Summer's best and worst in music
Published: Friday, August 10, 2012
Updated: Friday, August 10, 2012 19:08
Summer is a time when most students try their best to relax. Whether they're hanging out by the pool, catching up on the latest book or just hanging out with friends, most students have a soundtrack to accompany their summer. This summer has brought several album releases, some being much better than others.
On a national level, two of the best summer albums include “Oceania” by the Smashing Pumpkins released on June 9 and “Blunderbuss” by Jack White released on April 23.
“Oceania” is the eighth studio album by the Smashing Pumpkins and is part of the band’s ongoing 44-song concept album, “Teargarden by Kaleidyscope.” It debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart and at No. 1 on the Independent Albums chart. The album doesn’t deviate from the band’s signature sound, and I consider it to be one of the best rock albums so far this year. It’s the perfect album to play while hanging out by the pool.
“Blunderbluss” is White’s debut solo album and, although it was released a few months shy of the official date of summer, the album skyrocketed in popularity in June and July. Two of the album’s best singles include “Love Interruption” and “Sixteen Saltines.” Rolling Stone called the album “fascinating” and considers it a modern day classic.
Another popular album of the summer is “Believe” by Justin Bieber. Bieber sheds his traditional pop sound for an R&B-influenced sound. Although I’m not entirely sold on his new album, Bieber succeeds in creating a more mature sound compared to past albums. The first single, “Boyfriend,” is catchy and the perfect summer song.
Two of the worst summer albums include “Fortune” by Chris Brown released on June 29 and “Overexposed” by Maroon 5 released on June 26.
“Fortune” comes up short due to its weak songwriting and unoriginal sound. Although Brown’s single, “Turn up the Music,” is catchy, it’s also something we’ve heard a hundred times before. It consists of the same club signature bebop sound. The album is boring and lacks dynamic. SPIN Magazine called the album “a total dud.”
“Overexposed” by Maroon 5 falls short due to the band’s loss of its signature sound. Instead of sounding honest and raw, “Overexposed” sounds mainstream. “Payphone,” the band’s most recent single, features rapper Wiz Khalifa and, although it’s also catchy like Brown’s “Turn up the Music,” it is another song we have all heard. Frontman Adam Levine sings about a relationship that is falling apart in an unoriginal way. The best part of the song is Khalifa’s short contribution that provides a listener with a quick pick-me-up.
Since summer is coming to a close, it’s only appropriate to hit on a few up-and-coming albums. Watch out for these albums as you head back to class this fall: “Four” by Bloc Party dropping Aug. 21, “Dead Silence” by Billy Talent dropping Sept. 7 and “Push and Shove” by No Doubt dropping Sept. 25.