Author Archives: Kate's Album Reviews

My Experience in PUB101

Since enrolling in PUB101, everything I thought I knew about publication has been expanded. I have learned so much about how much effort goes into creating a website. From branding to content, and advertising, there are so many aspects that are vital to a blog. I had to come up with a topic to write about, then how to identify and engage my audience, and how to understand my website analytics. This essay will reflect on how and what I have learned while establishing my presence as an online publisher over the past semester. 

Since the beginning of the term, I have been working to develop consistent branding, content, and cultivating my digital garden. In other words, space where I can focus on what I would like to research, rather than catering to a large audience (Basu, 2020). A digital garden is more about creating a niche to call my own (Basu, 2020). I did not struggle to set up my site at first. However, after receiving feedback from tutorials and peer reviews, many of my classmates found my blog a bit confusing and busy. I was quite happy with it up until that point, but I knew there must be a way to please both myself and my audience. Around week 7, I tried to work more on branding and completely changed the theme on my site. Fortunately, there are now many more options for customization. I decided to make my blog all about reviewing albums because I do a lot of research into music on my own time. I figured turning a hobby into productive schoolwork would be a win-win. While researching albums I reviewed, I learned more about each artist and found even more music I enjoy. In the first lecture, it was stressed to base my blog on a hobby or interest I already have, as it would make posting about it each much easier. I thought about doing album reviews because I knew it would be sustainable, there are so many albums out there. I believe that the content I have put out over the term has been consistently good because I have enjoyed writing all of my posts.

Over the term, I have not had much engagement on my site, besides my classmates. Ideally, my audience would be composed of individuals who have an interest in music. The albums I have reviewed are mostly from the 2010s, with a few exceptions. However, their genres are relatively expansive in hopes to garner an audience of individuals with different tastes in music. This would allow for constructive debates about albums, where my audience could propose their opinions and perceptions of the albums I have reviewed. According to Nancy Fraser’s article Rethinking the Public Sphere: A Contribution to the Critique of Actually Existing Democracy, any media that provokes social interactions could have its own public. Meaning, if I were able to garner a wider audience, their comments and discussions with one another would be enough to create my own little public. In an attempt to address my audience, I incorporate links to my current favorite music, as well as the albums I review in every blog post. I provide in-depth knowledge on popular albums to educate my audience on why or why not I think they are good projects. In terms of analytics, I have found that the majority of my audience visits my home page or PUB101 page, usually the days before class. I have found that most people come to my page to look at assignments for class, rather than the reviews I post each week.

I never realized how expansive the term publication is until I enrolled in this course. Originally, when thinking of publication, I thought about print or books. Now I realize that there are so many different aspects in publication. I now know that publication is the creation of a public through the circulation of text, a digital commons where discussions take place (Stadler, 2009). My online self is already fairly expansive in terms of my personal social media. Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest, VSCO are all platforms that I use consistently. I hope to continue taking publishing courses, and will likely continue posting on my blog, as it is something I have come to genuinely really enjoy. In the future, I hope to be able to expand my blog a little bit, incorporating more than just reviews. Overall, I hope to continue portraying myself as authentically as possible online. 

Although developing my website has been a lot of work, and still needs some tweaking, I am extremely proud of the content and design of my blog. From cultivating its overall look to putting in work each week to produce the best album reviews I could, this is a project I hope to expand. With it, my online identity, which I am constantly working to put forth my most authentic self. I am excited to see what the future holds for my blog and to see it grow to its full potential.


Le Tigre (1999) Review

Le Tigre’s self-titled debut album was released in October of 1999. Years prior, Kathleen Hanna led a band called Bikini Kill, which worked to inspire thousands of young women and essentially changed the gender dynamic of punk rock altogether. However, after seven years, Hanna had decided that their band and the movement they helped start just became something of a talking point, and the band broke up. At Le Tigre’s start, Hanna’s two other bandmates, Johanna Fateman and Sadie Bennig, had no musical experience. They recorded this album on equipment that was completely new to them; drum machines, samplers, turntables, and more. What they came up with was brilliant.

Two of the most notable songs on the album, “Deceptacon” and “Hot Topic” also happen to be the first two on the record. “Deceptacon” has an insanely catchy chorus, they took from an older, novelty song. Hanna shouts put-downs at thoughtless self-confident assholes with an unwavering sneer. All of this is layered over chaotically energetic surf-guitar chords, thumping bass, and sporadic synth beeps. I would consider this song more pop-punk, but it is a highlight nonetheless. In “Hot Topic,” Le Tigre takes a few moments to shoutout numerous artists, writers, and activists who have inspired them, such as Yoko Ono, Joan Jett, Cecelia Dougherty, and more. While all very different, many of them are considered feminists, like Le Tigre themselves. “Hot Topic” was the album’s only single, and it is reminiscent of Japanese indie-pop and new wave.

Other notable tracks include “What’s Yr Take on Cassavetes,” which is about filmmaker John Cassavetes and questions if his work can be considered feminist. On this track, Le Tigre highlights the sexist disjointedness that exists in the independent film and music scene. This topic is tackled over a heavily distorted electric guitar and a rhythmic drum beat. Another highlight is “My My Metrocard,” which is a song that condemned New York mayor Rudy Giuliani. This song is a go-go song with its high tempo, dance beat.

Le Tigre said they wanted “to write political pop songs and be the dance party after the protest,” and I think they achieved exactly that. They embraced 80s new wave and genres like electroclash and dancepunk. The majority of the album is about happiness, solidarity, and freedom, though anger is also prevalent. Kathleen Hanna, yet again, reimagined what punk rock was, and how it felt. Overall, this album exudes confidence and feminist themes, I found it really easy to get into, and I absolutely adore it.

Favorite tracks: “Deceptacon”

Least favorite track (excluding interludes): “Dude Yr So Crazy!!”

Overall rating: 4/5





Open in Spotify

“Make Your Thing”

This week’s reading, Jesse Thorn’s “Make Your Thing” highlighted 12 steps to guaranteed success. In order, it goes;

  1. Start Now
  2. Make Deadlines
  3. Keep Your Legs Moving
  4. Don’t Confuse Content & Medium
  5. Be Authentic
  6. Follow Your Passion
  7. Focus on Great Work
  8. Connect with People You Like
  9. Own What You Create
  10. Find the Money
  11. Build a Community

I have read articles and seen videos similar to this one before, but this one just seemed more realistic than the others. While YouTubers preach about the consistent output of content, the monetization of their videos is not what is making them the most money, brand deals are. This article emphasized the importance of taking time to create good work while also sticking to deadlines. I am not entirely sure what I want to achieve going forward in my life, past post-secondary. But, I know that once I find something sustainable, that I am truly passionate about, I will continue to put as much work in as I can to make that my career. This course has taught me a lot about publishing and is definitely steering me in the right direction. I plan on taking more publishing courses in the future and possibly minoring in it!

This article made me think a lot about some of my favorite artists, and how they have worked incredibly hard to be successful. Some that come to mind are Tyler, The Creator  and Kevin Abstract. They are individuals who inspire me to go after my dreams, much like they have. Though I (unfortunately) have little musical talent, I love writing and this course has helped me harness that ability. Hopefully in the future, I will find an opportunity to demonstrate my talents in a career that I love.

Here are some of my favorite interviews from the artists I mentioned above:




SATURATION (2017) Review

SATURATION also referred to as SATURATION I is BROCKHAMPTON’s debut album, released in 2017. The album marks the first of a trilogy, SATURATION II and SATURATION III were dropped that same year. Upon release, it was gaining traction in the underground hip-hop scene and received high acclaim off the bat. Although it may be hard to keep track of all the different voices throughout the album, each member of the boy band shares their musical and lyrical styles and personalities, which make up the album’s versatile talent and creativity. It is clear that the members play well off of each other and share a lot of chemistry.

The first three tracks of the album, “HEAT,” “GOLD,” and “STAR” are by far the project’s highlights. “HEAT” features insane, aggressive lyrics alongside a heavy drum beat with a heavily distorted bassline. The chorus features an explosion of noise, with ear-piercing sounds and shrill melodies. “GOLD” is more dialed back in comparison, a smoother, lighter track with a lot of personality. This song features almost all of the band’s members, giving each of them a moment in the spotlight. This song emphasizes their confidence, where each rapper lends their strongest flow. This track is next level, with its futuristic beat and the best hook on the whole project. “STAR” contains countless pop culture references, ranging from music to films. The song emphasizes the boys’ desire to be famous, to be the stars. This beat also hits extremely hard, with flawless flow from every member and insane production.

The tracks mentioned above are already some of my favorites, but “FAKE” and “WASTE” are two others that drive the project home, in my opinion. “FAKE” is a more laid-back track compared to the rest. The song highlights how the music industry does not always allow artists to say what they like, which leads many of them to create fake personas that they have to keep up with. Their voices are also heavily distorted to reinforce this notion of ‘fakeness.’ The album’s final track, “WASTE,” is a deeply melodic, passionate guitar ballad with the spotlight on bearface. It focuses on the fear of being forgotten, creating amazing memories with another person that they ultimately forget. 

I first heard SATURATION days after its release, as my brother recommended it to me with high praise. It was like nothing I had ever heard before, colorful and bouncy, catchy with insane production. It is consistent in terms of quality, though lacking an overarching narrative or concept. Its versatility, switching between introspective moments like “WASTE” to hard-hitting bangers like “HEAT” was another compelling aspect. Each member plays off the others exceptionally well, and I soon became obsessed with the band. I have seen BROCKHAMPTON three times, their “Love Your Parents” tour, “I’ll Be There” tour, and “Heaven Belongs to You” tour. Over the past few years, I have noticed progressive growth in their sound and chemistry, and they will forever be one of my favorite bands. This is another album that I cannot say enough good things about and gets better with every listen.

This track, “LAMB” is another one of my favorites, however it never made it on to the final cut of the record.

Favorite tracks: “GOLD,” “STAR,” and “WASTE”

Least favorite track (excluding interludes): “CASH”

Overall rating: 5/5


Open in Spotify


Community Guidelines

Please Do:

  • Be respectful towards others opinions
    • Understand that different people may have different taste in music and it is okay to disagree.
  • Share your knowledge
    • If there were details missed in the review of an album, leave them in the comments.
  • Communicate with kindness and respect
    • This is self-explanatory, treat others with kindness and respect their opinions.
  • Share your favorite music
    • If there is an album you want to be reviewed, send us an email or leave it in a comment!

Please Do Not:

  • Advertise or post repetitive messages
    • This includes third-party advertisements, petitions, spam, or any other form of unauthorized solicitation.
  • Use any offensive or insulting language
    • This is self-explanatory, be respectful of writers and commenters on this site.
  • Make personal attacks toward other users
    • Again, self-explanatory. Debate is encouraged, but when you disagree, do so respectfully and constructively.

Considering the lack of engagement I have on my website at the moment, it would be easy for me to filter through comments myself. Any case of inappropriate behavior will be handled and removed. However, going down the line, if I receive more engagement, I could consider using a content filter. This would remove any comments with words that I consider inappropriate. These community guidelines will help discussions stay relevant and courteous.

Helpful Links:

6 Feet Beneath The Moon (2013) Review

Archy Marshall, professionally known as King Krule, released 6 Feet Beneath The Moon in 2013, at only 19 years old. This album combines aspects of jazz, indie, hip-hop, and most prevalently, rock. Each song is a lyrical portrayal of Archy himself, depressed and uncertain as he drifts through his teenage years into adulthood. As solemn as the lyrics are, they are delivered urgently in his easily recognizable, aggressive, gravelly voice. There are countless moments where it is clear that Archy is still growing up, his perspective on life is still fresh and edgy. Which pairs beautifully with the consistent frenzied strumming of his electric guitar. King Krule explains that the title of this album is inspired by his fascination with the moon. To him, it represents comfort and his aspirations, something he is always looking up to.

Highlights include the album’s sixth track, “Baby Blue” where Archy explains that he is fed up with his relationship with ‘Blue.’ Though, he indicates that they are not in a formal relationship. This track highlights a more delicate tone of voice, exploring another aspect of his growing talent. This song could be classified as a ballad of sorts, where he croons over slick guitar chords with a swooning vocal melody. It is romantic in an unexpected way. “Out Getting Ribs” gets its name from a Jean-Michel Basquiat piece from 1982. Written at age 16, Archy employs deep imagery and complex lyrics to outline his unrequited love and bittersweet relationship with ‘Blue.’ The track’s bleak lyrics over simple guitar chords give a sense of comfort and intimacy with an emotional twist. Another highlight is “Easy Easy,” a song about remaining optimistic despite feeling like the world is working against you. The song, again, mainly composed of Archy’s electric guitar and powerful voice, provides a strong start to the album and introduces some of its most crucial themes.

My personal favorites include “A Lizard State,” which picks up tempo in a more jazz-influenced rock beat, with a frenzied horn portion throughout the chorus. Archy gains confidence and pleads with a lover to do what he tells her. He has dealt with a great amount of unrequited love. However, on this track, he lets these feelings go and the lyrics expose that he is falling out of love with this person, and begins to resent them. This song’s more upbeat tempo, with Archy’s manic voice over the chaotic horn section, caught my attention the first time I listened to it. Finally, “Cementality” is about his thoughts of committing suicide, in his own words, “becoming one with the cement.” This track is likely the album’s most depressing, as Archy depicts how awful he feels, guiltless, loveless, and worthless. Archy’s smooth voice over the song’s deep bass and reverberating electric guitar is enough to send shivers down your spine.

Although there is not much to be said about the album’s consistency, leaps between light-hearted tracks like “Border Line,” and hip-hop-influenced ones like “Has This Hit” show the ever-growing facets of King Krule’s talent. The different sounds grasp your attention and hold it through the album’s 52-minute run time. Archy guides the listener through the wisdom he has earned through his tumultuous relationships and fluctuating mental health. Though fairly depressing, 6 Feet Beneath The Moon demonstrates his stellar wordplay, unique sound, and I truly cannot say enough good things about it.


Favorite tracks: “A Lizard State”

Least favorite track: “Has This Hit?”

Overall rating: 5/5


This is “Little Wild,” which is the bonus track on the Japanese CD of this album.

Open in Spotify

Transmedia Integration on My Blog

Transmedia integration or transmedia storytelling is when “elements of a fiction get dispersed across multiple media for the purpose of creating a coordinated entertainment experience.” The example given in the reading is the Pokémon franchise, which is composed of trading cards, a manga series, movies, and more. Each of these different facets must be accessible on its own, and add unique details to the overarching narrative. Each aspect is vital in its own terms, but can also be understood and enjoyed separately.

In terms of my blog, I already try to incorporate links to my Spotify and SoundCloud to enrich the experience, as there is not an overall narrative to what I am writing on here. These channels make the most sense on my blog because music is the most important aspect of it. In the future, I could incorporate more links to my social media to make the experience more personal. This would add a more individualized feel to my blog.


BO Y (2019) Review

Deaton Chris Anthony’s sophomore album, BO Y, is an eccentric, insanely creative masterpiece that caught my attention the very first time I heard it. He experiments with different genres from bedroom pop, “U Got Talent,” to trap, “Tony Hawk (ft. LA),” and even spoken word, “Deaton’s Meditation”. Some beats are simple, while others incorporate elaborate sonic freakouts that briefly interrupt and alter the song altogether, for example, “Coca Cola Cutie”. There are vapor-wave and dance-house influences, and it is clear that DCA is very forward-thinking in his production. Although there are so many different factors at play, DCA manages to achieve a seamless, cohesive project with flawless production.

Highlights include “RACECAR (ft. Clairo, Coco & Clair Clair)” which is DCA’s most-streamed song, as it went viral on TikTok about a year ago. Heavy bass kicks off the song with Clairo almost rapping, a side of her I have not yet seen much of. DCA lets the features really shine on this track, and all of their voices blend together beautifully. The production on this song is slick, and heavy synth-use adds a really fun texture. Another song popularized by TikTok is “1999 She”. This track is super catchy with an up-tempo beat, including lots of synths and keys. The beat switches around 1:00 and gets even faster. Another honorable mention goes to “Hello Honeybee, Goodbye Butterfly” which is undoubtedly the climax of the album. It is an eight-minute-long interlude that kind of shifts between genres. It is full of emotion and best conveys DCA’s talent.

My personal favorites include “Mr. Call You Back (ft. Triathalon)” which is characterized by its bouncy synth chords, funny adlibs, and a catchy bridge/chorus. Also, “Tony Hawk (ft. LA)” is more of a bass-heavy trap beat. Finally, “Late Night Lovin’” (ft. Jean Dawson, Korbin in Orbit & Omar Apollo)” which has an upbeat bedroom pop vibe. DCA often uses his voice as a vocal bridge between songs, resulting in an album that flows well, where each song develops ideas previously presented. This is impressive due to the sheer versatility in sound throughout his entire project.

Though generally unorthodox, BO Y’s bright, colorful production, goofy yet catchy lyrics, and silly songwriting are what make this album so special. Through these cryptic lyrics, DCA emphasizes themes like heartbreak, loss, and superficial happiness. He is vulnerable and expresses his optimism, obvious through his catchphrase “Have a great day.” Humor is also center on this album, DCA’s persona is funny and charming, it really comes through on tracks like “Deaton’s Meditation”. The synth use is reminiscent of 90s dance-house and though it pulls inspiration from a lot of older music, though BO Y is extremely modern sounding. It feels original, well-thought-out, and works through many genres successfully. In my opinion, BO Y is one of the most slept on albums I have encountered, it is full of charisma and creativity and leaves me inspired every time I listen.


Favorite tracks: “Late Night Lovin'”

Least favorite track: “(Bonus) Sid The Kid”

Overall rating: 5/5






Open in Spotify

The Dangers of Advertising in Journalism

Tom Bleymaier’s article, On Advertising – Maria Popova, opened my eyes to the dangers of advertising in journalism. In the case of Maria Popova, she has made an immense amount of money by using affiliate links and generating even more by soliciting donations. All while claiming her site is “ad-free.” According to Bleymaier, the Affiliate form of advertising is more disruptive, as it interrupts the reader with a link, and encourages the writer to change their tone in order to encourage the purchase. Ultimately, Bleymaier argues that it is morally wrong to claim to be “ad-free” when benefitting from Affiliate links and donations. He underscores the importance of transparency when using programs such as Amazon’s Affiliate links.

In terms of my site, it may be difficult to incorporate Affiliate links as there is not much for me to advertise. Hopefully, I will be able to come up with something down the road!