March Album Reviews


“Spaceman” by Nick Jonas

Rating 7/10

By: Sabrina Bergeron

On March 12, one member of the Jonas brothers, Nick Jonas, released his first solo album, “Spaceman”, since the trio reunited in 2019. When listening to the first few songs, the melodies are rather enjoyable with moderate, pop-oriented beats that prove to be ambient and calm. However, as you continue through the rest of the songs, the music is mostly the same and bores quickly.

The album discusses topics of love, lust and anxiety, with lyrics like “You put the “sex” in sexual” (“Sexual”) and “I’m always gonna find your love” (“Death Do Us Part”). 

The title track and first song on the album is the single, “Spaceman.” In an interview with Apple Music, Jonas explains the song’s origins, “I was really inspired by David Bowie, and I’ve always loved ‘Rocket Man’ by Elton John.” 

Additionally, songs like “Deeper Love” and “Nervous” show an unexpectedly emotional side to Jonas. Listeners get an in depth look at his vulnerability, with lyrics like “I get anxiety” and “Trying to find the words to say.”

As he explains in the same interview with Apple Music, Jonas wrote this album with the nostalgia of his wife and actress, Priyanka Chopra, in mind. “I missed my person,” he says, “Most of the songs are just love letters.” She was away filming a movie for the majority of 2020 and his longing for her, “I don’t want to be out on my own,” is felt throughout this album.

I gave “Spaceman” a 7/10 because regardless of the meaning behind the songs, the technicality of the music itself seems lacking. Jonas’ past music has been upbeat and interesting with drum reverbs and electronic sounds, but Spaceman is plain with the same type of music in each song. Overall, if you are looking for a sentimental and easy-going album to listen to this month, Spaceman is an adequate fit.


“Justice” by Justin Bieber


By: Waleeja Chaudhry

Justin Bieber released his sixth pop album on March 19th, and the only commendable aspect of the album is the featured vocals. Had it not been for Dominic Fike, Daniel Caesar, Giveon, Khalid, or Jaden, “Justice” could never have soared to its undeserved chart-topping positions.

The album is a mixture of swoony songs about his wife, Hailey Baldwin. Examples include “Deserve You”,“Off My Face” and repetitive, generic songs such as “Peaches”. These songs, in which in my opinion, are only good because of Giveon’s and Daniel Caesar’s  melodious voices.

Besides the tremendous amount of guest appearances, the album raised a lot of controversies due to a track labeled as “MLK interlude”. The MLK interlude track includes the “But If Not” sermon Dr. Martin Luther King gave at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia in November 1967. In the audio, MLK says “if you have never found something so dear and so precious to you that you will die for it, then you aren’t fit to live.” Immediately after MLK’s speech about sacrificing life for something as important as concurring racial injustice comes Bieber’s song “Die For You”, where he expresses his desire to “walk through burning fire” and dying for his wife.

The irony of how insensitive this is apparently lost on Bieber, though in an interview with Billboard he explained, “I’m not trying to make a connection between me and Martin Luther King. That’s why I never try to talk about social injustice or I didn’t want to be the one to talk about it because I just have so much more learning to do.” 

“Ghost”, the eleventh track on the album, is about loved ones lost during the pandemic. Bieber explained, “I know this has been a really challenging year where we’ve lost loved ones and relationships too.”

The album contains Afro-fusion beats, heard in track “Loved by you” featuring Burna Boy, and a combination of Dancehall and hip hop in “Love you different” featuring BEAM and “Holy” featuring Chance The Rapper. The two-time Grammy winner wants “Justice” to be a diversely ranged album, different from what he has done before. Bieber wants to show his audience that he has grown as a person and the “teen heartthrob” persona that is portrayed by his previous albums has finally come to an end. He has definitely succeeded, and it is evident due to the change from his first album compared to the most recent one he has released. Examples go deep within his lyrics. One of his most popular hits, “Baby” which came out back in 2010, is completely different compared to the music he released this year. His voice has also matured. 

The only reason Justin Bieber’s album “Justice” is somewhat better than his failed attempt to be an R&B artist in his previous album “Changes” is because of all the features on this album. Though there are some great songs in this album, I do truly believe that he needs more work. Without the features, overall, this album would have been a complete fail. 


“When You See Yourself” by Kings of Leon

Rating: 8.5/10

By: Zelia Jacobson

For the first time in five years, Kings of Leon released a new album. “When You See Yourself” is raw and emotional, full of naturalistic imagery and energetic instrumentals.

While staying true to their 2000s alternative sound, the band has stripped back a little bit. The album is honest and topical, with messages about the anguish of missing loved ones and the passage of time, relatable to many who are isolated at home. This is displayed in the acoustic ballad “Supermarket,” which says, “And it’s a long hard road/’Til I can get to you/And I’ll be holding on.” 

One of the best aspects of the album is the recurring descriptions of nature, with lines from “100,000 People.” like “Rake at the moon where the river flows/Cut from the cloth of the winter’s cold.” The detailed description that appear in almost every song provides listeners with a unique opportunity to visualize what they are listening to.

While the album’s lyrical composition soars, it’s not the only impressive part of “When You See Your Yourself”. The quick beats and heavy guitar riffs from “Bandit,” and “Golden Restless Age,” paired with the unhurried melancholic “100,000 People,” and “Supermarket” make for a nice contrast. The album also features delightful vocal harmonies and vintage instruments throughout. 

In a time of boredom and monotony, “When You See Your Yourself” is quite exhilarating. Overall, I would call it a very good album, as it allows me to escape into a poetic and naturalistic setting. Its emotional stories are relatable and vulnerable, and I would definitely recommend listening to this album if you need a break from the real world.


“Poster Girl” by Zara Larsson

Rating: 5/10

Chau Nguyen

First, she showcased her natural soprano to win the Swedish Got Talent at 10 years old. Then, she ventured into mediocre electric pop to release the uninspired debut album, “So Good,” at 17. Now, Zara Larsson tries her luck with the retro “Poster Girl”, but the third time is unfortunately not the charm. 

Larsson’s newest record, dropped March 12, is her latest attempt at capturing the mainstream musical trends of disco and the shiny nostalgia of 1980s. But the flimsy hooks, outdated references and imagery can only clumsily demonstrate its retro gloss. Worse, too many unnecessary sound effects are thrown into this album: hand clapping, synthesizers, distorted vocals.

The promotional single “Ruin my Life” starts with stretched out strings, which awkwardly fades into the background and fails to accommodate Larsson’s vocals. Other singles, such as “Talk About Love” or “Need Someone”, suffer the same fate: adequately pleasant but certainly middling. 

The lyricists on this album apparently have a knack for messy grammar and slippery vowels. “Is this a story arc/’Cause if it are/We’d be iconic,” Larsson chants unenthusiastically as if she herself is wishing for “FFF” to be over. The track inexplicably switches from her obsession with the “sweet organic healing” weed to the generic narrative of love “I’m drowning in your vibe”. 

The album overall is a disappointment, given that Larsson spent four years trying to explore and display her artistic femininity on “Poster Girl”. Sadly, all the songs are too hollow musically and lyrically, listeners are left with nothing but an empty feeling, thinking they could have used the last 38 minutes for something else less dull.