January albums of the month

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A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships by The 1975

Hope Moshi

Score: 10/10

Though The 1975 is an English pop rock band, they’ve achieved considerable popularity around the world, even releasing an album that topped American charts. The 1975 dropped their third studio album, “A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships,” on November 30, 2018.

The album showcases the band in a new light from their previous pop album, “i like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it.” The sound of the album is different from their previous projects as they incorporate elements of jazz, lo-fi, Britpop, and the band’s traditional mix of new wave, synth-pop, R&B, and indie music.

The album is undeniably great. The 1975 managed to make “A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships” a compilation of upbeat songs that make you want to dance. Some of the songs on the album are smooth, bringing in a mixture of jazz and R&B with slow, heavy drums. A couple songs from the album that I still have on replay are “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME,” “Love It If We Made It,” and “Sincerity Is Scary.” Essentially, it’s a social anthem, speaking on modern societies issues from cultural appropriation to police brutality to politics and more.

As of 2019, the band is touring and will hit up DC on May 21, 2019, and have released news of working on a fourth album, “Notes on a Conditional Form,” which is set to come out in May. •

 

“Conn3ct3d” by Robb Bank$ & Wifisfuneral

Erin Harper

Rating: 5/10

For the past few years, many rappers have emerged, and a surprising number hail from Florida, such as Wifisfuneral and Robb Bank$. Both rappers are relatively new to the game, so the release of their first collaborative album, “Conn3ct3d,” on January 11 was not highly anticipated. Featuring 11 songs, the album contains a mixture of gritty lyrics, chill vibes, and bangers.

My favorite song from the album would have to be “Nauseous,” due to the change of tempo and flow. While most of the album is filled with a lot of the same pulse, the beat of “Nauseous” is unique to the album, with piano enhancing the less-hardcore mood of “Conn3ct3d.”

“EA” is another song on the album that is worth mention. On this song, it seems as though the rappers have loosened up, with the beat and lyrics flowing nonstop. The song also pays homage to their love for video games, which many teenagers can relate to.

While the overall feel of the album was great, most of the songs had the exact same beat, making “Conn3ct3d” a bit of an ear sore. Almost all of the songs were less than three minutes long, so you would get through it pretty quickly. I found myself wanting more from these artists. While I thought this was an okay album, it definitely was not the best I’ve heard. Regardless, both of these rappers are young, and “Conn3ct3d” does not define who they are as rappers. I expect a lot of great things from both of them in the future. •

 

“Icarus Falls” by ZAYN

7/10

Adelaide Kaiser and Meghan Dayton

ZAYN’s sophomore solo album, “Icarus Falls,” was no small undertaking. The 27-track record is long (almost an hour and a half in duration), but his experimentation with different styles keeps it captivating all the way through. Among the many hits—“There You Are,” “Flight of Stars,” “I Don’t Mind,” and “Common”—there are a few misses. These include “Too Much” feat. Timbaland, “No Candle No Light” feat. Nicki Minaj, and “Stand Still.” ZAYN’s second album’s true accomplishment is its versatility in styles of music.

His first solo album, “Mind of Mine,” fell flat due to monotonous sound and mumbling lyrics. On “Icarus Falls,” ZAYN opens up both his mouth and his mind. “Imprint” has a jazzy feel. “There You Are” is a soaring song about commitment, and “Good Years” is an honest ballad, most likely about his time in One Direction. Each song could be on a completely different album, but the way ZAYN cohesively brings them together is extremely impressive. The album name, “Icarus Falls,” stems from a Greek myth in which Icarus and his father escape from a prison with wings they created, only for Icarus to fly too close to the sun, the waxen wings to melt, and for him to fall from the sky. This is a metaphor for ZAYN’s life: he quickly ascended to fame, but all the struggles described on his album—relationships, stardom, and drug use—eventually caused his downfall.

Throughout his second album, ZAYN’s creativity and self-expression make the music mesmerizing. •