CommRadio Weekly Playlist: Jan. 9

Story posted January 17, 2023 in Arts & Entertainment by CommRadio Arts Department.

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.

“Toxic Las Vegas- Jamieson Shaw Remix” - Elvis Presley, Brittany Spears, Jamieson Shaw

After I saw “Elvis” for the first time this summer, I had the soundtrack on repeat for the next couple of weeks.

With amazing songs from the film like “Vegas” by Doja Cat, “Trouble” performed by Austin Butler, and more of Elvis’s greatest hits, the movie soundtrack got me through many 8-hour shifts at work. But one thing was missing– the “Viva Las Vegas” and “Toxic” mashup that was used in the film. 

Well, director Baz Lurhmann decided we’d waited long enough, and released the song on streaming platforms for Elvis’s birthday.

Let’s just say I’ve had it on repeat literally everywhere I go. It’s perfect for the gym, walking to class, or just jamming out alone in my room. “Toxic Las Vegas” is an addictingly fun mashup of two of the greatest artists of all time, and my pick for the weekly playlist. - Kaitlyn Murphy

“Nothing Is Lost (You Give Me Strength)” - The Weekend

In honor of The Weeknd having the most monthly listeners on Spotify this week and Avatar: The Way of Water simultaneously being the biggest movie out right now, “Nothing Is Lost (You Give Me Strength) was an easy pick.

The anticipation of the Avatar sequel, coupled with my new obsession with The Weekend, the release of the single for the film couldn’t have come at a better time. The song itself is so powerful and cinematic it almost makes me feel like I’m on Pandora.

This song playing at the end of the three-hour epic we have waited 13 years for feels like nothing you can describe. I watched the film in 3D and it elevated the movie and the grandness of the credits song so much because at the end I was still trying to reel in everything I just witnessed as this song was bringing me back to real life.

The blend of the sounds of the movie with The Weeknd’s vocals makes this such a mesmerizing track. It’s more than just your average song made to play in the background as you walk out of the theater.

The Weeknd himself is a huge film nerd, posting about the movie's succes s on his own Instagram, and you can tell in the song he cares about giving a cinematic performance worthy of being at the end of such a big movie. - Sophia Clements

“That’s Life” - Frank Sinatra

My mom was the one who first introduced me to Frank Sinatra’s cover of “That’s Life,” a song that can be found on his 1966 album of the same name. She told me she would listen to the song with her friends in college, so I have continued the tradition.

It has now been on repeat all week for me, and I understand why she loves it so much.

My favorite lyrics of the song are “You're riding high in April, shot down in May.
But I know I'm gonna change that tune. When I'm back on top, back on top in June.”

The song contains a beautiful introduction which is followed by Sinatra’s infamous, familiar voice that states the lyrics with such confidence.

This song, as light-hearted as it may be, contains a message that I think everyone needs to hear at least once.

Sinatra explains that even when you get shot down, you will get up again, just like you have before.

After all, that’s life, isn't it? - Allie Scaggs

“ceilings” - Lizzy McAlpine

If there’s one thing I love, it's songs I can scream, cry and/or make scenarios about. And ”ceilings'' does all of that and more!

Lizzy McAlpine has been putting out music since the late 2010s and has been gaining more and more followers ever since.

“ceilings” is off of her most recently released album, “five seconds flat”, which was put out in April of last year.

This track is about daydreaming about someone, or at least the idea of someone. You know that feeling where you want someone to fit the image of what’s in your head? Yeah, that's basically “ceilings.”

Acoustic guitar joins violins that perfectly encapsulate McAlpine’s dreamy voice that yearns for the ideal romantic relationship.

“ceilings” is for the delusional and the maladaptive daydreamers, for those in a relationship where maybe it's just not working how they wanted it to. For people who just want more from love. Does this sound like you? Perfect! Listen to this immediately. - Chloe Rey

“Safety Dance” - Men Without Hats

If anyone were to look up “catchiest songs of the 80s,” it would be a crime not to list “Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats. The song, song calls for freedom of expression and is a protest against the bouncers who prohibited dancers from pogoing to 1980s “new wave” music in clubs, especially during the time period in which disco was declining and new wave was growing in popularity.

“Safety Dance” peaked at number three on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play.

The song is one of the most popular songs of the 1980s, is undeniably catchy, and will no doubt be stuck in your head all day after listening to it. The lyrics are rhythmic and repetitive, but have the perfect blend of romantic honesty and simplicity to get one up and moving on the dance floor.

There is no denying that “Safety Dance” is an incredible tune. I woke up one morning with it stuck in my head and have not stopped listening to the song since. “Safety Dance” is one of those songs that you don’t know when you first heard it or the most recent time you heard it, but nonetheless you know that you can not get it out of your head.

I attribute how good a song is to how much fun I have memorizing the lyrics, and this week I had an incredible amount of fun trying to remember the rhythm and lyrics to “Safety Dance.” There is no doubt that this will be one of my top songs of 2023, and it is only the third week of January. - Rachel Newnam

Kaitlyn Murphy is a first-year majoring in digital and print journalism. To contact her, email

Sophia Clements is a second-year majoring in communications. To contact her, email 

Allie Scaggs is a first-year majoring in communications. To contact her, email

Chloe Rey is a first-year majoring in telecommunications. To contact her, email

Rachel Newnam is a second-year majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact her, email

About the Contributors

Rachel Newnam's photo

Rachel Newnam


Kaitlyn Murphy's photo

Kaitlyn Murphy

Freshman /

Kaitlyn Murphy is a first-year student at Penn State majoring in digital and print journalism. She is a member of the Arts and Entertainment Department of CommRadio and is passionate about reviewing films, television shows, and music. Follow her on twitter at @kaitlynmurph and email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with any inquiries.

Sophia Clements's photo

Sophia Clements


Chloe Rey's photo

Chloe Rey


Chloe Rey is a first-year majoring in telecommunications. This is her first semester in CommRadio in the Arts and Entertainment department. Other than CommRadio, she is a member of Penn State’s Student Programming Association. To contact her, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Allie Scaggs's photo

Allie Scaggs

Freshman /

Allie Scaggs is a first-year Communications student from West Chester, Pennsylvania. She is a CommRadio Arts & Entertainment Department member. Allie is very interested in the music industry and writes about singles and albums for CommRadio. She is also a part of the Ed2010, a Communications based networking club at Penn State. To contact, email her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).