REVIEW: Lorde’s ‘Solar Power’ is a sunny album that falls short of expectations

REVIEW: Lorde’s ‘Solar Power’ is a sunny album that falls short of expectations

Solar Power, the third album from the New Zealand artist Lorde, was released on Aug. 20. It serves as a sunny departure from her previous work, including 2017’s critically-acclaimed album, Melodrama. The new album reunites Lorde with musician and producer Jack Antonoff (fun., Bleachers) who is best known for producing multiple award-winning albums from the likes of St. Vincent, Carly Rae Jepsen, Lana Del Rey and Taylor Swift. On Solar Power, Lorde trades in the dark, complex sounds and lyrics of her older music for something more akin to what Sheryl Crow was doing in the early 2000s. Solar Power shows Lorde taking clearer inspirations from her influences, including her own mother’s poetry and ‘70s folk music. Solar Power makes the perfect soundtrack for a day at the beach, but it isn’t one that will stay on your mind long after it finishes. It’s a pretty album but predictable and unfortunately forgettable. Many critics and music fans have been accused of disliking Solar Power as it isn’t a “sad” album or because Lorde appears to be writing from a more optimistic and less relatable point of view. While it is possible that some people feel this way, the album’s main issue – especially in comparison to Melodrama – is that it simply isn’t complex. Melodrama wasn’t great because it was sad; it was renowned for its complexity of sound and how each of the songs on the album was unique but still cohesive. Likewise, Solar Power isn’t bad because it is happier – in fact, it really isn’t bad at all. It’s just simple and sometimes a bit boring. None of...
Lipscomb’s Olympic press vets look at COVID and media changes in Tokyo 2020

Lipscomb’s Olympic press vets look at COVID and media changes in Tokyo 2020

A Lipscomb administrator and veteran of Olympic press coverage said this year’s 2020 Tokyo Games — occurring beneath the shadow of COVID that delayed the competition a year and with strict pandemic alterations in effect — could be the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Kim Chaudoin, Lipscomb’s assistant vice president of public relations and communication,  covered a variety of events at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and forecasts a likely positive impact as the world takes a step toward recovery in Tokyo. “I mean, they were able to have the NCAA tournament,” said Chaudoin, noting those basketball competitions that were held in a bubble in Indianapolis this year after being canceled in 2020. “I know this is a lot more people, but I hope that they’re able to do it. “But hey, if they survive all that and then the big melting pot of it, then maybe you know it’s like, ‘Oh, OK, we’re all good now.’” The Games feature more than 11,000 athletes from more than 200 countries. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics – which were not renamed despite the year-long delay caused by the COVID pandemic – has athletes competing in 339 events across 33 sports. New sports for the Tokyo Games include surfing, skateboarding, sport climbing, karate, baseball and softball. While some might consider the Olympics occurrence as a positive step toward normalcy in the unpredictable pandemic, this year’s Games are anything but normal. The city of Tokyo has been in a state of emergency multiple times in the past weeks due to a resurgence of COVID cases. A year ago, if the games...
REVIEW: Olivia Rodrigo’s SOUR is a sweet debut

REVIEW: Olivia Rodrigo’s SOUR is a sweet debut

Since her debut single “driver’s license” was released in January, Olivia Rodrigo has taken the world by storm. Her first album, SOUR, came out in May and quickly topped the charts, earning her appearances at awards shows and Saturday Night Live mere months into her music career. If you aren’t familiar with Olivia Rodrigo, she is the latest in the long series of Disney Channel stars turned pop artists, following in the footsteps of singers such as Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, the Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato. Rodrigo currently stars in Disney’s High School Musical: The Musical The Series (bet you can’t say that three times fast), a series spinoff of the popular High School Musical movie franchise. Rodrigo’s album SOUR pays tribute to her musical inspirations through the 11 tracks which focus on lyrical themes of heartbreak and the coming of age of the artist and her peers. While SOUR is an impressive debut album, it does leave Rodrigo plenty of room to grow and improve in the future. What really holds SOUR back is that it isn’t sure what to be. Many of the songs are pure pop songs and ballads, but there are a couple of songs that lean into an early 2000s’ pop-punk sound. While variety can be a good thing, there isn’t really a smooth transition between the different sounds and there isn’t an even balance between the two types of songs (mostly pop with 2 rock songs). The rock-leaning songs are great, but they feel a little bit out of place here. But SOUR’s biggest issue isn’t its genre confusion, it’s how on-the-nose...
12 South Farmers’ Market returns to Sevier Park for its tenth season

12 South Farmers’ Market returns to Sevier Park for its tenth season

Fresh produce, food trucks and music have returned to Sevier Park, offering one more destination for those who have felt locked up during lockdown for the last year. The local favorite 12 South Farmers’ Market has just reopened for the summer of 2021. Established in 2011, the Farmers’ Markets 10th-anniversary season is sponsored by local independent radio station Lightning 100 and features vendors from around Middle Tennessee. Nashville favorites such as Amelia’s Flower Truck, Music City Popcorn and The Peach Truck often make appearances as well as many other local businesses and farms. Located just down the road from Lipscomb in Sevier Park, the 12 South Farmers’ Market is a convenient option for off-campus entertainment. In addition to fresh produce and handmade goods, the 12 South Farmers’ Market hosts events each week for visitors of all ages. The Farmers’ Market has live music each week from a local act for shoppers to enjoy. This season, Outdoor Voices will host a free outdoor workout class for attendees. Visitors will also have access to a variety of local food trucks offering anything from snow cones to grilled cheese sandwiches. The 12 South Farmers’ Market is open from 4-7 p.m. every Tuesday from May to October in Sevier Park. For information on vendors and events, visit the 12 South Farmers’ Market website, Instagram or Facebook page....
Taylor Swift takes control over her own story with Fearless (Taylor’s Version)

Taylor Swift takes control over her own story with Fearless (Taylor’s Version)

Unless you have been off the internet for the past month, you have probably heard a lot about Fearless (Taylor’s Version), the first release of Taylor Swift’s re-recorded first six studio albums. If you are unfamiliar with the situation, in 2019, Taylor Swift’s original record label, Big Machine Records, sold her masters – original completed recordings used to make physical copies and digital files of music to be distributed – without her permission or knowledge. Essentially, this means that she has no control over what the original recordings of her songs are used for and will see only a small fraction of the profits from their sales. Due to the loss of her masters, Swift has planned to re-record each of her first six albums — 2006’s Taylor Swift, 2008’s Fearless, 2010’s Speak Now, 2012’s RED, 2014’s 1989 and 2017’s reputation. Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is the first of Swift’s re-recorded albums to be released. In addition to all 13 of the tracks included on the original record, the re-recorded album also includes six songs from the platinum version of Fearless, “Today Was A Fairytale” off the soundtrack to the 2010 film Valentine’s Day as well as six “From The Vault” songs written around the recording of Fearless that didn’t make it on to the original album. I don’t think it is a reach to assume that I’ll probably be doing quite a few of these “Taylor’s Version” album reviews in the foreseeable future, so I’m going to plan on giving out a few superlatives of sorts for each. For each, I will select a song that was a single...