CommRadio Weekly Playlist: March 24

Opinion/Story posted March 24, 2021 in CommRadio, Arts & Entertainment by CommRadio Arts & Entertainment Staff

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.

“Mermaid Smiled” by XTC

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been listening to XTC in some fashion. I was introduced to them by my dad when I was young, and only now have I realized how expansive their discography is.

In particular, I have been increasingly more drawn to their 1986 masterpiece “Skylarking.” Over winter break, I dove into that album and 1979’s “Drums and Wires,” which I really enjoyed. But one of my favorite tracks has to be “Mermaid Smiled” off the former.

Starting with the rapid plucking of an acoustic guitar, lead singer Andy Partridge yelps and sings over an expansive sound that includes white noise overlaid by the slapping of bongos.

As the weather this past weekend was beyond fantastic, I couldn’t stop thinking about this track and how beautiful it sounds. Already a mainstay on my big playlists, “Mermaid Smiled” is a concise but expansive song that encompasses an overall positive feeling.  —Paul Martin

“Sometimes (Backwood)” by gigi

“Sometimes (Backwood)” is singer/songwriter gigi’s first single. This song, released in mid-February, might be my favorite song of the year.

“Sometimes (Backwood)” is so raw, and gigi has such emotion when she sings. The song is very simple, but in a good way. I love the acoustic feel and how absolutely wonderful gigi’s voice sounds over the guitar.

Her voice is absolutely phenomenal; it is very powerful, and her falsetto is so angelic. She has a raspy voice that can work well over any type of beat, and the emotion within it is unmatched.

The lyricism in this song is also magnificent. Although there aren’t many lyrics, they are very emotional and easily relatable to anyone who has been in a relationship.

I highly recommend that everyone gives “Sometimes (Backwood)” a listen. This song has a high replayability factor, and her refreshing vocals make listening to it insanely enjoyable. Gigi has a bright future ahead of her, and this song is a fantastic way for her to enter the music scene.  —Jack Freiser

“Stars Are Blind” by Paris Hilton

A couple months ago, I saw the movie “Young, Promising Woman.” There was a song that was played in it, and I oddly liked it. 

The song I could not stop listening to this week was “Stars Are Blind” by Paris Hilton. 

I know, I know. She is not a real musical artist. But hear me out. There are some songs out there that are so bad that they are good. This song just happens to be one of those songs.

Paris Hilton has released only one album, and that was in 2006. After I heard the song, I listened to the rest of the album to get a feel for it. It was not good, but I still liked this one song. 

“Stars Are Blind” is upbeat and serves as an instant serotonin boost. The lyrics are bland and catchy, but what do you expect from Hilton? 

Add “Stars Are Blind” by Paris Hilton to your playlist this week. Give it a try and see if you feel the same way as I do.  —Emily McGlynn

“Heaven Can Wait” by The Dead Son

I may have already written about this song for singles roundup, but there really is no other song that dominated my week like this one. Even though it came out on Friday, it was practically the only song I listened to over the weekend.

“Heaven Can Wait” is the first solo song released by George Ragan, best known as Johnny 3 Tears from Hollywood Undead. He’s also adopted a new solo moniker The Dead Son.

“Heaven Can Wait” is a real emotion-heavy song, the music video adding even more emotion to it. The song really makes me sit there and think deeply and reflect on the people that really matter most to me as well as what I would do for those people.

The lyrics are gorgeous. Combined with The Dead Son’s vocals and the acoustics, it’s such a great listen for both its meaning and its sound. I recommend giving it a listen, especially if you’re the sentimental type like myself.  —Colton Pleslusky


Paul Martin is a junior majoring in telecommunications and media studies. To contact him, email

Emily McGlynn is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email

Jack Freiser is a freshman majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email

Colton Pleslusky is a junior majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email

About the Contributors

Colton Pleslusky's photo

Colton Pleslusky

Fourth-Year / Telecommunications

Colton S. Pleslusky is a fourth-year from Aliquippa, Pennsylvania majoring in telecommunications at Penn State. He is a director and writer for the CommRadio Arts & Entertainment Department as well as the host on Nittany Stories and a co-host on Nittany Record Club alongside Emily McGlynn. He does behind the scenes tasks, including directing, producing, programming and more for the Centre County Report. To contact him, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Paul Martin's photo

Paul Martin


Emily McGlynn's photo

Emily McGlynn

Third-year / Broadcast Journalism

Emily McGlynn is a third-year from Birmingham, Michigan majoring in broadcast journalism at Penn State. She is the Co-General Manager alongside Alex Rocco and Dylan Price. She is involved in the news, arts and entertainment, sports and production department. In the news department, she is one of the news producers. She frequently writes reviews for the Arts Department as well. Listening to music, watching movies, and staying updated with news and pop culture are some of her favorite things to do. To contact her, email her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Jack Freiser's photo

Jack Freiser

Third-Year / Telecommunications

Jack Freiser is a third-year student in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State University studying telecommunications. He is very passionate about both music and film. He aspires to impact the music business as a successful A+R by signing artists who will be culturally relevant and will leave an impact on the world, and through keeping a strong relationship with the artist and their team. Email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).