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Review: Solar Power is Lorde’s Poetic Reflection on Fame and Growing Up

(10/26/21 6:00am)

Since the release of her sophomore album, “Melodrama,” four years ago, Lorde has been off the grid, retreating to the New Zealand countryside and even as far as Antarctica. This time in solace is reflected clearly, both lyrically and sonically, in her third studio album, “Solar Power.” Lorde has created a poetic and astonishing album with a beautiful –– though occasionally repetitive –– folk-pop sound. 


Review: It’s “Not Too Late” for Lindsey Buckingham

(10/05/21 6:00am)

As of this past Sunday, Lindsey Buckingham is seventy-two years old; however, audience members at any of his recent concerts would agree that he seems to be doing better than ever. On Sept. 3, Buckingham took a moment to address the audience, including me, gathered in Prior Lake, Minnesota for the second concert of his 2021 tour. Buckingham had not provided commentary between songs for most of the concert, allowing his chosen tunes to speak for themselves. Yet, he paused to preface one of the last songs of the set, “Time,” a cover of Michael Merchant’s mournful ballad, by recalling that the song was the first he recorded for his new album, “Lindsey Buckingham,” nearly three years ago. Buckingham stated that the song has “taken on a more visceral meaning” after the “twists and turns” that delayed the album’s release. 


Student Spotlight: Friday Night Rock organizes concerts on campus

(09/28/21 6:05am)

United by a passion for live music, the students who comprise Friday Night Rock bring bands to campus to perform, offering a unique alternative space to Greek Life. Founded in 2004, the student-run organization hosts musicians three times per term, staging free concerts for Dartmouth students in Sarner Underground.


Student Spotlight: TDX band The Dandelions hopes to expand their repertoire and fan base

(09/21/21 6:00am)

Connected by their fraternity and an appreciation for classic rock, Theta Delta Chi’s resident band, The Dandelions, celebrates the catharsis of musicality with their performances. Named after a friend’s infamous dandelion wine, the band comprises Keeks George ‘22 on guitar and vocals, guitarist Peter Chabot ‘22, Cam Guage ‘22 on saxophone and vocals, Nate Koidahl ‘22 on drums and percussion, Connor Morris ‘22 on piano and vocals and bassist TJ Bryan ‘23.




Machine Gun Kelly reaches new depths in 'Tickets to My Downfall'

(05/24/21 6:00am)

Machine Gun Kelly’s newest album transcends his former rap concentration and launches the artist into his newest exploration: pop-punk. Based heavily on popular music of the early 2000s, “Tickets to My Downfall” marks the genre’s return to popularity with a new edge that makes it stronger than before. With over 66 million streams, Kelly has seen more commercial success from this album than any of his previous work, proving his versatility by successfully making the difficult jump to a new genre.


With a new sound, St. Vincent finds a stunning, personal voice in “Daddy’s Home”

(05/20/21 6:05am)

Until recently, Annie Clark’s — who goes by the stage name St. Vincent — most personal album was “Marry Me,” her debut album, which came out in 2007. Since then, she’s leaned more and more into her St. Vincent persona. Even songs that explored her personal struggles, like “Marrow” or “Strange Mercy,” feel detached from the real Annie Clark, distorted through the filter of St. Vincent. For a long time, this strategy worked well, as much of her best work can be found on albums like “Actor,” “Strange Mercy'' and “St. Vincent.” However, the culmination of this style was 2017’s “Masseduction,” a deeply impersonal album that felt sanitized and cold, both lyrically and musically. However, St. Vincent reverses course with her most recent album “Daddy’s Home,” that features much more personal lyrics.


Retrospective on DMX, a talented rapper and a troubled man

(04/26/21 6:00am)

Earl Simmons, better known by his stage name DMX, clawed his way from the streets of Yonkers to hip-hop fame with his guttural voice and signature barking adlibs. He commanded an emotional rawness that few rappers in the early bling era of hip-hop could channel. However, Simmons struggled with his demons — battling drug addiction throughout his career. Following complications from a drug overdose, he died on April 9, at the age of 50.


A tribute to Sophie, hyperpop pioneer and LGBTQ+ icon

(02/08/21 7:05am)

Sophie Xeon, stylized as SOPHIE, was a Grammy-nominated avante garde singer and producer behind some of the biggest names in pop music.  Before the artist’s unexpected death at 34 on Jan. 31, Sophie had pioneered the hyperpop subgenre — a radical blend of trance, electronic and hip hop music —  and collaborated frequently with pop stars like Charli XCX. As a transgender artist, Sophie also inspired many LGBTQ+ listeners and queer musicians.




Review: Tame Impala's 'The Slow Rush' explores temporal themes

(02/20/20 5:00am)

Over the last decade, Kevin Parker has used his solo project Tame Impala to create incredible anthems of loneliness and isolation. Ever since his 2010 single “Solitude is Bliss,” Parker has pushed himself further and further away from society, using his lyrics to present himself as an outsider looking in. Even the album cover of Tame Impala’s 2012 album “Lonerism” depicts people picnicking on the other side of a fence, just out of reach. During the production of his next album “Currents” in 2015, Parker withdrew even further, working meticulously on each track. And while these songs dealt more with interpersonal relationships than any of his previous works, the lyrics made it clear that Parker felt more alone than ever. 


2019 Music in Review: The 10 best albums of the year

(11/19/19 7:05am)

From start to finish, 2019 has been a whirlwind year for music. It has been a year of innovation and excitement in nearly every genre, whether it be hip-hop, folk, pop or any other. While there were dozens of albums that could be recognized for their brilliance this year, I’ve had to narrow it down to only 10 for this list. These 10 albums have all introduced new ideas into their respective genres while still being an enjoyable listen from start to finish. In a way, all of them manage to reflect the issues of the time while still sounding distinctly human. 



Review: Taylor Swift’s new single ‘ME!’ is uninspired but catchy

(05/07/19 6:10am)

With the release of her new single “ME!” this past April 26, Taylor Swift has evolved once again. A bubbly and bright pop song, “ME!” marks Swift’s departure from the mood of her previous album, the inspired and aggressive “reputation,” and her persona’s transformation to the glaringly upbeat and pastel imagery of “ME!” 


Review: ‘Outer Peace’ expresses youth disillusion through music

(04/19/19 6:00am)

This past January, Toro y Moi (also known as Chaz Bear) released his sixth album, “Outer Peace.” Inspired by the electronic dance music of Daft Punk and Wally Badarou’s synthpop, “Outer Peace” is a breezy 10 tracks, spanning just over 30 minutes. As a whole, the album is very easy to listen to — the tracks are generally composed of low-fi, low energy, yet upbeat beats and melodies — and none of them are longer than four minutes. On the surface, Toro y Moi has produced a fun, and at times quirky, album full of hits that can be played at a wide range of events, whether it be at a party that’s about to hit its peak or at a study table that needs a pick-me-up. A deeper dive into the album with closer listening, though, reveals that Toro y Moi has also subtly inputted his own little touches of tongue-in-cheek ironic flair and his sense of pessimistic disillusionment to which millennials and Gen Zers can definitely relate.


Leonard Cohen’s ‘You Want it Darker’ inspires beyond the grave

(02/14/19 7:29am)

We are so concerned with what is new and exciting in music that we often forget the artists we’ve lost, the artists that even from the grave figure prominently in our collective imagination. Big names have died in the last few years — Tom Petty, David Bowie, Aretha Franklin — and it feels like time is running out for the musicians who inspired popular music today. Leonard Cohen is one such artist. Cohen passed away in November 2016 at 83, but still inspires people with his not-quite-music-not-quite-spoken-word pieces years later. 


Review: 'What a Time To Be Alive' considers current politics

(02/23/18 6:30am)

If you’ve been out of the obscure and cultish garage punk loop, you have probably never heard of the indie rock band Superchunk. Formed in 1989 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Superchunk exploded onto the counterculture scene of the early ’90s, producing seven albums over the course of the decade. The group took a brief hiatus soon after the turn of the millennium, eventually producing only two albums between 2002 and 2014. After releasing its tenth album, “I Hate Music” in 2013, Superchunk returned last Friday with the politically charged and triumphantly subversive album “What a Time To Be Alive.”  At a time when punk music seems to be increasingly dwarfed by the allure of hip-hop and electronic music, “What a Time to Be Alive” is a collection of catchy and energetic songs that simultaneously presents a commercially agreeable message and returns to the genre’s roots in counterculture. Moreover, it’s a visceral and sincere reaction to our country’s recent escapades.


Barbary Coast Jazz Ensemble promotes contemporary works

(02/22/18 5:15am)

The Barbary Coast Jazz Ensemble’s winter concert will be Saturday, Feb. 24at 8 p.m. in Spaulding Auditorium at the Hopkins Center of the Arts. Director Taylor Ho Bynum invites eight jazz leaders to play alongside the student musicians: Ken Filiano (acoustic bass), Tomas Fujiwara (drums), Mary Halvorson (guitar), Jim Hobbs (alto and soprano saxophone), Ingrid Laubrock (tenor saxophone), Bill Lowe (trombone and tuba), Tomeka Reid (cello), and Stomu Takeishi (electric bass guitar). The concert will feature an array of contemporary music, including Bynum’s own compositions.




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