Music of the Last Decade

The beginning of 2020 signaled the start of a new decade. It provided a chance for all of us — over the age of 10 — to reminisce about the past 10 years, both the good times and the bad, the mistakes and the triumphs, and, most importantly, the aging of our music taste. Don’t get me wrong — I recognize the deep joy that a throwback playlist can contain; I praise my shuffle every time it gifts me with a 2011 smash hit that I haven’t heard since middle school. However, fan loyalty also comes with the risk of watching your favorite artists spiral downward, along with their music. The last decade has been a rollercoaster of emotions, and in order to celebrate and, in some cases, mourn the evolution of the musical best of the 2010s, I’ve compiled this list.  

Flourished:

Starting things off on a positive note, here are some artists that truly flourished this decade, along with their music. 

Ariana Grande

I don’t think it’s even necessary to provide evidence of how Ariana Grande has flourished in the last decade. Everyone knows. Her success has been in everyone’s face since the beginning of the decade when she starred in “Victorious,” but especially since her 2018 album release, “sweetener.” She’s won so many awards and broken countless records on Billboard, Spotify, — you name it. Plus, she topped off the decade with a world tour that had over 100 shows! She really smashed the 2010s. Go Ari. 

Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey has also had an incredible decade. Since her debut album “Born To Die” in 2012, she has branded herself like no other. She’s put out such a solid and consistent portfolio of music. In the last decade she has become the icon for edgy — yet somehow still mainstream — fans who wish they had the LA blues.

Justin Timberlake 

For someone who already had an “Essential Mixes” album by 2010, it’s pretty impressive that Justin Timberlake has remained a respected and big name in music throughout the last decade. Timberlake’s pièce de résistance of the decade — and probably of his career — was his 2013 release “The 20/20 Experience,” which was a two-disc, 25-song album that truly highlighted his talent as a songwriter and as a performer. Even his 2018 country pop-infused album contained some welcomed surprises. Timberlake’s contributions to the film scene — ref. “Trolls,” “Friends with Benefits,” “In Time” — along with his iconic appearances on late-night TV, also earned him points in the “flourishing” category.

Jonas Brothers

The Jo Bros had a huge comeback in 2019 with their album “Happiness Begins” after almost exactly 10 years since their last release. Some of their singles off that album were instantly popular thanks to their fans, who, even in their mid-20s, were ready to “Camp Rock” again.

Plus, they all got married! To high-profile celebrity actresses! Good for them.

Flopped: 

Now, sadly, it’s time for the artists who didn’t exactly thrive in the 2010s. Some of us just weren’t ready for the 2000s to be over. Life moves too fast. We hate to see it. 

Maroon 5

Poor Maroon 5 had such an awesome start to the decade — what happened?! With “Hands All Over” in 2011 and “Overexposed” in 2012, Maroon 5 was on top of the world. Of course, even from these two albums its trajectory into mainstream pop was super clear. But I really had hopes that they would retain at least some of its original sound, the pop-jazzy stuff that began its success from its debut album “Songs About Jane.” But even with “V” in 2015, I could see I was bound to be disappointed. Maroon 5 finished off the decade with Adam Levine basically forcing the band to tailor itself to the same exact same sound every other artist on the pop radio was putting out. What a shame.

Paramore

After absolutely smashing the 2000s decade with three great records with numerous hits, Paramore has not exactly found the same sense of chart-topping triumph awaiting it at the end of this decade. 

To be fair, though, Paramore did start off the decade with a bang. Its self-titled album, released in 2013, found great success. That album had several hits, including “Still Into You” and “Ain’t It Fun,” which won a Grammy for Best Rock Song. In addition to that, Paramore went on tour for this album in 2014, accompanied by Fall Out Boy and Panic! at the Disco. I actually saw this show when I was a freshman in high school and can say from personal experience that in this stage of the decade, Paramore rocked.

However, Paramore decided to end the decade with the release of its latest album, “After Laughter,” which hugely missed the mark. “After Laughter” is such a bizarre departure from the 2000s pop-punk sound that had brought them so much success until this point, it’s frustrating as a fan to try to figure out what spurred this album and this evolved sound for them. The album sounds like Paramore’s transition into mainstream pop via a weird MGMT- or Phoenix-inspired indie route. A definite flop, in this writer’s opinion.

Not all hope is lost! Hayley Williams, Paramore’s lead singer, has begun teasing new solo music. Here’s hoping it rocks, and not in the business of misery.

Taylor Swift 

Taylor followed the same, sad mainstream-pop trajectory we have seen from so many other artists. She used to be a country queen. And we loved her for it. But sadly, the Old Taylor is dead. 

I personally feel like Taylor Swift tricked me into being her fan when I was young and only wanted to listen to cliché love songs about the boy next door. Now, even though all she ever writes anymore are rants about her haters, I feel like I have to at least give it a chance. I know the Old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now, and I know she has a completely different sound, but for some reason, I always try every new thing she puts out. And I am sad to admit that I like every new thing she releases even less than I did the one before. I am so tired of being a Taylor Swift fan. If it wasn’t for my personal attachment to “Speak Now” and “Fearless,” I would seriously consider writing her off completely from my catalog.

In conclusion, I think it’s safe to say this decade has truly been a wild ride in the pop music industry. I guess we’ll see where the 2020s take us! As for me, I’ll be here, still waiting for Rihanna to make her comeback.

New Year’s Resolutions You Already Broke

happy new year smiling GIF

Happy New Year, Hoyas! It’s been officially 2019 for almost a month now, which means that you’ve either kept all your New Year’s resolutions so far (woohoo), or (like the rest of us) given up on them so long ago that you forgot they even existed.

With the end of January fast approaching, 4E invites you to take some time to reflect and mourn your most well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions so you can peacefully move ahead with your lazy, debauchery-filled Hoya lifestyle.

fail neil patrick harris GIF by bubly

1. Eating healthy

Salad. Kale. Vegetables. Fruit. Low-carb frozen dinners. Zero-calorie drinks only, and definitely no more Oreo cookies.

I’m just going to say, though, that sometimes, salad just does not cut it. I need chicken nuggets in my life. I need mac n’ cheese. If kale tasted like Rice Krispie treats, we wouldn’t have an issue. But kale tastes like dirt (don’t deny it). And sometimes I just need waffle fries and a strawberry milkshake to keep me going. I’m sorry, but that’s just the way it is. I don’t make the rules.

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2. Actually doing your homework assignments on time

the flash homework GIF by The Paley Center for Media

Endless reading assignments. Endless cycle of essays and tests. You swore this year you were going to stay on schedule. Maybe even get ahead! But hey, your professor did say he was easy about granting extensions. I mean, he’s basically asking you to turn in your paper a week later than it was due. It’s fine. You can do it tomorrow. Watching The Bachelor is way more important anyway.

procrastinate the amanda show GIF by NickSplat

3. Going to Yates

You told yourself you were going to get up early every single morning and go to Yates. Told yourself you’d run three miles, do some squats, some sit-ups and even some push-ups if you’re feeling ambitious. Then, eat a healthy oatmeal and mango smoothie breakfast, shower and be ready for the day all before your 8 a.m. class. Maybe it’s finally time to recognize the importance of exercise this year. And by that spring break trip to Punta Cana, maybe you’ll finally have that beach bod you’ve always dreamed of.

exercise thank you next GIF by Ariana Grande

But then again, exercise is totally overrated. Waking up before 8 a.m. and walking all the way to Yates even once is a pretty impressive accomplishment. Plus, if you stay in bed, you can dream about pancakes and bacon and french toast. You can start working out next year.

gym fail GIF by Robert E Blackmon

4. Dressing nicely for class

Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like a totally amped-up wardrobe. New sweaters, new shoes, etc. Fashion is your game this year. This semester, you’re going to look put-together and stunning every day. It’ll be impossible for your super hot TA not to notice you this semester.

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But … sweatpants are really comfortable. And so warm. Plus, you can sleep in them and not even have to change for class the next day. Pretty hard to pass up.

amy poehler deal with it GIF

5. Getting more involved

Join more clubs! Get more involved! Try new things! Make more friends! Some resolutions are worth keeping. (At least until rejection szn!)

Your New Year’s resolutions may not have lasted too long, but just remember, Hoyas, it’s never too late to try new things, pick up good habits, or achieve your goals. Stay positive and make 2019 your best year yet!

Essential End-Of-Night Songs

Well, it looks like summer is coming to an end, which means the incoming wave of mixed emotions that comes with ~going back to school~.

I know how you must be feeling at this time. If you’re like me, you’re probably grappling with the fact that school inevitably means deadlines and applications and stress and what have you. There are just certain activities that don’t quite lie in my “personal strength” category, including (but not limited to) packing, scheduling, planning and making simple decisions in general.

But hey! Look on the bright side for once: Coming back to school also means returning to an exhilarating, debauchery-filled lifestyle that you now have the privilege of sharing with all your best friends!

And what better way to spend your last few days of summer than dreaming of all the ~great~ parties you’re gonna throw in that brand new Henle.

But beware, young ones! Party hosting is no joke! A few distinguishing factors can turn a potential rager of the century into a total lame-fest faster than you can say DJ Khaled.

Luckily, you have a full bench of experienced professionals here at 4E to advise and protect you — specifically in any aux cord-related endeavors that involve essential Georgetown party classics.

1. Mr. Brightside – The Killers

No other song in the history of humankind has ever got drunk white people more hyped than Mr. Brightside. Ever.

I have sincerely never been to a party where this song didn’t play. And I can’t say I’m mad about it.

2. Georgetown Fight Song

I don’t know a single word to the Georgetown fight song and it still bangs.

3. Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus

This song is so obviously a classic that I don’t even feel the need to explain why you should play it.

4. Walmart Yodel EDM Remix – Yodeling Boy // Famous – Mason Ramsey

If at any point during the night you start to feel yourself hitting the wall, I PROMISE this song will revive you. Don’t fight it. Feel the beat. Feel the passion.

And for anyone who might mind disrespecting the musical artistry of the beloved Mason Ramsey, you can always opt to play his other best song — “Famous.”

This song is just the perfect balance between country and, like, hip. The lyrics are just so real, it breaks my heart. In a, you know, fun-loving, rager, party type of way, sort of. Sometimes, though, you just need some emotional head banging to make your night worth it.

5. Tik Tok – Ke$ha

I don’t think I have to remind anyone that stanning Ke$ha gives you not only a reason to pretend like it’s still 2009, but also to party harder than you ever would have without her. We play this song out of pure reverence for a true queen. After all, Ke$ha is the reason you could ever wake up with dirt and glitter all over yourself and call it a “look.”

But if you really want to mix it up, you can always play the Avril Lavigne acoustic cover of the song just to see how everyone in the room reacts.

(link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OahmkdWS3kQ)

6. Kiss Me Thru the Phone – Soulja Boy

It is a well-known fact that almost nothing gets a party going more than the words “soulja boy tell ‘em.”

Though some people might prefer the classic “Crank That (Soulja Boy),” I have always been a believer that “Kiss Me Thru the Phone” is a just as good, if not better song. I mean, anyone can crank that, but there’s just something about someone pulling out a flawless “678 triple 9 8212” that is just so damn impressive.

7. Thrift Shop – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

This song has not just one but three (at least) iconic lines, including but not limited to:

“Macklemore can we go thrift shopping?”

“What what what what da da da da dadaba da”

And of course,

“Walk up in the club like whaddup I gotta big c–k”

How could you pass up such poetry?

8. Whatcha Say – Jason Derulo

A healthy JaSoN dErUuLo throwback for when you get tired of listening to “Swallalala” for the millionth time.

Wait, seriously, what did she say tho?

9. Africa – Toto

A classic so great it has consistently reappeared in the top charts since the 80s. This song is the absolute best to sing at the top of your lungs with all your dearest friends.

10. Follow Me – Jamie Lynn Spears (Zoey 101 theme song)

In general, I’m usually against the notion of pretending theme songs to tween shows are real songs, but Zoey 101 is quite the exception. This is one of those songs where when it first starts playing, you might be like “aw man, come on, seriously, like, who would play this song right now dude,” but then it actually starts and you just can’t not sing along.

“Ooooh. I know ya see me standin’ here”

Plus, Chase. Am I right, ladies and gents?

11. Bring Me to life – Evanescence

So you can rock that early 2000s misunderstood, emo, goth girlfriend vibe for 3 minutes and 56 seconds before you get over it and go back to being a basic b—h.

12. All Star- Smash Mouth

someBODY once told me the WORLD is gonna roll me,

I feel like this song would never not be welcome at a Georgetown party. Also, if this song doesn’t remind you of Shrek, wyd?

13. You Belong With Me – Taylor Swift

This one’s for all of us who refuse to accept the death of Old Taylor.

Old Taylor stays reminding us of that pure and innocent optimism we all used to have about being nerdy and cute.

Not to mention that, strategically speaking, playing a Taylor Swift song is the surest way of clearing out the party so you can finally go to bed.

So good luck out there, my fellow Hoyas. And remember, please aux responsibly.

 

Sources: giphy.com, youtube.com, wallpaper-house.com

8 Ways to Maximize St. Paddy’s Day Fun

Well Hoyas, it’s that time of year again: St. Patrick’s Day.

A day where we all come together to celebrate Irish culture, beer, the color green and, of course, the life of a great saint.

Prepare yourself using these steps and you too could have the best St. Paddy’s Day of your life.

  • Wear something green

Look through your closet. Look through your friends’ closets. Swing by TJ Maxx on your way home from yoga. Whatever you do, find something green to wear. Don’t be that one party-pooper who is not wearing green because he “doesn’t own anything green” or “couldn’t find anything.” You’ve had a whole year to prepare for this. When Saturday rolls around, those excuses just aren’t going to fly.

  • Brush up on your Saint Paddy’s Day history

Wait, who even is St. Patrick? Some random Irish dude? Something about snakes and four-leaf clovers? It’s probably been a while since you learned about St. Paddy in your second-grade CCD class. Take a few minutes to read St. Paddy’s wiki. Come Saturday, you’ll be able to bust out some knowledge that would impress even your 80-year-old Irish grandma.

  • Color your culinary palette

From green eggs and ham to green Jell-O shots, take this opportunity to add some festivity to your plate. With some green food dye and some Bailey’s, you can make anything magically delicious.

  • Work on some dance moves

You may not be able to win a World Irish Dance competition, but that shouldn’t stop you from busting some moves on the big day! Try looking up some tutorials on YouTube. You can even gather up some friends and choreograph a routine. Everybody loves a good Irish jig.

  • Practice your Irish accent

Watch a movie with Irish people in it (like the Disney Channel Original classic “The Luck of the Irish” for example). Practice your accent in front of the mirror, in front of your friends — even in front of your professors if you’re feeling bold. By the end of the week, no one will even be able to tell you’re not even a little bit Irish.

  • Set a leprechaun trap

Sort of like the mouse traps that are already under your bed, but this one might actually work! Take the necessary precautions and you too can sleep soundly knowing you won’t be the subject of any pranks, tom-foolery or practical jokes. All that s–t is for April, not March.

  • Take a chance on your luck

Go ahead! Shoot your shot! Send that risky text! St. Paddy’s day is the perfect time to see whether all that superstitious, four leaf clover, lucky charms stuff is true or not. If you’re lucky, you could end up with something way better than a pot of gold. If not, well…

  • Enjoy St. Paddy’s Day your way

As one of the greatest holidays, St. Paddy’s Day is all about having fun. On this day you can finally purge all those leftover emotions from Valentine’s Day, make the greatest spring break comeback of all time and really prep yourself for the last few weeks before summer. Whatever your plans, make sure you gather up all your friends and enjoy every second of your St. Paddy’s Day this year.  

Photos/Gifs: giphy.com, tumblr.com