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Summer album analysis

From our local community pool on a hot day to in restaurants and stores, we have heard this summer’s music blasting pretty much everywhere we have gone. Let’s take a moment to reminisce on summer’s top hits:

Scorpion: With many of his songs competing for the top 10 spots on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, Canadian pop and rap artist Drake’s latest album, “Scorpion,” has made a splash in music’s history.  

Zarina: I was excited to see a new album from Drake after a period of inactivity, but I had no idea how popular “Scorpion” would become, and how many times its songs would play on the radio. It seems like every radio station I flipped to was playing a Drake song! Nonetheless, I enjoy his upbeat music and the way he collaborates with a variety of other artists to make each song unique. 8/10

William: I believe that Drake has created some really good hits like “Emotionless” with the blend of soul and rap, but I feel that it is just too long for an album with lots of dead space in the middle. Songs like “Survival” and “Can’t Take a Joke” had a simplistic beat and were kind of lackluster as it didn’t present any new beats or styles. Music is meant to make us feel, and this album just doesn’t invoke any emotions. 4/10

ASTROWORLD: As the summer began to wind down, American rap artist Travis Scott released his latest album, “ASTROWORLD,” on Aug. 3.

Zarina: I enjoy listening to rap, so I looked forward to listening to “ASTROWORLD.” However, there were only a couple of songs that ended up exciting me because I ended up forgetting about the rest. Some of his songs were also a little bit long, the longest one in the album being five minutes and 38 seconds. I’d rather listen to songs that are short and sweet. 8/10

William: Although it had some very unique concepts, such as the immediate change from Drake’s vocals to those of Scott in “SICKO MODE,” I felt this album was full of predictable music. There were some interesting sounds and some good bangers, but overall, the album was messy. Scott has a distinct voice, but he needs to do more to make his music more exciting. 5/10

Sweetener: American singer Ariana Grande dropped “Sweetener” out to the public on Aug. 17.

Zarina: The distinctness of Grande’s voice made the album enjoyable as a whole. “no tears left to cry” and “God is a woman” stood out to me in particular because I enjoyed the vocals and Grande’s ability to hit the high notes of each song. While Grande has a beautiful voice, most of her songs didn’t feature other artists, and I would have also liked to hear a variety of different voices. 7/10

William: I genuinely enjoyed this album as it really introduces new sounds, such as the sampling from a political meeting in Pennsylvania in “the light is coming,” and shows that Ariana Grande can really sing any kind of song. Some songs like “sweetener” blend a heart wrenching and beautiful ballad with some R&B vibes together really nicely, but songs like “no tears left to cry” were generic and bland. 8/10

Negro Swan: Dev Hynes, a British singer and songwriter from London, released his fourth album on Aug. 24 after “Freetown Sound” and “Cupid Deluxe”, just a couple days after summer break ended.  Hynes performs under the alias “Blood Orange,” and his music typically focuses on genres R&B, jazz, and electronica.

Zarina: While I enjoy upbeat music and bold beats, I particularly enjoyed the soothing nature of the songs in this album.  Hynes’s song “Jewelry” stood out to me in particular, because it reminded me of an eventless summer afternoon spent relaxing.  When I look back and reflect on the summer of 2018, these songs will hold a significant spot in my memory. 8/10

William: This album was great as each of his songs were flips genres on top of its head such as R&B and funk. Overall, the vocals were top notch and he deserves more recognition from his work, an eye opener to different genres of music. 8.5/10

While it may be time to say goodbye to summer, its hits are here to stay, so let’s step forward and welcome a new season of music.