Song Review: Hall of Fame

I first heard about “The Script” back in 2009, when I came across their song “Talk You Down” on YouTube. I was ecstatic; the song was unique, melodic, and lyrical. Quickly I became a fan and vowed for eternal loyalty to the Irish rock band. But just like all fans who fall in love with a relatively unknown band, I struggled with a bundle of mixed emotions towards them. On one hand, I wanted the world to know about the remarkably talented trio who sang meaningful lyrics to pulsating music. On the other, I selfishly wished they would not become worldwide famous so they would stay “mine”.
Starting out small in Dublin then signing to Sony Label Group in London, The Script became bigger and bigger. They released their first album “The Script” which became number one in London and Dublin charts. Hit songs like “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” and “Breakeven” air played in many radio stations in USA, UK and Ireland and moved to the rest of the world.
By 2010, The Script were everywhere. Danny O’Donoghue the band’s lead singer appeared as a coach in the popular UK reality show “The Voice”, and their songs featured in several popular TV shows such as Vampire Diaries and The Ghost Whisperer.
I was both alarmed and happy for the band. Their success was not a surprise; they were talented, hardworking, and innovative. That is, until Hall of Fame came out. The song is the first track of their album “#3”, featuring rapper Will.i.am. It came out last September and received immediate attention, becoming the 21st best-selling single of the year in the UK with 529,000 copies sold.
The anthem like song begins with “Yeah, you can be the greatest, you can be the best” and continues to the chorus which chants “And the world’s gonna know your name. And you’ll be on the walls of the hall of fame.” It is optimistic, positive, and inspiring- in short, radio ready.
Hall of Fame was disappointingly predictable. It seemed to be written especially for the purpose of enticing the public, which is different from the bands’ previous songs. The song did not cause people to awe; it was begging for “awwwhs!” Unlike with their previous hit songs when the case was a not so popular band delivering music which the world just can’t ignore, Hall of Fame burst out arrogant and ready to be overexposed. What else explains the unusual and unnecessary pairing with will.i.am who coaches alongside Danny in UK’s The Voice? A move similar to Adam Levine’s pair up with judge Christina Aguilera at US’s The Voice to bring out the overplayed “Moves Like Jagger”.
Was the song a massive hit? Yes. But it left the loyal fans worried about whether the band is tumbling to its regrettable -yet foreseen- fall into the claws of mainstream music. In which case, it’s time to look for yet another new undiscovered favorite alternative rock band.

“A Very Short Story” by Ernest Hemingway: A Review

They loved each other, and were going to get married. Abruptly and without common introduction, Hemingway tells the story of Luz; a nurse who tends to injured soldiers and “he” the wounded soldier she falls in love with. The story does not start off with the usual description of the characters and setting, instead it begins with the couple’s decision to get married. They do not marry, however, because he left to America under the understanding that after he gets a job Luz will rejoin him and they would marry.

He doesn’t have a name, and the ambiguity of his character serves to fit the general description of a passionate courageous young man who falls in love with a nurse who was working in the hospital at the time of his war injuries.

Hemmingway does not introduce us to the characters properly and skips chunks of time between events. The character He leaves to America, suddenly we find Luz making love to an Italian major and she breaks things off with him- the American soldier, but never marries the Italian major in the end.  He never writes back to her, and we are left with knowing that he indulged in an affair.

The setting of the story plays a great role. Their love first begins at the time of war. They are confused, thrilled, and optimistic when thinking ahead. The temperature is consistent with their state of love. Just like in times of war, everything is fleeting and circumstances can change in a heartbeat. At the beginning they were in the hot Padua, they felt as if they were already married but they wanted to “contain” it. Later he travels back to America, far away from her. It cools down their relationship, and as follows the weather is cold and rainy.

In the end we are despaired as we see them slowly abandon their values; Luz, breaking her promise and giving up on a chance of true love and him sinking into a quick cheap affair.  We are left with a despairing feeling of not so happy ever after. Although the story is short and brisk, we can’t help but feel with the characters and wish things would have turned out differently. In “A Very Short Story”, Hemingway shows a gloomy view of relationships in the time of war. Their relationship is just like the war in ways, at its time it seems like it’s inevitable and overpowering but no matter how it ends, it does not end well.