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Latest Reviews

Linfield's sports broadcasting program rapidly progressing

Stephanie Hofmann/Opinion editor

No matter how far away from campus you are you can still be kept up to date with every home sporting event.

This is the promise of the sports broadcasting program for KSLC. Over the past couple of years this clubs has gone from a couple of guys only doing three sports all year to a staff doing at times four sports a week.

"Pure student dedication and love of doing it," Assistant Professor of Mass Communications Michael Huntsberger said. "That what gets people on the air and want to continue improving it."

Huntsberger, the adviser of KSLC, remembers coming into the program four years ago to a ghost of a media program. From there with students' dedication and love for sports they were able to get not only KSLC off its feet, but the sports broadcasting program. General Manager, senior Jerry Young came in right when the program was changing. He worked with six other guys to bring the broadcast off its feet. They knew they had succeeded when they were covering a playoff football game in 2012, where 1500 people were listening to them.

"At first we were just doing it for fun and then two years later we had 1500 people listening," Young said. "It was crazy."

It wasn't a smooth ride to 1500 listeners, because like any craft it takes awhile to get down. Once each of the students were able to be on the air they were able to correct their mistakes and make the broadcast that much better.

"Developing those habits was a challenge," Huntsberger said. "You are terrible when you start, but then you get better. We were able to give people many opportunities to get airtime, which helped. They could listen to what they did well and then try to get better."

The students that made these big changes are almost all graduated now with the final round of students leaving this year. After putting four years into the program it's hard to not want to listen.

"I will be listening to the next couple of years," Young said. "I'm curious how they will do without them being able to call me and have them be on their own when something goes wrong. I will defiantly keep listening."

The sports broadcasting program will have a lot to listen to next year with them doing play-by-plays for a total of nine sports including football, baseball, soccer, volleyball and basketball. With many of the top broadcasters graduating this year, airtime is opening up for the next generation of sports reporters.

"We need to continue to get more people involved," Huntsberger said. "We are going to lose a couple of people, but then others will see the opportunity and join. It just comes from people that we know that we exist. Just to hear that it continues to grow so we can provide the broadcast, but also improving the quality."

As students come into the program and make it better, there is one thing that never fails. It's a group of people that love sports and want to talk about it.

"It just kind of keeps going," Huntsberger said. "We more that we do it, the more people get into it. The thing that Linfield does that makes it great is it has students that really love sports."

Fall Out Boy makes a comeback

After a three year hiatus, rock band Fall Out Boy released their comeback album "Save Rock and Roll." The four-member band consists of Patrick Stump, Pete Wentz, Joe Trohman and Andy Hurley.

Their 2008 album "Folie a Deux" was a flop and it seemed like the end for the band. In April 2013, Fall Out Boy released this new album as a challenge to change their sound to be more modern and drift away from their previous "emo" persona.

"The Phoenix" is the first track on the album. It's powerful strings and percussion instantly lets the listeners know that Fall Out Boy is back. The track consists of Wentz screaming over the music and makes it seem like a battle cry song. Definitely a solid choice for an album opener.

"My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)" is the lead single for "Save Rock and Roll." The track is full of energy and chant-like beats. It showcases the change that Fall Out Boy made to their original sound, and it works for them.

"Alone Together" is definitely more pop than most of the other tracks on the album. It has a lighthearted rock feel. The chorus is catchy and makes listeners want to sing along to the simple lyrics. As the song progresses, the instrumentation becomes louder and builds up an energy that makes you not want the song to end.

"The Mighty Fall" features an interesting unexpected collaboration with rap artist Big Sean. The song has the same feel as "My Songs" but it features more of guitar than the single. It takes the track a while for Big Sean to make an appearance after his opening blurb. When he starts his part, it seems more like a spoken word rather than a rap over the music. It is a good attempt at mixing genres but it could have been performed better with more variation in levels.

Rock anthem "Young Volcanoes" has elements that showcase some folk influence. Wentz's vocals become a clear focus of the song as he belts out the first line of the chorus "We are wild, we are like young volcanoes." This is definitely one of the best tracks on the album.

"Rat a Tat" features Courtney Love and has a heavy punk influence that resembles some of Fall Out Boy's old sound with a twist. Love's vocal addition does not really mesh with the song at all. They could have been left out and the track would be a solid single contender. The repetitive "rat a tat" chanting makes listeners want to sing a long even if it is their first time listening.

The final track on the album is "Save Rock and Roll," which has a special collaboration with Elton John. This slow-paced track is different from everything else on the album. It seems a little cluttered but as John's voice comes in, it all makes sense. The title basically tells you what the song is trying to do--save rock and roll.

Ivanna Tucker KSLC

Ivanna            Tucker    can          be            reached   at             linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com

Beyonce exudes confidence, poise

Beyonce shocked the world with the unexpected release of her self-titled album in December. The album consisted of 14 audio tracks and also a set of videos to go along with the purchase.

Songs on "Beyonce" are personal, uplifting, and very catchy. Each features a different tone and personality of Beyonce that listeners can get a sense of the different sides of her.

The first single "Drunk In Love" describes how she is overwhelmed with love for her partner and explores her sexuality. Beyonce describes sexual encounters that she doesn't know how to respond to such as when she says "Oh baby, drunk in love we be all night/Last thing I remember is our beautiful bodies grinding up in the club." The Arabic-style tones, chunky trap beats and repetition makes this song a slow jam that stands out each time its played.

"Pretty Hurts," the first track on the album, begins with audio that is set at a pageant where Beyonce is presented as "Ms. 3rd Ward." The song talks about how a person should be happy in their own skin and let happiness guide their life. Beyonce's vocals make this anthem something girls can look to for empowerment, especially as see belts "Pretty hurts" each time the chorus sinks in.

"'Yonce/Partition" starts off with Beyonce call-and-responding "Hey Mrs. Carter" and then a solid bass line begins. The lyrics are rap-like and sung as if it were one. The song then transforms to the track "Partition" with its snaps and quick, pulsing bassline. Each line helps embrace the idea of a woman exploring her sexuality rather than being seen as a sexual object. This song is one of the best songs on the album, with its dynamic nature of vocals and instrumentation.

"XO" begins with a sample from the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. The love ballad focuses on Beyonce's low register and highlights how wide her range is. In the chorus, there is a crowd echo to make listeners feel like they are a part of the song. This song focuses on how someone feels as they fall in love and the emotions attached to it.

"***Flawless" is a trap hip hop track that was developed around the speech "We should all be feminists" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The song begins with archived audio from when Beyonce appeared on Star Search with the group Girl's Tyme. Its intricate use of techno beats and simple variation in vocals makes it a dominating feminist anthem.

The last track of Beyonce's self-titled album "Blue" actually features her daughter laughing and talking. The soft-spoken ballad showcases Beyonce's vocals and the passion she portrays in her voice. This song provides a more caring tone to complete her dominate, dynamic album of passion and confidence.

Ivanna Tucker


Ivanna     Tucker    can          be            reached   at             linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com


American Authors debut album

You know that one song that has been stuck in your head because it's been all over movies or television commercials?

Chances are it's "Best Day of My Life" sung by up-and-coming pop rock band American Authors.

The band formed in Boston in 2006 when members of American Authors met at the Berklee College of Music and performed under the name The Blue Pages.

They later relocated to Brooklyn.

Although the band released their debut single, "Believer," in 2012, it wasn't until the release of "Best Day of My Life," that American Authors started making waves.

American Authors' "Oh, What a Life," is a great debut as the album captures the fearlessness, energy and catchiness of pop music.

The plucked banjos in "Best Day of My Life" and "Trouble" shamelessly contribute to the catchiness of the tunes, the former especially.

The band also evokes the musical style of Mumford & Sons through its intensity and sincerity in songs such as "Oh, What a Life" and "Luck."

American Authors is reminiscent of the pop flair of Foster the People, the catchy sing-along choruses of the Imagine Dragons and Fun., and the resounding urgency of Bastille, which is also gaining recognition with its song, "Pompeii."

"I am my own man, I make my own luck," lead singer Zac Barnett boasts on another highlight track, "Luck."

The track depicts the lead singer as a man seeking forgiveness from his family after he ups and leaves his town in search for bigger and better things.

The sixth track on the album, "Hit It," was featured in the video game FIFA '14 and revs up the mid-'90s sound of pop rock groups such as Green Day and Blink 182.

The track's bridge is a definite tongue twister but sure to get everyone singing along.

"One day we'll look at the past, with love," the band chants. "Love," the eighth track, is a summery tune that is also a sweet and poignant introspective on life.

"Oh, What a Life" is the perfect track to close the album as it captures the joyful and earnest essence of American Authors' musical style.

The banjo plucks and violins give the track a folksy feel, while the "oohs" and "aahs" during the chorus elevates it into a memorable pop tune.

American Authors are currently on tour around the country and will make their way to the Sleep Country Amphitheater on June 10 in Ridgefield, Wash.

American Authors' "Oh, What a Life" is available for digital download on iTunes and available for purchase in stores. You can also check out "Oh, What a Life" on KSLC 90.3 FM and listen online at www.linfield.edu/kslcfm or stream the station on iTunes.

Vanessa So / KSLC Music Director

Vanessa  So            can          be            reached   at             linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com

Kings of Leon releases new, vibrant album

After a three-year hiatus, Kings of Leon return to the music scene with "Mechanical Bull."

I remember when I first heard "Supersoaker" a couple of months ago and thought, this sounds like the old Kings of Leon.

Of course, this is a compliment to the Nashville-based band who are 13-year veterans in the music industry.

Kings of Leon are a Grammy award-winning band that formed in Nashville, Tenn. in 1999. Brothers Caleb, Nathan and Jared Followill comprise the band as well as their cousin Cameron Followill.

Though Kings of Leon gained early and critical recognition around 2003 with their track, "Use Somebody" it became a smash hit for mainstream radio and earned the band three Grammy awards. "Mechanical Bull" is King of Leon's first studio album in three years after the release of "Come Around Sundown" in 2010, which received mixed reviews.

"Mechanical Bull" offers a sound with more vibrancy and urgency that will please both longtime and new fans of the band.

After experimenting with different sounds in their last couple of albums, Kings of Leon makes "Mechanical Bull" a back-to-basics type album reassuring fans that they are still the classic-rock band that most fans grew to like with their fourth studio album, "Only by the Night."

Kings of Leon creates a diverse sound that suits all ears.

The band provides the rocker, heavy-tempo beats with "Don't Matter" and "Tempo" and the midtempos such as "Rocky City" and "Tonight.""Supersoaker" kicks off "Mechanical Bull," the band's sixth studio album, with a track that is an homage to their longtime fans.

The band released the track in July and it has a nice summer vibe that perfectly transitions into the fall season.

While "Mechanical Bull" includes songs that people could embrace, clap and shout to in an arena, the album takes a few turns that tug on some hearts.

Caleb gently sings "love don't mean nothing/unless there's something worth fighting for" in "Beautiful War," a gorgeous and subtle ballad.

Another ballad, "Wait for Me," has Caleb repeating the chorus enough times to create an emotional impact that will entice listeners and leave them wanting more.

Though the album includes the track "Comeback Story," don't expect the band to offer apologies and beg to get in people's good graces.

Caleb sings that he's got the "comeback of a lifetime/ I walk a mile in your shoes/ And now I'm a mile away/And I've got your shoes."

Kings of Leon's standard and deluxe version of "Mechanical Bull" are available for download on iTunes.

Vanessa So / KSLC Music Director

Vanessa So can be reached at linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com