Album Review: What’s Wrong by Elliott Fullam

A friend of mine told me a guy on TikTok named Elliott Fullam announced he released his first album on his 18th birthday, September 2, 2022, saying it was for fans of artists like Mazzy Star and Elliott Smith, both of which I love. Naturally, I decided to check out his debut album and I was impressed with its quality.

Fullam’s debut can be described as Elliott Smith meets Duster. Fullam took Smith’s guitar and vocal work off albums like Roman Candle and meshed it with Duster’s lo-fi production aesthetic to create an incredible work of indie rock. The best example of this is the opening track, “Dolonia”, which is, in my opinion, the best track on the album.

The album cover of What’s Wrong by Elliott Fullam

Starting off the track is a beautiful set of arpeggiated, lush guitars. A few seconds in, we hear Fullam’s wispy Elliott Smith-like vocal work. Fullam’s vocals focus on a girl named Dolonia. Fullam’s lyrics aren’t nearly as important as his delivery of them. He sings them in a beautiful, yet haunting manner that leaves me with chills as I listen to the song.

While at times I feel like Elliott Fullam’s debut is a little too derivative of Elliott Smith’s music, he has definitely created a unique, quality work, something the majority of 18-year-olds can’t say they’ve done. Fullam’s debut is a 7.6/10 as it’s a good album in its own right, but not at the level of the other Elliott; he definitely will be in due time. Go check out his album; you won’t regret it!

Album Review: Melodrama by Lorde

The Melodrama album cover, painted by Sam McKinniss

Melodrama, singer-songwriter Lorde’s sophomore album, was released 5 years ago in 2017, yet it is still one of my favorite albums I’ve ever listened to. Melodrama is an electropop album with piano-based melodies and electronic beats. It is raw, honest, profound, and thought-provoking; and it elicits sensations and emotions like no other. In this artistic masterpiece, Lorde’s immense talent as a songwriter truly shines through. 

Following are, in my opinion, some of the best tracks and lyrics on the album:

Track 2: “Sober” – “Sober” is about the magic of being involved with someone, the intense rush Lorde and her lover feel at a party. However, when the night ends and they are “sober” again, the rush ends and Lorde is unsure of what will happen to them.

Favorite lyrics from “Sober”:

“Midnight, we’re fading / Till daylight, we’re jaded / We know that it’s over / In the morning, you’ll be dancing with / All the heartache and the treason / The fantasies of leaving / But we know that, when it’s over / In the morning, you’ll be dancing with us”

Track 5: “Liability” – “Liability” is about the pressure Lorde feels of it being difficult for people to be close to her. It’s about learning to be her own best friend; to be on her own, love herself, respect herself, and take care of herself.

Favorite lyrics from “Liability”:

“The truth is I am a toy that people enjoy / Till all of the tricks don’t work anymore / And then they are bored of me / I know that it’s exciting, running through the night / But every perfect summer’s eating me alive until you’re gone / Better on my own”

Track 6: “Hard Feelings/Loveless” – “Hard Feelings/Loveless” has two parts: First, “Hard Feelings”, which explores the feelings that follow a breakup; then “Loveless,” which shares Lorde’s thoughts about her generation and their tendencies in a relationship.

Favorite lyrics from “Hard Feelings/Loveless”:

“Three years, loved you every single day / Made me weak, it was real for me, yeah, real for me / Now I’ll fake it every single day / ’Til I don’t need fantasy, ’til I feel you leave / But I still remember everything / How we’d drift buying groceries, how you’d dance for me / I’ll start letting go of little things / ’Til I’m so far away from you, far away from you”

Track 9: “Supercut” – “Supercut” is about dreaming of an ideal relationship, a compilation of the positive parts of a relationship. In this song, Lorde appears to be blinded by hope and her own imagination of how a relationship should be and not how it truly is.

Favorite lyrics from “Supercut”:

“’Cause in my head, in my head, I do everything right / When you call, I’ll forgive and not fight / All the moments I play in the dark / Wild, fluorescent, come home to my heart”

To conclude, Melodrama by Lorde is such a wonderfully enchanting album with beautifully written songs, and I’d recommend it to all listeners! Happy listening!

-Lam T.

Music Review: love is not dying by Jeremy Zucker

Often, when listening to music, we tend to only listen to a few songs from one album, but I find that listening to the entire album from start to finish is much more impactful.

I recently listened to Jeremy Zucker’s newest album, love is not dying, and I found that the album, as a whole, is a touching story. The concept of the album isn’t particularly new, as it’s a glimpse at the rollercoaster of love, but the approach that Zucker takes in this album is original and creative—the album is almost like a timeline of phases of a relationship.

There are thirteen tracks in total from this album, which if listened to in order, transition right into one another. The transitions are probably the most well-known aspect of Zucker’s album, however, there is much more to it.

The album starts out with a forty-second track called “still,” which is an intro to the entire album. Next to his apartment in Brooklyn, Zucker samples the everyday sounds of life (birds chirping, a church choir, etc.), which crescendo slowly over the course of the short intro. Zucker says in an interview for Genius Lyrics that “The title came from something that someone said to me once. Everything was moving so fast and everything was so hectic, and this person was like, ‘I just wish we could be still,’ and that phrase really stuck with me.”

Zucker then transitions into a series of songs that represent the ups and downs of a relationship.

The third track, “somebody loves you,” is the start of a relationship. Zucker, through Genius Lyrics, says that the song is about someone he met online and really connected with, but knew that it wouldn’t be the same in real life. Though he feels that he loves this person, he knows it won’t last long, and reassures this person that someone else will love them much better.

The seventh track, “not ur friend,” represents a time where the relationship has become toxic. Using a rhythmic beat and a catchy melody, Zucker explores the concept of cutting someone toxic out of a person’s life and being better for it. He elaborates, “It’s a selfish song, which, in its own way, is a really celebratory thing.”

“not ur friend” transitions right into the next track, “full stop.” The song’s intro is interpolated with a snippet of the pre-chorus of “not ur friend.” The idea behind “full stop” is built right onto the previous track—essentially, what happens after breaking away from someone toxic. Zucker describes the concept as, “Alright, I’ve removed this person from my life, but now what?” The structure is sort of random and nonsensical, as each section of the song is quite different; but somehow it still flows together perfectly. “full stop” is just this complex, spiraling train of thought, which, to Jeremy Zucker, “feels like the sky is falling and the world is crashing.”

The ninth track, “julia,” portrays a point post-relationship where the subject has moved on, and looks back on his relationship without bitterness, finally ready to mentally let go. “julia” was written about a person who many of Zucker’s previous songs were about. According to Zucker, the track was one of the last written about the aforementioned person; as it represents a time of self-realization and closure.

The eleventh track, “always, i’ll care,” depicts a period of time far after the relationship has ended. During the song, through soothing melodies, Zucker sings of the realization that not all of his relationship’s problems were his significant other’s fault. He has moved on completely, and reminisces of memories apologetically, saying he’s still sorry for not being as attentive or responsive as he should have; and promising that he will do better in the future. Zucker concludes that “always, i’ll care” is “me showing how much I care.”

Jeremy Zucker’s love is not dying touches listeners through its gentle tunes. The tranquil sound of poetry shines through in Zucker’s both heartbreaking and heartwarming masterpieces. love is not dying is more than an album—it’s a complete story, calming the listeners with more than just music. This musical story cannot by passed over, being more than just rhyming words set to a tune—it’s an entire story that will completely change the way listeners think of music. Don’t miss love is not dying by Jeremy Zucker; it’s absolutely worth your time.

-Chan T.