The time machine that doubles as a toilet.

News Archives - July 2004

: Big site updates

July 15 2004

This doesn't happen that often, you might want to cherish the moment...

The website has been updated again, and this time it is one pretty big update.

Every single section of the Pants Network has been updated somewhat, ranging from minor behind-the-scenes changes to sections with all-new content, like the album review below or stuff in the image galleries. Many changes won't become obvious for a little while, but they were required to facilitate more new content once it is ready...

And before you ask, no, that damn "Who/What is Pants?" page *still* isn't here...
You can whinge about it here, or perhaps try a more direct approach.



And although you don't even know who I am, I hope you had a happy birthday today Rachelle...

: Canadian Bacon

July 15 2004

Time for another album review that nobody will read...

At the ripe old age of 17, Avril Lavigne released her debut album Let Go in 2002. I was quick to catch on to the revelation that Avril might just be the next Britney, much to my anger.

Think about it- if you turn the dial back to 1999, an energetic 17-year-old released her debut ...Baby One More Time, sold millions and launched her career. Three years later with Avril, the demographic has changed but Avril still sold tons of CDs and started her own new trends, like the tragic sk8ter T-shirts and those stupid neckties. Gone were the days of 'traditional' pop, replaced with Avril's trademark balance of teen angst and Canadian punk rock, all bottled into a pop formula.

I kept my eye on Avril, mentally plotting points on a graph, watching how her stardom grew in direct comparison to Britney. From my perspective, Avril was the new generation's Britney, and I did not like that concept at all. To Avril's credit, Let Go was a great album (a very decent effort), but I couldn't make up my mind about her until her second album was out. That would be a definitive indication of whether the debut was good because of her, or the suits sitting behind the mixing desk in the recording studio.

Enough personal ranting for now, her new album Under My Skin is now out and I've had enough listens to make some comments. And this would be where the ranting resumes:

  • Overall, the album is quite good. It'd be a close call but I'd say probably a little better than her first album.
  • Although the producers from Let Go jumped ship, song production and arrangement is still very good, perhaps with less focus on the catchy hooks that drove album #1... Tracks like Slipped Away, My Happy Ending and Nobody's Home are definite standouts.
  • A few more tracks would also be standouts if it weren't for some questionable lyrics/vocals in a few small parts. The attempted operatics in Forgotten, for example.
And finally, I think the most crucial factor:
  • This album has a much more balanced approach to the Canadian punk rock and teen angst compositions compared to the first album. That's not to say there wasn't as much angst in Let Go, I just felt it was drowned out by too much try-hard punk. I refer you to the Pants Network-exclusive Graphomatic™:
  • « 2002's "Let Go"

     Punk :- 79%
    Angst :- 21%

    « 2004's "Under My Skin"

     Punk :- 56%
    Angst :- 44%

So basically Avril has done what Britney did before her, releasing a really strong second album. This confirmed that she is part of a talented team of people who know how to make music that's good to listen to. Assuming she stays on the same track as Brit, she'll probably team up with Madonna in a few years, signalling her career is about to implode.
Just make sure you stay away from Vegas, OK Avril...?

If you've managed to get this far, feel free to head over to where you're welcome to call me an idiot for writing this review. I can guarantee someone will call you an idiot back for reading it all... :)

: Yellow hairy balls

July 4 2004

I've been watching bits of the Wimbledon coverage on TV this past week (hey, anything's better than Big Brother)...
Last night was the big tournament final between top seed Serena Williams (winner of the last two Wimbledons) and 17-year-old Russian unknown Maria Sharapova, ranked 15th in the world.

About as cliché as an Emilio Estevez hockey movie, Sharapova (pictured right, holding an oversized hubcap) won the match in very convincing style against all odds, even managing to make Serena fall on her ass in the process.

The match brings back fond memories of the late nineties, watching a young Swiss Martina Hingis bouncing around doing her thing on the court. She was a good player (winning Wimbledon once herself), but she was also fun to watch, and not just in that "I would stalk her if I could" kind of way... Then the next few times the Australian Open or Wimbledon came around on TV, I didn't see any of her; she was still playing, I just didn't spot her in my extremely casual following of the sport.

This news post was initially meant to be a small whinge on how I haven't seen Martina in any tennis coverage over the past 4-5 years and how it would be good to see her in the tennis top ranks again. If I had done a little research *before* preparing this post, I would've found out that she actually retired last year. That's right, it turns out that this entire news post is pretty much pointless. Oops.

We miss you, Martina! :)
[ Proper news & site updates expected soon. No, really... ]

There's more where that came from...: Return to the News Archives index.