Circles- Mac Miller
Jett Mitchell (junior)
Release Date: January 17, 2020
Genres: Neo Soul, Alternative R&B
“The vocals and writing are genius. When he gives you lyrics you’re not just hearing him say them, it’s more feeling him saying it, you know. Also the way he can switch between his singing voice and rapping voice totally gives a sort of freshness and a great variety when it comes to songs. Not to mention the production is absolutely insane too. There are so many diverse types of beats giving off their own unique vibe. I remember the first time I listened to this album all the way through it felt like I was seriously floating. This album is a one of a kind piece that isn’t comparable in my opinion. Super great listen.”
Favorite Songs: Good News, Complicated, That’s On Me
Punisher- Phoebe Bridgers
Devin Thompson (senior)
Release Date: June 17, 2020
Genres: Singer/Songwriter, Indie Folk
“Phoebe Bridgers’ album Punisher is one of my favorite albums and is just as spooky as it is charming. It’s lines are soaked with nostalgia and fit perfectly with the rich string instrumentals that support them. As Bridgers’ second album, there’s much more to it than her first album, Stranger in the Alps. Punisher really shows Bridgers’ character and allows the listener to hurt right alongside her. Most of the album is quite somber, but there are a few upbeat songs thrown into the tracklist that almost serve as an emotional break from the weight of the others. Of course, in classic Phoebe fashion, sitting down to read the lyrics of these songs probably wouldn’t do your emotions any favors. However, the production and playful use of horns and cymbals gets the listener to overlook the melancholy text.
My favorite track off Punisher is “Moon Song” which perfectly illustrates the complexities of yearning to be with someone that you already care deeply about. My main pull towards Phoebe Bridgers’ music is her incredible lyricism. My favorite set of lyrics, possibly ever, goes “You’re sick and you’re married and you might be dying// but you’re holding me like water in your hands// when you saw the dead little bird you started crying// but you know the killer never understands.” By this point in the song, Bridgers’ vocals and instrumentals have grown from a low tone, almost like she is speaking directly to her lover, to engulf the listener as every built up emotion flows out of her. She explains through her lyrics that there are so many reasons they should not be together, but that the way he holds her makes it worth it to her. In the final lines, she is angry that this person feels so terribly for her broken heart because he is the one who broke it. And yet, she comes back around to still give him the benefit of the doubt and tell herself that he couldn’t have known what he was doing.
When this album was first released, mid-quarantine, I listened to it every single morning for at least two weeks. It is easily one of my top three albums of all time and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested!
Favorite Songs: Moon Song, Savior Complex, Garden Song
C’est la Vie- Mustard Service
Leo Perez (junior)
Release Date: March 23, 2020
Indie Pop, Indie Rock
“Although March of last year was a time of great uncertainty for many, it did see the release of one of my new favorite albums, C’est la Vie. Ironically, even though the album title is in French, the bulk of the songs are in English, although you will be treated to some lyrics in Italian and Spanish at some parts. So what can you expect from this album? Short answer, a lot.
In terms of genre, this album can broadly be considered indie-rock, however there are elements of many types of genres sprinkled throughout. Some songs are straight up pop ear-candy, whereas others are more slow featuring melodic and jazzy sounds. This contrast can be seen in the back-to-back tracks, Pleasantries (With Your Lover) and Arguments (With Your Lover). The former is a lot slower, keeping with the theme of a pleasant experience with someone you hold dear. The second track takes a sharp turn halfway through the song, picking up in speed which captures the turbulent thoughts of the narrator.
As you might have already realized given two of the song titles, this album does indeed have an underlying theme throughout it. Admittedly, the first few times I listened to this album I didn’t catch onto this; the catchiness of some of the tracks prevented me from paying too much attention to the lyrics. With a title that literally translates to “That’s Life” it shouldn’t be surprising that this album basically goes over the life of someone. Issues with this individual’s father and significant other(s) are touched on. Listening to the album with that in mind really puts into perspective the reason why there are so many shifts in sounds throughout the album.
Look, this whole album is spectacular, but if you want my honest take, I’d say that the second half of the album is slightly better than the first half. Although songs like Need and Getting There are some of the best on the album, the best section of the album is the last four tracks beginning with Pleasantries (With Your Lover). Here we are given banger after banger, all leading up to the excellent closing track, Fin.
If you are looking to treat your ears, listen to this album. You may even learn some Italian while you’re at it. I’m talking real Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano, baby Mi capiche?”
Favorite Songs: What a Life, Arguments (With Your Lover), Getting There
OK Human- Weezer
Jack Venezia (freshman)
Release Date: January 29, 2021
Genres: Chamber Pop, Pop Rock
“OK Human” is by far my favorite album from the past 1-2 years that has been released. I have liked Weezer’s songs in the past because I am into that Alternative/Rock style of music. I was very excited after I realized they finished a new album as of 3 months ago. Weezer is definitely one of my favorite bands and I always feel adrenaline pumping through my veins while listening to their songs.
One of their songs I really enjoy from the new album is, “Playing my Piano.” As a piano player myself, I love to see the solo’s and the lyrics talking about the piano. I just love the sound of piano solos and they’re usually not as common when it comes to rock songs. You would usually hear a guitar solo or a drum solo but I love to see the variety of music that Weezer is putting out for everyone to hear. Another thing about the song is the comparisons that are made. One of the lines is, “And I haven’t washed my hair in 3 weeks, I should get back to these Zoom interviews.” As a student and just someone living in this time, I really like seeing comparisons made to real life such as the zoom interview because it makes me actually feel like I’m a part of the song.
Another song I really like is, “Grapes of Wrath.” In all honesty, I just really liked the melody of the song right when I first heard it but after reading the lyrics, I came to the conclusion that it’s just a great song overall. It says, “I’m gonna rock my Audible,
Headphone ‘Grapes of Wrath’ drift off to oblivion, I just don’t care, I just don’t care.” I got the vibe that this song is about just tuning everything out and cranking up the music which is what I like to do sometimes to get my mind off of things. This song is both relatable and catchy which brings me to the conclusion that the whole “OK Human” album is just a masterpiece. I hope to see more albums from Weezer in the future.
Favorite Songs: Grapes of Wrath, Playing My Piano