Ariana Grande-thank u, next

Releasing a follow up to one of the best pop albums of her career just shy of six months later was a bold choice, but we should’ve expected boldness from Ariana Grande immediately following the release of “thank u, next.”  After calling off a wedding and the death of an ex-boyfriend, Grande’s thank u, next is a pop ode to self-reliance and resilience.  This is both a chance for her to lay out her side of every story that’s been published about her, but it’s also a victory lap.  It has moments of brilliance, but it mostly feels like a kiss off to all the media attention she’s been given and create her own narrative.  Sometimes, a plot twist in your own narrative is what cements you as pop royalty. Continue reading

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Weezer-Weezer (The Teal Album)

When Weezer covered “Africa,” it was an awesome win for the internet and fandom as a whole; we can now pester our stars into creating the punchlines to our little jokes.  Weezer’s choice to cover a different Toto song before succumbing to a Twitter account was a well-played move, but their final covering of a song that’s really only beloved as a meme served as a bleak cultural black hole.  Now, we need to endure “Africa” blaring with a semi-ironic drone feeding into itself the same way we did with Smashmouth’s “All Star” years ago.  Now with The Teal Album, Weezer has set out to follow up their cover to show that they’re entirely competent in playing other people’s songs with little to no frills in a reliable but mostly boring output. Continue reading