Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

New Music Tuesdays

By Tim McCall, Collegian Staff


“Curtain Call The Hits”

Aftermath/Interscope Records


This past summer, rumors were circulating around hip hop circles that Eminem was retiring from the music world. To date, he hasn’t publicly addressed the matter, but to fuel the fire, he released a greatest hits compilation. This is not just any compilation like Hilary Duff’s, which was released earlier this year. This compilation is full of Eminem’s hits, and is titled “Curtain Call,” yet another piece of the puzzle spelling out retirement for the hip hop star.

Each of the songs on this album has dominated the music world. Starting right off with his debut single “My Name Is,” Eminem came out of Detroit with his middle fingers flying and his mouth calling out celebrities and cursing them. Right away it was obvious that he was onto something and would not go away until he found fit.

Wherever Eminem went for the next six years, controversy followed, but he never seemed to mind. Being labeled as a violent lyricist for songs like “Way I Am,” his second single off the “Slim Shady LP” which is also included in this collection, did not bother Eminem in the slightest.

Around the 1999 Grammy awards, when Eminem was called homophobic by the gay rights group Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, the world started following his every word. To fight back to GLAD and other critics, Eminem performed the song “Stan” with Elton John instead of Dido at the award show. John stood up for Eminem, declaring he was a fan of his music even though he is gay. Both this live performance and the version with Dido appear on “Curtain Call.”

For the next six years, music critics and fans followed Eminem as he fell repeatedly into more controversial feuds. On his last album with original material, “The Eminem Show,” he singlehandedly took on the Bush administration and the war in Iraq.

The end of the compilation, following the hits and live tracks, features a new song, “When I’m Gone,” hinting yet again that maybe Eminem is retiring from the music world. If this is true, “When I’m Gone” showcases that he would be retiring in his prime. But maybe Kurt Cobain and Neil Young are right – maybe Eminem would be wiser to “burn out instead of fading away.”

By Tim McCall, Collegian Staff


“See You on the Other Side”

Virgin Records


Nu-metal might be going away, but some of the genre’s bands, like Korn, are still lurking around trying to prove to the world they have what it takes to be a band of longevity.

With the release of “See You on the Other Side,” the band, minus original guitarist Brian Welch, has a new sound. New for them, that is – for anyone else, like Nine Inch Nails or Marilyn Manson the sound is pretty old and flat.

Welch, who left the band last year after he became a Born Again Christian, was replaced by a studio musician. Even though he is now on an alleged mission from God to convert rap mogul 50 Cent to Christianity, Welch might have made the best decision in leaving.

But that’s not that important. What really is important here is that Korn is back again. After releasing a greatest hits compilation and a new album which featured a horrible version of the Pink Floyd song “Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2,” Korn went back into the studio thinking their music still matters and has purpose beyond the 20th century.

On their new album, after the Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails sound wears off, they are left desperately trying to mix the two into their own new sound. For what it’s worth, the sound is consistent, but it’s just bad. It has no energy to it. Jonathan Davis, the front man and mastermind behind the band, no longer carries the cry of angst he once had as he looks into himself for songs instead of the world around him. Davis should go back to Hot Topic to find motivation – or just his former self – in their packed Goth sets for sale.

Unfortunately, all of this effort is wasted. Their best work is behind them, just like the nu-metal genre they helped create in the 90’s along with their friends in Limp Bizkit. Now the only thing they are good for is a joke in one of those retrospective VH1 specials that look back on last week or the decades of the past – even if they were only five years ago.

By Tim McCall, Collegian Staff

Lindsay Lohan

“A Little More Personal (Raw)”

Casablanca Records


Lindsay Lohan has quickly released the sequel to her debut album, “Speak,” which was only released last year. The follow-up, “A Little More Personal (Raw),” lives up to its title.

The first track is a piano ballad about Lohan waiting to get a letter from her dad in the mail with an apology he owes her, since sometimes he gets more bad press then she gets good press. Lohan carries her voice well with emotion throughout the song.

By now you’re most likely asking yourself, can she really sing? The answer is yes, but don’t forget that anyone can sing. Lohan sounds like a cross between Ashlee Simpson and her fellow ex-Disney star Hilary Duff. These are not the nicest comparisons, but they get the job done.

Lohan’s album, like those of her counterparts, is just run-of-the-mill bad pop music. It might work with her sugary movies, but for an entire album it’s just boring. Every song sounds like it came from the same manufactured formula: start off slow and build up towards the middle, then either stay afloat or sink back to quiet by the song’s end. None of the songs on the album really scream “hit single.” They are all too long and flat, although a group of three or four would be fine for her next movie if it’s another “Freaky Friday” type.

The only highlight of the album is Lohan’s take on “I Want You to Want Me.” This cover is dime a dozen, but Lohan’s rendition creates a nice karaoke feel. The version is closer to the Letters to Cleo version than the original, but then again, for the MTV generation the Letters to Cleo version is the original, thanks to the movie “10 Things I Hate About You.”

Lohan should stick to movies. She isn’t the best actress, but she’s eye candy for some, and some insist she has potential in her career to become one of the greats. After all, she has been doing that much longer then this nu-trend of actresses also being pop singers has been around.

By Tim McCall, Collegian Staff

The Ike Reilly Assassination

“Junkie Faithful”

Rock Ridge Music


Remember that saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover?” Well, here is another similar saying for you to remember: you can’t judge an album by its cover, either.

If you really judged The Ike Reilly Assassination by their name or cover, you would assume incorrectly that they are some post-hardcore band full of screaming vocals and fast instrumentation.

In reality, however, The Ike Reilly Assassination is just a poppy rock and roll band with a love for words and combining elements of various genres of music such as folk, rap, rock and pop. This combination creates a very fascinating release that is beyond its underground rock peers in more ways than one.

The Ike Reilly Assassination never claims to make any new form of music with their hybrid sound. In fact, the combination more or less creates a modern rock and roll sound, revitalizing the old “sex, drugs and rock and roll” in the pop world of today.

The highlight of the album is Ike Reilly, the front man/guitarist, who has a spoken word vocal style that changes speed and tone throughout every song to go with the rest of the band’s instrumentation. Songs such as “Farm Girl” create a fun, jumping-around vibe; other songs, like “Suffer From The Trust,” create a different feel. The varying vibes is what sets this album so far above the rest. At times the rest of the band fades quietly to showcase Reilly’s vocals, such as in the song “Heroin,” which mixes the themes of Christianity and drug use.

The lyrics o
f the band are smart – they even have wit at times – but they are very wordy. Ike Reilly is really a poet for the working class, and it shows with his politics and philosophy in each song. That is what rock and roll is about – being the voice for the voiceless, among other rock and roll cliché

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