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Midnights (3am Edition) – Rating: 9.5/10
By: Nadinne Motta
In her latest album, Taylor returns back to the pop roots that initially made her a global superstar, but this time with the lyricism that was such a hallmark of her folklore and evermore albums.
This was an album that I was particularly excited about, the theme as a whole is appealing. For people who have experienced heartbreak, overthinking and imagining what could have been late at night sounds familiar. To me, the endless ideas from this immediately made it seem like an album full of slower heartbreaking songs.
I was initially surprised, after hearing the album, by how upbeat most of the songs were. Sure, there were a couple of slower songs that usually ended up being my immediate favorites. Still, this time, I found myself enjoying the more upbeat songs, even if the lyrics in them were similar to the slower ones. It’s particularly impressive to me how Taylor can switch back and forth between different genres, going from a slow ballad to an upbeat pop song, to a more rock-sounding one.
The album opener Lavender Haze serves as a way for Swift to deal with the various rumors that are always surrounding her relationship, and how all she wants to do (and does) is be in her relationship on her own terms, without worrying about everyone else’s thoughts. In Maroon, she reflects on a lost love throughout various nights (midnights…?) in New York and elsewhere. Here, she brings up one of my favorite parts of her songs, the color red, well, this time a shade of red. Her changing of the color to maroon implies a darker love than the one in the song Red. In Anti-Hero, she details the inner turmoil she undergoes about being the actual problem. This felt like a nice twist, as usually most songs that deal with a similar topic would probably blame someone else, not themselves. In You’re On Your Own, Kid, she describes a person’s journey (possibly hers) throughout the years, as they discover the nuances of life, and discover who they are and what they want to do.
The next two songs deal with a similar topic. Midnight Rain deals with a relationship that fell apart, due to differing commitments. One wanted to live a comfortable life, and the other wanted to follow fame and become someone. This was initially one of my standout songs, due to Taylor’s use of voice modulation, which she rarely uses. In Question…?, she recounts a midnight kiss at a party, and the aftermath of it, with “miscommunications” from an overwhelmed side. This was one of my favorite tracks, as the story in general was just so appealing to me. Relationships are often complicated, but the concept of both people wanting to be together, but having one who has such a fear, not of the person, but of everything that surrounds it. It has some of my favorite lyrics on the album.
The next song that I really pored over was Mastermind, and it quickly became my favorite song on the album. In her past album folklore, she had a song called invisible string, and the lyrics talked about how fate played a role in a relationship, specifically between Taylor and her partner Joe Alwyn. The concept of a “single thread of gold” that tied them together was really cute to me, and it made this song way crazier to me. In Mastermind, she directly counters this. The relationship in this song was planned from (almost) the beginning. After a first meeting “in the same room at the same time”, Taylor schemes and plans in order for the relationship to occur. We’ve often heard the story of a relationship happening due to someone appearing somewhere on purpose in order to see someone, and this is what I think of with this song. It’s the complete antithesis to invisible string, with Taylor now rejecting the power that destiny could have had here. My first listen to this song didn’t have me thinking too much, but over the course of my repeating of the album, it’s become my favorite song.
In the 3am tracks, The Great War details a relationship that was fraught with complications, comparing it to various battles. I really enjoyed this song, and the comparison to battles and soldiers was new and lyrically sound. Bigger Than The Whole Sky details a tragic loss and a wondering of what could have been. Paris recounts a night with a lover, where, while hiding out from all the negative things occurring around them, can escape to somewhere else, specifically the city of love. This was one of the more upbeat songs on the album, and I enjoyed the giddiness of it.
High Infidelity explains a tale of unfaithfulness to a partner, with Taylor taking the blame for hurting the person she was with, but recounting the healing and love she experienced with the other person. In Glitch, she details a burgeoning relationship, explaining that it’s a “glitch” due to how unlikely it was to occur, and how wonderful it’s becoming. On Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve, Taylor possibly wrote the next All Too Well. This is one of her most complicated songs and is the most lyrically complex song. She sings about being in a relationship too young, and how she would do everything in her power if given the option to ensure she’d never gotten into it. It speaks of a heartbreak, but one that should not have happened at all. The closing song Dear Reader serves as a piece of advice, confessing to the listener some bad decisions that she’s made, and encouraging them to not make the same mistakes.
Overall, this was an amazing album for me, and I enjoyed every single song on the album. The fact that at this point in her career she’s able to put out amazing content like this (although I’m not surprised, this is Taylor we’re talking about) is nothing short of legendary. I’d rate it a 9.5/10, and I’ve only deducted that little 0.5 due to how many times I’ve had to hear anti-hero on the radio. This is swiftie approved and loved 🙂
- Midnight Rain
- Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve
- You’re On Your Own, Kid
- Lavender Haze
- High Infidelity
- Dear Reader
- The Great War
- Bigger Than The Whole Sky
- Snow on the Beach
- Sweet Nothing
- Vigilante Sh*t
Stardust, by Neil Gaiman – Rating: 10/10
By: Nadinne Motta
I’m a big fan of Neil’s comic book work, and around the time The Sandman showcame out on Netflix, I decided to check out some of his non-comic book work. The initial cover of the book caught my eye. It looks like a starry sky, with the most significant thing being the shining moon in the center.
The premise follows a boy, Tristan Thorn, whose sole aspiration in life is to marry the most beautiful girl in his village of Wall, Victoria Forester. His village is known to have a fair, wherein they cross a wall that leads them to an unknown world. In the leadup to this fair, as Tristan proposes to Victoria, a star falls out of the sky. Victoria proposes this: she will marry Tristan, but only if he finds the star and returns it to her.
Tristan readily agrees and sets off into the unknown world beyond the village of Wall. Here, he unknowingly stumbles on a path that leads to adventure, although he won’t end up seeing some of it. After meeting the star, who in this world, is more of a person than an object, and can talk and do most things Tristan can, except eat. Unbeknownst to him, there are 2 other groups searching for the star. One is a witch seeking to regain her youth, and the other is a group of brothers, searching for the star who has what they need to become Kings, no matter what.
I really enjoyed this book. While the beginning felt a bit slow for me, once we met the star and began the journey back to Wall, I couldn’t put this book down. The romance in the story was really complicated and emotional, and I loved the fact that I both did and didn’t see it coming.
To me, I feel like the quotes in this book are sometimes a bit more memorable than actual moments in the story itself, which I’ve never felt before, but nonetheless enjoyed. Toward the end of the book, I cried probably at least five times. It’s a wonderful story, and I haven’t really been able to stop thinking about it.
There’s a movie adaptation of the book, and after watching it, I felt like it did do the book justice. Of course, there are minor changes that happen, but overall, it kept the most important moments in the story without changing them. I rate it a 10/10, and it quickly became my favorite book.
Animal Crossing New Horizons-rating 9/10
By: Jasmine Altman
I gave Animal Crossing this rating because, it’s a very good game but there’s definitely some room for improvement. Nintendo did a very good job with this game (made on march 20th 2020) I remember when I got game last year (wondering what the hype was about)
I was very excited to see what it was about. Once you open the game your character is at an airport and greeted by Timmy and Tommy, two little raccoons, and soon they ask you for a pic (which is where you customize your character) then you are sent to your island.
Soon as you arrive there you are greeted by Tom nook, the raccoon that is in charge of everything. After some talking he gives you a phone and a tent. After many hours you get a house, a very small one but you have to start somewhere, when I played I was amazed by the graphics. Everything is very well designed. When you get enough villagers on your island you will get a celebrity named kk slider, a white dog who plays an acoustic guitar, after his first show there he will come every Saturday. I definitely like this feature of the game it gives you something to look forward to every week.
Once you get deep into the game you will meet more characters. (Harvey, Redd, Harriet, the Able sisters, etc.) I put in many hours playing the game perfecting my island to get five (aka the objective of the game) Now onto the reason why I didn’t give a full ten rating.
Although I love this game there are some features that didn’t meet my expectations or the fans of the game, for instance the toy day event also known as Christmas is when a reindeer named jiggles comes to your island but needs help to deliver all the gifts to the villagers, not knowing what’s in them, but in the older animal crossings for example animal crossing new Leaf it was month long holiday where you shop for friends, and ask villagers what they want for Christmas, but in new horizons you don’t have any of it, Nintendo also limited the fruits main fruits now are apples, coconuts, cherries, oranges, peaches, and pears, in the previous ones there was lemons, bananas mangoes, and lychee. Animal Crossing New Horizons overall is very good with extended games to add on, playing it also is a good way to pass time and I hope Nintendo will continue to keep animal crossing going.
by: Wareesha Chaudhry. 7 /10
Turning red is about a Meilin Lee who has a curse that is passed on to generations in her family through her mom’s side. So Meilin was different but the same type of person. Meilin Lee had a crush on a teenage boy Devin and her overprotective and strict mom found drawings of the boy Devin under her bed. She grabbed the drawings and scolded Meilin and went to the convenience store and scolded Devin and Meilin hid behind her embarrassed as Tyler her classmate made fun of her. That night Meilin cried herself to sleep she woke up the next morning as a Red panda she started panicking she hid herself I felt this was very relatable and she was probably really scared. Meilin also found out that every time she calmed down she would turn back. If she showed too much emotion she would turn into the red panda. As Meilin got to school she tried to keep her calm but later she got scared when she saw her mom and turned into a red panda but the students ended up really liking her. I felt that this part was really ironic and controversial as she thought the students would be scared of her. Later she and her friends decided to make use of this opportunity because they wanted to make enough money to go to 4 Town. I also thought this part was comedic as there were five of them. But later in the story they made a lot of money as they were about to reach their goal they realized that if Meilin Lee wanted to turn back she had to undergo a process of the awakening which was actually the same day as the boy band so in the end she couldn’t go. Her mom also found out and got mad at Meilin and Meilin blamed it on all her friends. So now everyone was basically mad at her at this part I felt bad for Meilin because it felt like everyone hated her. Meilin later decided to escape and wanted to keep her panda as she made it to the ceremony so she left all her relatives came tried to find her but couldn’t as Meilin found her friends and said sorry but then something happened so now her mom the biggest red panda turned into one and started wrecking the city so all of the her relatives and Meilin went to the spiritual realm and brought her back but Meilin made a choice to keep her red panda in the end which I felt like she actually matured and decided to accept a new part of her life.
Just Dance 2023 -rating 8.5/10
By Jasmine Altman
By Jasmine Altman
I gave just dance this rating because it seemed to definitely be different to the other just dances that I’ve played/ seen. When you open the your greeted by a very colorful and lively cover that is animated, when I saw this I was amazed and still am, after you customize your profile picture you get to look at all the songs,
Some of the songs that were on there were Dynamite by BTS, Locked Out of Heaven by Bruno Mars, Wannabe by Itzy and many more. I was very excited when I saw these songs and the quality was beautiful, the colors, outfits, and backgrounds, honestly I would have gave just dance a 10/10 but there was some changes to the game.
The last just dance I had was just dance 2021 and on that game was a kids mode which was helpful because I gave a younger sibling that lives to dance, but I saw that this just dance had no kids mode even though it’s a small feature that’s gone I really enjoyed it, another feature that I noticed was gone was the tracker (I’m not sure if the actual name) that would show you score in depth for example, if you got 4 okay’s, the tracker would show how many you got, I found this very helpful and fun, but it isn’t in the game (just dance 2023) but another thing I’m not sure that the previous game just dance 2022 had this feature. There is also a update I noticed in the characters, in the other games they never had face you most likely see them a bit but it was never intentional, now in the new in they have actual faces which is pretty cool now you can see them sing the songs.
Continuing on I noticed that the menu has also changed, 2022 was more of a color block vibe while 2023 had more of a darker vibe which I liked. It reminded me of 2017 just dance. Over all I really like this game and hope that dance will grow.