Tag: album

Harry Styles drops second solo album

Breanna Hill, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Harry Styles, a former One Direction member, has hit the ground running after the group split back in 2016. All of the members of the popular boy band have gone on to start solo careers, but I believe that Harry Styles has had the most success when it comes to branching out on his own. Since beginning this new adventure he has released six singles, four music videos and two studio albums (‘Harry Styles’ and most recently ‘Fine Line’.)

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Selena Gomez releases new album ‘Rare’ after five year break

Breanna Hill, Arts & Entertainment Editor

After a five year hiatus from music, pop star Selena Gomez released her latest album ‘Rare’ on January 10. This highly anticipated album has thirteen songs including her latest single that has caused much speculation, ‘Lose you to love me’ all thanks to her history with Justin Bieber. The official music video for ‘Lose you to love me’ dropped about two months ago and has over 216 million views.

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Hot Take: Top 3 Kidz Bop Albums

Miranda PrescottA&E Correspondent

In my last article, I talked about Kidz Bop. In that article, I also talked about the top songs from the last five years based on the Billboard Top 100 list from each year. Since it was agreed that the article was on Kidz Bop after all, I decided to review the top albums from the group. Keep in mind, all of these are pretty bad, but some of them have to be better than the others, right? Right?

These selections are based off of Billboard’s charts again, since they seemed to have accurate information the last go round. I only looked into the top three albums, mainly because I was not about to pull an Elise Ecklund and listen to every single one of their songs straight through. If you want to see her do it, just so you don’t have to, the video is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmTqs7gTRYY.

  1. Kidz Bop 21

So fun fact: this is their top-selling album of all time. And it only peaked at number 2 in February 2012. That’s disappointing. For a children’s group that is so well-known as this one, you’d think that they’d have so many of their albums on the top of the charts. Well, the Children’s Music charts that is.

While it stayed in that position for 31 weeks, according to the website, it featured everyone’s favorite songs from the second half of 2011. All of which featured iconic song lyric changes, naturally. Songs such as “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon Five, “Edge of Glory” by Lady Gaga, and “The One That Got Away” by Katy Perry got this special treatment, changing the lyrics from “matching tattoos” to “some balloons.” I can’t make this up.

  1. Kidz Bop 19

The only reason that this one is ranked lower is because it had one week less on the charts. That’s it. That’s the only difference.

This album featured songs such as “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars, “The Only Exception” by Paramore, and “Animal” by Neon Trees. However, there was a lyric that they didn’t change from the latter song that probably should have. They left the line about cannibalism in. That isn’t kid friendly. Imagine you child asking you what a cannibal was after listening to that. Shameful, Kidz Bop. Very shameful.

  1. Kidz Bop 23

I’m starting to see a pattern here. All these albums have been odd numbers, released in the winter of their corresponding year. Is this a conspiracy? Is Kidz Bop doing this on purpose? Guess we’ll find out.

It was on the charts for 28 weeks, and songs on the album included “Gangnam Style” by PSY, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” by Taylor Swift, and “Some Nights” by Fun. However, the best song lyric change from the entire album comes in “Live While We’re Young” by One Direction, where they changed “’til we see the sun” to “dancing in the sun.” Yeah, I don’t understand that one either, if I’m being honest.

And that’s it. There’s my review of the top three Kidz Bop albums of all time. Again, they’re all terrible, but hey, at least we can look back on all of them, and laugh. Laugh like we never have before. Yes, there are some more iconic lyrics changed out there, and this article can’t cover all of them. But, unfortunately, like the last three hours I spent listening to these albums, we can’t change them because it’s already come and gone.

Photo courtesy of Kidz Bop

JSU Jazz explores a new frontier

Jacksonville State University Jazz is back this semester, presenting the campus with a new way of experiencing its music.

Last year, Jazz I was given the opportunity to record an album comprised of their very best repertoire, appropriately named “Everything in Its Right Place” at Bates Brothers Studio in Hueytown.

“It’s a very nice state-of-the-art facility, and the owners are super professional and really know what they’re doing,” says tenor saxophone player Jarrett Irish of the studio.

The musicians involved had a good idea of the opportunity provided to them, never taking their experience for granted and returning with unique takes on their personal benefits from their time in the studio.

“I think it’s important to have recording experience because whether you’re going to be a performer or an educator, you’re going to want to track your progress at some point in your career,” says Irish. “It’s better to do that and have that experience earlier on so when it’s your band or your school, you know what to expect going into it. Plus, it’s such a great way to grow as a musician.”

The members of Jazz I are pretty well acquainted with live performances, but according to some of the students, the experience in the studio was a little different.

“When you play a live show, you only have that one chance to play the chart to perfection,” says trumpet player, Mark Knauss. “In the recording studio, we spent hours just recording one or two songs, doing multiple takes on them just to make sure it was the best quality we could play. We still had that performance mindset when we recorded, keeping us as efficient as possible in the studio.”

The students had no issue holding themselves accountable for the task given to them, and though they were there to work, they still managed to enjoy themselves.

“Concerning the difficulty of music Jazz I plays, we want to compete with other top jazz ensembles in the country,” says Knauss. “My favorite tune we played was “Extra Credit.” It’s one of the harder tunes we’ve played, and it was great to see it come together into something that was put in our album.”

The students were equally impressed with their instructors’ contribution to their body of work. “Another one of my favorites is the Faculty Trio’s rendition of “Sweet Home Alabama,” adds Knauss. “We’re incredibly lucky to have some of the best musicians in the world teaching at JSU.”

As with any other musical endeavor, the students put an incredible amount of work into their album. “We knew about the recording since the beginning of that semester when Dr. Nevala passed out the music. So from the start, we knew what we were working for,” says bassist Nick Staff. “I think we put a little more effort in the charts because each and every note was going to be recorded and it had to be perfect. Everyone had an individual mic, so their part was recorded independently. It was pretty nerve-racking for a while.”

Dr. Andy Nevala provided several reasons for recording the album. “The main purpose was to give the students an opportunity to experience the recording studio environment,” explains Nevala. “The students were in an environment of high pressure, and there’s nowhere to hide. A second reason is to have something that’s representative of who we are and what we do as JSU Jazz.”

Nevala doesn’t hesitate to commend his students and colleagues on their work ethic as he continues to promote the jazz program, as well as the university, to the community and beyond. “For recruiting, no other jazz program in the state has a recording out that sounds as good as ours,” says Nevala. “As we get these [recordings] in the hands of people throughout the southeast, the reputation of JSU will grow in a positive way.”

The instructors and students expect one another to go above and beyond to further the cause of music, as often exhibited by Dr. Nevala. “Recording and releasing a CD is no easy task; it requires a monumental effort from the students and faculty involved. I spent many days driving to the studio to edit and mix,” explains Nevala. “You have to have a band good enough to record. You have to have the right songs rehearsed the right way. All in all, it was a lot of work.”

In the end, the students and their instructors were very proud of the finished product.
“It’s very satisfying knowing that my name is now in the history books for the professional development of our Jazz department,” says tenor saxophone player Jessica Creel.

Through hard work, musical imagination, and some of the most admirable accountability, the members of the JSU Jazz program have truly outdone themselves, and concerning its future, the possibilities are endless.

The album will be released at the March 5th Jazz Festival for a $10 donation.

For more information on JSU Jazz performance, visit jsujazz.webs.com. Merchandise featuring the music department and emsembles is available at all performances for a recommended donation.

Patrice Green
Staff Writer