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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

Newsletter

    Editorial Picks – Music

    WILL JAMES (Arts and Entertainment Editor)

    ‘OK Computer’ by Radiohead

    How original, right?’ This album is the closest thing we have to an objective ‘best album ever.” Everything has already been said about ‘OK Computer.” It shook the world, and it deserves all the hype it has accumulated over the years.’ Super-solid masterpieces like ‘Karma Police’ and ‘Let Down’ provide a foundation for the experimentation in ‘Paranoid Android.” ‘Airbag’ might be the best song of all time.

    ‘The Moon and Antarctica’ by Modest Mouse

    Before I heard this album in my car, Modest Mouse was a joke to me.’ If I wasn’t biologically incapable of crying, it might have made me.’ Isaac Brock addresses the absurdity of life more directly and sensitively than any other recording.’ He captures perfectly the sad beauty of death and the passage of time.’ No one song stands out above the rest, to me ‘- it’s best experienced as a complete album.’

    ‘A Portable Model Of’ by Joan of Arc

    Joan of Arc was always built upon stream-of-consciousness poetry and quirky, intriguing instrumental compositions.’ Only on their first album, ‘A Portable Model Of,’ did the band capture the perfect elemental blend.’ The first track ‘I Love a Woman (Who Loves Me)’ is only finished when the record goes full circle and finishes with ‘(I Love a Woman) Who Loves Me’. You’ll never have your mind blown or your heart broken quite like this.

    ‘Roll On’ by The Living End

    Some of the best rock and roll written since our parents were young.’ The Australian three-piece has managed to evoke the best elements of The Sex Pistols, AC/DC, The Clash and The Stray Cats.’ Somehow, the music is still very much their own.’ ‘Pictures in the Mirror’ is a strikingly well-composed rock song.’ ‘Carry Me Home’ sports some of the most insane guitar parts in recent history.’

    ‘Owls’ by Owls

    By all conventional wisdom, it should be impossible to be this weird and this compelling at the same time.’ Okay, you get it.’ I like weird music.’ Because it’s not boring.’ And maybe I’m pretentious.’ The guitar work in ‘Whose Whorse You Wrote Id On’ and ‘Life in the Hair Salon ‘- Themed Bar on the Island’ is mind-blowing.’ The last track, ‘Holy F******g Ghost’ is a beautiful epic.’ In every way, the music is brilliant – every element is functioning at its absolute peak.

    TEJAS GAWADE (Managing Editor)

    ‘Pinkerton’ by Weezer

    The first time I heard Weezer, I was in a disagreeable position between two half-Japanese girls who were poorly lip-synching to something that went along the lines of ‘Goddamn you half-Japanese girls/Do it to me everytime/Oh, the redhead said you shred the cello/And I’m jello, baby.’ The words stuck in my head for several days, until I looked them up and discovered ‘Pinkerton.’ Besides getting me in touch with my inner nerd, I found a fresh sound that was artsy and riddled with lyrics that vented frustration pretty damn accurately. Although Weezer’s ‘Blue’ and ‘Green’ albums have now become household names, especially with everyone (because nerd is the new cool) singing to ‘Beverly Hills,’ I have to highly recommend sitting down and listening to ‘El Scorcho.’

    ‘Late Registration’ by Kanye West

    Before Kanye, I only enjoyed hip-hop to the point of Eminem. Unlike Weezer, I discovered Kanye on my own. I found his music soulful, religious (I’m a sucker for music with a Christian touch, although I am not one). The album is realistic and universal. Kanye’s devotional track to his mom is an antithesis to another one where he lies to her face. My favorite track, ‘Golddigger’ brings forth the evils of diamond consumption, yet plainly puts down how they will make any girl go ga-ga. Most importantly, the album has a lot of warmth and meaning, and is still a rap album through-and-through.

    ‘The Beautiful Letdown’ by Switchfoot

    Like I said, one of my favorite genres is Alternative Christian and this is where Switchfoot fits in perfectly. You have probably heard of the band’s single, ‘Only Hope’ in your prized ‘A Walk To Remember’ soundtrack. But the true precious bit is ‘The Beautiful Letdown,’ which contains gems like ‘I Dare You To Move,’ ‘Meant to Live’ and my favorite, ‘On Fire.’ Most of the tracks are ballads with a punk touch, but they vary with great power. The best part is the lyrics, which will not just motivate and inspire you, but will provoke some brain buds to decipher the spewed symbolism.

    EMILY GOVER (Copy Editor)

    ‘Eyes Open’ by Snow Patrol

    Every six months or so I find myself discovering a new album that is constantly playing on my iPod. Snow Patrol’s fourth album, ‘Eyes Open,’ is my most recent music obsession. Front man Gary Lightbody’s voice made a drastic improvement from their previous album, and in turn has boosted the band’s overall sound significantly. Top songs include the intro track, ‘You’re All I Have,’ ‘Hands Open,’ ‘It’s Beginning To Get To Me,’ the popular ‘Chasing Cars,’ and ‘Open Your Eyes.’ Okay, so maybe I listed almost half the album, but that’s how good this record is. Similar to: The Fray.

    ‘You Gotta Go There To Come Back’ by Stereophonics

    Most people in the US have probably only heard Stereophonics in the closing scene of the film ‘Crash.’ A Welsh rock trio, Stereophonics have been very popular in the UK for about 10 years, but never managed to break the music scene in the US. Lead singer Kelly Jones has an extremely unique and unbelievably powerful voice, one reason that makes Stereophonics stand out amongst the rest. ‘Rainbows and Pots of Gold’ is one of my favorite songs of all time, and to call it a top track would be a serious understatement. The music, Jones’ voice, and the heart-wrenching (and true to life) lyrics will leave you speechless. Similar to: Oasis. ‘hellip;Sort of.

    ‘Everything Goes Numb’ by Streetlight Manifesto

    Yes, yes, I know – ‘ska is dead,’ but hear me out. Tomas Kalnoky, the group’s lead lyricist and singer, is a musical genius of sorts. ‘Everything Goes Numb’ is Streetlight’s first album and is absolutely fantastic. Personally, I don’t think there is a single bad track on the entire record, but if I had to pick favorites, ‘Everything Went Numb,’ ‘Point/Counterpoint,’ ‘A Better Place, A Better Time,’ and ‘We Are The Few’ would make the cut. The album has all tempos, all emotions, and brilliant lyrics, making this one of the few albums you can listen to anytime, anywhere. Step out of your trendy music shoes for an hour and take a listen, you won’t be disappointed. Similar to: Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake (and Streetlight will be touring with both over the summer!).

    AMANDA SHAPIRO (Film Columnist)

    ‘(What’s the Story?) Morning Glory’ by Oasis

    In the mid-90s we were in elementary school, at an age when we stopped singing children’s songs and began listening to real music on the radio and watching music videos on MTV. Oasis was one of those bands everyone talked about – they were supposed to be the next wave of British rock ‘n’ roll. ‘(What’s the Story?) Morning Glory’s’ ‘Wonderwall’ (and later-released ‘Champagne Supernova’) climbed the charts at great speed. To this day when either song plays on the radio, not many people would turn the station. I love this CD because it is great to listen to when I need stability in music, like concentration for driving long road trips – it flows like one long song with different verses. Oasis has gone on to make similar music to this day, and all of their albums continue to have a distinct sound that is easily recognizable as their own.

    NANDITHA DAS (Copy Editor)

    Bollywood cinema and music is most commonly known outside of India as the nation’s biggest contribution to the entertainment industry. But far south, at the tip of India, with her coast hugged by the Arabian Sea, the India
    n Ocean and the Bay of Bengal, lies the state of Kerala, with her own vibrancy and sounds.

    Recently, Indian music has seen a shift to modernization, combining traditional sounds of instruments such as the sitar, tabla and veena with the piano, violin, and guitar. Southern India is less prone to such rapid assimilation of western culture, which can be both a blessing and a curse. Malayalam cinema, unlike even its sister industries in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh, still prizes traditional compositions, employing southern beats and rhythms. The most touching tributes to tradition include the albums ‘His Highness Abdullah’ (1990), ‘Nandanam (Garden)’ (2002), and ‘Mazha (Rain)’ (2000), from the movies with the same names.

    Ironically, all three albums share the same music director, Raveendran. The lyrics for ‘Abdullah’ are written by Kaithapram Damodaran Namboothiri, while Girish Puthenchery wrote them for ‘Nandanam,’ and Usha wrote them for ‘Mazha.’ All three albums also feature K.S. Chitra and Dr. K.J. Yesudas, the pride of Kerala. They are arguably among the best vocalists in India. They both possess such strong, versatile and hypnotic voices. My favorite songs from these albums are: ‘Pramabhavanam’ from ‘Abdullah,’ ‘Mauliyil’ from ‘Nandanam’ and ‘Ashadum’ from ‘Mazha.’ For a glimpse of the tranquility and divineness that Kerala offers, listen to these albums.

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