Mood of Music – Week 2

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Eddie Okosi
Staff Writer

Need new music to listen to? Add these to your next playlist! Photo courtesy of Pexels.com

Here’s another week of great tunes I have either loved since the test of time, or am visiting for the first time.

Got ‘Til It’s Gone – Janet Jackson (1997)

“The Velvet Rope” celebrates its 25th anniversary this year! The album is considered by many as Jackson’s magnum opus and a transitional piece of work in her legendary career. “The Velvet Rope” is one of my favorites of all time, and I appreciate the vulnerability she shared through this album. This song brought together rapper Q-Tip and a sample from Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi.” 

“Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone?”

This sleek neo-soul stylized song is a standout unique tune. Musical architect duo Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis produced this song and are credited to Jackson’s most influential work. The takeaway message is a reminder to take notice of those special people and moments you have in life – don’t take advantage of what you have because you wouldn’t want it to disappear. Jackson told Jet Magazine: “Got ‘Til It’s Gone’ is about a great lesson learned – appreciate what you have while you have it. In my life, I try to take nothing for granted, even if I don’t always succeed.” 

The music video for the song won a Grammy Award for Best Music Video, Short Form, and is a timeless piece of visionary work that everyone must enjoy.

 

The Flower Called Nowhere – Stereolab (1997)

This song is track three on the album ”Dots and Loops.” This song sounds like a windy autumn day, but not those windy days when your face freezes off and your eyes can’t stop watering. What I envision is a day when the leaves move in a soft circular motion — it’s not too sunny, but it’s enough to cast a subtle glow in just the right places. “The Flower Called Nowhere” is a classic song with a cool timeless feel from the first day of fall way back in 1997. The song is about the yearn for something more than our current state of normalization.

“All the small boats on the water/Aren’t going anywhere/Surely, they must be loaded with more than simple matter.”

Nowadays, people have gotten a little more cynical and empty, understandably so. Others have grown content with life without wanting to ever go out of their comfort zone. 

“Is it true that none of them/Will ever break free and sail?”

But, we must remember a time when we were filled with real genuine love and warmth. We are more than just souls; we are capable of so much more than we think.

 

Small Reminders – Tinashe (2021)

The track “Small Reminders,” is track 14 from Tinashe’s groundbreaking — and underrated — album, “333.” It’s a combination of neo-soul, soft rock and R&B. It’s pure art and such a feel-good tune. It’s like that scene in the movie when it’s about to end and everyone is singing in unison with their full heart, knowing every single lyric without thinking about it. The theme of the song is simple: life goes by so fast, so be the best version of yourself and go chase those dreams. It’s a small reminder that life shouldn’t be wasted sitting stagnant.

 “Never stop, never quit, never tha/Promises that I made to myself /Love will find us/Don’t go chasing/Small reminders/Time is racing.”

 

Please – JessieWare (2021)

If you need a pick-me-up, this disco-inspired Warhol-esque kaleidoscope of a song is right here. “Please,” track 13 of “What’s Your Pleasure? (The Platinum Pleasure Edition)” is a song I play daily. The song transports you to a club far beyond here that will make all your dreams come true. 

“I want a place where golden moments last forever/Face-to-face You look like someone I could treasure.”

The song is all about reciprocating love and getting enough of it. I would suggest listening to the deluxe edition of this album — firstly, because it’s fun, and secondly, it’s loaded with song after song that will get you through the week.

 

Rings a Bell – Allie X (2019)

The song is track 5 on Alli X’s album “Cape God.” I stumbled upon this song a while ago after just letting my SoundCloud push out any song in an algorithmic type of way. I was really excited going into this tune, as the 4:17 minute timestamp gave me enough time to sit with the sound. From start to finish, it’s a journey of soft funk, the sounds so crisp and clear. Allie X told Genius: “This song is about falling into a rabbit hole, experiencing something surreal, in a dream, or in your subconscious perhaps.”

“It’s so hard to find/It takes a certain place, a certain time/I’m thrown in/I’m open/ The tone hits/ Must have been a reason for this feeling cause it rings a bell.” 

With lyrics like these, the song discusses how feelings are hard to describe or articulate, but you just know by intuition that you are in the right place at the right time.

 

90 Proof – Smino & J. Cole (2022)

This track comes from Smino’s upcoming album “Luv 4 Rent.” The sound and the organic feelings it brings are everything. With just a little bit of soul and a little bounce, it’s a track that allows you to chill and bop your head. Though the song is fun and light, it’s still hitting listeners with some confessions about truth and being a better person. In the song, Smino talks about being in a relationship and admitting his shortcomings, promising to give a little more. Overall, Smino wants to make things right. The song is called “90 Proof” because it’s taking the rapper some hard cold strength to do some internal work, with lyrics like:

 “Sang this tune I wrote for you, Ayo DJ, play me/Don’t blame yourself for all the sh- you seen me do, I’m gettin’ used to bein’ loved, girl, the right way.”

  1. Cole also chimes in with a great verse, going on about keeping his mind right and focusing on himself:

“You ain’t finna catch me in the type of places everybody goes, I know exactly what my hands is for, to carry a lot of dough.”.

Smino and J. Cole have good loves in their lives, both relationships and work, and they don’t want to take that for granted.

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