CommRadio Singles Round Up: Feb. 21
Singles Round Up – The Arts and Entertainment Department takes a look at some of the recently released singles from the past week.
“Naked In Manhattan” - Chappell Roan
Chappell Roan’s highly anticipated single “Naked In Manhattan” finally came out this Friday. This single marks the first song released from the artist in over a year. Roan has shared multiple snippets of the song in the past few months which has increased the hype for this song.
This song absolutely lives up to the hype. It is a phenomenal song that has all the elements needed to make a perfect pop song.
Firstly, the instrumentation in this song is superb. It features a vibrant groove that pulsates throughout the song. The production also gets very big during the chorus which complements the softer pre chorus. The production throughout the whole song is very light and airy which fits the themes of the song and Roan’s beautiful voice.
Roan has an incredible unique voice. She has a rasp in her voice that is unmatched by any modern pop star. Roan has perfected the ballad, which is why it is so impressive to see her shift gears into making dance pop hits such as this one. Roan shows off her range, especially in the final chorus where she belts longer than she has ever done before.
The lyrics in this song are also very personal and intriguing. Roan is honest with the audience and discusses the feelings she is getting from someone who she doesn’t know if they feel the same about her. It is something that many people can relate to which adds an element of personality to the song that is well deserved.
Overall, this is a sensational song that everyone should check out. Chappell Roan continues to prove that she is a truly gifted artist. And since she is opening for Olivia Rodrigo sometime this year, everyone should keep an eye out for her success. - Jack Freiser
“Still Countin” - Yeat
After releasing “Up 2 Më,” his third independent album of 2021, Yeat, now referred to as the king of underground rap, has returned five months later with a brand new single.
This track, accompanied by a Lyrical Lemonade music video, teases the release of his upcoming album “2 Alivë,” adding new perspectives on production, sound engineering and the raw and assertive delivery typical of the California native.
The instrumental sets off like the alarm you accidentally forgot to turn off on the weekend. A series of whining digital melodies ease in and out the track, hinting at the powerful, liberated vocals eager to arrive verse by verse.
The unwinding synths hidden on the beat are suddenly captured by equally looping hi-hats, a terminating clap and harmonic 808s allowing Yeat to roam free.
With no means to become a lyrical masterpiece, “Still Countin'' is yet another faultless example of Yeat’s ability to come up with words, phrases or sounds and deliver a meaning based on his own reality. The freedom within the song is fruit of the stark instrumental, but the flexibility of flow and fabricated uncertainty is a product of Yeat’s organic and spontaneous delivery.
The vocal excellence within an alternative hip-hop track such as “Still Countin'' is based simply on tone and emphasis. Yeat has an oddly monotone voice, but his ill-mannered display of energy lyric by lyric stands out, often provoking grunts, howls and unnamed forms of onomatopoeia that fuel the listener simultaneously.
This track provided higher sound quality, playful use of reverb, and to say the least, another reason to jump on the new wave of underground hip-hop.
There is always room for experimentation in Yeat’s music, and this could easily be the beginning of a new era. - Juan Mendez
"Nail Tech" - Jack Harlow
After having a relatively quiet year release-wise, Jack Harlow has still found a way to stay relevant. From his immensely popular “Whats Poppin'” remix to his collaboration with Lil Nas X, he has found his way into superstardom with just a minimal amount of tracks.
With his first release of 2022, “Nail Tech,” Harlow proves that he is one of the most consistent rappers in the game and that he is coming for the top.
Here he goes full force, bragging about his wealth, his rapping ability and addressing his haters. He delivers several clever bars and is often comedic with them too. “I don't take Ls, I give 'em out and I chuck 'em up,” he says ending the first verse.
Harlow’s beat selection is perfect for his rapping capabilities. This time, he opts for a horn-based trap beat, it sounds like something that could have been for Drake. Working with Boi-1da and a few other producers, it is clear to see that Jack is in the big leagues now.
Despite being a trap track, the drum pattern is unique, the kick hits at the most unexpected times, but that entirely enhances the song even more.
It is clear to see that Harlow is coming out with hits after hits. With no announcement of a new record, fans will, unfortunately, have to be patient. However, “Nail Tech” should be able to hold them off for just a bit. - Caelan Chevrier
“Valentine” - Laufey
This past Valentine's day popular TikToker and musician Laufey dropped her aptly titled single “Valentine.”
As the title suggests, the song describes falling in love for the first time and the fear and awkwardness that comes with navigating a new relationship. Her lyrics do a beautiful job of explaining how jarring the reality of a romance can be after years of hopeless speculation.
Her message is enhanced by her deep, soulful voice, reminiscent of the stylings of Billie Holiday’s “You’re My Thrill” and Ella Fitzgerld’s rendition of “Misty.”
To highlight her impressive vocals, she opts for a soft, instrumental backing that gives the song a lounge-singer type quality. The light harmonies, the fast fluttering of the piano keys, the scratching of brushes on the drums and the warm, bassy guitar combine to make a rich, melodic and sweet song.
Endearing and dreamy, Laufey’s “Valentine” is a jazzy love song for all the hopeless romantics out there. - Eliza Casey
“INVU” - TAEYEON
While newer South Korean bands like BTS and BlackPink are better known with younger listeners nowadays, there is no doubt about the fact that older bands, such as Girl’s Generation, were the ones to first introduce South Korean music into international markets.
Girl’s Generation is currently on an indefinite hiatus for the members to focus on solo activities, and the leader of the band, Taeyeon, has recently released a single titled “INVU” to tease her fans with her newest studio album.
In the past, it has been evident that Taeyeon has had a clear preference for releasing slow ballads that showcase her beautiful and powerful vocals; however, her newest single is noticeably fast-paced, in comparison to her other previous releases. While the single feels upbeat, the lyrics are deceptive, as Taeyeong laments about her heartbreak over a former lover.
The instrumentals in the single are not overpowering and complement her vocals and the lyrics and chorus are easy to follow along with.
There is a break in the chorus for the artist to lead a choreography to complement the music, so it is highly likely that this choreography will take off on various social media platforms, such as Instagram and TikTok. This has been an increasingly popular trend for South Korean artists to be able to promote their music on social media.
Overall, “INVU” is a well-crafted single with addictive lyrics and instrumentals that will leave listeners wanting even more from the artist. - Rene Ahn
Jack Freiser is a second-year majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email email@example.com.
Juan Mendez is a second-year student majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email @firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caelan Chevrier is a second-year majoring in journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
Eliza Casey is a first-year majoring in telecommunications. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rene Ahn is a fourth-year majoring in journalism. To contact her, email email@example.com.
About the Contributors
Second-year / Journalism
Juan S. Mendez is a second-year student from Sogamoso, Colombia majoring in journalism at Penn State University. He is a frequent CommRadio contributor through play-by-play and production for Penn State sports, primarily soccer. As a writer and podcast member, he also contributes in covering the NFL, NBA, international soccer, college sports, and occasional music reviews. Bilingual, and with a substantially dispersed knowledge, Juan intends to work covering multiple sports internationally in English and Spanish at a professional level.
Third Year / Marketing & Journalism
Third-Year / Telecommunications
Rene Ahn is a fourth-year student from Tenafly, New Jersey. She is currently studying Broadcast Journalism and Sociology at Penn State.
Freshman / Telecommunications