The Roundup: January

Updated: Sep 21, 2020

The first month of the year is OFFICIALLY over. The year kicked off with controversy, music releases (seriously, the real question is who DIDN’T drop new music?) and tons of must-watch content. From the unfortunate loss of basketball legend Kobe Bryant to Justin Bieber's questionable release, there's a lot to talk about so let's dive in.

New to the Screen

If you're into comedies, Like A Boss might be exactly what you need in your life. The Miguel Arteta directed film follows the story of two besties, Mia and Mel, trying to run a beauty business while maintaining their friendship intact. We get a glimpse into the idea that mixing friendship and work isn't exactly all fun and games. We won't spoil any major details for you, but you might see a few familiar faces. Like A Boss brings together the talents of Rose Byrne, Tiffany Haddish, and Salma Hayek, to name a few. All in all, this light-hearted film is the perfect movie for a girl's night!

In case your Twitter feed didn't remind you, January kicked off with a three-hour special of The Bachelor packed with dates, drama, and love. This season, Peter (a.k.a Pilot Pete who stole the nation's heart last season) returns after getting his heartbroken by Hannah Brown. We're only a few weeks in and girls are going home left and right. Who will be his happily-ever-after and secure the final rose? We'll keep you updated.

Last but not least, we have Taylor Swift's Netflix Original documentary, Miss Americana. The film follows Swift's life over the past three years beginning with her journey back into the spotlight after her 2016 post-Kimye feud disappearance, all the way to accepting the Artist of the Decade Award at the 2019 AMAs. From her struggles with an eating disorder, her experience going through a sexual assault trial, and fighting to get loud about her political opinions, we get a candid look into what really happened behind the scenes during this transformational time in the pop star's life. We see America's 'good girl' take accountability for creating this public persona and the struggle to break free from it. All in all, despite all of the scandals, the film concludes that Swift aims to “...continue to have a sharp pen, a thin skin, and an open mind.”

Must-Have Jams

Rare, Selena Gomez

It's no secret that a lot has happened since Selena Gomez's last full-length album release and the world was dying to get the inside scoop. Gomez officially broke her silence with Rare, but don't expect to get too much detail into what went down between her and her past lovers. Sonically, you can expect a cohesive album that caters to her vocal range with the musical touch of Julia Michaels, Jon Bellion, Kid Cudi and FINNEAS, to name a few. Lyrically, the Texas native keeps it pretty surface level, which at times, hinders a track's potential to be great. You might need to give the 13-track-album a few listens to find your favorite tracks, but you'll find them. Overall, Gomez takes listeners along for a journey of losing love and finding self love.

Standout Tracks: "Ring", "Crowded Room", "Lose You to Love Me" and "Cut You Off".

Manic, Halsey

Halsey also kicked off the year with the release of Manic, an album that's all over the place and, well, a little manic. The pop star's third studio album sees her dive into a variety of sounds much different from the moody, dark tracks she's released previously. She dives into country with the twangy, G-Eazy-aimed "You should be sad" and goes on a stream of consciousness on the confessional closing track "929". The album is less about those around her and more about her. She reflects on her inner demons, flaws, fame and ultimately concludes that despite all of the chaos and learned lessons, "...some things don't change, [she's] still learning to love [herself]."

Standout tracks: "Finally//beautiful stranger", "killing boys", "3am" and "929".

"Yummy", Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber is back with new music and it definitely got everyone talking. Like Selena Gomez, Bieber has been fairly absent from the music spotlight. The world waited long to see what Bieber would drop and, well, "Yummy", the first single from his upcoming album, was met with mixed reviews. The song caused more conversation due to Bieber's very intense promotional efforts, which included Instagram posts and live streams urging fans to stream and buy the song to get it to #1. With that being said, the Canadian pop star also dropped "Get Me" (featuring Kehlani), that has fans more excited for the album.

Do it for the (Culture)

Unfortunately, January took basketball icon, Kobe Bryant, from the world. The Lakers player passed away in a tragic helicopter crash, along with his daughter Gigi, and 7 other passengers. According to several sources, the weather was a key factor in the helicopter crash. We're saddened by the loss of those involved and send our condolences to the friends and families of those involved. 

The Coronavirus also made headlines during the first month of the year and, no, we're not talking beer. Although there have only been a few cases in the U.S, The World Health Organization has officially declared that the outbreak in China as a global health emergency. 

Move over Drake, the royals are moving to Canada. Well, kind of. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle shocked the world with their announcement stating that they would be stepping back as senior members of the royal family. They do so in hopes of "[raising their] son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing [their] family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of [their] new charitable entity." As they become financially independent and settle into their new, peaceful life away from the spotlight, we wish the young couple the best.

What a month! There were tons of events (WW3 and the Australia fires) and music (Mac Miller's Circles and Chelsea Cutler's How to Be Human) we didn't get to touch on but don't worry, we'll be back next month with another update on all the latest news. Until then, keep up with us on Instagram (@thisisuproar).

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