Monthly Archives: October 2011

Review: Mylo Xyloto by Coldplay

One of the hardest things to do with Coldplay is to categorize their style of music. As they start their second decade on the music scene, they’ve went from doing alternative/indie rock in the early 2000s, to evolving into one of the biggest pop-rock bands on the planet. Their new album, Mylo Xyloto, will not simplify the task.

With the singles they released prior to the album launch, which is next Monday, October 24th, die-hard fans of Parachutes already know they will be disappointed. Kanye West once said something like: “People are always waiting for an artist to remake his first album, but he never will. A good artist evolves.” This is true in every genre, not just hip-hop, and Coldplay are a good example of this. While Mylo Xyloto has shades of the pre-X&Y era, it definitely draws its inspiration from Viva la Vida. The sound of Mylo Xyloto is at some times very predictable, while it is completely surprising at other moments.

Alternating between soft ballads and pop-rock anthems, the new Coldplay album brings in a new atmosphere never felt before in any LP they’ve released. Powerful synths can be heard throughout, bringing the orchestral and grandiose feeling of past Coldplay records to new heights. The best example of this is Princess of China with Rihanna. While a lot of people will hate on this song because they brought a pop-star in their production, the power and feeling of the song cannot be denied. Chris Martin and Rihanna’s voices complete each other marvellously, accompanied by the bewitching melody of the track.

Fans of songs like Sparks or Amsterdam will be pleased by the simple yet nostalgic melodies that tracks like U.F.O. or Us Against the World bring to the album, while fans of White Shadows and Shiver are more likely to enjoy Major Minus and Charlie Brown, two tracks that emanate with energy.

If you’re stuck in the beginning of the new millenium and have not enjoyed what Coldplay has released lately, you might want to skip this album and drown your sadness in bands like Arcade Fire or Interpol. But if you can handle the evolution and you also enjoy the likes of The Killers and U2, then definitely check out Mylo Xyloto. It is a refreshing album that still breathes the original Coldplay vibe, while bringing new and interesting flavours to an already incredible sound.

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Nova Film celebrates its 5th anniversary

“Time flies” they say. As cliché as it sounds, this is the least I can say when I think Nova Film is already at its 5th year in the business. It’s almost unreal to go back in time and see ourselves as the small team of 4 in our first offices in Ste-Foy, where we were basically jumping on every possible contract that involved video and money, to looking at today, where we’re now one of the biggest production company in Quebec City and dealing with national and international companies and agencies. It’s even a bit scary to think about what will happen in the next 5 years, taking in consideration this mind-blowing evolution.

Last Thursday, we hosted our anniversary party at Caserne Dalhousie, which is the production facility for Ex-Machina and world-renowned creator Robert Lepage. Over 150 of our clients and partners came to celebrate this very important milestone for the company. It was also our opportunity to release our brand new logo, designed by Quebec agency Hatem+D.

Two video-projectors displaying our brand new showreel and a Twitter feed showing everyone who wished us #BonneFeteNova, a gigantic lighted Nova Film logo, a 20-foot-high DJ booth, an ice sculpture to poor liquor and two immense paintings by Quebec artist Joelle Blouin were just a few of the components of the setup we put together to make sure everyone wowed at the room when they entered. And they did. While us, the Nova team, are very professional people, we also know how to throw a party like few can.

The evening started off as more of a cocktail, where Francois and David, the two founders of Nova Film, spoke on the microphone to the crowd to thank them for their constant trust and support, and eventually introducing our much-anticipated 2012 Showreel. As the evening went on, the ambiance grew and soon the sound of DJ Adam DoubleYou filled the room and quickly transformed the cocktail-style event into a party that those who were still there to witness will not soon forget.

I strongly recommend that you check out our new website and Facebook page, on which you can see all the photos from the evening. If you missed this, then we hope we can celebrate our 10th anniversary in your company.

OneSize for O’Neill and Seb Toots

It’s no secret to anyone now, Quebec-native Seb “Toots” Toutant is now a force to be reckoned with in the snowboard industry. It’s no wonder then why O’Neill decided to make him the star of their new interactive video, conceived by Amsterdam-based studio OneSize.

The O’Neill video shows you Seb Toots riding the park, and let’s you decide which trick he is going to pull. So for example, when Seb comes up to a kicker, the video stops and asks you whether you want him to do a Cab 900 or a Double cork 1080. It is really well-made, and the soundtrack is really catchy. The motion design also fits the kind of video-game style this video is suppose to represent. What I’m not sure about is the 3-years-ago-over-used color-leave effect on Seb’s red sweater, reminding me of the movie Pleasantville. But I can get over that.

YouTube interactive videos have been created in the past, for example Patrick Boivin’s great B-Boy Joker and Batman. But O’Neill’s one seems particularly well-integrated. Sure, there is still the fast-forwarding in time and the fact that if you turn off captions it pretty much doesn’t work, but there is something really interesting in the concept of these videos.

I don’t know how people will respond to this video, but this type of project can really open the door for incredible opportunities in the very near future for interaction on multiple video platforms.

Only time will tell…