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Tag Archives: iTunes

The Hollow Pastiche of Beyoncé’s Genius: A Reviéw

13 Dec

BEYONCE

The songs on Beyoncé’s fifth studio album, BEYONCÉ, are fine. They’re good songs that sound like the music Beyoncé makes, which is what people like to listen to. The music on the album is whatever and absolutely besides the point because OH MY GOD BEY JUST BROUGHT THE INTERNET TO A GRINDING HALT. Beyoncé unexpectedly dropping a 14-song album and the 17 corresponding music videos plus credits exclusively on iTunes—and the ensuing collective Internet swoon—makes Beyoncé pop culture’s truest celebrity and genius. But the mega-stardom and brilliance of Beyoncé and her album succeeds either because of, or in spite of her “visual album” presenting a form of pastiche as devoid of substantive value as Upworthy, and not even half as inspired.

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OH MY GOD BEYONCÉ JUST DROPPED A NEW ALBUM ON ITUNES

13 Dec

Pictured: The Queen, just moments after I coated my nether regions in a thick layer of urine.

Guys. GUYS. GUYYYYYSSSSSSSSSSS.

The rumors are true. Beyoncé just dropped a new album on iTunes and didn’t even tell anyone, not even Blue Ivy.

This is basically our generation’s Pearl Harbor, except we’re excited about it, and even the president didn’t know it was going to happen.

Beyoncé’s fifth studio album, complete with complementary videos for literally every song, plus a bonus video, means that this is the most visual material Beyoncé has supplied since posing for the cover of Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Edition. According to the hastily scrawled iTunes Editors’ Notes, the album is “a provocative, unguarded artistic statement–revealing a side of the icon previously unknown to fans and cementing her status as a pop visionary.”

Not like we needed to study for finals or anything.

Boyfriend’s Upcoming Mix Tape to Reveal “Darker, Sensitive” Side

22 Mar
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A cassette, intended for just such mixtapes, but utterly useless since Brennan was seven.

JOLIET — Matt Brennan has announced details for the release of his second mix tape for Stefanie Kirkpatrick, Brennan’s girlfriend of seven months. According to sources close to Brennan’s decision-making process, the new mix CD will feature approximately 19 songs carefully culled from Brennan’s iTunes collection to exhibit a “darker and more sensitive side” of the local analytics manager to Kirkpatrick.

The mix tape, self-produced by Brennan and complete with album art of an original collage of photographs of the couple and detailed liner notes, is tentatively titled Mix for Stefanie #2 and set for release next month. According to Brennan, the mix tape will be available for a limited time only on compact disc, or flash drive “if, you know, that would make Stefanie’s life easier.”

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Album Review: Extreme Measures’ “Extremities”

6 Sep

It's rumored that Sherman Ave's own Ross Packingham was the leg model for the album cover

Some say that Radiohead’s Kid A was the most important album of a generation. Other music aficionados declare that the Beatles were the best band or that Sam Cooke was the best singer modern music ever saw. These debates have raged for years and will continue far into the future, but nobody doubts that all of the aforementioned artists look and sound like tone-deaf taintfaced 12-year-olds playing “Louie, Louie” at a midday suburban block party when compared to the debut album Extremities by the renowned a cappella group Extreme Measures.

Founded four years ago by Dan de la Torre, Extreme Measures follows in a long line of successful, talented, and unbelievably peppy a cappella groups here in Evanston ever since the Northwestern University School of Music dean Peter “That dude who won’t stop belting Journey covers in Burger King at 1 am each Saturday” Lutkin popularized a cappella in America with the founding of the A Cappella Choir in 1906. Extremities is the exquisitely angelic culmination of a year of recording by the group (with production by Ben Lieberman), and is the greatest thing that my ears have had the good fortune to hear since “Born to Run” on vinyl. Featuring covers of acclaimed artists like OneRepublic, Gavin DeGraw, Yellowcard, Christina Aguilera, and the Backstreet Boys, Extremities has the power to transport you to a wondrously magical time in your life — right around 6th grade — and keep you there until the album finally ends, an experience you won’t soon forget.

The enchantment starts right from the beginning.

There are certain moments that occur right at the opening of truly great music: the rimshot before Dylan launches into “Like a Rolling Stone;” the riff of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” that channeled every conceivable emotion of a generation; and that moment when the beat finally drops in Beethoven’s 5th Symphony all immediately come to mind. But the opening line of Extremities, a cover of Yellowcard’s “Breathing,” is so stunning that it immediately warrants consideration as one of the best album-openers of all time. In the first few bars, Extreme Measures already establish themselves as the most illustrious a cappella group in America since four insufferable pricks from Yale first donned tuxedos and formed the Whiffenpoofs — who incidentally only have the second-most obnoxious name among a cappella groups at Yale.

But what makes this album so bewitchingly radiant is the caliber of the rest of the tracks furnished by Extreme Measures. Stunning and sublime songs like “Brand New You,” “I Don’t Want to Be,” and “The Call” all exhibit more pop sensibilities than if Hall & Oates got together with Huey Lewis to cover Rihanna’s discography. Each of the ten songs are probably catchier than the hypothetical musical lovechild of Michael Jackson and Will Schuester, and any random song you select will display more technical virtuosity in a three-minute auditory frenzy of delightful harmonies and resplendent melodies than John Coltrane could ever hope to produce in an entire gig. The vocal percussion is ravishing, production on the album is supurb, and the vocals mesh in only the most tantalizingly mesmeric combinations that make your heart (and groin) go pitter-patter.

Clearly, upon my first listen of Extremities I experienced a slight tingle in a particular extremity of my own. But multiple listens of the album can prove invaluable, providing a deeper sense of the true meanings behind Extreme Measures chipper vocals. In “The Voice Within,” for instance, the line “dum dum dmmmmmmm da da” subtly hints at a hidden darkness lurking in the hearts of man, which we all feebly try to cover up by surrounding ourselves with material goods and unsubstantial romance, while in “Ignorance” the interplay between lyrics about how much Hayley Williams likes change and more incomprehensible lines like “sjaw dot du chaut jot sjaw dot du chaut jot” evoke the inner turmoil that can arise in your soul when former loved ones start treating you like a stranger.

When the album comes to a close with “Sound of Silence,” you will probably be left with only your thoughts about the astounding beauty you just experience and a pool of your own urine — an unfortunate side-effect of aural pleasure as powerful as that produced by Extremities. Luckily, this predicament can easily be cured by purchasing more copies of the album. Scientific studies have already determined that owning a copy of Extreme Measures’ Extremities will make you five times cooler, six times more intelligent, and last at least 12.78 minutes longer in bed.

OVERALL RATING: Drip drip drop there goes an eargasm

Extremities by Extreme Measures can be purchased from iTunes HERE.