Single Roundup: Week of Oct. 22
With new music emerging every week, the CommRadio Arts department will be taking a look at a handful of singles released each week. Here are our thoughts on six of the biggest tracks from the week of Oct. 22.
Sam Smith - "Burning"
Sam Smith expresses his most vulnerable and heartbroken self in his newest single “Burning.” The song is the third preview released from his upcoming album, The Thrill of It All, which comes out on Nov. 3. On this track, Smith’s expressive vocals are accompanied by a wistful piano playing softly in the background. The touching lyrics shine a light on an extremely dark time in Smith’s life following an emotional breakup and a period of pressure from the media and pressure he put upon himself. His gut-wrenching vocals make it one of the tenderest songs he has written to date. The feeling this track gives is very similar to the feeling listeners had after hearing “Stay With Me.” It is safe to say that The Thrill of It All has the potential to be Sam Smith’s most passionately written album so far in his career. - Jenna Minnig
Aminé - "Squeeze"
After his hit single “Caroline” back in 2016 and a spot on the 2017 XXL freshmen list, Aminé has been steadily cementing himself as a force to be reckoned with in the industry. A few months after his debut album Good For You, “Squeeze” aims to continue his clever rhyme schemes and bouncy production. Aminé succeeds on both fronts, offering a solid single that doesn’t overstay its welcome. “Squeeze” is a little under two minutes and Aminé keeps a steady flow from start to finish. With no hook, “Squeeze” acts as a space for Aminé to deliver some of his most clever lines yet. Each bar delivered feels new and inventive, putting a spotlight on Aminé’s personality. The instrumental is tightly produced and pounds from beginning to end, allowing for each of Aminé’s witty lines to hit twice as hard. “Squeeze” is disguised as a typical rap banger, but upon digging deeper reveals a lot more personality and creativity. – Zach Hall
Marshmello - "Wolves" feat. Selena Gomez
Marshmello has been a prominent figure in the EDM scene for some time now, giving him increasing opportunity to work with bigger name artists. Unfortunately, it seems as though the more exposure Marshmello gets, the less inspired his music becomes. Other recent singles by Marshmello have been plagued with stereotypical pop lyrics and beats that quickly become repetitive. “Wolves” is no exception. With “Wolves” - and his past few singles - Marshmello seems to be releasing tracks with the sole purpose of getting radio play. “Wolves” is the prime example of this, right down to the Selena Gomez feature. Selena’s vocals on this track evoke that of a typical pop radio hit and feel quite bland. The instrumental leaves a lot to be desired as well, feeling almost unfinished at times. Both the verse and the refrain feel empty due to the lack of instrumental variety and the breakdown suffers all the same. Like some of the criticisms on the Chainsmokers singles earlier this year, the breakdown on “Wolves” feels like a carbon copy of his past few singles, with little tweaks made here and there. With dull lyrics and an unoriginal instrumental, “Wolves” is a lackluster track that will likely be forgotten in the coming weeks. – Zach Hall
DJ Snake - "Broken Summer" feat. Max Frost
“Broken Summer,” DJ Snake’s newest single, is a piece that explores a slower pace for the artist. Its underlining kick-drum and bass tracks transform the song into a passionate groove of pain and remembrance. While the piece contains elements still true to DJ Snakes “club-mix” style, the tone is unexpectedly serious and targets a contrasting audience. Seeing a push from comfort from relevant pop-DJs such as Snake is refreshing, as it shows he’s interested in making music and not money. As for the featured artist, Max Frost, his delivery and attitude vocally matched the direction in which this song wanted to move in perfectly. The lyrics demonstrate how many couples have these unique activities that are special to only them, making the listener reminisce on their own special actions. The piece is a drastic tone change from Snake’s usual content, but I believe it deserves praise for not only taking a risk, but pulling it off as well. – JonMichael Pereira
PRETTYMUCH - "Open Arms"
PRETTYMUCH, a promising new boyband on the rise in popularity, took a far different approach then most boybands have with the publication of “Open Arms.” This piece heavily employs the use of a cappella to promote the bands impressive vocal ability. This strategy proved to be highly effective as each soloist ultimately nailed their portion of the song. While the lyrics are geared toward a predictably younger female audience, apparent through lines such as “now you got me cuffed,” the way they are presented vocally doesn’t make the listener desire or expect much more. The introduction of the snare and bass beats throughout the middle and end portion of the song lighten up the intuitionally dreary mood and alters it into a much more light hearted experience. If PRETTYMUCH continues to move in this direction, they have a real opportunity to make a name for themselves in this highly competitive musical market. – JonMichael Pereira
Rhye - "Taste"
Rhye, a french R&B duo, has crafted a new and funky single entitled “Taste.” The hypnotic sounds of the vocals and the production bring the listener into a trance-like state. There are hints of both electronic and acoustic sounds, ranging from both computers and proper guitars and percussion. In addition, the vibe of the track is a very nice and groovy — any listener will find themselves jamming out to it. One could compare it to the techno- jazz sound of Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories. Rhye brings an excellent blend of electronic and jazz in an R&B blend to top it off. - Jack Grossman
Jenna Minnig is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email email@example.com.
Zach Hall is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
JonMichael Pereira is a freshman majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email email@example.com.
Jack Grossman is a sophomore majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Freshmen / Telecommunication
Senior / Broadcast Journalism
Jenna is a General Manager of CommRadio where she manages the student radio station.