By: Edna Batengas, Leila Bonner, Louise Ho, Remy Brayshaw, and Grace Rose
“Mi Gente” – J Balvin, Willy William, Beyoncé
Edna Batengas: I wouldn’t care if the Beatles and Michael Jackson were on this track. I found this song incredibly annoying. The beat will be forever stuck in my head.
Leila Bonner: All in all, it’s great for dancing to and that’s it . . . maybe that’s all it needs to be.
Louise Ho: Like most pop songs it has a catchy beat. As Edna said above, it’ll get stuck in your head, but I wish that there was more variety to the song. It does get tiring. It is cool though that songs in different languages are getting more focus.
Remy Brayshaw: A song that features Beyoncé and has a fun, catchy beat . . . doesn’t get much better than that.
Grace Rose: I don’t really understand why people are so shook that Bey is singing in Spanish. She literally put out an entire album in Spanish for the Spanish language market. Yes it’s repetitive, but it’s a bop.
“Passionfruit” – Drake
EB: To be honest, this isn’t one of my favourite Drake songs, but I’m still cool with it.
LB: As someone open about their lack of interest in Drake’s music, the mellow beats and vibes that this track gives off are too good. Surprisingly good.
LH: I don’t really listen to Drake, but I knew that this song was incredibly popular. I don’t think that I’d listen to this song really, but I think when it’s just the music playing without vocals this is something that you could listen to in the background with its smoothness.
RB: As longtime fan of Drake, I appreciate this song simply because it shows a less commonly seen side of him and his music. With the smooth mix of sounds from different genres, he is able to combine both the sweet and sad sides of a heartbreak. This song is much more than just another Drake song.
GR: It has a super strong groove which is great, but if I’m honest, I really like this song because it allowed for the Paramore cover of the song which I think I prefer. It’s not the strongest song from More Life but it’s definitely a standout.
“HUMBLE.” – Kendrick Lamar
EB: YES. This song is everything, no further comments from me.
LB: A straightforward jam that goes for it with no tricks. Not my taste, but a solid song.
LH: To be honest, the first time I heard a sample of this was from Us the Duo’s 2017 hits YouTube video. In all honesty, it’s a head bopper. It makes me want to rap!!
RB: In a song that lasts barely three minutes, Kendrick is able to touch on a range of different topics, making this a song that truly deserves the attention it has received.
GR: While this song goes hard, I can’t help but feel some type of way about how he talks about women in this song. It’s 2017 AND Kendrick is capable of rising above that tried and true trope of misogyny in hip hop.
“Bodak Yellow” – Cardi B
EB: Cardi B speaks to me on a whole other level. I love everything about this song.
LB: Not going to lie — Cardi B’s not for me. Gotta respect her confidence and self-assertion, though.
LH: I’ve never heard this before and I don’t think I like it very much, unfortunately. It’s mainly the beat that I’m not that fond of.
RB: I’ll admit that it took me a while to get into Cardi and this song, but eventually it happened. Honestly it’s now one of the most played songs in my music library.
GR: “You know what. You can’t mess with me even if you wanted to. These expensive. These is red bottoms these is bloody shoes.” – A Mood from Queen Belcalis Almanzar.
“Shape of You” – Ed Sheeran
EB: I used to love this song until it became overplayed. Now it’s meh.
LB: One of the most popular songs this year, despite people being divided on Sheeran’s album. Get it? Divided? I’ll, uh, show myself out. In all seriousness, though some of the album’s hits were better, I think, the quirky beat of this one is memorable.
LH: Fun, catchy, dancy. I really enjoyed this song a lot and it seems that Ed Sheeran never fails to make a hit that people love. I remember this being a five-second ad before a YouTube video played, and it aggravated me because I didn’t know what the beat was, but it sure was catchy. Then it was released and it was great!
RB: I’ve always been a fan of Ed Sheeran and his work, but this song never became much more than a song on the radio for me. There’s no denying it’s a fun and upbeat song, it just has never stood out to me.
GR: Look Ed. We get it. You know how to write great pop songs. But issa no from me.
“The Weekend” – SZA
EB: I was never really on the SZA wave but it’s an alright song.
LB: The synth and harmonizing from this gives it some serious chill ‘80s-reminiscent soul. Not something to listen to all the time, but dang, if it isn’t a smooth song. Well, until the last 30 seconds.
LH: It’s smooth but probably not something that I would listen to. The ending was surprising though!
RB: After listening to the entire album I can say this song is not my favourite, but still good nonetheless. The intricate backdrop and the emotion in her voice pairs very well with the lyrics of the song, making it an overall great composition.
GR: I used to think this song was a great bop to celebrate the weekend until I realized it’s really a song about a woman who’s sleeping with another woman’s man. I am single and cannot relate but the production is really good.
“1-800-273-8255” – Logic, Alessia Cara, Khalid
EB: This song is more important for anyone who has had suicidal thoughts or know someone who has been having suicidal thoughts. It was sweet reminder that we all matter and that we are all loved.
LB: A really beautiful song with some hard-hitting lyrics that take on a serious subject you wouldn’t expect to touch on so openly in popular music. Vulnerable and thought-provoking.
LH: Heard this song on an award show. Combines catchy lyrics with beats that allow us to keep the message strong in our heads.
RB: From the moment I first heard this song on the day of its release I knew it was gonna be something special. In a time where many mainstream hip hop songs are embedded with negative undertones, Logic is able to counterbalance all the others with a beautiful and captivating song that has likely touched more lives than we will ever know by reminding us we’re never alone.
GR: I heard this song for the first time while watching the MTV VMA’s which involved a performance featuring people who had survived attempts to take their own life. It really drove the message home and made a powerful statement. I appreciate it a lot.
“Feel It Still” – Portugal. The Man
EB: Nah, please keep your hands to yourself. This song is sooo annoying.
LB: This is the song that you know you’ve heard somewhere. You know you have and it sounds so familiar, but you have no clue when you did or what it’s called. Its beat sounds like something you should walk to on your way to take on the world.
LH: AH love this song, it’s good. Very catchy.
RB: This is another one of those songs that I always find myself dancing too, most of the time without even realizing I was until it’s over.
GR: This song makes me think of this. Not sure why but I’m just gonna go with it.
“Mask Off” – Future
EB: Anyone that knows me knows that I’m a sucker for anything with Future!
LB: The song didn’t blow my mind, though the flute-like background part was certainly a unique choice. Meh.
LH: You know, I didn’t know who this song was by because I heard it first from a parodied version. It’s certainly catchy.
RB: This is a song that I’ve never gone out of my way to listen too, but I also wouldn’t skip it or turn it off if it did come on. Decent song, but nothing special in my opinion.
GR: I really like the sample which is super catchy, but the hook is literally drugs. Issa another no from me.
“Despacito (Remix)” – Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Bieber
EB: Even though this song was overplayed I’ll always get up and sing and dance to this song.
LB: Another major hit and a pretty enjoyable song overall! It’s hard to hear it and not want to dance.
LH: I must admit, this song was catchy. I remember this being the song that Justin created problematic rhymes for because he didn’t know the Spanish? And he kept saying Doritos, taquitos, burritos.
RB: In the beginning this song was super catchy, fun and uplifting . . . it became one of those songs that could turn my mood around as soon as it came on. That being said, with time I’ve found myself growing tired of it. This song was a great summer anthem, but won’t be anything more than for me.
GR: Honestly I know I praised Bey earlier for making a Spanish language song/album but Bieber’s response to not knowing the words to this song was problematic, which coloured how I see this song. It’s catchy but I can pass.
“Look What You Made Do” – Taylor Swift
EB: Ugh Taylor, Taylor. Nuff said.
LB: This song sounds like a rehashing of tacky rap music that is clearly meant to sound intimidating but falls oh, so far short. Honestly, it’s not unenjoyable and it could be better — it could! But that chorus…..
LH: As a huge fan of Taylor I was SO excited for this track to be released. My first reaction was that I loved the pre-chorus, but the chorus was really eh. The lyrics were so bang on with pointing out certain things, too! She will always come back from the dead.
RB: The first time I heard this song my friends and I couldn’t get through it without having to turn it off following the first chorus, but somehow it has started to grow on me. Again this is another song I don’t go out of my way to listen to, but I also don’t find myself in a rush to turn it off anymore.
GR: We didn’t MAKE you do anything. You’re grown. You chose. Cut it out.
“Man’s Not Hot” – Big Shaq
EB: How can you not LOVE this song?!
LB: The vibe of the track is pretty good, but the song doesn’t stand out aside from that. I’ve heard this kind of track before and I don’t need to hear it again.
LH: Not my cup of tea, unfortunately.
RB: To be completely honest this is the first time I have heard this song, and I don’t see myself listening to it very much in the future. Not something that fits in with my personal taste in music.
GR: This song taught me quick maffs, reminded me that my dad is 44 (which he isn’t but gonna work with it), and that my girl knows that he got the sauce. No ketchup. Just sauce, raw sauce. It’s also a brilliant parody of UK grime which makes me love it even more.