Music, Movies & More: Taylor Swift, Skyfall, Soundgarden

Jessie Hellmann


Taylor Swift

Rating: 5/5 stars

Taylor Swift grew up in her latest album, “Red.” This album is different from the past ones because its message sounds less like, “If you hurt me, I’m going to tell all my friends your gay,” and more like, “Shit happens – I’ll get over it.”

For example, “I Knew You Were Trouble” is a song about dating a guy who you knew was trouble from the start, but who you fall for anyway. It’s a song about that guy who goes through women and destroys them like a tornado, and she’s just another causality.

The most realistic song on “Red” is “All Too Well.” It starts off sad and reminiscent but Swift progressively sounds angrier and angrier, just like in a real breakup. At the end of the song she becomes calm again, and you can tell this is her letting go of a failed relationship – “I’d like to be my old self again, but I’m still trying to find it.”

The whole album isn’t about breakups, though – there is also something for best friends who want to annoy the world with a catchy song about forgetting everything. 

The song “22” is about living in the moment with your friends and forgetting past relationships and mistakes. Its mission is evident from the very first line – “It feels like a perfect night to dress up like hipsters and make fun of our exes.”

The very last song on the CD, “Begin Again,” fits perfectly as the album’s final track. It’s a song about that first date you go on after a bad breakup and realizing there are other men out there. It’s a song about hope.

All around, “Red” is a terrific CD, although different from her others. There’s a song for everyone on there, whether your ex boyfriend was a serial heartbreaker, a relationship just didn’t work out, or your mistake of a boyfriend left you for his dirty ex.

By: JESSIE HELLMANN, News editor




Rating: 4/5 stars

“Skyfall” is different from any other James Bond movie I’ve ever seen.

The music stays true to its roots and is classicly James Bond-esque, including Adele’s “Skyfall.” Bond keeps up with his normal Bond women. The classic Aston Martin DB5 car makes its sixth return to the Bond franchise. But then everything changes.

Daniel Craig, the newest actor to take on the role of Bond, dies. But no worries – Bond can’t ever actually die. He comes back just in time to try stopping a cyber-terrorist, Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem).

The catch with this James Bond movie is that it’s personal. Silva was an agent like 007, and he worked for the legendary M. M gave up Silva’s cover and he was tortured. He tried killing himself, but that didn’t work out so well, and he wants revenge – with M and anyone else who gets in his way.

It’s a James Bond movie where the villian isn’t trying to take over the world. 

Bond takes M to his home in Scotland and, of course, saves the day. We meet a worker from when Bond was a child. It makes the connection to Bond stronger, and more glimspes of his past make him more real. 

A small part of me wishes Sean Connery would make a cameo one of these days.

By: SHANNON HALL, Life and Culture editor


“King Animal”


Rating: 4.5/5

Good news, grunge fans! The long-awaited return of Soundgarden is in full-swing, and with its most recent release, “King Animal,” the band has found its new sound.

With its first full-length LP since “Down on the Upside” (1996), the bar was set pretty high for the new record. The band rose magnificently to the occasion in what could be considered one of its most solid releases to date.

Conforming to modern rock, Soundgarden has blended its experimental grunge music with some more conventional rock and metal riffs. However, the band is still far from conformist or conventional.

Strange time signatures and unique vocal styling, courtesy of lead singer Chris Cornell (Audioslave), still help to define and differentiate the band from similar acts.

“Worse Dreams” and “By Crooked Steps” showcase these elements very clearly.

The album takes a folk twist with an acoustic guitar and a twangy-sounding Cornell in “Black Saturday” and continues the lighter, acoustic approach into the grunge-pop of “Halfway There.”

First track and lead single “Been Away Too Long” is instantly catchy, addictive and to the point. Repeated listening will likely follow.

With “King Animal,” Soundgarden has managed to craft an album that will retain devoted fans, draw upon new ones and set the stage for a second heyday. It is diverse enough to keep it interesting but consistent enough that it feels like a cumulative effort.

Soundgarden has been away for much too long.

By: JAKE TAPLEY, Opinion editor