CommRadio Weekly Playlist: Sept. 19
“Listen to the Music” - The Doobie Brothers
The Penn State campus is full of wonderful places to concentrate and grind out some work. Most students have their preferences, the Pattee and Paterno Library, their respective school building, or even outdoors. However, I have found a spot that not many others turn to, probably for a good few reasons.
I absolutely love to work in the HUB-Robeson Center Sbarro. There is nothing special about their atmosphere, let alone their pizza, yet I find myself returning there time and time again. I think it might be for one individual reason, they play incredible music.
From a range spanning from the 60s to today, they have reintroduced me to some of my favorite rock hits. Their entire playlist is essentially songs I have heard before but could not name the title or artist. This was the case just a few days ago when I had to Shazam the song that has been stuck in my head the most recently, “Listen to the Music” by The Doobie Brothers.
The chorus is simple but beyond effective. An earworm to say the least. Hearing “Woh-ho-ho, listen to the music” on repeat from lead singer Tom Johnston is like receiving a warm and meaningful hug. The instrumental as well is smooth and the guitar tones are vibrant. The flanger introduced in the middle of the mix adds a new element of psychedelia as well.
The song turned 50 this summer and has held up the test of time. It makes one imagine what life would have been like back then. - Caelan Chevrier
“More Than My Hometown”- Morgan Wallen
This week, and every week, I have the song “More Than My Hometown” playing on repeat. No matter where I am, I always play this song at least once on every playlist.
This song shows how much Morgan Wallen loves the girl that he is singing about by using comparisons that an audience can relate to. Listeners can have a smile brought to their faces as the artist reminds them of all of the little things in life that they love too.
This past summer, I had the pleasure of seeing Morgan Wallen in concert. During his performance of “More Than My Hometown” I bawled my eyes out!
The catchy chorus and familiar beat tugged on my heartstrings as I was reminded of all of the little things that make life beautiful.
Whether you are driving through town with the windows down, or even crying in your bed, “More Than My Hometown” is a great option if you are looking for an upbeat tune that you can blast through your headphones anywhere! - Carly Dell’Oso
“Pyramids” - Frank Ocean
When I put my AirPods in to walk to class, the first song I play is “Pyramids” by Frank Ocean. The song is on his 2012 album “channel ORANGE.” I only recently discovered this song about a month ago, but since then I have not been able to stop listening.
The nearly 10 minute long track includes two parts: the first part uses funky synths and beats to tell the tale of the ancient Cleopatra and her stories of love and betrayal, and the second is a more classic R&B style that talks about a present-day woman at the Pyramid Hotel in Las Vegas.
The production perfectly matches the lyrics for both stories, and when the beat comes in behind the words you can’t help but bop your head to it. He gives us two songs in one that provide totally different vibes, but somehow he made it flow and work together flawlessly.
I don’t think I have ever disliked a Frank Ocean song I’ve listened to, and this is definitely another one to add to my list of favorites. - Morgan Brown
“One Time” - Justin Bieber
Two weeks ago one of my roommates got covid and I made the joke that the only thing I was catching this semester was “Bieber fever” and since then I have not been able to stop listening to Justin Bieber’s old albums.
Every song off his album “My World” absolutely slaps, but my favorite song at the moment is “One Time.”
It is so upbeat making it the perfect pre class banger. The song is so nostalgic because he was only 15 at the time so he sounds super young.
My favorite lyric is, “When I met you girl my heart went knock knock knock, now them butterflies won't stop.” Are you kidding me? Lyrical genius! Well not really but it is a cute song that puts me in a good mood when walking to class.
And having “Bieber fever” is definitely better than COVID-19, right? - Savannah Swartz
“Silver Springs”- Fleetwood Mac
It isn’t to return to any song off Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours,” which will be aggressively on repeat when I remember it exists.
But it's an exceptional feeling to return to a song that was such a part of my childhood and listen to it now with a different perspective.
This is my reasoning for why “Silver Springs” is the only song I’ve listened to all week.
Stevie Nicks’ lyrics on this track are gut wrenchingly and, unfortunately, relatable. On top of the expert lyricism, unique and captivating instrumental, this makes the song so addicting.
Something about a slower, more passive start to a song resulting in a cathartic and powerful finish is such an alluring stylistic device. “Silver Springs” uses this aspect to the height of its ability.
I’ve always been obsessed with this song, but when it gets brought back into my life, it’s the only thing I want to listen to. - Sophia D’Ovidio
“Pretty Girl” - Clairo
Clairo is the representation of a hopeless romantic. I feel like this song especially is the anthem for all of us hopeless romantics.
Most of Clairo’s songs are about relationships and falling so fully in love with someone that you become blinded by the love cloud. “Pretty Girl” was her first chill pop song back in 2017, and there is no surprise that it gained so much popularity.
In an interview, Clairo talks about how the song was written about a relationship she was in where she felt she had to change herself to be liked by her partner.
Clairo wrote the song to demonstrate how important it is to stay true to yourself, and not change for someone else.
She is an artist that has always stayed true to her emotions, she is very laid back and relatable which is why her songs are such a success. - Mariana Puerta
“Free” - Russ ft. Big K.R.I.T., Snoop Dogg, and DJ Premier
In the last two years, Russ has produced some of the most soulfully nourishing music in hip-hop, and “Note to Self” personifies throwback hip-hop at its finest.
DJ Premier’s pounding drums stir up a tone and atmosphere reminiscent of Nas’ “Illmatic” and Notorious B.I.G.'s “Ready to Die,” and who could possibly dislike Snoop Dogg’s suave delivery?
But the biggest stars on this track are Russ and Big K.R.I.T. When most artists work with legends like Premier and Snoop, they allow the two to carry most of the track or project, but Russ slices into the track with lyrical blades that would make any radio DJ in New York proud.
Not to be outdone, K.R.I.T. follows up with a crushing feature about growing up in the South, “Them dark roads and cities but flashing lights was a different loss.”
The combination of Russ, K.R.I.T. and Snoop offer different yet similar philosophies and Premier’s production unleashes lyrical performances not heard in mainstream hip-hop in years. - Matthew McLaughlin
Caelan Chevrier is a third-year majoring in marketing. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carly Dell’Oso is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email email@example.com.
Morgan Brown is a third-year majoring in digital and print journalism. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Savannah Swartz is a second-year majoring in communications. To contact her, email email@example.com.
Sophia D’Ovidio is a second-year majoring in communications. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mariana Puerta is a first-year majoring in communications. To contact her, email email@example.com
Matthew McLaughlin is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Freshman / Broadcast Journalism
Matthew “Matt” McLaughlin is a freshman from Abington, Pennsylvania majoring in broadcast journalism at Penn State. He is a writer and analyst in all three departments for CommRadio. He’s been featured as an analyst on live shows such as Daylate Tailgate, State College Saturdays and Hail Mary.
Third Year / Marketing & Journalism
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.
First year / Advertising and Public Relations
Savannah Swartz is a first year communications major, focusing on advertising and public relations. She is a member of the arts and photo department.