Sunday, April 11, 2010

Singles of the Week: Apr 11, 2010

Pop/Rock: Jack Johnson - “You and Your Heart”

Jack Johnson probably represents one of the most consistently decent — and wildly uncontroversial — artists in the music business. It’s no surprise then that his new single for his upcoming album, “To the Sea,” turns out to be another gentle, easy-going success. It’s not a radical departure from his previous work, but still, Johnson deserves props for perfecting his craft. The guitar line is catchy, the piano and drums soothing, and Johnson’s voice uplifting as always. The lyrics however, are surprisingly thoughtful, contrasting to the simplicity of the melody: “You dropped so many lives in the sand/Lost your fingers, nails on your hand.” However, the biggest appeal that “You and Your Heart” can offer is a perfect, down-to-earth companion to the good spring weather.

-Lisa Han ‘13

Indie: High Places — "On Giving Up"

Three years ago, with the release of their self-titled LP, High Places made a name for themselves as a chipper electronic duo. Backed by ramshackle percussion and layered samples, vocalist Mary Pearson cooed sweetly about spiritual wonder. Now, on their sophomore album “High Places vs. Mankind,” the band has exchanged childlike whimsy for somber sobriety. Sonically, this amounts to a greater emphasis on melody and traditional orchestration. Lyrically, this means eschewing the nature theme in favor of angst. “On Giving Up” is the first single and the best example of the band’s new direction. A rolling bass and echoing guitar line create a sexy, sinister mood as Pearson insists: “Tonight is going to be the night.” In a nutshell: this is a dance track for people who don’t want dance – for those who’d rather sway noncommittally while smoking a cigarette in the corner. Which is to say, it should be played on heavy rotation at a certain eating club. (T.I., naturally.)

-Cristina Luzarraga ‘11

Pop/Rock: Train - "Hey, Soul Sister"

Let's be honest: Train is great band, but if you were asked to list their songs, you’d probably be stumped after "Drops of Jupiter." Luckily, Train's first single in 3 years, "Hey, Soul Sister," has the potential to be as big as "Drops." Definitely check it out (if you haven't already heard it on the radio) and add it to your "YESSS IT'S SPRING!" playlist (oh wait, am I the only one that has one of those?). It's beachy, fun and casual, and Pat Monahan's whistle-high voice singing "I don't wanna miss a single thing you do tonight" is the perfect jam for the sun soaked, romance-sparking days we've been having (and, cross your fingers, will continue to have).

-Jess Turner ‘12

Hip Hop/Rap: Wale - “Rude Boy” (Rihanna Overdub)

We’ve all heard Rihanna’s “Rude Boy,” but this week, try checking out D.C. rapper Wale’s take on the song. On his most recent album, Wale lost some of the mixtape-born, loose, unexpected flow that he flaunted on “Back to the Feature” and other earlier tapes. But make no mistake -- he’s back on track on “Rude Boy,” and teaming up with Rihanna’s techno-backed chorus feels natural. He’s just the rude boy the song has been looking for.

-Sara Wallace ‘12

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