Summer ‘17: Thrilling films and rockin’ jams

We live in a golden age for entertainment, and what better time to enjoy such terrific art than the summer? Here’s a quick rundown on the three best albums and the three best movies of the waning season.

First up is Something to Tell You by HAIM. These three Californian sisters have come back with their second album, a gem, in early July. This project features a nice blend between rock and pop and it can be said that this was the best album of the summer for both genres. HAIM continues to have amazing vocal harmonies, moving lyrics and danceable tunes. If you haven’t checked out this talented group of girls yet, get on it.

Second place goes to junior album Relaxer by U.K. alternative band Alt-J—though it remains the most appropriately titled album of the year. Apart from the second single “In Cold Blood,” every song has an understated feel to it. Either the vocals or the instrumental were almost dulled in the songs to make room for others to shine. 

With the lack of traditional rock instruments, a lot of this work from Alt-J departed from their earlier work. They swapped out a bass player for a small string section, which heavily alters their music to a more synthetic sound. Alt-J continues to be cutting edge and is simply fantastic, as proved by Relaxer.

Last on the list is Flower Boy by Tyler, The Creator. This is hands-down the best overall album of the summer. It seems like Tyler, The Creator has finally realized how to fully articulate his interesting and moving story through his music. Flower Boy tackles issues like depression and his sexuality, while always maintaining his signature loud, funny style. 

People can take this album as just 46 minutes of wall-to-wall bangers, or they can listen to it as the emotional journey of Tyler, The Creator, whose one goal is to make himself and others happy. 

Some honorable summer album mentions include Big Fish Theory by Vince Staples, Melodrama by Lorde, Ctrl by SZA and Rainbow by Ke$ha. 

The summer was also full of great flicks that both entertained and thrilled audiences everywhere.

For example, in the film Wonder Woman, not only were the characters likable and relatable, but the action scenes were also amazing—without losing any wit or charm. 

Wonder Woman departed from the grittiness that DC Extended Universe always seems to strive to achieve in their films ever since Man of Steel. With Wonder Woman, DC took on more of an Avengers approach by focusing on a serious subject matter. For this reason, the film dominated the box offices, marking a welcomed change for future superhero, DC Comics movies.

This summer’s Baby Driver, directed by Edgar Wright, was another brilliant piece of cinema. Wright’s active style of directing fit perfectly with this style of movie and the soundtrack fit the action on screen perfectly. The ending left the viewer wanting more; the journey only being able to be described as incredible. Hands down, this is the action movie of the year and the soundtrack of the decade.

Lastly, The Big Sick—a movie that was assumed to be a cliché of a rom-com—satisfied audiences everywhere. Guy meets girl, they fall in love; their relationship, however, was strained by disapproving, traditionalist parents. Without spoiling the film, a wrench is thrown into the storyline to pull away from cliché tropes, creating an overall thrilling film. 

Some honorable summer movie mentions also include Spider-Man: Homecoming, War of the Planet of the Apes and Logan Lucky. With the start of the academic year full into swing, watching some of these movies and listening to these albums may help you de-stress and make college a little more enjoyable as you reminisce on this past summer.u