Reviewed by Tyler Bradshaw
16, Redondo Union HS
When I heard Coldplay was releasing its fifth album, Mylo Xyloto, I was excited. I didn’t like some of the songs that were more instrumental, but I’ve played the rest of the album so many times that I know the lyrics word for word.
Chris Martin’s gentle voice, the strum of the acoustic guitar and the sweet words make “Us Against the World” my favorite song on the album. “Through chaos as it swirls/ It’s us against the world.” When I listen to this song I imagine that I am sitting around a campfire with my closest friends.
The shorter song “U.F.O.” tells of a lost soul who is following the crowd and needs guidance. The song begins with Martin’s soft voice saying, “Lord, I don’t know which way I am going/ Which way the river gonna flow.” This song makes me not want to follow the crowd because the speaker sounds sad and distressed.
“Princess of China,” featuring Rihanna, adds a touch of pop to Coldplay’s slow rock. I was a fan of Rihanna before. I didn’t know she was on this song so when I heard her voice I thought, “This is going to be a great song,” and it was. The song tells of a princess who runs away and she regrets not being able to have a king. They use the words “Once upon a time,” which add a fairytale feel to it.
The acoustic guitar makes it easy to listen to the whole album. If you like slow songs, Mylo Xyloto will be a keeper.
Reviewed by Jazmine Mendoza
16, Chavez Learning Academies (San Fernando)
She and Him is a collaboration between the star of TV’s New Girl, Zooey Deschanel, and musician M. Ward. The combination of Ward’s acoustic guitar and Deschanel’s cute and simple lyrics creates a quirky duo that sounds like they’re from the 60s. After listening to their second album, Volume Two, I feel like they are my best friends who give great advice and tell interesting stories.
On “Lingering Still” I feel like I’m hanging out with Deschanel and we’re talking about boys. On “In the Sun” when Deschanel sings, “It’s OK (it’s OK) / We all get the slip sometimes every day/ I’ll just keep it to myself in the sun,” I feel like she’s not crying about her problems, just hoping for the best, and I can relate to that. I try to stay positive at all times, especially when things are bad.
In “Gonna Get Along Without You Now,” she sings about how she has lost her crush but she knows she’ll find new love. For someone like me, who always has a crush, it’s a reminder that they are just crushes and I’ll soon be over them. “Gonna find somebody that’s twice as cute/ ‘Cause I didn’t like you anyhow/ You told everybody that we were friends/ But this is where our friendship ends.” That’s advice that a lot of guys and girls (including me) need to tell ourselves every time a crush doesn’t work out.
This whole album is great! Listening to the songs on a bad day cheers me up and reminds me of what great friends are like.
Reviewed by Miguel Molina
17, Film & Theatre Arts Charter HS
I heard about The Velvet Underground when I read that The Strokes said their music was influenced by them. I listened to them on YouTube and eventually heard all their songs. My favorite album is Loaded, which was released in 1970.
One of my favorite songs is “Sweet Jane,” which has a repetitive guitar part I will never get tired of. Lou Reed sings that Jack is in his corset, clothing that makes a woman look thinner, and Jane is in her vest. He says, “And me I am in a rock n’ roll band” with an attitude that makes him seem fun compared to Jack and Jane.
Another song I really like is “Rock And Roll,” which describes the life of a girl named Jenny. There is nothing fun in her life, but one morning she turns on the radio and is surprised that it’s playing rock and roll music and she starts dancing. I really like the way Reed says “fine fine music” in a high-pitched voice he can’t hit. He is not much of a singer, but he puts a lot of emotion into his songs.
“Who Loves the Sun” is sung by guitarist Doug Yule. His voice is different from Reed’s raw, rough voice. He sounds sentimental and hits every note perfectly. There is a great “ba ba ba” in the background that goes well with Yule’s singing. I like the nature references in the song like, “Who loves the rain/ Who cares that it makes flowers/ Who cares that it makes showers/ Since you broke my heart.”
The Velvet Underground shows that you do not have to over-complicate music to create a masterpiece. Loaded is full of songs that will keep you singing.