Old Music Friday: love and heartbreak edition

(Linda Shu / The Peak)

By: Lyz Boyd, Courtney Miller, Danielle Davie, Elisha Summers, Natasha Tar

“Crazy In Love” – Beyoncé, Jay-Z

Danielle Davie: To me this is not a love song, but a party song that everyone can get into. It reminds me of school dances in elementary school, and then high school, and any throwback playlist. I love the nostalgia it brings.

Elisha Summers: I think every woman can relate to this song when it comes to love, especially the line “you got me looking so crazy right now.” You are lying if you say that you have never acted crazy in the name of love. Men bring out the crazy in us, am I right?

Lyz Boyd: Beyoncé definitely accomplishes a balance of sexy and sweet in this one, then Jay-Z swoops in and ruins it for me a bit. I definitely agree with Danielle in terms of it being a great nostalgic party song.

Courtney Miller: Yeah, still a banger, you know? In terms of setting the mood, this is like meeting someone on the dancefloor and seeing where it leads — could be sexy, could be hella not.

Natasha Tar: My mom used to play this song all the time. I think it was her favourite song for a solid year. Maybe she was heartbroken, who knows. I guess I like it by default.

“Shape of You” – Ed Sheeran

DD: If you have nine minutes to spare, I highly recommend that you watch the making of the “Shape of You” video that The New York Times put out. I think the song is crafted really well, and that referring to the “shape of you” (someone’s entire being, and not just their body) is a refreshing concept for a pop song about love.

ES: Love the beat of this song. Everything about it is so catchy!! Any time that it comes on the radio I can’t help but dance!

LB: I love this song. Everything about it is fun and sexy, the beat, the lyrics, the melody. It makes me want to dance despite the fact that I’m terrible at dancing!

CM: When I first heard this song, everyone was like damn this is shallow. Whether it’s the shallow interpretation or the deep one, this is a song that I like and love. Is it sexy? Not necessarily, but it’s seductive-adjacent I guess. Probably annoying NT by singing along so. . . gonna keep doing that.

NT: Yeah, I don’t find this song that sexy either. That said, it’s really catchy. ^ nope.

“Adore You” – Miley Cyrus

DD: It’s not that exciting, and the “I love you more / I need you more” message isn’t great. Be with someone who loves/needs you just as much you do them! Make sure they “Adore You” too!

ES: Ooooohhh this song gives me chills! I just love 2013 Miley . . . this song is adorable and hits me right in the feels.

LB: As someone who lives under a rock, I don’t think I’d heard this song until now and I was pleasantly surprised! I would really like to hear a stripped down/acoustic version of this, it would make the emotion come through more effectively as her voice currently gets a bit lost.

CM: I agree with Lyz, this could be better as a song in a stripped version. She’s definitely overproduced. The track has that slow kind of groove where I could almost see Magic Mike making this song work. It also gets pretty monotonous.

NT: Aw. This song is actually kinda cute. I can see this being played with the credits at the end of a romcom.

“Primetime” – Janelle Monaé, Miguel

DD: This song is dripping with sensuality. Janelle Monaé and Miguel are two beautiful people with beautiful voices, a great backing track — and that guitar solo! A very smooth, sexy track.

ES: Hmmm, I have never heard of this song before. I don’t love the lyrics and the talking section of it, but the rest is decently smooth. This isn’t something you would find me listening to, though.

LB: I’m not really feeling this one. The vocals are good, but everything else about it seems a bit generic to me.

CM: I really like Janelle as a person, so I have hopes for this song. Her vocals are spot on. To be sexier, it needs a heavier/better bassline. Miguel’s vocals work well with Janelle’s. Around minute two, the backtrack feels too repetitive.

NT: I do like her voice, but the lyrics seem pretty typical of a sappy love song. I think Miguel’s voice complements hers, too.

“Cameo Lover” – Kimbra

DD: I don’t like this one. It sounds like bubblegum and cotton candy tried to write a semi-PG love song, and it didn’t work out.

ES: I don’t like anything about this song and couldn’t listen to the entire thing. Whiny and cringe-worthy. Skip!

LB: This is one of my favourites from the playlist. It’s fun and upbeat, with some retro vibes that I’m digging. Lyrically, it’s not super convincing as a love song, but musically I’m enjoying it.

CM: I could see a rom-com montage accompanying this song. Conversely, the leading lady prancing through city streets, belting this to the best of her (limited) ability. Unless it’s Anna Kendrick, which would improve the scene’s appeal by 1000% at least.

NT: This song sounds way too cutesy romantic for me. It reminds me of that weird YouTube video of a singing bunny cuddling a carrot.

“Mama Papa” – Sauti Sol, Dela

DD: Other than the fact that the track isn’t mastered very well, and you’ll need to turn the volume up a lot compared to all the other songs, this is a really sweet song. I’m really getting into it.

ES: Catchy chorus but there is a reason why we don’t hear it on the radio.

LB: When this song came on I had a moment of extreme confusion, was I listening to the right playlist? Despite the fact that it is very different from the other songs on the playlist, it is a fun time. The lyrics don’t convey much emotion though, so I’m not really buying it as a love song.

CM: The strings at the beginning are pretty romantic. Then it morphed into the slow dance section of an island playlist. It’s chill, but after that first bit, only minimally romantic.

NT: It seems like a nice song, but I missed most of the romantic part? Maybe I’m not listening hard enough.

“Somebody That I Used to Know” – Gotye, Kimbra

DD: This song was so big back in the day! It isn’t a great break-up song (it’s too depressing) but, it is a great song to sing the chorus of over and over again in the shower.

ES: Here’s a high school classic. I remember that this song was all the rage when it first came out and for obvious reasons; great instrumentals, passionately haunting voice. Plus, we all have that ‘somebody’ that we used to know.

LB: I’ve lost my ability to take the heartbreak in this song seriously, due to how overplayed and parodied it was back in 2011. Coming back to it is enjoyable, but I’m still not taking it very seriously.

CM: I never really liked this song when it first came out, and age has not improved it. I also don’t find it romantic. This song is the epitome of “it’s a you problem.”

NT: I never found this song romantic! The guy seemed kinda petty to me tbh. Get over it, man.

“Hello” – Adele

DD: To be able to write a song this eloquent after experiencing heartbreak is amazing. Adele is great, this song is great, but Lemonade should have won. (We all already knew that though.)

ES: If you haven’t already listened to Ellen DeGeneres’ spoof on YouTube about this song (titled “Ellen Inspired Adele’s New Song”), I highly recommend giving it a listen . . . however now anytime that I listen to this song, that is all that I can think of. Haha!

LB: Adele is undeniably talented. Heartbreak just drips from her voice in this song, so much so that I can almost feel it. That said, this song is excessively long and repetitive. At one point I thought to myself, “Am I really still listening to this?”

CM: Agreed with Lyz, it’s a bit too long and drawn out. Other than that, yeah, Adele’s great and this song is such a great sing along in the car as you’re driving along at night in the rain. It’s very peak heartbreak aesthetic.

NT: I always liked this song. I always found that Adele was good at heartbreak songs, but sometimes it seems like that’s all she writes about? Kinda like a superior Taylor Swift.

“Love on the Brain” – Rihanna

DD: Rihanna is so powerful and tender at the same time in this story of unrequited love. I also love the instrumental. This song is great.

ES: Rihanna is killin’ it! I love how this song shows off Rihanna’s powerful, effortless vocal ability!

LB: I was expecting more from Rihanna on this track. It doesn’t feel like she’s using all the power she’s capable of in her voice. The first time I listened through, I zoned out for the whole song.

CM: This is pretty Motowny. It’s pretty smooth and nice for a tease, like burlesque, not strip. There are a bunch of opportunities for vocal runs and showing off, and I wish RiRi took more of them.

NT: Yes, definitely a sexy song.

“I Still Love You” – Jennifer Hudson

DD: This song doesn’t really do anything for me. Jennifer Hudson’s vocals are, as always, fantastic though. That person doesn’t deserve your love, Jennifer!

ES: I am not liking the techno aspect of this song. Is this the original? I think that it would have been much better without all the hyperactive music in it.

LB: I’m pretty lukewarm on this one. It’s very repetitive, both in lyrics and beat. In a few spots, Jennifer’s voice sounds awesome, but for the most part it’s not very noteworthy. Again the emotion of “I still love you” doesn’t really come through in the beat and tone of the song.

CM: Honestly, Hudson has an amazing voice and it is wasted on this techno trash. I can only hear Cher’s “Believe” on this track, which is a song I dislike with every fibre of my being. So 0/10 for sexiness.

NT: This has the beat of every single club song ever made. It reminds me of the one problematic “romantic” scene in A Night at the Roxbury.

“Thinkin Bout You” – Frank Ocean

DD: I love Frank and I love this song. “Do you think about me still? Or do you not think so far ahead? Cause I’ve been thinking about forever.” I love the sadness, the optimism, and how he seems to know his love story is a long one.

ES: Woooah, why have I never heard of this man or this song? Loving this.

LB: I have mixed feelings about this one. Initially, his voice sounds very nasal and gives me an instinctive negative reaction. However, when he moves into the falsetto part it becomes much more enjoyable. It’s also pretty adorable that he’s “thinking about forever.”

CM: The intro sounds like “Mama Who Bore Me” from Spring Awakening which is a song I’d much rather listen to. So now I’m like doubly disappointed. His voice is annoying and grating because of the nasal aspect. His falsetto is better, as Lyz points out, but I’m still gonna tap out of this romance-less song and listen to Spring Awakening instead.

NT: Eh, I don’t like this. I think it’s a bit too whiny to be romantic. Or sexy. Or anything other than whiny.

“Hotline Bling” – Drake

DD: Poor Drake! His booty call doesn’t call him anymore! Waah! (This song is a banger though.)

ES: This one is also in Ellen DeGeneres’ same YouTube spoof mentioned prior (Double the reason to listen). I’m not sure why this girl is ghosting Drake, but I am sure it won’t take him long to move on.

LB: Due to the aforementioned living under a rock, I think I have miraculously managed to not hear this song in its entirety until now. I don’t think I missed much. Drake’s voice is super whiny, I want to tell him to stop being a man-baby and get over it.

CM: “You used to call me” never and I loved that time in our lives, Drake. Let’s go back there. Cannot be sexy with this entitled whiny ass.

NT: THE BEST MEME SONG EVER, HANDS DOWN. Not sexy or romantic, but definitely a nice meme.