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The Chatterbox

The Student News Site of Walnut Hills High School

The Chatterbox

The Student News Site of Walnut Hills High School

The Chatterbox

Polls

What concerts are you planning to go to?

  • Taylor Swift (93%, 14 Votes)
  • Drake (7%, 1 Votes)
  • Morgan Wallen (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Young the Giant (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Ella Mai (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 15

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2023: A year in music

 

Olivia Rodrigo – “GUTS.” Courtesy of Olivia Rodrigo / Geffen Records / Interscope Records

Olivia Rodrigo – GUTS

          Olivia Rodrigo refines her sound on her sophomore album GUTS, an angsty collision of high school drama with dynamic, mature songwriting. The lead single Vampire stuns with its pulsating guitar riffs and anthemic lyrics. On GUTS, Rodrigo has single-handedly reintroduced pop-punk sound palettes back into the mainstream- in the most commendable and gut-wrenching way possible.

 

 

Travis Scott – “UTOPIA.” Courtesy of Travis Scott / Cactus Jack

Travis Scott – UTOPIA

          Travis Scott, one of the most commercially successful voices in hip hop of the past decades, returns with a unique and moody blend of experimental trap music on UTOPIA. The production is consistently energetic, and the album features collaborations with some of the most up-and-coming and established names in hip-hop: from underground names like Teezo Touchdown to more commercially respected artists like Playboi Carti or SZA. It is this careful attention to detail that makes Utopia such a grandiose adventure and a delight to listen to.

Laufey – “Bewitched.” Courtesy of Laufey / Warner Chappell Music

Laufey – Bewitched

          On Bewitched, Norwegian singer-songwriter Laufey delivers more of the same whimsical, jazz-inspired songs fans have come to adore. Laufey stands out in the music industry for her seemingly out-of-time ambiance and romantic imagery, ripped straight from the set of a 1950s Hollywood film. Despite this visual throwback, Bewitched seamlessly merges this seemingly dated aesthetic with modern production and lyrical sensibilities. Laufey’s angelic vocals stand out as a highlight on nearly every track; this blend of music and atmosphere makes each song a delight to listen to.

Mitski – “The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We.” Courtesy of Mitski / Dead Oceans

Mitski – The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We

          On The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We, Mitski ventures away from her indie roots into more folk-oriented territory. Over her decade-long career, Mitski has consistently returned to a specific mood of melancholy and yearning that for many fans, has defined her musical output. This is even more the case on this most recent. And with its front-to-back runtime rich with poetic imagery, lush instrumentals and slow, introspective builds, it’s hard not to find something to like, or just cry about.

Lana Del Rey – “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Boulevard.” Courtesy of Lana Del Rey / Interscope / Polydor Records

Lana Del Rey – Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Boulevard       

          Indie darling Lana Del Rey delivers one of her most mature albums yet on Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Boulevard. Though traditionally her releases have focused on a glamorized image of crime in midcentury America, Lana instead chooses to reflect on the emotional weight of this lifestyle: the challenges of drug abuse, prostitution, and an American culture increasingly defined by consumerism and immorality. Through her emotive approach to songwriting, Lana creates a deeply introspective and fleshed-out album that will very likely stand the test of time.

Paramore – “This Is Why.” Courtesy of Paramore / Fueled by Ramen LLC

Paramore – This Is Why

          Rock veterans Paramore deliver a monumental return on This Is Why. Lead singer Haley Williams’ vocals soar throughout the project, over delightfully consistent drum and guitar riffs from Zac Farro and Taylor York respectively. The electric collection of tracks on this record recalls post-punk revival fads of the 2000s while adding a distinctively contemporary twist in the process. Thematically, the open-ended nature of the title reflects Williams’ impasse to persevere in an increasingly tumultuous world, a struggle that many listeners may resonate with.

Talor Swift – “1989 (Taylor’s Version).” Courtesy of Taylor Swift / Republic

Taylor Swift – Now That We Don’t Talk 

          1989 (Taylor’s Version) was Swift’s most anticipated rerelease to date. For many fans, this long compilation of new and original material successfully recaptured the glittering allure of the original recordings. The “Taylor’s Version” project marks a pivotal decision by Swift to redefine her recording career. Swift also debuts a strong collection of vault tracks, including “Now That We Don’t Talk.” With the addition of these fresh hits that many fans already know and love, 1989 (Taylor’s Version) only improves upon everything that made this record an undeniable classic. 

Tyler The Creator – “CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST: The Estate Sale.” Courtesy of Tyler The Creator / Columbia Records

Tyler the Creator – Sorry Not Sorry

          Tyler the Creator’s deluxe edition of his 2021 hit album, “CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST: THE ESTATE SALE” features enough new material that it could have become a separate project in another universe. Tyler expands on everything that made the original great: notable among these new additions is “Sorry Not Sorry,” a reflective moment that sees Tyler struggling with some of his largest obstacles as an artist yet. 

 

 

PinkPantheress – “Heaven knows.” Courtesy of PinkPantheress / 300 Entertainment

PinkPantheress ft. Ice Spice – Boy’s a Liar Pt. 2 

          In this viral collaboration between PinkPantheress and up-and-coming rapper Ice Spice, the duo forms an iconic breakup anthem, dedicated to a toxic ex. The playful vocals and upbeat synths give this track a distinctively digital flair, but lyrically the track deals almost exclusively with grief. With bittersweet, catchy lyrics and undeniable talent, PinkPantheress feels like a star in the making.

 

 

Editor’s Picks:

Sufjan Stevens – “Javelin.” Courtesy of Sufjan Stevens / Asthmatic Kitty Records

Sujan Stevens – Javelin

          Javelin is exquisite. As the most recent in an extensive catalog of critically acclaimed releases, this record perfectly captures some of Stevens’ darkest and most desolate moments. Lyrics reckon with the trials of love, faith and the devastation of losing a loved one before their time. The instrumentation is equally gorgeous: ethereal harmonies and string sections accompany many of Stevens’ intricately woven verses. Javelin is a hauntingly beautiful record from start to finish that explores some of the most devastating and beautiful themes of Stevens’ career to date. 

Caroline Polachek – “Desire I Want to Turn Into You.” Courtesy of Caroline Polachek / Perpetual Novice

Caroline Polacheck – Desire I Want to Turn Into You

          Caroline Polachek delivers a gorgeous pop album on Desire I Want to Turn Into You. Polachek has an undeniably strong command over her vocals. The production is delightfully experimental, and each song emanates a vibrant, energetic aura that only improves with every listen. This record stands as a testament to the possibilities that can arise if a classically formulaic genre is allowed to explore its natural limits.

 

 

Geese – “3D Country.” Courtesy of Geese/ Partisan / Play It Again Sam

Geese – 3D Country   

         On 3D Country, Geese undergo one of the most dramatic stylistic shifts possible for a relatively new band. The album skillfully merges psychedelic rock, indie rock and alt-country to create a delightfully bizarre and thoroughly groovy release from start to finish. Despite its eclectic and varied influences, performances from all five members seamlessly merge surrealist, apocalyptic imagery with mournfully romantic ballads. 3D Country is a stellar release from a group that appears to just be beginning to come into its own.

Zach Bryan – “Zach Bryan.” Courtesy of Zach Bryan / Warner Music

Zach Bryan – Zach Bryan 

          Zach Bryan’s self-titled project offers one of the best glimpses into country music in recent decades. Bryan doesn’t shy away from his influences on this record – whether from rural Oklahoma or contemporary indie stars – but artistically, he feels like something distinctly new. Through his organic, stripped-back approach to production, he creates a list of stirringly sentimental songs, perfect for veterans and newcomers to the genre alike. Bryan’s rise to fame occurred almost entirely online; as country music becomes even further removed from its Nashville radio roots, it will be interesting to observe if Bryan’s sound and the genre move in new directions also.

 

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About the Contributor
Edmund Gimbert, Club Member
In his first year as a Chatterbox staff member, Edmund Gimbert is positively delighted to work as a news columnist. This year, Gimbert hopes to gain journalistic experience and a more nuanced understanding of how news production works. Gimbert participates in the Mock Trial team at WHHS and enjoys working as a backstage crew member in theater productions. Gimbert is also a student ambassador and member of the WHHS Advanced Steel Drum Band. When not preoccupied with these activities, Gimbert enjoys exploring new music, playing guitar, and folding origami.
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