Sights & Sounds with Cam Crawford: Best of 2017
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By Pete Fairbairn, 21.12.17

Since he joined Twitter six years ago, around the same time that he joined his first Super Rugby club in Canberra, former professional player Cam Crawford has mixed a little Rugby chat with a lot of chat about American sports, music, films and arts in general.

Now living back in Sydney and working at Morgan Stanley, Cam has taken us up on the offer to provide greater length and detail to his entertainment reviews.

The Film

Get Out (February, 2017)

★★★★★ / ☆☆☆☆☆

Horror

Director: Jordan Peele

Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Caleb Landry Jones

Honorable Mention: Dunkirk (July, 2017)

In a fairly lackluster year for the big screen, Jordan Peele’s Get Out stands head and shoulders above its counterparts as the best film of 2017.

Starring relative newcomers Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams (who are both fantastic), Peele’s feature film debut takes its audience on an unforgettable journey that bounces between genres (horror, comedy, satire), plays with crazy story-lines and plot twists, all while managing to tackle big cultural issues such as slavery, racial prejudice and class division.

When looking at Get Out, one has to mention the various ways in which Peele is able to explore the dark/light or white/black thematic. The storyline is an obvious example where Chris, a young black man, is thrown in all sorts of uncomfortable scenarios upon meeting his girlfriend’s white, upper-class family during a weekend getaway. But it’s moments such as Rose’s ‘cereal scene’ which really give the film its tongue-in-cheek, memorable edge.

Watching Rose on her bed, dressed in white from head to toe, blasting the Dirty Dancing Soundtrack and picking out her next victim was both hilarious yet utterly haunting.

She drinks her milk and eats her Fruit Loops separately, again clearly creating a division between white and color.  

 You can tell Peele had a lot of fun making this movie. It’s scary yet funny. It’s original yet it also pays homage to so many horror films that have come before it. Get Out is both entertaining and thought provoking and that’s what makes it such a wonderful film.

I can’t wait to see what Peele conjures up next.

The Album          

Lorde – Melodrama (June, 2017)

★★★★★ / ☆☆☆☆☆

Pop

Key Tracks: Green Light, Homemade Dynamite, Sober II (Melodrama), Perfect Places

Honorable Mention: Kendrick Lamar – Damn (April, 2017)

In an age where any song ever created is in the hands of the listener, the art of making a truly great album has become even more prestigious in my opinion. And, with 2017’s Melodrama, Lorde has given us a fine example of a body of work that can be enjoyed and listened to over and over again.

When the New Zealand born singer-songwriter burst onto the scene in 2013 with her debut Pure Heroine, it was clear that Lorde was destined for big things. Fast forward four years later, the hype-dust has settled and Ella has grown into one of the finest pop aficionados on the planet.

Lorde has officially made it and Melodrama is a fantastic time capsule of her journey to stardom.

Gone are the minimal beats and lyrics where she desires to be ‘Royal’. Instead, we hear a flurry of bigger, more adventurous production combined with wordplay centered around wild nights partying, sleeping with strangers and Lorde’s “loveless generation”. The Tennis Court has been replaced by the Louvre and it’s fantastic.

While it’s fun listening to the subject-matter on the album, Lorde’s delivery is just as enjoyable. She mixes longer calls with staccato, razor sharp rhymes and skillfully combines stadium bangers like ‘Green Light’ with downbeat, subtler tunes like ‘Sober II (Melodrama)’ throughout the album.

Melodrama is a brilliant listen from start to finish and I have no hesitation naming it as my favorite album of 2017. Go and give it a spin, it’s dynamite!

Want to reach out to Cam about his Sights & Sounds article? Hit him up on Twitter; @camcrawford1.

You can check out his first set of reviews from August, where he looked at Toro Y Moi, Dunkirk & The Libertines, here.

In October, Cam reviewed Cut Copy's latest album and a classic television series; Mad Men.

21.12.17
Pete Fairbairn
Communications Manager
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