Stories about music

Smooth criminal: After Leaving Neverland, MJ’s legacy ‘isn’t the same anymore’

After a long, busy day yesterday, I finally sat down to watch Leaving Neverland. As I was just out of nursery school during Michael Jackson’s prime – scribbling away pencil drawings in a primary classroom – I wasn’t much of a Jackson fan growing up. I was thus not particularly anticipating watching the documentary, and the prospect of watching two abuse victims reiterating their story made a part of me dread the prospect. The documentary narrates the story of two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, on how they were sexually abused by Jackson during the 80’s while they were ...

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In a world where The Beatles don’t exist, music meets fantasy in Yesterday

The latest trailer of director Danny Boyle’s upcoming film Yesterday aims to provide us with a very different spin on the romantic-comedy genre. Written by Richard Curtis of Love Actually fame, Yesterday is about a struggling singer and songwriter named Jack (Himesh Patel) who wakes up from a bike accident in a world where the The Beatles do not exist. Being the only person in the world who knows their songs, Jack decides to start singing cover versions of their most popular songs, becoming an overnight pop sensation. Based on the trailer, Yesterday seems to offer something very different from the sort of movies Boyle has historically directed. The trailer lays ...

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Why Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol is the best love song of the 21st century

It’s unmistakably apparent. When the two notes alternate between E and A, you know what you’re listening to. When the breathy vocals fill in the void between the alternating notes, you know what you’re listening to. When the repetitive questions are asked in the chorus, without once naming the song, you know what you’re listening to. It’s instantly recognisable. Nothing else sounds like it. This is the power of the best love song written in the 21st century. Better than the earnest Just The Way You Are by Bruno Mars, better than the icy warm words of Perfect by Ed Sheeran, or the ...

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From “New Year, new me” to “New Year, same old me”: 5 resolutions you hear at the start of every year

There’s a lot of talk and literature on the five stages of grief; you may even know them by heart. It’s great if you know; grief is tough to deal with and people should be introduced to its stages and variations. However, there are other things too which recur yearly, that people should be prepared for. Last year, my best friend Seher called me on December 31st, saying: “Maryam, this is it. 2018 is the year.” I immediately recalled our conversation on December 31, 2016, when she revealed to me that 2017 would be the year. But I love that girl to bits, so ...

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Coldplay’s A Head Full of Dreams is an explosion of colours, an art for everyone

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Coldplay is the biggest band in the world. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Coldplay is the best band in the world. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Coldplay is the band that every other band aspires to be today. And it also wouldn’t be wrong to say that Coldplay deserve every measure of their hard-earned, phenomenal success. Their recently released documentary, A Head Full of Dreams, is an accumulative proof of all my aforementioned claims. This film is the amalgamation of ideas that not only stood the test of time but were also pleasantly put ...

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The wobbly ride and chaotic landing of Helicopter Eela

Helicopter Eela is a family drama film based on the Gujarati play Beta Kaagdo by Anand Gandhi, and tells the story of an intrusive mother who, much to the disappointment of her son, keeps his life under strict scrutiny. The film’s plot revolves around Eela (Kajol), a single mother who keeps shadowing her son Vivaan (Riddhi Sen), ensuring her life dominates his own. She gave up on her aspirations of becoming a playback singer for the sake of being there as a parent to her son, but the overprotective nature of her motherhood and the lack of another partner makes ...

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From ‘unity, faith, discipline’ to ‘faith, faith, faith’

“O, what a fall was there, my countrymen! Then I, and you, and all of us fell down, whilst bloody treason flourished over us…” These enduring words of Shakespeare describe best the cruel hand dealt to Pakistan, by internal and external forces alike. One is filled with an innate feeling of dejection when one observes how with the passage of time, our societal ethics and standards tumbled in almost all walks of life. Pakistan is amongst the few unfortunate countries that have regressed, not progressed, with time. Let us start with governance. We all have read the bleak history of the ...

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From Dil Dil Pakistan to Dil Dil Hindustan

They say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, which is partly true. Imagine a comedian friend in your group, making fun of the way you walk or the way you talk or some of your special behaviour. Everyone will have a laugh at your expense but you might still be able to enjoy it too. However, I am not sure if plagiarism (an obvious kind of “imitation”) is the best form of flattery. Imagine a music director or a writer spending hours and hours of their time on creating something original and someone casually takes it, rephrases or re-tunes it ...

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What is the language of rain?

Like all mutinies, it begins as a whisper in the air. The sky turns tar-black as the dark clouds, ominous and threatening, negotiate an evil conspiracy… A coup against the sun. I hear a tapping on the window, announcing a much awaited arrival. Rain floats in gentle waves, as if gravity is a soft music from the Earth, a sweet seducing serenade. People run for cover; umbrellas are opened, temporary shades are sought, as the clouds spit out their beads of water. Puddles begin plinking, as the drops huddle in groups. Monsoon dew dances on the darkening pavement, as I hear the murmuring ...

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Inspiring and endearing, Fanney Khan fights body-shaming with a father’s love

Fanney Khan is a remake of the 2002 Belgian film Everybody’s Famous, and is the story of a father who leaves no stone unturned when it comes to fulfilling his daughter’s dreams. Prashant Sharma aka Fanney Khan, played by Anil Kapoor, is an orchestra singer who was famous in the 90s, but now in his 50s he drives a taxi for a living. He dreams of making his talented daughter Lata Sharma (Pihu Sand) a huge singing sensation, and is willing to do anything to help her attain the stardom he couldn’t achieve for himself. Although Lata does not have ...

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