November Culture

Dante Troina
Staff Writer

The last two months, in terms of music and film, have been some of the driest times in culture in my high school career. No event warranted a build up in hype, and many promising projects fell flat. November is the month where the culture is supposed to get back on track, with a handful of album releases, sports seasons in full swing, and blockbuster movies hitting theaters, there are many things planned that should keep the culture moving into December. Here are a list of things I expect to happen before ABC Family starts having their Christmas marathons.

Taylor Swift’s 6th studio album, Reputation, will be her best billboard performance yet… And her worst album to date. It would be no surprise to me if Reputation beats out 1989’s 1.2 million copies sold first week. Music is easier than ever to stream and buy these days (Apple Music, Spotify, TIDAL) and sales numbers for top artists have been at record highs and inflated astronomically since Taylor’s last release in 2014. There hasn’t been a solid female pop album all year, and the last big commercial release was Katy Perry’s dud in June. Swift could easily sell 1.5 million first week, especially with a starved, ever-growing fan base. While Swift may set records, Reputation will be a disappointment. For the record, I’m not a Taylor Swift hater, I could sing every word to the majority of the songs on her last two albums (and who doesn’t love Shake It Off?). I would love for this album to be successful, but none of the three singles up to this point have been groundbreaking or that enjoyable at all. Look What You Made Me Do was a mess of a song, it tried using the same formula as Shake It Off (beat switch, annoyed of ‘haters’, mad voicemails) but didn’t have anywhere near the same catchy tune, and completely abandoned the light heartedness attitude that made Shake It Off fun. The second single for the album was forgetful and doesn’t even deserve a title mention, and the recently released Gorgeous wasn’t bad, but sounds eerily similar to the far superior Blank Space. Taylor has proven to consistently make good music for years, but the experimental phase she’s going through right now doesn’t appear to be working. She seems more focused on the controversial headlines she’s been in (hence the New York Times font on her cover) and, no pun intended, is putting her reputation above making good music.

Frontrunners for championships will be established in College Football… This November is setting up to be one of the wildest months in college football history. With no clear picture of a frontrunner available yet, and only eight teams without a loss, there will be plenty of high stakes games come Thanksgiving time. Most of the races for conference titles are between three or more teams, creating an all out battle royale for the four slots in the playoff. Alabama will have to go into a dangerous Auburn team’s stadium to determine the SEC East winner, Washington and Washington State will meet in what could be their most high stakes rivalry game to date, and there are about 5 teams in each of the BIG-10 and BIG-12 that can possibly take the crown of their conferences.

Here’s my prediction for the final four teams:

  1. Penn State (13-0)
  2. Auburn (11-2 w/ win vs. Bama)
  3. Alabama (11-1)
  4. Oklahoma State / Washington (12-1)

Superhero films, both Marvel and DC, will return in glorifying fashion… Marvel will continue their ever lasting string of good movies, and DC will build off of the pulse that Wonder Woman gave it in June. Both Justice League and Thor: Ragnarok will be solid films, and both will perform very well at the box office. If I were a betting man, the safe choice for one to be a better movie would be Thor, but there is a part of me that is more than excited to finally see a Justice League on the big screen. There will be tons of converted Marvel fans that only want the Marvel Universe to have great movies, but why would anyone not want two great superhero universes? Thor is the closest thing to a guarantee to be a solid film, but Justice League has been all over the place in production. If both movies are made to the fullest potential, November will be one of the best movie months in recent memory.

Travis Scott and Quavo’s album will (finally) drop… And it will become an instant fan favorite. Collaboration mixtapes like this one aren’t meant to win Grammys, but this one will be nominated at next year’s show; maybe not for best album, as it won’t have a concept or touch on social issues, but there will be a handful of songs that are pure gold off of this tape. Every song Travis and Quavo have done together have been incredible, Oh My Dis Side will go down as one of the best songs from this decade, and the preview snippet of Re Run isn’t able to be quantified through words; it sounds like the club song of the century. There are many reasons to be excited for November, but this is definitely the best thing that could come out of this month.

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