After a few delays, pop and rap superstar Drake released his eighth solo studio album “For All The Dogs” on Oct. 6. The album features a long and diverse list of collaborators including 21 Savage, SZA, Chief Keef and Yeat. With 23 tracks clocking in at 84 minutes, the album is much longer than many of his contemporaries’ projects. But apart from a few standout tracks, the album fails to be an inspired or cohesive project, squandering the talent of its mega roster of producers and collaborators to become largely superfluous streaming bait.
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The movie “Bottoms” was released in theaters on Aug. 25, but has since generated an uproar of commentary — and it’s easy to see why. The movie, made by the producers of “Cocaine Bear” and “Pitch Perfect,” does not fit accurately into one genre, and consists of characters and storylines that are underdeveloped. While this movie teases at the promise of portraying a believable lesbian relationship with a compelling storyline, “Bottoms” remains, aptly, at the bottom of my watch list.
On Friday, Oct. 6, local veteran artist Joan Feierabend’s exhibition “Multitudes” will open at the AVA Gallery and Art Center in Lebanon in tandem with the ongoing celebration of AVA’s 50th anniversary.
Friday, Oct. 6
A few weeks ago, I finally made the commitment that most moviegoers had made months before me: I sat down to watch “Oppenheimer” in theaters. When the credits rolled, I was mesmerized. Its stunning visuals and masterful storytelling transfixed me at every turn. Despite this, I couldn’t say that the movie’s quality surprised me. Nearly everyone I knew had seen it by the time I did and had given it equally effusive praise.
At the end of the second week of classes, with students settling in and coursework picking up, Programming Board hosted Fallapalooza: a music concert held at Gold Coast Lawn on Friday, Sept. 22. This year’s concert featured J. Maya as the opener and Claire Rosinkranz as the headliner.
Friday, Sept. 29
Kenneth Branagh’s latest film, an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s best-selling detective, Hercule Poirot, premiered last week. Movies and television series featuring Poirot more often than not fail to live up to the greatness of Christie’s novels featuring Poirot’s detective work. I went into “A Haunting in Venice” with low expectations but left the theater pleasantly surprised.
Pop star Doja Cat has just released her fourth studio album “Scarlet,” a marked departure from her previous feminine aesthetic into a darker, punk-inspired style. Doja told Variety, “I know that I’ve done a lot of pink and soft things, a lot of pop and glittery sounds … but for this next era, I’m going in a more masculine direction.” With her new album, Doja is still Doja at heart — she once again showcases her depth and breadth as a vocal performer by effortlessly switching between singing and rapping. However, “Scarlet” thematically over-promises and under delivers, suffering from a lack of features and its 51 minute runtime that overstays its welcome.
Telluride at Dartmouth just wrapped up on Thursday after premiering six new films. The festival opened on Sept. 14 with a showing of Matthew Heineman’s latest documentary “American Symphony.” In the following days, the festival featured Alexander Payne’s New England dramedy “The Holdovers,”the Mads Mikkelsen-led epic “The Promised Land,” the Finnish comedy “Fallen Leaves,” 2023 Palme d’Or winner “Anatomy of a Fall” and — in my opinion — the most riveting film of the lot, Yorgos Lanthimos’s “Poor Things.”
Friday, Sept. 22
Review: Netflix’s ‘You’re So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah’ is a Cliche But Endearing Look at Growing Up
I grew up religiously watching coming-of-age movies. From classics like “The Breakfast Club” to more recent hits like “Lady Bird,” I believe that coming-of-age movies have a special power. These movies remind us of the universality of growing up by tackling diverse themes of family, friendship, romance and more. While the transition to adulthood is a personal process influenced by each teenager’s unique circumstances, the very concept of growing up transcends the boundaries of culture and religion: Growing up is hard, but you are not alone.
“I am light as a feather and as stiff as a board,” sings 20-year old Olivia Rodrigo in the first line of her long-anticipated sophomore album, “GUTS,” released on Sept. 8. This familiar phrase serves as a fitting introduction to the album’s primary themes: grappling with one’s own sense of self while dealing with society’s relentless expectations. “GUTS” tells the story of a teenage girl on the brink of adulthood uncovering the distinct realities of girlhood and womanhood through the lenses of heartbreak, fame and self-doubt.
Popular music has long embraced brevity, and many artists are now focusing on short, attention-grabbing snippets that captivate listeners in hopes of virality. The top charts have recently favored shorter, radio-friendly songs, typically lasting around three to four minutes. This bias initially became prevalent because in the past, shorter songs catered to ad requirements of radio DJs, which in turn led to greater chart success. However, even as the relevance of radio has faded and radio DJ limitations have disappeared, songs have still become increasingly shorter.
Coming to college, many students look for a way to fit in at their new home. Some students find that sense of community through their shared love of singing and performance. This weekend, these a cappella organizations will hold auditions for a new cohort of students to perform within their ranks.
Friday, Sept. 15
Reneé Rapp’s new album “Snow Angel,” released Aug. 18, marks yet another Broadway artist moving into the pop genre. While this phenomenon may seem like a recent trend, with the notable examples of Sutton Foster, Ben Platt and Olivia Rodrigo, the intersection between Broadway and pop has been common throughout music history. Pop artists often perform on Broadway, and musical theater performers frequently produce albums and become touring artists.
“I finally quit smokin’ cigarettes” is how Oklahoma singer-songwriter Zach Bryan begins “Jake’s Piano – Long Island” — the ninth track of his self-titled fourth album. When I first listened to “Zach Bryan,” this lyric struck me as strange. After all, the album’s cover features a lone Bryan smoking a cigarette over a black background. In retrospect, I can’t help but admire this apparent contrast. It summarizes the rare quality that makes “Zach Bryan” a special record: its author’s unabashed vulnerability.
In addition to the numerous student bands, student DJs make sure that music is always pumping throughout campus. DJ culture on campus draws on the efforts of individual DJs, collectives and clubs introducing students to DJing. Disc jockeys on campus said the College’s music scene depends on the craft of student performers and their individual styles. Student DJ Spencer Watson ’25, whose DJ name is Spence, said that the DJ community on campus is stylistically diverse.
This article is featured in the 2023 Freshman special issue.