By: Alex Bloom, Louise Ho, Courtney Miller, Elisha Summers, and Natasha Tar
“Not Exactly an Overture” – Long Time No Time
Elisha Summers: Fun beat, but where is the singing? The instrumentals are extensive, and the song only contains a small segment of vocals.
Louise Ho: This song reminds me of something a pit band would play while the actors play on. I definitely wasn’t expecting a song like this, so the experience was quite unique. Probably not something that I would listen to again, but we’ll see.
Alex Bloom: I’ll stay neutral on this one since my cousin is in this band . . .
Courtney Miller: Reminds me of a polka, which means I’m not drunk enough for this. Then the vocals . . . I’ll never be drunk enough for this.
Natasha Tar: CIRCUS MUSIC. Yes, this is angry polka.
“Anarchy” – Kieran Mercer
ES: Oooooh super funky! Here’s a case of pretty fly for a white guy!
LH: For some reason, I got an R5 vibe here. I think it’s catchy!
AB: Funnily enough, I got a bit of an Adam Levine on “Sugar” vibe from this.
CM: I love Kieran, he’s been great solo and before then as part of Jackie Valentine; he’s just a good music guy. It’s not “Someone To Go Home With” which I highly recommend, but it’s a fun time nevertheless. He’s opened for Carly Rae Jepsen, so like, he’s good. Also great live. OK, I’m gonna leave it there.
NT: This is nice! A good beat, but nothing too special.
“The Most Obvious Song” – James Clayton
ES: This song almost put me to sleep. A good song if you’re looking for a lullaby.
LH: Not sure if I liked this song, but I could feel the emotion within it.
AB: It isn’t obvious what makes this song so obvious . . . An OK ballad nonetheless.
CM: Yep, this is a slow song for sure. It’s like a forlorn kind of angst? I dunno, I’m not all that into it, but I don’t dislike it.
NT: I feel like if this song was sped up a little, it’d be more interesting.
“Freedom” – Dorothy
ES: Oooh, I like this chick’s raspy voice, she sounds like a badass!
LH: Not a song that I think I’d listen to, but it’s powerful!
AB: The first few seconds made me think I was going to hear a song by Garbage, but the vocals remind me of Creedence Clearwater Revival, and the music of that era.
CM: I feel like Dorothy would have slayed in the eighties and nineties when Whitney Houston, Tina Turner, and other powerhouses were in high demand. As it is now, I’d rather listen to Whitney, but Dorothy’s pretty decent.
NT: This is pretty fun. I never would have guessed it was a new song.
“Remind Me to Forget” – Kygo, Miguel
ES: Catchy song! I wouldn’t mind jammin’ out to this one while getting ready to go out!
LH: Thought it was fine until 0:51 hit: personally not a fan of beats like those. Gives me a headache, but it is catchy.
AB: Miguel delivers vocals similar to his duet, “PrimeTime” with Janelle Monáe, and I like that — but this song just doesn’t have Janelle, sorry.
CM: Like, vocally, I’m into the first part of this song. It’s good. But then, yeah, 0:51 hits and things go downhill to the valley of mediocrity quickly. It sounds like everything else.
NT: A bit too throbby for me, sorry.
“Powerless” – Classified
ES: If you like chanting, autotuned children backing a soundtrack, this one’s for you. I appreciate the message of this song, but don’t like the way it’s put together with layered voices, rhythms, and singing.
LH: Powerful anthem. I don’t think it’s bad at all. The lyrics are so relevant, as well as the use of all the voices; cheesy to say, but those powerless voices united as one to become powerful.
AB: The last time I remember hearing Classified was his weirdly patriotic song about Canada. This song delivers a much more serious message, and with more craft than his previous tracks.
CM: Bastille is the only one who can insert random news-like dialogue and get away with it. OK, I actually don’t hate this. I was ready to be savage, but the beginning didn’t deserve it. Once the autotuned children come in, it nosedives.
NT: I feel like this could be a lot worse. I don’t like the rap, but the sentiment is good. So there’s that.
“The Middle” – Zedd, Maren Morris, Grey
ES: One of my favourite songs on the radio right now! This song has a special meaning to me, as my soon-to-be boyfriend referenced it before telling me he loves me. Now I can’t help but smile every time I listen to it!
LH: This song, like many of the others, is catchy. Not atypical of Zedd at all. Feels like another song made for the radio.
AB: To be honest, when songs like this start playing I just tune out all auditory input.
CM: I love Maren Morris. She’s doing a lot of crossover work. I think it’d be better without Zedd and Grey because Morris is so strong on her own, but like, I guess I ain’t mad at it.
NT: Unfortunately, this song will never be special to me in any way. It’s so typical, I could mistake it for a million other songs.
“We All Die Young” – The Decemberists
ES: Why do all of the singers seem so happy about stating that they all die young? Children singing “we all die young” is just uncomfortable.
LH: I haven’t heard the Decemberists in years! I don’t like this one as much as some of the previous tracks that I’ve heard by them, but the vibe ain’t half bad (it does get a little repetitive, though.)
AB: I’m only listening because there aren’t many bands that reference Russian history. Not into it though.
CM: I have no idea what he’s saying. And yeah, creepy kids is a no-go.
NT: I agree @Courtney. Kesha definitely did this song better.
“TieksVie” – Damso
ES: Skip! Shuffle! Pass! Next!
LH: I quite like international tracks, and I haven’t really been listening to French music very much as of late. This track is OK, but when I get the time I would like to see if I can translate any of the lines to see if I can understand.
AB: Again, my ears are turning off.
CM: [crickets chirping]
NT: I have nothing to say. The beat is all over the place and I don’t like it.
“Habibi” – Tamino
ES: The most exciting part of this song for me is my discovering that “Habibi” means “love” in Arabic.
LH: Chilling. I can picture this song in a movie during the aftermath of destruction. I did find it hard to hear what he was saying, but not a bad track!
AB: I enjoy how strange this piece is. His vocals have an unearthly quality that almost remind of Corpse Bride for some reason.
CM: Yeah, this is Pretty Depressing™ and Fairly Creepy™.
NT: Yes, this is a spooky song.
“Do It Like You Do” – KAWALA
ES: Interesting song and good beat. I am not completely sold on this track, but I don’t dislike it!
LH: I liked the intro, the happy beat drew me in. Again, like “Habibi,” I found it hard to hear what was being sung. I did feel the summer indie-folk vibe though.
AB: Quite a shift in tone from the last song. Is this in English? Serious question, I’m actually not sure.
CM: I love the guitar. It’s chill. I’m open to having this song find me again in future, but not too often.
NT: I like the voice! This isn’t too bad.
“Tavşan Çukuru” – Evren Besta, Evrim
ES: There is a reason that I have never heard this one on the radio, and you likely haven’t either.
LH: Not really my style. I personally thought there could’ve been more variety in the backing track.
AB: I love the strange little yelp at the beginning of the song.
CM: Love the intro sans the weird gaspy “oh”s. Then the vocals come in all monotonous and lacking melody, and I’m tapping out.
NT: Going out with a bang not a whimper. A confusing, unpleasant bang.