Alec Compton ’22 and Ade Adedapo ’23
Arts & Culture Editor and Contributor
It has been six years since Adele released her third studio album 25. For over half a decade, fans have been anxiously awaiting a new release. On November 19, 2021, Adele gracefully made her return with possibly her best album, 30. Each song is chockful of the meaning and emotion expected from Adele and was enjoyable to listen to. 30 sold 865,000 copies in its first week. As of 2021, she holds the record for the most albums sold in the first week of a release, beating both Drake and Kanye West. Adele’s 30 has been well received by fans and critics alike and will doubtlessly dominate the charts for the rest of the year.
Summer Walker: Still Over It
After a fan broke the glass box that contained the hard drive to Summer Walker’s third studio album, Still Over It, the record was finally released as promised. Summer Walker has been one of the leaders of RnB since the release of Last Day of Summer in 2018, and Still Over It certainly lives up to the hype.
The album features 9 different artists including Ciara, Lil Durk, and frequent collaborator SZA. Coming hot off her breakup with her producer London on da Track, the main theme of Still Over It is heartbreak. The track “4th Baby Mama” is solely devoted to taking shots at Walker’s ex, continuing the vindictive streak shown. Still Over It is emotionally compelling and deserves the high praise and high sales it has been receiving. (7.8/10)
Young Dolph: Rich Slave
Famed Memphis rapper Young Dolph was, tragically, shot and killed outside of a bakery at the age of 36. Dolph’s last solo album was Rich Slave, released in August of 2020. Clocking in at around 50 minutes, the record is consistently enjoyable, with Dolph delivering funny lines and memorable choruses on nearly every song. The track “Cray Cray” is an excellent display of Dolph’s humour and eccentricity, recounting his experiences with a woman he finds out is “Cray Cray.”
The beat selection is also excellent, with surprisingly layered and organic sounding instrumentals for a trap record. A couple of songs are produced by legendary rapper Juicy J, and these songs go over great, with Dolph performing well over J’s signature triplet style. The front half is a little too loaded with skits and the back half is weaker than the front, but Rich Slave is just a lot of fun, and it’s awful that such a unique and charismatic artist was taken from us so soon. (7.2/10)
Silk Sonic: An Evening with Silk Sonic
Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak’s An Evening with Silk Sonic was finally released on November 12, 2021. At 9 songs and a 30-minute runtime, the record is great, but only seems to scratch the surface of what this duo is capable of. Even for a record attempting to replicate the sound of the 70s era, the record is pretty unadventurous, with very little difference in the tambour of the instruments between tracks.
This makes the listen very uniform, with little differentiation in the sonic quality of each track. Every track is good, even great, on its own.
From the slow and sad “Put on A Smile” to the fun, gambling-themed “777.”
Bruno and .Paak are both in top form, with Bruno’s smooth voice pairing nicely with .Paak’s more raspy delivery. All in all, it’s undeniably a rock-solid record, even if it lacks the sonic diversity needed to truly be incredible. (8/10)