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Artist: A Shift to the Left
Song: “Like a Fox”
Heard by: Don White, University City
Early in life, jazz was described to me as “play a wrong note and it’s a wrong note; play the wrong note twice and it’s jazz.” In the song I just heard you could easily discern the melody. If your attention was to wander, they kind of bring it back with a steady shift. Listening to it, I was trying to visualize a fox going on his daily rounds in a wooded area…maybe he’s got a swagger as he goes down the block, so to speak. It’s something that I’d say is radio-worthy. I’m definitely not an expert in jazz, but it’s got an even flow. It’s not completely the over-the-top, blow-your-mind kind of jazz — the stuff that gets so ridiculous it’s got to be good. I’d give it an 8 [out of 10].

Artist: Hocus
Song: “Rid of You”
Heard by: Bo Barlow, Normal Heights
I wouldn’t classify it as “rock.” It had more of an ’80s pop kind of sound to it, like the Cure. It was guitar, bass, and drums. The musical part of it isn’t bad at all. He had a good voice. I caught myself listening more to the music than the lyrics. He kind of rose his voice at the end and attempted to yell, which is what I consider “rock” — a lot of screaming, heavy guitar, heavy drums, and bass. The mood of the song was kind of down and dreary, an “I’m going to slash my wrists” kind of thing. As a pop song, I’d rate it a 5 out of 10. As a rock song, I’d rate it a 1 out of 10. I think if they keep going in that direction, they’ll definitely draw a crowd.

Artist: Self-Made Men
Song: “Trophy Boyfriend”
Heard by: A.J. Sutton, City Heights
Actually, I kind of liked it. It had a good beat to it. I’d describe it as “alternative.” It was along the lines of Jason Mraz. I thought it was catchy, but it didn’t have that amazing quality where people would call up and request it on the radio. I was listening to the lyrics and the guy sounded a little bitter, in my opinion, which I thought was kind of funny because at the same time the song is upbeat and happy. He was talking about how this girl was messing him up. It’s kind of interesting because usually you hear songs about the guy messing with the girl from the girl’s point of view. In this case, you have a guy talking about how he was used and abused.

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