Looking for some fresh music to add to your collection? Candice Glover and Little Mix are relative newcomers to the scene, offering both catchy pop tunes and soaring ballads. If you need a little help on the battlefield in Shadow Fall, just call up your O.W.L., which our reviewer says is like having “your own R2D2.”
Salute, Little Mix (Syco/Columbia)
Salute is Little Mix’s second album and continues to propel them further on the path of success. The members of this British girl group became stars as a result of their 2012 win on The X Factor. It is refreshing to see an all-girl group in the limelight after so much attention has been given to One Direction and The Wanted. This R&B influenced album reflects the group’s goofy and funky nature. The album has powerful ballads as well as great radiofriendly dance hits, and while it is not as strong as their debut album DNA, it does show their staying power. I’m looking forward to what comes next. Check out these tracks—“Move,” “About the Boy,” “Nothing Feels Like You,” and “Competition.”—Jessica D., grade 12, Floral Park (NY) Memorial High School
Music Speaks, Candice Glover (Interscope)
Candice Glover has a strong debut album despite the obstacles and drama surrounding this past season’s American Idol. Problems between judges Nikki Minaj and Mariah Carey dampened the overall feel of the show, which used to be so much fun to watch. Although Glover’s strong, soulful voice sets her way above some of the previous competitors and winners, she has been overshadowed, unfortunately, by the judges’ behavior. Releasing her debut album Music Speaks so many months after her win doesn’t help either. But if you put all these things aside, Music Speaks has a lot of potential. The album speaks true to Glover’s style and shows her determination to be successful despite the rough start. Check out these tracks: “Cried,” “Coulda Been Me,” “Passenger,” “Damn” and her version of the Cure’s “Lovesong,” which was an such an outstanding performance on Idol.—Geena G., grade 11, Floral Park (NY) Memorial High School
Killzone: Shadow Fall (Playstation)
This is the sixth game in the Killzone series, set 30 years after the end of Killzone 3. Two factions have formed on Helghan after the brutal Petrusite attack and although they seem to coexist, it is just a question of time before the conflict begins. You play as Lucas Kellan who is part of the Vektan Shadow Marshals, a special ops team that runs classified operations in Helghan territory. New features include more in-depth gameplay—it is not just simple run and gun as in previous versions. There are stealth charges and free-falling sequences. Taking cover matters, and there are more open levels to complete objectives. You also have an O.W.L., a remote controlled drone assistant that serves as shield, hack alarms, and provides ziplines—kind of like your own R2D2. Very cool and nice to have around.
The visuals are stunning, as expected with PlayStation 4, but Shadow Fall’s level design takes the cake. The awesome sense of visual space is truly unbelievable. Of course, multiplayer mode is impressive with Warzone mode where players’ missions change every five minutes, keeping things interesting and intense. You can create your own warzone maps to share and be rated. There are also 12v12 team death marches and search and destroy missions. Killzone: Shadow Fall showcases the power of Playstation 4, but unfortunately is lacking with an emotionless character and a weak storyline. Rated: M for Mature. Platform: PlayStation 4.—Will P., grade 12, Floral Park (NY) Memorial High School
This article was featured in School Library Journal's SLJTeen enewsletter. Subscribe today to have more articles like this delivered to you twice a month for free.