New releases create soundtrack of 2022


Photos courtesy of Genius.

Gavin Cronin, Staff Writer

This previously ran in our February 2022 print issue.

I wouldn’t consider myself as much of a music connoisseur, more as a hermit who sticks to the same six or seven genres and plays them on repeat. These past couple weeks I have been branching out and listening to a couple new genres of music that are, in a word, interesting.

I started out by listening to the first album in over 18 years from Jethro Tull, a British rock band that was extremely popular during the 70s. They had been constructing the album since quarantine started and released their new album on Jan. 28. The Zealot Gene consisted of 12 songs that really embodied their style from the 70s and sounded extremely nostalgic. The upbeat nature of the album was excellent, and the instrumentals were very soothing and well used. They managed to make the album nostalgic and modern at the same time, which strongly benefited them in finding a new audience. It was their first top album in over 50 years and was extremely consistent the whole way through, with the best song being “Mrs Tibbits.” 

I then listened to Laurel Hell, the latest album released by Mitski. Never having listened to Mitski before, I was pleasantly surprised when I finished listening to the album. She has an extremely powerful voice that radiates through whatever you choose to listen to. It’s a little slow at points, which isn’t a great look for an album with only eleven songs, but many of them are extremely well executed and give off a very 80s synth-pop vibe that leaves you feeling good. 

Next is SICK! by Earl Sweatshirt, the most recent album from the alternative hip-hop artist. With a high production value and Earl sounding just as in tune as always on every song, it is a shame that there are some flow discrepancies throughout the album. It’s easy to find oneself falling into a trance, and all of a sudden the rhyme scheme seems to change mid verse and it throws you off. With that being said, Earl’s storytelling ability is truly a relic in today’s hip-hop industry, and he makes the album extremely relatable to our modern society. 

Last but most certainly not least is DS4ever, the latest album from well-known trap/hip-hop artist Gunna. Gunna brought a similar sound as his previous Drip Season, but it really fell short on the grimey trap and underground feeling of his previous three albums. The song “Flooded” was the only song that truly brought back that trap feel. His rhyme scheme and hit making ability are undoubtedly top tier, but the album lacked his true grit. While it will go down as an underwhelming addition to his discography, the star power from features such as Drake, Future, and Young Thug allowed the album to top the Billboard charts at the end of January.