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Jack White makes debut solo album success

April 26, 2012 Features, Media Reviews

Photo courtesy of amazon.com

When it comes to music, I will give just about anything a chance. However, my favored genres tend to be rock-based. That being the case, it’s kind of odd that I’ve never listened to much of Jack White’s music before this album.

But it’s not because I didn’t like it, because I loved the work he did with previous projects such as The White Stripes, The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather.

I also have a lot respect for artists who are willing to take chances with their work. I remember back in 2007 when the band Radiohead put out its seventh studio album, “In Rainbows.” They sold the album off their website and allowed fans to download it paying whatever price they wanted. The album was widely successful, selling 1.2 million copies online. Jack White has done something similar.

Although the album cannot be purchased for whatever price one may choose, there is the option to stream it for free for a limited time through iTunes.

“After spending years reworking the rock n’ roll foundation, with The White Stripes, The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather, White has crafted his first statement as a solo artist,” iTunes stated. “And yes, it rocks.”

Because this is Jack White’s first solo album, there’s a lot he needed to say through his lyrics.

The album seems to have an underlying theme about love and what it does to you. It’s quite clear his inspiration came from failed relationships and perhaps even the recent divorce from his wife of nearly six years, Karen Elson.

The first track on the album is enough to draw you in. “Missing Pieces” is about believing in something then having it taken away from you. The last verse of the song seems to stand out more than the others. “Sometimes someone controls everything about you/And when they tell you that they just can’t live without you/They ain’t lyin’, they’ll take pieces of you/And they’ll stand above you and walk away/That’s right, and take a part of you with them.”

White gives next track, “Sixteen Saltines,” a garage rock vibe that still fits in with the theme of the album, that all women are out to get him. While the lyrics are sometimes silly, “Spike heels make a hole in a lifeboat,” they still get the point across. … Continue Reading

Hilton returns to music scene with second album

April 5, 2012 Features, Media Reviews

Photo courtesy of st0rmtracker.wordpress.com

After waiting for more than a year, Tyler Hilton fans everywhere, also known as “storm trackers” for those of us who have been following his progress, are now at ease as Hilton’s second full studio album was released Tuesday.

Hilton’s original album title was “The Storms We Share.” After a production delay, Hilton decided “Forget The Storm” was a more appropriate name for his sophomore album.

The opening track is “Kicking My Heels.” While I’m more of a music person rather than a lyrics person, the lyrics for this particular track reveal how Hilton feels unworthy of the girl he is with. This album starter is a very relaxed, bar favorite.

The next track, “Prince of Nothing Charming” was released as a single more than a month before the album was. This song premiered on “One Tree Hill” on which Hilton plays the character of Chris Keller. This song tells the story about admiring the girl in his life and how, while she might feel insecure, he observes her imperfections. The lyrics of the catchy chorus are “you love like you wanted to fight/like you needed tonight/Baby it’s beautiful/Oh and you scream like a gun in the night/Yeah you’re starting a fight/It’s like you don’t know/Baby, you’re beautiful.”

“Loaded Gun” is the title of the third track and it too was featured on “One Tree Hill” before the album release. This is the first up-beat song on the record and brings a new energy to it. … Continue Reading

Springsteen keeps rockin’ with 17th album

March 8, 2012 Features, Media Reviews


Photo courtesy of thesnipenews.com

Savannah Sawyer
Assistant Features Editor

Music is possibly the most important thing to me. Next to my family, food and breathing, music ranks pretty high up. I could listen to any song and it can take me back to a certain point in my life, a certain memory and everything that happened will start to flood back.

Bruce Springsteen is the soundtrack to my childhood. “Hungry Heart” off of his fifth studio album, “The River,” takes me back to my younger years when my family would have friends over on Friday nights and Springsteen was always playing in the background.

Springsteen reminds me of my preteens. “My City of Ruins” off of Springsteen’s 12th studio album, “The Rising,” makes me reflect upon a time in my fifth grade classroom taking in the latest of the unfortunate event that was Sept. 11.

Springsteen is the soundtrack to my teens. I can distinctly remember sitting on the screened in porch of my house with my father one summer night listening to Springsteen’s newest release at that time, his 13th studio album, “Devils & Dust.”

Springsteen reminds me of my 20s. Leaving home for the first time to live on my own, I often reflect back on one of his older songs “Bobby Jean” off his seventh studio album “Born in the U.S.A.,” a song about remembrance. … Continue Reading

Michaelson reconnects with new album

January 26, 2012 Features, Media Reviews

Photo courtesy of Amazon.com

Anna Taylor
Features Editor

I was excited to hear about Ingrid Michaelson’s new album. Expecting piano ballads (a personal favorite of mine) and mello acoustic guitars, I was somewhat satisfied after sampling the tracks.

Opening her fifth studio album with a strong orchestral number, Michaelson sings about a “heated” relationship with a current interest. The song, “Fire,” brings an upbeat energy to the album that is somewhat new to Ingrid’s usual mello style.

“This Is War” speaks about a mission of getting closure post-breakup. Through the lyrics, “It’s a wonder at all that I’m alive/It’s a wonder at all that I’m still standing,” Michaelson expresses strong emotions from what could have been a previous relationship.

“Do It Now” reminds us of the optimistic Michaelson who we all know and love. But, this is one of few tracks like this on the entire CD.

“I’m Through” is another break-up song on her album. Contradicting her previous track, “Do It Now,” this soft and soothing song is written about someone giving up on their current infatuation.

“Blood Brothers” sounds like something meant to be in a TV or film soundtrack. An unwritten movie montage replays in my head as I listen to this track. Ace. … Continue Reading

Childish Gambino shines on label debut

November 10, 2011 Features, Media Reviews

Charlotte Kyle
Features Editor

Photo courtesy of iTunes

Rapper Childish Gambino has a handful of mix tapes under his belt, but “Camp” is the first album fans will be able to hold in their hands. It’s also the first album Donald Glover, the man behind the moniker, is actually selling. It was well worth the wait and is well worth the price.

Glover, best known for his role as Troy Barnes on NBC’s “Community,” is not just an actor-turned-rapper. If you want to get technical, he’s a creative force to be reckoned with, with credits as a writer, actor, comedian and musician. One would not be crazy to suspect Glover has a time machine and that’s how he’s able to accomplish so much at the same time.

His jack-of-all-trades attitude comes off on tracks as he drops lines such as “I won’t stop until they say James Franco is the white Donald Glover.” … Continue Reading

Folksy pop duo releases holiday album

October 27, 2011 Features, Media Reviews

Charlotte Kyle
Features Editor

Photo courtesy of iTunes

It’s almost Halloween and we all know what that means: it’s time for Christmas stuff!

No one can avoid it. Shopping for your groceries? Try these delicious holiday cookies, complete with green and red sprinkles. Need a new outfit? Check out this snazzy snowman sweater.

Soon cheery winter songs will replace the generic pop radio tunes that usually play while you walk through the store.

I figured we might as well skip Halloween and review a Christmas album instead. … Continue Reading

Lights’ second album sweetens, shines

October 14, 2011 Features, Media Reviews

Charlotte Kyle
Features Editor

Photo courtesy of iTunes

It’s been two years since Lights took over the galaxy with her debut studio album. It was an intergalactic phenomenon, and I expected nothing less of her sophomore album, “Siberia.”

The album kicks off with the title track, a gritty anthem of love no matter where you are. The lyrics are pleasant and the keyboard is what you expect from the young artist, but there is something jarring about the track.

The aforementioned grittiness isn’t due to lyrical content or message, but rather the production quality with this track. It’s as if the album, as a whole, wanted to seem more rough compared to the polished, clean feel of “The Listening.” … Continue Reading

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