Summer Music Reviews: 2018


Lilly Drury, Charlie Shattock, and John Kuhns

Sweetener Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande’s much anticipated album Sweetener proved to be a huge letdown with choppy beats and subpar lyrics with no real meaning behind them. In her song Breathin, written about her anxiety, you hear possibly the most dull and unhelpful advice you could get, “Just keep breathin and breathin and breathin”. You may find yourself listening to the album and not realizing if the song had ended since they all sound very similar. The much anticipated album has seemingly disappointed some of her fans, saying that they were hoping for a song dedicated to the Manchester Attack. While some speculated that “Get Well Soon” is about the victims, but the song doesn’t get very deep.

Youngblood 5 Seconds of Summer

5 Seconds of Summer’s third album, Youngblood, shows us a side of pop-rock that we’ve never seen before. They explore the world of synths and vocoders, while adding more production to their heavily punk-influenced sound. Their carefully chosen pop singles “Want You Back”and “Youngblood” show a perfect peek into their album, which has more alternative songs such as “Valentine”. Their album shows this brands growth and maturity as songwriters and performers.

Swimming Mac Miller

Bounds away from the upbeat and boyish work of his early career, Miller pours what was clearly a troubled heart into this album. Deeply introspective and filled with beautiful vocals in combination with orchestral rhythms, the Pittsburgh native hits notes that were unseen in previous albums. 8/10

Ye Kanye West

Considering that it was put together in roughly three weeks, Ye is remarkably solid. From Bon Iver to Ty Dolla $ign, the album features a range of artists and their respective voices creating the diversity of sound Kanye is known and loved for. However, if you were looking for the hard and witty lyrics spit by Kanye on albums like Graduation, you certainly won’t find it here. 7/10

Scorpion Drake

Drake’s new album “Scorpion” has some great moments with hit songs “Nonstop” and internet sensantion “In My Feelings” that became quick radio hits. Following on his recent trend of long albums, “Scorpion” drags on with a whopping 25 songs. The length prevents the album from having relative cohesiveness. Nevertheless, the vocals are solid throughout the production as Drake raps and sings all across the record. The production is once again outstanding with a mix between pop and hip hop that has characterized Drake’s work since “Take Care”. Definitely has some good songs but is fairly repetitive and hard to listen too in full. Catchy hooks and great production with little change from previous albums, what would be expected from a Drake album in whole. 5/10

Astroworld Travis Scott

Long awaited project “Astroworld” from Houston rapper Travis Scott is as ambitious as ever with a return to the Kanye-inspired sounds that surrounded Trav’s early work on “Rodeo”.  Matching his 2016 release “Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight”, the album debuted at number one on the “Billboard 200”. Features from Drake on “Sicko Mode” and Gunna on “Yosemite” highlight a solid collection of songs that range from relaxing melodies to lyrical bangers. The album brings similar sound as previous Travis records with brilliant production across the board.  “Astroworld” masterfully pulls pieces from mainstream hip-hop with a great deal of bold sounds. The album was worth the wait without a doubt. 8/10