Single Roundup: Week of Nov. 19

Story posted November 29, 2017 in Arts & Entertainment by Arts Staff.

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 Nov. 19.

Ma$e – “The Oracle”

Like everyone was transported to the early 2000s, there was an unlikely beef this past week involving Cam’ron and Ma$e. The two have been beefing for nearly 20 years, but after Cam’ron threatened Ma$e on his new album, he decided to make it personal and drop his diss track “The Oracle.” “The Oracle” finds Ma$e, over an old Jay-Z “Blueprint 2” instrumental, eviscerating Cam’ron. Nothing was off the table to allegations that Cam’ron had sexual relations with his sister, to the Dipset breakup. Ma$e takes this to a personal level, as is expected when the two were from the same hood growing up. Obviously what is said on a diss track can never been totally believed, but if even a quarter of it is as true as Ma$e makes it out to be, Cam’ron may need to retire…

Cam’ron – “Dinner Time”

But until then, Cam’ron did make an attempt to come back at Ma$e. This is much more of a traditional song, but the allegations are much less scathing. Cam’ron addresses everything that was thrown his way, even saying that the only person he had sexual relations with was Ma$e’s sister. The song finds Cam on his heels though and thus unable to properly come back at Ma$e. Ma$e had a stronger flow, better instrumental to rap over and just brought better bars over the entirety of his song. This round goes to Ma$e, but this is not a beef that will be ending anytime soon. – David Arroyo

G-Eazy – “Summer In December”

Over the past few weeks, G-Eazy has given fans a taste of what’s to come on his next full length project, The Beautiful and Damned. These singles have been a mix of speaker rattling rap bangers and slower, more introspective tracks. G-Eazy’s newest single, “Summer In December,” sees G-eazy going all out in the latter category. Right from the start, a smooth classic piano sample sets the tone and is soon accompanied by hard hitting kick drums and thick riffs from the bass guitar. Production wise, “Summer In December” is tight, groovy and just sparse enough to help G-Eazy highlight the lyrical beats of the track. “Summer In December” sees G-Eazy struggling with balancing the LA lifestyle, while at the same time trying to stay true to himself and his fans. G-Eazy reflects on the idea that he could’ve settled down with a wife and kids if it weren’t for his drive to keep making music. G-Eazy shines when he takes the opportunity to let the audience in on his thought process. Throughout the duration of the track, G-Eazy gives fans a glimpse of what it’s like to be a successful artists and the inevitable downsides that come with it. As a stand-alone track and a taste for what’s to come, “Summer In December” succeeds on all fronts. Once The Beautiful and Damned is officially released, hopefully G-Eazy can maintain a good balance between carefree rap bangers and introspective tracks that delve deeper into the man behind the music, Gerald Gillum. – Zach Hall

Isaac Gracie – “Terrified”

Isaac Gracie, a rising British artist known for his ability to generate melodies that dishearten the happiest of souls, has yet again established himself as an outlier in the alternative rock genre. “Terrified” is a deep exploration of Gracie’s turmoil with the concept of adulthood sexuality, the passion he desires but can’t handle the repercussions of and adulthood approaching him at an unescapable rate. The piece exudes a continual atmosphere of inner confliction, residing with the listener even throughout its more up-tempo bridge and chorus. Gracie accomplishes this by naturally developing his instrumentals. Utilizing the melodic simplicity of the piano and acoustic guitar, Gracie produces this melody that internalizes his emotion before even singing. As the song progresses the melody quickly shifts and mirrors a feeling of disgruntled frustration, altering only once more to reside on a beat reflective of hopefulness. The track juggles moments of intensity and modesty in a way that never overwhelms the listener or takes away from the beauty in Gracie’s gritty vocal performance.

The lyrics throughout the entirety of this song are poetic. From the initial verse to its conclusion, this piece repeatedly invokes the listener to recall their past romances, beckoning for the point in which it turned from childish love to an adult companionship. Lyrics such as “maybe I wasn't cut out for this” perfectly encapsulate the unrest accompanied with taking a relationship to the “next level.” Isaac Gracie created a masterpiece in “Terrified.” With his debut album set to release in the spring of 2018, one can only hope it follows the same structure as this promising piece.  – JonMichael Pereira

Sufjan Stevens – “Blue Bucket of Gold / Hotline Bling”

Serious question: could anyone besides Sufjan Stevens release an 18 minute aetherial version of a 5 minute acoustic indie folk song with the b-side being a live cover of Drake’s “Hotline Bling” and be a serious contender for single of the year? In what were the two closing tracks to the previously released Carrie & Lowell Live from earlier this year, listening to these two tracks on their own without the pretext of the rest of the album brings to light a lot of interesting aspects to what may be a new musical direction going forward for Sufjan.

Many critics felt Carrie & Lowell Live lacked the intimacy of Carrie & Lowell and while certainly many of the tracks on Carrie & Lowell Live saw more bombastic versions of the songs, this version of “Blue Bucket of Gold” feels almost uncomfortably intimate. Sufjan’s unrestricted emotional delivery on this version of “Blue Bucket of Gold” bears all. Where Carrie & Lowell was soaked in sadness, this version of “Blue Bucket of Gold” feels like Sufjan has come to terms with the emotions he was dealing with on that album, taking his next artistic evolutionary step forward.

In a way, the title of the live album this song comes from is haunting given the two people it’s named after are deceased. But Sufjan’s ability to transport the listener to a sonic plane that is clearly not of this existence and offers hope that perhaps those we loved do live on. And it’s difficult to deny their spirits don’t live on in this song or all of Carrie & Lowell Live’s artistic and emotional brilliance for that matter. – Chandler Copenheaver

 

David Arroyo is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email arroyodavid01@gmail.com.

Zach Hall is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email zth5043@psu.edu.

JonMichael Pereira is a freshman majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email jqp5759@psu.edu.

Chandler Copenheaver is a senior majoring in public relations. To contact him, email chandlercopenheaver@gmail.com.

About the Contributors

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JonMichael Pereira

Freshmen / Telecommunication

JonMichael is a writer and contributor for the Nittany Record Club, the first music analysis talk show at ComRadio. Before Penn State JonMichael was the director and head of production for his daily high school news show. He is always looking to forward his experience in the field of production, you can reach him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

ChandlerCopenheaver's photo

ChandlerCopenheaver

Senior / Public Relations

Chandler Copenheaver is a Production Director and Arts Director of CommRadio who has been a member of CommRadio since the spring of 2015. Chandler’s responsibilities entail managing the production department, managing the arts department, creating audio commercials for CommRadio and external organizations, scheduling commercial blocks, and writing editorial content related to the arts. Chandler Copenheaver has worked most recently at Arlington Thrive in Arlington, VA as a Development & Program Intern, WellSpan Health in South Central PA as a Public Relations & Marketing Intern and served as a teaching assistant for the Penn State course BiSci 3 Environmental Science. Chandler aims to work in the fields of Public Relations, Communications Strategy or Communications Management. Follow him on Twitter @C_Copenheaver or email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

David Arroyo's photo

David Arroyo

Junior / Broadcast Journalism

David Arroyo is both a social media and arts director for CommRadio and also contributes to the sports staff. He has served as a producer for multiple Penn State sports while in CommRadio, has done play by play for Penn State sporting events such as football, basketball and volleyball and co-hosted and produced his own talk show. During the fall of 2017, David was also an anchor, producer and reporter for the Centre County Report. David has interned at B94.5 (State College) and Center City Film and Video (Philadelphia). Follow him on Twitter (@_arroyodavid) or email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).