Music As of Late

2016–08–26

I really wanted to write a happier blog, so here we go.

I cannot say that I am displeased with the music that has been headlining lately. The second coming of Blink 182, Green Day, and Britney Spears has wow’d me. Even some of the radio hits chill my bones with excitement. I’m just going to name and detail some new music that I have appreciated lately in hopes that some of my readers will find a new perspective in the music.

My perspective in music has changed a lot in the recent years, and I hope that in reading my blog, you will find a wise perspective that you can carry on yourself. (That’s me calling myself smart, and I apologize for that. However, if I were to be called smart for anything, it definitely would be for music.) By the way, I’m just ranting on these songs as I hear them, so if you’re looking for cohesive writing, then look elsewhere.

Britney Spears — “Private Show”

I am aware of the general public’s view on Britney’s singing voice. Some say she sounds like an anime character or a chipmunk in this song, but I think “Private Show” highlights the unique sound in Britney’s voice that rose her to fame in the first place. Many female singers in the spotlight have voices that, although are strong and powerful, sound much alike. Britney’s voice is obvious, and the way that she nailed her transitions between smooth to staccato phrasing sounded great in “Private Show”. The production of this song itself gives a sound reminiscent of an older time by using the vocal doo wop-esque backtrack, but brings us back to the future by the verbiage and bass line. “Private Show” also does not have a simple pop arrangement. It ends with a bridge, which I find interesting and rather pleasant. I cannot say “Private Show” is for everyone, and this goes for all the songs I will talk about, but if you are interested in a unique, retrospective, and fun song to carpool karaoke with, this is it.

Blink 182 — “Bored to Death”

The beginning of “Bored to Death” sounded very annoying at first for me. It was a little too bad pop punk 90’s for me due to the weird warped sound at the beginning. After listening to this song over and over again, I have found that the chorus is almighty enough for me to not care about the beginning anymore. I have found myself singing this song out of no where because it’s so catchy. There is just so much to love leading up to every chorus. I hear the beautiful and precise drum fills each time before the chorus gets large. (Take the time to listen to the drums in this song. Seriously.) The transitions between each stanza of the song fit together in this textured piecework of strength and excitement. The instrumentation in “Bored to Death” is varied and obviously well thought out. I hear a mixture of stringed orchestral instruments, guitar, bass, vocal backgrounds, and amazing drums. “Bored to Death” is a great rock song without overwhelming pop elements, and I hope that other rock bands follow suit with Blink on this wave of pure rock music. (I know the word pure is a little too strong, but I’m using it in an abstract way.) I just cannot get over the drums! Listen to “Bored to Death”!

Marc E. Bassy — “You & Me”

“You & Me” is such an important song with its subject matter. The beginning of the song really gives off a setting with the traffic noises, although it can get confusing when you’re driving. Marc E. Bassy’s singing is delightful along with an island sound. I cannot say that I understand why he uses an island sound, but I have noticed that island beats have been extremely popular in music lately. I think the strongest point of this song is how well the lyrics were written to a very simple tune. “It’s not us no more / It’s just you and me” is what Marc E. Bassy refrains in the chorus. The rap portion of the song is very specific to the Bay, and I think those from home would feel very close to the idea of this song. The island sound gives a cool vibe to the song because it shows how the singer is sort of just relaxed and learning to let go in “You & Me”. This song, unlike the first two I wrote about, I feel like can be very easily mainstreamed to the radio. Even if you didn’t like “Private Show” or “Bored to Death”, I have a good feeling you’ll like “You & Me”. Good luck trying to get it out of your head though.

Kehlani — “Gangsta”

I don’t care if you like Suicide Squad or not. I really did. “Gangsta” was played during a small scene about Joker and Harley Quinn when she jumped into the pool of crazy sauce. I don’t hear many great new R&B voices in this day in age, but Kehlani, a Bay native, is a great one. The strongest element of this song is the smooth texture throughout. Kehlani sings in an airy tone to add to mystery. The way her voice represents the ominous feeling of the Joker/Harley love. It’s dangerous and adventurous and on-edge, but it’s powerful. The backtrack was just made well with its hip-hop elements and heartbeat sounds that create a rush to the song. Kehlani’s voice was well supported by the backtrack the whole song, and I can say that “Gangsta” was definitely the best song on the Suicide Squad album.

Green Day — “Bang Bang”

Green Day came on strong with the punk sound with the loud guitar strumming in the beginning. Luckily for us, it was well done, and Billie Joe’s voice is still stunning. The part of “Bang Bang” that made me love it was the section that started a little after 2 minutes. It has a Middle Eastern chord progression that went straight to my heart. I cannot say that “Bang Bang” has a catchy chorus (at all, seriously, the whole singing portion kind of flew over my head), but like “Bored to Death”, the drums were fantastic. The way the drums drove the whole song surprises me because “Bang Bang” would have lost my attention without the drums in this song. What is very honorable about Green Day is that they are not scared to be political in their music. The strongest part of the song is definitely the awareness it brings to listeners, although I wish I could understand Billie Joe throughout the song without looking up the lyrics. Great come back, Green Day; I’m looking forward to hearing more with your album release.

Kanye West — “Low Lights”

Some of you will not understand why I would talk about “Low Lights” in this Music As of Late blog. When you listen to “Low Lights”, you will hear simple piano, a woman speaking, and some supporting synth notes. However, I believe songs on an album and music should be made to give off a statement. I don’t know what statement is more powerful than for a famous rapper like ‘Ye to put out a track on his album about God. The way he accompanied the woman’s speech was careful and non-overwhelming with the simple chord structures. I recommend this song because “Low Lights” really can touch a soul. I was driving tonight and never heard “Low Lights”, and I found this one inspirational. An experimental track of Kanye’s like this may never be the track he is revered for, but I will always think of ‘Ye in the brightest of perspectives because of the great things like this he does.

Weezer — “Wind In Our Sail”

Weezer’s latest album “Weezer (White Album)” came out in the Spring, and it was a breath of fresh air. “Wind In Our Sail” definitely stole me right when I heard it. I don’t know if it’s first and foremost because I’m a science junkie or if it’s just simply delightful. The lead singer’s voice is classic. I don’t have a complaint of his voice, and I just think it’s great how he can transcend the message of “keep on keeping on” the way he does. He doesn’t do any crazy runs or licks, but you can hear his energy. That’s the cool thing about rock singers — their energy. I focused most of this paragraph-ish blurb about the singing, but this whole song was well done. I can easily commend the piano in the beginning that was inviting/warm and the guitar that was taking out those riffs throughout the song. I just find it amazing how there was so much texture throughout this song, but they were able to keep it light and fun. If you ever need a pick me up, listen to “Wind In Our Sail”. It’s really enlightening, and I definitely need more music with this message.

With all that said, I will try to come back with writing a more concise blog about more songs with more thought and structure. Have a happy Friday!