Though the reviews of the recently released film, The Great Gatsby, are remarkably mixed, the soundtrack gets high praise from our teen reviewer. It’s hard not to like Lady Antebellum, with their sweet sounds and finely wrought lyrics on love and heartbreak, on their latest album Golden. What happens to Star Trek when it just becomes a shoot-em-up and logic goes by the wayside? Read on for our reviewer’s take on Star Trek: The Video Game.
Golden, Lady Antebellum (Capital)
Nashville’s leading trio, Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, and Dave Haywood aka Lady Antebellum, has just released their fourth studio album, Golden. The group’s broad appeal comes from their winning sound that is not only country, with banjos and mandolins, but embraces the mainstream pop scene as well. Although this album was picked as a breakout album, there is not much here that shakes things up—and that is fine with me because I like Lady A just the way they are. Scott and Kelley’s vocals complement each other beautifully on the many really catchy melodies. Scott’s voice is more confident and commanding, while Kelley continues with his distinctive Tom Petty sound. Some of the twelve tracks sing of love and being in love, with others addressing the pain and heartache of breakup and betrayal. Tracks to check out are “Better Off Now (That You’re Gone),” “Downtown,” “Get To Me,” and “Goodbye Town.”—Latyese M., grade 11, Floral Park (NY) Memorial High School
Music From Baz Luhrmann’s Film: The Great Gatsby (Interscope)
Jay Z is truly the perfect choice as the executive producer of the music for Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby. He expertly connects today’s music of rock, rap, hip-hop, and electronica, with the glitzy charm of the 1920’s Jazz Age. Under the guise of various artists such as Beyonce, will.i.am, Andre 3000, Florence Welch, the Bryan Ferry Orchestra, and Lana Del Ray, the essence of the film—love, seduction, money, and an excessive lifestyle—is driven home. Many tracks have a hypnotizing dub beat, conveying a dark and eerie mood reminiscent of doomed love. Some may feel that this blend does not work, but the music is really quite visionary and inspiring, and works to expose a new generation to the classic that is Gatsby. Tracks to check out are “Back to Black,” “Lover Is the Drug,” “Together,” “Love Is Blindness,” and “$100 Bill.”—Eugene K, grade 12, Floral Park (NY) Memorial High School
Star Trek: The Video Game (Namco Bandai Games)
There are a lot of great features awaiting players of Star Trek: The Video Game. The game begins right where the 2009 film ended. In trying to rebuild the planet Vulcan, rifts in space are opened that allow the Gorn, a reptilian race first seen in the original television series, to descend on Federation space. Assuming the role of Kirk or Spock (voiced by the actual actors), you must now combat these lizard-like troublemakers. Unfortunately, the game becomes very Halo or Call of Duty-like, which is not the course of action that Star Trek games have ever taken. It was always diplomacy and problem solving over all out warfare, yet here combat is the name of the game with fancy high tech weapons and lots of shootouts. The action is fun but does become a bit predictable relatively quickly. Thank goodness for the humorous banter between Kirk and Spock, solving many of the mini-game puzzles, and the traversing of areas and the scaling cliffs, ravines, and more. Overall, Star Trek: The Video Game has a lot to offer but falls short of an exceptional gaming experience. Add an extra star if you are a diehard Trekkie. Rating: T for Teen. Platform: PlayStation 3 and Xbox. Stephen E., grade 11, Floral Park (NY) Memorial High School
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