By: Neil MacAlister, Rachel Cobbett, and Jenna Beetstra
“Dusk Till Dawn” – ZAYN, Sia
Neil MacAlister: This sounds like just about every song Sia’s done since “Chandelier.” Zayn’s had the best post-1D career, but this isn’t doing much for me.
Rachel Cobbett: If I didn’t already know Zayn Malik was from One Direction, I wouldn’t have been able to guess from this song because it’s such a deviation. Even though I’m not the biggest Sia fan, I think everything in this song blends together well. It’s not fun, but it’s not meant to be. The lyrics are still a bit too repetitive, but we expect that from pop songs.
Jenna Beetstra: I really like the verses and the sound of both of their voices. The chorus isn’t my favourite, but overall I liked the song. I think it will be a big radio hit.
“Love So Soft” – Kelly Clarkson
NM: It’s pretty typical Kelly Clarkson. I’m not sure what else there is to say.
RC: I remember the first CD I ever borrowed from the public library was so I could listen to “Miss Independent.” I love Kelly Clarkson’s singing voice, but she does a little bit of talking in this song. I’m a strong believer that Kelly Clarkson’s voice makes you a better person, and I’m just happy she has new music.
JB: What does “Love So Soft” even mean? I’m just confused . . .
“Say a Prayer” – TIEKS, Chaka Khan, Popcaan
NM: This is a fantastic collaboration. Chaka Khan and Popcaan complement each other really well, I just wish the production was a little less typical radio-EDM. The chorus is fun, though.
RC: I’m not religious, but this song is amazing. It’s got Jamaican reggae, EDM, gospel choir-esque singing . . . it’s like an inspirational song without beating you over the head with instructions. This is a happy tune, but not in the Top-40 repetitive way that people get frustrated with. Everyone should listen to this, just because it’s so pleasant.
JB: I like this song because it sounds different than the usual stuff you hear. It has unique elements without being crazy strange. Super fun.
“You’re The Best Thing About Me” – U2
NM: If U2 puts another album on my phone without my permission I’m calling the police.
RC: Oh man, U2? I’m still mad about that album showing up in my phone a while ago . . . it’s hard not to automatically be bitter about that. I’m not a big U2 fan for any song that isn’t “Vertigo,” but after looking up the lyrics, I like this song. It’s cute in a sad, relatable way, and I dig it.
JB: Honestly I’m not sure why everyone was so mad about the free U2 album. I mean, I never wanted it and didn’t really listen to it, but I think the idea of a group putting out their music for free is awesome. This song isn’t anything special for me. “Beautiful Day” will always win.
“Shockandawe” – Miguel
NM: I was a big fan of Miguel’s last album, but I’m really not feeling this. It’s cool that he’s switching things up, but his delivery could be vastly improved.
RC: This is kind of weird. Part of me really wants to get into it, because the guitar pulls you in, but the vocals and lyrics leave too much to be desired. I wouldn’t finish this song if I heard it anywhere else.
JB: It’s not awful. The guitar sounds kind of Egyptian which is fun. Could be a good club song.
“No Limit” – G-Eazy, A$AP Rocky, Cardi B
NM: I haven’t really enjoyed G-Eazy’s music in years. Rocky’s chorus is solid, and Cardi B’s fantastic as ever, but G-Eazy just seems like he’s taking himself way too seriously for how undeniably corny he is.
RC: This is the worst “rap” I’ve ever heard from G-Eazy, wow. This whole song was just not what I want to listen to, nobody sounds inspired or invested in what they’re rapping — and it’s just the same three topics? This just seems like a lazy song, thumbs down.
JB: I enjoy rap, but this beat sucks. Not a fan.
“Up All Night” – Beck
NM: I’ve loved all of Beck’s singles for his new album. He’s been slowly releasing them for a year or so now, and they all have this kind of dance-y element to them that offsets how lowkey his last album was. He’s a seriously interesting artist.
RC: This is a nifty song. I like that the vocals are unique, and the instruments are given just as much time in the spotlight. Also, a violin!? We don’t get to hear nearly enough of those these days!
JB: This one’s alright. It’s kind of boring and repetitive for me. I wouldn’t listen to it on my own. I do love songs that have violins in them though, so that gives this one some props from me.
“You Don’t Do It For Me Anymore” – Demi Lovato
NM: Honestly, with each new song, Demi seems to be getting better and better at singing.
RC: Dang, she can sing. I feel like people think it’s easy to dismiss Demi Lovato, for whatever reason, but this song is a great reminder that she has such a powerful voice, and impeccable control of it. It might not be a song that I love, but it sure does make me respect her voice.
JB: Demi has a beautiful voice. If I was going through a breakup, I would definitely be listening to this. Even though I’m not, I still enjoy it. How can you not like her voice in this song?
“…Ready For It?” – Taylor Swift
NM: The one good thing I can say about this is that it’s marginally better than her last single. I actually quite like the chorus. But I don’t know why she’s trying to do this white-bread pop/rap thing, this edgy rebrand just isn’t working out well.
RC: I definitely prefer this to “Look What You Made Me Do.” Whoever decided to add the intense bass was a genius, because it makes me want to keep listening to this song. It’s not ground-breaking, but it’s a step up from what I was expecting.
JB: WTF, Taylor. That was my thought when I first heard it but once she actually started singing I was like hey, here she is, this is good . . . and then she tried to “rap” and lost me again.
“Todas” – Cro, Wyclef Jean
NM: I’m enjoying this. I love Wyclef, and the hook is fun.
RC: This is not my cup of tea. I think it’s kind of boring.
JB: This song makes me want to be in a pool at a resort in Mexico, drinking all-inclusive drinks. Definitely a song that needs to be enjoyed in the sun somewhere warm. It’s fun!
“Special 4 U” – Z, Tory Lanez
NM: Where do these breathy pop artists keep coming from and why do they always end up working with Tory Lanez?
RC: Her voice reminds me a lot of somebody else, to be honest, except I’m not on board for her little rap (?) segment. This song is probably just a little more sexual than I’d be comfortable listening to with pretty much anyone, but I could listen to Tory Lanez allllllll day.
JB: The background tune reminds me of that song “Me & U” by Cassie. Seriously listen to the two and you’ll be like ‘woah.’ It’s definitely a catchy song and could be a good one for being out dancing.
“Mood” – dvsn
NM: dvsn is the best non-Drake act on OVO. Their debut album was phenomenal, and they’ve got another one dropping next month that I’m very excited for. Super laid-back R&B, Daniel Daley’s voice is heavenly, and Nineteen85’s production just wraps you up inside of itself.
RC: I would listen to this song to fall asleep at night, I think it would be lights out before I reached halfway through the song. Don’t get me wrong, I like his voice; it’s just way too relaxing.
JB: This was definitely a 180 from the song before that made me want to dance. This sounds like a love-making song, not going to lie. It could be in 50 Shades of Grey.