Sampha pulled a Sia and went from vocalist to soloist and the results are A++.
2: Arcade Fire // Everything now
I didn’t love Reflektor except for the stuff from the Her soundtrack, but this one is prettttty good.
3: Liv // Wings of Love
Liv is a hybrid of Lykki Li, Miike Snow, and Peter, Bjorn, and John. What?? I have Jason Bentley to thank for this one, and many others. Thank you Jason for making my mornings so very eclectic! (And don’t mind the very uh, Georgia O’Keefe-ness of this album art.)
4: Frank Ocean // Chanel
So I didn’t love Blonde as much as Channel Orange.I know. Did I just not get it? Was I expecting way way way way way way way too much? It’s likely.
5: HAIM // Want You Back
When did this song come out and how did I not know until yesterday? I was so scared to listen because I was so afraid of them having a sophomore slump. BUT THEY DIDN’T. IT’S SO GOOD. NOT EVEN BEING IN T-SWIFT’S CLIQUE CAN MAKE ME DISLIKE THEM.
It is difficult when you are raised and generally still believe that songs with bad messages are bad songs. What happens then, when said songs are so catchy that to hear them is to love them immediately and against your will?!?!
Here are five of my guiltiest pleasures.
#1: Katy Perry, Teenage Dream
“LET’S GO ALL! THE WAY TONIGHT!” I shout-sing in my car, with the windows down and the wind whipping my hair. Then I cringe — can my parents hear me? Can God? Surely this is not the message teenage girls should — “NO REGRETS! JUST LOVE!”
#2: One Direction, Perfect
I was sure I’d outgrown my “Backstreet Babe” phase, but then one day I got curious and listened to a song, which turned into an entire album, which turned into a deep dive into all five singers’ auditions for Simon Cowell when they were 12 years old, which turned into more terrible shout-singing in the car.
I might never be your knight in shining armor I might never be the one you take home to mother And I might never be the one who brings you flowers But I can be the one, be the one tonight
Is it any wonder we females have to unlearn the habit of loving terrible men? I mean, it’s not even subliminal, or attempting any subtlety — this message is OVERTLY TERRIBLE and my daughters can never know how much I loved it.
#3: Usher, I Don’t Mind
Plot summary: Usher’s girl is a stripper. And yet he has generously, magnanimously decided that since “her body rock and her booty poppin,'” he will give her permission to continue in this profession. He’s not one of those old-fashioned types — no, he’s open-minded, progressive in supporting her dream of twerking in the splits!
I despise this message, and yet ten seconds in find myself doing involuntary body rolls.
#4: Lady Gaga, Do What U Want
I know this album was a flop, but THIS SONG IS AWESOME. It has the best beat and is almost sort of somehow feminist — I think?
You can’t have my heart and You won’t use my mind but Do what you want with my body You can’t stop my voice, cause You don’t own my life but Do what you want with my body
#5: Next, Too Close
What a delightful, beautiful classic that in the seventh grade I thought said, “Baby when you’re cryin’ I get so excited,” and was thoroughly confused. The maturation clinic said nothing about this “grinding.”
What are your favorite songs with terrible messages? Let’s feel guilty about liking them together.
I was a sophomore in college, living in a condo near BYU campus my aunt owned called Chandelle. It was not where the cool people lived.
I slept on the top bunk, somehow so much higher than the bottom one I had to borrow a ladder from my dad’s garage to get into bed.
We spent most our evenings across the street at what we called the “House of Nine Men.” Two of said nine were in a band, so we got free, front row shows whenever they rehearsed. It was either that or listen to them wide-eyed from the top bunk at 2 A.M.
I don’t think college is supposed to be the insecure phase of life, but for me those simple memories are rife with it.
The xx released a new album today. It’s good, and different, and I am glad we all got to move on from 2009.