Music

MS MR - "Wrong Victory" (Singles Going Steady)

Lizzy Plapinger's voice remains a wonder: nimble, principled, and ragged with the scars of past failures and mistakes.

Pryor Stroud: Lizzy Plapinger's voice remains a wonder: nimble, principled, and ragged with the scars of past failures and mistakes, it seems to quake with each stomach-knotting passion it breathes into being, yet it never loses its balance, remaining upright, anchored, sure that the next passion will come and overshadow its predecessor. In "Wrong Victory", MS MR crafts another miles-spanning chorus that pushes this voice to a new limit point: "When your skin doesn't feel like home, oh / And I don't wanna break down and feel alone", she effuses, the word "skin", in particular, delivered with an admixture of disdain and desire, like the syllable itself has become an act of pushing-away from this flesh that once loved her but now treats her as a stranger. [7/10]

Emmanuel Elone: "Wrong Victory" is a decent pop song. The synthesized strings and booming percussion are a nice touch, and MS MR's vocals are sweet yet powerful. However, while this song seems to have every element necessary in a pop song, it lacks any bit of originality. The vocals could have been sung by any number of current pop stars, and the lyrics are vague and generic. "Wrong Victory" will certainly make it onto the radio, but it won't make it into my music library anytime soon. [5/10]

Chris Ingalls: The singer has a great pop/soul voice, and I like the knotty drum sequence that gives the track some depth, in addition to the buzzy synths that come in at the bridge. It has a classic yet dark pop sheen and a maturity that pushes it beyond the usual pop chart piffle. [7/10]

Chad Miller: Really effective song. The production is really good, and the strings add a wonderful emotional texture to the already loaded material. Plapinger gives a great vocal performance, beautifully delivering emotional lines like "When your skin doesn't feel like home / and I don't want to break down and feel alone / This body only knows / How to hold back more than it shows." [8/10]

SCORE: 6.75

The Cigarette: A Political History (By the Book)

Sarah Milov's The Cigarette restores politics to its rightful place in the tale of tobacco's rise and fall, illustrating America's continuing battles over corporate influence, individual responsibility, collective choice, and the scope of governmental power. Enjoy this excerpt from Chapter 5. "Inventing the Nonsmoker".

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