Singles Roundup: Week of Nov. 2

Story posted November 2, 2020 in Arts & Entertainment by CommRadio Arts & Entertainment Staff.

Bakar – “1st Time”

Halloween weekend brought the music industry some treats, including Bakar’s song “1st Time,” which was released on Thursday.

The song begins with Bakar talking about his feelings the first time he saw the love of his life and how he was completely caught off guard by their beauty, leaving him tongue-tied and in love.

Bakar leads up to the chorus with how this person has changed him for the better and how the world is better with them in his life. The chorus sees Bakar admitting that this person is the one he has been waiting for his whole life,

In the second verse, Bakar keeps talking about the first time he saw the love of his life and how he knew he would have to sacrifice some things because he knows that he has found the one.

Throughout the song is an upbeat tempo, utilizing the bass as an instrument to build up to the chorus, while guitar and drums keep the beat going throughout.  —Nicholas Mancuso

Lil Durk, 6LACK, Young Thug – “Stay Down”

Lil Durk reins in 6LACK and Young Thug for a wavy new single and music video, “Stay Down.”

The beat opens up with atmospheric rhodes chords that pan left and right, layered with high energy West Coast-style drums. The end result is a smooth, bouncy instrumental that Durk and friends effortlessly ride.

Every artist on this song is known for versatility and singing ability, and the group floats between heartfelt rap and singsong flows in this track.

“Stay Down” is an ode to loyalty from friends and women, as the three talk about their past struggles and current experiences with love. With the lavish, fast-paced lifestyle they take on, their most desperate need is for stability and a support group that won’t falter.

It’s no question that when Durk, 6LACK and Thug come together, truly great music will blossom. The three leave something to be desired with “Stay Down” lyrically, though, as their words don’t bring anything new to the tired topic of love and loyalty in hip-hop.

Overall, though, “Stay Down” is an excellent release from some of modern hip-hop’s most versatile artists.  —Jimmy Gonzales

Kelly Clarkson & Brett Eldredge – “Under the Mistletoe”

Christmas songs before Halloween—why not?

Despite the debates on whether holiday music is appropriate before Halloween and Thanksgiving, Kelly Clarkson and Brett Eldredge did not hesitate to release their joint single “Under the Mistletoe” on Oct. 28.

Both Clarkson, the first American Idol winner, and Eldredge, the bluesy country singer, have a history of creating Christmas music.

Clarkson released her full-length holiday album “Wrapped in Red” in 2013. Eldredge has collaborated with artists such as Meghan Trainor to produce multiple holiday singles and his own Christmas-themed album “Glow.”

Instead of covering a classic, the pair worked together to write a new song about thinking of being under the mistletoe with a love interest. This song is all about filling the air with love and Christmas spirit.

From the impressive runs of both vocalists, a jazzy trumpet, the familiar ring of jingle bells and a jivey beat, the song is jam-packed with holiday spirit.

“Under the Mistletoe” is unmistakably a Christmas song, but listeners may have to decide whether the over-the-top energy is what they really need to get themselves into the holiday cheer or if the song is just a bit too much.  —Courtney Benedetto

Dua Lipa – “Fever”

Dua Lipa’s latest single “Fever” continues the singer’s new retro style, which adds a sense of flair to generic pop.

Lipa sounds fantastic on this chill song with a very mellow vibe. Although she doesn’t have any showy vocals, they still shine through the beat. She always has a beautiful voice, and this song showcases how unique it is.

Angele, the featured vocalist, is a welcomed guest who delivers with soothing vocals. She is a French singer, and the addition of French in the song fits the whole vibe. It encapsulates Dua Lipa’s lyrics perfectly.

When the two vocalists sing together, their harmonies are remarkable, and, although the lyrics are in French, they sound beautiful.

This song is very unique. Yet again, Dua Lipa redefines popular music with a very nuanced song. This is a perfect autumn track that deserves a listen, especially if you were a fan of Lipa’s latest project “Future Nostalgia.”  —Jack Freiser

The Jonas Brothers – “I Need You Christmas

It’s truly never too early for Christmas music, and 2020 is proving that.

Following their comeback in early 2019, the Jonas Brothers have been consistently releasing new music, including their 2019 Christmas track “Like It’s Christmas.” So, when the group teased a new Christmas single on Thursday, it was somewhat of a shock to see they’d be gifting fans with another holiday song.

“I Need You Christmas” is soulful and airy, reminiscent of Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole’s holiday classics. The orchestra that introduces the song is a little bit surprising, as many modern Christmas songs are defined by fun, pop music.

However, the song helps set the tone for the year. Everyone is in need of a reason to smile, and Christmas is likely just the thing. While “I Need You Christmas” can certainly be catered to any holiday year, it feels especially pertinent for 2020.

The brothers croon about their longing for the holiday season and something a little magical. It’s not just about wanting Christmas to come around again but truly needing it in order to make it through the year.

So, for all the Thanksgiving fans, it’s safe to say this year deserves a pass for early Christmas releases. The Jonas Brothers are in the clear.  —Jade Campos


Nicholas Mancuso is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email

Jimmy Gonzales is a sophomore majoring in advertising. To contact him, email

Courtney Benedetto is a freshman majoring in print/digital journalism. To contact her, email

Jack Freiser is a freshman majoring in either media studies or telecommunications. To contact him, email

Jade Campos is a junior majoring in print/digital journalism. To contact her, email

About the Contributors

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Jade Campos

Junior / Print/Digital Journalism

Jade Campos is a junior from Caroline, Virginia. She is a director of the arts and entertainment department of CommRadio and a co-host on the talk show The Nittany Record Club alongside Colton Pleslusky and David Fortunato. Along with CommRadio, Jade is currently the assistant lifestyle editor for the Daily Collegian. In the past, she has interned with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. To contact her, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Nicholas Mancuso's photo

Nicholas Mancuso

Junior / Broadcast Journalism

Nicholas Mancuso is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism.

Courtney Benedetto's photo

Courtney Benedetto

Freshman / Print/Digital Journalism

Courtney Benedetto is from Dover, Delaware. She is a freshman pursuing a print/digital journalism major and a creative writing minor. Courtney is a member of the arts & entertainment department of CommRadio as well as a lifestyle candidate for the Daily Collegian. To contact her, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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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).

Jimmy Gonzales's photo

Jimmy Gonzales

Sophomore / Advertising

Jimmy Gonzales is a sophomore from Hanover, Pennsylvania majoring in advertising. He is a writer for the CommRadio arts & entertainment and an account representative for the sales department. If you’d like to contact him, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).