By Gabby Couter, Year 11
The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding
A Deeper Understanding is the 4th studio album from the War on Drugs, who have, up until this point, forged a very niche sound of folk rock, psychedelic rock, and crowd rock, especially seen of their last album ‘Lost in the Dream’, and although I did not mind this album, it has never really wowed me or really impressed me, I’ve only really enjoyed their music, not loved it. The lyrics on A Deeper Understanding are surprisingly, quite good. There are moments where the instrumentals are striped back and the focus is put on the lyrics, which was really interesting and really enjoyable. Yet again, similar to their previous albums, there were moments when the lyrics were too broad or clique or vague, which didn’t complement the abstract theme of their songs. Throughout this album, I felt like the vocals were very weak and whispery, making the songs quite boring. The final song, You Don’t Have to Go, was probably the most emotive song, where there seems to be some expression in front man Adam Granduciel’s lyrics matches with the rich and righteous piano chord progression, yet it was a bit too late, considering it was the end of the album. In the majority of the album, there is very nice instrumentation with soft, natural sound that were sweet and refreshing. The song Pain and Holding On are the high points of the album because they have these great instrumentation, it only when they try to turn things down to a more mellow sound, where they really let me down. They rely too much of Adam’s balladry and honestly, it gets quite boring considering his vocals aren’t all that good. I think that overall, this album really shows that The War of Drugs has an inability to work outside their comfort zone as they recycle ideas and don’t show much progression from their previous albums.
Taylor Swift – Look What You Made Me Do
This song is just ok. It’s a change of pace for Taylor, it’s more minimal, sleek, and low key than anything she has released before, which I don’t mind, it’s cool and refreshing. Yet, the hook it really weak, and although she took it from ‘Too Sexy’, she makes is less catchy and boring. A lot of the vocal trick and gimmicks are silly and kinda immature, especially the whole ‘The Old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now’ (although it did make a good meme), and were really cringey. Although it’s most probable, I’m really hoping this isn’t the direction that Taylor takes her next album because I really don’t think it suits her. Please bring the Old Taylor back.
Taylor Swift – …Ready for It?
This song, well, it’s terrible. I get that Taylor Swift is trying to change and develop her sound, but so far, she isn’t doing it too well. This song, as predicted, has a very heavy trap beat, with song weird, distorted bassline at the beginning of the song, which truthfully, reminded me of Kanye. Taylor is ‘talk-singing’ throughout the song through really generic, boring lyrics. I think that this song is trying to squeeze all ‘top-40’ sounds into one song, making it un-memorable and not special in the slightest.
One From the Archives (thanks Mr Scali for the name J)
The Smiths – Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want
Although less than two minutes long, this song is extremely beautiful and perfectly minimal. There are no lavish sounds or huge instrumentals, Morrissey leaves his vocals to carry this song, which he does very successfully. This song is extremely delicate with little flare in the vocals or in the instrumentals, only really being seen in the almost alien like mandolin at the conclusion of the song. The song brilliantly uses very quiet, gentle guitar strums to heighten the lyrics, rather than overpowering them. There’s no ramp up and no ramp down to the song, just 2 minutes of complete, pure depression, simple and easy. This is the type of song which never seems to get old, and I think that it’s because it is so real. It is just true sadness and emotion in a song, making it honestly, the perfect song.