Single Roundup: Week of Nov. 12
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 four of the biggest tracks from the week of Nov. 12.
Miguel – “Pineapple Skies”
Straight off his much-anticipated album War & Leisure, Miguel graced his fans with a new track entitled “Pineapple Skies.” This soul-funk jam is one of the artist’s best songs yet, which is promising seeing how young his career currently is. Although this track doesn’t immediately call for the listener to deteriorate its lyrical content, providing such a catchy reminiscent 80s style production, its story tells of a dependency on drugs to escape reality. This, in combination with the melody of the piece, perfectly encapsulates an old psychedelic style with today’s prevalent theme of drugs in music. Miguel’s vocal performance is what truly brings this piece to the next level, his ability to mix his tenor/ falsetto range with his lower baritone generates this amazingly soothing harmony that brings an overwhelming atmosphere of relaxation. Artists such as Miguel are leading music back where it needs to be with these types of songs. They allow the listener to feel, something that is lacking in our current pop saturated music culture. – JonMichael Pereira
Björk – “Blissing Me”
Though unfortunately spoiled by a leak of her upcoming album Utopia, “Blissing Me” nevertheless offers fans abstaining until the official release an encouraging preview into what awaits on her follow up to 2015s Vulnicura. Though her music retains its ethereal soundscape, “Blissing Me” is rooted in analog instrumentation with the prominent use of a harp and later piano in the track that gives the listener a stronger sense of location within the song’s structure as compared to the leading single from the album “The Gate.” Though this isn’t a new approach for Björk, it develops into a more unique sonic direction once added vocal effects and ambient synths get layered on top. It’s a folktronica song that subverts the structural conventions of the genre and does so with such precision the listener can appreciate the song without the artistic and technical choices being apparent to the untrained ear.
Lyrically, Björk is at her most tangible as well, singing a rather un-grand and quaint tale about music nerds falling in love by sharing MP3s over the internet. The intimate scenario is far removed from Björk’s recently abstract and avant-garde imagery in her lyrics, allowing for the beauty of the music to empower a simple concept with more potent emotional power. The ending line “Did I just fall in love with love?” perfectly encapsulates the suddenness of falling into true love. If Björk comes through with an album that consistently delivers with the same formula as “Blissing Me,” Utopia might just create the same emotion for its listeners. – Chandler Copenheaver
Steve Aoki – “All Night” feat. Lauren Jauregui
Over the past several months, Steve Aoki has put out a handful of singles that have seen mixed reviews. Some are quality tracks and show that Steve Aoki still has the capacity to produce something refreshing and creative. The others, however, see Steve Aoki dancing with tired ideas and the same stale EDM formula that has plagued the genre for years. Steve Aoki’s newest single “All Night” joins the latter category. “All Night” has moments of promise, with an opening that demonstrates Aoki’s ear for melody and crisp synth production. As soon as the initial build up hits its climax however, the mediocre nature of this new track rears its ugly head. Each breakdown section has the bass drum pounding every beat, driving the song forward, accompanied by a muddied collection of synths that negates the melody that was present in the section leading up to it. This hard switch from catchy melody to cluttered synthesized mess is a switch that breaks up the song in a negative manner. This hurts the overall flow of the song, making the track as a whole feel disjointed. Steve Aoki features the vocal talent of Lauren Jauregui on “All Night,” whose vocals were unable to break through the mediocre production. The verses fair a little bit better than the breakdowns, but the minimalistic nature of the verses leave each feeling empty. Overall, “All Night” is a stereotypical EDM track that fails to do anything new or interesting. Hopefully Steve Aoki will see this pattern he is falling into and will offer a full length project that breaks the cliches of the genre and gives fans a breath of fresh air. – Zach Hall
Machine Gun Kelly, X Ambassadors & Bebe Rexha – “Home”
Yet another piece to come out of the Netflix original film “Bright,” “Home,” featuring Machine Gun Kelly, X Ambassadors & Bebe Rexha is an actually decent song. Far superior to Bastilles addition to the film, “Home” feels genuine and sincere with a clear core message of feeling lost in the insanity that is the world. Although Machine Gun Kelly’s flow within the piece sounds poorly produced and somewhat generic, the X Ambassadors and Bebe Rexha bring an emotion that resides with the listener and makes them feel as though this song understands them. The strongest portion of this song is when the tempo alters from quick to slow as it displays how once the fierceness of anger dissipates, we’re left with only our thoughts to consolidate what has happened. X Ambassadors and Bebe Rexha really allowed their talents to shine on this track and through this they make up for Machine Gun Kelly’s short comings and made a genuinely decent piece. – JonMichael Pereira
JonMichael Pereira is a freshman 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.
Zach Hall is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Senior / Public Relations
Freshmen / Telecommunication