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Benny blanco’s discography boasts some of the most renowned hits of the decade with a chart– topping history of big–name collaborations. Blanco has risen to the top as an artist, producer, and songwriter, culminating in the release of his latest album Friends Keep Secrets 2. Encompassing an extensive range of genres and artist features, blanco adds onto his 2018 album Friends Keep Secrets with a new disc containing seven original songs. From Justin Bieber to Juice WRLD, blanco balances themes of love, loss, and celebration across this limited runtime of nearly 43 minutes—proving he has mastered the art of both versatile and high quality music.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Since the release of their hit single “Bloom” in 2010, The Paper Kites have developed a distinctive sound that provides a serene escape from the typical feel of pop music today. The indie–folk band, originating from Australia, boasts a discography of five studio albums and four EPs. Lead singer and guitarist Sam Bentley describes their sound as “whatever we released on the last record.” Roses, The Paper Kites' fifth studio album, does not drastically diverge from their classic “last record” indie–folk sound. Instead, the ten–track album synthesizes this characteristic frame and expounds on it, featuring an international female vocalist on every song.
Billie Eilish, only 19 years old, is the definition of a pop star. Her image is bold—oversized streetwear, jet–black hair with a splash of neon green—and her music is unique. Underneath the facade of her world–renowned name, chart–topping music, neo–goth image, and unambiguous talent, however, there breathes an emotional and fragile teenager with a story to tell. R.J. Cutler, in the two–and–a–half–hour Apple TV documentary Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry, pierces into the depths of Eilish’s mind, her family, and her reality—the good, the bad, and the ugly. The raw emotion painted throughout her narrative in this candid documentary intimately uncovers Eilish’s truth as a self–conscious and authentic artist confronting the pressures of worldwide fame.
Music, the debut film directed and written by pop singer Sia, was drenched in controversy and castigation before the trailer was released. Earning an 8% on rotten tomatoes, a 3.1/10 on IMDb, and a .5/5 on IndieWire, Music tells a disillusioned story that has been mired in critiques. These criticisms are inherently affiliated with the casting of Maddie Ziegler as the main character of the film: a young girl named Music who is on the autism spectrum. Sia, who is neurotypical, has been at the forefront of reproval from autism activists and the community at large as she seems to be functioning from a stance of ableism. Her position has saturated the film in allegations of appropriation and misrepresentation.
Pink Sweat$' voice is velvet, his music is smooth, and his vibe feels like a serene summer morning. Born and raised in Philadelphia, David Bowden grew up on gospel music and played the drums for his local church. His soul and natural style have transformed his image as a pop star, further evolving his distinctive R&B style on his official debut album Pink Planet.
The soft rock beat and sweet voice of Tamara Lindeman has been unraveled again in The Weather Station’s poignant fifth studio album, Ignorance. Against piano, strings, and '80s beats, the powerful message of Ignorance is rich and important. Lindeman exhaustively expresses the need for mass reform in the malignant and persistent problem of climate change.
Weezer’s music is known for being saturated in satirical nuances. Rivers Cuomo, lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist for the infamous rock band, has the incredible ability to intertwine desolate emotion with an exuberant backbeat and catchy melody. We’ve seen it in the popular hit “Island in the Sun,” a song about running away from the bleakness of reality into an exultant paradise. Again, throughout their 1996 album Pinkerton, Weezer weaves a depressing tale in songs like “Long Time Sunshine” and “Across the Sea” against an electrifying rock beat. OK Human, released on Jan. 29, does just the same; the album is starkly realistic, providing insight into the emotion of isolation during COVID–19, while maintaining an unforgettable instrumental structure.
Imagine it: the thrashing of the speakers, incandescent lights reflecting against the glazed eyes of fans, sweat saturating the air between the stage and the audience, and a euphoric aura pervading the stadium. That transcendent sensation of being in the presence of live music and exultant people. It all seems completely foreign now.
History and music are indisputably interconnected. Specific decades celebrate distinctive artists and genres. Through the bright and the dark days, music provides us with one thing: a universal language that unites us all. This past decade was categorized by wild ups and downs that propelled our sense of ‘normalcy’ into disarray. However, music temporarily erased the blemishes of our imperfect country by spreading awareness and bonding citizens towards a united cause.
Taylor Swift immersed us in a fairytale that felt truly isolated from the reality of lockdown during the pandemic with the intricate and passionate tales of folklore. The love, defeat, and beauty she conveyed through the album’s forested trail settled a new front for Swift’s music: woodsy, poetic, and mournful. evermore, the sister album to folklore, came as a sigh of relief as it enveloped you in the sylvan picks of guitar strings and flute spells underlining Swift’s raw vocals in the album’s first track, "willow." She has created yet another masterpiece.
Before the 2020 election, an impenetrable cloud of apprehension was cast over the Penn community, Philadelphia, and the nation at large. The diametrically opposed beliefs of rival candidates and members of their respective parties felt oppressive and irrevocable. However, as information becomes publicized regarding contemporary election issues like immigration law, gun control, police brutality, equitable women’s rights, and global climate change, citizens nationwide are ready for to someone to amend the flaws of the current administration. One pivotal way in which the voice of the nation has manifested itself in regards to the 2020 election is through the trailblazing influence of protest art.