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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: Kanye West, Tame Impala and more

The Hustler Life staff reviews this week’s new releases

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


Hip Hop: Brendan Sawyer

“Jesus is King,” Kanye West

Mr. West is back, following up his 2018 hot streak of production and rapping with projects like “ye” and “Kids See Ghosts.” Kanye seems to be taking a step back from the vibe and fame of hip hop, turning to religion with his self-proclaimed Gospel record,“Jesus is King.” The only thing is, he seems to still care mostly about his ego. Most references to God or Jesus come in some comparison relationship to Ye himself, which (despite being odd) isn’t necessarily a bad thing. His previous album “ye” saw him at his most vulnerable, so it makes sense to see him continue that theme.  Beyond that, the production is great but the lyrics range from alright to totally cringe-worthy (i.e. Chick-fil-a references). Die hard Kanye fans should check this one out just to see where the artist is at, but beyond that, “Jesus is King” is a pretty forgettable addition to Yeezy’s discography.  

“FEET OF CLAY,” Earl Sweatshirt

Earl Sweatshirt dropped an album out of the blue on Halloween this year with a particularly ominous title and album art. “FEET OF CLAY” foreshadows the 15-minute album’s tone because each track seems to be crumble apart as it’s played. The accordions and strings of the track “EAST” start to morph and distort toward the song’s end, and Earl’s vocals on “EL TORO COMBO MEAL”  shake as if they were scavenged from an old analogue tape. This broken aesthetic definitely works toward the album’s benefit, as Earl spits more bars about his struggles in life, whether it be outside forces or his own tumultuous mental state. At the end of the day, we’ve got 15 new minutes of Earl Sweatshirt material, and that’s something to celebrate. 


Country & Americana: Alexa Bussmann

“For My Daughter,” Kane Brown

The latest single from Kane Brown’s “Experiment” album is a thoughtful song written for his daughter. Drawing from his experiences growing up without a father, Brown promises to be the best dad he can be. While the single lacks musical complexity, its lyrics more than make up for it. “For My Daughter” features Brown’s deep, smooth voice– a perfect match for such meaningful lyrics. 

“Wildcard,” Miranda Lambert

Miranda Lambert’s seventh studio album, the lyrically astute and musically masterful “Wildcard,” demonstrates why she’s been around for so long. It’s full of songs like “Track Record” and “Tequila Does” that pay homage to Lambert’s relationship with a long list of sins, staying true to her brand. Featuring the single “It All Comes Out In the Wash,” this album totally celebrates Lambert’s sinner-and-saint persona. Rock elements add interesting riffs to many of the songs, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more singles from this album in the coming months. A personal favorite is the rollicking “Way Too Pretty for Prison,” which features Maren Morris and plenty of guitar. 


Indie & Alternative: Angela Karas

“It Might be Time,” Tame Impala 

Fellow Tame Impala stans, it’s finally happening! Tame Impala has announced their first album since 2015’s “Currents. The Austrialian band’s next album, to be released in  Feb. 2020, is titled “The Slow Rush, and the first single, “It Might Be Time,” was released this past Monday. “It Might Be Time” is a superb psychedelic rock offering from the band, with particularly exceptional drumming and bass. In short, this song demonstrates that Tame Impala has big things in store for the new year.

“Blank Slate,” Joywave 

Upstate New York indie rockers Joywave have released their newest single, “Blank Slate,” which is equally unique and captivating. I’ve had another one of the band’s recent releases, “Obsessions,” on repeat, and “Blank Slate” definitely doesn’t let it down. Aside from the chorus, the song has a rather intriguing understated vibe that, again, differentiates “Blank Slate” from other recent releases, allowing the chorus to stand out. While perhaps not as high-energy as “Obsessions,” the single is yet another hit that’s well worth a listen and proves Joywave’s talent.


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About the Contributors
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]
Brendan Sawyer, Former Deputy Life Editor
Brendan Sawyer ('21) was a student in the College of Arts and Science majoring in economics and cinema media arts. He previously served as Deputy Life Editor and continues to write for the Life section. He can be reached at [email protected]
Angela Karas, Former Author
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