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CD: Vows

Reviewed by Brittany Montaño
14, St. Anthony HS (Long Beach)

While watching the “Somebody That I Used to Know” video, YouTube recommended a video I might like by Kimbra, the New Zealand pop star who is featured in Gotye’s song. I watched the “Good Intent” video and instantly fell in love with Kimbra’s voice. I was mesmerized by her vocal range and her ability to fuse modern pop, a classic voice like country singer Patsy Cline, and R&B. This album is so different from the repetitive pop songs that I hear on the radio. 

Whenever “Cameo Lover” plays on my iPod, I always get excited, like the feeling you get when you’re in the car and all your friends start singing to the song on the radio. The combination of trumpets, techno and the tambourine is fresh. I find myself prancing around the house to the beat, singing “Love is like a silhouette of dreams/ So open up your eyes, open, open.” 

Kimbra’s songs are poetic. In “Old Flame” she sings, “But I flicker and sway/ Still dancing on the aftertaste/ I remember gold days.” This song talks about how at times you may feel down. It makes me feel like I’m not the only who feels that way. 

On the deluxe version of Vows there is a bonus song called “Warrior” that features A-Trak and Mark Foster of Foster the People. When I saw the video, I thought it was hilarious. There is a boxing match in which Mexican fighters are dueling, as Kimbra, A-Trak and Mark Foster sing. It’s a club song that makes you want to start dancing. 

Vows has songs that will make you cry, laugh or start dancing. This album is my favorite. 

CD: Open Invitation

Reviewed by Zzzzah-Zzaz Burnley
16, King Drew Medical Magnet HS

Open Invitation ends a five-year gap between albums for Tyrese, the R&B singer and actor. He’s best known for the 2001 movie Baby Boy and more recently he’s been in Legion and Fast Five. Tyrese said in an interview, “I didn’t have an album full of songs and music that I could relate to and because money was not the issue or motivation, I really did it when I felt like it was the time to.” His music is heartfelt and passionate. I like his music because his lyrics tell stories, which I assume are from experiences he’s had. 

Open Invitation has both slow songs and faster songs. I bought this CD because I loved his hit single “Stay,” which is a slow song about him confessing his wrongs in a relationship. “Even though I messed up, oh, I messed up/ You took good care, always took care of me/ Baby would you just stay.” 

The rest of the album is just as good. “Best of Me” is about another girl Tyrese was crazy about. “And if I had to do it again I’d still choose you/ You bring out the best in me, cause you are the best baby.” I wish Tyrese was singing this to me because it’s so romantic. 

I can play this album all day because I feel a connection to his lyrics. His album also contains hardly any profanity. This is a CD that you don’t have to turn down when your mom walks into the room. It’s a great album. If you don’t believe me, go get it. I promise, you won’t regret it.

CD: The Night the Sun Came Up

Reviewed by Jennifer Gonzales-Romero
19, University of La Verne

I’ve been hooked on Dev’s music since I heard a leaked version of her album The Night the Sun Came Up on YouTube last summer. With her sweet yet seductive voice, sassy lyrics and electro-pop beats, this is the only album I’ve listened to that I actually like every song.

On songs like “In My Trunk” and “Lightspeed” Dev gives us a taste of her sassiness. “By the time you on it, I’ll be off it/ By the time you get it, I’ll be done wit’ it/ You know that we be going lightspeed ahead/ Everybody told me I should slow down/ But instead all I could do was take it lightspeed,” she sings on “Lightspeed.” I like her lyrics because they always make me feel like a badass when I sing them. 

Then on songs like “Kiss My Lips” and “Breathe,” Dev sings to men about how she wants them to treat her. The straightforwardness in her lyrics motivates me to be more comfortabe talking to guys about my feelings for them. “Get your hand off my hip and kiss my lips, kiss my lips, kiss me all over/ Are you gonna’ take that risk, take that risk/ Cuz we’re only getting older,” she sings in “Kiss My Lips.” 

I also like “Naked.” Dev and Enrique Iglesias sing about wanting to be together even if everybody else doesn’t want them to. This song reminds me of someone I really want to be with. 

I don’t know what it is about Dev’s voice but combined with her great lyrics, I just can’t seem to get enough of her music.