September reviews

Angel Olsen – My Woman

By: Amber McLinden

Angel Olsen stepped out of a box with her follow up album to Burn Your Fire For No Witness, My Woman. She won’t be painted as a sad girl anymore, although that emotion is still present for this folk-rock album. Tracks like “Shut Up, Kiss Me” and “Never Be Mine” show listeners a side of Olsen that wasn’t expected, but still just as good. One of the only criticisms may be that she tries to step out of the sad-girl zone too hard, and the album ends up being a little all over the map. Individually, the songs are good, but the overall album seems slightly disconnected.

M.I.A. – AIM

By: Amber McLinden

M.I.A. has definitely missed the target she was trying to hit with this album. The tone of the album doesn’t match the hard-hitting political message that she’s trying to convey with tracks like “Borders”, “Freedun”, and many more. The overlapping elements make the album’s production sound cheap, which leads to the message sounding less powerful and more tacky. Lyrics like “From the People’s Republic of Swaggerstan” off “Freedun” don’t create the tone and message I think M.I.A. wanted to. Don’t get me wrong – some of the tracks are still excellent club songs, with heavy bass and beats that won’t quit, but M.I.A’s already been there, done that. For her reported last album, I definitely expected better.

The Head and the Heart – Signs of Light

By: Amber McLinden

There’s something about The Head and the Heart’s music that has always made me feel nostalgic, even if I don’t know what I’m feeling it for. Signs of Light builds on their last album, Let’s Be Still, and recognizes the value in keeping some elements consistently present in their music. A more upbeat overall tone controls this album but keeps present the feeling of intimacy and happy reminiscence of days past that folk music does so well. My favourite tracks include “All We Ever Knew” and “Colors”.

Singles:

Lady Gaga – Perfect Illusion

By: Kennedy Enns

I have wondered where Lady Gaga has been for the last few years. After the somewhat disappointing release of Artpop all the way back in 2013, it’s exciting to see a new song from her. But ultimately the song leaves much to be desired. If you love hearing the words “perfect illusion” four hundred times and not much else, this could be the song for you. Considering there was a time where Lady Gaga consistently put out chart topping hits, this single is a let down.

The Pretty Reckless – Oh My God

By: Amber McLinden

How sick do you think Taylor Momsen is of getting referenced as “Jenny from Gossip Girl”? I’m gonna do it anyways- Momsen isn’t little J anymore. The Pretty Reckless has always been on my list of bands I enjoy, few that have stayed with me for so many years. The grungy-rock that they’ve been known to produce so well flows through their latest single, but as much as it can be a plus for the fans, the downside is that this single offers nothing new. I have a soft spot for this band, and I hope their upcoming album Who You Selling For proves to be different from this single.

Sia – The Greatest

By: Kennedy Enns

Sia has been consistently putting out amazing singles. The level of emotion she brings to each song is unparalleled in modern pop music. Her most recent song, “The Greatest” which is in collaboration with Kendrick Lamar, is much more of a dance song over a cry-in-your-car ballad. Overall it’s a great follow up to her last releases and leaves you feeling pumped up to take on the rest of the day.

Throwback:

Beyonce – B’Day

By: Amber McLinden

Let’s be real. Nobody goes an entire month listening to solely new albums, so we thought it would be a good idea to let you know what throwback album or songs we’ve been listening to on repeat this month. B’Day is at the top of our list. Beyonce’s second studio album has such iconic tracks as “Irreplaceable”, “Upgrade U” and “Ring The Alarm”. Back to school means we’re twice as busy, so blasting a few of these empowering tracks keeps us going, not that you need an excuse to listen to some Beyonce.

Bikini Kill – Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah

By: Kennedy Enns

I recently bought this album on vinyl and the download code that came with it was a gift from the gods. Songs like “White Boy” and “Rebel Girl” are Bikini Kill classics and Kathleen Hanna’s signature growl is always killer to listen to. This album features some of the best songs of one of the Riot Grrrl movement’s top bands. Nothing soothes the soul like letting out all your pent up frustrations and what better way to do that than screaming along at the top of your lungs?