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CD: Asleep In The Bread Aisle

Reviewed by Francisco Sandoval
17, Nogales HS (La Puente)

Asher Roth is a new rapper who hip-hop magazine XXL calls a carbon copy of Eminem, because they have a similar sound and both are white. However, I strongly disagree. Roth’s debut album, Asleep in the Bread Aisle, clearly sets him apart from Eminem.

Roth raps about growing up in suburbia and going to college. Eminem was a lot more explicit; for instance he jokingly rapped about murdering his ex-wife, and he grew up in the ghettos of Detroit.
Roth’s first single, “I Love College,” is a fun, slow-paced song about Roth’s time in college. “That party last night was awfully crazy/ I wish we taped it.” You will not find any violent lyrics like in an Eminem song. Two other fun songs are, “She Don’t Wanna Man” and “Lark On My Go-Kart.”

“His Dream” is the deepest song on the album. It’s about Roth following in the footsteps of his father by becoming a writer. His father did not accomplish his dream but Roth did, “His dream is my dream/ my dream is his dream.” There are singers singing beautifully in the background and a light drum beat, adding to the emotional depth of the song.

Roth clearly defines himself with his debut album. He has a lot more fun with topics from partying to driving go-karts and comes from a different background.

CD: Don’t Forget

Reviewed by Chianne Jolly, 13, Luther Burbank MS

As a huge Demi Lovato fan I listen to her debut album, Don’t Forget, all the time. I have been a fan since her first Disney Channel movie, Camp Rock. Now she has her own Disney show, Sunny with a Chance.

With this album Lovato, 17, sings her heart out. I like her because she is an incredible singer. She can take any song and make it so you sing it over and over again.

The songs on Don’t Forget are upbeat and fun. Almost every song makes me want to dance. She has just one slow ballad, “Don’t Forget,” which is good but not great. I think she should stick to the upbeat songs.

I love what her songs are about. They say things every girl should know. The song “Gonna Get Caught” means if the guy cheats he’s not worth it. The song “Don’t Forget” talks about how you don’t forget your first love. In “Trainwreck” she sings about how life isn’t perfect but when you find that special guy, it’s the closest you’ll ever get.
The best song is “Party.” I pick up my hairbrush and sing to it while dancing. “Hold on tight/ it’s a crazy night/ get your party on/ so we’ll scream it out loud.” I like songs that say just have fun. They make me want to get my friends and have a good time.

Other good songs are “Get Back,” which is a song you can rock to, and “La La Land,” about how people say that she should be afraid of losing everything. I can’t wait to buy her new album, Here We Go Again, which is in stores now.

CD: Far

Reviewed by Emily Clarke, 16, Palisades Charter HS

Regina Spektor’s bird-like voice makes her songs instantly recognizable. On her new album, Far, Spektor explores layers of sound beyond her voice, piano and guitar, adding to the complexity of some songs. Far is quickly becoming my favorite album of hers, with songs I’ve already listened to as many times as I’ve reread the Harry Potter books. They don’t get old.

Each song adapts Spektor’s freewheeling singing and lyrical imagery in different ways. “Eet” has the vocal leaps heard in “Fidelity,” the biggest hit from her previous album (“It breaks my hea-ah-ah-ah-art …”). “Blue Lips” is another one of my favorites, a lyrical assault of feeling that starts soft before beating into a shudder as Spektor sings, “And all the gods and all the worlds / Began colliding on a backdrop of blue/ Blue lips, blue veins.”

One of the awesome things about Spektor songs is how open to interpretation they are. In “Laughing With,” she sings, “No one’s laughing at God when they’re saying their goodbyes/ But God can be funny/ At a cocktail party when listening to a good God-themed joke,” and ends, “No one’s laughing at God/ We’re all laughing with God.” To me, she’s singing about how spirituality is human.

The album’s few weak spots come when she relies too much on clapping or electric guitar. Thanks to YouTube, I first heard “Folding Chair” with just the piano and her singing. In the album version, the extra instrumentation makes a beautiful song sound overdone. That said, I’ve still played the song over and over again. Far is an interesting, gorgeous album, definitely worth a listen … or 400.