28 February 2012

ALBUM REVIEW: „Ceremonials“ - Florence & the Machine

photo via
Her first album “Between Two Lungs” was an absolute rage amongst fans with super hit songs like “Dog Days Are Over”, “You’ve Got The Love” and the now turned classic “Cosmic Love”. There were tremendous expectations for her second album  which have been met, in my opinion.

I didn’t think her first album was world-changing, but it did have some awesome songs. Her style is absolutely unique, her voice is very popular and recognizable and her melodies and lyrics show some thought behind her music! “Ceremonials” is very consistent, which I always count as an asset for music albums, the melodies have remained convincing, her singing performance stunning, she stayed true to her style, however, there has been no forward movement.

But let us not be too critical, for songs like “Only If For The Night”, “What The Water Gave Me”, “Heartlines” and “Strangeness and Charm” are as good as the better songs on her first album. Maybe not the most versatile outcome from her, but a very good one. Enjoy!

23 February 2012

PHOTO POST: dachboden - 25 hours hotel

I think that the best part about any city, even the one you have lived in for years, is finding new and special places. This is exactly what I could say about the "dachboden" (meaning attic in german) café/bar at the "25 hours hotel"! It's been on my "to-visit" list for such a long time and together with Felix we finally made it there a few days ago.
After just a single visit I have fallen in love with it!! Starting off with an elevator ride with a glass front taking you up to the top floor, giving an introduction of what kind of an astonishing view you can expect. There's a great atmosphere, an incredible view over Vienna (which is even more magical at night), an amazing selection of teas (which is always important for a tea-lover like me ^^) and the interior is simply unique and extraordinary.
If you're living in Vienna and haven't heard of the "dachboden", plan your next night out there and don't forget to book a table as it's always full! It's also a great location for tourists, as you can marvel over so many of Vienna's most important sights through the panorama-view of the café/bar! :)

18 February 2012

MOVIE REVIEW: "The Artist"

10 Academy Award nominations for „The Artist“. Comes as no surprise. This movie has gathered tremendous appreciation from critics of practically all award functions and on several movie websites it is regarded as the best movie of 2011. Well normally, silent movies are not really my kind of thing, to be all honest, and so are black and white movies.

However, I gave the film a chance and it convinced me! Winning Best Actor and Best Soundtrack, I have to agree these are the two strong assets! The music has the potential to turn into a classic and the performance of all of the actors, but especially Jean Dujardin, are absolutely stunning. “The Artist” is such an authentic silent movie that you just notice the director’s big love for them! Also the comedic timing comes across very naturally and there are some satirical jokes that work perfectly.

Even though the story is quite touching, especially towards the end, it is far from innovating or new and quite predictable. In fact, it is one of the most predictable movies I have seen in a long time, which takes away some of the excitement throughout the whole film.

However, with great music, superb cinematography, brilliant acting performances and some scenes that just enlighten your mood in a very pleasant way, I can give this movie 4 stars. That doesn’t make it the best movie of the year, but it deserves the Oscar next week and I will be happy for the producers, should it indeed receive it, (which I assume strongly!).

images via: [carolgrayson-darkromance.blogspot.com], [moviepilot.de] & [redcarpetreports.de]

10 February 2012

PHOTO POST: Felix goes London :)

Hehe, yeah I know, Veronika has just been there, but the photos were so stunning that I decided to book a flight to this wonderful city without hesitating. Well, not quite. Pure coincidence. So the travel pictures are shown to you in a different way than Veronika's were. 
Christmas atmosphere was gone, however, the weather in London was a pure blessing. We had sun, snow, no rain, no wind. It was just perfect. City tourism in winter can be so beautiful. Be it Covent Garden with all the gorgeous fashionista people, the wonderful City of Westminster, South Kensington with Harrods or snowy Hyde Park, this journey had everything. 
I absolutely loved having breakfast at sweet little Inns or slendering around the snowy streets of Picadilly. One of the highlights was seeing Chicago live at the theater, which I have no photos of, naturally.

Well, after this journey, stylish London will stay my №1 destination for travelling (sorry NYC ;D). In this spirit: Cheers, mate! :)

7 February 2012

BOOK REVIEW: "Special Topics in Calamity Physics" - Marisha Pessl

photo source: [viliflik.wordpress.com]

To start off, everyone to whom I told that I was reading a book called „Special Topics in Calamity Physics“ looked at me in a weird way and probably wondered who and why forced me to do it. I guess it’s quite improbable to imagine me engaging in a new passion of the highly complex subject of physics ^^ I was tempted to read it when I once saw the book cover in a library being praised with a quote from Audrey Niffenegger (whose book “The Time Traveler’s Wife” I really enjoyed).  Another one compared Marisha Pessl’s style with that of “The Virgin Suicides” by Jeffrey Eugenides which is one of my favourite books. But wasn’t there some kind of wise saying advising you not to judge a book by its cover? Well, this book is probably the proof to why the saying is plausible.

In the beginning you feel quite enthusiastic. The style seems unusual and unique, you get interested in the characters being crafted, and at first there are only Blue and her father Gareth. Yes, a girl named Blue. And she does present an account of how much she had to suffer while growing up and in school because of that name. Guess someone should have given this book to Beyoncé while she was pregnant to prevent her from naming her daughter Blue Ivy.

With time you just realize that the story is not interesting enough. It’s difficult to stick to continue reading the book as there is absolutely nothing that makes you want to carry on and find out more about. The next thing is the style which you thought of as entertaining in the beginning, but which simply becomes plain annoying. Believe me, it’s not fun to see quotations being made to other books in almost every third sentence. Besides from that, the story gets somewhat more captivating only way past the middle of the book.

And then the shock. The ending. It’s devastating. By this point you’ve already come to accept the weird style which you even consider charming – BUT! Even with an ending like that, and it’s extraordinary, you can’t make up for 450 pages of dreadful reading. Why on Earth does this revelation needs to stay secret until the last 50 pages?! Sure, it improves the whole judgment of the book, but you know what? It’s just too late! And in addition to that, the whole conclusion is a bit far-fetched. It reminds me of a detective story I once read: a man is killed in an apartment behind locked doors and locked windows; and there are simply no clues inside of that room. That’s the way you feel when trying to solve the mystery behind “Special Topics in Calamity Physics”. The resolution in the end of both stories are comparable, when in the detective story it’s a monkey, which traveled on a ship from Peru to Great Britain, climbed through the window and strangled that man. Pretty absurd? Something you wouldn’t have ever guessed? But you’re still not satisfied with that solution because it’s just so surreal?  You can expect something similar with Marisha Pessl’s book as well!

You can see that I wasn’t really impressed by this story and I’m still having a hard time reading it. Is the story bad enough for 2 stars? Yes! Would I recommend the book to anyone else? Maybe, but probably only to hear an other person’s opinion about it. Did I enjoy reading it (which usually automatically deserves the minimum of 3 stars)? Surely not, except for the last 100 pages. Would I really want anyone else to go through the same reading experience I had to endure? I really wouldn’t! So with this short analysis I was finally able to make up my mind: giving it 2 stars and banning it to the list of disappointing reads.  


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