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November 24, 2010 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-11-24

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, November 24, 2010 - 5

Aside dish album

Palin can't win the
cable television vote

Minaj shines in guest
spots, but doesn't
work her magic on
'Pink Friday'
While every successful Thanks-
giving requires a turkey, it's the
side dishes that
complete our bel-
ly-busting holi- *J1
day - mouthfuls
of smooth and Nidd Minaj
bready stuffing, or Pink Friday
a dollop of tangy Universal Moin
cranberry sauce.
But fill your whole
plate with stuffing, and you'll just
get sick; it's simply too rich and not
at all a balanced meal.
On her debut album, Pink Fri-
day, bombastic rapper Nicki Minaj
proves herself to be the stuffing
of popular music. She's spiced up
the singles of many an artist lately,
helping to raise Jay Sean's "2012"
from mediocrity and Kanye West's
"Monster" to perfection. But when
Minaj is the only thing on the plate,
it turns out she's all buttery style
and no nutritional substance.
Album opener "I'm The Best"
has a flavorful start, as Minaj
details her road to fame in that
strong New York accent that makes
her sound like she's talking with
her mouth full. Hyperactive synths
and a hopping electronic beat push
the track forward.
For about the first minute of the
song, the intriguing echo effect
on Minaj's voice distracts her lyr-
ics - a string of boring boasts and
random references. But it soon
becomes clear that the only cre-
ative or fresh lines of hers are the
borderline offensive ones: "Tell
'em bitches get a stick / I'm done
leading the blind," she spits, as we
cringe and take note.
Cue "Roman's Revenge," a
frighteningly intense collabora-
tion of alter-egos. Minaj, as the
ultra-violent Roman Zolanski,


Man, these 'Toy Story' movies used to be fo
dominates by earnestly roaring
about other things she is (Aladdin,
a bad bitch and a movie, to name a
few - don't ask why). Restored to
all his disgusting glory, Eminem as
Slim Shady peppers the song with
lines about S&M and pee. Granted,
Minaj can't always take on the sug-
ary Harajuku Barbie persona from
softer songs and on Pink Friday's
cover, but the overdone bitterness
of "Roman's" doesn't sit right.
Ah, but Minaj is more than just a
"bad bitch" - on "Right Thru Me,"
she finally reveals her sensitive
side. For the most part, the lyrics
give an effective look into a rela-
tionship in which Minaj is always
a step behind, and her singing
voice, while hoarse, holds the right
amount of tired bewilderment.
But wedged among the all-too-
purposefully bad-ass morsels that
make up Pink Friday, it's the rela-
tive emotional blandness of "Right
Thru Me" that's most noticeable.
Changing up the four-note back-
ground synth pattern could've
made a difference, too.
Artistic innovation, though,
is not Minaj's thing. Check out

r kids.
"Check It Out," which desperately
clings to the introductory "oh-oh"
wails of "Video Killed the Radio
Star" for some shred of musical
legitimacy; her well-duh proclama-
tion that "haters, you can kill your-
self" isn't helping.
Or taste-test the mock-reflective
"Here I Am," in which she chants,
"I am woman, hear me roar" as if
we've never heard of a female rap-
per before. Sure, we're still a long
way from total gender equality, and
not just in the realm of hip hop, but
Minaj doesn't seem to understand
we've reached a point where the
mere fact that she is a woman rap-
per isn't special enough to make
her a good one.
Though Minaj made history last
month by hitting the Billboard Top
100 chart with seven simultaneous
singles, it's worth noting that six
of them were guest spots; only the
vaguely Eastern-accented fantasy
chillout "Your Love" was actually
hers. She's stated in interviews that
Pink Friday would show a different
side of her - more well rounded or
filling, perhaps - but the album is
nothing but empty calories.

DailyArts Writer
In case you didn't get enough
of her cheesy catchphrases
about Joe the
Plumber and
huge prom
hair dur- Sarah Pali's
ing the 2008
presidential AlaSka
don't worry Sundaysat
- Sarah 9P.M.
Palin is back TLC
and ready to
win the hearts of every Ameri-
can with her new reality show,
"Sarah Palin's Alaska."
In what Palin likely hopes
will aid her political comeback,
the former governor takes us
inside her family home in Wasil-
la, Alaska as well as on trips
across the state, doing every-
thing from fishing to mountain
Palin claims the goal of this
series is to display the beauty of
Alaska to the rest of the coun-
try. But clearly, she's trying to
show the likeability of her fam-
ily. After an unsuccessful run
for the vice presidency, endless
mockery of her speeches and
intelligence, as well as daugh-

ters caught up.in scandal after
scandal, she obviously feels
the need to improve her public
On the program, Palin overt-
ly disciplines her children for
things conservative Middle
America would deem unbecom-
ing of their youth.
In a possible attempt to com-
pensate for the Bristol issues,
Palin punishes her other daugh-
ter, Willow, for sneaking a boy
into her room. She also tries
to play the victim by bashing
Joe McGinniss, the author who
rented the house next door
while he works on an unauthor-
ized Palin biography.
As an executive producer on
the show, Palin tries to depict
herself as a "fun" mom. She
bakes with her kids and goes on
hiking and fishing adventures,
all while balancing a "rising"
political career. In her mind,
she's the mom of the year, capa-
ble of anything.
But it's hard to not make fun
of the stupid crap that comes
out of her mouth. In explaining
about McGinnis, she had her
husband build a 20-foot high
fence - asserting, "This is a
good example of what we need
to do to secure our nation's bor-

ders!" These intelligent phrases
are exactly what you want to
hear from a person with prob-
able aspirations of running the
nation. In the ultimate Palin
moment, she explains that her
favorite thing to do in Alaska is
to "sit on her cement slab." Not
exactly something you want to
be describing when you're try-
ing to promote the beauty of a
The only interesting moment
comes during a fishing trip
when the program suddenly
becomes an Animal Planet show,
Two grizzly bears get in an epic
brawl over their cubs and for a
moment of bliss, Palin stops yap-
The rest of the time, you're
watching her get stuck on a
mountain for 30 minutes, yak
on about how pretty her state is
and listen to her kids talk about
her addiction to her BlackBerry,
as you wonder how in the world
she became a politician.
Palin is lucky that Alaska is
so beautiful because without it,
she wouldn't have anything left
for a show. Let this be a warn-
ing to any politicians looking to
enhance their public image - a
TV show is just not the way to
do it.

Next on Discovery Channel: 'Deadliest Bitch.'

Now on iTunes, the
Beatles prove eternal
By ELLIOT ALPERN rated," which is itself a testament year brings a new meaning to the
For theDaily to their success. For a decade, the song, a different yesterday to miss
Beatles ruled the airwaves, and and daydream about. The Beatles
On Nov. 16, Apple finally their reign has still not completely age like fine scotch and accumulate
announced what many had been diminished. respect like bank interest. Citing
anticipating for a long time: the While most bands fade as time the Beatles as an influence is a cop-
Beatles had arrived at the iTunes goes by, the Beatles seem to sur- out now. It's understood that they
music store. This was apparently vive on an entirely different plane. changed music entirely.
big news. It spawned commercials As the years go by, the music gets Perhaps the greatest thing about
and news articles that all seemed deeper, more meaningful and more the Fab Four is their range, both
to lead to the same reaction: Who evocative of the times. The songs emotionally and musically. The

A finished 'Body' of work

For the Daily
With the release of her third
and final album of 2010, Swed-
ish artist Robyn is back with
the same beats
and energy that ***
have already
carried her to Robyn
the top of Scan-B
dinavian pop BodyTalk
charts this year. Konichiwa
The musical
spawn of a fresh-voiced Madon-
na and a house-music DJ, Body
Talk blends moods, sounds and,
yes, even songs from the other
two parts of the series.
In fact, only one-third of Body
Talk is actually new to the music
world. The other 10 songs have
been plucked from the older
phases of the Body Talk series in
order to, in her own words, "cre-
ate a turbo version of the Body

Talk album."
For an album seething with
rapid pop ballads, techno beats
and robot references, "turbo"
is an accurate descriptor. This
could be a fast-paced soundtrack
to both a dance club and an Aber-
crombie & Fitch store. In all 15
songs, the artist's energy never
dies down. The work mixes up
the sound with both sugary pop
and heavier techno elements,
resulting in a catchy and diverse
The opening song "Fembot"
perhaps best exemplifies this
musical blend. While the first
lines of the track are almost irri-
tatingly pop-infused, bordering
on the sound of a playground
clapping game, the song takes
a dynamic turn almost instant-
ly. The light, overly melodic
vocals continue throughout the
song and are matched with a
low, quick bass line, creating a

pleasant balance between the
two extremes. The robot-relat-
ed sexual innuendos juxtapose
with the fluffy sound of the
vocals. It's hard to ignore the
"automatic booty application"
Robyn rounds
out her 2010
robotic, musical
references and persistent moan-
ing that drones in the back-
The mood of the second song
takes a direct turn away from
the first. "Don't Fucking Tell
Me What to Do" lacks the over-
See ROBYN, Page 6

actually cares? The Beatles have
been around since the '60s. Why
does it matter that a single band
is added to the otherwise bottom-
less pit of music that is the iTunes
store in a world with so many other
avenues for acquiring music?
Well, it does matter. In fact, it
matters a lot. Any expansive music
collection without the Beatles is
incomplete, a farce. It's akin to
the Louvre minus the Mona Lisa
- a travesty of art. The Beatles
are among the best-known bands
in history; this is almost indisput-
able. But, unlike the other well
known bands in history (and any
other band for that matter), they
are almost universally liked, or at
least tolerated. Think about it: The
biggest piece of criticism directed
at the Beatles is that they are "over-

weren't made to stay put in the '60s
A collection
without the
Beatles is no
collection at all.
- they transcend decades and eras.
"Revolution" may have been a Viet-
namWar protest song at one point,
but it still applies for the wars of
today and will likely continue to be
relevant unless its lyrics come to
fruition. "Yesterday" is an instru-
ment for melancholy on the same
scale as family photo albums. Each

early Beatles (of the "She Loves
You" era) are happy and optimis-
tic. The songs are undaunted by the
complications of love, but maintain
that innocent, youthful enthusiasm
that catches many the unwary lis-
tener in their snares. As they pro-
gressed, so did their variety. "A
Day in the Life" does a little bit of
everything - at times it's eerie and
haunting, and the buildups provide
tension like a runaway train. How-
ever, when Paul sings, it feels like
everything's going to be just fine.
The chorus of "Hey Jude" can dou-
ble as an anthem to sing at the top
of your lungs, the verses of "Let It
Be" can substitute as a eulogy. Find
an important, defining moment
in life - there's a Beatles song for
it. Paul put the idea of love at first
See BEATLES, Page 6

'Akonic' won't be iconic

DailyArts Writer
Akon, the Konvict turned
Akonic singer, is back.
on his latest album, Akon
brings a new
feel to his typi-
cally tropical
ways. Techno Akon
beats and R&B Akonic
sounds spice Islatd
up his fourth
effort, which
encompasses all the sounds he
could possibly produce. The pop
singer supreme drops top-40
hits with soulful R&B vocals,
club-shaking beats and poppy
hooks like it's his job - well, it
is his job.
It's been a few years since
the pop-master last put out an
album. Between collaborations
with Lady Gagaand Lil Wayne
and producing records with his
self-run record company, he
clearly just hasn't had the time.
N9w, the "Smack That" singer

emerges with the dance tracks
(and probably the dance moves)
to pull him out of his hiatus.
"Angel," the first single off
Akonic, has a quintessential
Akon sound. It starts with a
whiny, call-out entrance as the
beat flows in. Reminiscent of
the Black Eyed Peas' "I've Got
a Feeling," this track is a party
starter - dance pop at it's fin-
est. Still, while the hook grabs
attention, the song itself just
doesn't. Sure, it's a top-40 gem,
but musically, it doesn't do any-
thing exciting enough to earn
any credibility. And Akon's
semi-irritating voice does not
help Akonic's cause. It is dif-
ficult to sit through an Akon
album without developing a
While the album as a whole can
be somewhat annoying, the beats
and rhythms hold it together. The
reggae grooving "Dirty Situation"
sees Akon collaborating with
Mohombi to create a Jamaican-
infused track that lays down the
right rhythms but not the rhymesy

Akon sings, "Danger in the disco
/ She drop it low / Back it up /
Mami's on the floor / Shakin' that
booty / Oh yeah." Clearly, Akonic
was not meant to be the most
poetic album, but it will definitely
get some heads bobbing.
Akonic is a good' example of
a techno-tropics dance album,
yet it's missing some substance.
Top-40 gems,
nothing new.
Though the album includes guest
appearances by some big-hitters
in the hip-hop world, the album
is forgettable. Impressive dance
beats drive Akonic, but it isn't
enough for the Senegalese rapper
to pull through. Don't fret Akon
fans, you will hear his tunes top-
ping the charts soon enough,
because he does what he's good
at - making pop hits that make
your hips swing.

The Beatles wilnever be as good as they werewhen Stuart Sutcliffe was in th* band.

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