Music Review:

Taylor Swift: Fearless
(Taylor's Version)

By: Anjeza Skudrinja
May 17, 2021

Taylor Swift is a vocal advocate for artists´ rights by trying to make sure that artists are getting paid fairly. She is trying to raise awareness for artists who sign up to record deals where they are taken advantage of by losing their input to rights to their music. Swift is trying to take the role of sticking up for all artists controlled by record labels. To start this she is re-recording “Fearless'' which is one of her first popular album releases in 2008. The 2021 “Fearless” album has newer versions of all the original tracks from her 2008 recording as well as six new songs that have never been released! This is because her original songs were sold without her permission because of the record company not listening to artists. 

Many people have grown up listening to Taylor Swift, and most definitely remember the throwbacks such as ¨Love Story¨, ¨You Belong With Me¨, and ¨The Best Day¨ on her Fearless album from 2008. Therefore, she wants to get back the songs that she got taken away from her by recording a new album, singing her songs at an older age. She will release these to a record deal that means she keeps the rights to her music, according to ¨Album Review: Taylor Swift - Fearless (Taylors version) by Varsity. The article states ¨You could argue that the addition of six new songs makes Fearless (Taylor’s Version) far too long, at twenty-six tracks...“Bye Bye Baby” is a brilliant album closer. I’m usually a twelve-track purist, but I think that this album is worth the nearly two-hour listen; at the very least it’s a perfect soundtrack to one of those long lockdown walks.¨ 

 I believe that Taylor Swift will inspire many artists to stand up for themselves in record deals and take control of their hard-earned work. I also enjoyed the album and liked how she made slight changes to some of her songs like ¨Fifteen¨ since she has grown, but still maintains that throwback feel. I recommend everyone should give it a listen!

Music Review

Kid Cudi: Man on The Moon III: The Chosen

By Andrew Warren

January 6th, 2021

Almost 10 years since his last installment in the famous Man on The Moon trilogy, Kid Cudi, AKA Scott Mescudi, has released what he calls the, “Most Important Album of My Career Thus Far.” The final album of this trilogy was released at midnight on December 11th, and so many fans were ready for the finale of the beloved album trilogy.

Scott Mescudi makes music about his personal life and struggles in Man on The Moon III: The Chosen. He raps about his struggles in songs like “Tequila Shots”, “Damaged”, and “Another Day”. He even reminisces about his childhood in “Elsie’s Baby Boy (flashback)”, which samples dialogue from the classic film “Stand By Me” during the intro. Cudi also samples another famous film, “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World”, in the track “She Knows This”

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The album begins with the intro track “Beautiful Trip” which leads into “Tequila Shots''. The pair of songs open up the album very well, throwing the listener into the dreamscape of Scott’s mind for the third and final time. The album has several songs that are well done, and several songs that miss. One of the lesser songs on the album is “Show Out” which features the late Pop Smoke and Skepta. Pop Smoke’s vocals sound like they were added into the song last minute, and don’t really fit the rest of the song. There are also a few songs which sound like something fellow rapper,  Travis Scott, would release, which didn’t work out as well as he would have liked.

However, the second “act” is where Man on The Moon III: The Chosen, really shines. Kid Cudi begins to feel more confident with the songs on this side of the album. Especially on the song “Heaven on Earth”. The flow of the song, and of the rest of the album really comes into the  light, showing Kid Cudi’s abilities in his music.

Overall, the album is good. It has many ups and many downs, but like the rest of his discography, it was extremely fun to listen to. It was an excellent final installment of the Man on The Moon trilogy. I would give this album a 7/10, with my number one track as “She Knows This”.

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Game Review

CyberPunk 2077 Is it as bad as people claim?

By: Brandon Leo

January 12, 2021

Cyberpunk 2077, is a videogame for Xbox, Playstation and PC, which was released on December 10th,  2020, and which the gaming community waited almost a decade for.

Some of the game’s features are that there are a ton of unique customizations and over 100 different perks you can add to your character. The game has a lot of promise, and a phenomenal storyline- three different ones you can play through , in fact- where you and the main character fight alongside Keanu Reeves to restore yourself. 

 

Even with all the customizations and promise, seven years of waiting for the release of this game, led straight to disappointment.The developers were pressured to release this unfinished game early due to public knowledge. The developers of the game were pressured by the public and the hype that was formed around the game to finally release it. This push led to them releasing a game that failed in the public eye. As said by GameZone , a game reviewing website, “Cyberpunk 2077 misses its mark in almost every way.” This statement couldn’t be further from the truth.  Personally, I own the game for the last gen and I haven't had a game-breaking problem that all these other reviews have been complaining about. Once and awhile, I’ve seen cars explode at random or flying around which is a common glitch.

 

The unfortunate marketing strategy for this game was that it was marketed for last gen consoles (Ps4 - Xbox One) , and due to the outdated tech of last gen models, most people who bought it had a horrible experience. Due to the lack of software that the last gen has, the game doesn't run as smoothly as the developers promised the community. Another issue reported commonly is that characters around you will start breaking or falling through the ground and saying lines they shouldn't. Because of this, many fans were outraged by how bad their experiences were.  

 

In my gaming opinion, the game isn't as horrible as people made it out to be. I still had a fun time with the game. Most glitches in the game were more comedy than challenging. Recently an update came out for it fixing most bugs but added in some of its own with it. Happily they never crashed my game nor did they break my console so I believe that the new update and the game was good. The game gets a 3.5 out 5 star rating.

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Movie Reviews

Holiday Movies

By: Brandon Leo

December 8th, 2020

Jingle Jangle is a fantastic Christmas movie of a toymaker and his excited Grand daughter. This musical is practically a good Christmas version of “The Greatest Showman”. If you enjoyed that type of movie you'll love this one. A masterpiece written and directed by Talbert.  

Holidate is a Romantic Comedy to watch with a significant other. This RomCom came out on October 28 of 2020. It is a movie of two complete strangers that are tired of being alone on the holidays. They agree to be with one another so they can have a certain someone but then they fall in love. 

Operation Christmas Drop is another romantic comedy where the U.S is dropping off supplies to small countries and islands for Christmas.  A evil government woman wants to put a stop to that and the main characters have to end this evil woman's plans.

 

Three fantastic Christmas Movies on Netflix that came from this new year

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Past Reviews

The Nintendo Switch- The Perfect Holiday Gift

By: Hannah Colannino

December 12th, 2020

While most of us are stuck at home due to COVID-19, we tend to resort to our devices. Being home causes people to make purchases and the Nintendo Switch has been a big one. More than 68 million Nintendo Switches were sold globally in the past 24 months. 

The Switch is a video game console that was developed by Nintendo and released worldwide on March 3rd, 2017. It is a big hit in most households because it is good for all ages. It also has some nostalgia for early 2000’s kids because it has games such as Mario Kart which was a huge deal due to it being able to be played on almost all devices. Those devices include the Nintendo DS, Wii, and recently it has been brought to mobile devices. 

With the holidays coming up, the Nintendo switch is a huge stocking stuffer. Even if you do not celebrate Christmas, it’s a good gift to get anybody. It starts at $299 in the United States and well worth the cost. 

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Gorillaz: Song Machine

By: Andrew Warren

December 9th, 2020

The Kings and Queen of the virtual music scene, Gorillaz, return after over two years since their album The Now Now in 2018. This time they bring us something different from past works. Lead singer 2D and his friends crossed web-series with music to make Song Machine: Season One: Strange Timez. Essentially they created a song, each song having a feature from a different artist, and put it out as “episodes” throughout the year. On October 23rd, it was all put together and released as an album.

Each song features a variety of different artists. Some of which are huge names such as Elton John, Beck, ScHoolboy Q, and Robert Smith of The Cure. The album also features many up and coming artists such as Slowthai and Octavian. The track How Far? (feat. Skepta and Tony Allen) honors the late Tony Allen, a legendary drummer who passed away a few months before the album’s release.

2D, Murdoc, Russel and Noodle bring out some of their best work yet. With tracks like Momentary Bliss, Valley of The Pagans, and Aries, the band collaborates well with the featured artist(s). Damon Albarn, who voices 2D and plays the keyboards, matches well with the likes of Beck, Elton John, and Slowthai. Murdoc Niccals, once again delivers fantastic bass lines throughout the album, especially in the track Désolé featuring Fatoumata Diawara. 

The band excellently delivered amazing music, experimenting with different sounds and styles that they have never really used before. No song on Song Machine is the same. Each song takes a different turn with the variety of artists that are featured. Momentary Bliss features punk duo Slaves and up and coming rap artist Slowthai, giving it a rock sound with rap lyrics and elements, while Valley of The Pagans features Alternative artist Beck, which has an Alternative/Pop sound. With these songs, Gorillaz took a huge turn from past albums.

This album is very good. It blew me away at first listen. Going in completely blind I was so surprised to see Gorillaz making songs with some of my favorite artists as well as some new ones I have never seen before. I would give this album a solid 8/10, with number one track as Momentary Bliss feat. Slaves & slowthai.

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