20 weeks in! The most interesting man in the world doesn't always read the Songs of the Week, but when he does, he reads this one. As a celebration of this, I've decided to start a few new playlists for all of our top contributors, which only includes people with 12 or more songs. All of the playlists can be found at the bottom, in addition to the comments, where you can submit songs. You can also submit by Facebook or email.
Taylor Swift - Out of the Woods
The 58th Annual Grammys opened up with Taylor Swift singing her hit single "Out of the Woods." This amazing song is very upbeat and filled with lyrical metaphors. "Out of the Woods" is a song you won't want to miss!
The Cast of Hamilton - Alexander Hamilton
Also featured on the 58th Annual Grammys was Hamilton the Musical. The cast of Hamilton performed the opening number of the musical, titled "Alexander Hamilton." Hamilton is a musical that is all about Alexander Hamilton's life, told through hip-hop music. It's a historical hip-hop musical. This is a show that has forever changed Broadway, and the soundtrack is inspiring!
Kanye West - Power
The Life of Pablo dropped last week (Thank You Chance), sort of. Kanye has it streaming on Tidal, but for a while it was incomplete, and he said it would never be truly released outside of Tidal. People preordered the album before he said that, so whether or not that holds to be true remains to be seen. It's been a weird turn of events, it's unclear whether or not it's actually going to be dropped outside of Tidal, and as far as I know it isn't available anywhere on YouTube, so instead of submitting FML, I'm submitting Power, from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
Yo Pablo, I'm really happy for you, Imma let you finish, but My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is one of the best hip-hop albums of the past decade... of the past decade! ...in my opinion. You may not be a fan of Kanye's arrogant and flamboyant persona, but there's no denying that he's a great artist. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is one of the gems of modern hip-hop music, and Power is one of the gems off of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy; everything about MBDTF is large, grandiose, and ambitious, and Power in particular does a good job of displaying those traits.
Power has a very heavy and dark sound mainly driven by thick beats, a bass-heavy synth, and an obscure disco sample, occasionally interrupted by a sample of King Crimson's 21st Century Schizoid Man that ties everything together. The song is an exploration of mainly Kanye's own ego - "Now I embody every characteristic of the egotistic" - and, to some extent, his criticisms of the modern United States such as the criminal justice system: "The system broken, the schools closed, the prisons open." This dissatisfaction runs parallel with King Crimson's dissatisfaction with what was the modern world at the time, a fact highlighted by the specific line that Kanye samples from King Crimson; Greg Lake sang of the future 21st Century Schizoid Man, grown cold and distant by the influence of Western culture, and Kanye's personality in Power embodies it.
The song is rife with many quality rhymes, wordplay, that flows natrually such as in the lyrics, "They say I was the abomination of Obama's nation / Well that's a pretty bad way to start a conversation," and in a particularly good segment that spans several lines: "My childlike creativity, purity, and honesty / Is honestly being crowded by these grown thoughts / Reality is catchin' up with me / Takin' my inner child, I'm fighting for it, custody / With these responsibilities that they entrusted me / As I look down at my diamond-encrusted piece". There's a ton of other great examples, but they can't exactly be posted here.
Mars - 11,000 Volts
Straight out of the No Wave movement in New York during the 1970s, Mars' 11,000 Volts is one of my favorite No Wave songs and is, in my opinion, the perfect example of the genre with its very purposefully dissonant sound and very persistent, repetitive sound; the drum beat and bluesy bass stay constant for the majority of the song while Connie Burg's mumbling, extremely hard to comprehend vocals dance with the twangy, improvised lead electric guitar, occasionally joined by a second electric guitar that drops in and out of the piece. It's very eclectic - sometimes it's just the drums and the bass, and sometimes, the vocals and guitars are loudly and chaotically playing on top of them. Having a lyrics sheet doesn't help much, with understanding the song since the words themselves are very surreal and disordered like the instruments in the song; there is no concrete meaning, and that's the song's meaning. It's the audio version of surrealist art: there's something going on, but it's unclear what.
*shels - Journey to the Plains
Journey to the Plains is, well, a journey. The song has many, distinct parts encompassing folkier tunes and post rock resembling the styles of Mogwai, Death Blues, and Deafheaven. Soft humming and guitar plucking introduce the song and shortly give way to a loud and brief section (I hope you didn't turn up your headphones) filled with tribal drumming and horned instruments before returning to the soft plucking from earlier, albeit a bit more pronounced. After a while, drums and a bass that sound a bit like those of Mogwai are layered on top and slowly change into a brief segment featuring some singing and horned instruments. The loud horn section heard earlier makes a return shortly after, serving as a transition to the more Deafheaven-sounding segment around 3:16 featuring heavy drums and a somewhat shoegazy wall of sound with intermittent shouting that continues until the song's end, but not before another electric guitar, some electronic instrument sort of sounding like the one in Death Blues' Obtain, and the trumpets from earlier are layered on. Although the song remains fairly consistent for the second half, there's still a lot going on that makes for a really interesting listen.
R. Kelly - Ignition (Remix)
Judge me all you want. Everyone has heard this song at least once. The catchy chorus has been resonating in my head for the past few days and it will forever be a song I remember.
MAX - Gibberish feat. Hoodie Allen
The former Nickelodeon star, Max Schneider, is well known for is role on the movie 'Rags' alongside Keke Palmer. Max has grown into an AMAZING artist. His voice is incredible and this song is just so upbeat and fun.
ZAYN - PILLOWTALK
As much as I didn't want to like this song, I do. It's a great and catchy song, even with its slight dirty innuendo (doesn't everything these days have one?). It was a great way for Zayn Malik to start off his solo career. Two thumbs up!
Evanescence - End of the Dream
This used to be my favorite song, and I listened to it again today and I still really like it. And here it is on my list.
Nicole Kidman - One Day I'll Fly Away
Moulin Rouge is my second favorite film after Titanic (and they honestly have such similar plot lines). I love all the songs in this movie, but I heard this one from another musical (Peter Pan: The Neverending Story) and I started loving this song. Then I realized it was in Moulin Rouge and I immediately wanted to watch the movie. So this song got me to watch a movie I love. Hearing this song makes me happy, and it reminds me of how great the movie is (although some people hate it.).
Javier Navarrete - Long, Long Time Ago
I have never watched this movie [Pan's Labyrinth]. I've watched clips, but there are scenes in this movie that I do not want to watch. But there was a time that I obsessed over this movie. And then I got the soundtrack and I love it so much and I listen to it when I do homework. The composer said that he based the whole soundtrack around a lullaby, which is what the humming in the beginning is. I think this song is so beautiful, and I hum the humming part when I get anxious and it calms me down.
Real Friends - Sixteen
The intro was what really made me like it and it's one of my favorite songs off their album.
Weezer - Thank God for Girls
So Weezer is a thing I forgot about all those times I was picking songs to submit. So here’s my favorite Weezer song, although the video is a bit odd.
DensleMs - Gravity Falls (Densle Remix)
In honor of the last episode of Gravity Falls earlier this week, here is my favorite remix of the opening theme. Do not underestimate when I say Gravity Falls has become one of my favorite shows, and the fact that it was a Disney/Disney XD channel cartoon is amazing to me. It’s was nothing like what I expected and it's bittersweet knowing the story is over. Highly recommend it to anyone.
C2C - Happy
A simple and really energetic song with a sort of gospel feel. Although it clearly states it's not.
Plus the dancing in the video is worth a watch by itself.
Imagine Dragons - Gold There are a wide range of percussion instruments used in their album Smoke+Mirrors. This song features Agogo Bells.
Big City Folk Band - Undone
This is Big City Folk Band's newest single produced by Collin McKinley. This is one of Big City Folk Bands darker, more melancholic songs. It takes you on an emotional roller coaster from the reserved beginning to a huge cathartic chant at the bridge.
The Notorious B.I.G. - Gimme The Loot
ummmm.... it tells a story as it goes which reels u in.... btw theres like a ton of swears so idk if u can write about it but whatever
Queens of the Stone Age - I Wanna Make It Wit Chu
This song was eventually adapted into the song "Make It Wit Chu" on QotSA's album Era Vulgaris, but was originally released on the collaborative album Desert Sessions, and I personally much prefer the Desert Sessions version. Unfortunately this song lacks lyrical depth, but it also makes fun of lyrical depth in love songs, i.e. "If I told you that I knew about the sun and the moon / I'd be untrue", and therefore achieves a level of "not boring" in its lyricism. It is essentially a slightly more polite way (though not at all a less blatant one) of saying "I want to have sex with you, and I don't care about romance". Not the lyrical message I wish this song had, but one that it does nonetheless. I do, however, respect how blatant and almost satirical it is.
Electric Guest - This Head I Hold
This is a good song about digging yourself into a hole of anxiety. The song sounds like any basic dance/pop song, and it enforces the idea of being trapped by what's expected of you. The line "If you listen carefully then you will feel so low" reinforces this idea of someone with a complex mental issue trapped in an upbeat, soulless music scene. It starts with a general description of anxiety and continues on to express that the artist is unhappy with their music as it is untrue to their self identity. It's one of my favorite songs of what could be considered dance music.
Soundgarden - Never The Machine Forever
I kinda left Soundgarden behind for a while after going through a huge Soundgarden phase, probably because I played them enough to be really tired of them very quickly. Recently, though, I've really been getting back into them, and with good reason. This song essentially brings up the same point brought up in Ken Kesey's One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (which is a truly amazing book that I would recommend to anyone). That point is the idea that the "machine", or the monotony of life and the unspoken rules many people follow through their lives are entirely self-imposed. The machine is not some external influence on one's life, it's all in your head. If you let it get to you, it will have the control you believe it to have. It is on you to break free from societal normality and do your own thing. Excellent song from an excellent group, and I would say it's well worth having a Soundgarden phase (in case any readers out there are considering it).