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CD: Femme Fatale

Reviewed by Victor Beteta, 17, University HS

I was pulled into Britney Spears’ new CD, Femme Fatale, the moment the first beat dropped on the first song, “Till the World Ends.” The track is typical of the album, which is very electronic and makes you want to get up and dance.

I love how her sound has changed from pop to electronic. I can imagine the songs being played at clubs. The album’s first few songs sound like they’re going to be hits, including “Hold It Against Me,” the song that got me to buy the album. My favorite is “Inside Out”—a break-up song about how she knows the relationship is going to end but they spend a last night together. “Won’t you give me something to remember/ Baby shut your mouth and turn me inside out/ Even though we couldn’t last forever/ You know what I want right now/ Hit me one more time it’s so amazing.”

The lyrics make you feel like she’s flirting with you and inviting you to join her adventures, which could be dangerous. But you don’t mind and follow her into the darkness. The album is filled with fun and sexy songs mostly about having a good time, and not caring about what is going to happen the next morning.

The one song I disliked was “Big Fat Bass” featuring It’s annoying because through most of the song all Britney says is something about being a treble and you should be the bass.

A femme fatale is a mysterious and seductive woman who drives men crazy. And I think Britney really deserves that title. Her album drives you crazy and leaves you wanting more.

CD: The Age of Adz

Reviewed by Lily Clark, 17, Immaculate Heart HS

When I first heard Sufjan Stevens, he was embarking on a massive project: an album for every state in America. His technically precise, chamber-folk songs about Michigan and Illinois were mesmerizing. He played the saxophone, flute and oboe, while still maintaining an indie folk sound.

But on Stevens’ latest album, The Age of Adz, he favors a darker, more muddled narrative based on the work of the schizophrenic artist, Royal Robertson. The result is an album unlike anything I’ve heard before, as he pairs troubled lyrics with a disjointed, anarchic version of his signature chamber-folk sound.

Stevens sings about suicide, betrayal and space ships, all prominent themes in Robertson’s life and art. On the 25-minute track, “Impossible Soul,” Stevens sings, “Woman, tell me what you want/ And I’ll calm down without bleeding out/ With my broken heart that you stabbed for an hour.”

Stevens has addressed these dark themes in the past, but on The Age of Adz he embodies Robertson’s schizophrenia through nonlinear, repetitive lyrics containing biblical references. In songs such as “Get Real Get Right,” Stevens sings, “Get real, get right with the Lord” nine times. Nevertheless, the song does not feel weighted by religious allusions.

It took a few listens to appreciate the unpredictability of The Age of Adz. Now I can’t stop playing “Vesuvius” and “Get Real Get Right,” which reflect Robertson’s pain and address death, insecurity and shame. Although stylistically distinct from Stevens’ past work, The Age of Adz is one of my favorite albums.


CD: The Script

Reviewed by Kiera Peltz, 17, CHAMPS (Van Nuys)

Last year I heard a song on the radio that I liked. It was an upbeat alternative rock song with meaningful words. When I got home, I looked up the lyrics and played it on YouTube constantly. The song, “Breakeven,” by The Script, became one of my favorites because it described breakups perfectly.

After seeing The Script in concert, I found the band’s first album, conveniently called The Script, online. The songs, which are about love and relationships, have a pop sound with an edge of rock. I fell in love with every song, especially “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” and “If You See Kay.” Almost all of the songs tell a story. “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” is about a man who recently broke up with his girlfriend and wants her back. When frontman Danny O’Donoghue sings, “’Cause if one day you wake up and find that you’re missing me/ And your heart starts to wonder where on this earth I could be/ Thinking maybe you’ll come back here to the place that we’d meet” I dream that one day a guy would wait forever for me.

“Breakeven” is still one of my favorite songs. Whenever it comes on the radio, I’m instantly put in a better mood. When O’Donoghue sings, “when a heart breaks, no it don’t break even,” I can instantly relate.

One thing I didn’t like was that a few songs have rap verses in the middle. While the mellow, thoughtful lyrics make up for the rap, I’m not a rap fan. Still, anyone who enjoys pop music with catchy lyrics and a strong beat will love The Script!