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Northern Star

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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

A microphone and a set of headphones hang among recording equipment in the Northern Star’s recording studio. Opinion Columnist Kahlil Kambui believes shorter albums are more meaningful. (Joey Trella | Northern Star)

Long albums ruin music

By Kahlil Kambui, Senior News Reporter | November 20, 2023

Albums are getting too long. Some of the top albums of 2023 from artists such as Drake, Taylor Swift and Morgan Wallen all total well over an hour long. There is no need for an album to have that many songs. Too many songs on an album can make it feel...

Sufjan Stevens performs at Eaux Claires music festival in red sunglasses. Stevens recently released his album Javelin, dedicating it to his partner who passed away in April. (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via AP)

Sufjan Stevens dedicates moving album to late partner

By Eli Tecktiel, Lifestyle Writer | October 11, 2023

As Sufjan Stevens released his new album “Javelin” Friday, he also revealed the death of his partner Evans Richardson. In an Instagram post, Stevens provided a rare, open glimpse into his usually tightly guarded private life.  “This album...

Songwriter Victoria Monét poses in a black dress at the GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards in April. Monét has been a huge figure in the music industry, albeit no one knows her name due to her not being credited for her songwriting for larger artists such as Ariana Grande and Chris Brown. (Kevin Wolf/Invision/AP)

Victoria Monét is manifesting her way to the charts

By Tamya Burch, Social Media Coordinator | October 4, 2023

Songwriters are the backbone of the music industry, yet they are not given a platform to share their own music with a wide audience. Many songwriters are stuck in the shadows of the much larger artists they are writing for, trying to break free and show...

The DeKalb Public Library sits under a cloudy sky located in downtown DeKalb. Jazz In Progress will visit the library on Oct. 14. (Nyla Owens | Northern Star)

Join Jazz In Progress for late night jazz.

By Jonathan Shelby, Lifestyle Writer | October 4, 2023

Jazz In Progress, also referred to as JIP, is a nonprofit organization that uses the funds they earn from their performances and donates it to local community music programs and organizations. Communities that have received funding from JIP in the...

The band Earth, Wind & Fire accepts their induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2010. The band has rose to fame in the 70s and is still making music and performing around the world. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

The ever-lasting beauty of Earth, Wind & Fire

By Jonathan Shelby, Lifestyle Writer | October 2, 2023

Earth, Wind & Fire are a band from the 1970s that specializes in a fusion of soul, jazz, and disco styles of music. Some of the original members still play today, those being Philip Bailey, the lead singer for the band, the drummer Ralph Johnson,...

Sufjan Stevens performs his song Mystery of Love in a striped pink and black suit sequined with dragons. Stevens releases a new album toward the end of this year along with several other artists. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Anticipated albums set to release for rest of 2023

By Eli Tecktiel, Lifestyle Writer | September 27, 2023

While 2023 has seen many great music releases, including Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s “Keeping Secrets Will Destroy You” and P.J. Harvey’s “Inside the Old Year Dying,” the year isn’t over yet. Here are some of my most anticipated albums for...

Sufjan Stevens performs at a music festival in 2016 in San Francisco. Stevens goes back to his roots in his new single Will Anybody Ever Love Me? (Amy Harris/Invision/AP File)

Sufjan Stevens quietly returns to his roots

By Eli Tecktiel, Lifestyle Writer | September 19, 2023

With the release of Sufjan Stevens’ latest single “Will Anybody Ever Love Me?,” the eclectic indie artist makes an understated return to his folk roots. Since the release of his critically acclaimed masterpiece “Carrie and Lowell” in 2015,...

Various vinyl records stacked upright at a Barnes & Noble. Albums from Hail the Sun, PJ Harvey and Hot Mulligan released over the summer. (Sarah Rose | Northern Star)

Whimsical, punk albums missed over the summer

By Eli Tecktiel, Lifestyle Writer | September 4, 2023

With so much new music coming out every week, it can be hard to decide what’s worth listening to. Here are a few of the best albums released over the summer that you may have missed.  Hot Mulligan - “Why Would I Watch” Hot Mulligan is sure...

Spotify logo on a computer with a blurry background.

Last weekly Spotify includes rap, alternative pop

By Northern Star Staff | May 7, 2023

For the last weekly Spotify of the 2022-23 academic year, the Northern Star staff wrote about three songs they love. Sarah’s picks Baby Keem - “naked freestyle” Pitbull, Ne-Yo - “Time of Our Lives” The Weeknd - “Party Monster” “Naked...

Gordon Lightfoot performs during the evening ceremonies of Canadas 150th anniversary of Confederation. Lightfoot died on Monday at age 84. (Sean Kilpatrick | AP Newsroom)

Looking back on Gordon Lightfoot’s legendary songs

By Nick Glover, Lifestyle Editor | May 3, 2023

Every young boy has a moment when they become a man, that conversation where you know everything changes afterward, that split second when their father sits them down and says, “son, it’s time you listen to Gordon Lightfoot.”  One day, when...

The National performs live on Stage AE in 2017 as green spotlights illuminate the band members. The Nationals new album First Two Pages of Frankenstein is out now on all music streaming platforms.

‘First Two Pages of Frankenstein’ is predictable, repetitive

By Eli Tecktiel, Lifestyle Writer | May 3, 2023

The National, a long-running alternative rock band, in 2023 sounds a lot like it did 20 years ago, only now with more celebrity cameos. The lack of change sounds like a bad thing, but it isn’t. In these uncertain and unpredictable times, a little...