The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

Cut Through the Noise: Lenny Kravitz, Wallows, Twenty One Pilots

Illustration by Isaac Wert

Welcome to “Cut Through the Noise,” an entertainment column from the St. Louis Park Echo covering new music releases. Every week, a different Echo staffer takes on the role of writer, reviewing recent single releases from a variety of artists.

“Love Is My Religion” — Lenny Kravitz ★★★★★

Fair use from Virgin Records

Lenny Kravitz recently released his new album, “Blue Electric Light,” his first album in almost six years. Kravitz has been an artist that I have listened to growing up, so when I saw he had a new album, I had to listen. The track that stood out to me the most was “Love Is My Religion.” My favorite part about this song is the uniqueness of it. The main melody comes from an unusual combination of instruments, with a main guitar lead sticking out, but some synths and horns finding their way through as well. Later in the song, a section of piano joins in to add to the depth of all these instruments. These all blend together to form an interesting sound that does an amazing job at not just supporting, but adding to Kravitz’s vocals. I also love the message that Kravitz is trying to get across with this track. This song is speaking to the violence in today’s world and Kravitz’s perspective on this is the idea of love being spread worldwide. A lyric from the song says, “We’ve forgotten how to feel, we’re not even kind. Cussin’ and fightin’, we’re beaten and frightened for all that we know.” This along with the rest of the vocals provides a very positive message throughout the song, one that I think we all need to hear. The feel of this song is also very good. The driving drums and not-so-quiet guitar give it that timeless rock vibe, which works well with Kravitz’s vocals. Overall, I enjoyed this song and the album as a whole. If you don’t know Lenny Kravitz, I suggest you check out his music, as he has lots of great songs.

“Calling After Me” — Wallows ★★★★★

Fair use from Atlantic Records

Wallows, a trio band based out of Los Angeles, California, just recently released their fourth album, “Model.” This twelve-track release features many quality songs, and the one I enjoyed the most was “Calling After Me.” This song is fairly simple, consisting of two guitars, lead and bass, drums, and vocals from the band’s lead vocalist, Dylan Minnette. The pair of guitars work very well together, with the two layers leaving virtually no gaps between the two, which gives the song a more full and rich sound, despite its simplicity. The drums compliment this well, with a very light and crisp feel, keeping a laid back mood throughout the track. Minnette’s vocals also add to the character of the song, and at some times creating an almost syncopated feel between the vocals and guitars. This track and the album as a whole are somewhat of a reflection on how far the trio has come since their formation in 2017. This is evident in the lyrics, where Minnette sings, “And I know you can see we’ll have people talking, You know we can be just what they want.” This line really shows how they might not be a huge band, but they are certainly drawing the attention of quite a few people, and the three of them are starting to notice. All of these elements of different instruments and vocals come together to create a really nice sounding final product. Overall, I enjoyed this song, especially the relaxed, summery indie rock feel. I’ve already added it to my summer playlist, and I highly recommend you go check out Wallows.

“Backslide” — twenty one pilots ★★★☆☆

Fair use from Fueled By Ramen

Twenty One Pilots released their sixth studio album this last Friday, “Clancy,” their first release in almost six years, and I was excited to listen. I was a pretty big fan of the duo in middle school, and even though I can’t say I’m that crazy about them anymore, I still give them a listen from time to time — however, this album was sort of a letdown. Most of the songs were pretty similar, and there wasn’t a ton that was super special to me. Despite the slight disappointment, I still found enjoyment in a couple of songs, one of which was “Backslide.” This song embodies Twenty One Pilots’ classic punk rock feel, with some grungy guitars and vocals, as well as harsher drums. A part of the song that I both enjoyed and disliked was the unique sound effects that were played throughout the song. I feel like the effects are trying to add to the song, but at times it just seems random and unnecessary. Apart from that, this song is still fairly similar to the rest of the songs on this record, and that’s a theme I noticed throughout the whole album. The message that the lyrics are trying to convey is somewhat unique, talking about not taking opportunities given to you for granted. Vocalist Tyler Joseph says in the song, “I don’t want to backslide to where I’ve started from, There’s no chance I will shake this again.” While there is some depth to the lyrics, they don’t really speak to me very much, and there isn’t too much that’s super special about them. Overall, I didn’t necessarily love this album. I used to really enjoy their music and I don’t much anymore, but in comparison to some of their older albums, this one is subpar. I would recommend this to someone if they were into that sort of punk rock genre, but if not, I would stick to some of their previous albums, as this one for me is a miss.

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About the Contributor
Matthew Plant
Matthew Plant, Echo Staffer
Hey, my name is Matthew and I am a junior. This is my first year on Echo and I am excited to be a part of the Echo team. When I’m not in school, I like to ski, play baseball, and hang out with my friends.   

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