ARTPOP: Reviewed

An apt gendered review of music's once most controversial pop icons. Lady Gaga's ARTPOP involves sex, synth and subtlety, read what Sarah Dickins and Roddy McGlynn thought about it…

This Charming Band

Stop me, oh-oh-oh stop me; stop me if you think that you’ve heard this one before. And I am not, of course, pretending that the following is original – my preschool musical wisdom comes about seventeen decades after initial acclaim; but the Smiths are a bit great. Like, more than a bit great. Though widely known of within the UK, many have relegated this Manchester-formed band to the pile of banal fogey-type indie rock. Today, they occasionally emerge from a dad/uncle/family friend’s pristine vinyl collection, as Maurice (or whoever) yodels on about misery for three minutes. Worse yet are groups of superkool, hip and trendy yoots, having recently discovered Vans and rollies, who ya know, just love the Smiths and proudly know (almost) all of the lyrics to ‘Cemetery Gates’. Hooray.

Album Review: Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes

The first time I listened this album, I was still at home, driving around town with my best friend the day before he left for college. I would soon fly across the ocean. We were in my dusty car, driving down a wide, empty highway that traced though miles and miles of cornfields. It was over one hundred degrees outside and my shoulders were bare, soaking in the sun that pierced through my car window; my sunglasses were on. This mellow, sublime album was the perfect anthem for cruising on a hot Alabama afternoon, with just enough tinge of sadness to make the inevitable goodbyes that were fast approaching even more poignant.