Single Roundup: Week of Oct. 29
With new music emerging every week, the CommRadio Arts department will be taking a look at a handful of singles released each week. Here are our thoughts on five of the biggest tracks from the week of Oct. 29.
N.E.R.D. – “Lemon” feat. Rhianna
N.E.R.D has officially hit the mainstream music scene and are accompanied by Rihanna herself on their newly released funky single “Lemon.” The hip hop rock band brings their own funky style to the playing field, which makes them nothing but out of the ordinary. N.E.R.D. is composed of Pharrell Williams, Shay Haley and Chad Hugo. With Pharrell’s history, nothing but uniqueness is expected and this unorthodox, yet catchy song has caught the ears of many. Accompanied by the beat, the catchy lyrics will no doubt have a crowd bouncing. Rihanna as usual brought her sassy fire into the equation and they collaboratively created a fire track that has gotten N.E.R.D. noticed by many. - Jacinda Soto
Metro Boomin and Big Sean – “Pull Up N Wreck” feat. 21 Savage
Big Sean teams up with Metro Boomin and 21 savage for “Pull Up N Wreck,” a track that has plenty of clever lyrics and style, but is held back by the instrumental. Both Big Sean and 21 Savage have quality bars throughout the duration of the track, spouting off several witty one liners that hit hard, but stay upbeat. Big Sean has two verses, with both essentially hitting the same points. This track is a way for Big Sean to flex on both his listeners and other artists in the same metaphorical lane as him. By twisting his vocabulary and breaking apart words syllable by syllable, Big Sean keeps things feeling fresh from start to finish, despite the tone of the track feeling very one-note. The lyrical offerings of Big Sean and 21 Savage seem to be the best quality of “Pull Up N Wreck,” however the same cannot be said for the Metro Boomin feature. Metro handles the beat on this track and has crafted a very underwhelming instrumental. There are four moving parts to this beat: drums, bass, piano and chorus. All of these instruments are put together from the beginning and loop over and over until the song ends, making the track as a whole feel repetitive. The lyrical content on “Pull Up N Wreck” is great, but the lackluster instrumental keeps it from being something special. – Zach Hall
U2 – “Get Out of Your Own Way” feat. Kendrick Lamar
The legendary band U2 returns with a brand new single entitled “Get Out of Your Own Way.” The rock band’s new single has a surprising feature from Kendrick Lamar, who is unfortunately underused in the composition. The song in general is a loud, anthem-like piece, with lyrics that are both sad and empowering and sounds, with the guitar and vocals, to make it an impactful, memorable tune. It is akin to previous U2 songs and Lamar’s appearance reciting quotes from the Bible is what ties it all together. Overall, an impactful, fun ride, with a nice surprise from Kendrick to boot. – Jack Grossman
The Mountain Goats – “From the Lake Trials”
Few artists are having a better year than the Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle. In February he released the New York Times Bestseller Universal Harvester, released his 16th studio album Goths in May to critical acclaim and most recently became the subject of a new podcast from the award winning podcasters behind Welcome to Night Vale titled I Only Listen to the Mountain Goats. But despite this lengthy list, Darnielle can add on another achievement; the beautiful and style-pushing single “From the Lake Trials.”
The Mountain Goats have slowly evolved their sound over their expansive 26-year-long career, but not quite in the fashion found on “From the Lake Trials.” Darnielle combines three elements he’s played with throughout his discography that have never been brought together in the same song: piano, drum machine and saxophone. While that may seem to be a strange mix given the singer/songwriter’s usually traditional sound, Darnielle incorporates each with precision. The drum machine’s simple but effective beat adds a lo-fi and amateur recording flair that has been sorely missed since the Mountain Goats’ early albums, while utilizing the sax and piano to create a perfect atmosphere that juxtaposes Darnielle’s macabre and morbid lyrics. While listeners are far from the day where Darnielle drops a lo-fi R&B mixtape, he nevertheless proves once again to be one of the most dynamic songwriters in modern music. – Chandler Copenheaver
Ought – “These 3 Things”
Montreal rockers Ought have been a bastion for art punk in 2010s unlike few other artists in their respective genres. Both 2014’s More Than Any Other Day and 2015’s Sun Coming Down burst with charisma, talent, sonic exploration and impeccable songwriting. Luckily this has not gone unnoticed in the wider independent music scene, being signed to Merge Records in early October. With a new album out in February titled Room Inside the World, Ought have released a stylistic left turn with the album’s first single “These 3 Things.”
Gone are the walls of sound from distorted guitars and in its place a heavily new-wave and dance-punk influenced take on post-punk. The bass is much more pronounced, almost fighting for center stage with lead singer Tim Darcy’s longing vocals. For Ought’s diehard fans, Darcy’s changed vocal delivery will be a shock at first, sounding less like an intelligent neurotic and more like a helpless neurotic. While guitars and synths still play an important part in Ought’s sonic palette, they act more as accompaniment than the center stage role they have on previous records. But not gone is Ought’s strong manic and quirky tone that gives their music its anxious sound, which ultimately gives the song a compelling and hypnotic quality no other artists can replicate. While “These 3 Things” may not be the direction Ought’s fans wanted them to go in, they nevertheless have succeeded in translating what made the band unique into a new genre. – Chandler Copenheaver
Jacinda Soto is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism and Spanish. To contact her, email jacindaSoto15@gmail.com.
Zach Hall is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
Jack Grossman is a sophomore majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chandler Copenheaver is a senior majoring in public relations. To contact him, email email@example.com.