Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Couple that with air-pumping fists and some boucing on the sofa and that's pretty much how my mom and I reacted when the latest Singapore Idol was unveiled last night.


My mom clocked in 50 votes while I was at work. I'm just glad those 30 bucks didn't go to waste, heh.

Thought Hady turned in 3 spectacular performances Sunday evening. George Michael's Freedom is a huge fave of mine, and he looked cool and sexy doing his thang on stage. His follow-up -- Chaka Khan's Through The Fire -- was heartfelt and vocally gorgeous. Love his glory notes, wooo.

As for the official Idol single, You Give Me Wings, the song itself kinda sucks ( cheesy title and lyrics, so-so melody ), and Jonathan Leong didn't do well with it at all. But when Hady took his turn ( whether he was smart enough to sing it last is anyone's guess ), his rendition was obviously 10 times better than Jon's.

I was moved. Honestly.

My mom turned to me after he finished and said we should vote 50 times. Didn't actually think she'd do it, but I'm glad she did.

Music Review: Peter Grant's Debut Album

Man oh man, I absolutely LOVE this CD.

Sorry, Clay Aiken fans -- I have the highest regard for Clay but his latest effort, though enjoyable, doesn't hit me the way Peter Grant's does.

Anyone who loves jazz -- especially if you're a fan of crooners like Michael Buble -- and appreciates young talent, should most definitely buy this. Today. Now. Stat!

Hearing it on a plane is nothing compared to blasting it in the car or on the home stereo or Discman. I already know he can sing, but now that his voice is crystal clear, without a pesky jet engine vibrating nearby, the effect takes my breath away.

Used to do track-by-tracks for albums I'm crazy about, but age is catching up with me, and am also quite time-constrained, so I'll just do an overview.

Things to note:

1. Peter has a BEAUTIFUL voice. Stops-you-in-your-tracks beautiful. Slows-your-heart-rate-and-lowers-your-blood-pressure beautiful. Makes-the-whole-world-look-rosy beautiful. I kid you not.

Sounds like a cross between Robbie Williams and Michael Buble. Only he's much much younger but equally or perhaps even more polished.

Haven't heard anything quite this exquisite since first experiencing Michael Buble at Great World City's That CD Shop. That was in 2003.

The first song, Joanna, is a wonderful example of just what Peter's capable of. Starts off mellow, but quickly escalates to full-throated belting, with goosebump-inducing high notes and a rich tenor vibrato.

He's only 18, but sounds much older. The quality of his vocals hints at formal training, but I might be wrong. In any case, he's a force to be reckoned with.

2. GREAT GREAT GREAT tracks to play over and over again if you're inclined:

- Joanna
- Walk Away
- On Days Like These
- Didn't We

--> all highlight Peter's astounding vocal ability. Very romantic and angsty. Nice orchestral arrangement which further enhances the overall effect.

- Spooky
- Girl From Ipanema

--> these have a palpably sexier feel. Vocals are significantly huskier, with a couple of growly bits thrown in. I know Peter's young, but I still get pretty worked up by his deliveries. ( Yes, he's that good. )

- Best Is Yet To Come
- I Saw Her Standing There

--> Big band swing extravaganzas. Glorious!

- The More I See You

--> currently my personal favourite, and repeated to death on my stereo. Michael Buble did a big band cover, but Peter's uptempo cha-cha ( sounds like MB's Save The Last Dance For Me, if you're wondering ) is fun and infectiously happy, yet never falters in vocal quality. Fabulous.

Looks-wise, he's still very much a geeky teen. Not drop-dead gorgeous like Peter Cincotti, but it's too early to tell so give him time to build up a fanbase and develop his musical abilities further.

I personally think he's got a successful and long career ahead of him.

Highly recommended. Please buy it.

Tokyo Redux

This, by the way, is the title of a chapter in Anthony Bourdain's insanely entertaining A Cook's Tour, which I'm slowly savouring as a daily breakfast ritual. ( No free time for reading otherwise, but I've finished quite a few novels this way in the past, so it works for me. )

Have paid up my registration fee and confirmed my plane tickets. Just got bombarded by an MO in my department, offering numerous suggestions on must-not-miss activities.

That, plus another friend's gushy email, and Bourdain's effusive writing, and I'm practically raring to go.

Just hope the weather isn't too cold / wet / windy. And no typhoons please.

Think I'm going to really enjoy this trip. :)

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