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Last updateWed, 04 Dec 2019 3pm

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Top 13 Best Taylor Swift Songs of the Decade

SwiftWith Taylor Swift winning the Artist of the Decade award at the American Music Awards on Nov. 24, it is safe to say that she has graced us with five brilliant albums in the past ten years. From Speak Now in 2010 to Lover in 2019, Swift has absolutely slayed the decade.

With that, here are my top 13 Taylor Swift songs of the decade:

13. Wildest Dreams- This is arguably the best single off 1989 with one of the best bridges. The song pulls you into a daydream as you make your way down the track list of Swift’s 2014 album. The melody never fails to follow you around and get stuck in your head.

12. Getaway Car- This is my go-to song from reputation. The lively key change in the bridge is a melodic masterpiece, while the song’s metaphorical lyrics say “goodbye” to Taylor’s ex in the best way possible.

11. New Year’s Day- This hidden gem blessed reputation with its raw, piano-filled sound and simple yet elegant lyrics. The best part of ‘New Year’s Day’ is that if you listen closely, you could hear the piano pedal in the intro, bridge and outro. Sometimes, it’s the little things that make a song so memorable.

10. Better Than Revenge- This story starts when it was hot and it was summer. One of the only pop-rock songs on Taylor’s discography besides ‘The Story of Us,’ this jam became one of my favorites off Speak Now faster than you can say sabotage.

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Ryan Andersen: Monmouth’s Up-And-Coming Playwright

Ryan AndersenRyan Andersen, a senior music industry student, has many titles to his name; musician, songwriter, and, now, playwright.

Andersen combined his writing and music skills to compose an original 73-page screenplay called Pages. Pages is a hip-hop musical that is written in spoken word, a rhythmic form that is prevalent in the genre.

The play follows protagonist Ben, who is based on Andersen himself, and his experience meeting and opening up to his romantic interest Kassandra. Ben, who travels to New York City, experiences an instance of bullying before meeting Kassandra in Prospect Park and bonding over Kid Cudi—an artist that Andersen looks up to.

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Jojo Rabbit Doesn't Have Enough Hop

jojo 1At some point in our lives, we had imaginary friends. When times got rough where you couldn’t have that happy meal for dinner or weren’t allowed to go over Kevin’s because your room still needed to be spruced up, your imaginary friend was always there. Yeah, you looked crazy talking to a wall in your room by yourself, but they would always listen.

For Jojo, a 10-year-old boy growing up in Nazi Germany, that imaginary friend is none other than Adolf Hitler, played by Taika Waititi (who also directed the film, Jojo Rabbit). Hm, I don’t think I remember him from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.

With Hitler by his side, Jojo, played by Roman Griffin Davis, tries to be the best Nazi he can through practice at youth camps and absorbing all the propganda. However, Jojo comes to a crossroads with his nationalism when his mother hides a Jewish girl, Elsa, played by Thomasin McKenzie, in their attic.

In a political climate where politically correct culture takes some of the edge out of films, Jojo Rabbit presents a bold story that beckons back to when comedians like Mel Brooks took chances, with movies like The Producers. Unfortunately, the hopes I had for this to push the envelope were just imaginary.

Despite all of its hype and even blasphemous Oscar talk, Jojo Rabbit fails to produce any laughs. There are efforts by Waititi, but it’s much too safe. You’ll get the occasional chuckle, like when a group of gestapo officers come to a house for an inspection where they all say “Heil Hitler” individually, but for the most part it’s hard to crack a smile.

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Born Hot: Chris Farren's Hot Comeback

born hot 1After his first solo album in 2016, Chris Farren released his sophomore album, Born Hot, earlier this month.

A red billboard with a shirtless painting of Farren lounging made headlines in Los Angeles, where he resides. The sign used to promote his latest release, which presented the cover of his album along with the Born Hot-Line, 1-810-BORN-HOT. Those who called the Born Hot-Line received a preview of his single, ‘Search 4 Me.’

“I don’t think billboards have the power to say “let’s check out Chris Farren” but the idea was to make my fans excited for the record and I tried to make the presentation funny for them,” said the solo artist in a phone call interview.

“I took a few images of myself and thought they looked too sincere. So I fooled around with paint and drew an image of what the album was,” said Chris Farren about the self-portrait he illustrated that is featured on the cover. “I felt that I gave a very strange dead look and the unsettling look felt right.”

The 12 song album released through Polyvinyl Record Company followed his first album Can’t Die from OneSideDummy Records. Farren was inspired by French pop music from the ’60s as its arrangement differs from American music. He also drew inspiration from the bands he had toured with such as Adult Mom, Crying, and Diner. He wanted to incorporate similar elements from their sounds and styles through his music.

Farren recorded Born Hot in his Los Angeles apartment and worked on it by himself, which many credited him for following a DIY style. 

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Springsteen Brings Western Stars to Life

springsteen 1Strap on your cowboy boots, throw on your ten gallon hat, and ride your horse over to Bruce Springsteen’s barn for a full orchestra performance of his latest album Western Stars… in New Jersey.

It’s been quite a journey for Springsteen to reach this barn because the past five years have been a wild time at the rodeo. At his older age, he’s had a lot of firsts: the Boss wrote his first book, a memoir titled Born to Run, starred and created his long-running play Springsteen on Broadway, and now he’s behind the camera and mic for Western Stars.

And for his directorial debut with Thom Zimny, Springsteen seems comfortable on the saddle. It’s a well done first movie that serves as both a concert performance and documentary.

It looks like a weird format in the trailer, as the Boss spits deep poetry with moody shots of him in the desert, but the movie is definitely better than what it’s portrayed to be. Springsteen performs Western Stars in full with an orchestra, and even throws in a cover of Glen Campbell’s ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’ at the end. In between songs, there are short segments where Springsteen explains his thoughts behind the upcoming tune or reads a poem that matches its message. For the segments, it features shots of Springsteen driving around the dusty Joshua Tree National Park or hanging out with cowboys at the bar.

The movie brings Western Stars to life by providing great visuals (looking past the close shots of Springsteen’s wrinkles) and an enhanced orchestral sound.

I’ve given the album a few listens and enjoyed it, but the orchestra adds another element to the songs. Springsteen’s sessions in the barn almost make the studio album sound flat, considering how much more life is put into the tracks. If you still haven’t purchased the CD yet, you should pick up the soundtrack to the movie instead because it makes Western Stars shine brighter.

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Artist Talk with Amanda Stojanov, M.F.A

assistant professorAmanda Stojanov, M.F.A., Assistant Professor of Digital Media, gave an Artist Talk at Edison Hall on Monday, Nov. 4. Stojanov spoke on her past works since she graduated from Monmouth in 2014.

Stojanov did several projects since graduating from the University, but after showing her several projects from the past, one thing stood out: all of Stojanov’s projects are different from anything you have ever seen.

Stojanov’s first project that she showed us involved taking scans of human bodies interacting. After taking these scans, Stojanov picked her two favorite and made 3D sculptures out of them.

When she brought the pieces to a gallery for display, Stojanov took the other scans and flattened them onto one another to animate and project onto the sculptures.

When the audience was shown the video, they were in awe because everyone can agree that they haven’t seen anything like this before.

Stojanov showed her art at every angle, and those watching her flip through her slideshow admired those ideas that went outside the box. When Stojanov moved to Los Angeles after graduation, she began to work with an organization that used custom-made dolls to promote safe sex through stop motion production.

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Baseball Falls to Fairfield in Road Series || Sports

BB Online Exclusive 04.24.19Baseball suffered from a difficult test on the road this past week, losing at Columbia on Wednesday before dropping two of three to Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) opponents Fairfield over the weekend in Connecticut.

The Hawks sent sophomore pitcher Evan Ferris to the mound on Wednesday afternoon for his first career start in the out-of-conference matchup at Columbia. Ferris would perform well in what turned out to be a major pitchers’ duel, with the MU starter going four innings while allowing just one unearned run on four hits and striking out two.

What ended up being the lone run of the game was scored in the second inning by Columbia thanks to an RBI single to center field.

The Hawks were only able to muster up three hits on the afternoon, which was not nearly enough despite the strong efforts from their relief pitchers as well.

Freshman pitcher Nick Houghton went three strong shutout innings out of the bullpen while sophomore Ryan Steckline threw one.

“We played hard today. Evan, Nick, and Ryan pitched very well,” said Head Coach Dean Ehehalt. “They definitely gave us a chance to win. Offensively we were unable to get anything going.”

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Self-Defense: Are You Prepared? || Features

Features Online Exclusive 04.24.19What would you do if your life was on the line? Would you know how to defend yourself? Most people think that they do not have to worry about questions like these. They think that it can’t possibly happen to them.

But in reality, it can happen to anyone. No matter what age or gender you are, it can happen when you least expect it.

For example, mistaking the wrong car as your Uber. This recently happened to Samantha Joesphson, a New Jersey resident who attended the University of South Carolina. She got into a car that she thought was her Uber without checking to see if it was the correct car. If she had taken the time to check the plates of the car or ask the driver who they were picking up before getting into the car, she might have avoided this tragedy.

The world can be a scary place. You never know what could happen, all you can do is to make yourself more aware and prepare yourself. One way you could prepare yourself is by taking a self-defense course. Some of you might be thinking that it’s not for you or that it’s only for women. Self-defense courses are for every one of all genders and all ages.

“I wish self-defense courses weren’t necessary. Sadly, they are. Everyone - male and female - can benefit, regardless of age or skill level,” said Chris Hirschler, Ph.D. an associate professor and the Chair of the Health and Physical Education Department.

Hirschler teaches the self-defense course here at Monmouth. This class is a one-credit PE course that is held for half a semester. This class is open to all Monmouth students in the fall and spring semesters.

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Packing Up Your Dorm Room Tips || Lifestyles

default article imageWith the end of the year approaching comes the dreaded time of packing up your dorm room. Moving out can be a stressful time, but there are things you can do to make it easier. Although dorm rooms are typically small, they are still packed with so much and moving out can be a difficult process. You might feel overwhelmed, but it is important to take things one step at a time. Doing a little at a time can definitely go a long way.

By reading this, hopefully you can learn some tips that can make your process of moving out one that isn’t a dreadful task. One tip that can be extremely helpful is to move out with all of your clothes on hangers so that when you go to hang them up again you don’t have to waste time by redoing it. When preparing yourself for the move-out process, making a checklist can be a piece of advice that may make your life a little easier. In order to ensure you don’t forget things, making a list of all the things you need to remember is crucial as well as extremely helpful. Once you have packed your belongings in boxes, be sure to label them. Labeling is a huge time saver when you need to start unpacking everything that you just packed up. Not only will it keep you organized in the moment but it will help you remember what is in each box.

Time management is crucial when it comes to packing. Packing up in one day is not an easy solution so save yourself some stress by gradually taking small steps to accomplish this big goal. Brielle Kough, a junior psychology student, said, “When I was packing up my dorm room I spaced it out. If I knew I was going home for a weekend and I didn’t need certain things anymore then I would take them home with me before move out day.”

If you move things out a little at a time then you won’t be so overwhelmed when move out day sneaks up on you.

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Make Your "Off" Days, On Days || Lifestyles

default article imageDays off are the best:  you get to sleep in, you have no responsibilities, and you can do whatever you want, but unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. We are all so busy with school and work, a day off doesn’t always come but when it does it’s important to still be productive. It’s not always that easy, though, getting motivated on your day off is hard when doing nothing is so tempting, so here are some helpful tips and tricks to staying motivated on your day off.

Shannon Oswald, a junior communication student, has one weekday without classes and said, “Each day I think it is important to set goals. If you have something that you are looking to achieve each day when you wake up it’ll help you become a much more motivated person.”

This is a great way to stay motivated. By setting goals for yourself, it allows you to work towards achieving something. Setting a few goals for yourself, especially on a day off, is important in being productive. When you set yourself a goal or goals for the day, you are more likely to get it checked off your to-do list.

Another great way to stay motivated on your day off is to not treat it like a day off. If you begin to think about your day off as a “day off” you will get lazy and not be motivated to do anything. You should wake up with the idea that, “I know that it is my day off but I am going to accomplish something.” Treat your day off like your busy day.

A great way to keep yourself motivated on a day off is to start it with a workout. Getting a workout doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go to the gym for an hour and lift, you can do yoga at home, or even just go for a walk around the block to get the blood pumping and your body ready for the day.

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Trilogy An America Company || Entertainment

default article imageIn life, we each have an opportunity to succeed in anything we desire if we put our minds to it. For opera singer and Trilogy: An Opera Company owner, Kevin Maynor, the desire for opera revealed talent that took him many places and changed his life.

“He’s got the world in his hands, He’s got the world in his hands, He’s got the whole world in his hands, He’s got the world in his hands,” Maynor singing pridefully with beauty.  

When it comes to performing arts, it is very competitive to get your name and voice heard on stage. Maynor, however, has been able to get his voice and name heard throughout 33 countries including France, Canada, Russia, Brazil, Chile, Australia, Africa, India, and China. “I always knew what I wanted to do and it was music,” said Maynor.

Maynor has been performing opera for 50 years in 60 opera roles in five different languages. His career includes singing with the The Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, New York City Opera, Sante Fe Opera, Opera Orchestra of New York, Cincinnati Opera, Teatro Municipal of Santiago, Florida Grand Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Dallas Opera, Minnesota Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Knoxville Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Pacific Opera VIctoria, New Jersey State Opera, Scottish Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Saratav Opera, Mobile Opera, Mississippi Opera, and Opera Pacific.

He has also recorded song tracks for Telarc, Fleur de Son Classics, Guild, Legato Records, Roven Records, and Sony Music. Fanfare magazine reviewed Maynor’s CD Paul Robeson and said, “This is a superb voice, a voice to compare not only to Robeson but also to the very greatest bass voices of the century such as Alexander Kipnis, Boris Christoff, and Ezio Pinza.”

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Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu