Lady Gaga: ArtPop

90 million singles. 24 million albums sold, and that’s just within the last 5 years (and counting the legal copies sold, mind you). Love her or hate her, it’s undeniable that she’s changed the landscape of pop music since she’s busted on the scene in 2008. It is irrefutable that Ms. Gaga herself will be one of the very few current artist who will withstand the test of time, despite this fact, many people still despise her, not her music or her ability, just the image that is Lady Gaga. Before you completely write off ARTPOP as attention-seeking, let me stop you there, she’s had your attention for the last half-decade, but this time, no make-up, now wigs, no lobsters as hats. The artifice is being peeled away for a direct and hard-hitting approach (the enigma has even taken her wig off to display her natural hair – something you’ve probably been curious about). With that in mind, let’s take a look at ARTPOP.

Aura blazes in with western-style guitars, a very sultry Tarentino or Rodriguez-esque number that quickly turns into EDM banger, the lyrics are beautifully simplistic, the real prize is at the end of the song, where Gaga brilliantly delivers a concise warning of what lies ahead: “Dance. Sex. Art. Pop”.

Venus blends 70s psychedelic melodies with disco rhythms and Roman mythology, a very Ziggy Stardust meets  Depeche Mode, meets Vogue-era Madonna. The most pleasing and perhaps craziest entry into her musical catalogue yet, this is the first self-produced track by Gaga, and I’ll be damned if it doesn’t show. There isn’t a moment where anyone but the Lady herself could sing it convincingly especially my favorite lyric “Uranus/ Don’t you know my ass is famous”. The chorus builds on itself using repetition but offering something new each time. It leaves more of an impression than Aura, but certainly just as unforgettable.

G.U.Y a Zedd produced head-banger with acronyms littered throughout, the lyrics are mediocre at best even though the chorus is killer with a brilliant bridge. The vocal delivery is excellent thought it falls short of audacious compared to Venus or Aura, but completely viable as a single.

Sexxx Dreams is one of my favorites. The verses are wonderful and the dual vocals demonstrating what one is saying and what one is actually thinking is executed with precision, until the chorus. The chorus is a mess, it’s catchy and hooks into your brain, but it feels redundant having dual hooks conveying the same message. They shift in lyrics is a bit unsettling, we’re thrust from intelligently crafted lyrics about imaginary infedility (“We could be caught/ Both convicted criminals of thought”) to insanely simple lyrics (“Last night/ Damn, you were in my sex dreams/ doing really nasty things”). It’s playful and well-crafted in most places, but I have the same problem with this as I do with 4 songs on the record, it’s hit-or-miss lyrics.

Jewels N’ Drugs (feat. T.I., Too $hort, & Twista) – It’s hard to say whether this is a good or bad song. The production by DJ White Shadow is some of his best to date, but I simply couldn’t get over the fact that T.I., Too $hort and Twista were on a Gaga song.  However, it does twist and shifts to each artist’s verse to create a melody that suits each individual on the song. It’s memorable, but I don’t know if in a good or bad way.

MANiCURE – Perfection. The simplicity of the production, the guitar-driven music, and undoubtedly the greatest vocal performance Gaga has ever put forth, the vocals are raspy, soring, and belting, and controlled at all the right moments. It’s impossible to get out of your head, with the repetition and rhyming scheme: “She wanna be Man Cured/He wanna be Man Cured/Ma-Ma-Ma-MANiCure”.

Do What U Want (feat. R.Kelly) – A thinly veiled warning to critics everywhere. It’s angry and sexy, with a rewarding chorus and a sense of vulnerability from both artist, it’s an excellent example of what a middle-finger-to-the-press track should be with lyrics like “You can’t stop my voice/‘cause you don’t own my life/But do what you want with me body, world”. It’s a backhanded invitation, it’s not the strongest on the record, but it’s catchy as hell.

ARTPOP – Poetic and entrancing, also horribly boring. Despite being the title track to the record, its incredible lack luster make it the most forgettable on the record. Even when the beat drops it’s still dull, its inviting appeal is completely antithesized by how monotonous it becomes.

Swine – Gaga has a gift of making unapologetic rock-and-roll records with nothing but electronic instruments. The face-melting dance breaks that make use of synthesizers, and the lyrics provide glimpses of a history riddled with sexual abuse and escapism through drugs (“ I know you want me/you’re just a pig inside a human body”) and “Maybe I should have a little more to stay out of my mind” are favorites). The chorus feels huge and the record plays like a radio smash, but the EDM breaks that give it ferocity are also drag on too long and distract from what could have been a perfect pop song.

Donatella – A Fame Era song in every sense of the word. An open love-letter to Donatella Versace (sister of Gianni Versace, and current head designer, a woman whose history is riddled with drug abuse and an unapologetic over-the-topness about herself, it’s easy to see why her and Gaga are kindred spirits). The lyrical content is shallow, but is meant to be satirical, “DONATELLA” feels like a war cry that’s hard NOT to scream along with. The production and shallow nature of the record make it one of ARTPOP’s most fun and memorable moments.

Fashion! – One of the best vocal performances on the album, a will.i.am produced club banger it’s everything a viable single should be. Despite all of this, this track just feels like filler. It’s sleek and cool as all get-out but filler nonetheless.

Mary Jane Holland – Pulsating and hypnotic. This song is everything “ARTPOP” the track should have been. Produced by upcoming Parisian DJ Madeon, this track is dark, catchy and well-crafted in every aspect. Clearly a marijuana track, it kind of makes Mary Jane Holland into a princess of sorts makes this one of the album’s standouts.

Dope – Lady Gaga and just a piano, a great combination. “Dope” is unfiltered and raw, which makes it hard to listen to at times because the production is rough around the edges (probably intentionally so). Regardless of that, the track is still a tear jerker and spine-chilling with lyrics like: “My heart would break without you/ Might not awake without you/Been hurting low from living high for so long/I’m sorry and I love you”. Completely void of theatrics, “Dope” is the album’s revelatory moment of love.

Gypsy – Another piano/vocal entry and building slowly into a power ballad “Gypsy” is one of the best songs on ARTPOP. It’s epic, lyrically stunning, and vocally perfect while maintaining a honest veil of sincerity. Acoustic guitars blazing forward over an elctro-blast of power chords, “Gypsy” is way beyond a good Lady Gaga song. It’s a brilliant song period. A new classic that has felt as though it’s always been around.

Applause – Gaga has a habit of making the first single from her album a misleading single that is completely different from the album. After listening to other songs in the album, “Applause” feels out of place and boring by comparison. It’s not bad of course, it just seems like an oddity compared to the rest of the album.

Overall, ARTPOP is one of the most hyped Pop records this year to date. It comes at the perfect time when interest in its creator is, once again, in the spotlight. Despite tremendous gaps in the quality of the songwriting, the two recurring trends on ARTPOP are mediocre lyrics redeemed by amazing vocals and catchy choruses that drill into your brain with little to no effort. Honestly, ARTPOP is the best Pop album of the year, Every moment feels expertly crafted from start to finish, even when it does fall short. For every misstep, there is redemption; wheher it be from stunning vocal delivery or production.

It’s far from completely perfect, but even the worse moments of ARTPOP are better than what has crept onto the radio this year, and it’s well worth a purchase.

Score: 90/100

Key Tracks: “G.U.Y.”, “Venus”, “Do What U Want”, “Swine”, “Donatella”, “MANiCURE”, “Dope”, “Gypsy”, “Mary Jane Holland”.

Beyonce: Beyonce

Knowles, who has been MIA from the music scene since her 2011 effort 4, on December 2013 at 12:01 AM, after two-years of what seemed like an endless drought for Beyoncé fans around the world; the singer released her fifth studio album the self-titled BEYONCÉ. With no promotion, no lead single, no lead music video it is without a doubt the great Beyhydration has ended, and the thirst has been quenched by this 32 track (14 songs, 17 music videos) visual album. Let’s take a track-by-track look at her latest effort.

Pretty Hurts –Produced by Ammo, with a writing credit from Sia, Australian downtempo pop music extraordinaire, this smoky pop/soul song is a social commentary about the obscure and harmful effects that the beauty industry has on society. With lyrics such as “South Beach/ Sugar free/ Vogue says thinner is better” and “Perfection is the disease of a nation/ Pretty Hurts”. Beautifully crafted, written and produced, this song is tear jerker and some of the most emotional and powerful music Beyoncé has put out to date, but something we’ve all seen/heard before.

Ghost/Haunted –  is a two-part song where Murky keyboards, recessed vocals and something we get to see more of on this record, Beyoncé rapping (yes, you read that correctly), and a bass line that creeps up on you all blend together exquisitely in this futuristic track about the appalling nature of the record label industry today. This album was released with no press, no promo, no lead single, nothing and the lyrics of Ghost/Haunted can help us guess as to why with lyrics like: “All the shit I do is boring/ all these record labels boring/ I don’t trust these record labels /I’m touring”. The song comes together beautifully to deliver a message we already know: record labels don’t view music as art anymore, just as a product.

Drunk in Love (feat Jay-Z) – Trap beats and synths help Beyoncé and Jay-Z make a beautiful rap-sung collab where Beyoncé access her lady-thug realness and create an explicit ode to love-making between two people who are endlessly in love. Beyoncé croons on the track: “I’ve been drinking/I’ve been drinking/I get filthy when that liquor get into me”. One of the best songs on the record.

Blow – Holy cow. This is hands down one of the best songs on the record and this track with its overt sexual nature (along with several others) have given rise to a new class of Beyoncé songs I like to call “Beyoncé in the boudoir”. Produced by some of the best in music, Pharrell and Timbaland. A disco-stained retro R&B track very reminiscent of dirty-sex record from Prince circa early 80s this song intelligently used innuendo to refer to well….I’ll let the lyrics speak for themselves “Can you lick my skittles/It’s the sweetest in the middle/Pink, that’s the flavor/Solve the riddle”. With blow we see one of the recurring themes of the album: frank exploration of female sexuality through postfeminism, and God (or should I say Goddess?) does it sound good.

No Angel – Bad has never sounded so good through this slow and sensual song about a magnetic attraction between to people who aren’t the most morally upright. With lyrics like “I come with a side of trouble/But I know that’s why you’re staying” and “Baby put your arms around me/Tell me I’m the problem help create an image of a bad girl and bad boy destined to be together.While the track isn’t as memorable as its predecessor and lacking production in some places it doesn’t cease to get the job done.

Yoncé/Partition – A two-part hip-hop song with an intro of Beyoncé talking to an audience saying: “Let me hear you say heyyyyyy Ms. Carter!” Yoncé starts off with Beyoncé rapping yet again and absolutely slaying with the lyrics “I sneezed on the beat and the beat got sicker/Yoncé all on his mouth liquor”. After which the song transforms into a jazzy hip-hop head banger with a bass that’s impossible NOT to dance to, “Partition” is a narrative of sexual intercourse in a moving limousine with frank lyrics like “He popped all my buttons/ He ripped my blouse/ He Monica Lewinsky’d all on my gown” and “Handprints and footprints on my glass/ Handprints and footprints all on my ass”, which are just two I’ve selected from a slew of favorites from this song alone. With production by Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, Jerome Harmon and Key Wane this song is beyond well-crafted and disgustingly well written. Another shining example of one of the best songs on the record, the bees buzzing as an ode to the Queen Bee is a lovely touch at the end.

Jealous – Lyrically this song is good, the production is lacking and it comes across as a little lax, like Beyoncé’s a little tired while recording. Overall the record is forgettable and boring when juxtaposed with the rest of the record.

Rocket – Any song that opens with the lyric “Let me sit this ass on you” is a winner in my book. A retro-soul song that’s feel-good in every sense of the phrase, this song is slippery funk excursion gorgeously executed over six and a half minutes. Lyrics like “I do it like it’s my profession/ I gotta make a confession”, make it hard to not be seduced by Beyoncé as she swoops in and delicately caresses your fantasies with this record.

Mine (feat. Drake) – Honest, sincere, and heartfelt this song perfectly coalesces Beyoncé’s strong, emotive quintessence of femininity and Drake’s masculine declarative sense of feeling. Exploring the themes of true love and belonging to another person unconditionally, entrancing the listener with lyrics like “We should get married/ let’s stop holding back on this and let’s get carried away”.

XO – Frazzled keyboards smash against synthesizers and a marching drum beat to build upon this midtempo pop song. An open love-letter to someone we all know; this song is the album’s unhidden declaration of love. Lyrics like “Your love is brighter than ever/Even in the shadows” seems cliché and sappy but the production takes this draw back and makes up for it with powerful sledge hammering vocals.

***Flawless – A self-empowerment track it samples her song Bow Down which leaked last year. It features Beyoncé yelling the refrain “Bow down, bitches” over a clattering trap beat. ***Flawless takes traditionally seen hypermasculinty and makes it hyperfemine, a very “I am woman, hear me ROAR” track complemented by a sampling of Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s speech “We Should All Be Feminist” it intends to carry power and camaraderie to women with lyrics like “We Flawless, ladies tell’em/ I woke up like this”. A postfeminist song that is dare I say……flawless.

Superpower (feat. Frank Ocean) – a mysterious and inviting track with an alternative R&B vibe with a warbling vocal delivery from both artist, Frank Ocean and Beyoncé are a match made in heaven for this collaboration.

Heaven – One of the two personal songs on the record, “Heaven” is a mournful piano-laden song with a just a tinge of that southern gospel overtone. It’s hard not to tear up or get lost in the past as Beyoncé delivers lyrics like “I just can’t stand to see you leaving/But heaven couldn’t wait for you”. While it seems less like a love song and more of a song dealing about death, perhaps about this miscarriage she suffered before conceiving Blue Ivy (as revealed in Jay-Z’s track Glory) it feels like a celebration of life and the inescapable embrace of death that you’d experience at a funeral or wake. The song raps up with a Spanish version of the Lord’s Prayer, which is a gorgeous and emotional touch.

Blue (feat. Blue Ivy) – Another personal piano pop-ballad about motherhood and a newfound purpose, it’s absolutely beautiful and breath taking as Beyoncé delicately crafts an emotional heart felt testimony to her daughter. As an overly emotional person, this song is one of the highlights of the record after her much highly published pregnancy and birth.

Overall this is one of the best albums of 2013, which I can say with confidence as 2013 comes to a close. We are witnessing the transcendence of Beyoncé to another plane. She’s selling records but also transforming culture and the politics of the entertainment industry in profound ways. Beyoncé proves (as other artists have done in the past) that you can deliver a kick-ass album without giving into the mindless machine that record labels have come to be. This is Beyoncé in the raw, and Beyoncé at her most impactful.

 

Score: 95/100

 

Key tracks: “Drunk In Love”, “Partition”, “Blow”, “Rocket”, “Mine”, “***Flawless”, “Superpower”, “Blue”.

The Aftermath

The Aftermath Fall 2013 has been nominated for The 2013 Intercollegiate Broadcasting System Award for Best Sports Talk Show.

The Aftermath is back for another season of great sports programming. The longest running show on WVCW, The Aftermath has always been VCU’s #1 source for news in the sports world, from around the corner at the Siegel Center to around the country with national sports headlines.

Listen in as Douglas Wyatt, Scott Wyant, Phil Marcello and Dempsey Griffin bring you their analysis of all sports from VCU Basketball to the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL and everything else in the current sports world.

The Aftermath Show Facebook Page!

On Air Time: Tuesdays & Thursdays – 8-10pm

Host: Doug Wyatt

Contact the host: E-Mail: sports@wvcw.org   |   Twitter:  http://twitter.com/wvcwsports &   http://twitter.com/theaftermathsho |

The Aftermath Show Blog

 VCU Basketball page on wvcw.org –

Check out the “VCU Basketball on WVCW” Page under the “Shows” header! It is where you can hear the latest play-by-play games that you can listen to live!

The Aftermath Pick ’em Page is Up & Running – 9/17/2010

The Aftermath Pick ’em Challenge Page is up and running. This is where you can see how  The Aftermath’s experts are doing in their picks for big NCAA Football and NFL games, as well as College Basketball games.

And you can test you skill and see if you can outplay our Sports Team! Head over to The Aftermath Pick ‘Em Challenge page today.

The Aftermath Download Central

The Aftermath Fall 2013 – Nominated for The 2013 Intercollegiate Broadcasting System Award for Best Sports Talk Show

The Aftermath_12/10/13

The Aftermath_12/3/13

The Aftermath_11/5/13

The Aftermath_10/23/13

The Aftermath_10/09/13

The Aftermath_9/24/13

The Aftermath_9/18/13

The Aftermath_9/12/13

The Aftermath Spring 2013

The Aftermath_04-04-2013

The Aftermath 02-28-2013

The Aftermath 02-20-2013

The Aftermath 02-07-2013

The Aftermath 2012

The Aftermath 11-08-2012

Basketball eve. VCU Athletics makes it to the second round of the tourney. VCU men’s soccer team beats Temple U.

The Aftermath 10-23-2012

RG III fans, Cam Newton and the talk about other players

The Aftermath 10-16-2012

Doug, Scott, and Phill discuss the recent not-so glory days of some MLB teams

The Aftermath 10-09-2012

MLB postseason, VCU men’s soccer

The Aftermath 05-03-2012

The Aftermath 05-01-2012

NFL Preview

The Aftermath 04-24-2012

The Aftermath 04-19-2012

The Aftermath 04-12-2012

The Aftermath 04-10-2012

The Aftermath 04-05-2012

The Aftermath 03-29-2012

The Aftermath 03-27-2012

The Aftermath 03-20-12

The Aftermath 03-08-12

The Aftermath 03-07-12

The Aftermath- CAA Tourney Preview

The Aftermath 02-28-12

The Aftermath 02-23-12

The Aftermath 02-21-12

The Aftermath 02-09-12

The Aftermath 02-07-12

The Aftermath 02-02-12

The Aftermath 01-31-12

The Aftermath 01-25-12

The Aftermath 2011

The Aftermath 12-08-11

The Aftermath 12-06-11

The Aftermath 12-01-11

The Aftermath  11-17-11

The Aftermath 11-15-11

The Aftermath– VCU Preview Show

The Aftermath 11-8-11

The Aftermath 11-1-11

The Aftermath 10-27-11

The Aftermath 10-25-11

The Aftermath 10-18-11

The Aftermath 10-13-11

The Aftermath 10-11-11

The Aftermath 10-6-11

The Aftermath 10-4-11

The Aftermath 9-27-11

The Aftermath 9-22-11

The Aftermath 9-20-11

The Aftermath 9-15-11

The Aftermath 9-8-11

The Aftermath 9-6-11

NFL Preview

The Aftermath 9-1-11

The Aftermath 4-20-11

The Aftermath 4-14-11

The Aftermath 4-7-11

The Aftermath 4-5-11

The Aftermath 4-1-11

The Aftermath 3-10-11

 


Rowdy Radio

Shaka Smart has Havoc 2.0…WVCW has Rowdy Radio 2.0.

Rowdy Radio is a show that is all about Sports & Music. We deliver breaking news, scores, analysis, and updates from all sports involving RamNation.  Created by Rowdy Ram member, Kazie, he along with some other members of the VCU student group help deliver the Rowdiness involved in Rowdy Radio.

Check out the show for some news, laughs, and rowdiness. And as always…GO RAMS!!!

On-Air Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11 AM.

Hosts: Mark “Kazie” Turner, Shawn “RRR” Lux.

Bio: Mark ‘Kazie’ Turner– Kazie is one of the more vocal members in the Rowdy Rams organization. He loves watching any sport involving the Black & Gold, so wherever they’re competing…odds are he is watching and cheering them on! When he’s not causing HAVOC sport wise…he’s talking on the mic here at WVCW or playing some video games while crankin’ the bass to 11! Loves all sorts of music from Five Finger Death Punch, Metallica, Busta Rhymes, Immortal Technique, and Electric Valentine.

Shawn “RRR” LuxShawn also known as RRR around the RamNation boards is a true fan of VCU Athletics. He loves watching the CAA in action…and who could blame him?  He enjoys some good rock n roll on the airwaves from his library of Metallica, Skillet, Theory of a Deadman, and Thousand Foot Krutch.  Just look for his patent Rowdy towel in the stands and RRR will be in your sights. Besides being a Ram fan…he’s also a fan of the Washington Redskins, Washington Wizards, and DC United.

Rowdy Links!!!

Like Our Rowdy FB Page : Facebook: Rowdy Radio on Facebook

Tweet Us LIVE!!! (We Reply): Twitter: @WVCWRowdyRadio

Join The Rowdy Rams: Official Rowdy Rams Site

Rowdy Radio Download Central

Below are the most recent broadcasts of Rowdy Rams Radio. They are arranged in chronological order, with the most recent broadcast at the top. Right-click to save and download to your computer and mobile music player.

Rowdy Radio 11/1/2012

VCU basketball kicks off the season with a game against neighboring school Virginia Union University. Kazie is excited..Let’s find out why.

Rowdy Radio 10/25/2012

Shout out to the President of Rowdy Rams! Let’s talk about the new Coach of VCU Womans basketball team, shall we?

Rowdy Radio 10/23/2012

From Women’s Soccer to Volleyball this is the ultimate recap of VCU Athletics. Don’t forget the pep band, gotta love the pep band.

Rowdy Radio- 10/16/2012

Atlantic 10 rookies. VSU and ODU students beef on twitter over who had the best homecoming events this past weekend.

Rowdy Radio – 10/16/2012

Rowdy Radio – 10/8/2012

Rowdy Radio -10/2/2012

Rowdy Radio -04/03/2012

 

Rowdy Radio – 03/06/2012

 

Rowdy Radio – 03/01/2012

 

Rowdy Radio – 02/28/2012

 

Rowdy Radio – 02/23/2012

 

Rowdy Radio- 02/21/2012

 

Rowdy Radio- 02/16/2012

 

Rowdy Radio – 02/14/2012

 

Rowdy Radio – 02/09/2012

 

Rowdy Radio – 02/07/2012

 

Rowdy Radio – 02/01/2012

 

Rowdy Radio – 01/30/2012

 

Rowdy Radio – 01/24/2012

 

Rowdy Radio – 01/19/2012

 

Rowdy Radio- 01/17/2012

 

Rowdy Radio – 12/6/2011

 

Rowdy Radio – 11/29/2011

 

Rowdy Radio – 11/22/2011

 

Rowdy Radio – 11/15/2011

 

Rowdy Radio – 11/10/2011

 

Rowdy Radio – 11/3/2011

 

Rowdy Radio – 11/1/2011

 

Rowdy Radio – 10/18/2011

 

Rowdy Radio – 10/11/2011

 

Rowdy Radio – 10/4/2011

 

Rowdy Radio – 9/29/2011

 

Rowdy Radio – 9/20/2011

 

Psych Ward

Show description:

Every week, Crystal discusses a psychological topic, whether it be a disorder, brain function, theory, or symptom, and relates it to her life, and to the real world in a more general sense. She gives general information, recent studies, and various analogies to help you further understand how the brain works, and how it affects people. She also talks about her cats a bit. She’ll try to leave that part to a minimum.

 

Who is Crystal?

She is a local waitress and psychology student at VCU. She moved around a lot growing up, went to high school in Williamsburg VA, and somehow ended up in Richmond with a glint of hope in her eye and college savings in her pocket. Both of those have left her possession at this point; however she has since acquired three cats, a dog, and debt from student loans. When she was twelve years old, she was diagnosed with Manic-Depression, or Bipolar disorder, and this event along with her subsequent and long-running bouts with therapy ignited a strong curiosity about why people are they way they are. She found out that people’s feelings, desires, perceptions and actions are all very unique and malleable.  Since then, like a Dungeon Master reading every applicable Dungeon’s and Dragon’s resource and plot for the love of the game, She happily sacrifices her free time to look up disorders, theories, and psychological studies. Finally, since October 2012, she has come to WVCW to bring this research to you.

 

Airdate:

Every Tuesday at 5PM

Download Central:

Psych Ward – 2/26/2013

Psych Ward-Procrastination

Psych Ward

Psych War-Sex Addiction

Psych War-Learning

The Erin Show

Don’t have enough time to read VCU Telegram then listen to it! Tune in to find out whats going on at VCU with events and acheivements and get the latest entertainment news with Erin every Wednesday at 7.

ALSO listen to some good music!

Host: Erin Palmore

About Host: 

Erin Palmore a Mass Communications major has a love for music. On her spare time she loves hanging with her friends, also watching reality television with some hbo and showtime shows on the side.

 

 

 The Erin Show – 05/02/2012

 The Erin Show – 04/25/2012

The Erin Show – 04/18/2012

The Erin Show – 04/11/2012

The Erin Show- 04/04/2012

 The Erin Show – 03/28/2012

The Erin Show – 03/21/2012

The Erin Show – 03/07/2012

Interview Scott Day, Assistant Athletic Director

Radio Class November 2011