OPINION: October Music Reviews


Ryann Griesemer, Staff Writer

Welcome to spooky season, friends! As non-spooky as it has been, and with the incredibly dumpster-fire esque political climate we’ve had to endure, the music industry has not been lax with releasing music. Prior warning, this is a completely opinionated article, so if you don’t agree with the reviews left here on this fateful piece of writing… Well, apologies for the lack of taste you have to live with. That’s a joke, by the way. All music taste is valid here! It’s all in good fun over here!

To begin, let me lay out how this will work. I’m going to start with two albums, these albums being “My Agenda” by Dorian Electra and “the long halloween” by Savage Ga$p. After that, I’ll give my thoughts on two singles, those two being “The Pink Phantom” by Gorillaz (ft. 6LACK and Elton John) and Miley Cyrus’s “Heart of Glass” live cover from the IHeart Music Radio Festival. Finally, we’ll end on a recommendation that I want to give all you lovely readers, which you will find out at the end of this article. With that out of the way, Let’s get started!

Dorian Electra has been making music since 2009, with “My Agenda” being their second studio album, following their debut album “Flamboyant”. Upon my first listen to “My Agenda”, it’s clear Electra’s come more into their sound. With a plethora of features on this album, such as Rebecca Black (yes, that Rebecca Black) and Pussy Riot, the sound never grows tedious or boring, with such different personalities presenting so harmoniously on tracks like the one the album is named after and “Ram It Down”. It’s clear that this is a homage to other queer creators such as them, lyric wise and song title wise. With hyper pop at the forefront and experimental pop being their strong suit, tracks like “F The World” making this clear. A favorite track of mine is “M’Lady”, which is an uncomfortable and brash song with lyrics calling to “incel” culture, which is that of one that is found on the internet of namely men fetishizing anything and everything about women. I like this track for the uncomfortable lyrics and the build-up to the mesh of electric instrumental near the end of the song. This album is definitely for selective ears, but as someone who can appreciate the oddities that hyperpop as a genre has to offer, this album is unregrettably memorable to say the least.

Much like the previous artist, Savage Ga$p taps into hyperpop along with rap and melodic soft tones. Unlike Electra, Ga$p has found immense popularity from his track “pumpkins scream in the dead of night”, which blew up on TikTok over summer 2019. A remixed version of the track, featuring Freddie Dredd, makes an appearance on Ga$p’s debut album, “the long halloween”. With a mix of vulgar lyrics and self-produced beats, Ga$p hones in on his signature raspy, horror-centric lyricism. However, his range is apparent with tracks like “the long halloween” (ft. ellise) and “the way u make me feel”, showcasing emotion whilst toeing the line between playful rap about flings and heartfelt lyrics about a lost love. A personal favorite from this album is “let me die” (ft. polearm), which borders on hyperpop with light and high pitched auto-tune and beautifully mixed pixelated sound effects. Do you ever have songs that make you go “Wow, this would sound great on bass-boosted car speakers?” That’s exactly the track “october’s lullaby” (ft. glaive), with, similarly to the previously mentioned track “let me die”, hyper pop sounds. As you can tell, I’m favorable towards this genre. However, the lyrics and fast pace of the song are also quite appealing to me. It’s a great track to end an album on, leaving me to score this album as a youthful device of trending noise and music you’d hear in an art student’s dorm.

To begin our section for singles, I raise you “The Pink Phantom” by British group Gorillaz, featuring none other than 6LACK and Elton John. I chose this single because of the very weird pairing of features, which proved to actually work quite well together on this somber, almost futuristic track. It carries lyrics singing of love unrequited or driven apart on top of piano chords and high-pitched electrical tones. The mix of the soft, slow voice of David Albarn of Gorillaz, the auto-tuned sound of 6LACK, and the signature from-the-belly harmonies of Elton John didn’t exactly make sense to me, but upon listening to the track a few times, I warmed up to it. As this track teases the release of Gorillaz’s highly anticipated album “The Song Machine”, I can tell that this won’t be an absolute favorite of mine. Nonetheless, it’s an interesting track that holds its own in its uniqueness.

Quite differently is the electric, unapologetic cover of Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” cover by Miley Cyrus. As we’re all familiar with, Miley has seemingly moved from her country and pop days straight into finding her sound in rock and roll, adn personally, I am ECSTATIC. Her voice is seemingly made for the dramatic highs and lows required for good rock and roll, and watching her perform this live, you could tell she was just having fun performing this song. A release of this song on all streaming platforms was all but demanded from Cyrus after the IHeart Music Radio Festival was aired on national television, and I was one of those begging for its release. This is, personally, one of my absolute favorite releases of the month, and I hope we see a rock album from her in the future.

Surprise surprise, friends, you have made it quite nearly to the end of my music ramblings! Congrats! As a reward, the album I want to recommend to you all is… not from October. I know, I know, I’m breaking my own rule here of only reviewing what is from this current month, but hear me out. Released on September 29, 2020, Penelope Scott debuted with her album “Public Void”. With a unique wordplay covering topics from healthcare, true crime, youth, and the urge to scream at society all in one 8-bit, glitter-covered package. All self produced from the comfort of her home during quarantine, Scott gives us colorful lyrics and blunt observations of life at work as a young person in this time. She radiates confidence and an utter annoyance at the world with tracks like “American Healthcare (Glitzy”, with a lyric “people they die everyday, I wouldn’t have it any other way- I just think they should feel good while they are alive…” Which, true. It’s gives you melodies that sound like a demented video game while making you hum along. I personally think this album is fantastically young and immortal in its statements about life, especially in its dramatics showcased in its fourth track, “Feel Better”. Give this album a listen on wherever you get your music. Or don’t, and miss out on a truly unique album. Your choice, my friends! 

As always, The Trailblazer is happy to hear your feedback on what we write for our readers to consume. However, if YOU have music you want to recommend to ME, feel free to email me at [email protected] with your music from that month. I’ll be back next month with all new music. Until then!