Coldplay’s Take on Our Society’s “Everyday Life”

Review by Jared Moser

When I heard Coldplay were releasing a new album, I didn’t know what to think. Part of me was ecstatic, considering their previous album, Head Full of Dreams, was released a whopping 5 years ago, and they’re one of my favorite bands. The other part of me was worried, because there’s a lot of pressure to cap off the decade with a creative bomb shell.

Dropping on November 22nd, Everyday Life is a double LP, separated into two parts, Sunrise and Sunset, each with eight songs. The album attempts to look at today’s society through music, which explains why it’s the first time (out of their eight studio albums) that a Coldplay album is explicit. It’s on the slow side, even for Coldplay, with what I like to call “Imagine Dragons Syndrome,” where an album has a couple of standout songs and the rest seems like filler. With this in mind, Everyday Life has maybe four standout songs, and a couple of others that I thoroughly enjoyed, but I can sense won’t age very well.

The album starts off with a melodic symphony piece, “Sunrise,” similar to the intro track to Viva La Vida, “Life in Technicolor.” It gives an all-instrumental taste of what the rest of the album’s aesthetic is. Though slow, I don’t mind it, because it sets a nice foundation for the album.

Within the first few songs, “Trouble in Town,” stands out among the others. It has a slow, melodic feel, and in place of the bridge, they use a recording of an argument between two men in the city. This is a cool way to bring the grit of reality into the album early. As the men argue, the music swells, developing into a Pink Floyd-like instrumental breakdown around the men yelling. It’s early place in the album gives the rest of the album hope.

The next stand out song is “Daddy,” and while it’s extremely slow, Coldplay implement a classic piano ballad, while lead singer Chris Martin sings softly about father and son issues. From the point-of-view of a son reaching out to his father, seemingly needing him, the father and son relationship is open to interpretation.

While not radio material, “Cry Cry Cry” is my favorite song on the record. It consists of Martin singing softly, alongside an altered voice that sounds like a young child, providing the song with a sense of innocence, over a short and sweet piano piece. Throughout the song are fuzzy crackles and pops, making it seem like you’re listening to vinyl; it’s a fantastic addition that gives the song texture. “Cry Cry Cry” combines the band’s simple and catchy style with their new raw and unfiltered sound, sounding like a classic hit from the 50’s or 60’s with the production value of today.

“Arabesque,” “Orphans,” and “Everyday Life” are some other standout songs of the album for me. From the vocals, sound, and overall feel, they’re essentially what the rest of the album lacks, though I’m not sure Coldplay wanted the whole album to be as production-based and radio worthy as these songs.

Chris Martin said this album is very personal and unfiltered, and the decision they made was to be totally raw and pure. That could explain why the band isn’t doing much promotion or touring, with the exception of an SNL appearance, and a gorgeous live stream of the album being performed in Jordan when it debuted, literally timing it with the sunrise and the sunset.

Even with “raw and unfiltered” as a goal, Everyday Life somehow lacks quite a bit of depth and substance, leaving you unsatisfied when the 53 minutes of music comes to an end. On the surface, the album is beautifully produced and poses “woke” and deep issues. However, as you dig deeper and deeper, it comes off as muddy and has a very unfocused message. It’s an above average album for just any band, but not for a monumental band like Coldplay, leading me to give Everyday Life a 5/10. At the end of the day, though, I’m a Coldplay fan at heart, and I’ll continue listening to, and enjoying, whatever they put out.

Cover-to-Cover: “Becoming”

Review by Zamin Noorani

In her thrilling autobiography, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about how she found her voice to advocate for what she believes in, taking us through her journey from the small apartment on Euclid Avenue on the south side of Chicago, to the pristine halls of Princeton and Harvard, and all the way down to the White House.

This book was published in November 2018, but has been so popular that when I attempted to get it back then, there were over 100 holds! Already amassing over 300,000 reviews in less than a year on Goodreads with an average rating of 4.59/5.00, this memoir has created waves amongst its audience.

The first thing to know is this is not a political book whatsoever, but is rather Michelle recalling her own life experiences and inspiring us through them. Michelle writes about her time playing piano with her aunt Robbie on the South Side, to marching alongside Jesse Jackson on the streets of Chicago. She recounts her time in Ivy League schools and her life as a high paying lawyer in Chicago. Yet, through these experiences, she recalls trying to find her purpose in life and make a change. Michelle takes some sharp turns by quitting her cushy lawyer job that results in great financial losses, but allows her to make a change in her city and connect with local officials. She has the opportunity to make a difference.

Becoming was indeed very inspirational and fun to read. It’s interesting to see how things turned out well for Michelle and how she made best with her opportunities. It was great to see that despite the many odds against her, Michelle was able to come out on top and tell her story.

Cover-to-Cover: “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed”

Review by Zamin Noorani

We’ve all wondered what actually happens at therapy, at least I did. Do we really just pay someone to sit on a couch and talk to someone? Well that’s certainly not the case, as Lori Gottlieb takes us through her journey in the book: Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed.

Published last April, this book had people raving, and has gotten over 25,000 Goodreads reviews with an average rating of 4.4/5. I luckily, was finally able to get my hands on it.

Lori takes us inside her life as a therapist in California and brings out the life of a number of her patients(whose names she changes of course for confidentiality). Throughout her book, we meet people like John, the producer of a very popular television show; Julie, a woman diagnosed with a rare incurable cancer; Rita, a 70 year old woman with severe depression and suicidal thoughts; Charlotte, a fresh college graduate with a drinking and dating problem; and Lori, a therapist and author who just got dumped by her boyfriend.

I LOVED this book! I’ve never been to therapy, but I was able to see that the people who have are regular, everyday people, and can be your colleagues, friends, or even a family member. Around 30 million Americans go to therapy any given year, yet we hear so little about it because most are too embarrassed to admit it.

Throughout the different stories and anecdotes that Lori tells, we can understand the different reasons why a person might go to therapy, and why that decision might be the best decision in their lives. We’re able to connect with each character individually, and it truly makes us ask, “Do we need therapy?”

At The Movies: Joker

Review by Tom Duong

I recently saw the new movie, Joker, and I’m not sure how to define it. Maybe a bit of dark aesthetic, maybe a depressive vibe. Regardless, it left an impression on me.

What stuck in my head the most is the laughter of Arthur Fleck, portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix. The first thing I think of is his madness; he can’t control his laughter due to mental illness, and the laughs express the pain that he’s had to suffer. It’s also ironic, since as a comedian, his job is to make others laugh, and he can’t stop.

Arthur tried to live the best he could by staying with his mother in an apartment to help her and taking his medicine regularly. However, life seems to hold him down, especially when he gets bullied and beaten. As a viewer, I wanted to sympathize with Arthur’s challenges, but he goes off the deep end, and that becomes hard.

There are clear themes of mental illness, poverty, and how they shape people. Arthur’s transformation in the movie from a poor, mentally-ill comedian, to an insane criminal that inspires people to start a riot, was executed in a shocking way. I would suggest that you clear your head before you see Joker, since it’s very deep and full of intense emotion. But I would definitely recommend it for the great retro atmosphere and the artistic aspects.

After a Slow Start, the Bears Are Searching for Answers

by Jordan Bradley

The Bears are entering week seven of the NFL season and as fans, we’re definitely not where we expected. The Bears sit at 3-3, they’re twelfth in the power rankings, and 30th in the league when it comes to offensive yards per game. The offense is most certainly the biggest problem, and as awful as Mitch Trubisky has been, it goes beyond him.

While we’re talking about Mitch Trubisky, something needs to change with him, and fast. He currently has the third worst quarterback rating in the league at 34.2. He only has five touchdowns, and two of those were in garbage time against a prevent defense in the last game. He continues to be off-target to wide open receivers and has happy feet in the pocket.

There have been some trade talks circulating for a new quarterback, but the right idea may be to hold off on that. The market for quarterbacks nearing the trade deadline really isn’t great. There have been talks to get Phillip Rivers, who hasn’t been performing well, and is beginning to decline. Cam Newton is injury prone, and isn’t everyone’s favorite person, either. Then there’s Marcus Mariota, who would be an interesting choice, as he was recently benched and has a worse quarterback rating than Trubisky. But, a new offense designed for his skill could work better, and the Bears can provide that for Mariota.

Trubisky is just one layer of this onion of an offense. The play calling is also agonizing to witness. It’s predictable, and defenses adjust very quickly each game. Almost every series is the same: a run play that goes nowhere, a run play that goes nowhere, a short passing play for a few yards or negative yards, and a punt. Before you can even blink, the Bears are giving the ball back to the opposing team, and that’s wearing out their best weapon, the defense.

This lack of offensive production needs to change. It really is the Bears only hope for the season. You don’t win games if you don’t score points, and the defense can only help so much. Trubisky needs to be better or else his job will be gone by next year. Head Coach Matt Nagy needs to figure out what plays work and what plays don’t, and at least be slightly unpredictable.

The Bears are on a downtrend, but they still have a chance to turn it around, even with a tough schedule ahead that includes the Eagles, Rams, Cowboys, Packers, and Chiefs.

The Faim at Chop Shop in Chicago

On October 6th, I had the opportunity to see and photograph an up-and-coming band out of Perth, Australia, The Faim, at Chop Shop in Chicago. The band is currently touring their debut album, State of Mind. From the start of the show, it was evident that the band was going to have quite a stage presence. With their booming punk-alternative sound, the room was filled with music and the crowd was invested. It was the type of show where you could rock out even if you didn’t know a single word to any song.

With the amount of crowd surfers and people singing along, you could tell that every person in the crowd had been looking forward to that show, and rightfully so. The Faim had a way of bringing everyone in the crowd together for a truly unique experience that night. If you’d like to check out their sound for yourself, they released their debut album ‘State of Mind’ earlier this year, and if you ask me, it is worth the listen.

National Walk to School Day at Scott Elementary School

October 2nd was National Walk to School Day, and I was invited to Scott Elementary School in Naperville to help celebrate! I talked to students and their parents about the station, and handed out tons of WONC swag!

Does your school or non-profit community organization have an event coming up? We’d love to provide some entertainment! Reach out to us via email at publicaffairs@wonc.org!

Homecoming 2019

WONC participated in this year’s homecoming festivities at NCC, painting a banner for the parade!

For the parade, we brought some of our furry friends!

We also got to hang out with NCC’s colorful and exciting mascot, Chippy!


‘Real’ By Dezirae Schalice Review

I’ve been gushing over Real by indie-pop singer-songwriter Dezirae Schalice for weeks now. Since its release on September 16th, I’ve been captivated by Dezirae’s work during my walks on campus and in the studio. Dezirae remarkably infuses electronic keys, distorted guitars, and honest, metaphorical lyrics in her songs about topics such as gaining independence, confronting demons, and questioning what is “real.” There was a lot of excitement and anticipation over this album after Dezirae’s 2018 single “Beautiful People,” and several others came out and left many craving a full release. Real was undoubtedly worth the wait! Below are my thoughts on 5 tunes off of Real:

Loosen Up My Tongue 

Kicking off the album with “Loosen Up My Tongue” was a smart move. The atmospheric guitars at the beginning draw the listener in. This song has a sense of psychedelia and contains cool musical elements that give it its trip. The use of the bells is highly mind-bending. “Loosen Up My Tongue” invites us into Dezirae’s world and captivates listeners right off the bat. 

My Demons 

The vulnerability it takes to write a song like “My Demons” is incredible. The lyrics are truly heartbreaking and honest. Many can relate to being at war with themselves and feeling hopeless. One can hear the raw emotion in Dezirae’s voice, and the harmonies are stunning and add to the power behind this enchanting song. “My Demons” confronts internal struggles that resonate with many. 

My Fault 

Twisted and sexy are two words I would use to describe “My Fault.” The line “Maybe I took the apple just to bite it/And maybe I liked it,” is possibly the favorite line of mine off the album. “My Fault” has a sultry and mischievous tone. The drums stick out to me with how they build up to the chorus and the neat fills tucked in throughout the tune. Also, I love myself a good horn section. The effects on the vocals and the call-and-response technique frequently used are unique aspects of the “My Fault.” 

Not This Time 

“Not This Time” is the boost of empowerment I’ve been longing for in a song! Lyrics like “This is my own damn story/This is my own damn song,” and “I’m granting myself grace/Excuse me for the lack of shame,” are ones that are likely to be shouted in the shower. “Not This Time” is about taking charge of your life and not being so hard on yourself. Whether you’ve recently quit a job that didn’t serve you well, or left a partner that hindered your confidence, this song will leave you feeling strong and loving your new-found independence. “Not This Time” is an example of the many positive messages that that you can find in Dezirae’s work. 

Real 

The beautiful piano ballad that is “Real” shook me to the core. It makes sense why this is the title track, with its gripping lyrics and the power behind Dezirae’s voice shining through. The line “Slowly how you crept it/ stealing drops of serotonin/making me see what you want and leaving me distraught,” is an example of how transparent “Real” is. The song presented itself to me as being about how despite the fact manipulation can distort one’s perception, one can become “free” and overcome with a new sense of self. Dezirae’s vocals and words leave a lasting impact in “Real,” and I can only imagine how intimate this song is performed live. Dezirae sings every word with raw emotion, and it’s truly captivating, and the song gave me major goosebumps. 

I urge you to listen to “Real” in its entirety. Dezirae Schalice is one to look out for in the Chicago-land music scene! Her uniqueness, creativity, and talent make her the star that she is! Make sure to follow her on Instagram and Facebook! She’ll also be joining me in-studio for Local Chaos on October 6th for a live performance and interview! Don’t miss it!