Monday, 27 June 2011

Music Review: Lady Gaga Born This Way

Article first published as Music Review: Lady Gaga - Born This Way on Blogcritics.

Have you ever felt like you entered another dimension, era, or the twilight zone? Born This Way are three words put together that portray a sense of acceptance, especially when combined with the personal pronoun ‘I’ (and "was").
Lady Gaga's Born This Way was released on May 23, 2011, making it the next major follow-up to her award-winning debut album, The Fame. The new album opens the doors to a different, but at the same time, a sensitive and still wild Gaga.

Born This Way achieved amazing record sales according to, Born This Way got to number one on the Bilboard 200 chart. It sold an outstanding 1,108,000 copies in its first week of release.

You know that old saying, “What happens behind closed doors stays behind closed doors?” Well, this album exposes the "Poker Face" singer like you’ve never seen her before. Her opening track "Marry The Night" cleverly demonstrates Gaga’s self-commitment. She conveys herself to be a warrior, a soldier, and a fighter, ready to go against the world.

Born This Way is a representation of Gaga’s religious persona. The “Bad Romance” hit-maker, known to her family, and friends as Stefani, was born and raised as a Catholic, according to her biography, Lady Gaga: The Queen Of Pop, written by Emily Herbert.

Songs like "Born This Way," "Judas," and "Hair" bring her religious characteristics forward. "Born This Way" is one of the strongest, and most outspoken tracks on the entire album. It metaphorically paints a picture on a blank canvas, specifically addressing Gaga’s relationship with her family.

The first verse of “Born This Way” is enough to validate the strength of Gaga’s relationship with God, and her dynasty. It suggests that in her time of need, she turns to God, and her loved ones for guidance.

She sings, "It doesn't matter if you love him, God or capital H.I.M Satan. Just put your paws up, 'cause you were born this way baby. My Mama told me when I was young, we are all born superstars.."

The mother and daughter relationship comes forward in the last paragraph of the first verse: "There is nothing wrong with loving who you are. She said, 'cause he made you perfect babe. So hold your head up girl, and you'll go far. Listen to me when I say."

It’s during the chorus, when Gaga shows her full commitment, trust, and love towards God. She says, "I'm beautiful in my way, 'cause God makes no mistakes. I'm on the right track, baby I was born this way. Don't hide yourself in regret, just love yourself and you're set. I'm on the right track, baby I was born this way." It’s clear, with these few words, Gaga unites with herself, as well as others (the fans). She accepts the way God has brought her into this world.

“Hair” is another track on the album that represents the two most important relationships in Lady Gaga's life, family and religion. It allows her to present herself as a serious character who sometimes cries out for help. She sings,

"Whenever I dressed cool, my parents put up a fight/And If I'm a hotshot, Mom will cut hair at night/In the morning, I'm sure of my identity/I scream out 'Mom and Dad, why can't I be who I wanna be?'"

It is during the chorus once again, where she brings forward her need for freedom. In this case, she turns to God for guidance once more. She says, "I've had enough, this is my prayer/That I’ll die living just as free as my hair."

Here, hair is metaphorically used to identify a sense of freedom. People can style their hair in many different ways. It has the freedom to be whatever style it wants to be, in which case, Gaga could possibly be suggesting at times, she feels trapped within her own fame.

"Ich schleiban austa be clair, es kumpent madre monstere. Aus-be aus-can-be flaugen, Begun be uske but-bair. Ich schleiban austa be clair, es kumpent madre monstere. Aus-be aus-can-be flaugen, fräulein uske-be clair."

No, before you say anything, I’m not crazy. The Gaga just went multi-lingual on us with "Scheibe." Or did she? In an interview with VOX TV, and Gaga confirms the lyrics in this song are fake. Credit goes to yLadyGagaBeforeM for providing us with the evidence on Youtube.
Skip ahead to one minute and 18 seconds of the video below, and once you reach one minute and 40 seconds, you’ll finally see it’s a load of Gaga!

Skip ahead to one minute and 18 seconds of the video below, and once you reach one minute and 40 seconds, you’ll finally see it’s a load of Gaga!

"Scheibe means to me, bullsh*t or sh*t, and I wrote a song that is fake German, so sh*t German. It's meant to be gibberish, it's all about how, for me as a woman, anything getting in the way of my strength, just sounds like nothing!"

You heard it here folks! Lady Gaga experimenting with language. We might even have our very own Gaga dictionary soon!

"Judas," a track with a Catholicism reference, Lady Gaga expresses herself with a representation of Judas, a disloyal messenger of Jesus Christ. It is one of the most sensitive, and potentially controversial songs of the entire album. We all know how the subject of religion can be a sensitive matter. However, when Gaga says,

"I'll wash his feet with my hair if he needs/Forgive him when his tongue lies through his brain."

Then, she goes on to say,

"Even after three times he betrays me, I’ll bring him down, bring him down, down/A king with no crown, king with no crown."

What is she trying to say here? Wash his feet with her hair? Could it mean forgiving him, and freeing him from his sins with her hair? Hair, metaphorically used for freedom as I mentioned earlier.

Then, as we go further on into the song she says, "I couldn't love a man so purely. Even prophets forgave his crooked way/I've learned love is like a brick you can, build a house, or sink a dead body."

Is she saying,

"I can't love a man without something going wrong"? "Even when I do forgive, the trust still breaks down. You can’t do anything, but try to rebuild it again."

To be honest, I don't know, but if that is the case, then it presents the struggles she may have faced in her past relationships.

Gaga’s reminders of being a fighter, and an independent woman, suggest how mature, but at the same time crazy, and wild she still is. If that’s what you’ve been waiting for, then believe me you got it. It could very well send you to the "Edge Of Glory!"

Friday, 17 June 2011

Hollywood Fashionista

Article first published as Hollywood Fashionista on Blogcritics.

We’ve all seen Hollywood stars on movie sets. We’ve also seen their stars shine brightly in commercials. Jude Law, Keira Knightley, Matthew McConnaughey, and Ryan Reynolds have joined the crew and boarded the Fashionista ship. I know it sounds corny, but I said it.

Here’s a list of these four celebrities' fashion campaigns:

  • Jude Law – Dior Homme Sport
  • Matthew McConnaughey – Dolce & Gabbana (One Gentlemen)
  • Keira Knightley – Chanel CoCo Mademoiselle
  • Ryan Reynolds – Boss Hugo
It’s become a trend, but what’s in it for the Hollywood stars? Besides money of course. It must go deeper than that. And why do fashion companies prefer to use Hollywood names? Why not use models?

According to, big screen faces don’t usually accept commercial opportunities in the U.S. Why? In a nutshell, they could be at risk of damaging their credibility. However, this is not the case in other parts of the world, with Asia and Eastern Europe offering big bucks to Hollywood actors and actresses.

Celebrity endorsements benefit both partners. Saurbh Katyal on lists the common factors in celebrity endorsements:

  • Instant brand awareness
  • Refreshing the brand (in a sense, re-launching the brand)
  • Credibility/aspiration for PR coverage
  • Persuading clients

And the list above cleverly connects with the following question: Why do fashion campaigns prefer to have Hollywood celebrities in their commercials? The answer is obvious, as the celebrity’s presence benefits the brand.

Superstars are always looking for opportunities to shine their stars even brighter, and if they see a door wide open, they’re going to walk through. Simple as that!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Is the iCloud Really Secure?

Article first published as Is the iCloud Really Secure? on Blogcritics.

iCloud makes you feel like you’re on cloud 9 right? Technology is on turbo speed, it’s developing so fast. Everyone is doing it: Apple, Amazon and Google. It’s like everyone is trying to lead, just like how Tails follows Sonic. However it forces me to question, is our data safe? Lets find out, Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently announced iCloud prices on June 6th WWDC 2011 keynote. iCloud is bundled with nine essential apps, as stated by these are as follows;
  • iTunes in the cloud
  • Photostream
  • Documents in the cloud
  • Apps, books, and backup
  • Contacts, calendar, and mail
Sounds like Apple’s got it covered, store all your data up in the cloud, and never worry about it again--sounds great!

We all know that as technology advances, the doors open wider forhackers. Putting this into consideration you can’t help but ask yourself--how safe are these cloud services? According to, physically, Apple’s data centre in North California is pretty secure. So secure in fact, they have guards placed everywhere like Lego pieces. This is not enough; the inside is just as important as the outside.

Credit goes to once again for providing us with an important quote from cloud tester Mitnick, who was hired by Apple to take its cloud service to its limits:

I was hired to test this cloud infrastructure in South America. Literally in the 15 minutes that I was on the phone with the CEO of the company and one of the lead technical guys, I was able to get access that only system administrators should get access to.

We should be over the moon with these cloud services that are being developed for us, but when you read Mitnick’s quote, it gets you thinking--is it worth it?

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Listen To Beats - The Dre Way

Beats by Dr Dre, headphones from all time hip-hop/rap producer Dr. Dre; manufactured, distributed, and exclusively licensed by Monster. How did it all begin? It really makes you wonder doesn’t it? Well, don’t worry, I’m about to give you the low down on advanced audio technology. Beats By Dr. Dre, created by the genius hip-hop producer of all time himself; together with Interscope Records – Chairmen Jimmy Iovine, bring you six editions of headphones and ear-phone technology. Originally released in January 2008, Beats By Dr. Dre, introduced the next generation of audio paraphernalia.

Beats by Dr. Dre was built, developed, produced, and inspired from the following paragraph said by Dre:

“People aren't hearing all the music. Artists and producers work hard in the studio perfecting their sound. But people can't really hear it with normal headphones. Most headphones can't handle the bass, the detail, the dynamics. Bottom line, the music doesn't move you. With Beats, people are going to hear what the artists hear, and listen to the music the way they should: the way I do."

Beats by Dr.Dre, comes in five editions, bundled with six models, all as powerful, sleek and next generation as the next one. Dre definitely produced a beat, for all generations of music lovers. The classic, over the ear design has the potential to be a partner in a DJ’s repertoire.

Here is what the price range looks like from the Beats By Dre collection.

High Performance Over The Ear Headphones Edition includes:

Studio HD – black, white and red $458.32 (£279)

Pro – black and white $574.96 (£350)

Solo – black and white $244.77 (£149)

Solo HD – black, white and graphite $277.62 (£169)

Solo HD (Product RED Edition) - $277.62 (£169)

Justbeats Solo
– Only available in purple $277.62 (£169)

The In-Ear Edition includes:

Tour – black and white [ControlTalk] $229.98 (£139.99) black $195.48 (£119.99)

Ibeats – black, white, chrome, black aluminium $131.42 (£79.99)

Justbeats – Only available in purple $131.42 (£79.99)

Heartbeats – rose red, bright chrome, black chrome [ControlTalk] $131.42 (£79.99) – rose red, bright chrome, black chrome $82.13 (£49.99)

– black [ControlTalk], powder pink [ControlTalk] and white [ControlTalk Universal] $197.13 (£119.99)

Powerbeats – white, red and black $197.13 (£119.99)

It was July 2008, when the first Beats By Dr. Dre HD headphones reach the store shelves.

In October 2009, Dre and his team, hook up with HP to announce the HP ENVY15 Notebook PC with Beats By Dre integration.

The most recent product announcement, was made in May 2011, Studio HD arrives exclusively at Best Buy stores.

These headphones are seen everywhere, particularly in music videos. Celebrities like;, Fergie, Hugh Jackman, Kobe Bryant, Lady GaGa, Paris Hillton, and many more own a set of Beats By Dre. Of course, this isn’t over, Beats By Dr. Dre has plenty more to offer. Be sure to visit to get more info on other Beats By Dr. Dre products. Order online, or visit your local tech store.