CommRadio Weekly Playlist: April 20
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.
“You Want It Darker” - Leonard Cohen
The master of life, music, and poetry, Leonard Cohen, culminated his brilliant and revolutionary career with his last recorded single: “You Want It Darker.” This song— whose name fits perfectly — is written to God. Singing about feeling ready to let go with chilling lyrics in the bridge: “I'm ready my Lord.”
In this meaningful soulful ballad, we hear an old Cohen speak-sing with his deep rich voice a love letter about his life, naming his fears and accomplishments, with lyrics like: “I've struggled with some demons; they were middle class and tame.”
The chorus, joined by a choir, sounds almost like liturgical singing, mimicking heaven. The instrumentation accompanied by Cohen's brilliant and sensible lyrics have made this song one I have not stopped listening to. Despite it being a song that is often hard to listen to due to its darker themes, to me, it is a song about limitless gratitude towards the universe and a higher power. - Fernanda Lopez
“It Wasn’t Easy To Be Happy For You” - The Lumineers
I’m a big fan of pretty much every song The Lumineers release, but this one in particular is one of my favorites.
This song is the fourth track of the 2019 album, “III.” This album explores the story of three generations of a family. This song begins the second chapter of the album, “Junior Sparks.”
The Lumineers made a short film of the story this album outlines. The first chapter is about a woman named Gloria, the second about her grandson, Junior, and the third chapter is about Junior’s father, Jimmy Sparks.
From the perspective of the dumped, this song details the aftermath of an unexpected and bitter breakup. Even the title of this song shows how sometimes getting over a breakup can be difficult, and it can be hard to be happy for someone who hurt you, even if you know it was best for them.
The Lumineers have shown time and time again how they excel at taking sad topics and experiences and writing great songs about it, and this one is no exception. – Izzy Charboneau.
“Heartbeat”- Childish Gambino
Some people hate when their favorite songs trend on TikTok. Either they don’t want to get annoyed with them or wish to gatekeep their favorite tracks.
However, I always appreciate TikTok and its ability to remind me of some of my favorite songs.
That’s what happened this week with “Heartbeat.” I think I saw one video that used this song in the background and it has been my go-to song since.
This 2011 track is energizing to listen to. From the catchy chorus and the illustrative lyrics, “Heartbeat” is the perfect song in most settings. I’ve caught myself putting it on repeat while walking to class, at the gym, and even while doing my work.
Childish Gambino has an incredible ability to create some of the most interesting and unique songs to listen to. “Heartbeat” is the perfect example of that. - Sophia D’Ovidio
“Bourbon” - Gallant
Gallant is a modern-day R&B soul/electronic artist. Though his musical career began in 2014, he did not receive much recognition until the release of his debut album, “Ology,” in 2016.
The album blessed Gallant with his first Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Urban Album.
“Skipping Stones,” which features Jhenè Aiko, received the number 21 spot on Billboard’s R&B Songs. Another track from the album, “Weight in Gold,” attained No. 24 on The Billboard 200.
Gallant is best known for his vocal prowess as well as his poetic lyrics. His raw and passionate deliverance, vocal control, and versatile sound is what brought about positive critiques of his album from Entertainment Weekly, Pitchfork, The Guardian and more.
“Bourbon” is a personal favorite. It is a slow, soulful jam guaranteed to stir up mixed emotions.
“Bourbon” expresses the singer’s vulnerabilities and helplessness as he deals with the depression that has latched itself onto him.
In the song, Gallant contemplates life, reviewing ways he has tried to get himself out of the rut he is in and debating whether or not there is worth in further attempts.
The artist claims he is addicted to such toxic thoughts and actions like “bourbon in his coffee cup.” Dependency has deceived him and he cannot pull himself away from its grasp. - Jah-Preece Landrum
Fernanda Lopez is a first-year majoring in telecommunications. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Izzy Charboneau is a first-year majoring in journalism. To contact her, email email@example.com.
Sophia D’Ovidio is a first-year majoring in communications. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jah-Preece Landrum is a third-year majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email email@example.com.
About the Contributors
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.
Luciana Fernanda Lopez
Freshman / Telecommunications and Media Industries
Luciana (Fernanda) Lopez is a Telecommunications major and Portuguese minor from Lima, Peru. She’s been writing music reviews in Spanish for years. Her interests are music, films, comedy and everything Leonard Cohen.
Izzy Charboneau is a second-year student majoring in digital and print journalism. She is from Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Izzy is in the arts and entertainment department of CommRadio.
Third / Telecommunications