It’s that time again! Here is a new batch of songs ready for you. I feel like we know each other so well, I might need to share my Spotify account.
“Shirt” – SZA (2022)
I will admit I was a little fed up with how long it took for this song to have a proper release. One could only feel sustained by a SoundCloud snippet for so long. I will say, it is great to have the song in full, as it delivered. “Shirt,” a possible single for SZA’s upcoming project, is a cute bite of a bumped-up kind of R&B. The track explains SZA’s tendencies to self-sabotage, a mechanism we all can relate to.
“In the dark right now/Feelin’ lost, but I like it/Comfort in my sins and all about me”
The artist goes in depth to describe how she does not want to feel too needy and would rather mess up a good thing, but immediately regrets it afterwards. SZA understands that self-sabotage comes at a price. She wants to learn how to be comfortable with herself and know her worth to protect herself from sticky situations.
“Just my mind, gotta get outta here, tough crowd, hate it, can’t stay”
The lyrics might hit close to home, but the fun beat may keep you from crawling in a corner and wallowing. I think, though, that as the song being a reliever, it has made me more eager for SZA’s sophomore album.
“There’d Better Be a Mirrorball” – Arctic Monkeys (2022)
This album’s opening was astonishing and gorgeous. The intro of instruments invited listeners into the intimate gold-toned show of an album with drama and elegance. Then, when Alex came in with his vocals, I was submerged in a place I could not describe.
“Don’t get emotional, that ain’t like you/Yesterday’s still leaking through the roof”
Turner is known to put on a story, but this song and album feels more personal. The facade he often puts up came down a little bit, as his feelings are true and relate to his current state. Turner admits his faults but hopes the end to his relationship is for the better.
“So can we please be absolutely sure/That there’s a mirrorball?”
The song gives me the vibe of a person coming back from a lavish party into an empty, well-furnished, retro-styled loft, looking out toward their wide windows into the lit nightscape. It is a slow, funky, dazzling hit. The production is A1 and very nostalgic. The band’s new album “The Car” is also a must-listen.
“Paranoid Android” – Radiohead (1997)
I was listening to a radio show on Apple Music, and they described this era of Radiohead as “beep boop music”—in an inoffensive way—and I completely get it. Track two from the 1997 album “Ok Computer” came at a time when technology and the future were obsessions. Society was itching to know what y2k would be like, and created their own version of what that means to them. I don’t know if it’s just me, but the song would be a favorite of The Narrator in the movie “Fight Club.” Come to think about it, I think this song inspired the movie. According to Thom Yorke, the song is a three-layer inner conversation with the self.
“Please, could you stop the noise? /I’m trying to get some rest/From all the unborn chicken /voices In my head”
The character in the song is fed up with consumerism, capitalism, and feels a tad violent. The character within the song is tired of his provincial life and society is becoming a little static. He claims that he will not follow the status quo of his world, as he doesn’t want to become a robot to the man.
“What’s that?/I may be paranoid, but no android”
This song still sounds fresh and poses a very particular fluorescent vibe. I also enjoy the transitions at the 2:45 and the 3:37 marks. I love the ebbs and flows of electricity and steadiness.
“Should Have Known” – Robyn (2005)
When I wrote this, I had just found out there are two versions of this masterpiece. The first one comes from Robyn’s 2002 album, “Don’t Stop the Music.” The second comes from the 2005 album “Self-Titled.” I have always been a fan of Robyn’s voice and technicality; with her whispery voice, she is still able to manipulate and belt. With her voice and character, she can hop through different sounds like electronic, pop and R&B. This track is a mix of all three. It’s a twinkly up-tempo ballad about realizing you should have dipped out of a bad relationship before it eventually got worse and fizzled out.
“I’m such a fool, I can’t believe I let you in my life/You broke the rules but I should have known you do it all the time”
“My mama felt, she never liked you neither did my friends/And when you blamed it all on me I should have known”
“Robyn” (self-titled) is an album everyone should listen to too. It’s an upbeat pop-punched, bravado of an album, and my girl can spit a few bars just for the fun of it.
“Karma” – Taylor Swift (2022)
So, the “Midnights” album came out… take that statement as you will. I and many others stayed up for her easter egg-coded Jack Antonoff antics and ate it up. For me, “Karma” is one of the songs that just did it for me. The glitch-induced intro into the bit-pop fun was excellent. The lyrics made me giggle, which is a good thing, because I appreciate how petty and vengeful she is.
“Karma is the breeze in my hair on the weekend/Karma’s a relaxing thought/Aren’t you envious that for you it’s not?”
She has gone through a lot of drama, and she deserves to be playful about all of it. It’s a song anyone can belt if they feel they have a one up against the haters.
“November Has Come” – Gorillaz (2005)
As a self-proclaimed drama king, I held off listening to one of my favorite songs until the first of November. Imagine me waking up to my alarm, pressing play as I start my articulated day, flicking through my closet to find THE outfit (that’s not how it went). But here we are, in the second-to-last month of the year.
“Something has started today /Where did it go? / What do you want it to be? /Well, you know November has come/When it’s gone away”
The song jumps back and forth between two topics: the apocalypse is near and November signals the close end, and that rap isn’t hitting like it used to. Both topics are up for debate. I don’t know about you, but I have been up to my head in schoolwork, and the days are feeling a little weirder. However, I’m grateful to start listening to Christmas music. Mariah Carey has thawed, and I’m enjoying the surplus of the fall season. The semester may be “wrapping up” but let’s not lose our momentum here, when we have things to conquer.