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CD: The Fame Monster

Reviewed by Patricia Chavarria
18, Cesar Chavez Continuation HS (Compton)

Passionate, charismatic and incredibly insane are some of the many words to describe Lady Gaga and her second album, The Fame Monster. With eight thrilling songs, The Fame Monster will keep you singing and dancing all through the night.

“Bad Romance” is the first song on the album. “I want your ugly/ I want your disease/ I want your everything/ As long as it’s free” are just some of the lyrics that left me speechless. I saw a Lady Gaga interview on TV and she said the song is about her strong feelings toward a guy. She wants all of him, even the ugliest parts that he thinks no one wants. Unlike most artists, Lady Gaga dares to sing about love in a dark and gruesome way, which I love.

My second favorite song on the album is “Monster.” With Lady Gaga’s beautiful voice and laughter in the beginning, you can quickly fall in love with this song. She sings, “He ate my heart then he ate my brain/…That boy is a monster/ M-m-m-monster.” I love how the song sounds retro. It has a funky beat that a model could strut to at a fashion show.

Eight songs seems too few for an album. But I can assure you The Fame Monster is worth buying. There are other great songs like “Alejandro,” “Speechless” and “Telephone” with Beyoncé.  I love Lady Gaga’s soft and soothing voice—especially when she sings in French and Spanish. Lady Gaga is known for her outrageous wardrobe, but she should really be known for her oustanding music.

CD: Plans

Reviewed by Samantha Lam
18, International Polytechnic HS (Pomona)

I have never been a Death Cab for Cutie fan, especially because of lead singer Ben Gibbard and his whiny, girly voice. A friend of mine thought I was insane for not liking his favorite band and bugged me until I finally listened to Plans.

The album’s biggest hit, “I Will Follow You Into The Dark,” is the song I have the biggest problem with. When I heard the first line, “Love of mine, someday you will die,” my immediate thought was, “Thanks man, that’s something I wanna hear.” As I kept listening, I thought some lyrics seemed overly fantasized, like “I will follow you into the dark.” To me it would be a lot more affectionate if someone rescued me from the dark, not joined me.

“Summer Skin” is almost as bad. It’s about a summer love that drifts off as the seasons change and each person grows. The pain of the lost relationship was beautifully described: “I knew your heart I couldn’t win/ ‘Cause the season’s change was a conduit/ And we’d left our love in our summer skin.” Yet the lyrics fell short when they were combined with the monotonous beat and Gibbard’s high-pitched singing.

Plans can be accurately described by the name of one of its tracks: “Different Names for the Same Thing.”  Nearly every song is about heartache or searching for something but never finding it.
While my friend thought Plans was Death Cab’s best, I learned that my first impression was right: I do not like Death Cab for Cutie.

CD: Manners

Reviewed by Natasha Doctor
17, International Polytechnic HS

Passion Pit’s debut album Manners has been on repeat on my iPod for months now. I absolutely love it. There’s something about frontman Michael Angelakos’s falsetto and the synth pop beats that is so refreshing, especially in this current music scene where all we hear is Jamie Foxx blaming it on the alcohol or Lady Gaga wanting to take a ride on a disco stick.

Passion Pit plays the type of music that makes you want to get up and dance, even for people like me who can’t dance at all. “Little Secrets,” my favorite song on the album, is the perfect song to drive to with the windows rolled down, the wind blowing through my hair and me singing at the top of my lungs. “But I feel alive and I feel it in me/ up and up, I keep on climbing/ higher and higher and higher!” How could you not feel pumped?

On the slower song “Swimming In the Flood,” Angelakos’s shrill voice sends chills down my spine as high-pitched bells ding in the background. Despite the slower pace and the creepiness, “Swimming In the Flood” still reflects that same unique indie pop vibe as popular songs such as “Sleepyhead,” which was featured in a Palm Pixi commercial.

What are you waiting for? Turn off the radio, stop watching MTV, get this album and be ready to dance to your new favorite band.