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Thursday, June 20, 2024
The Observer

Summertime Selections


Springtime is sweeping through South Bend (sort of) but, with summertime on the horizon, the spring will soon be swept away. That’s okay with us. We have our sunglasses, plenty of sunscreen and a few things we’re really excited about for after school lets out.


Hip-hop’s stars come out

By Ryan Israel, Associate Scene Editor 

Thus far, 2019 has been a miserable year for hip-hop. Save a few above average releases — 21 Savage, Little Simz and Sada Baby — nothing has proven truly new and interesting. However, the genre usually ramps up in the summer, with big names releasing major albums. This summer, especially, a lot is to be expected.

As far as confirmed releases go, the notorious grime rapper Skepta’s new album “Ignorance Is Bliss” is slated to drop in late May, and Chicago’s golden child, Chance the Rapper, has promised his “debut” album will arrive in July. The expected or rumored releases, however, may be more exciting.

Tyler, the Creator has been on a steady schedule of releasing an album every two years, and after the unexpected stylistic turn on 2017’s “Flower Boy,” the California rapper’s next move will be watched carefully. Kendrick Lamar, who’s been on similar release schedule, is a wildcard; after the impact of 2017’s “DAMN.,” no one knows what to expect from the Pulitzer Prize winner. Lastly, the increasingly unpredictable Kanye West has been promising “Yandhi” since September, the release of which would undoubtedly send waves through the hip-hop atmosphere.


Charly Bliss — “Young Enough”  

By Mike Donovan, Scene Editor 

Bliss just in!

Brooklyn’s bubbliest quartet, Charly Bliss, will release its sophomore LP “Young Enough” May 10.

Prepare your taste buds! Alert your dentist! If lead singles “Capacity,” “Chatroom” and “Hard to Believe” are any indication, the forthcoming record’s fizz-tastical sugar slaps will smack your lips hard enough to put even the finest alternative sodas to shame — all-natural, unfiltered power pop. “Hard to believe?” Don’t knock it till you try it.

But don’t let all the sugar fool you. It’s not all sweet. “Everybody knows you’re the second coming,” frontwoman Eva Hendricks sings on “Chatroom,” her voice loaded with lemony tang. “Wasted a summer slappin’ my face, well / I wanna see you stripped down naked.” Sour Patch Kids much?

Summertime looms, flowers bloom, sunshine supplants the overcast: it beams, it burns. Don glasses, lather lotion and when you get thirsty (as you most certainly will), reach into the Barsuk fridge and grab yourself a cool, refreshing copy of “Young Enough.”


“ME!” by Taylor Swift (feat. Brendon Urie)

By Dessi Gomez, Scene Writer

Nothing says summer more than Taylor Swift’s latest romantic anthem, “ME!.” This song kicks off #TS7, a project that looks like it’s set in the spring and summer (as far as the hints are concerned).

Bright pastel colors, butterflies and flowers all signify Swift’s transition from the dark depths of the “reputation” era. With Taylor, there is always a theme, and I think it’s safe to say that fans are relieved at the thematic turn she is taking on “ME!”

Though some may not be too fond of the music video, I think it’s just the right amount of excess that lets you know Swift isn’t taking herself too seriously. A look at the past reveals that she always releases her most superficial single first — a habit dating back to “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” from “Red.” Since then, she has followed with “Shake It Off” from “1989,” and “Look What You Made Me Do” from “reputation,” each accompanied by its own elaborately constructed music video.

“ME!” seems to be that song for this next album, and I’m already impressed with the activity it’s inspired: a beautiful butterfly wing mural in Nashville, Tennessee, the adoption of Taylor Swift’s third cat — tiny and adorable Benjamin Button.

This summer brings hope, if not promise, for Swift’s latest collection of artwork. Her re-emergence is comparable to a butterfly climbing out of its cocoon — and really rocking a yellow pantsuit.


“Pokémon Detective Pikachu”

By Jim Moster, Scene Writer 

The folks over at Nintendo have relentlessly expanded their staple franchises to everything from fashion to fruit snacks, but live-action film has remained an unexplored frontier — until now (Let’s just pretend the 1993 Super Mario Bros. movie didn’t happen). “Pokémon Detective Pikachu” releases May 10, and everyone’s favorite Pocket Monsters will hit the big screen in a computer-generated style that appropriately straddles the line between horrific and adorable. The titular electric rodent, played by Ryan Reynolds, teams up with a human teenager to find the boy’s father in a world that appears unusually dark for Pokémon.

Although movies based on video games are notorious for disappointing fans, early viewers of the film have praised “Detective Pikachu” regardless of their experience with the franchise. More than nostalgia, it seems, will drive people to the box office. That said, memories of hunching over a Game Boy on a humid summer evening still provide a solid reason to end the semester with “Detective Pikachu.” Why not relive the dog days of youth at the theater and enjoy the talents of Ryan Reynolds while you’re at it?