Summer Album Reviews: Lil Yachty & Frank Ocean

Lil Yachty fails to impress, while Frank Ocean’s new
album leaves plenty to discuss after a four-year wait

By: Andy Dolen

Summer Songs 2 – Lil Yachty

Lil Yachty, aka Lil Boat, has been buzzing as of late, and it’s mainly due to his collaborations with many big-name rappers such as Chance The Rapper and new hit artist D.R.A.M. When rappers have a glimpse of fame, it’s seen as an opportunity to jump on it, just as Lil Yachty has done with his new mixtape “Summer Songs 2”.

The rapper’s unique tone and verses have had people excited to finally hear an album of his own; however, it was not as hot as expected. Just like Frank Ocean’s new album, Yachty only released his album exclusively to Apple Music.

“For Hot 97” and “All In” are some of the few songs in this album where you can actually listen to the whole song without it being repetitive This is most likely because these are the two songs with the most features from other artists.

Lil Boat’s best songs seem to have a limited amount of lyrics. Listening to Yachty’s kaleidoscopic verses for an entire song become annoying, but when he comes in the middle of a song with a good verse it definitely lights up the track. I’m predicting Lil Yachty remains as mostly a feature rapper with some other big name artists, but may not become his own star for a while. Rating: 2 out of 5.

Blond – Frank Ocean

The visionary artist’s highly anticipated new album was finally released this summer after years of begging and some disappointment by his fans. Four years after Ocean released his best selling album “Channel Orange”, he has decided to show another side of himself and his versatile singing voice.

After listening to Frank Ocean’s new album “Blond”, it was easy to see that Frank was striving for more of a quieter, meditative sound, and it didn’t fail to impress. “Blond” not only shows a sense of the old Frank Ocean, which the world has been waiting to hear for four years, but also shows his true artistic talent, range of vocals, and rhythms in a storytelling-type album.

After years of staying on the down low Frank still decided to keep his music exclusive and initially will only release it to Apple Music subscribers, but this most likely won’t last for long. After this much anticipation, I predict that “Blond” will be in the top three rated albums of summer 2016. Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Latest SPACE Show Was a Success

By George Deljevic

On May 20th, the talented Dexter High School students of the SPACE Club performed in front of a huge audience in the high school CPA.

Acts such as Barry Megler, Stewie Weber, Jake Lamb, Zach Barnes, and singer Kate Emrich redid the hit single “Let it Be.” The talent didn’t stop there, Craig Rafail performed one of his songs and blew the crowd away with his amazing guitar skills.

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Dexter’s Final Rose

2008 Dexter graduate Lauren Himle was recently a contestant on the 2016 season of The Bachelor
By Katie Fischer & Taylor Smith

We all have seen the reality shows on TV, and have most likely imagined what it would be like to be on the show. Lauren Himle doesn’t have to imagine any longer.

Himle, a 2008 graduate of Dexter High School, was nominated by her friends, family, and coworkers to go on The Bachelor. Himle went through a long audition process where she traveled to Los Angeles for a casting weekend, and a two-week long wait to get the call that she was on the show.

It was going to be an experience like no other. Before Himle left her parents told her “to just be [herself] and to have fun with it. It would be a great adventure if nothing else.” That wasn’t all they shared either. When it came to tips on how to act on the show they said, “be nice to the other girls [and don’t do anything that would cause for a black box over any part of your body.” Eager to meet Ben Higgins and possibly fall in love Himle went and was filmed on the show.

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The Life of Pablo – The Album That Could Save Kanye

By Tyler Valentine

Kanye West. Very influential. Very controversial character in the media, is back at it again. After going under the radar in the music world since his album Yeezus, West has released what may be the best album of the year. He has named the album “The Life Of Pablo”, Pablo being Pablo Picasso, the most famous artist of the 20th century. Kanye got the inspiration to name it after one of the greatest artist of all times because he views himself to be similar to Picasso. A song in the album “No more Parties in L.A.” West says “I feel like Pablo when I’m making these shoes”, meaning he feels like he is creating great art when he designs shoes, which he is.

Before The Life Of Pablo, or TLOP, West was known for his harsh lyrics, and strong beats to go along with them. With TLOP, Kanye raps his same Kanye lyrics, but rather than overwhelming beat in the background, West decided to go with a more gospel feel, to reflect on his faith in God.

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S.P.A.C.E. Club

Student musicians put on stellar February show, look forward to May extravaganza
By Kurtis Hansen

From covers of Panic! at the Disco and the Beastie Boys to originals by Matt Owen, Molly Wing and Colfox, the February 19th S.P.A.C.E concert was a dazzling portrayal of the diverse musical talents in Dexter High School. After attending a S.P.A.C.E show, one might have a difficult time believing the stereotype that describes the club as predominantly metal and country.

To those who have never heard of the club, much less the stereotypes: S.P.A.C.E has absolutely nothing to do astronomy, NASA, or Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny. S.P.A.C.E (Student Produced Artistic Collaborative Events) is an opportunity for students and teachers to play whatever music they’d like to alongside their friends and other musicians.

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3D has a first

After hours and hours of outlining, writing, composing and brainstorming, senior James Fischer completed the largest project of his life, “Control, Alt., Delete” a musical he spent the better part of a year working on, despite the fact that the idea for the play came to him quickly.

“Once I got the main concept of the play, the rest was just putting the pieces together,” Fischer said.

Last spring Fischer began the process of hammering out the first student-written, directed and composed musical in Dexter Drama Directing Series, or 3D, history.

Four years ago, eight upperclassmen taking Erin Palmer’s drama class realized they wanted to do more than perform three plays each year.  The class wanted to write its own plays, thus creating the 3D series which has produced a variety of original and unusual work including “Scrubs: The Musical.”

Although each year Copeland auditorium fills its 150-200 seats for the series, this is the first year for a student-directed musical.

And although Fischer’s play is indeed a musical, he said he considers his play a drama with a little comedy.

“There’s isolation, and it shows how a human can connect with something that is not human,” Fischer said.

The musical involves the state of Alaska, a doctor, a penguin and a robot, contains 10 songs and spans about an hour.  Seniors Harrison Kane and Natalie Burdick are the only characters in the musical.

As for inspiration, Fischer said composer Stephen Sondheim played a motivating role.

“When I listen to him, I just wanna write,” Fischer said.  “Heís my hero.”

Regardless of who he admires, Palmer said the best part of working with Fischer, is his talent combined with his character.

“He has a gift, really, whether it’s singing it, playing it, designing it.  Plus he’s very dedicated and humble about it,”  she said.

And while his is the only original musical being produced, senior Havah Roussel created the other original piece being performed, “Etta,” a one-act drama.

Roussel said she got the idea by following Palmer’s advice of “writing what you know,” and created a production of an elderly woman learning how to use an iPhone.

Such experiences allow students to gain valuable leadership skills and experience from directing their own production, Palmer said.  In addition, she said there are many benefit to having students run their own productions.

“It’s not about me.  What’s important is that the students get to run their own auditions, their own rehearsals, and really take a leadership role,” she said.

“Control. Alt. Delete” premieres March 6 and March 8, and Fischer said he’s ready for the performance, the largest undertaking he’s been involved with.

He said, “This is probably the biggest project I’ve even done in my entire life to be honest.”