Let’s listen to the first single off JMR’s upcoming EP, Boyish, that comes to life with a catchy beat and heavenly harmonies.
Immediately we can hear JMR’s soothing vocals over a soft guitar - very relaxing.
OK JMR I see you. Here you may notice your head bopping to the beat and that is totally OK because it’s starting to bump.
Controlling society? JMR flies under the radar as his love interest is pushed and shoved around?
The chorus offer an uplifting message about treading on despite those who try to hold you.
He closes it out with some solo vocals which display yet again how pleasing it is to listen to his voice:)
When this track first started, I was a little unsure of how the rest of the song would be because it is pretty slow in the beginning. However, JMR quickly picks it up with a fun beat. The chorus is a little repetitive with the same two lines “But I’m gonna find a way to dance even if they tie my feet.” It didn’t really bother me because it successfully emphasizes the message of the song. Overall, I’m pretty stoked for JMR’s new EP, Boyish, to come out on May 26 so we can hear some more of his sound that catches listeners off guard. In a completely dope way of course.
KYGO & ELLIE GOULDING - First Time
Get ready to vibe out to some new Kygo. This single follows his last one featuring Selena Gomez.
Classic Kygo beat - It's a nostalgic melody but not the first time Kygo has used this.
This track has got me feeling capital G Good. I want to go on a quiet drive with the windows down.
I wish this was a little more upbeat.
Throwing in some relatable lyrics for the #rebels.
GOT IT. This is similar to Firestone.
This is your typical Kygo song, a calming voice over some light instruments. I’m a little disappointed to hear similar parts to his other song Firestone, but I still fuck with this track. To be completely honest, I don't think I have disliked a Kygo song since I started listening to him. Featuring Ellie Goulding was a power move. Keep the good vibes rollin Kygo ~ can’t wait to hear what you’ve got for us next.
ODESZA Feat. WYNNE & Mansionair - Line of Sight
FINALLY! After almost a year and a half of nothing, ODESZA dropped some new music.
Starting the track of with some beach vibes. Take me there, ODESZA.
The lyrics in the chorus is a little hard to understand.
You know, I’m getting bored of this beat.
This sounds more like a Chainsmokers song than a ODESZA one… And I don’t like it.
Doesn’t really sound like a big comeback song.
Overall, this is song is a chiller. It’s the kind of track that makes you want to sit with a cold beer in your grip and your toes in the sand. However, I can't say anything substantial about this “comeback” besides that. ODESZA, you were gone for so long, and now we get this? Still, the melody is alright and there could be some dope remixes of this track. If we brought up the speed and added some bass when the chorus drops, it could be a banger.
SUPERORGANISM - It’s All Good
Who is Superorganism? Well, they just came out with their second track and it’s splendidly unique.
OK so we know it’s raining.
This voice is a little creepy but intriguing.
The vocalist’s entrance made me “scream.” She’s killing it.
A nice twist to the second verse. The production is so weird but I dig it.
“We know you feel the world’s too heavy, but you can turn it all around if you want.” This lyric perfectly sums up the song that will make you forget all your troubles.
It’s All Good just took me on a trip. The somewhat discordant intro comes together and leads into the first lyrics, which are soothing and exciting at the same time. It uses unconventional sounds and encouraging phrases to promote one message: it’s as bad as you make it. This song is made up of so many different elements just like the group, which has eight members located in London and Maine. Superorganism is something new and different, and I could not be more psyched for what they’re going to do next.
SZA Love Galore ft Travis Scott
Here’s our reaction to SZA’s sizzling new track and video featuring Travis Scott, a fitting addition to her upcoming record Ctrl. Heads up: it gets bloody.
Okay first off, this song is just sexy af.
Butterflies?! I know monarchs are high key endangered right now but I dig it.
“Love, love, love” contrasts the more prominent tones of lust and power in this video. Tough love, I guess.
The song feels like it was all recorded in one breath.
An emotional tug of war that is vulnerable and passionate. I’m into it.
SZA is still killing it and her vocals never waiver. Still not sure what's going on visually though...
Um yeah, you lost me.
Basically, listen to the song and skip the video. Scratch that; watch the first two minutes to appreciate SZA and Travis, and then opt for a ‘lyrics only’ version. The track itself is smooth and has an addicting beat. Love Galore is a video few may understand but a song that everyone can enjoy, and SZA’s dominance is the reason why. From the vocals on the track to the visuals in the video, she kills it. The lyrics evoke similar emotions but from opposing sides, making it even more interesting and raw. Love Galore may have gotten a little sidetracked in its visual representation, but this single is undeniably enticing and has proved to us that Ctrl. is an album you don’t want to miss.
Lana Del Rey - Lust For Life (feat. The Weeknd)
Lana takes us on her romantic date on top of the Hollywood sign with the one and only, Starboy.
Woah this is the old school badass Lana I know and LOVE… of course she is climbing up the Hollywood sign with her lover.
Strong first verse with the perfect amount of undertones. It’s a bit of a “doo-wop” and I’m totally for it.
Chorus is a little more repetitive than I would like but The Weeknd’s entrance is very sexy.
Abel takes over this verse, but it’s basically the same as the first. Weak.
Lana is young, in love, and happy which makes me SO happy.
Lana is back and I could not be more excited. Let’s break it down for a second. I like the song because:
a.) The background sounds and beat create are strong and bangin’
b.) Lana’s “sing-talking” embodies the whole idea of “Lust”
c.) The Weeknd’s voice is steamy and solidifies the song
My biggest complaint, however, is the repetition. Another thing that stands out to me is the melody’s resemblance to an earlier piece Without You from Lana’s freshman album Born To Die. This track has lowered my expectations for Lana’s new album, but I am hopeful that she will prove me wrong and come back with a musical masterpiece.
JOHN MAYER - The Search for Everything
After a near three-year hiatus, John Mayer is back again with his eighth album. Two singles from the album debuted earlier this year, both making it to number 1 on Billboard’s Top Rock Hits. Let’s see if the album lives up to that. Here is a song by song breakdown of The Search for Everything.
Still Feel Like Your Man
Strong opener for the album. This track has similar element to his earlier 2000s stuff, with a little nod to his new blues work.
Emoji of a Wave
I got super excited when I heard the slow rock vibe, however it doesn’t stand up to my expectations as it kind of just goes on without much excitement.
The guitar riff starting off the song gets me going! Chorus has some beautiful harmonizes.
Love on the Weekend
This was the first single from the album, and although I wasn’t initially a big fan, I’ve recently warmed up to this slowed down love song.
In the Blood
Cute lyrics, but the song is repetitive and sort of boring.
These mouth-watering guitar skills SAVE the song.
Theme from: The Search for Everything
This instrumental track is a nice addition and, as it says in the title, honestly does do a good job at summing up the album.
Moving on and Getting Over
Different from most of his other stuff on the album, as it gives major jazz and borderline reggae vibes.
Never on the Day You Leave
Another ballad which primarily showcases Mayer’s talented vocals and magical lyrics.
Right off the beat, I love this song. It reminds me of his best album to date: Battle Studies.
Roll It On Home
Major country music vibes immediately put me off, however John somehow makes it work and turns it around with a catchy chorus.
You’re Gonna Live Forever in Me
The whistling at the start reminds me of some kind of lullaby or a knock-off “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” (Toy Story is life). While reminding me of my favorite childhood movie, this close is just not living up to my John Mayer expectations.
The Search for Everything has twelve vastly different songs in varying genres. Frankly, I am not blown away by this album as a whole or the songs individually. I absolutely love “Rosie” and “Helpless,” but the other tracks blend together and remind me a lot of his older stuff. Nothing could possibly top his 2009 album Battle Studies, and this album doesn’t come close. However, John Mayer is still producing lyrically profound and instrumentally unique music in The Search For Everything to keep his artistic success alive and well.
KENDRICK LAMAR - Damn.
Kendrick has delivered once again. The album cover may be a little bland, compared to others in the past. Not to worry though, I can assure you this is the worst part about this fire album. Let’s take a look.
Classic Kendrick setting the mood. It’s go time.
Well that didn’t take long. I’m already on my feet losing my mind. Kendrick, you’re bad. I guess it’s just in your DNA. ;)
I was waiting for a nice sing along song. This is chill.
I like this “Kung Fu Kenny” thing. The chorus is so catchy, and the slowed down chorus at the end was bomb. Great song.
A little bit of a smoother jam. I like it. This is a song you have to just sit back, relax, and let Kendrick speak to your soul.
This one is my second favorite song on the album. Rihanna as a feature in hip-hop songs gives me chills everytime. She has the most soothing voice and I’m a little (lot) bit in love with her.
Kendrick has so many types of music. I don’t know how to even describe this one. His voice is constantly changing pitch. If you want to get high and listen to a song that will put a smile on your face and make you bop your head back and forth, this is your beat.
It takes 40 seconds before Kendrick says anything. I was just waiting and waiting for something big to happen. Spoiler alert: no giant beat dropped or anything. But this was another catchy song.
Best song on the album. I really thought my favorite song on DAMN. would be a hype track because I was eager for another m.A.A.d City type hit. Well, this song is not hype, but it’s fantastic. I had never heard Zacari before, but he and K-dot make a great team in this song. It’s simply beautiful.
Wait what? U2? Kendrick … and U2?! Very interesting combo. This one might make you raise an eyebrow or two in the first minute, but at about 1:20 you’ll be moving around. It won’t last long. U2 will put you right back in your seat…
OK I like this song a lot but it’s seven minutes. I always skip songs over six minutes. Sorry:/
This one came from Kendrick’s heart. There’s an incredible amount of passion, which isn’t a surprise for a song titled GOD. Fantastic.
Honestly, for a closing song, it could’ve been better. Still solid.
After HUMBLE. was released last week, I really thought Kendrick was back to making bangers. However, most of these songs are not super upbeat, originally leaving me disappointed. After listening to the album a couple of times, I realized that Kendrick is more focused on the complexities and depth of his music. These tracks are as good and sometimes better than his classic upbeat bangers. Some of these songs I can jam to and for some I can sit back and relax. No matter which type of song, Kendrick’s lyrics speak to your soul and deliver a strong message, which he did here better than ever this time. With that being said, Kendrick has created some of the best hip-hop albums ever. To me, good kid, m.A.A.d city has always been his best, and I never thought that would change. However, DAMN. might just be up there, and it is a close second at the very least. I don’t know how this man keeps doing it, but Kendrick proved to me once again why he is the best rapper alive.
Kendrick Lamar - HUMBLE.
Kendrick bangers are back. Let’s take a look at this new track:
Damn, Kendrick just told us that he doesn’t need any help. He’s been doing this all day. The song hasn’t even started yet. Buckle up.
Wow, what a verse to start things off. After a deep “preachy” single last week, Kendrick takes a turn with this song. This first verse has you bumpin’ your head to the beat.
I’m a little disappointed in the chorus. After a catchy first verse, I was hoping for a sing-a-long type chorus, but it was just kind of Kendrick chanting the same thing about 20 times.
Only Kendrick could get away with bragging about chilling with Obama in a song called HUMBLE.
Kendrick says “If I kill a n****, it won't be the alcohol, ayy
I'm the realest n**** after all, bitch, be humble.” This is a strong lyric. K-dot shows that his actions are not done from drugs or alcohol. Everything he does represents him and what he stands for. After all, he’s the realest.
This single was very comforting. Kendrick has seemed to change his style a lot recently. Especially with his last single, The Heart Part 4, Kendrick’s songs now seem very lyrically driven. I want more Kendrick bangers again. I want another m.A.A.d city type jam. Humble is a mix of fantastic lyrics with a powerful message and being a good ole fashion Kendrick banger. I am ready and hopeful for more of the same with his new rumored album. Come through Kendrick.
OH WONDER - Ultralife
Ultralife by Oh Wonder is the ultimate feel-good song, and here is why.
Rhythm on the bridge builds up the to the chorus so damn well and I love it
Beat dropping into the chorus has a “dream-like” mixture of upbeat tones and perfect harmony
“I’ve got so much soul inside my bones” is absolutely my favorite lyric from song. It just captures the essence of this powerful and cheerful tune, and I am digging it.
Instead of slowing the song down completely, this break keeps a steady beat and it totally works
Keeps killing it with amazing lyrics like; “you told me what the fight was for”
Ultralife’s mixture of sounds perfectly mills together, capturing Oh Wonder’s unique ability to appeal to so many different music genres. Lines like “lovesick the beat inside my head” perfectly mirror the feeling of carefree satisfaction. Without being too cheesy, Oh Wonder successfully ties up the perfect love song with a feel-good mood. Although I usually feel that Oh Wonder is another “wannabe The 1975,” I am excited for what more they have in store for us.
alt-J - In Cold Blood
Alright, let’s check out this single from alt-J’s new album, RELAXER, out June 2nd
I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited for a song that starts in binary (@ all you nerds)
I’m lowkey getting a Vampire Weekend Vibe from this
Oh shit, that brass kicks ass
This needs to be one of those that you can just sing and everyone knows the lyrics *cough*
Bohemian Rhapsody *cough*
This song hypes me up for summer
*Cue sick synth solo*
So far, I’m pumped for this new album. Their sound is fresh, the lyricism is clever, and the beat is pumping. It’s not perfect (the chorus is a little dry after hearing it a few times) but overall, I expect good things from alt-J. Let’s see what else they have to offer.
BEYONCÉ - Die With You
What She Did
Last Tuesday 4/4 was a very important day-- Beyoncé and Jay Z’s wedding anniversary! To celebrate eight years of marriage, Beyoncé publicly proclaimed her love for her hubby over TIDAL. The singer released the streamable single Die With You, along with the music video-- a mash-up of home videos, which provided a sneak peak into the couple’s intimate journey from engagement, to wedding, and finally starting a family.
How We Feel
This single is every hopeless romantic’s fantasy. The simplicity of unedited vocals and piano is so authentic and sincere that listeners can truly hear the passionate love which the singer possesses for her husband.
As you watch the adorable interactions between these two soul mates in the music video, it is hard not to melt- especially when clips of a chubby baby Blue Ivy pop up!
The song on its own is a little too slow and overly mushy for me to listen to on the reg. However, I believe the beauty in this song comes from the genuine love you can hear it performed with. This song was written for Jay Z and nobody else-- so truly the only person’s opinion that matters is Jay Z’s. Also, Queen B slays in whatever she performs-- from country, to hip-hop, to this perfect first dance for newly-weds.
This release comes just shy of a year after Beyoncé’s surprise album, Lemonade, which not so subtly accused Jay-Z of having an affair. This song is a complete 360 from the rage-filled jam Don’t Hurt Yourself… Considering the massive fandom which the couple has, this was a reassuring confirmation that our power-couple has worked out their issues, and is very much still in love.
I was super relieved to hear that Bey and Jay are still as strong as ever-- especially now that two more Beyoncé babies are coming into the world! I don’t think that this single warrants another album release, seeing as the singer needs to focus on her growing family at the moment, but considering that Lemonade dropped with no real warning, who knows what Beyoncé has in store for us?
CALVIN HARRIS - Heatstroke (feat. Young Thug, Pharrell Williams & Ariana Grande)
Calvin Harris is pumping everyone up for his next album with his latest single
A beat made for a roller skate disco
Thug’s first verse is KILLER
Like the song says, I am truly having a good time. How can you not dance right now?
Ariana’s velvet and vivacious voice
Okay somehow the second verse is better than the first, I don’t understand???
The bridge a little repetitive but the beat is so fun that it’s not really bothering me
As you can probably tell by my comments, I loved this song. A feel-good bop with disco undertones and a positive message is always fun. With Harris’s previous single Slide getting such great reception, he needed to put out another banging track to keep up the motivation for his next album, and I think he did it. Although it surprisingly hasn’t become too big yet, Heatstroke is a fine contender for the song you hear at every party this summer.
THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS - Whiteout Conditions
The New Pornographers have another album for us, and we hear that it’s a banger. This is the first time they are sadly missing Dan Bejar, who is working on dropping a solo album, so we’ll see if they fill the void well. Here’s a song-by-song breakdown of Whiteout Conditions.
1. “Play Money”
This opener gives me a slow rock vibe with electronic elements.
2. “Whiteout Conditions”
The title song picks up the pace with a little more teen angst (but aren’t these guys old?). Light melodies in the chorus contrast with the dejected lyrics.
3. “High Ticket Attractions”
With such an interesting verse and bridge composition, the chorus is a bit of a let down. Regardless, airy synths and the combined vocals of Carl (A.C.) Newman and Kathryn Calder make this a pretty addition to the album.
4. “This is the World of the Theatre”
Slowing down the lyrics and bringing in more acoustic sounds, this song makes you feel like you’re on a high adventure with all your high animal friends.
5. “Darling Shade”
This is a song my dad would headbang to. And as funny as that would be, it would also make me vomit.
6. “Second Sleep”
What are these amazing harmonies??? OK, besides that this song is kind of odd but I guess that’s sort of the point.
A xylophone that KILLS.
8. “We’ve Been Here Before”
Ethereal af, slow af, different af. I love it.
OK how do I describe this song without sounding like a bitch? It’s heavy and a little honky-tonk, but then turns alternative??? The constant change of style sort of just puts my face in a permanent state of disgust and I really don’t dig:/
This track brings back the airy sound I so much love from this band!!! Thank the porn gods!
11. “Avalanche Alley”
Kind of a lame closer but a fun track on its own.
Alright, so honestly it’s impressive that The New Pornographers can come out with a SEVENTH album and it’s this good. How do you have more ideas? How have you not broken up??? So many questions. This album tends to stick to a pop-rock combo, so it’s nice when they try to incorporate different genre influences, although they sometimes come up short. Most songs have the same format, while I personally prefer variation in length and progression throughout an album. While many of the members have had considerable solo success, like A.C. Newman, their sound together effectively appeals to teenage listeners by combining the ever so loved retro aspect with new electronic elements and catchy melodies. So, this one’s for you, angsty high schooler whose parents just don’t understand them.
FRANK OCEAN – FRANK OCEAN – Biking (feat. JAY Z & Tyler, the Creator)
We’re going to relax and enjoy Frank Ocean’s new song Biking. This is his first single since his last album, Blonde.
J-HOVA. Although I love Jay-Z, I don’t think this is his best performance.
I vibe with this pickup! Frank is doing well.
Frank Ocean rapping quickly?? I like.
One Wheel Two Wheel Red Wheel Blue Wheel...
This ending feels unnecessary.
To me, this doesn’t sound like your typical Frank Ocean song, even though Ocean’s voice is peaceful as always. The soft piano melody in the back of Jay-Z’s part is a dope intro and Tyler definitely didn’t disappoint. I haven’t heard a Tyler versus in a while that had me vibing this hard. Frank just dropped Blonde, but if he dropped another album anytime soon, I would freak.
THE CHAINSMOKERS - Memories...Do Not Open
The Chainsmokers’ new album really brings it with these 12 tracks, using the same classic electronic pop format for literally every song they make. Every single one. Nonetheless, they keep churning out hits, so for that we are going to break it down. Get ready, kids. This is a good one.
Interesting opening to the album, a bit somber, but overall nice instrumental. The exposed vocals have just enough synthesizer to make Andrew Taggart seem like a singer.
‘Break Up Every Night”
Well we’ve done a complete 180 from somber love song to a heated dance beat. I wouldn’t qualify this as singing so much as longer talking, but if you’re looking for a really really really repetitive song with little variation, this is the one!
Improvement from that last song, although it still feels recycled. The lyrics are exactly what you’ll hear when your man cheats on you with your best friend and says sorry. Woot.
Emily Warren’s voice is a very good complement to their sound. Keep her around please, we need her.
They brought Emily Warren back thankfully, and the lyrics to this song are GOOD. The chorus is a little twist and the second verse holds up well. Emily Warren should be part of the chainsmokers.
“It Won’t Kill Ya”
Louane holds her own in this song, but sounds almost too much like Skylar Grey on the Suicide Squad album. Interesting chorus, certainly better than the first half of this album. Get ready to hear this song at a club, heavily remixed. You won’t hate it, I hope.
Sticks with the concurrent theme of party boys singing odd break-up melodies to their lady friends, but this is not the best of the album. Don’t listen to the lyrics attentively or you’ll leave confused.
This song made me want to smack whoever wrote the lyrics, because he sounds like a huge douche.
“Wake Up Alone”
Every single chick who’s taken an uber home at 6AM will vibe with this song. But, turn it off before the last 20 seconds. Trust me.
Why is this song is called “Young” when it already feels old?? This track sounds like Closer if it had been through a dishwasher too many times.
“Last Day Alive”
Okay so the idea here was to put the death song at the end, which is fine I guess. I almost expected the shitty fade out this album ended on.
The chainsmokers have cited Pharrell Williams and Deadmau5 as influences, two artists who have signature aspects but made huge strides in their respective genres. The Chainsmokers also have a signature aspect, but it’s using the same format for every song. This album simply lacks a diversity of sound that every artist needs. On their own, the songs aren’t bad, but in context there’s just nothing new or unique to draw in listeners. If you would willingly take a Xanax with your boss on a weekday, this is the album for you.