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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Nikki Stout


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Record Routine: Sgt. Pepper’s cover doesn’t do Beatles or Flaming Lips justice

The most nerve-wracking part of taking creative risks is the chance that certain manifestations function better in theory than they do in practice. the Flaming Lips’ With A Little Help From My Fwends is, unfortunately, one of those things. What could have been a lovely partner to one of the greatest albums of all time, created “with a little help from [their] friends,” the album makes the tragic mistake of being different for the sake of being different, without really adding anything to the Beatles’ sensational 1967 album. Where there could have been further development on the original—adding new technology to the Kaliope-styled “Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!” for example—it’s distant. That seems to be a trend with many of these tracks. Wayne Coyne, the lead singer, and friends just did not capture the spirit, sound or essence of the originals track, and those that are lyrically profound or cheekily jovial, such as “She’s Leaving Home” or “Getting Better,” respectively, fall quite flat and don’t necessarily “get there” in the same way the original did. Most importantly, and most shockingly, though is the fact that the Beatles’ original album ends with one of the most prolific and important album closers of all time—“A Day In The Life.” What was originally crafted to be a literal orchestral orgasm was completely scrapped. The Flaming Lips’ Pepper ends with, well, nothing. There’s nothing there, except a bit of rambling by miss Miley Cyrus herself. This is completely inexcusable.

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Beatles anniversary special pays tribute to past, inspires future

Sunday evening marked the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show," and as such, The Grammy’s hosted a show in honor of the infamous band. Artists ranging from Katy Perry to Gary Clark Jr. spent the evening performing their own renditions of classic Beatles tracks, interspersed with interviews with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and CBS associates who attended the fateful show back in 1964. The 90-minute long special paid warm homage to the most important band in history.

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"Grass Punks" offers eloquent folk melodies

Tom Brosseau’s latest release Grass Punks is everything that a folk album spanning thirty minutes should be. It isn’t exactly ground-breaking, it isn’t exactly “favorite album” material, but it is definitely worth a listen for anyone interested in folk.

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Christmas comes without love from diva Leona Lewis

Oh good, another pop star Christmas album. Because that’s what the charts need—another singer good enough to make radio play but not good enough to keep pumping out the hits, instead singing the same 10 songs as every other depleted artist out there.

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Cut Copy pastes genres together

Cut Copy’s latest release, Free Your Mind, encourages you to do just that. A heady journey through funky electronic pseudo-psychedlia, the album nods to ’90s dance club grooves, yet remains relevant with soaring choruses and sailing vocals.

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Moonface wrings emotions with voice and piano on ‘Julia With Blue Jeans On’

Moonface’s Julia With Blue Jeans On is the kind of album you listen to once and never forget. It unapologetically commands full attention and respect, and refuses to back down throughout the last chord. This album is heavy. I mean weight-of-the-world-on-your-shoulders heavy. I mean agonizingly heavy. I mean “it should be impossible for one person and a piano to create this kind of heaviness” heavy. Apathetic and wise, Julia With Blue Jeans On composes exactly the type of atmosphere for the lost, lonely and misunderstood.

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All charms aside, 'Let's Be Still' is a bore

On their new album, Let’s Be Still, The Head And The Heart have expanded their boundaries just a bit—enough to make the new release a full step forward. Let’s Be Still widens their style enough to label their sound pleasantly upbeat, even at its mellow, smell-the-roses pace.

Lord Snow
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The Record Routine: Lord Snow's 'Solitude' evokes emotions

Sometimes it’s all just too much. I get stressed over things I really don’t have to worry about, nothing makes sense and I just want to escape into being a girl. When these episodes strike, I usually put on a limited, repeated loop of The Smiths and Hole and float along through my estrogen ocean, waiting to come back to equilibrium. So I sat down this afternoon, pen in hand, to write an album review. What I was not expecting was to be assaulted with a Riot Grrrl throwback for the 21st century. Lord Snow’s Solitude threw me right into that aforementioned hormonal ocean, but instead of floating back to shore, I doggy-paddled myself to exhaustion, wanting to stay in place.

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