This is Music Mondays, a weekly list of music recommendations.
There have been some noteworthy singles released in the last few weeks, so I decided to pick a few and review them.
I didn’t pay much attention to Logic prior to “Everybody”. There wasn’t a particular reason for it. Part of it was, until recently, I didn’t consider myself a passionate hip-hop fan, and looked over artists like Logic.
Now that I’ve found him (and I’ll admit I’m late to the party), I’m a big fan.
“Everybody” and “Black SpiderMan” are fantastic singles, and they have me very excited for the full album (“Everybody”) on May 5.
“Everybody” is a great hype track. Its opening line, “Alright I was gone for a minute, but I’m back now. Sit the f*** back down,” is an electric start to a song that’s backed by a simple looping vocal, drums, and bass track.
“Black SpiderMan” is my favorite of the two singles, and I was already in love with “Everybody”. Musically, the song is very joyful, featuring strong instrumentation from bass and piano. A gospel choir and a feature from Damian Lemar Hudson recalls the optimism found in Chance the Rapper’s “Coloring Book”. It has many pop music sensibilities, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this song had radio time over the summer.
The most exciting thing about Logic’s singles is the thematic material in his lyrics. “Everybody” has the rapper talking about his biracial heritage. Its personal subject matter, mainly his feeling of exclusion from “black” or “white” communities, is thoughtful and thought-provoking. Unlike most rappers, Logic avoids using the n-word unless it has a purpose, and this makes the song even better.
“Black SpiderMan” takes the themes of identity in “Everybody” to a grander scale, where Logic tackles sexuality, race, and religion. The lyrics in both songs are intelligent and funny.
I am very excited for “Everybody” and I hope the ideas in these two singles are found throughout the whole release.
Paramore, “Hard Times”
Paramore is back with a new song and accompanying music video (which is pretty cool because it looks like an old Nickelodeon show). Their new album, “After Laughter”, is coming very soon on May 12.
Paramore’s last record, or their self-titled release, leaned away from the pop-influenced punk-rock of the early 2000’s into outright pop music, and their newest single, “Hard Times”, is the band’s most “pop” release to date.
Reminiscent of ‘80s synth pop (a la Cyndi Lauper and Blondie), “Hard Times” signifies Paramore joining the recent trend of alternative bands, such as The 1975 and Bad Suns, making ‘80s inspired songs.
While fans that miss Paramore’s old sound may cry foul to this change, “Hard Times” is a very fun and catchy pop song, with tropical-sounding instrumentation and uplifting lyrics. Lead singer Hayley Williams’ voice still features her signature grit, and it makes the song even better.
My one complaint is that the song lacks a real hook on the chorus or bridge, but I do enjoy the synth fill from the verses to the chorus.
I’m eager to hear the rest of “After Laughter” when it releases on May 12, and am excited to get more ‘80s fun with a 2017 coat of paint.
Speaking of ‘80s fun, Dreamcar is technically a new band with their debut album releasing on the same day (May 12) as Paramore’s newest record.
Why do I say technically? Well, Dreamcar is made up of former members of No Doubt (sans Gwen Stefani) and Davey Havok, the lead singer of rock band AFI.
Together, these musicians have created a new wave band (a la Duran Duran or The Cure), combining synth, pop-punk, and glam-rock for a highly enjoyable result.
Their three singles are great fun, and each signify a slightly different style. “Kill for Candy” leans into the glam-rock category, featuring sugary guitar chords and a shout-it-out-loud chorus. “Born to Lie” slows down the tempo for a more straightforward pop song, with a harmony-filled chorus and a satisfying guitar solo. “All of the Dead Girls” is my favorite of the three singles. It harkens back to the fun pop-punk of my childhood, with over-the-top vocals and angsty lyrics about love.
With these three great singles taken into account, I am very excited for Dreamcar’s debut album. If the whole album is like its singles, I will have a fun ‘80s-inspired pop record for the summer, and I couldn’t be more happy about that.