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Beyond the Classroom

uncovering artists

by Creighton Ward


enior and longtime artist Matt lortie has been drawing for as long as he can remember. His upbringing in an artistically inclined family was how it all started. Matt grew up with an uncle who worked as an artist and grandfathers on both sides of his family who were architects. “It’s in my blood,” Matt said. His work tends to vary in subject but not in method. Matt draws everything from the titanic, to an incredibly realistic snow leopards, to your favorite athlete mid-game and connects real life events to his art as well like such happenings as the Boston Marathon bombing. “I try to draw inspiration for my drawings from my own life,” said Matt, though satisfaction with his own art has been a struggle (Lortie is no stranger to unfinished pieces.) Matt’s unwavering passion for creation and his loyalty to an accurate portrayal of his life through drawing is what keeps matt interested. He plans to follow in his family’s footsteps by pursuing a career in architecture beyond high school.


Paradise Valley John Mayer



by Cam Bumsted

ith the release of John Mayer’s new album Paradise Valley, it’s finally clear the direction his music is headed... I think. After his release of Born and Raised in 2012 most fans, like myself, were confused as to what was going on. The classic bluesy yet modern Mayer had lost his touch somewhere after the release of Continuum in 2006, and songs like “Say” really put a damper on any hopes for his new material. Giving up on the egotistical hothead rebel gone wrong seemed like the only option. Born and Raised showed the world that John Mayer was a’changing, but it was hard to see whether this new direction would stick. Though Paradise Valley clings to the same sort of vibe as Born and Raised, it proves to be a solid and well fitting prospect for Mayer. The album starts off with an upbeat tune called “Wildfire” which really doesn’t set the tone for the test of the album. The song gives off a feeling that you’d get at a small music hall with the whole crowd clapping and singing along to and almost sounds like a classier Lumineers song. It’s got a catchy melody with an exciting guitar solo, but a disappointment for those who didn’t enjoy Born and Raised. Paradise Valley feels like a hard attempt to change Mayer’s image from a city boy to a solitary mountain man. Even the album cover features John in some sort of Jack Sparrowish trench coat looking wondrously into the distance. But I’d rather see Mayer try something new than recreate something like Continuum. The lowlights of Paradise Valley shine brightly, including the mid-album “Paper Doll,” “Who you Love,” and “I Will be Found Lost at Sea” being the best of the

Album Review

worst. Lyrically the songs are simply blah, and none of them make you want to hit the “replay” button. Mayer also follows the collaboration movement by including Katy Perry in “Who you Love” and Frank Ocean in the late-album reprise to “Wildfire.” Katy’s performance is quite non-existent and without reading the song title you’d probably not even notice she’s in the background the whole time. Ocean’s involvement in the album is extremely out of place, that being said, it’s deeply emotional in classic Ocean fashion and really isn’t that bad. The most enigmatic song on the album would have to be “You’re No One Until Someone lets you Down” which is a hilarious attempt to be a country song. It incorperates a country pedal steel (to amke the waaahhw sound) and feels as though Mayer is trying too hard. Way too hard. The song is still really fun and easy to get into for anyone that likes the rest of the album. All in all Paradise valley does not disappoint. It’s a firm direction for the artist and flows nicely with his previous album Born and Raised, and I encourage everyone who went through a Mayer faze in their past to check it out.

Turn off Macklemore, turn on savings

by Morgan Gray & Lydia Peacock

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