The Oberlin Review

Alum Ishikawa Returns as Solo Artist

Paul Mehnert

April 8, 2016

Upon returning to Oberlin, a place she once called home, touring electronic musician and 2014 alumna Rachel Ishikawa felt the bittersweet taste of self-realization and towering student loans. “I learned a lot at Oberlin and met some of the most wonderful people,” she said. “I am grateful that [the school] is bringing me back as a paid musician, but at the same time, I will be paying money to Oberlin forever.” Ishikawa, also known by the stage name Shakai Mondai, will perform at the Cat in the Cream on Monday with supporting act Uxvie. Students may be familiar with Ishikawa from her work in the band Peaks. The indie and alternative rock quintet was a staple of the Oberlin student music scene before its members...

‘Bad Romance’ to ‘Born This Way’: Why Lady Gaga Failed

Sarp Yavuz, Staff Writer

April 13, 2012

Does anyone remember the last time they listened to Gaga? Madonna once called Lady Gaga’s single “Born This Way” reductive in comparison to her own 1989 single “Express Yourself” in terms of core progression and lyrical content. This statement is true, but more importantly, by last year, Gaga herself had already become reductive. Let’s take a look at the rise of Lady Gaga. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that her advent took place during Madonna’s absence. Hot on the heels of the Madonna’s international summer banger “Celebration,” Gaga rose to glory with “Bad Romance” back in October of 2009. This Gaga single was revolutionary for pop music and we all chanted “Rah-rah” gleefully....

Fans Show All Their Love for Madonna’s Super Bowl Halftime

Sarp Yavuz, Staff Writer

February 10, 2012

Talk about an entrance! The iconic beat of “Vogue” filled the Lucas Oil Stadium to start off the 46th Super Bowl halftime show this past Sunday. Escorted to the stage by a throng of armor-clad, Romanesque men fanning her with giant feathers, Madonna appeared atop a throne. Costumed in a part Roman, part Egyptian-style crown and outfit, the Queen of Pop hopped onto the stage and joined her dancers, who all wore a blend of S&M gear, gladiator helmets, jester hats and golden armor. Using very sophisticated technology, the floor around the stage had high definition videos of Madonna dancing on the cover of Vogue, along with various other animations. The successful execution almost made up for the fact that her...

Britney vs. J.Lo: Washed Up Divas Duel for Pop Spotlight

Sarp Yavuz, Staff Writer

March 11, 2011

Britney Ke$ha deserves her due for writing Britney’s amazing new single “Till The World Ends,” which leaked online last Wednesday. From the ethereal, uplifting bridge to the wordless, euphorically chanting chorus, the new Britney single is destined to be the summer anthem of 2011. That’s right, I used the words “euphoric” and “ethereal” in the same sentence to describe a pop song. That’s how good it is. One of the best things about Britney’s next album Femme Fatale is that even before its official release, it has already been incredibly surprising: No one saw it coming when Brit used dub-step for her first single, “Hold it Against Me.” Unlike Gaga, an artist who revels in her own unpredi...

Born this Woah: Going Gaga for New Video

Sarp Yavuz, Staff Writer

March 4, 2011

Through a neon pink triangle emerges a unicorn of space and stars. The leitmotif from Hitchcock’s Vertigois playing in the background. Another pink triangle descends over the image of the unicorn, and this time we see a blond, masked figure. The camera turns over to reveal that the mask is the back of Lady Gaga’s head, and a voiceover drones, “This is the manifesto of Mother Monster.” Sitting in front of large crystal shards, Lady Gaga has a large, rising hairdo, small horns on her forehead, cheekbone and shoulder extensions and an eyeball over her chin. The image has the distinct feel of Fritz Lang’sMetropolis with Gaga a more human version of Ridley Scott’s Alien Queen. The chin-eye is a referenc...

Album Review: Radiohead’s The King of Limbs Reminds Why We Like Pop Music

Album Review: Radiohead’s The King of Limbs Reminds Why We Like Pop Music

February 25, 2011

Perhaps it’s no coincidence that the same week that Lady Gaga’s latest single, “Born This Way,” became the fastest-selling single ever to hit iTunes, resulting in over one million downloads in five days, Radiohead digitally released its eighth album. The two pop-music giants have more in common than one would expect. Both artists have made a career off of acting like freaks: While Lady Gaga intentionally distorts the blonde, glam pop star image to the point of looking (and acting) like...

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