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Opinion
By James Pavel

5. Let it Be

In the church of Beatle-mania, this is Hallelujah. The “Our Father” of the Fab Four is a band-defining track, partly because people pined for a reunion and refused to acknowledge that the group would be no more. It probably wasn’t easy to watch Lennon venture on his own and work alongside the controversial Yoko Ono. It probably wasn’t easy watching George Harrison appear to have a blast jamming in The Traveling Wilburys, without a Beatle in sight. And Lord knows it’s been painful recognizing that John and George are with us no more. What’s done is done. So let us allow that brief period of musical bliss to be worshiped until eternity. Alas, let it be.

4. Nowhere Man

This one is for the outcasts and vagabonds. It’s for the hermits and the wanderers. It’s for those who never sold their soul for what is now known as the modern-day American dream. It’s for those who’d rather sleep in the back of a van than commit to the nine-to-five work grind. These nowhere men and women are often short of reason and rarely inclined to heed to one’s advice, despite even Paul and John’s strongest efforts. The Beatles go further into the shallows of this nowhere man’s personality, by pointing out his ignorance when it comes to failing to see the significance in virtually anything. The theme of the track is that we all march to the beat of our own drum and if one fails to ever take their own lead, you will be stuck following the tormented paths of anonymous drifters.

3. Yesterday

As a species, we’ve written elaborate books, created thoughtful films and fantasized for days about the possibility of going back in time. It’s a torturous affair, longing for a rewind button only to know as well as even the wisest scientist, that the only unit of time available for tampering is the incoming future. Those who choose to dwell on the past will often perish into the quicksand of bitterness or become overwhelmed with regret. It is enlightened seeds of wisdom like “Yesterday” that remind us why there is no such existence of an insignificant decision.

2. In My Life

The opening few seconds ignites a carousel of goose bumps for anyone with even the slightest connection with this masterpiece. It’s a life’s photo album, one that flickers through each stage of development, quickly stopping at precious moments and reflecting for a brief word. It halts for a lengthier pause at the women that made the hearts of even the mighty Beatles’ melt as these prized dames have been rewarded with voluminous chapters throughout the Brits’ musical catalogue.

1. Here Comes the Sun

You can almost literally see the sun rising over the mountains when the opening riff blossoms. It’s a warm bath of comfort, a song that removes the chills of winter with one swift George Harrison guitar lick. “Here Comes the Sun” is 1960’s audio ecstasy, a song that doesn’t just sound of happiness, but is the theme of where this flawless emotion is manufactured deep inside the soul.

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Opinion
By James Pavel

5. Started from the Bottom

Started from middle class would be a more appropriate title but common sense screams foul play. Drake didn’t grow up a gangster or as even a low-end drug dealer. Canadians watched Drizzy as a youth playing a character on the popular television show, Degrassi High, which is often used as a source of criticism, but in reality, it demonstrates his absurd tenacity. In order to overcome such an obviously ridiculous shot at this credibility, Drizzy has had to start not from the bottom of the social status ladder, but most definitely from the bottom of the contentious hip-hop totem pole by proving that despite his sub-zero street cred, he has an immaculate flow on the same level as any of the top doggy dogs in the hip-hop world.

4. 5 am in Toronto

No catchy hook, just Drake spitting pure venom bar after bar at his most aggressive, like an overpowering fighter who keeps pushing even after the competition has submitted. He has separated himself from the pack by focusing less on violence and completely on his wordplay, making commercialized rap look as phony as the Kardashians.

3. UnderGround Kings

Rich off a mix tape. Got rich off a mix tape. Drizzy knew he was sizzling years before anybody dared to say they were down with that kid from Toronto. Drake refused to bend to trends and instead has forced the industry to pick up his bread crumbs while inhaling dust from his Young Money exhaust pipe. Drake makes gangster rap sound archaic and ignorant when juxtaposed with his suave rhyme schemes and RnB hooks. He’s rap’s total package and “UnderGround Kings” is the song that explains how we’re buffoons for not noticing this immediately.

2. Unforgettable

Young Jeezy’s hook is as smooth as fresh mountain powder, elevating a song from amber alert to red hot on the contagion metre. Most of Drake’s work hasn’t exactly been unforgettable, but judging by his sensational skill set, maybe Drake might enter the hip-hop discussion years into the future.

1. Hold On We’re Going Home

Drake isn’t a rapper nor is he an RnB singer, just like how this track isn’t pop or hip-hop. To take it a step further, Drake isn’t completely black nor is he completely white. We live in a generation of blurred lines, where nothing is a 100 per cent anything anymore. Drake is one of the most relatable characters in entertainment because like an enormous group of young listeners, he is a little bit of everything. What is actually important is that “Hold on, We’re Going Home” is one of the most sincere, yet sophisticated pop songs of the past ten years. Drake isn’t just chasing the throne of Kanye West; he’s actively seeking a seamstress for measurements.

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Opinion
By James Pavel

Don’t blame Paulina Gretzky for the squabbling over the recent cover of Golf Digest. No no, the blame for the consistent sexualization of women’s sports lies squarely on the broad shoulders of men.

Sex, sex, sex. That’s right. For at least fifteen hours a day, men have naked women dressed as nurses and French maids marching circles around their membrane while they pretend to be productive. Sure, we make time for a job and plus we’ve evolved slightly over the past 15 years. Improvements in cooking, attire and the elimination of undesirable hair downstairs have become proud badges of the modern man. But don’t give us too much credit.

And definitely don’t blame Paulina Gretzky. It’s not just beating a dead horse. It’s beating an entire horsey cemetery.

The perverted and sexually repulsive brain of a man will make a woman wearing a turtleneck and long johns morph into a Victoria Secret angel.

There is nothing wrong with women’s sport. The 2014 Olympic hockey final between USA and Canada was one of the most dramatic  endings you’ll ever witness. Women’s World Cup soccer is seat-of-your-pants action these days.

Poor Paulina isn’t adding any injury to women’s sport that did not already exist. Men can cheer for the female red team or the ladies in blue. And we will do it sincerely and loudly. But you have to forgive us. At some point, sexual thoughts will infiltrate our brain like a snake’s venom and temporarily leave us determining what Halloween costume would look the best on number seven in blue.

It’s not women’s sport. It’s the psyche of the majority of heterosexual men. Paulina Gretzky is well aware of this. No, she is not a star athlete. But she is getting married to a professional golfer and every man that loves a bag of clubs and hot blondes would love to see them paired together.

That’s what Golf Digest has done. It’s for the money. It’s for the readership. But it’s mainly because men still and always will have primal instincts that cry for the sexualization of anything of age and with curves.

Let’s also not forget that Gretzky Jr. has a rack that possesses the magic of thirty wizards and a stomach flatter than Saskatchewan. She is stunning. And she probably likes golf. So she did what she does best (look pretty) and posed on the front of a magazine that is right now the hottest cover on the shelves.

Women’s sport deserves better. On behalf of men, I want to say sorry, but it’s an empty apology.

When Julia Roberts asked Clive Owen why sex is so important in the film “Closer,” he responds with an animalistic yell, “Because I’m a fucking caveman!”

Although he was speaking in character, he could easily have been answering the question as to why men will always attempt to inject sex into women’s sports.

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Opinion
By James Pavel

5. Saturday Night – Whigfield

It was catchier than H1N1 bird flu and was everything Saturday night dreams are made of. All the kids who grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons in the 90s had this song as inspiration for the day they were old enough to shoot tequila and behave outrageously.  It’s similar to EDM of today except has a melody, chorus and is an actual song that relates to humans and not cyborgs.

4. Saturday Come Slow – Massive Attack

The anticipation for a weekend can be overwhelming, but perhaps a tad painful if the results continue to be the same. Another weekend gone by without the expected fireworks and midnight magic that only a boozy weekend can supply is what Massive Attack appear to be alluding to. They might just be pleasure delayers, but maybe they are sick of counting down the days until Saturday night only to wake up in the same cold and empty bed.

 

3. Saturday Night Fever – The Bee Gees

In some circles, to dislike the BeeGees is akin to defacing The Queen’s face while urinating on a tombstone. The BeeGees are disco angels, particularly Barry Gibb, who has the voice that could make the girl with the dragon tattoo weep like a sissy. There is an unmistakable mood that accompanies a Saturday, as if any sort of debauchery is possible. It’s not a sickness, nor is it madness, just a misery-free fever.

 

2. Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting) – Elton John

Elton John is at his most brash and biligerent, traits that seem to only emerge for many when Saturday night rolls into town. “Saturday Night” is as rough and tough as an alley street fight and its this sheer danger that makes this song as notorious as one of Elton John’s outlandish outfits.

1. S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night – Bay City Rollers

Bay City Rollers merge high school cheerleading with a boozy campfire to form Saturday night’s greatest anthem. It’s that twinkle in the eye of a handsome stranger across the camp fire. It’s a group of pissed up lads howling at the moon like a pack of wolves. It’s the strawberry blonde finally giving it up to the town cowboy. The song encompasses everything a Saturday night could be and ought to be. Bay City Rollers are grinning from ear to ear and it’s not just from another swig of the moonshine. It’s Saturday night, the night when work shoes are replaced by high heels, suits are left on the bedroom floor in favour of leather jackets and pretty girls look just a bit prettier. You haven’t smoked since last Saturday, you haven’t allowed work to escape your brain, but everything changed the minute you realized it was the freakin’ weekend.

Originally posted on James Pavel:

Opinion
By James Pavel 

5. I love the Dough – Notorious B.I.G feat. Jay-Z

Nobody ever was able to quite sweep the carpet under Biggie’s giant weight, but Jigga proved to be Smalls’ equal on this money-saluting swinger. Hova’s bank account was still treated as a celebration at this point in his career, as opposed to the 2013 Hova who sneezes into hundred dollar bills.

 4. One Minute Man (remix)  – Missy Elliot feat. Ludacris & Jay-Z

Missy broke ground with this sexually explicit assault on all males who can’t contain their load for an adequate period of time. It’s likely her peak, probably Ludacris’ too,with yet this was just another ridiculously crazy verse from Hova. “Get yo independent ass out of here, question?” was a brilliant shot at his future wife Beyonce’s main crew, Destiny’s Child. It’s chauvinistic Jigga at his cheekiest, a song that likely doesn’t garner…

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Opinion
By James Pavel

Family quartet Kings of Leon lit Calgary’s ScotiaBank Saddledome and Edmonton’s Rexall Place on fire this past Tuesday and Wednesday while promoting their latest album, Mechanical Bull.

KOL focused heavily on their current recordings, which blended in perfectly with their earlier material much like a fine Tennessee Whiskey. “SuperSoaker,” “Temple,” “Wait for me,” were three of the stand-out new tracks on the block while classics such as “On Call” and “The Bucket” sounded meatier than ever.

Predictably, the loudest pop from the Calgary crowd came via “Use Somebody,” and later “Sex on Fire,” which remain their two most popular singles off their most successful album, “Only by the Night.” Although the boys don’t seem to as passionate about playing the two monster hits as say more obscure material, they still seem to appreciate that the two songs alone have afforded them a lifetime of luxury.

What is special about watching a band as talented as the Kings evolve is how they have laid out a foundation of what appears to be what they consider their strongest material, regardless of whether the songs were ever released as singles. “The Immortals,” “Back Down South,” and arguably their masterpiece and strongest contribution to rock n’ roll, “Cold Desert” have become pillars of the KOL stadium kingdom.

The crowds were on a much smaller scale than what the boys have become accustomed to, but their demeanour on stage has improved significantly since the tour prior to their tumultuous and temporary breakup. The Kings of Leon, and particularly lead singer Caleb Followill are roaring loudly again, and appear thirsty for another run at the throne of rock n’ roll.

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Opinion
By James Pavel

5. Love on Top

She’s tipsy off bubbly in the hot tub of her personal limousine with 80s’ pop blaring through New York City. OK none of that happened, but there is something about “Love on Top” that sounds like a love child between Prince and Tina Turner.

4. Bootylicious

Am I partial to this track because I am a sucker for anything Fleetwood Mac related? Probably. Nonetheless, this remains one of the sexiest songs of all time. The key term being sexy, and not scandalous or borderline pirate-hookerish, like say, “Dirrty” by X-tina, or “Slave 4 U” by Britney. “Bootylicious” was dance floor mania that gave all the women sporting extra jelly the courage to finally shake what not just their mama, but an entire family tree gave them to make rumble like a Japanese earthquake.

3. Irreplaceable

Even when present in a nasty breakup, Knowles still has majestic rhythm. Men are created equal, which means when B shows you the door, there is a lineup of clones awaiting outside her million-dollar fortress. This track is the last of her truly venomous shots of anguish at cheating men as her later material seems to hint at happier times.

2. If I Were a Boy

If she was a boy, fearful and ashamed men would no longer have a problem welcoming a transvestite into their bedroom. B is merely weighing the options and in doing so, breaks down how easy it is for a man, and how difficult life in general is for a woman. The song highlights B’s notable use of the acoustic guitar in her career, an intriguing advancement that none of her peers have really attempted. The song’s concept and the use of the guitar demonstrate her method of again thinking outside hip-hop/RnB’s narrow and shallow square box and converting a predictable shape into a beautiful diamond.

1. XO

B isn’t just a cheerleader of love, but one of its glowing champions. She isn’t done shaking her booty or boasting her independence. No, she remains as strong as a prized ox, but she doesn’t shy away from allowing herself to become completely consumed with pure and unfiltered hugs and kisses. She demands relentless and pertinacious affection, till the lights go out in fact, and anything less will not satisfy the Queen B.

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