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Amber Run Live at The Foundry

Walking in from the streets of Philadelphia, a haze of red light surrounded me as I walked into The Foundry.  People began filling the venue, buzzing with excitement for the show to come. A bar stood in the center of the venue and lavish couches lined the back filled with people ready for Amber Run to take the stage.  Amber Run is an indie-rock group from Nottingham, England consisting of Joshua Keogh, Tom Sperring, and Henry Wyeth. The venue was surrounded in a haze of red light and the crowd was socializing and laughing with drinks in their hands.  Jordan MacKampa, the opening act, took the stage and captivated the crowd that was settling in with buttery, soulful vocals and catchy guitar playing.

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Jeff Goldblum – “I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This” Review

After announcing a new album earlier this year, Jeff Goldblum has finally come out with his second feature length album. Like his debut album The Capitol Studios Sessions, Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra dive headfirst into jazz standards (and even a few pop songs too!) featuring other artists. Although I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This doesn’t break any new ground in any way, the album is a great nostalgia trip to a bygone era. 

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Jesus Walks, But Is Jesus King?

INDIO, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 21: Kanye West performs Sunday Service during the 2019 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival on April 21, 2019 in Indio, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for Coachella)

At times, following Kanye West feels like following the life of Play-Doh. It can take many shapes, it can make many people endlessly happy, and it can infuriate just as many people. But at the end of the day, Play-Doh never stops being Play-Doh. Kanye West never stops being Kanye West. It is his nature. And faith has always been an instrumental part of Kanye’s nature. Admittedly, the shape of West’s faith has transformed as many times as the man himself, but it has never been as outright or as polarizing as it is today. With the release of West’s latest album, Jesus Is King, many have taken to the musty, dank corners of the internet to cry out that West has, once again, done some crazy shit. That he’s switched up his persona yet again. But that sentiment couldn’t be farther from the truth. In many ways, Jesus is King was an inevitable album. 

Let’s look back, first and foremost, to the track that got Kanye recognized as an MC in the mainstream in the first place, “Jesus Walks”.

The fourth single off of West’s debut album dealt with West’s Christian faith and views in an intelligent and contemplative way. The single looked at how those deemed as sinners by the people still walk with Jesus in many ways. It criticized how the music industry seemed to only promote rap music about drugs, violence and sex, but wouldn’t allow someone to represent their faith. The song was so important to West that he famously produced three music videos to support his full vision of the song. West even plays the song at least once on every tour he headlines. In many ways, West’s arrogance and his faith lead him to call out the executives that censored religion from mainstream hip hop in a way that they couldn’t deny. West was interviewed recently by Big Boy in an exclusive talk upon the release of Jesus Is King. In the interview, West talks about starting from a place where the mainstream denounced him for announcing a gospel album. That the executives wanted to push for a less abrasive album title than, Jesus is King. Many wanted to censor this release and make it less in your face. But West held tight on his belief. He talked to Big Boy about how the hype for the album grew to the point where people on the internet were twiddling their thumbs asking, “When is JIK gonna drop?” I bring this up to note that getting Jesus into the mainstream consciousness has been a constant endeavor for West. The only difference is where Jesus Walks was a single, Jesus is King is a full length album. 

The next biggest mention of Jesus on a Kanye West project came some years later. Much like JIK, it was a full length project referencing the Lord.

That, however, are where the similarities end. “Yeezus” was released in 2013, and saw the musician transition from decrying “Jesus Walks” to “I am a God”. Most people will remember this as Kanye’s most brazen period. Where the monster really broke out of the fantasy. To many people of faith, to consider yourself on par or equal to God or Jesus is considered blasphemous in and of itself, but West did it commercially. He profited from it. I’m not going to go on a deep diatribe comparing base Christian morals against his actions, but suffice to say, it’s not very Christian to call yourself Jesus on the same album you say, “I wanna f*ck you hard on the sink. After that give you something to drink.” And don’t get me wrong, the bars strike a nerve in my inner angsty 16 year old soul. But whether I can say West’s intensions on Yeezus were to serve God or Blaspheme him, is up to the man himself. Undeniably, however, West did reintroduce Jesus and his religion into his work and the mainstream once again.

Jesus is King is a polarizing album. In today’s climate, where commercial representations of religion seem to have little place in the mainstream, there was no way it wouldn’t be polarizing. But despite the nature of the album, it almost seems like an inevitability. Kanye has had Jesus in his contact list for a long time now, and he’s made it known on almost every major album release that “Yeezus is a Christian (huh)” in one way or form. So, while this might not be the Yandhi album we all wanted, it’s the album we ultimately had coming.

Article by Seyi Aladejobi 

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Hobo Johnson interview with WRSU

Grace Dermenjian talked with Hobo Johnson over the phone. They discussed his new album, the Tiny Desk Concert series on NPR, and coffee shop essentials. Hobo Johnson and the Lovemakers will be performing at the Starland Ballroom, November 11th, in Sayreville and it is a show you do not want to miss out on.

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Amber Run Interview with WRSU

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WRSU’s Emily Teubner got the chance to sit down with British indie rock band Amber Run before their show in Philadelphia on November 1st. They talk about the creative process behind their newest album, Philophobia, their favorite performances, and they even break into a game of Never Have I Ever and get all philosophical. Give the full interview a listen below and get to know the band!

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“uknowhatimsayin?” Is Danny Brown’s Victory Lap

On the fifth studio album from Detroit rapper Danny Brown, he cements his veteran status as an imaginative hip hop kingpin. His shortest project yet, reaching a concise thirty-three minutes, portrays Brown at his lightest and most lively, a stark contrast from the macabre themes of drug addiction and depression that are sincerely confided on his previous album from 2016, Atrocity Exhibition.

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Lauv – Live In Concert Review

Standing on the floor of Terminal 5 with my neck craned to catch the whole view of the stage, I could feel a palpable energy from the crowd as they buzzed in anticipation.  Images floated across the back screen of the stage, messages like “Text Lauv” for mental health awareness and a chance to participate in a scavenger hunt with the prize being a photo opportunity.  Members of the crowd were taking turns to enter the booths at the front of the entrance. As Lauv later explained in his concert, he had started the “my blue thoughts” initiative in order to connect with his fans on a more personal level.  Fans were encouraged to write up their feelings and send them out to the Lauv stratosphere. Even after the encore wrapped up, there were still fans standing in the booths. Some probably had hopes that their messages would go a long way. One message, written in the booth a long time ago, said, “I met a superhero.  I lost her. I want her back.” That same message is now carried on tour with Lauv in the form of his song, “Superhero”; its lyrics echoing throughout the venue as thousands of fans harmonize alongside one of their own superheroes, Lauv.

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Harry Styles – “Lights Up” Single Review

Harry Styles surprised us all with the release of his new single, “Lights Up,” a first look at the new sound of his unannounced upcoming album. The ex-One Direction member is back and better than ever, stepping out of his two year musical hiatus and stepping into a new era of Harry Styles. Styles has strayed a bit from the soft rock of his first album and seems to be aiming more toward an alternative pop sound. However, the single still seems to channel Styles’ long-time love of 70s music, with a trippy pre-chorus and a whimsical combination of guitar, piano, and synth. According to his Rolling Stone article, Styles recorded his new album by taking psychedelics, laying in the grass, and listening to the Beatles — and this single is definitely a product of that. 

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Rutgers Women’s Soccer Captains Taylor Aylmer and Amanda Visco Join The Crew

The Scarlet Knights women’s soccer team defeated Indiana in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament on Sunday. They will take on the Michigan Wolverines in the semifinals at Yurcak Field on Friday, November 8th at 1:30 PM. You can follow the action on WRSU 88.7-FM & WRSU.org.

Preview the game by listening to captains Taylor Aylmer and Amanda Visco breakdown the season when they joined The WRSU Crew this past Friday!

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Flipturn – In Concert Review

On the 19th of August, the city of Philadelphia was blessed with an amazing performance by Flipturn at Bourbon and Branch. I have gone to many concerts over my years but by far, Flipturn has hit the top of the list. Via a combination of an elegant atmosphere matched with the bewitching voice of Dillion Basse, along with an excellent overall performance by the rest of the band made this concert an unforgettable experience. Each song captivated the audience and everyone was dancing along. 

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