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“Love” – Lana Del Rey
Jessica Whitesel: Yasssssss. Lana is my white girl queen. This song is typically Lana, with a huge cinematic sound that doesn’t really have that many elements. I’m probably going to listen to this way too many times today, because any day there is new Lana is a good day.
Jessica Pickering: I have just never cared for Lana Del Rey. I wish I knew what it was, but I just don’t get the hype. I’ll let people who give a shit weigh in on this one.
Rita Ovis: I was expecting another Lana song that showcases how damaged she is or her pining over some old-fashioned bad boy, but this song is actually so sweet and just simply about being young and in love. Lana, what made you go so soft??
“Slide” – Calvin Harris feat. Frank Ocean and Migos
JW: I don’t really like this. I mean, I guess it’s OK, there is just something about the vocals that I’m not loving, which is weird since it’s Frank Ocean, and he usually has his shit together. Maybe Calvin Harris can only make mediocre artists sound good (except for RiRi — she always is on point).
JP: The first quarter of this song is just instrumental, which is a choice, I guess. A lot of build up for not much payoff, though. I am true neutral about this.
RO: This playlist is so far, so good — even though this is only the second song. . . Anything with Frank Ocean is a go, though. He’s the golden boy of modern music, let’s be honest here.
“Stay” – Zedd with Alessia Cara
JW: This is going to blow up on the charts because of who it’s by, but both Alessia Cara and Zedd have done better. While it’s still a good song coming from two artists who are capable of greatness, this song is a let-down.
JP: Take a shot every time a top 40 song has the phrase “rising sun” in it. Guaranteed, you’ll be so wrecked you might get alcohol poisoning. Start with this song, you’ll have a great buzz going.
RO: I think I’m gonna leave, but good try.
“Swalla” – Jason Derulo feat. Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign
JW: Oh boy. This is going to be a club banger. However, I can also feel an awkward boner poking me in the back while I’m just trying to have a good time with my friends so, like, I don’t know how to feel about this. But I can confirm that this will be a banger.
JP: Honestly, this should just be a Nicki Minaj song because that’s the only part that matters. Leave Nicki to save any song she’s on and have the best verse by far. She is too good and we don’t deserve her.
RO: Starting off a song with the single word “drink” is a warning sign. C’mon, glorifying binge drinking is just creepy, I’m not a fan.
“By Your Side” – The 1975
JW: Well, the opening sounds like the dramatic romantic conclusion of a 1980s chick flick. And then the weird scuba-y autotuned vocals that sound like an off-brand 2007 For Emma, Forever Ago Bon Iver. I’m still convinced that the 1975 only have one good song and it’s “Chocolate.”
JP: Weird ’80s jazz music and autotune right off the bat? Bold move, the 1975. Bold and bad. This isn’t even hot trash. This is cold trash. The worst trash.
RO: They straight up ripped off Bon Iver, it’s uncanny! Shocking! Scandalous! Confusing? I mean, it sounds good, but they should know not to mess with Justin Vernon.
“Chasing Colors” – Marshmello feat. Noah Cyrus
JW: The only reason that I know Noah and Miley are two different people. At least I think I know this, since it’s not entirely clear. They sound the same and with this song they even seem to have the same interests — living high. I don’t know, man, maybe I need to be high to actually know that they are different or maybe we are all the same. Either way, I’m out.
JP: Why can’t the Cyrus siblings leave well enough alone? Metro Station is only good for your middle school scene phase and Miley’s best work was, by far, as Hannah Montana. Your whole family is banned from music. Blame your dad.
RO: Noah Cyrus is just riding the Cyrus wagon of fame. I’d probably do that, too, if my whole family was famous and I was feeling left out.
“Selfish” – Future feat. Rihanna
JW: I guess RiRi and Future are OK together (although RiRi and Drake are perfect recording partners). I’d like this song better if Future just rapped and skipped trying to sing. Sometimes it works when he’s on tracks with other rappers who can’t sing, but this is RiRi, and she makes him sound like a dying animal.
JP: What happened to the Rihanna circa 2006? “SOS” was such a jam and this is just nothing. Bring back the jams! I’ll wait.
RO: We all love us some bad girl RiRi, but I still refuse to enjoy anything Future is involved in. He’s NOT allowed to take over the pop music industry, nope, nuh-uh.
“Vancouver Time” – Leif Vollebekk
JW: I’m not entirely sure what Vancouver time is. Growing up in the same time zone as Calgary, Vancouver time was reserved for the Pacific time zone. But maybe Vancouver time is the weird limbo TransLink puts you in when you are either 133,246 years early or 36,535 years late because of when the buses come.
JP: This does not sound like Vancouver. No mention of bike lanes (negative or otherwise), no annoying SkyTrain noises, no rain; have you ever even been to Vancouver? Judging by the line, “I was wearing jeans,” I’m guessing no. If you had said ‘yoga pants,’ I’d be more convinced.
RO: I’m low-key a huge Leif Vollebekk fan and I’m very honoured that he’s referencing Vancouver in this very chill jam. Leif, next time you’re in Vancouver, let me know though.
“Walk On By” – Thundercat feat. Kendrick Lamar
JW: Well, thank god for Kendrick. He might have not been able to save that dodawful Maroon 5 song, but he saved this one from being some weird ’80s ballad that couldn’t really do ’80s or ballad.
JP: I just finished midterms, why is this song still making me suffer? I’m legitimately mad at the fact that I had to listen this. I’m even madder that someone had the audacity to release this. Unbelievably.
RO: If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m extremely biased towards a song if an artist I like is in it. This is no different, I love Kendrick, I think Kendrick loves me, and he’s killing it in this one. Go Kendrick.
“Lovers Left to Die” – Dope Lemon
JW: So the album cover does not match the feel of this band at all. I looked at the cover and was all well this is going to be some Eurotrash EDM for fake raves and all the kewl kids do pop molly too (I’m old so this could just be culturally out of touch but IDK). But they are a fairly run-of-the-mill modern rock group — not bad, not good, just shockingly average.
JP: Why are you a dope lemon? What’s the story behind that? I am so much more interested in how you got your name than I am in your music. Why a lemon? WHY A LEMON?!
RO: My question is, how’d they come up with their band name? “Damn this lemon is so. . . dope. A dope lemon. I’m a dope lemon. DOPE LEMON!”
“Walk Away” – Rainer + Grimm feat. Gina Kushka
JW: This song told me to walk away so many times, I did. And you should walk on by it too; 85% of the lyrics are walk away, so you’ve pretty much heard it all now.
JP: Am I in an Urban Planet? ‘Cause this is the exact kind of shit music they play in there. It’s a terrible pop song which means it sounds like every other pop song released in recent memory (except: my girl Carly Rae. She is a pop artist).
RO: I’d like to walk away from this song.
“Something Like This” – The Chainsmokers and Coldplay
JW: I honestly wasn’t sure if this would even work as a song, but shockingly it does. Coldplay has explored some more electronic sounds throughout their career and you can definitely hear that experience come through. They work well together and I wouldn’t be opposed to more collaborations between The Chainsmokers and Coldplay in the future.
JP: Fuck, I love Coldplay. This is the best goddamn song that’s been on NMF in MONTHS. Bless.
RO: I’m not so sure if Coldplay and The Chainsmokers belong together. This isn’t “Yellow” and I’m honestly pretty tired of all these alt-rock artists becoming infected with this electro-trap-house trend.