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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

VH New Music Fridays: The Jonas Brothers, Thomas Rhett and more


In VH New Music Fridays, the Life staff cover this week’s new music releases, from pop to country to alternative.

Pop: Taylor Hopkins

The Jonas Brothers, “Sucker”

The boys are back! After a six year hiatus, the Jonas Brothers have reunited, and if the recent release “Sucker” is a sign of what’s to come then not only are the boys back, but they’re also better than ever. During their break, each of the brothers ventured out on their own paths, with Nick launching a fairly successful solo career, Joe forming the band DNCE and Kevin abandoning music altogether in favor of a quiet real estate career. While their latest single “Sucker” is somewhat reminiscent of their past boy band work with its catchy chorus, danceable melody and love struck theme, it also feels new, and lyrics like “I’ve been dancin’ on top of cars/ And stumblin’ out of bars/ I follow you through the dark/ Can’t get enough,” prove the brothers have long forgotten their Disney days. This song, unlike past work, features an equal amount of vocal work from Nick and Joe, who both compliment each other and shine on their own. “Sucker” is sure to be a hit (and is already the number one song and music video on iTunes) as fans everywhere look forward to what the newest incarnation of the Jonas Brothers have in store. So, whether you remember Disney’s Camp Rock, still know all of the lyrics to “Year 3000”, or are just a pop music fan in general, listening to the Jonas Brothers sing, “I’m a sucker for you/ Say the word and I’ll go anywhere blindly/ I’m a sucker for you, yeah/ Any road you take you know that you’ll find me,” may make you a “Sucker” for them.

Country: Alexa Bussmann

Thomas Rhett, “Look What God Gave Her”

Unfortunately, there were no country music releases this week- just former country artist Thomas Rhett’s new pop single “Look What God Gave Her”. The song’s message is basic– praising a woman for her looks. The chorus proclaims “I know she’s got haters/ But it ain’t her fault/ Look what God have her.” The single’s pop sounds complete the simplicity of the song– a sunny, bouncing and constant pop beat provides a bland background to this wholly unimpressive song. Rhett’s latest single is a sign that the pop influences of his last album, Life Changes, are here to stay. It’s part of a now-common theme in country music that I like to call the “Swift Effect”- a young artist starts out in country music, builds a career on the country charts while slowly shifting their sound and lyrics to pop music, and finally uses the fame that they have garnered in the country genre to launch a Top 40 career. Taylor Swift built her career this way, and it looks like Thomas Rhett is doing the same. Rhyming “Corona” and “Daytona” in the first verse of a song simply doesn’t make it country.

Indie and Alternative: Angela Karas

MARINA, “Superstar”

Let’s face it. For our millennial/ Gen Z cusp generation, it’s hard for any artist to compete with the first new release from the Jonas Brothers in over half a decade. But MARINA holds her own ground, releasing the second single from her upcoming album Love + Fear, “Superstar.” “Superstar” is highly reminiscent of traditional songs from her first three albums and is exactly the stellar alt/pop jams we’ve come to expect from her. She also recently announced a tour including a stop at Nashville’s own Ryman Auditorium. At the time of this publishing, tickets are still available, so MARINA fans may be interesting in purchasing tickets for the Sept. 20 date.

Weezer, “I’m Just Being Honest”

Weezer has released their latest album, Weezer (Black Album). “I’m Just Being Honest” is solid alt-rock offering, both adequately catchy and lyrically engaged. However, nothing significant stands out about the song; “I’m Just Being Honest” is par for the course of alt rock offerings. While an overall enjoyable listening experience, the song is not particularly memorable.

K. Flay, “Bad Vibes”

K. Flay provides an eclectic mix of indie rock that intermingles with R&B and arguably even rap. The lyrics are also highly compelling, providing a rather bleak outlook on the current state of society and interpersonal relations. This intriguing mix between highly energetic music and the rather pessimistic commentary makes for a refreshingly novel and downright captivating song.

Morrissey, “It’s Over”

The notoriously controversial singer and former frontman of The Smiths released the somewhat bizarre “It’s Over.” The song very much sounds like it belongs in a western movie and does not showcase the lyrical poetry characterizing the vast majority of The Smiths’ songs. Of course, The Smiths have not been together since the 1980s, and Morrissey has exhibited that he is capable of producing decent songs (see: 2017’s “Spent the Day in Bed”), but “It’s Over” unfortunately does not follow this trend. Morrissey fans should stick to listening to The Smiths.

Cover Photo: K. Flay, The Jonas Brothers and Thomas Rhett

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About the Contributor
Alexa Bussmann, Former Content Development Director
Alexa Bussmann is from Minnetonka, Minnesota. She majored in political science, economics and Spanish. Alexa previously served as Content Development Director and has written for The Hustler since her freshman year. She wrote the "Hannah, Alexa and Joe" and "New Music Fridays" columns. In her free time, Alexa enjoys trying new coffee shops in Nashville and following U.S. politics.
Reach Alexa at: [email protected]
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