“Mirrorland” by EarthGang
With a unique concoction of interesting beats, vocals, and meaningful lyrics, EarthGang’s “Mirrorland” has it all. The album is perfect if you’re looking for an upbeat, feel-good song, or if you need some slower music with a bit more beneath the surface.
“Mirrorland” describes the good and bad times the duo Olu and WowGr8 went through in Atlanta, using soul and hip-hop to tell their story. The duo expresses the dangers of the city and the struggle that forged them, like in the song “Swivel” when they say, “Trouble lurkin’ ’round the corner/Run up on you any minute, you’ll be gone,” then later describe how the pain molded them, “Learned to make the best out of sh**** situations.” The album is dedicated to their upbringing and how it shaped them into the distinctive, successful artists they are today.
If you’re in the mood for a song that’ll make you want to get up and dance, then “Top Down” is for you. It’s a story about joyriding through the city and being chased by the cops, with an energetic beat and melodic vocals throughout.
On the other end of the spectrum, the album contains songs like “This Side” which touch on darker issues that have plagued the hip-hop industry in the past. “This Side” is about the deaths of artists XXXTentacion and Nipsey Hussle. Throughout the song, Olu and WowGr8 express their fear about ending up like their peers. The song carries itself with a slower, less pleasant tune, and consequently a more melancholy mood.
This album contains powerful messages and a deep meaning, which is brought to light by the creative and original style of the music.
“Hollywood’s Bleeding” by Post Malone
Post Malone’s fourth album “Hollywood’s Bleeding,” released September 6, falls short of his past three albums. Like most of his albums, the catchy beats and relatable lyrics of hit songs “Sunflower,” “Wow,” and “Goodbyes” don’t disappoint. The rest, however, are merely average.
The only thing that has changed from his album “Beerbongs & Bentleys,” released last April, is the meaning behind his songs. In “Hollywood’s Bleeding” you hear more about hardships in love and life in Hollywood, hence the album’s name. The song “Enemies” talks about those he used to be friends with until he became wealthy and they showed their true colors. In another song, “A Thousand Bad Times,” he states “Everytime you f*** me over, I’ll come back to you.” These songs show a deeper and more relatable side of Malone, but other than that, the remainder of the album is his typical hip-hop, pop, and rock songs that share similar beats, singing style, and mellow melody with his other albums.
This being said, having an average album is not bad. The songs he wrote and continues to write keep him at the top of the charts as people listen to and stream these songs. It is in no way a poorly made album or an unpopular one, but if you’re looking for an extraordinary song, you’re not going to find it. I’d like him to switch things up a little, and maybe even make just one track that isn’t one of his go-to hip-hop, pop, and rock songs.
“Norman F***ing Rockwell!” by Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey’s sixth and most recent album, “Norman F***ing Rockwell!” is an impressive piece of art in which she confesses that she is hopelessly in love and abandoning her misery. With years of experience, the singer-songwriter has an insane talent for composing music.
Comparing “Norman F***ing Rockwell!” to many of her other albums is very difficult. In this album, Del Rey changes her emotions to a type that they’ve never really been before. Del Rey’s previous albums almost all involve past relationships and feelings of despair, with beautiful lyrics that are very heavy and upsetting. Her 2014 album “Ultraviolence” centers around the past and being very dark and bleak as a whole. “Norman F***ing Rockwell!” focuses more on the future, and overall having an optimistic outlook on life.
I honestly think this is one of her best albums yet because it gives off such good vibes and her use of melody truly fits the lyrics and tone. Del Rey does a perfect job incorporating her harmonious voice and the constant bass guitar, almost making me feel like her voice was all around me. One of my favorite songs in this album is “California,” as each word she sings has so much power and meaning behind it. The song crescendos and decrescendos at perfect times and carries itself in a soothing way. “Norman F***ing Rockwell!” does an outstanding job of preserving and building upon Del Rey’s mystique while still leaving hope of optimism.