albums

The Sun’s Top 10 Songs of 2017

1) Bodak Yellow – Cardi B

Perhaps the most pervasive and noticeable facet of this song is the unapologetic delivery of Cardi B’s lyrics. The percussive nature of her articulation almost renders the background beat subservient to her artistic command. Supporting the lyrics is the repetition of a haunting melody which produces a sense of tension that despite being peripheral, is undeniably entrancing. Mesmerizing and captivating, Bodak Yellow is a beautifully hypnotic work. By Varun Biddanda

2) “Passionfruit” — Drake

“Passionfruit” is possibly the most confusing track on More Life.

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Spinning Singles: “Walk on Water” by Eminem

Eminem is a walking contradiction, at once meticulous and utterly messy, both in character and in lyric. His politics are complicated, his rhymes often puzzling. The illustrious Marshall Mathers has without a doubt left behind a prickly portfolio that ranges from aggravating dark male anger to poppy bops to at times mind-bending twists of verse. He is, by most measures, one of the greatest and most problematic hip-hop artists of his era. Eminem has since more or less fallen out of the zeitgeist, nowadays reserved for workout playlists and the occasional surprise appearance on shuffle.

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JONES | How Bad Can a Good Time Be? A Discussion of Three Versions of U2’s New Single

Have you been keeping up with U2? I hadn’t really checked in since the PR disaster of Songs of Innocence’s 2014 release, when the band attempted to regain relevance and reach a younger audience by forcing everybody with an iPhone to own their music. What they intended as a generous gift was instead received like the act of a tyrannical surveillance-state: many iPhone owners were outraged by the band’s disregard for the normal practices of ownership and consent in the digital world. But don’t count U2 out just yet! It turns out that in the years since Songs of Innocence’s stealth-deposit, U2 has been contemplating the naivete that led them to this colossal miscalculation.

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Paradise Reclaimed? “The Gate” by Björk

I was idly scrolling through Facebook when I saw Bjӧrk’s announcement that her new single, “The Gate,” would be released on September 18th. I was ecstatic. I was anxious. Inevitably, though, I got caught up with school; I washed helplessly away on tides of homework and caffeine. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_n0Ps1KWVU0

I was aimlessly adrift until September 14th, when Bjӧrk made another surprise announcement that she was too excited to wait and that she would be releasing “The Gate” at midnight that night (technically the 15th).

Taylor

The New Taylor

Music in 2017 is all about politics or Taylor Swift’s feuds with other celebrities. With “Look What You Made Me Do,” we were all graced with a single about the latter. In the song, Taylor Swift addresses the people who have bullied her, and the way she so inspirationally and unbelievably rises above it every single time, giving girls all around the country new and empowering Instagram captions. As much as I’d like to pretend that this single is just aimed at some nameless grade school bully, Swift makes it more than clear that this is about other celebrities. She makes sly jabs at Kanye West and his musical career, among other artists.

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Spinning Singles: Lana Del Rey, “Lust For Life”

Lana Del Rey’s new song “Lust For Life” debuted on BBC1 on April 19.   The song is the titular track off her upcoming album. It features rich vocals and a collaboration between Lana and the singer Abel Tesfaye of The Weeknd. The track opens with Lana Del Rey’s seductively saying “Climb up the H of the Hollywood sign, in these stolen moments, the world is mine.”  These sultry lyrics are followed by “we’re the  masters of our own fate.”  Lana’s vocals proved to be just as mellifluous as usual, and her performance gave off similar vibes to her first album Born to Die.  

I felt that the collaboration between Lana Del Rey and Abel Tesfaye was disappointing.

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Spinning Singles: Eleven, “Step Forward”

Two of the newest artists to watch are currently working through their undergrad at the University of Pennsylvania. Eleven, a budding band started by Blue Bookhard and Karis Stephens, recently released their single “Step Forward.” Bookhard floats you in with sounds just shy of evanescent, before dipping down to more grounded tones on the synth. Stephen wanders onto the beat moments later, with a voice smoothed out by her acapella experience. She leaves traces of an Alessandra Cara kind of lull, while dishing out lyrics more fitting to an album by Marian Hill, a more established Philadelphia duo, “You don’t like the rain/a gemini too, 5’6” on a good day.”

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Spinning Singles: Tinashe, “Flame”

With the best assets of a dancer, model, songwriter and singer wrapped into one package, Tinashe has the makings of a superstar. From her dazzling performances on tour to her collection of mixtapes and albums, the star potential is evident in everything in which she partakes. After being enchanted by her feature on Snakehips’ “All My Friends,” I’ve held the belief that she’s one of the most talented artists in the business. And yet, not everyone shares my romanticized view of the songstress. Maybe you vaguely remember her face, never heard of her before, or worse, forgot that she even exists.

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Spinning Singles: EDMONDSON, “Meanwhile”

Legendary producer and so-called “Fifth Beatle,” George Martin, once told a story about the 1967 classic “Strawberry Fields Forever.” According to Martin, the track’s slow build, its fusion of traditional rock elements with studio innovation, came about after a frustrated John Lennon decided to join two different versions of the song together in the studio. Beatles comparisons are a lot—but “Meanwhile,” the new track off EDMONDSON’s upcoming record, Strange Durations, recalls some of their later work like “Fields” in its willingness to push the listener in unexpected directions. Beginning with bittersweet piano licks, the track veers into new territory midway, eventually settling into a horn-driven groove, as sassy as its first bars are reflective. It includes shakers, changing time signatures and what sounds like a circus whistle. “Meanwhile” assembles its pieces into an intriguingly new sound, one that challenges the listener while inviting her in.

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Spinning Singles: Lorde, “Green Light”

Lorde is an icon. She’s the voice of our generation, and old folks are jealous for it. David Brooks and the rest of the fake news media don’t actually think of millennials as hopelessly privileged social media zombies. Instead, they resent that we had Pure Heroine, Lorde’s 2013 opus, where they had disco or whatever your parents promote as “real music.” With Heroine, Lorde delivered an album-length testament to teenage glory, told not by an aged folk singer nostalgic for his pink carnations and his pickup truck, but rather by one of our peers – a precocious 17 year-old already wise about her formative years. https://open.spotify.com/track/3FQ26GroLnhQEja48FKYqT

Lorde’s age at the time suggested something akin to a child prodigy, but it also proved an essential component to her songwriting.