquietingly low levels of self-belief on the part of corporate American pop.

You want details? Okay. Twelve songs called things like Don’t Stop the Party, Just Can’t Get Enough and… Lord help us… Love You Long Time. Beats shamelessly purloined from five-year-old electro-house tunes. An entire lyric sheet consisting of lines about being in clubs cribbed from older, cooler records. Fergie increasingly reduced to an Auto-Tuned vocal effect. The bit from Dirty Dancing in pre-ordained chart hit The Time (Dirty Bit) which sounds like cheeky pop hooliganism until you listen to the album and realise that BEP are not being ironic. Dirty Dancing fits the audience demographic, pure and simple. And one suspects that if someone at the label told them that black lace and The Birdie Song were the nostalgic faves of American Idol fans, Will would be hooking those babies up to something the chemical brothers left in a skip before you could say, "But wasn’t Boom Boom Pow actually quite brilliant?"

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Beyonce - I am sasha fierce

In a world ruled by downloads perhaps the flow of tracklistings, once pored over for hours by record labels, isn't that important any more. It's certainly not to Beyonce who, on this, her third solo album, has spread 11 songs over two discs in order to create a 'concept'. Double albums usually make us pull an ugly face (Back To Basics, anyone?) but we guess at least this has a point, almost.

Let's explain. For this album Beyonce has split her personality into two. Disc 1, labelled 'I Am', reveals the 'real' Beyonce behind the makeup, baring her soul with insecurities about love. The simple, If I Were A Boy, is ably joined by the very strange, but wonderful Ave Maria and Ryan Tedder's Bleeding Love-lite, Halo. Unfortunately when faced with six ballads in a row, you might find yourself dropping off into a deep slumber, no matter how good they are.

You'll wake up sharpish though when it's time for disc 2, as Beyonce is gone, replaced by the hilariously monikered Sasha Fierce. Sasha is B's on-stage personality and the hair flicking, stiletto strutting beats of Diva with it's dictionary defining ''diva is the female version of a hustler'' prove it. Yet though the electro pounding of Sweet Dreams or the wild Radio might be standouts here, there's nothing that announces Beyonce's experimental side like the raging Ring The Alarm from B'Day

An attempt no doubt for credibility and importance, I Am ... Sasha Fierce ultimately falls short of this goal. In a world where Rihanna seems to have released hit after hit, Beyonce, although the superior on-stage performer, needs to come back with something stronger than this if she wants to steal her sparkly crown back off the young pretender.

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Akon - Freedom

If we're talking Marmite popstars, Akon is probably at the top of the pile. If you can stand his slightly squawky voice then you're in luck. But if not, songs like Smack That probably have you reaching for the fast forward button. One thing's for certain, though: the absolute quality of his songwriting and production, with the 'Konvict' sound stamping hits like Darkchild did back in the 1990s.

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Top 100 Masterpieces of Classical Music from 1685 to 1928

There is no way to review this album as it has many artists, but put simply this is the greatest classical album you`ll ever hear and quite possibly the only one you`ll ever want or need.

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Adele 19

It's easy to get the wrong impression about Adele. She looks like another Kate Nash, all Top Shop dresses and haircuts that only a mother could love. And the fact that she's been a fuss on MySpace for a while only ups the sense of trepidation. Add to that a Later… debut which came filled to the brim with nervous caterwauling, and hopes for her album aren't pitched particularly high.

This is why it's such a shock that it's a genuinely touching, maturely considered and brilliantly sung opus that belies her titular age. Listening to it for the first time is the aural equivalent of walking into one of those oh-so-quirky little bars that you expect to be filled with bland scenesters and discovering that everyone within is friendly and they're serving the finest soul food to fill you up with.
Adele is that soul food and her music will fill you up with delight.

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Adele 21

One of the few real beneficiaries of The X Factor effect – her version of dylans Make You Feel My Love has been darting about the top 40 since the audition rounds, showing more staying power than poor joe mcelderry`s last two singles combined – Adele’s stock has risen significantly since becoming the first recipient of the Brits Critics’ Choice award. Since then she’s picked up Grammys and broken the States as a bonus, so the pressure was clearly on for her next move to deliver big. And, oh my, with 21 doesn’t she just.

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Jamie Oliver's Sizzling Portobello Mushroom

This is another easy-p-sy recipe that you can try :) It's also done by the famous Jamie Oliver, Sizzling Portobello Mushroom :)

It's juicy, cheesy and oh so yummy! The mushrooms are not dry at all even after coming out from the oven :) Remembering the smell its...heavenly~

Okie, let's get down to business :)

* 4 serving
** measurements can be altered to your preference

4               Large-flat Portobello mushrooms (stalks removed)
2 cloves    Garlic
1/2            fresh red chilli
2sprigs      fresh parsley
1/2            lemon
70g           Cheddar cheese (grated)
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper

Trim the stalks of he mushrooms and place the mushrooms stalk side up in a small earthenware dish that they fit into snugly. Then, crush ½ an unpeeled clove of garlic over each mushroom. Next, finely chop ½ a red chilli and a couple of parsley sprigs, and divide them between the mushrooms. Grate the zest of ½ a lemon over the mushrooms and drizzle them well with olive oil and season.

You're almost done now, cut the Cheddar into four chunks and pop one on each mushroom. (just imagine,  when it's melt over the mushrooms...hmmmmm) 

Finally, place it on the top level of the oven  for 9 to 10 mins at about 150C/300F, or until the cheese turns golden.

Then, it's chao time!

Check out more about this recipe and others on the link below:

Enjoy the mushrooms ;)


Jamie Oliver's Steak Sarnie a.k.a Ultimate Steak Sandwich

Today's post, i would like to share Jamie Oliver's "ULTIMATE" steak sandwich, that is, Steak Sarnie. Just from the look of the sandwich, you KNOW that your tummy would be VERY satisfied.

So without delaying any further, here's the recipe:
* 4 Portions
** all measurements can be adjusted to your taste

1 loaf    Ciabatta
600g     Rump Steak (best quality)
1 pack  Fresh Rocket
Handful jarred peppers/bell pepper (finely chopped)
Fresh Thyme (pick leaves)

Fresh flat-leaf parsley (finely chopped)
Horseradish sauce (for serving)
Salt & Pepper (seasoning)
Olive oil

Put the steaks on a chopping board. Season it with salt and pepper. Then, pick and scatter thyme leaves over the meat and drizzle the meat with olive oil. Next, rub the flavours into the meat. Flip it over on the other side and repeat the same thing.

After that, pound the steaks once or twice with your fists to flatten them a little, then put them onto a VERY-hot griddle pan to cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side for medium rare (you can cook it longer to your prefered doneness). Refer to the picture below to know the doneness of your choice:

While the steak is on the pan, finely chop the peppers. Right about this time, the steak would have been done, so move it onto a clean chopping  board, drizzle with olive oil and let it rest a while or in other words let the juice of the steak to flow out onto the board.

Next, finely chop a few parsley leaves. Now, move the rested meat aside of the board, mix the chopped peppers and parsleys together with the juice of the steak. Put the mixed to one side and slice the steak at an angle.

Get the ciabatta and slice it open. Drizzle with olive oil, spread some horseradish over it, then arrange the rocket leaves on one half. On the other half of the ciabatta, lay the steak slices. Then, gather the mixed and all its juicy goodness and placed it over the meat

Lastly, fold it up and happy eating :)

If you want to get the recipe and other stuff to go with the sandwich, check this link out:

Till next one, get that tummy filled up :)



The magically long-haired Rapunzel has spent her entire life in a tower, but now that a runaway thief has stumbled upon her, she is about to discover the world for the first time, and who she really is.

Rating 7.8/10


I saw the finished movie at the screening before the wrap party. The movie works on every level. The Characters, the animation, the story, the score, the romance, and it's all very cute as well (in a way Disney can apparently still pull off).

The one thing that I didn't get into was the songs (Except maybe the "Mother Knows Best" reprise). They were a little weak melodically and you won't be singing them for weeks like I do "Part of Your World" every time I watch the "Little Mermaid." However, the songs are good enough not to bring the movie down. There are so many touching scenes in this movie and you will love all of the characters by the end and have an amazing time in the process.

It is definitely worth seeing in the theater, as this is probably the prettiest computer animated movie I've seen. I just can't wait to see it in stereo!

(BTW, I'm a 30 year old male who grew up with Disney. And I feel like I'm being objective when I say this movie works as a movie and not as a movie exclusively for 10 year old girls.)

Written by Jared M Johnson


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A newbie guard for an armored truck company is coerced by his veteran coworkers to steal a truck containing $42 million. But a wrinkle in their supposedly foolproof plan divides the group, leading to a potentially deadly resolution.

Rating 5.6/10


I'm not here to tell you "Armored" is Kubrickian, Hitchcockian or Fellini-esquire. Nope. Referenced directors are more like Don Siegel ("Charlie Varrick") and Walter Hill ("The Warriors"). Those two helmers didn't fool around with niceties like putting women in their movies. No skirts need apply. They unapologetically made guy movies. Guns, lots of guns. Men met violent death with a twitch of the jaw. Their movies were like a sap to the head. You want a friend? Get a dog.

"Armored" is so a guy movie. Dueling armored trucks? Bloody gunshot wounds? Exploding money? If that doesn't get the lizard part of your brain excited, then stay away.

At 88 minutes, "Armored" is all muscle without an ounce of fat. We meet six security guards who drive armored trucks, three per truck. The six, led by Matt Dillon, scheme up a fake hijack involving two trucks. Their mission one day is to deliver $42 million from the federal reserve (I think). The idea is to drive both trucks to a warehouse, stash the cash, then stage a hijack. Sure, the cops will suspect them, but if they stick together they'll get through it.

Trouble is, one of the six, played by Columbus Short, is a holdout. At first. But he faces eviction. And he's the guardian for his messed up younger brother. He needs cash bad.

Matt Dillon cajoles, pleads, persuades the holdout. No blood on anyone's hands. A clean getaway. All good, no bad. You'll be rich forever. Blue skies smiling at you ...


Everything goes to hell, of course. It's one damned thing after another and the stakes keep going up. And it almost all happens claustrophobically inside an abandoned warehouse somewhere in Los Angeles. In fact, the movie goes out of its way to project a backdrop of industrial urban decay. I happen to like industrial urban decay.

Kudos to Matt Dillon, who plays the top bad dog. He goes from charming to disappointed to frustrated to outraged to totally effing insane in the course of the movie. Love that guy.

Also, credit is due to the menacing, throbbing, blistering and totally sinister electronic soundtrack by John Murphy. I am guessing he's heard a few Tangerine Dream records.

Also, it's surprising that this is a PG-13 movie. I caught one — one! —f-bomb in this entire movie about violent tough-guy robbers. On some level, I like that. Take the kids.

The director is Nimrod Antal, a Hungarian who made a fine noir set in the Budapest subway system called "Kontroll." Screenwriter is an out-of-nowhere guy called James V. Simpson.

A lot of the people in this movie are just starting out. I am willing to bet the esteem given to this movie will rise as time goes on and these filmmakers advance in their careers.

Written by dave-sturm


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Easy as Pie: Gordon Ramsay's Shepherd's Pie

Today's recipe is Shepherd's Pie by the famous, Chef Gordon Ramsay. If you love mash potatoes and meat, then THIS is the dish for YOU! :)

This is the easiest recipe to follow :)
** all measurements can be adjusted according to your preference :) So taste as you go as always :)

The Filling:

2 tbsp       Olive Oil
1/2Kg       Mince Lamb or Beef (your choice)
1               Large Onion (grated)
1               Large Carrot (grated)
Fresh Rosemary
Fresh Thyme
1-4 cloves Garlic (finely chopped)
salt & pepper
Worcestershire Sauce (several splash)
1               small can of tomato puree or paste
Red Wine (several splash)
1/4 cup      Chicken stock

Pour Olive Oil into a hot large pan, then add the meat. Stir meat for a few minutes until it’s nice and brown, and broken into very small pieces. Add Rosemary, Thyme, and Garlic, then stir some more. Then add  Carrot, and Onion and continue stirring till everything is mixed well. Next, add Worcestershire Sauce, stir, add Tomato Puree, stir, add Red Wine and sweat it down for a minute or two. After, add the stock and cook for 3 more minutes.

The Mash:
1/2Kg        Golden potatoes
1/4 cup       Heavy Cream
3-4 tbsp     Butter
salt & pepper
2                Egg yolks
1/4 cups     Parmesan cheese

Start this before your filling. Boil some water, throw some salt and your potatoes in, and set a timer for about 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, take your potatoes out and strain the water off. Put potatoes back into the pan, or into a medium mixing bowl. Mash the potatoes with their ingredients from above and keep warm. At this point your filling would have been done too.

Final Step:
Scoop your meat mixture into a deep casserole or other oven safe dish and then spoon the mash over the top. Spread the mash over the top of the mix with the bottom of the spoon or using a spatula and then sprinkle a generous portion of Parmesan cheese over the top. Poke the top with a fork several times to give it a peaked or spiky look and stick it in the oven at 200C/400F for about 18-20 minutes to brown the potatoes and set the pie. Once done, serve it up and voila!

Below is a video that would be useful when you're planning on making this dish :)

If you want to have a copy of this recipe, you can check out the link below:

Happy cooking :)


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