22

Last week I turned 22! My birthday was on a Monday, but lucky for me I have off on Mondays! I celebrated by going hiking/climbing at High Rocks with Kevin. It was a little scary and a lot of fun. We came home for a much-needed nap. Afterwards, we ordered takeout from Bertucci’s because I’m not a big fan of eating out. I don’t hate going out to eat, it’s just a little uncomfortable for me and so I would rather eat at home. The pizza was delicious and they also gave us free rolls with a spicy oil dip.

The weekend right before my birthday, my friend Laura G. came to visit from LI. She was my first roommate at Del Val, freshmen year. (Barness 111!) It was so great to see her again. A few other friends also visited last weekend and the apartment was packed! We had fun at Peace Valley.

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On Saturday night some of us went to Poco’s for drinks and chips/salsa. I had a delicious pina colada!

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And now the semester is finally wrapping up. Tomorrow I have an exam, on Wednesday I go home for Thanksgiving, and then there is only 1 full week of class before finals. And I only have 2 finals!

Album Reviews: Yellowcard, Bastille, & Empire of the Sun

Some of my favorite artists released more great music this fall. I decided I would write a little personal review about these new albums.

Yellowcard: Yellowcard

5/5 stars

This has to be the saddest album review because this is the last time we will ever be hearing from the alternative rock band, Yellowcard. They released their self-titled album with the announcement that the band will be breaking up as soon as they finish their final tour. Yellowcard released their first album in 2001, followed by Ocean Avenue in 2003 that became their biggest hit. Ocean Avenue was a masterpiece and it was hard for them to follow up after releasing such an epic album. I remember getting that album for Christmas in 4th grade. I would play that CD in my boom-box all the time while hanging out in my bedroom. They released several albums following Ocean Avenue, however none of them could compare. Southern Air from 2012 came pretty close, but still couldn’t measure up completely. However, Yellowcard managed to outdo themselves and end their career on a major high note (no pun intended…)

The new Yellowcard album is absolutely fantastic. I can actually say that this one beats Ocean Avenue. The theme of the album is letting go, which makes sense, considering this is the band’s finale. The lyrics are meaningful and the melodies are powerful. “Rest in Peace” is a wonderful song about finding a way to move on from the past without feeling bitter about it. “Leave a Light On” is a beautiful piano medley. A couple of the tracks have a nice country vibe going on. My only complaint is that this is a shorter album with merely 10 songs. However, sometimes less is more. Each song is strong enough to stand on its own.

Bastille: Wild, Wild World

5/5 stars

I first heard of Bastille in 2014 when I heard “Pompeii” playing on the radio. I was hooked right away. They are an alternative-pop band with thick, british accents. They write deep lyrics that causes you to ponder.

Their new album is even better than their last. “Good Grief,” their lead single, is super catchy. As always, their voices are powerful. The theme of the album is about how crazy and wild the world is, especially when it comes to all the fear that the news and media feeds us. There is also a common theme of being in love and trying to be a good person. The album has a powerful message that we need in this hectic, modern world.

Empire of the Sun: Two Vines

4/5 stars

Empire of the Sun is one of my favorite artists! Their sound is a unique use of electronica that comes off as soothing and dreamy. Their lyrics are creative and imaginative. They make very eccentric music videos. Every song of theirs is always uplifting, even the slower ones. Their music makes you feel good, like you’re walking on a dream (which is the title of my favorite song by them!)

In their new album, Two Vines, Empire of the Sun keeps their signature style. It sounds very similar to their previous albums. I deducted a star only because I was hoping some of their tracks would be a little different. However, it’s still an amazing album. I would have been upset if they flipped their style completely. As usual, the tracks are positive and uplifting without being too cheesy. I’m glad they stuck to their original roots, though I hope that for their next album, they are a bit more experimental.