Friday, January 24, 2020

Top Songs of 2019

Image result for history repeats Brittany Howard

18 comments:

  1. Word Count: 169
    The soft and homely sensation given off by Taylor Swift’s title track, “Lover”, from her new album just reinforces the notion that Swift’s writing and singing ability are bound by no genre. In comparison to her previous album, Reputation, in which she wrote about weaving through relationships and the public eye quite bluntly, Lover’s songs do almost a full “360” filled with mellow and even stripped tunes that delve into the deep and grimy aspects of life and love. From the song “Lover’s” simple yet entrancing backing track listeners are swept away into the reality of life with one’s significant other, whether it be the good times or the bad. From daunting insecurities to heartfelt memories, this song touches on the highs and lows of any relationship, but ultimately coming to the looming question, “Can we always be this close?” Not only does this song showcase, once again, Swift’s undeniable talent and musicality, but it’s simply a song about romance that hits the bullseye on love as a whole.

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  2. Word count: 168
    Lana Del Rey’s soothing yet powerful voice allows her to express her heartbreak over the loss of her lover. Memories flash in our heads like flickering lights as we travel to the past reminiscing in the good old times while we imagine the only person we love. Slow strokes of an electric guitar paired with patterned beats of drums creates a rock and roll rhythm generating the tempered swaying of our heads. Familiar guitar chords accompanied by the light fade in of the orchestra makes “ The Greatest” recognizable to a song used in a Rom-Com. The title distracts us from the real meaning within the song since we usually associate “greatest” with something positive. However, once you’re listening to the words you learn that Del Rey is actually facing the “greatest loss of all”. Teenage girls are lining up continuously putting this song on repeat, as their tears and broken hearts are used as stairs for “ The Greatest” to climb it’s way to the top of the carts.

    Link to song: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ndo8r_Hg_lg

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  4. Word count: 165

    Taking on a mellow, dreamlike sound, Caroline Polachek’s “So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings” spills heartbreak, longing and words left unsaid to a funky techno-pop beat. Capturing the pain and loneliness of a relationship cut short, Polachek pines after a lost love that clearly feels little in return. “I'm out at a party, they're playin' our song / I cry on the dance floor, it's so embarrassing,” she quavers, detailing lonely nights on the town before breaking into the hyperbolic hook: “'Cause you're so hot, it's hurtin' my feelings.” Despite the sorrowful tinge of the lyrics, the song’s drums, instrumentals and synth are upbeat, which when paired with Polachek’s airy vocals result in a very easy listen--much different from the belting, brash break-up anthems cluttering pop airwaves. “So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings” is an open love letter all those who’ve left seemingly without reason, expressing the painful feelings of the days and months after a harsh break-up while simultaneously providing a song to dance to.

    Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sn3cHUtNZKo

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  5. Word count: 163

    The song “people” by The 1975 is a cry out for the sake of global heath. The band is known for not being afraid to discuss taboo subjects, singing about global health, and political issues in their music, at one point the band even sang about a members drug addiction. The song starts off with a classic rhythmic drum, shortly followed by frantic vocals telling people to “wake up”. The instrumental of this song consist of a blaring lead guitar, percussion, and bass. However its the off setting vocals and lyrics that catch the attention of listeners. The lyrics themselves talk about how people don’t take climate change seriously, and how its the younger generation who are aspiring to make change. The purpose of this song to make people “wake up” and “Stop f***ing with the kids”. In kinder words, singer songwriter and guitarist Matthew Healy conveys the message of, how kids are going to inherit a world tarnished by previous generations

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=share&v=oqLLirsGiJY

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  6. Word count: 158
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVczk4uIPPg

    Clairo’s song “Bags” highlights an important relationship that marks a milestone in her life. A first time, a new experience, a new chapter in her life. Through her words and tone Clairo shows the hurt and longing for the person she wants to be with. Frustrated with herself, she’s not sure if she should express her true feelings or keep it within. Her longing, frustration, and nervous energies are portrayed through the beat of the song and pauses in the verses. Afraid of being made fun of by her friend, she realizes the situation “could be worse, walking out the door with your bags.” Remaining friends allows Clairo to hold on to what’s important. Her devotion to maintaining her relationship comes off strong through the chorus as she continually says “walking out the door with your bags.” Keeping emotions in is important to prevent losing a relationship, and although it may be hard it is for the best.

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  7. Word count: 167
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6pZAXt-lxXQ

    The song “NASA” by Ariana Grande is a perfect addition to her album, Thank U, Next. This album incorporated the concept of love, but focused more on the idea of independence. The songs on this album all relate back to these concepts in one way or another. “NASA” captures the idea of needing space both literally and figuratively, from a significant other. Grande explains that distance isn’t a bad thing, and can actually help a relationship. Giving each other more independence can strengthen a couple’s love for one another. By using the relationship between NASA and space as an analogy for relationships, she is able to further the listener’s understanding. In the pre-chorus, lyrics such as, “I can’t really miss you if I’m with you” and “Baby, you know time apart is beneficial” explain to the listener how she feels about the need for space in a relationship. The song’s catchy melody and well sung vocals make it even more powerful and creates a stronger impact.

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  8. Word count: 176

    “Room Temperature” by Faye Webster is a song that addresses a more serious topic that many other songs do not: depression. Faye Webster is known as a folk singer, and while she might not be as popular as other singers, her unique voice distinguishes her from other artists. There aren’t as many lyrics as other songs, and many of the lines are the repetition. The song begins by mentioning self-pity, the singer wondering if anybody cries for them while they have been crying over the same thing for a while. There is a repetition of “I should get out more”, which means that the person is trying to get out of the hole that they are in, and in a way, it inspires listeners who feel depressed to do the same. The song is meaningful, expressing emotions that are not normally heard in songs on the radio. It is slow, and the guitar and background beat soothe listeners, as well as demonstrates Webster’s talent as well as her ability to sing different genres of music.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nMybE4Ge6hM

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  9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTJ-oqwxdZY

    “If I Can’t Have You” by Shawn Mendes is another addition to his pop songs of romance. In this tune, Shawn uses the uplifting beat, serenading guitar, and the bouncing drums set the energetic and lovesick mood. He repeatedly discusses that he cannot live without this woman: “Everything means nothing if I can’t have you.” Although some critics decipher this message as a more dark and stalker-like tone, I believe that the lyrics pair well with the uplifting beat and create a tune more about adoration than obsession. Shawn’s audience consists of female adolescents or “fan girls” that often feel this way about the singer himself. Maybe rather than a specific girl, he is reflecting on the obsessive love and support that his fans give to him. In the music video, it is kept simple and plain up until the end where the shaking video frames rapidly change locations, which can indicate this “chaotic love” that Shawn is experiencing.

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  10. Denzel Curry’s “RICKY” is his track to pay tribute to his dad, Ricky. every verse talks about advice his family gave him. He grew up in a tight-knit home with brothers and his mother is a Jehovah Witness. With lyrics telling you to trust no one outside your family, don’t drop your day-ones, and treat women with the same respect as your mother, “RICKY”’s beat sounds like every other rap song, but with great advice for his followers to listen to. The beat is a slowed down version of Lukid’s “Twisted Blood,” and gives a bouncy, bass-boosted vibe to the beat. The beat is a glowing and pulsing and is so easy to bump to. It’s the type of beat to jock your seat to and go crazy in the car.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4g01uS5wxY

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  11. Billie Eillish’s new song “bad guy” achieves a unique musical experience by taking risks in instrumentation and vocals. Her voice quietly croaks in an eerily, monotonous way within strict downbeats, generating momentum for the bass line that primarily plays on upbeats. The songs starts strengthening in intensity with more harmonization in the vocals and a faster subdivision of the bass part, building up to the pre-chorus. The pre-chorus follows the same beat until reaching a distorted, drawn-out “bad guy.” Instead of reaching a peak intensity, the volume plummets, and a simple synth melody replaces the vocals along with a simplistic high-hat beat. Even though Eillish’s song has dark tones, Eillish mentions the real intention of her song in an interview by the Rolling Stone: “the song was never meant to be taken seriously…I’m asking ‘what if I’m the bad guy?” “Bad Guy’s” success was never to be bigger than what it is for Eillish and her cowriter Finneas: a creative outlet for their exciting ideas. For the people listening, they’re excited to hear what’s new, unique ideas that haven’t heard before.

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  12. Hope Is A Dangerous Thing For A Woman Like Me To Have - But I Have It, by Lana Del Rey invokes mixed emotions in its listener. The song is fairly simple, a baseline piano tune accompanied by Del Ray. The melancholy vibe creates an unsettling feeling that leaves you wanting more. Although Del Ray never explains why “hope is a dangerous thing for woman like me to have,” her lyrics do invoke a powerful message. She explains to the listener that she’s not happy, but she’s not sad, which leaves a feeling just as unsettling as the tune can be. It’s obvious that this is not a very upbeat song and the lyrics make that clear. For almost the entirety the song, Del Ray discusses heavy issues like death and metal health. These topics make the song seem nothing more than depressing, but at the end of the song Del Ray finally admits that she still has hope for her future even though it is dangerous.

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  13. Ariana Grande’s NASA is a hit song played by various radio stations. NASA explains Grande’s movement towards self love rather than attempting to find herself someone to love. The lyrics “it’s like I’m the universe and you’ll be NASA” and “think im better off here all alone” represent her female empowerment very well. She’s not trying to find love. The lyrics show the audience that she’s waiting for the right person to show up, and in this case, she is the universe and her potential lovers are NASA. Other than the lyrics speaking to the audience about her self worth, she also uses repetition in words such as “tonight” and “space” to make the song more catchy because those are the kinds of words that people would sing along to. The word “space” also plays a dual role in this song. Space means the place beyond our planet, among the stars which relate to NASA as well as a position of distance from one thing to another, which refers to Grande’s need for space between her and the idea of loving someone else. The lyrics spoke to me in NASA but other than the lyrics, the melody is very subtle and delicate, which fits Grande’s voice very well. The beat of the song, especially the part leading to chorus is very light and energetic, which transitions smoothly into the chorus.

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  14. Josh (NCAA - 2 Chainz)
    https://youtu.be/p2JnffwDW7o

    In 2 Chainz most recent album Rap or Go to the League he takes a new look at the upbringing people had in the hood. He raps over some hard-hitting beats explaining the two paths that can lead to escaping poverty, rapping or joining the league. Specifically in “NCAA”, where his almost auto-biographical lyrics expose the unfairness of the NCAA to college athletes, specifically the ones from the hood. As he says, “N-C-double A/We the young and dangerous/We be ballin’ hard/I just want some paper” it is clear that their dreams are of the money that comes with sports, but throughout all of college they won’t make any money from sports. It is the mix between drugs and sex in street-life, reaching the big leagues for ballin, or escaping through their own lyrics and rhymes. His relaxed voice over the hard beats shows he’s serious and believes that they should be paid for “ballin’ hard.” Whether he forgives them or not does not matter as long as college players can’t pay for anything, since a scholarship isn’t enough.

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  15. Jonah

    21 Savage and J. Cole’s smash hit, “a lot” is one of the leading songs on Savage’s 2018 album “i am > I was”. The song speaks of his own hardships despite making to the top of the rap game with bars like, “how many problems you got? (a lot) how many people done doubted you? (a lot) left you out to rot? (a lot). The song also shows glimpses of the struggle of the black community in the music video. In the video 21 Savage seems to be having a family gathering in a great mansion and they are all dressed nicely. Yet the video shows glimpses into the individual struggles each member faces such as, gang violence, drugs, sexual assault, and addiction. A week later 21 is arrested by ICE for an expired visa showing us his life isn’t all glamour. Savage’s repetition of, a lot, makes us listen to the lyrics that come before it even closer making the lyrics that more effective.

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  16. Kyra


    Every so often, a new pop artist / superstar is born and starts their climb to the top of the charts. Normani is the new sensation this year after her separation with Fifth Harmony. Normani was eager to showcase her talent and capabilities to prove to people she could still be successful as a solo singer and songwriter. During an interview, Normani reveals that the single ‘Motivation’ was offered to her by Ariana Grande who co-wrote the song. This song’s upbeat vibe was everything Normani was yearning for as she now had the opportunity for success. ‘Motivation’ is a song that captures both recent music history, along with Normani’s own story. Lyrically, the song has a simple message. She wants her lover to stay “motivated” and doesn’t want to keep putting in effort while getting nothing in return. The music video, directed by Dave Meyers and Daniel Russell, was also released alongside the song and was an incredible trip back in time. From the fashion to the hip-hop style of dancing, the audience was brought back to the late 1990s and the early 2000s. These were the days Normani was just a little girl with dreams of becoming a music sensation. Recalling her past, she even pays tribute to some of the artists she looked up to and aspired to become. From BeyoncĂ© to Britney Spears to Jennifer Lopez to Kelly Rowland, Normani showcases similar outfits and dances moves they filmed in their own music videos. It is clear that Normani’s dreams of becoming a successful pop star have finally come true.

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  17. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTJ-oqwxdZY

    “If I Can’t Have You” by Shawn Mendes is another fenomenal addition to his pop songs of romance. In this tune, the uplifting beat, serenading guitar, and the bouncing drums create the energetic and lovesick mood. He repeatedly discusses that he absolutely cannot live without this woman: “Everything means nothing if I can’t have you.” Although some critics decipher this message as a more dark and stalker-like tone, I believe that the lyrics pair well with the uplifting beat to a tune more about severe adoration than obsession. Shawn’s audience consists of female adolescents or “fan girls” that often feel this way about the singer himself. Maybe rather than a specific girl, he is reflecting on the ferocious love and support that his fans give to him. In the music video, it is kept simple and plain up until the end where the shaking video frames rapidly change locations to create a portal of flashing lights, which can indicate this “chaotic love” that Shawn experiences.


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