December 3, 2009 Volume CXXVI Issue 11

Great and not-so-great

Jay-Z doesn’t completely live up to his superstardom with his newest album
By MOLLY SHOULTA
Staff Writer

Half of VH1’s top Hollywood power couple has produced yet another power album. Jay-Z may not have originally set the single ladies dancing, but his new album has certainly done its part to keep the dance floor hot. Released on Sept. 8, The Blueprint 3 hosts two mega-hits that have graced airwaves and could hold multiple more depending on continued sales and draw to the album. That being said, the opening song to the album is pretty boring. “What We’re Talkin’ Bout,” which features Luke Steele, is nothing to start a dance party with. Just an overall weird song, it’s like a mix of music you’d hear while perusing at Gap train wrecked with a bad version of the Happy Feet soundtrack.

Don’t judge an album by its cover, or first song. The second song may describe the overall feel at least a little better. “Thank You” is still not the top track of the album, but better than track one. Jay-Z goes straight into it almost as soon as the beat begins. The entire track keeps an underlying brass line sort of repetition. Entertaining, yes. But if this is all Jay-Z has been working on since American Gangster from 2007, it’s obviously been a slow, boring few years. Thank goodness for track three. The first ten seconds or so would make any music guru squirm. The “tuning” simulation opens, but it only gets better from there. Jay-Z uses continuous trumpet and even brass accents, going back to the “tuning” occasionally. “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)” has pretty good lyrics as well. Kind of an oddball song, but still really neat to listen to. The electric guitar occasionally takes the place of the riff the trumpet was doing a few seconds before. Still exhibiting the distinct Jay-Z style, however, the song is definitely worth adding to a favorites playlist.

The next two songs definitely bring whatever it was the first three lacked. “Run This Town” featuring Rihanna and Kanye West and “Empire State of Mind” featuring the piano great Alicia Keys have already topped the music, charts. The first is set in a minor key, and repeats the refrain sung by Rihanna and soon to be stuck in your head. Kanye puts in his two cents worth. With three music greats combining, there’s nothing negative about the track. Each has proven himself or herself individually, and together, the track is unstoppable. Definitely ringtone worthy. So is the latter song, “Empire State of Mind,” showing off the voice and piano talents of Alicia Keys. Jay-Z’s lyrics show the very reason he is at the top of the rap world.

“Real As It Gets” features Young Jeezy throughout. Young Jeezy– props. Not flawless, and a little monotonous, but not bad. Part of rising to the top is understanding who to pull in to enhance your music. Again it’s no surprise Jay-Z reigns as the king of rap. His next track, “On to the Next One” features Swizz Beatz and, while repetitive, it is definitely one to dance to. Another star on the album, even if not as popular or flawless as others. The eighth track, “Off That,” featuring Drake, the tenth track, “Venus vs. Mars,” and the next, “Already Home” featuring Kid Cudi, also prove to have captivating beats and lyrics. Track nine, however, featuring J. Cole, is hard to follow and has weird combinations of synthesizers, drums, and piano. The lyrics themselves aren’t bad, but the refrain is annoying and displays no talent. When compared to what Rihanna, Alicia Keys and Kanye West can do, J. Cole cannot stand his ground on the record.

Kanye West steps in again in “Hate.” Jay-Z and Kanye combine to do great work once again. Jay-Z goes solo on “Reminder,” which is similar in style to Fort Minor’s “Remember the Name,” is bound to be the next song playing over the big speakers at college football and basketball games. “So Ambitious” featuring Pharrell is not too great. It’s similar to the first few songs on the album. Fun beat, and underlying instrumentals, and perhaps even showing off a little musical diversity, but still not too great. As you listen, it progressively gets better, but never reaches the heights of previous tracks. The eighties’ hit “Forever Young” is taken to the next level on the last track. Alphaville may not have originally intended to have Jay-Z remix it, but why not? Jay-Z exhibits the heights of his creativity bringing in Mr. Hudson to help with the track and letting enough of the original track through his additions.

The album is definitely worth the purchase. Not every song shows the talent of Hollywood’s top artist and producer, but those that do leave no questioning the reasons for his success.


Featured Artist of the Week

Erica Miller

Senior
Taylorsville, Ky.
Major: Art
Minor:
Exercise Science

“I am interested in the human figure; the way it moves, functions and its contours. I try to incorporate both Kinesiology and Art together to gain a better understanding of the figure and its complex nature. I admire the Ancient Roman and Greek sculpture and their ideas of human form and use that as a reference in most of my work.”


Free movie at Kentucky Theater

By ANNA COBB
Staff Writer

One of the newest clubs hitting Georgetown College this semester is iFilms. This club was created to introduce students to foreign films and have a lot of fun. The club plans to take multiple outings throughout the year to the Kentucky Theatre in Lexington, Ky. to see foreign films. The club was created by Freshman Jacob Fuqua. He was inspired by his love for movies and motivation to go out and see them.

The club has four main officers. Jacob Fuqua is the President, freshman Anna Cobb is the Vice President of Social Affairs, sophomore Rachel Ward is the Vice President and sophomore S.E. Price is the Treasurer. The club’s first outing will be on Wednesday, Dec. 9. The movie starts at 7:45 p.m. at the Kentucky Theatre. Any student on campus is welcome to come. The best part? This outing is completely free! It has been completely sponsored by GAC. Plenty of thanks go to them and the Kentucky Theatre for special group rates. The club will meet around 7 p.m. in the visitor parking lot by Anderson Hall and then students will carpool to the Kentucky Theatre.

The movie they will be seeing is entitled “An Education.” This movie is about a sixteenyear- old girl named Jenny who lives in the London suburb of Twickenham. Jenny’s father is a hardworking man who is pushing Jenny to do everything that she can to attend Oxford University after high school. Jenny soon meets a boy named David who assures her father that his sole intent is to expose her to as much culture as possible. However, as they spend more and more time together, Jenny’s academic aspirations are put on hold as she sparks a love interest in David. After spending some time with him, she finds out his real lifestyle and then has to make a tough decision about whether she can sacrifice her aspirations of Oxford to pursue her life with David. This classic love story mixes real life with an aspect that most students here can relate to —education. If anyone would be interested in joining iFilms on this outing next week, feel free to contact Anna Cobb for more information at anna_cobb@hotmail.com.


“Blindside[d]” with humor

By FRANCIS NELSON
Staff Writer

Quinton Aaron stars in the movie based on the true story of Baltimore Ravens left tackle Michael Oher (pronounced “oar” just like what you paddle a canoe with). “The Blind Side” is a heartwarming and inspirational tale of a wealthy Christian family who takes in a homeless and familyless teenager who attends the same school as their son and daughter. It’s a two-hour lesson on what unconditional love is, what loyalty is, and that Thanksgiving dinner is meant to be eaten at a dining room table with the television off. Sorry Dallas and Detroit. It’s really not about you.

Watching the preview, you get the sense that the title is meant to be metaphorical about how life can blind side you, in both good and bad ways, and I’m not saying it isn’t, but through narration at the beginning of the movie, Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) explains the more obvious and not quite so deep meaning of the title. Here’s a hint: it has something to do with the job description of Oher’s position on the football field. Keeping to its true story roots, the movie has a very real feel to it, and you almost never find yourself wondering if a particular scene actually happened like you often do with other “based on a true story” movies. That’s how believable this film is, due largely in part to the great acting by a superb cast.

Sandra Bullock leads the way as she plays a good-hearted, but tough loving, Christian woman. In fact, it’s gentleness that leads her to invite Michael to spend the cold, rainy night at their house when they find him walking alone soaked. Her toughness shows when she responds with, “Don’t you dare lie to me,” after he tries to assure her that he has a place to stay. He doesn’t. Tim McGraw plays Sean Tuohy, although unrecognizable to all but his most die hard of female fans. He sets the stage for humor in a movie that is considered by some to be a real tearjerker when he mumbles, “I’ve seen that look many times. It means she’s about to get her way,” during the previously mentioned exchange between Leigh Anne and Michael. Anyone who’s been married or in a long-term relationship will thoroughly enjoy the comedic relationship banter between husband and wife.

In a very enjoyable way, “The Blind Side” weaves together sad moments and moments that make you want to laugh with moments that make you laugh even though they’re supposed to be sad. Coach Cotton (Ray McKinnon,) Jae Head (S.J. Tuohy,) and Lily Collins (Collins Tuohy) did splendidly in their roles and really helped round out the cast. There were many other actors and actresses who added their own small, but quality, bits to the movie: far too many to be listed individually. For example, the scene where Leigh Anne goes to the DMV to get Michael a driver’s license is one of the best in the movie. Director John Lee Hancock did great job of pulling all this together and presenting it an amazing way.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a movie where the good so outweighed the bad that I could hardly think of a thing to criticize about it. Perhaps, one little thing that added to the movie was watching the real life Oher open up a hole for the Raven’s running back to scamper through shortly after seeing movie Oher do it on the silver screen. “The Blind Side” gets five stars from me, and definitely deserves to get at least five awards from Oscar.

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