CommRadio Weekly Playlist: Feb. 14
The CommRadio Weekly Playlist – Here members of the Arts and Entertainment Department will talk about the songs that dominated their playlists during the week and what makes them so good.
“SAMURAI” - Number Girl
I’ve been on a noise rock bender lately, listening to a variety of bands such as Sonic Youth, The Armed and Melt-Banana - all amazing groups.
One band caught my attention though and I couldn’t stop playing one of their songs on repeat. That would be the Japanese noise rock band Number Girl and their track “SAMURAI.”
“SAMURAI” is a song that really grabs you by the throat with its abrasiveness and primal energy, really drawing you into the performance's atmosphere. With so much sound going on in the background, the band-members’ ability to stay in sync with each other is impressive.
Their music is an absolute thrill and I highly recommend anyone who wants a wild and guitar-driven experience to check this song out. - Jon Mead
“Black Madonna” - Cage The Elephant
“Black Madonna” was never a song that I played while with other people. However, since I started playing it around more often, I’ve been surprised that I haven’t found anyone who doesn’t like the song.
The song follows two themes felt by Cage The Elephant frontman Matt Schultz, meaningless success and the loss of love. The album “Social Cues” was written at a time where Schultz was processing a divorce with his wife.
This song seemingly gives an insight into the downfall of the relationship, especially with the description of a phone call that makes up the second verse. The references to flat-lining success occur prominently in the pre-chorus where Schultz sings “don’t you forget what goes up, must come down.”
Sonically, “Black Madonna” is a pop song with a dark tone. The amplified base that leads the instrumental is a defining mark for the band. - Evan Smith
“Can’t Wait To Be Dead”- FINNEAS
FINNEAS is genuinely a musical mastermind. Most people know him from his work with his sister, Billie Eilish, as he’s her producer and co-writer. However, when it comes to his own musical endeavors, FINNEAS is just as exceptional.
“Can’t Wait To Be Dead” was released in October 2020. The anxiety and dread inspired FINNEAS he felt surrounding the 2020 election and the internet in general.
These lyrics are existential and melancholic. Lyrics like “somebody’s ripping you off trying to sell you good news, you know you’re still gonna lose” are brilliant and harrowing.
The acoustic guitar feels intimate and paired with the simple production helps convey the authenticity of FINNEAS’ lyrics.
This song is incredibly genuine and his emotions are relatable for so many people in our generation. - Sophia D’Ovidio
“Sidewinder” – Catfish and the Bottlemen
I have recently rediscovered Catfish and the Bottlemen after not listening to them since high school. Going through their discography again gives me a strong feeling of nostalgia and makes me reminisce of my time in high school.
“Sidewinder” has always been a track that stood out to me. The song starts with a thrilling guitar riff that hooks the listener right from the beginning.
The lead singer Van McCann’s lyrics also keeps you invested, as he goes on to sing about how his relationship with a girl has become dull and he wants some toxicity back.
But to me, this song is something more than just a memory from a few years ago.
It has become a reminder to avoid relationships like the one depicted in the song. If a relationship being toxic is what keeps it interesting for you, then it is probably not a good relationship.
“Sidewinder” is not just a standout song on Catfish and the Bottlemen’s debut album “The Balcony”, but it is also an indication to strive for healthy relationships in life. - Jayson O’Connell
“Poison” – Bell Biv DeVoe
This week, I took it back to the late ‘90s with Bell Biv Devoe’s popular song “Poison.” As an avid listener of old school R&B and Hip-Hop, BBD was one of the biggest pop groups back in 1990.
This track is their most successful, and the album also called “Poison,” introduced a new music genre called New Jack Swing, that reinvented the relationship between R&B and hip-hop. The group’s mission statement at the top of their album said, “Our music is mentally. Hip-hop, smoothed out on the R&B tip with a pop feel appeal to it.”
If you listen closely, the group talks about avoiding toxic and unfaithful women. Women seem perfect from the outside in terms because of their physical attributes, but the truth is that they are just like ‘Poison’ on the inside, untrustworthy and promiscuous.
That message is identified in their lyrics, specifically the chorus, as they warn men not to get caught up in the lethal game’s women like to play.
I normally gravitate towards upbeat classics such as this one. Bell Biv DeVoe introduced New Jack Swing to the music world, a mix of two musical genres the world never knew they needed.
The combination of the bass-line, rhythms, vocal harmonies and melodies really bring the song together. It is one of the songs I cannot help but sing out loud whenever I listen to it. - Lara Judkowski
Jon Mead is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
Evan Smith is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sophia D’Ovidio is a first-year majoring in communications. To contact her email email@example.com.
Jayson O’Connell is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Lara Judkowski is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her email email@example.com.
About the Contributors
Sophia D’Ovidio is a first-year from Allentown, New Jersey. She is now a communications (undecided) major at Penn State University. Sophia intends on pursuing a career in journalism. Sophia writes for the CommRadio Arts department.
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