By: Lyz Boyd, Danielle Davie, Neil MacAlister, Courtney Miller, and Natasha Tar
“In My Blood” – Shawn Mendes
Danielle Davie: Incredibly generic, but he does have a nice voice . . .
Neil MacAlister: Honestly, I can’t hate Shawn Mendes. For cookie-cutter pop, this isn’t bad.
Natasha Tar: It took a while to get started, but once it did, it wasn’t bad. Not the best song ever, but bearable.
Courtney Miller: I like that it’s not super monotonous, but like honestly, does anyone hate Shawn Mendes? It’s like OneRepublic . . . no one really hates ‘em, but no one super loves ‘em either. It’s fine.
Lyz Boyd: The chill opening makes me want to curl up on a rainy day with a book and my beautiful girlfriend, Courtney. Towards the end it gets super repetitive.
“Flames” – David Guetta, Sia
DD: The second generic pop song in a row. Yay.
NM: Sia could really benefit from experimenting more, her vocals never disappoint but the songs she jump on all sound the same.
NT: More of the same from Sia, whoop-dee-doo.
CM: Yeah, I mean, vocally Sia’s great, but nothing will top the best Guetta-Sia collab: “Titanium.” Also, this sounds like it was meant to exist in like the early ‘80s.
LB: It’s pretty generic, but I don’t hate it.
“Say Amen (Saturday Night)” – Panic! At The Disco
DD: This song sounds like it was meant to come out in 2013.
NM: Panic! have always stuck to a typical sound, but at least they used to be fun. They’re eternally stuck in the same boring pop phase as modern Fall Out Boy. It’s a shame.
NT: I like this! Makes me look forward to their upcoming concert.
CM: Panic! is fantastic. This is not their best song, but anything Brendon Urie does is an ace, because the many is so talented it just drips out of him 24/7. Fuck, that high note is a fucking experience.
LB: I agree with Courtney, definitely not their best, but as a big fan of recent Panic!, this song makes me want to scream, “OH, IT’S SATURDAY NIGHT!”
“Pain and Pleasure” – Black Atlass
DD: I was trying to think of what song this sounds like, so I did some Googling. It turns out Black Atlass is signed to the Weeknd’s record label. Black Atlass sounds exactly like the Weeknd.
NM: I’m going to respectfully disagree here and say Black Atlass doesn’t sound anything like the Weeknd. He’s part of that whole Toronto R&B wave right now, and I’ve been enjoying his features. This song doesn’t do a ton for me but I feel like he has places to go.
NT: It’s so quiet that it’s as if they’re trying to hide the fact they’re making music. Sleep-inducing.
CM: This is only about two boring steps away from being boring elevator muzak, but the kind where you will murder whoever’s in the elevator with you because it’s so . . . boring.
LB: Really boring. I almost forgot I was listening to music.
“Malheur, malheur” – Maître Gims
DD: This is my favorite song on the playlist so far. It probably helps that I don’t know what he’s saying. It’s quite repetitive.
NM: This is enjoyable, pretty mellow. I feel like I compare most French artists to Stromae but they’ve got a similar thing going on.
NT: It sounds pretty, but it’s not very exciting.
CM: I mean it’s fine, but it’s a chill kind of fine.
LB: Not super exciting, but it can join Shawn Mendes on my theoretical rainy morning reading playlist.
“Lemon (Drake Remix)” – N.E.R.D., Rihanna, Drake
DD: This song is bad. I only made it halfway through. Since when does Rihanna rap?
NM: There was no reason for Drake to hop on this, the original was already perfect, and Drizzy’s verse feels totally phoned in. Rihanna already bodied this track. I’m still waiting on her to make a rap album.
NT: This is burning hot garbage. Sorry Drake.
CM: This isn’t even hot trash, this is just trash. The Canadian Disappointment™ strikes again.
LB: This is terrible.
“Shotgun” – George Ezra
DD: Have you ever seen a video of George Ezra? He doesn’t look like his voice is actually coming out of his mouth. It’s nothing special, but it is refreshing, especially after the last track.
NM: I was really excited for this new George Ezra album. He took four years off between albums, and I was kind of expecting him to change his sound up a little after all that time off, but to be honest he doesn’t have to. This is really enjoyable.
NT: It has a good beat. I don’t think I’d listen to it again, though.
CM: I’d say this is a bop.
LB: George Ezra has such a solid voice. So far, I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve heard from him and this is no exception.
“BAP” – Yizzy
DD: When I read the title I guessed that it wouldn’t be good. I was correct. Yet, for some reason I find British rappers amusing so I don’t hate it.
NM: Ooooh, this is sick, that Maniac production is raucous. Yizzy has been blowing up in the grime scene and I see why, there’s so much unbridled energy here. I’m stoked for his EP.
NT: Neil, I’m glad you can find something good in these songs. I really don’t know how you do it.
CM: Nope. OK, I’m gonna amend it to say that the flow is dynamite, but everything else is a pass.
LB: “LAFAYETTE!” But, you know, not good.
“Color Blind” – Diplo, Lil Xan
DD: The production is good, which isn’t a surprise because it is Diplo. This is my new favourite song on here. I like it a lot more than I thought I would. The synths are really cool, especially around 2:15.
NM: Lil Xan rubs me the wrong way. He’s had a couple of decent hits but I’ve been expecting more than what he’s been providing. It’s not a bad song but there’s better tracks on this EP.
NT: I think it’s fun! I’m not a huge fan of the vocals, but the main beat thing is good.
CM: Not as trash as other stuff, but I’m still tapping out.
LB: I’m not yet reaching for the skip button, but the beat is really generic.
“Kansas City” – The Mowgli’s
DD: It’s not terrible, but this is nothing new.
NM: This is so typical. Entirely formulaic pop anthem fare. People still haven’t moved past the Maroon 5/Hedley/etc. stage of pop music and it’s just so boring.
NT: The only thing I know about the Mowgli’s is that I mix them up with Mowgli, and I don’t like either of them.
CM: . . . The Mowgli’s found an extraneous apostrophe when they should’ve looked for a unique sound instead.
LB: I don’t hate it, but I used to genuinely like the Mowgli’s and I don’t think I can say that anymore. Any uniqueness their sound had seems to be completely gone.
“Coming Home” – Keith Urban, Julia Michaels
DD: When this started, it was not at all what I expected a Keith Urban song to sound like. Country generally isn’t my thing, but I kind of dig this song.
NM: There’s a lot to hate here. I don’t like country music at the best of times but this is just sad, and I have no idea what Urban thought he was doing with this instrumental.
NT: It started out like something out of Spongebob, and then it went trippy country. I’m confused.
CM: Keith, wtf are you doing, man? The guitar is pretty chill, as always, but the rest I’m not super into. The guitar line doesn’t fit the song well, even though on its own it’d sound cool-ish. Julia Michaels lifts this to something better, but still not great.
LB: I was expecting this to sound more like country and it’s totally throwing me off.
“Sultan-ı Yegah” – Mor ve Ötesi
DD: Meh. This doesn’t do anything for me. It reminds me of an angsty middle school rock band.
NM: Fairly typical alt-rock, nothing too exciting. The guitar work is really, really generic.
NT: I don’t even remember the song lol.
CM: Yeah fairly generic alt-rock. Others do it better.
LB: Yup, it’s standard alt-rock, but it was a somewhat refreshing contrast to the other songs on this playlist.