January 22, 2014

Swinging Singles | Shakira, Foster the People, Lily Allen

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“Can’t Remember to Forget You” – Shakira ft. Rihanna

Released Jan. 13

This month Rihanna and Shakira collaborated on a single, “Can’t Remember to Forget You.” With similar styles, the two artists work well together but the collaboration does not venture far beyond work Shakira might have produced independently.

The heartbroken lyrics are desperate, self-sacrificial and, most importantly, unoriginal. Rihanna’s vocals stand out in the chorus, singing, “I rob and kill to keep him with me, I’d give my last dime to hold him tonight.” The lyricist touchingly reminisces, “The only memory is us kissing in the moonlight.” Though simple and repetitive, the words are easy to remember and will likely stay in your head all day.

As uninspired as the single may be, it is undeniably catchy. The rhythm is upbeat and Shakira’s latin influence can be felt in the beat throughout the song. The single starts with synthesized staccato instrumentals under Shakira’s unmistakable feminine vocals. In fact the song is ironically high energy considering the depressed subject.

Since the release of her collaboration with Rihanna, Shakira has since released a solo version of the single for her Spanish-speaking audience. Without Rihanna’s vocals to fill out the chorus, the solo version is not as strong and though rolled syllables compliment the latin-inspired instrumentals, the song’s inspiration is more interesting in the duet.

— Madeline Salinas

“Coming of Age” – Foster the People

Released Jan. 13

Foster the People recently released the single “Coming of Age” to be included in their second studio album, Supermodel, set to be released in March. The single reflects the synthesized sound and back-up vocals of the first album but puts a greater spotlight on instrumentals, with emphasis on the keyboard in the song’s bridge. The group also appears to be putting a greater emphasis on vocals — the chorus is a fluid melody that mellows out the track.

Ultimately the single is anticlimactic, with repetitive vocals and consistent percussion throughout. The melody alternates on different instruments but remains the same throughout. “Coming of Age” brings the same soft, upbeat appeal as Foster the People’s previous album, but it is not their best work.

— Madeline Salinas

“Air Balloon” — Lily Allen

Released Jan. 13

Following up her now-infamous single “Hard Out Here,” Lily Allen takes another stab at a comeback with a classically fun pop single, “Air Balloon.” It’s obvious now that she’s picking up the British electropop baton that Kate Nash dropped. Optimistic, escapist and infectious, this bubbly track, the second off of her upcoming album, invites you along with a “trippin’” Allen.

—Kaitlyn Tiffany/Sean Doolittle

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