Our first edition of ‘Top 5’ comes from our own Film & Television Editor and UCC Student Council Chair Aaron Frahill.
My Top Five Albums of the Year (So Far)
Wild Alee – Talos
Eoin French has been around for a few years now making music under the name of Talos, but has finally released an album this year. Talos has a gift vocally, with the easiest comparison being that of Bon Iver and James Vincent McMorrow – the high pitch leaves you shivering at many points throughout the album. 209 followed by Your Love Is an Island is the personal highpoint of my experiences with the album, and the Cork talent provides a haunting synergy between perfect vocals and building electronic tension.
Damn – Kendrick Lamar
Kung Fu Kenny has blessed us with another masterpiece. While Damn isn’t Lamar’s best outing, it is still undoubtedly the best rap album of the year. No matter who you are, you cannot deny how much of a banger the likes of DNA and Humble are. The only real disappointment is that we didn’t get a second coming days after the album came out with.
Woodstock – Portugal. The Man
This veteran Oregon band released one of the most versatile albums of the year, featuring a lot of bops. After four years of silence, Portugal. The Man return with possibly their strongest album yet, with songs like Feel It Still and Live In The Moment wanting you to get moving! The best contribution to the album is the music videos which have accompanied the singles from the album, Rich Friends being the highlight.
How Did We Get So Dark? – Royal Blood
The British duo have returned with their dark combination of drums and bass guitar, and while it isn’t much different from their debut album, it does feel like more of a mastering of their style. The blistering intensity of the album leaves the question of where they go next, and how long it will be before they’re festival headliners.
ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$ – Joey Bada$$
While Kendrick Lamar may have the best rap album of the year so far, Joey Bada$$ feels like the most developed artist of the year. Joey keeps ascending, and with the raw passion expressed on the likes of ROCKABYE BABY, it keeps me looking forward to what is to come from this 22-year-old multitalented rapper and actor (especially season three of Mr Robot).
My Top Five Films of the Year (So Far)
Baby Driver (dir. Edgar Wright)
Edgar Wright brings one of his most fleshed out concepts to the big screen after nearly two decades of holding onto the idea. Baby Driver follows a getaway driver (played by Ansel Elgort) with a hearing impediment, who always has to listens to music to drown out the sound in his ears. The use of the soundtrack leaves you feeling that you’re watching an ever-present character influencing the atmosphere and tempo of the film.
Spiderman: Homecoming (dir. Jon Watts)
To finally see a good Spiderman movie after 13 years of repeated interference from Sony executives feels so refreshing. Tom Holland is the best mould for Peter Parker we’ve gotten, feeling genuinely like the mix between the unnoticeable kid in a high school and witty hero once the costume is on. Marvel films have started reaching a certain point of saturation, but this is the best outing since Civil War over a year ago.
Dunkirk (dir. Christopher Nolan)
This film is a collection of all the skills Christopher Nolan has collected over his career, from the use of a non-linear storyline to the incorporation of another beautiful Hans Zimmer score. This film isn’t about the big-name actors or popstars, the event itself is the central character of this movie and that needs to be understood when watching this masterpiece.
Get Out (dir. Jordan Peele)
I assume I’m not the only one who would place Jordan Peele’s debut in their top five of the year. This film has a brought a level of originality to the industry in a year where we have seen a lot of flops from big sequels and adaptations – with a production budget of $4.5 million, it truly proves that pumping money into a film isn’t required to make it a massive success.
Logan (dir. James Mangold)
Hugh Jackman’s final but defining role as Wolverine after two decades portraying the character gives us the first real glimpse of vulnerable heroes – there is never a true of feeling of these characters are superheroes as they struggle through the entire movie. The performances in Logan are some of the best of the year, and I think aren’t a bad shout for the likes of the Academy Awards or Golden Globes come the New Year.
Edit, 20:41 18/08/2017 – Removed any mention of the “UCC Societies Executive.”