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November 05, 2013 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-11-05

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - 5

"Popped Molly, I'm sweating."
'Y our Mind' only
good in small doses

Cut Copy appeals to
the Molly-popping
Daily Arts Writer
While its last few albums
were mostly praised by critics,
Cut Copy hasn't exactly become
a household
name since its --
formation over
10 years ago Free Your
(unless your Mind
household is
very hip and Cut Copy
into indie-
dance groups). Modolar
This can be
hard to believe sometimes, as
the Australian musicians release
infectious, upbeat, happy music;
the kind that this latest effort,
Free Your Mind, epitomizes.
However, like the drugs that
the album obliquely refers to,
Cut Copy songs only work when
they're enjoyed in small doses -
not as a whole album.
The album's first real song
and title track hits you immedi-
ately and perfectly exemplifies
what can make Cut Copy so good.
Singer Dan Whitford's blissed-
out vocals sing sometimes unin-
telligible but always cheerful
lyrics over a masterfully layered,
irresistible beat. The perfect mix
of drums, bass, catchy piano and
backing vocals shows the band's
excellent craftsmanship. The rest

of Free Your Mind follows the
exact same blueprint for all the
remaining songs, with varying
levels of success. There isn't even
a single crescendo to be found -
a disappointment, considering
that the slow burn of "Need You
Now," the opening track of the
band's last effort, was the best
moment of its career. However,
even though Free Your Mind hits
one sole note for its entire run-
time, when that note is euphoria,
the songs can be a joy to listen to.
Throughout the whole record,
Cut Copy lets its pop indulgences
run wild with no subtlety what-
soever. Current electronic trends
collide with late-1970s disco as
the band looks to the past for
inspiration. Earworm choruses
and sparkling fanfare synths
demand attention and make the
whole thingsimple fun, but when
the group isn't using absolutely
everything at its disposal to grab
you, the songs can dissolve into
foot-tapping background noise.
Cut Copy is definitely a singles
band, one that places its filler
songs strategically in the album's
sequence in order to elevate the
best tracks.
As the title implies and the
trippy sampled vocals of the inter-
ludes reinforce, Free Your Mind
isn't intended to be listened to
while sober. In Cut Copy, with its
builds, looped vocals and promi-
nent bass, The Molly Generation
has found the closest thing it will
ever get to a true "rock" band.
The songs' inspirational hippie-
preacher lyrics encourage listen-

ers to "shine brighter than the
sun," but more important than
the lyrics is the overall hypnotic
sound of the vocals, which are
used more or less as just another
instrument in the mix.
What really sinks Free Your
Mind, though, is the same thing
that sinks any drug experi-
ence: the comedown. The bright
exhilaration that fuels all of the
songs becomes absolutely unpal-
atable over the course of the
whole record. As the album runs
on, the band seems to get tired
of itself, eventually not bother-
ing to think beyond simple, basic
beats. The less complicated
songs have the potential to work,
but Cut Copy just doesn't seem
to have the energy to keep things
interesting. Eventually, the gos-
pel handclaps of slowed-down
penultimate song "Walking in
the Sky" are met with welcome
ears simply because they sound
Taken singularly, Cut Copy's
greatest songs are excellent,
comparable to the best bands
of its generation. One hit of Cut
Copy is happy, enjoyable and
easy to dance to. But, listening
to the 14 tracks of Free Your
Mind is like eating 14 Snickers
bars - or taking 14 hits of Molly,
if you're in the band's target
audience. While Cut Copy has
proven that they can write one
very specific, admittedly very
fun, type of song, the band
needs to branch out in order to
make an album worth remem-

Silent puma.
Eminem reclaims place
amo-ng hip-hop greats

'Last Vegas' an enjoyable ride

Daily Arts Writer
When you follow Michael Doug-
las, Kevin Kline, Robert De Niro
and Morgan
Freeman to Las
Vegas for a bach- 3
elor party, you're
not looking for Last Vegas
a riveting plot, AtQualityl6
high-intensity and Rave The insulin-dropping Wolf Pack.
drama or emo-
tional cathar- CBS respectively. Sam decides that he
sis - you're just needs a break from his mundane
looking for a Florida life, and Archie wants to
stress buster. The stage is set for get away from his caring yet over-
a bachelor party that "could have bearing son. Both decide to oblige
been covered by Medicare," and Billy but have to convince the eter-
you're on your way to watch four nally grumpy Paddy (Robert De
legends who have nothing left to Niro, "Silver Linings Playbook")
prove in their careers tear Vegas to accompany them as well. Paddy
apart. They play blackjack (and seems to have "issues" with Billy
win!), judge bikini contests, crash but is, convinced to come along
nightclubs, bump 50 Cent from anyway, carrying the bitterness
a party and most importantly that has festered in him toward his
awaken a dormant friendship that once best friend. The gang meets in
defines them in an unforgettable Vegas and embarks on a potential
weekend. roller coaster of a weekend.
However, the eventsthat unfold
are reasonable,unexciting and mel-
'Crazy w eekend' low. It takes a while for the charac-
ters to get the weekend going, and
is relative, when they do, they're limited by
their physical conditions and age.
As a result, the ride doesn't proceed
with breakneck speed toward a
In director Jon Turteltaub's tumultuous and crazy climax. The
("National Treasure") latest install- weekend is more like a bumper-car
ment, "Last Vegas," Billy, played by ' arena: It starts off slow and gradu-
Michael Douglas ("Behind the Can- ally picks up pace. The surprises
delabra"), is marrying a 32-year-old are expected yet enjoyable. The fact
woman and wishes to spend some that the characters don't indulge in
quality bro-time with his (liter- totally ridiculous acts makes them
ally) old friends. He calls up Sam seem more genuine and true to
and Archie, played by Kevin Kline their age. Even though they're here
("No Strings Attached") and Mor- to have a good time, they simply
gan Freeman ("Now You See Me") cannot party like it's 1959 anymore.

DailyArts Writer
The Marshall Mathers LP2 isn't
a direct sequel to The Marshall
Mathers LP; this point should
be stressed
when listening -
to Eminem's
most recent The
album. Rather, Marshall
The Marshall
Mathers LP 2 Mathers
serves as the LP2
second install-
ment in the Eminem
two-part auto-
biography that Shady
is Eminem's life.
The first LP highlighted the angry,
"I-just-don't-give-a-fuck" Eminem
(or was it Slim Shady?) that we've
learned to love and hate. This sec-
ond LP is a sentimental trip down
memory lane that introduces the
newer, more mature 41-year-old
While there is a concept of
revisiting the past, there is no
cohesive link between tracks on
The Marshall Mathers LP2. Butwe
shouldn't be surprised - this is the
musician with perhaps one of the
most varied discographies to date.
After experimenting with musical
styles for the past decade, Eminem
has finally balanced musical inno-
vation and nostalgia. And this is
where The Marshall Mathers LP 2
truly shines: in the versatility of it
There are elements that both
Eminem fans and other audiences
can appreciate. Rock and country
fans alike will be surprised to
hear'Eminem not only rapping
but also singing over guitar sam-
ples, including Joe Walsh's "Life's
Been Good." Pop listeners should
also find enjoyment in the catchy
yet smooth singing features that
appear throughout the album.
Eminem even breaks into song
himself on some tracks for both
extended verses and on the hooks.
The manner in which Marshall
has fused hip hop, pop and even
rock is seamless.
This versatility, however,
doesn't alienate hip-hop listen-
ers. Eminem demonstrates that,
despite the passing of time, he is
stillone of hip hop's bestlyricists.
He raps in a way that is reminis-
cent of the hunger he exhibited
when first rapping, but the style
isn't the same recycled flow from
his previous albums. For the first
time in a while, Eminem seems
happy, and this new style reflects
that. The only rap feature, Ken-
drick Lamar, also surprises on
"Love Game" by mirroring Slim
Shady's humorous yet strange
For Eminem's long-time
listeners, references to older

tracks ar
tions of
Guy," Er
Stan's yo
and rap
about ho
The o
as a follo
of course
guest ap
those ve
son," En
shall is;
regard t
twists t
light are
just a s
and tee
shall Mc
album t
time to
have con

re littered throughout the who has built a career insulting
There are also continua- various celebrities and person-
tracks from the original alities while being apathetic to
l Mathers LP. On "Bad the penalties, this statement is
ninem takes on the role of a bold one. Despite his previous
unger brother (from The anger, Eminem finally reflects
7 Mathers LP's "Stan") on how his actions affected oth-
s a personal narrative ers. From forgiving his mother
w the loss of his brother ("Headlights") to contemplating
his family. why he's remained single ("Love
.nly skit to appear on the Game"), Eminem uses the album
Parking Lot," can be seen as a medium to soul search. He
w-up to "Criminal." And, even admits that time has been
e, Slim Shady makes a few an enemy, joking about how
pearances, overpowering technology like Facebook has
rses. On "Rhyme or Rea- baffled him and how his lifestyle
minem presents the'two has remained common despite
of himself. While Mar- having money (on "So Far...").
passive and pondering in And since his stories are much
o his father, Slim Shady more interesting than ours, we
he track into a murder listen, captivated by the minds
The passion, celebrity of both Marshall Mathers and
and twisted humor that Slim Shady.
d the rapper into spot- With comeback albums, it's
all here and fresher than always difficult to know what
to expect. The Marshall Mathers
LP 2, shows that thesealbums
can not only surprise but also
r once he's succeed. Sure, the album may
have some weak tracks, but such
aving fun. is a consequence of both versa-
tility and Eminem's reputation
for producing quality songs.
This weakness, however, doesn't
album, however, isn't change the fact The Marshall
howcase of production Mathers LP 2 is perhaps one
hnical skill. The Mar- of the most satisfying listens
athers LP 2 is Eminem's Eminem has produced in a long
and most introspective while, one that certainly solidi-
to date. Eminem takes fies his position as one of the
remind us that actions greatest hip-hop artists in our
asequences. For someone generation.


The "crazfness" of the weekend is
regulated to suit the age of the char-
acters, and there's nothing wrong
with that.
The writing is also tailored to
suit the characters. This isn't an
extraordinarily funny group of
70-year-olds; they're adeqiuately
funny, injected with just the right
amount of humor to make them
seem like- real. people. At times
things move along a little too slow-
ly, and the introduction of Mary
Steenburgen ("The Proposal") as
Paddy's love interest does little to
remedy the situation. However, her
charming performance is endear-
ing and brings a sense of warmth
as the weekend unfolds and her
character plays a crucial part in the
The film is watchable solely
because of the comfortable chemis-
try betweentheaniable cast.'When
the writing temporarily fails, the
performances of all actors steady
the ship and keep us watching to
the very end; a running time of 105
minutes is the perfect length for
such a movie. The ending rounds
things off nicely, and everyone
- the actors and the audience -
comes away having experienced a
weekend that was, while not crazy,
a memorable one.


8'PM I HUI Awww.uMwcc.oRO



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