Tag Archives: Arts

The People’s Key Album Review

by Lauren Voyles


The People’s Key is the final album of Bright Eyes, released one year ago today. Before I review the album, I’d like to apologize to all of the hipsters that will be angry that all of the “mainstream” people will know about their music.

In rating this album, if I had to compare it to music in general, I would give it 4 stars out of 5. If I had to compare it to all of Bright Eyes’ music, I would give 3.5 stars. This album has shown me that not every band will end up sucking as time passes, like I previously thought. This album is definitely different from previous albums by Bright Eyes. As a prelude: Every Bright Eyes song has a meaning. Most Bright Eyes songs are about personal experiences and certain people Conor Oberst (The lead singer; he IS the band) knew. The People’s Key goes more for universal meanings rather than personal ones. I have noticed, though, that over time Conor’s songs have become less personal. In one of his first albums “A Collection of Songs Written and Recorded from 1995-1997” he would actually include the name of the person he was talking about. After that, he rarely included the name of the person, but he did give very personal details about the situations or people the song was about.

Getting to individual songs, I would have to say the best song is “Shell Games”. It is definitely in the style of most of the newer songs, and most of the lyrics in it are for universal meaning but it also adds a touch of personal feelings. “One for You, One for Me” is also a very good song. I did not care for “Approximate Sunlight.”

Should you buy this album? If you like almost all of the songs and you would save from purchasing the song in the album package, or if you don’t want to buy digital download you should purchase the album. I personally chose to download individual songs, but it’s up to you. I personally think that it is a good album overall. It’s not the perfect album to end the band on, but it wasn’t bad.


Adkins Has High Hopes for 2011 School Year

There is a new face in Salem High School’s English department. That face belongs to Mr. Adkins, a graduate of Salem and a first year teacher. He can be found in Mrs. Quatroke’s former room teaching English to sophomores and freshmen.

Mr. Atkins loves his choice to become an English teacher, but that wasn’t always his plan. About halfway through college he switched his pursuits from teaching English to Journalism. He realized soon after that teaching English was his dream job. “After reading and writing a lot, I decided to be a teacher for sure,” says Atkins.

Mr. Adkins is very satisfied with his students. “Oh, they’re good. I couldn’t have asked for better students in all of my classes. I got lucky.”

He was inspired by many of his teachers in his years of attending SHS. “I liked Mr. Calhoun because he challenged me. He pushed me to do my best.” Some other teachers that really stood out to him are Mrs. Prater, Mrs. Allen, and Mrs. Gardener. The teachers he has encountered in his life have developed what kind of teacher he wants to be.

One teaching method he is trying to relate to his students. he tries to relate English techniques with modern things and pop culture.“I had them do a project where they watched their favorite TV show and found the plot and theme.”

Adkins has high expectations for his first year.  “I’ll do the best I can to make sure my sophomores pass the ECA. I want to make them better learners.”

My List of 5 Most Depressing Songs

There are many depressing songs on this planet, because, honestly, life kind of sucks. Many musicians choose to channel this into their songs. I am compiling a countdown of the 5 songs I find most depressing.

5. Hungry for a Holiday- Bright Eyes

4. Bankrupt on Selling- Modest Mouse

4. It’s Cool, We Can Still Be Friends- Bright Eyes

3. Rotten Apples- Smashing Pumpkins

2. Waste of Paint- Bright Eyes

1. Mad World- Gary Jules

                So there’s my compilation of the 5 most depressing songs I know. What’s on your list of your 5 most depressing songs? Post it in the comments.

Lauren Voyles, Staff Writer

The Benefits of Keeping a Journal

Keeping a journal is an activity that is often underrated. Keeping a journal or diary is also often associated with being “girly”. Journaling has been proven to reduce stress by releasing your negative or positive emotions in a non-destructive way. But reducing stress is not the only benefit of keeping a journal. There are several other benefits, as seen below.

1. Goal-setting – You can understand what you actually want and why you want it if you write it down on paper. Goals and aspirations can be written down in a journal and looked over at a later time. You can also journal about the progress you are making on your goals.

2. Improve your writing skills – People are often afraid to share their writing for fear of public criticism. A journal is a place where you can relax and write without feeling like you will be judged. This helps one develop their own writing style and encourages them to do more writing outside of their journal.

3. Keep memories – In general, humans are very forgetful. We could hardly remember what we dreamed about, what we wanted, or what we felt like five years ago. Keeping a log of your life is a great way to record information so you can look over it at a later time.

4. Improve focus – Journaling creates more personal awareness. It also gets things off of your mind so you can focus better on whatever task is at hand. Writing in a journal means setting aside time to think over your emotions.

5. Practice remembering skills – When you write events down in a journal, you often have to think back to exactly what happened. Working your memory when keeping track of events or playing memory games have been shown to improve memory.

There are so many benefits to journaling that I could not list them all. Journaling is something that everyone should do if they have a chance. It is very beneficial to your mental health and helps ease stress. Contrary to popular belief, keeping a journal won’t turn you into a girl or make you a wimp. If you do not already journal, I recommend getting a journal or even just a plain notebook and writing in it at least once a week, or even just when you feel like you need to sort things out. You could be surprised at just how effective it is.