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Zayn reaches for a new identity

Zayn Mailk, a former member of this generation’s most iconic boy band One Direction, recalls all the typical traits of a former Disney star. Widely recognized and branded, exploited tirelessly by the music industry, handsome and generally inoffensive, Zayn was, for a time, the face of teen pop. Now, in pursuit of a solo career,…

‘This is Acting,’ a Top-40 tour de force for Sia

“I’ll tell you what you want to hear,” Sia promises on “Unstoppable.” The Australian-born songstress (full name: Sia Furler) has written for Beyonce (“Pretty Hurts”), Rihanna (“Diamonds”), and Britney Spears (“Perfume”), to name just a few. She’s a pop queenmaker, and for good reason. Her original rendition of “Let Me Love You” (later popularized by…

The case for listening

We all remember the recorder. There’s a time in all our lives — the early years — when music is considered an indispensable part of learning. We are excited to blow incongruent melodies through a magical stick and we get even more excited when those melodies become congruent. Though we don’t have the words yet,…