Ariana Grande’s ‘Sweetener’: A sugar rush headache

At the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 20, the celebrity roster was notably missing some of pop’s biggest divas – Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Katy Perry et al. Alone stood Ariana Grande, performing her newest single “God is a woman” from her fourth album “Sweetener” (2018). It was a Last Supper-inspired performance, rife with gorgeous visuals […]


For the records: ‘Wake Me Up When September Ends’ edition

2017 is shaping up to be the year of the post-Disney starlet. Selena Gomez led the charge with the excellent “Bad Liar,” ahead of other former Disney stars staging their returns to the Top 40. September alone saw two of them release their latest LPs, signaling different moments for each of them career-wise. Check out the highs […]


Is This Thing On? While my computer gently weeps

Greetings again! It is my last column of the semester, and I wanted to bring things full circle. I opened by introducing this as a commentary on popular music in the context of college and beyond. This is the music I will look back on with both fond memories and embarrassment and perhaps have difficulty explaining to my kids. Therefore, in […]


‘Hairspray Live!’ brings strong singing, strong message

Gone are the days of hate-watching live television adaptations of musicals. They have come a long way since 2013, when country singer Carrie Underwood appalled audiences with her astoundingly poor acting capabilities in the first live televised musical special in almost 50 years on NBC, “The Sound of Music Live!” (2013).  “The Wiz Live!” (2015) and “Grease: […]


Is This Thing On? Dangerous women

New week, same question: what’s popular in the music world and why should we care? Second question: is it just me, or is it hot in here? 2016 has been a particularly steamy year in reference to the female music scene. I’m talkin’ Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, Fifth Harmony...the list goes on. To set the […]


The singles bar: spring has sprung edition

The arrival of warmer weather brings the end of the musical drought that lasts through the first quarter, from January to March, of each year. While this music season has been somewhat of an exception due to thrilling (surprise) releases from Rihanna, Beyoncé, Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar, big pop singles have been in short supply, leaving […]


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