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Melanie Fiona’s The MF Life- Album Retrospective

Andrew Martone | March 20, 2022

Melanie Fiona had me from the first note. It takes a lot to hook me that early on, but for me, she has “it.” “It,” referring to the combination of the voice and the application of said voice. There’s soul, there’s style, there’s technique. There’s talent. I still remember that […]

night call

Review: ‘Night Call’ by Years & Years

Andrew Martone | February 1, 2022

Have you ever listened to a record and truly felt seen? Like the lyrics are telling stories you’ve lived, experiences akin to your own, and fully and completely could represent you? For gay men, there’s historically been a lack of that in popular music. To supplement, we gravitate towards grandiose […]


Review: Magic by Nas

Andrew Martone | January 11, 2022

Since 2020, Nas has forged a winning partnership with producer Hit-Boy, and unleashed two stellar albums, Kings Disease (which earned Nas his first-ever Grammy Award) and Kings Disease II. “KDIII on the way, this just to feed the buzz,” Nas reassuringly declares in the middle of “Ugly,” track 3 of […]


Playlist: 97 Minutes of Christmas, Vol. 5

Andrew Martone | December 16, 2021

This Christmas season, the staff of THE 97 will be sharing their favorite holiday songs via our new 97 Minutes of Christmas Playlist series. Each playlist contains 1 hour and 37~ minutes of Christmas jams personally curated by the staff writer. VOLUME 5, CURATED BY ANDREW How do you boil Christmas […]