Music Reviews

Alternative Rock and Its Many Faces

Reading Time: 8 minutes

By Tang Lanyun (23S05A)

Alternative rock isn’t so much a genre as it is an attitude. Emerging from the underground punk scene of the 70s, alt-rock lacks a defining sound; rather, it is characterised by its independent ethos and scepticism toward the mainstream. 

Though its acts rarely experience the whirlwind fame of their commercial contemporaries, over the years a few have managed to attain cult status, whose albums endure in music’s collective memory.

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Dreaming with Sumi Jo: A Night at the Opera

Reading Time: 5 minutes

By Lara Tan (22A01B) and Noh Sangeun (23S06Q)

What does a night at the opera bring to mind? 

Hundreds of people sitting stone-faced in a cavernous concert hall, silently immersing themselves in the music of ages long past? A stuffy, esoteric pursuit of cultural enlightenment for only the initiated? An overall solemn, purely intellectual affair with little room for fun? 

As it turns out, that isn’t all there is to it. 

We went down to the Esplanade last month, looking to spend a night at the opera with this lovely lady.

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Lady Gaga: The Fame Monster Lives On

Reading Time: 4 minutes

By Shaun Loh (21A01A) 

“Lady Gaga? The meat dress woman? The one from the movie with Bradley Cooper?” A classmate blurted out earlier this year when someone mentioned the singer. 

“Ummm…yeah, both of those things.” 

Somehow, in spite of Lady Gaga’s status as an omnipresent musical giant, there always seems to be a sense of doubt, a sense of uneasiness, in attempting to grasp the concept, or personhood, beneath the title “Lady Gaga”. 

Many used to remember her by her odd theatrics. Now, people think of her as a prolific embodiment of musical versatility. Yet, few understand where her true power and place in the music industry lies. It’s only in tracing her discography that we discover the true source of her meteoric rise. Just a decade ago, with a poker face shrouded in mystery, she released her most revolutionary record to date, The Fame Monster

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The Brilliance of 100 gecs’ Anarchist Pop

Reading Time: 6 minutes

By Charles Toh (21A01D)

100 gecs just wants to have fun.

In what is possibly the most unexpected turn of events ever, the experimental pop project of St. Louis-born independent musicians Dylan Brady and Laura Les has risen to worldwide internet notoriety, gaining traction on social media sites like TikTok and Twitter. A year ago, 100 gecs had little more than a dedicated cult following among online communities obsessed with underground music.

So how did their polarising, abrasive pastiche of genres from music’s refuse pile capture the attention of both music critics and listeners worldwide, with virtually no radio play or promotion?

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