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“We the People . . .” – A Tribe Called Quest
Jessica Whitesel: I always forget how great rap can be. When there is focus on social justice and issues that black and POC communities face, it’s straight fire. That’s the focus of this song and while it isn’t going to be the soundtrack to getting lit in the club, it still is a banger nonetheless.
Tegan Gallilee-Lang: Daaaang, it is so baller when the backtrack cuts out like that. All the lyrics in this song had me going “Boooooom. Equality, bitch!” Must add it to my post-election angst playlist.
“Me and Your Mama” – Childish Gambino
JW: This song is stupid long and doesn’t really do too much as a standalone song since it is cinematic as fuck. This wouldn’t be out of place on any number of soundtracks, but it is too long to just sit and listen to.
TGL: DONALD GLOVER JUST PUT OUT A NEW TV SHOW WHERE DID HE FIND THE TIME TO DROP NEW MUSIC!!?? That man is a superhuman. The track is really great though. When you’re listening don’t give up on it too quickly, it really kicks in about halfway through. The screamy-singing is definitely a departure from Gambino’s usual mellowness, but I dig.
“Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)” – K’naan feat. Snow Tha Product, Riz MC, Residente
JW: After the disaster that was the US election earlier this week, this song has so much more urgency than if it was just another song from Hamilton. Also I’m a sucker for rapping in Spanish so that’s pretty great.
TGL: Yo, this week’s playlist is T-O-P-I-C-A-L. The Hillary dig stings, but the song overall has empowerment potential. It makes me happy that all these different people got together to rap and sing about their shared struggle, ya know? The Spanish rapping is the definitive highlight, though.
“Dandelion” – Sad Eye
JW: I guess it’s OK, but it’s been done sooooo many times already. Girl sings in a weird strained lower voice, bass and electronic plinks come in, then the backing track drops out, and then she starts to sing super high and the song stops. It’s old and not really worth listening to.
TGL: Her singing and melodic lines remind me a lot of Tove Lo — but a lot better? Like she definitely sings with more nuance. The song is super catchy, too. I would turn this up and jam out to it in the car.
“Cocoon” – Milky Chance
JW: It’s classic Milky Chance, but kind of slowed down and I can’t decide if that works for me or not. It’s not a bad song, but I might have to listen to it a few more times before I can make any sort of call on this being either a good or bad song.
TGL: Nothing special. I would probably come to like it if 102.7 The Peak made it one of those songs they play non-stop.
“Ghost in the Wind” – Birdy
JW: I want to like Birdy because she does have talent, but I just can’t. There is something about either the production or the type of songs that she ends up singing that I just don’t like. This is another one of those. It’s too slow, too high, and doesn’t go anywhere until almost the very end, but it’s too little too late.
TGL: I don’t like the piano’s sound. Too tinny. Otherwise, the song really builds. I was reluctant to keep listening, but the payoff was worth it. Loved the contrast between solo Birdy and Birdy avec ghost chorus.
“On Hold” – The xx
JW: I guess that this an OK song, but I’ve tried listening to it about six times now and all I’m getting is background music. So maybe it isn’t that great.
TGL: The rhythmic singing in the chorus is so cool! Otherwise kind of a dud. I was still thinking about Birdy.
“I Would Like” – Zara Larsson
JW: This sounds like every other Zara Larsson song and by extension every other pop song out there right now. It’s OK but it isn’t new and doesn’t stand out.
TGL: Song about sex because that’s what will sell, right? Wait, Zara Larsson, you would like to get to know me under where? I didn’t catch it the 30th time. Bleh.
“What the World Needs Now Is Love” – Rumer
JW: I mean, the song is correct, the world does need some love right now, and I did think about this song right after I found out that Trump won. I would have maybe liked a version that was sped up just a touch, but this still is a good version.
TGL: This is a high school choral arrangement waiting to happen. That I would want to hear.
“Secret Stash” – Dragonette feat. Mike Mago
JW: This is a fun song and I would dance to it at the club, but if you are trying to get anything done, I would say skip this one.
TGL: Stash of what? I missed it. I would probably only ever listen to this song about drugs (or it could be Halloween candy, who knows?) again if I was on drugs. So not great chances.
“The Valley” – Keshia Chanté
JW: I didn’t know she was still making music. I remember her from when I was in middle school or something like that. It doesn’t seem to really go anywhere — kind of like her career.
TGL: Dang, I was excited when I saw this song was by Keshia Chanté. “Been Gone” was some A+ shit. This sound is a lot like Banks’, which is cool for Keshia Chanté but for the music world is nothing super innovative.
“Overture” – Dave Grohl feat. Taylor Hawkins, Nick Raskulinecz
JW: I’m confused as to where this song is coming from. I know that the Foo Fighters are currently on hiatus, but this is also 2/5 of the band. It’s great drumming and guitar playing, but that’s about it. I guess it is what it says it is — an overture — but unless you have a part written in for cannons like “1812 Overture” you can sit the fuck down and stop.
TGL: This a rock thing that I’m supposed to know about, right? Why is there no singing? What an anticlimactic ending to an otherwise actually-OK-this-week playlist.