Are best sellers really best? Roosevelt students debate top albums from current stars

Chad Dryden Published:

By Meghan Meeker

Theodore Roosevelt High School

Last year was the year for new artists to gain popularity and old artists to keep raking in the dough. Many fresh faces came into the music world with a vengeance with their albums debuting in the No. 1 slot. One may think this was due to the hype surrounding these albums and the artists behind them. All of this buzz invokes the question, are the best sellers really the best? To answer this question, The Colonel gave students at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Kent a chance to listen to three of the best-selling albums of 2002.

Norah Jones, Come Away With Me

Norah Jones has taken the country by storm. Since its Feb. 26, 2002 debut, Come Away With Me has sold 2.7 million copies. Her first single off of Come Away With Me, Dont Know Why, was an instant hit. Jones seems to be the heavy favorite here at Roosevelt.

Sophomore Maeve Richards thinks that Jones has a really nice voice, unique style and shes really talented at the piano and sings great live.

When asked if she thought Jones will be moving forward in her career, sophomore Jenna Bialik said, Yes, and I hope she comes out with another album.

When asked the same question, freshman Colin Williams replied, Yes, her musics coffee shop style has good appeal and it is worth more of a listen than most.

Avril Lavigne, Let Go

Emerging last summer was punk/pop artist Avril Lavigne. Her album Let Go sold 3.9 million copies after its debut on June 4, 2002. Lavignes pop chart topper Complicated can still be heard on pop and alternative stations alike.

(She is) a little too pop, but a few select songs are decent, sophomore Tess Burgler said. She also cant really play more than three chords on her guitar. Im With You would have to be her best song, while Sk8er Boi is her worst.

Sophomore Katie Lentz said, Her music isnt all that bad, but I think her album sold more because of her image rather than her talent.

When asked about Lavigne, freshman Grace Heffernan simply said, Pop princess in a punk facade.

Eminem, The Eminem Show

Despite all the controversy surrounding him, Eminem (a.k.a. Marshall Mathers), once again topped the charts in 2002 and continues to do so. His third solo album, The Eminem Show, sold 7.4 million copies after being released on May 26, 2002.

Freshman Heather Sumner thinks that The Eminem Show was worth all the buzz because it is good; he has his own opinion and says what he thinks. He doesnt hold back and I think thats a good thing. Just because some people dont agree doesnt mean its not good.

There are those who disagree with Sumner, such as sophomore Stephanie Rericha.

Every one of his songs sounds pretty much the same, she said. He complains too much and he doesnt have much talent or depth to his music. Shouldnt an artist be considered talented because their music means something? He isnt worth all the hype he gets because he doesnt have talent and he doesnt even write the mikes or just the background music. I also think that he gets all the hype from the talented rappers he sometimes works with.

There are also students whose views of Mathers encompass the positive and negative opinions.

Sophomore Nick DeFrange said, Some adults out there would say that Eminem is a master of hateful lyrics, but have those adults ever picked up a set of headphones in a music store and listened to the Eminem samples? Eminem is doing what all of us do to express ourselves, except he is speaking for himself on a national level. Anyone who can talk about aggression towards his estranged wife has got to be pretty brave! At least he doesnt have to kill people and declare war or do some other strange act to prove to his fans that he is the best at his profession. Eminem should be thanked for expressing his opinion on major issues. Personally, I dont listen to his music, but I do print out the lyrics and thank God for people like Eminem.

Reprinted from The Colonel.

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