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The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

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Cut Through The Noise: Olivia Rodrigo, Kid Cudi, Megan Thee Stallion

Illustration+by+Isaac+Wert
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.

Olivia Rodrigo — ‘Can’t Catch Me Now’ ★★★★★

Fair use from Genius

Olivia Rodrigo is known for her soulful and reflective music as well as her edgy, angsty songs. These different variations of her music were displayed in her most recent album, “Guts.” However, the song “Can’t Catch Me Now” tells a different story, as it was written for the movie “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” based on the book by Suzanne Collins. The song seems to be written from the perspective of Lucy Gray Baird, the protagonist. If you’ve ever read the book, you will see the parallels of the climax to this song. The song starts out with Rodrigo singing slowly, softly and tragically, while building into a hauntingly powerful chorus full of harmonies. It ends softly, with the promise of an unhappy ending. I feel like it accurately represents the atmosphere of the movie and is a charming song, using acoustic guitar in the background. However, the main instrument is Rodrigo’s voice, as she has many complicated harmonies that compliment each other along with the guitar. The reason I gave this song five stars is because I feel like it seamlessly blends Olivia Rodrigo’s soulful style with the story of the “Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.” 

 

Kid Cudi — ‘At The Party’ ★★★☆☆

Fair use from Genius

“At The Party” is a fast-paced song by Kid Cudi, featuring Travis Scott and Pharrell Williams. Kid Cudi is a rapper who released his debut album back in 2009. Aside from being a rapper, he is also a songwriter, record-producer, actor and fashion designer. “At The Party” has Pharrell Williams starting out the song with the repetitive chorus, with Kid Cudi and Travis Scott rapping after him. In the song, we see a range of emotions, such as anger, letting loose and feeling lost, while the song is from the perspective of a drunk narrator. “Walked and I failed and I crumbled, knew I was a broken man (Shh), bleed in the scene, I can achieve.” In this vulnerable verse, we see how Kid Cudi is sharing his emotions through a drunken lens. I gave this song three out of five stars because I personally am not a huge fan of rap, but on another note, I also felt like the song was hard to follow since there were so many things going on. There were random words and sounds that were being played at the ends of many verses, and towards the end, the chorus was layered over the verses. This makes the song seem overwhelming, especially with the instruments in the background. 

 

Megan Thee Stallion — ‘Cobra’ ★★★☆☆

Fair use from Genius

Megan Thee Stallion is a rapper who released her first single in 2016, and has continued to release songs since then. “Cobra” starts with a relatively slow musical intro, but as soon as she starts rapping, the pace of the song really picks up. If you don’t pay attention to the lyrics, the song might seem like the narrator is carefree, revenge-thirsty and tough. However, if you listen closely to the words, you’ll realize that the song is surprisingly vulnerable, unfiltered and honest. She sings about her struggles with depression and a toxic relationship. The song also describes how she does not really have anyone to rely on when she really needs help. In “Cobra” she raps, “Every night I cried, I almost died, and nobody close tried to stop it.”  She also shares what her reality is like, while comparing it to what most people think her life is like. “Cobra” shows us that her life is not nearly as glamorous as it may seem, but is a whole lot more relatable. However, I only gave this song three out of five stars because I didn’t feel like the instruments went well with the song. I felt like the rhythms didn’t go together, the instruments just didn’t fit in with the overall feeling of the song and the singing seemed to cut off abruptly — making the song seem really short. 

 

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About the Contributor
Louisa Augustine, Echo Staffer
Hi! My name is Louisa and this is my first year on Echo. I’m a junior this year and some things I enjoy are running cross country and track, downhill skiing/racing, and hanging out with friends and family. I’m excited to be a part of Echo and am looking forward to this year!

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