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Cover of Mariah Carey's "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel"

10 Years Later, We’re Still “Obsessed” With “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel”

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For an artist who’s been in the game as long as Mariah Carey has, it would be difficult to keep track of career milestones—especially if you have one of the most revered discographies in popular music. With the 25th anniversary of her illustrious Christmas album and the iconic “All I Want For Christmas Is You” coming up, it’s the biggest talking point about the singer this year and rightfully so; however, 2009’s “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel” is celebrating its 10th year, and we should give it some love—as it is arguably one of her most underrated projects.

Cover of Mariah Carey's "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel"

Courtesy Photo

At the time of the album’s genesis, Carey was coming off of a career milestone with the 2008 single “Touch My Body,” which earned her the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100—surpassing Elvis Presley’s record of most number-one singles by a solo artist in the United States. After the era of the joyous pop hip-hop forward album “E=MC²,” Carey began to work with producers The-Dream and Tricky Stewart—the team responsible for hits like Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” and Rihanna’s “Umbrella.” This time, the new album would be strictly R&B hip-hop and focus on a more cohesive sound.

For many diehards, the title “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel” is expected from someone like Carey, who gives her albums grandiose titles like 2005’s “The Emancipation of Mimi.” Being her 12th studio album, Carey wanted to make a record dedicated to all types of fans with music for those who love 1997’s “Butterfly” and other older work. The album photo shoot even recreates her 1990 debut look with the classic little black dress and brunette curls—serving as a full circle nostalgic moment while staying true to her current self.

The first track, “Betcha Gon’ Know (The Prologue)” is a perfect representation of Carey at her best in terms of songwriting—reminiscent of the detailed storytelling of 1997’s “The Roof.” Carey depicts finding her boyfriend cheating on her, bolting out of the door and driving while her mascara runs down her cheeks—hiding her eyes behind her black Cavalli shades in true diva fashion.

“Obsessed” drifts away from the resentful vibe of the first track—transitioning into one of the greatest diss tracks of pop music history. Carey kicks off the song with a reference to “Mean Girls”—one of her favorite films. It has been speculated the song is targeted toward Eminem and all of his digs aimed at her over the years, and this was further implied through the music video—showing Carey as an obsessed stalker who somewhat resembles the rapper. “Obsessed” also includes some of Carey’s funniest lyrics to date, including “Got you all fired up with your inferior complex/Seeing right through you like you’re bathing in Windex.”

Just a decade later, “Obsessed” has experienced a resurgence due to a viral TikTok meme of a young girl dancing to the song while sobbing. Carey, being one of the most social media savvy legends, joined in the fun and even made her own “Obsessed” dance challenge video.

The album switches back to a somber tone with “H.A.T.E.U,” which is an acronym for “Having A Typical Emotional Upset.” The R&B ballad tackles the emotion of wishing you hated someone because the pain of still loving them after heartbreak is too much to bear. Carey implements her classic whistle register in the song’s hook— inspired by one of her vocal idols, Minnie Riperton.

The flow of songs “Candy Bling” and “Ribbon” give the section a sense of simplicity, which is depicted by their lyrical content—focusing on the sweetness of young love and pretty melodies dealing with the constant thought of a significant other. “Inseparable” falls into this category as well—especially with the cute nod to Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” as she sings, “Boy, I’m lost, can’t you look?/Won’t you please find me?”

Even though Carey is most well-known for her incredible vocals, her knowledge of music history is just as notable. Carey has sampled many greats from the Tom Tom Club’s “Genius of Love” to The Emotions’ “Blind Alley.” “It’s A Wrap” isn’t any different as it samples Love Unlimited’s “I Belong to You” and incorporates the piano of Aretha Franklin’s “Ain’t No Way.” 

“Up Out Of My Face” is one of the most confident, uptempo anthems on the album—involving the theme of rejecting a person who just doesn’t get out of your way. It is hard to find someone else who would write, “If we were two Lego blocks/Even the Harvard University graduating class of 2010/Couldn’t put us back together again.” 

Ending with a cover of Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is,” Carey gave fans an inspiring ending. Although this cover doesn’t quite pack the unreal vocal punch of her previous covers of Journey’s “Open Arms” and Badfinger’s “Without You” as it is subtle in its delivery, for the most part, the usage of a gospel choir was a great addition.

“Memoirs” turned out to be a great effort by Carey; the album attentively highlights her love for new and old school R&B along with clever songwriting. With Carey, it is important to look at the bigger picture of her artistry and all it encompasses—not just the number one singles— because there may be a multitude of other underrated gems made just for you.




Wasteland, Baby! Tour: A Night With Hozier

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Irish singer-songwriter Andrew John Hozier-Byrne, known as “Hozier,” brought his audience to church with his enchanting vocals and words on his Wasteland, Baby! Tour on October 21, 2019, in Sacramento, California. Hozier, alongside his just-as-bewitching band, rocked the Memorial Auditorium with 20 songs, including a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Living for the City” and a new original song, “Jack Boot Jump.” 

   Hozier began the night with “As It Was,” a song off his newest album, Wasteland, Baby! released earlier this year in March. 

“The eyes at the heights of my baby. Let’s hope at the fight of my baby. The lights were as bright as my baby, but your love was unmoved,” sang the long-haired singer, gently tapping his acoustic guitar as his audience joined in singing. 

Greatly influenced by his religious upbringing and Ireland, Hozier includes pastoral and religious themes in his music, making his songwriting unique. In Sacramento, Hozier brought a fresh, new take to his song, “From Eden,” off his first studio album, Hozier (2014). The studio version of “From Eden,” which is a Garden of Eden allusion, has a merry, high-spirited way about it; however, the live rendition is stripped and vulnerable, giving it an even more romantic and dramatic edge.

“Babe, there’s something lonesome about you. Something so wholesome about you. Get closer to me,” Hozier sang with weary vocals, accompanied by his acoustic guitar and backup vocalists. 

“Dinner and Diatribes,” which followed “As It Was,” showed Hozier’s quick versatility from tenderhearted to alluring. Almost every song was followed by a “thank you” from Hozier to his audience and his band, making his kindness and gratitude, aside from his versatility, one of the best parts of seeing him live. 

Hozier also featured fan favorites: “Nina Cried Power,” “Movement” and “Cherry Wine,” each delivering different messages and emotions from the singer and his audience; however, his live rendition of “Take Me to Church,” which dominated the charts and radio in 2014 and placed Hozier on the radar, was the night’s greatest highlight. 

“If the Heavens ever did speak. She is the last true mouthpiece. Every Sunday’s getting more bleak. A fresh poison each week,” the audience sang to Hozier as he lent them his microphone, giving everyone in the venue chills. The single’s “Amens” were shared, too, making the live rendition more captivating in person. 

If you haven’t had a chance to attend a Hozier concert yet, check out for more information on his upcoming American shows. Want some cool insider scoop? At the Sacramento show, Hozier announced that he’s been working on a new album, which is set to be released before Christmas. Can’t wait until then? Stream Hozier and Wasteland, Baby! on Spotify and Apple Music today!

A photo of 3 people lying on the beach.

Rosarito: Spring Break on a Budget

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Since last spring, we’ve seen an increase in trips to Mexico as the new trip to Rosarito becomes increasingly affordable for college students seeking an experience they’ll never forget. We all know the struggle of finding something fun to do while trying to have the funds to sustain ourselves enough to enjoy the trip.

This was made possible by the Summer Winter Action Tours Company (SWAT),  who has been promoting a trip to Rosarito, and promising amazing features at a cheap rate that most can’t say no to. But why is this trip so much more popular than all the other options out there? Well, it’s actually pretty simple.

Lexie Johnson, a college student who has been on this trip said, “the SWAT company partnered up with another company named Just College, so there’s going to be twice as many people.”

The Rosarito trip is more affordable and has all the same things as a Cabo resort. College student are on budgets and this cheaper trip is enticing college students to take this vacation. Spring break might as well be affordable.

This trip is usually around $500 all inclusive. If you choose to be a promoter yourself, you get a discount if you can get a certain number of people to sign up for the trip in your group under your name. This could be enticing for anyone who wants to save money on their own spring break. The more popular this trip gets, the more features will be added to lure in the audience, and the more performers will want to make an appearance. The amount of deals and followers that this company has obtained is growing immensely, and just like a tweet on Twitter, this trip has gone viral. A cheap trip to Mexico with all your friends in one place sounds pretty good to most people in college.

This trip isn’t just popular at UNR, it’s spreading nationwide, and attracting more and more college students to come out and enjoy their time while not spending much money. This is leading to an outcome that SWAT can be proud of. This year’s features included a number of drinking tournaments, such as Tequila races as well as performers like Troi Boi. The entertainment has an influence on the masses coming on this trip, but not as much influence as people spreading the word about the time they had in Rosarito begging everyone to come with them next year. Peer pressure at its finest.

People go on this trip for the partying and carefree behavior. Just like any other spring break, this is a main factor in whether or not a student will want to place their money in that vacationing direction.

“It’s on the cheaper side and you get everything out of it, and I like it because you meet people from all different schools,” Johnson said.

When college students are on spring break they don’t want to think about the rules, or how much they party. With this Rosarito trip, they don’t have to. Last year’s trip was a test to see if the SWAT company could draw more people to their spring break trip, and it was successful. People came back from that trip telling everyone how much fun they had, and that they will definitely be going next year. Like a domino effect, the word spread that this was the spring break vacation to go on that was worth every penny. SWAT and the college student who attend this trip have convinced them that they will have the greatest time of their lives and that their spring break won’t be wasted.


Meg Wolitzer's book cover

Nic’s Picks: Winter Reading List

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There’s a chill in the air now, and while finals are a few weeks away, curl up with one of these books instead of prestressing about that project or test you’ll probably ace.

The Female Persuasion
Novel by Meg Wolitzer

After shy college freshman, Greer Kadetsky, is assaulted at a frat party, a friend introduces her to feminist icon, Faith Frank. Faith influences Greer to be less passive, more aggressive and to find her voice. After the two meet, they stay in close contact and Greer is offered a job at Faith’s newly formed feminist, girl-power driven publication. However, the company was formed with some shady funding and a mess of a PR team. Greer does what is right, and we follow not only her story, but Faith’s rise to fame. The perspective of Greer’s boyfriend Cory is also included, and how he drops his plans for a startup due to a family crisis shows that men can also have positive roles in feminism.

The Woman in the Window
Novel by AJ Finn

Anna Fox is a psychologist dealing with her own problems: her husband has left her and taken their daughter, and because of a traumatic incident, she is now a recluse and an alcoholic. Her only pleasures in life now include watching old films, counseling fellow agoraphobes online, and spying on her neighbors through her window. When a new, mysterious family moves in, Anna is intrigued by the fact that the son is incredibly sensitive, the husband is controlling, and the wife seems to be a figment of Anna’s imagination.
The novel, which is Finn’s debut, has at least three unexpected but still impressive twists. A movie based on this book is expected to be released next October.

Novel by Daniel Torday


This novel encompasses the millennial frustrations that are so common: lack of job prospects, housing, high cost of rent and the misconceptions that the baby boomers have about us. Former journalist, Mark, is upset with a lack of teaching positions due to baby boomers not retiring, so he heads from New York to his mother’s basement and begins a revolution online under an alias. He calls on his fellow millennials to create anarchy against the older generation, and chaos ensues. The novel shifts between Mark’s perspective, his ex-girlfriend Cassie, and his baby boomer mother as a way to show a counterpoint: Not all millennials like Cassie are struggling, and not all baby boomers are bad. The novel is exciting, well paced and amazingly written. Today really takes the idea of “showing, not telling” in writing to the extreme, which works great for the plot line.

UNR Student Nutrition Association's Fashion show models

Fashion for Food

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The UNR Student Nutrition Association recently hosted an annual fashion show fundraiser on November 10th in partnership with On Common Ground, a local organization that aims to connect the community with educational tools to help adults and children meet their potential with nutritious food. This show featured Reno’s twelve best local designers along with models of all races, ages, genders, and sizes. The show was hosted in the Joe Crowley Student Union on the UNR campus.

The show began with a pre-act of four local artists performing songs. With hit songs by Whitney Houston and other amazing covers, this section was a hit with the diverse crowd who enjoyed the variety of music being sung.

After the performances ended, OCG (On Common Ground) gave a presentation on their mission. The fashion show was created in order to raise funds for mobile markets to serve areas with limited access to food and a food processing plant to convert food into a shelf-stable products.

Audience members could buy faux cocktails and participate in a silent auction that included art and fashion pieces offered by the designers in the show.

The show then started with a brand called Northern NV Thai Fashion. They showcased designs that represented Thai culture, featuring Thai music and dance. Their garments were vibrant colors with intricate headpieces that represented different parts of their culture.

The show also included Onomé Wowo Ladies Fashion, Drag on A Budget by DemenCha, Taylor Uchytil Designs, Playa Wear a la Haute Trash by Paula Povilitis, Zozobee Bikini & Flexwear, Polyesther’s Costume Boutique, Banana Republic GAP Stores, Lily’s Décor la Barata and Upcycled Youth Trends by Kids-Repurposed apparel.

The show’s closing designer was fashion designer Edward Coleman, who’s brand is Edward S. Coleman Designs. It ended on a dramatic and melancholy note, with dark dresses of black and burgundy, and details with lace and leather. The models walked slowly down the runway with a serious expression. The closing act blew the audience away, however there were some standout designers that I personally loved.

Taylor Uchytil featured outfits that defined the model’s personality. The personable items made this segment fun to watch. Some models walked down in leather with red accents rocking a ‘motorcyclist’ look while some walked down in flowery head garments and long skirts showcasing an ethereal look.

I also enjoyed Lily’s Décor which revealed puffy, sparkly, and sleek dresses that any little girl wishing to be a princess or any teen girl waiting for prom would love to have. Their models ranged in all ages, as well as the designs being made for people of all shapes and sizes.

All of the designers came together to truly make the audience appreciate fashion and all of the hard work the designers and artists involved are put through in the process of showcasing their unique designs.