Tag Archives: new album

The UT Colleges as Adele songs

The season of Fall is synonymous with perfectly winged eyeliner, classic black silhouettes, and ballads that make you want to pour your heart out; that’s right, it’s Adele season. In preparation for this period of heartbreak and deep interpersonal questioning, soothe your troubled soul and enjoy this light take on the UT colleges as Adele songs based on the majors within them.

Moody College of Communication- Hello

Moody School of Communication; Picture by Nicholas Muniz

Hello is possibly one of the most well-known Adele songs of all time. The exhilarating song focuses on the failure of communication between two lovers. Moody intends on changing the world by rectifying miscommunication and enhancing current communication. The song embodies what Moody is trying to rectify in the world– miscommunication.

School of Architecture- Skyfall

School of Architecture; Picture by Nicholas Muniz

The uplifting tune, the drama, and the intrigue of mystery that surround Bond movies; these elements all paint a picture of artistry depicted in the tallest skyscrapers you can imagine. Bringing creativity to life and building the impossible are two traits that the School of Architecture and this Adele song have in common.

College of Liberal Arts – Chasing Pavements

Robert L. Patton Building; Picture by Nicholas Muniz

From governance to psychology, the College of Liberal Arts focuses on the pursuit of excellence through taking risks emphasized by its competitive majors. Chasing Pavements is a song about a woman taking a risk by confessing her feelings despite knowing how unlikely her chances for happiness are within that relationship. CoLA encourages its majors to hope and take risks within the humanities to discover the one true truth about what it is to be human within society at large.

College of Fine Arts- Sweetest Devotion

In order to have a successful career in the arts, one must be dedicated to the point where they are devoted to their craft. This Adele song harps on the triumphs and failures of giving all of your heart and soul in the form of purest devotion, something that is personified by the College of Fine Arts.

College of Natural Sciences- Set Fire to the Rain

College of Natural Sciences; Picture by Nicholas Muniz

Only the College of Natural Sciences could set fire to the rain with their intellect and ingenuity. Students within the college are able to achieve the impossible and indeed give meaning to a mad genius and in that making, this metaphor come true.

College of Education- First Love

First love ,with its idyllic and nursery rhyme elements, reminds one of happier days on the school playground. The cheerful tune is similar to the genuine and kind nature that is a hallmark of the College of Education.

McCombs School of Business- Send my Love to your New Lover

McCombs School of Business; Picture by Nicholas Muniz

It’s common knowledge that McCombs’ students enjoy the thrill of the chase and rarely pursue stability. It’s that attitude which ensures success in business. As a result, they harbor no ill intent to those they have woed in the past and are more than willing to send their love to your new lover after they have ended things with you.

Steve Hicks School of Social Work- Make you feel my love

Showcasing your loving nature and social work go hand in hand and so does this college and Adele song.

Cockrell School of Engineering- Easy on Me

Cockerell School of Engineering; Picture by Nicholas Muniz

It’s not easy being a Cockrell major, as they will let you know, and I can say with utmost confidence they would greatly appreciate it if their professors and the world at large took it easy on them. This new song by Adele not only allows them to drown their misery, but also fulfills their pleas with artistry and grace.

School of Information- Rumour has it

Rumors are the basis of all human interaction and this school looks to facilitate and enhance that interaction. They focus on user experience and design which rumor has it will be the most useful tool in the future of technology.

College of Pharmacy- Remedy

College of Pharmacy; Picture by Nicholas Muniz

Remedy is a song about healing and overcoming difficulties, something which we all accomplish with the help of our friends at the School of Pharmacy.

School of Nursing- Tired

Both the majors in this school and Adele find their true state in this song as they like to remind us after excessive all-nighters that they are, indeed, tired.

Jackson School of Geosciences- Rolling in the Deep

Jackson School of Geosciences; Picture by Nicholas Muniz

Rolling in  the deep is a song that not only references the hard work that students of this school have to put in, but also vaguely reminds you of a boulder rolling down a hill. Something which is not only poetic about the song but is similar to the plight of many of the majors in this school.

Featured image by Nicholas Muniz

Olivia Rodrigo’s Inspirations and Parallels

With its perfectly balanced bridges, feelings of teenage nostalgia and varied influences, Olivia Rodrigo’s debut album “Sour” struck a heavy chord with both Generation Z and Millennials.

Released in May 2021, “Sour” explores themes of adolescence, young love and heartbreak. The album broke the Internet for its relatability. It is important to note some of the major inspirations, parallels and references scattered throughout the albums. To celebrate Rodrigo’s debut album, I put together a list of some of her inspirations and parallels.

Sound Comparisons

In the early days of the album’s release, Twitter users pointed out three obvious song similarities: “deja vu” and “Cruel Summer” by Taylor Swift; “good 4 u” and “Misery Business” by Paramore; and “1 step forward, 3 steps back” and “New Years Day” by Taylor Swift. I would add the way Rodrigo sings the chorus in “1 step forward, 3 steps back” sounds reminiscent of “Six Feet Under” by Billie Eilish. 

However, it is important to note the use of interpolation in these tracks, in which an artist uses a melody from an original song into a new piece of work by recreating it note for note. Learning about these song comparisons pushed me right down the rabbit hole of other songs with lyrical similarities and parallels.

Lyrical Similarities

In the first verse of “favorite crime,” Rodrigo sings from the perspective of someone being ‘buried’ by someone they once loved and trusted. These lyrics reminded me of “my tears ricochet” by Taylor Swift from her 2020 album “Folklore.” In an Instagram post, Swift explained how the song tells the story of an “embittered tormentor showing up at the funeral of his fallen object of obsession.” In the song, she sings, “you wear the same jewels that I gave you as you bury me.” To me, these songs are related to a mother-daughter relationship, which is ironic because both songstresses have jokingly referred to each other as mother and daughter.

Even though this next comparison involves Taylor Swift once again, it is impossible to not point out. They are two songs about young and painful heartbreak: “enough for you” by Rodrigo and “Dear John” by Swift. In the chorus, Swift sings, “I see it all now that you’re gone / Don’t you think I was too young to be messed with? / The girl in the dress cried the whole way home.” 

In the bridge of “enough for you,” Rodrigo sings just as emotional and a bit angrier with the lyrics:  “Don’t you think I loved you too much to be used and discarded? / Don’t you think I loved you too much to think I deserve nothing? / But don’t tell me you’re sorry, boy / Feel sorry for yourself / ‘Cause someday I’ll be everything to somebody else.”

Also in “enough for you,” Rodrigo sings about wearing makeup to please an ex-lover. It is similar to Swift singing about high heels that an ex-lover didn’t like in “Begin Again” from her 2012 album “Red”, which will also be re-released in November as Red (Taylor’s Version).

In another heart-aching track, the feelings of betrayal in “traitor” are nostalgic of “Burn” from the American Broadway musical, “Hamilton.” I didn’t completely understand this comparison until I listened to a mashup of the songs on YouTube and have not known peace since. The lyrics feel most related when Rodrigo sings about “brown guilty eyes and little white lies,” while Phillipa Soo as Eliza Hamilton sings about “sentences border[ed] on senseless…paranoid in every paragraph.” It is almost like the comparison of “favorite crime” and “my tear ricochet,” except Rodrigo sings from a younger perspective, while Soo sings from a more grown-up perspective.

Parallel Storytelling

When I listened to “Sour” on the night of its release, I cried on the floor of my bedroom to the final track, “hope ur ok.” In the song, Rodrigo reminisces about old friends who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Though she’s no longer in close contact with them, she wishes them the best and reminds them of how proud she is of them today.

In the outro, she sings, “I hope you know how proud I am you were created with the courage to unlearn all of their hatred.” The song’s message alludes to the story of “seven” by Taylor Swift from “Folklore.” Similar to Rodrigo, Swift reflects about childhood friends with unhappy lives at home. Except Swift focuses on her innocence and how she thought tough problems could be solved by packing up their suitcases and running away to India. When I listened to Rodrigo’s song, I felt like she took this story and sang directly to the characters in Swift’s song.

Shifting from the album’s focus on young love and heartbreak, “Sour” also has tracks about  adolescence and the misleading promises of the younger generation stood out to me. Songs like “jealousy, jealousy” and “brutal” are examples of this. Both songs feel incredibly loud, vocally and lyrically, which reminded me of artists like Lorde and Billie Eilish.

In “jealousy, jealousy,” Rodrigo addresses the unrealistic beauty standards society often places on young women on social media. In an interview with the BBC in March 2021, she shared that she wrote the song when she was addicted to social media and found herself “crippled by the comparisons” of other girls. 

For me, it is the type of song that makes you wish you were born a nepotism baby with daddy’s money, a pretty face and a pretty boyfriend. It is also Rodrigo’s moment to comment on this issue in her own words, similar to “The Love Club” and “White Teeth Teens” by Lorde. While Lorde’s songs criticize the hollowness of cliques, Rodrigo discusses constant comparison and self-hatred as a result of social media. And the tone of her voice as she sings the chorus brings me back to the energy of ‘”idontwannabeyouanymore” by Billie Eilish.

Lastly, it would not be an article about Olivia Rodrigo without mentioning the fan-favorite song “brutal.” Its loud, angry scream-singing in the chorus brings me back to another song by a former Disney star: “7 Things” by Miley Cyrus. While both songs have some quiet moments, they are quickly met by a loud rage of emotion by both of the artists. They are the kind of jump around your room and scream at the tops of your lungs, beloved, angry songs. 

When it comes to the sound and beat of “brutal,” it is eerily similar to “Rebel Girl” by Bikini Kill. If you listen to the songs back to back, it is in the rise and fall of how each song flows. Its similarities also lie in the sound of the guitar, working simultaneously with the volume of the microphone at certain parts. Also, I cannot help but think about how Rodrigo’s singing of “God, it’s brutal out here” sounds just like “I know I wanna take you home I wanna try on your clothes.”

Final Thoughts

Even though I have loved “Sour” since I first listened to it, I fell in love with the album more after noticing its inspirations and parallels in the vocals, sounds, lyrics and storytelling.

Rodrigo’s debut album serves as a current accumulation of her style as a singer and as a songwriter. It’s a reminder that she is a young artist capable of elevating original songs by other artists, and crafting a new narrative based on her life and experiences. The outpouring of love for her first album might also indicate more success for her future.

Illustration by Valerie Aldana