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Some People Need a Spring Break (or longer)
by Marc “Moose” Moder

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After five years of constant touring, recording, and various other promotional activites that made Lady Gaga a massive superstar the likes we've not seen since Madonna, our beloved Mother Monster's body has just given out recently, forcing her to cancel not only her Chicago gigs, but the remainder of her entire tour. Is this a bad thing for fans? Is it bad for LG? In the end, probably not. She's not let up once between The Fame, The Fame Monster and Born This Way and hundreds of worldwide dates. Now she's forced to. Gaga apparently has tons of recordings for a new album in the can, but without ever stopping to reflect and live life, how can one be truly creative? Reflecting on life and living can be the creative spring some artist need, and on that note, let's reflect on a few other artists who could use that spring, or at least a Spring Break.

Rihanna is one of those rare artists that still keeps up with the old model of recording albums at least one per year, never letting up. While her sound has maintained quality and she always has some fantastic hits on every CD, she's yet to make that one really well thought out album she's capable of. Songs like "Diamonds" (written by the amazing Sia) got us all really excited for her new direction, but once you really dug deeper, Unapologetic was no more adventurous than any of her other CDs and was just a step sideways, not up. If she took some time off, maybe she'd take more time to choose material that told a story, and would possibly have enough time to spend with CB to realize what a huge d-bag he actually is.

Coldplay, Mumford & Sons, and The Killers all started out as great, inventive alternatives to what rock radio was putting out. All three got major success and acclaim over one or two CDs. All three got so bloated and lost in their sound that they all now are verging on U2's pomposity. I'm thinking all three need a good near-death experience to bring them back to what made them great. Strip it down, boys, before you bloat beyond Bono.

Nicki Minaj. Do I really need to explain this one? She's gradually gone from edgy rapper to weird singing Barbie Doll. Rihanna as Amanda LePore if you will. And her stint on Idol is making it worse. This might be cause for a spring, summer, fall, and winter break.

And finally, someone who should probably take more than just a break is Alicia Keys. Keys, who recently put out only her fifth album in 12 years, Girl On Fire, has proven she's squandered her "promise." She's sweet, gorgeous, and can sing and play piano with perfection but that woman cannot put together a compelling album. With ever y release, critics laud her with the same above accolades, but consistently say her albums miss the mark. Is it possibletha Alicia is just an okay talent in need of more assistance than she's been allowed? She may need a break, or in this case, just break from her rut ... or her keys to the studio.

In the end, no one can keep running and churning out perfection. We all need time to charge our batteries, or in some cases (like with your cell phone), change plans altogether.

Hear Moose DJ at Downtown Bar, The Sofo Tap and Mary's Attic monthly.

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