Singles Round-Up: Mar. 28

Story posted March 29, 2022 in

The Arts and Entertainment Department takes a look at some of the recently released singles from the past week.

"Child of God" - Chance the Rapper

Rapper and producer Chance the Rapper is back with his first single of the year, “Child of God.” After a mixed reception from his debut album, “The Big Day,” fans were curious to see what direction he would go next. On this newest track, it seems like he’s sticking to his gospel-inspired roots, and overall not changing too much.

Lyrically, he opens the track with a jump scare. He yells out his signature adlib, “igh” in the first 10 seconds, and then doesn’t use any adlibs after. He’s a bit one-dimensional with his vocal performance and flows throughout, but this makes sense considering the track is very mellow.

He touches on themes of religion, family and his journey to find meaning in life. Most of his lyrics are purposeful, but he has a few funky bars thrown in every so often. In the first verse he says, “sell tickets, put that sh-t on FanDuel, OnlyFans, and Fandango.” Rhyming the same word three times in a row is pretty tedious, especially coming from a lyricist as talented as him.

The instrumental features a very blissful piano, and a few synthesizers tucked away in the background. A drum pattern does not kick in until the three-minute mark, leaving the song feeling like it drags for quite a bit. The last-minute introduces a gorgeous choir and delivers a solid payoff.

Overall, this track seems like a step up from most from his previous album cycle, but it doesn’t stand out too great as a whole. Hopefully, his next release will be a bit more exciting. - Caelan Chevrier

“Fair” - Normani

R&B vocalist and dancer Normani saw much success with the release of “Wild Side” in July 2021. The music video and live performances of the song incorporated raunchy lyrics, exotic choreography, racy outfits and most importantly, famous hip-hop artist Cardi B.

The track earned Normani her first gold record from the Recording Industry Association of America.

After about 7 months since the notable feat, Normani has released a new single, “Fair.”

In the song, Normani contemplates the fairness of unrequited affection. Normani admits that she still has feelings for her ex flame who has moved on.

She claims it is unfair for her to still be hurting, nor is it reasonable that her ex has found a new source of happiness.

The lyrics, melody, and even the vocals have one thing in common: simplicity. One thing I find odd is that the music video for the song didn’t incorporate any choreography as Normani’s dance skills set her apart from other artists. The heavily autotuned vocalizing was also a weird choice for the performer.

Simply put, the song is not “bad.” However, it lacks originality. Surprisingly, it seems as though this was the intention for the track.

That being said, despite this recent, strangely uninventive release, I hope to see more from the artist in due time. - Jah-Preece Landrum

“Talk” - beabadoobee

Singer-songwriter Bea Kristi, better known as beabadoobee, channeled her inner Avril Lavigne with her newest single, “Talk.”

Usually falling into the bedroom-pop category, Kristi traded in her acoustic guitar for a fast-paced tempo filled with monotone vocals and just the right amount of amp feedback.

Opening with quick, yet soft electric guitar chords, they crescendo into the first verse with Kristi as she sings about going out on weeknights and the one-night flings that follow.

The pseudo-rock sound is contradicted by the poppy lyrics in the chorus. “We go together like gum on my shoes,” highlights Kristi’s careless attitude to doing things she knows is bad for her.

Set to appear on her upcoming sophomore album, the messy ensemble of instrumentals and echo autotune of “Talk” expand Kristi’s discography, while also paying tribute to the early 2000s pop era. - Megan Kelby

“Not The One” - Red Hot Chili Peppers

The three singles released from the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ upcoming album “Unlimited Love” show a mix of a consistent sound and a variety of styles that will be featured on the album.

“Not The One” is a slower track throughout, but keeps the psychedelic feeling of the prior single “Poster Child.” This track is audibly an expression from returning guitarist John Frusciante, who has openly preferred slower ballads and skillful singing over the usual, fast-paced stylings of lead singer Anthony Kiedis.  

The song is an expression of introducing a person’s true self through love. The mellow tones of the music provide a comforting feeling, like listeners are floating on a cloud.

There is an underlying meaning for Kiedis within the lyrics, as they're usually are. This message is of the struggle he feels attempting to live up to the expectations of his family and loved ones.

“Not The One” is a soothing track, combining a deep message with beautiful music. - Evan Smith

“Help Me, Lou Reed” - Magic Bronson

“Help Me, Lou Reed” is the latest track from the electronic rock duo. This is the second song the duo has released since their superb album “SWEAT” in 2020.

Although this song is a bit too short, it features an incredible beat and some very unique vocals from the frontman Michael Nicastro.

The instrumentation is the true star of this track. The funky beat pulsates throughout the track and Nicastro’s vocals are subtle and do not overshadow the vibrant instrumentation. Multiple times do not feature any vocals, which is a bit disappointing. Nicastro is an incredible vocalist and he is not given the chance to shine on the track.

The upbeat tone of the track works with Nicastro’s eccentric lyrics. Magic Bronson always includes wacky lyrics in their tracks, and this song is no different. This song is classic Magic Bronson with a sensational beat and perfectly unconventional lyrics. - Jack Freiser

Caelan Chevrier is a second-year majoring in journalism. To contact him, email cjc6789@psu.edu.   

Jah-Preece Landrum is a junior majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email jahpreecelandrum@gmail.com.

Megan Kelby is a second-year majoring in journalism. To contact her, email mkk5701@psu.edu.

Evan Smith is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email ers5828@psu.edu.

Jack Freiser is a second-year majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email jef5614@psu.edu.

About the Contributors

Caelan Chevrier's photo

Caelan Chevrier

Second Year / Journalism

Caelan Chevrier is a second-year student in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State University studying broadcast journalism and marketing with the goal of graduating with a bachelor’s degree in four years. His plan is to get involved in numerous media-related clubs during his stay. His career goal is to spread informative, meaningful and entertaining content across various platforms and to be a positive impact on the community. He has also spent time working at The Westport Local Press in his hometown of Westport, CT. If you’d like to contact him, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Jack Freiser's photo

Jack Freiser

Second-Year / Telecommunications

Jack Freiser is a second-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).

Megan Kelby's photo

Megan Kelby

Second-Year / Journalism

Megan Kelby is a second-year from Newark, Delaware majoring in journalism and minoring in English and history at Penn State. She is a member of the arts & entertainment department for CommRadio. To contact her, email her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Jah-Preece Landrum's photo

Jah-Preece Landrum

Third / Telecommunications

To contact Jah-Preece, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Evan Smith's photo

Evan Smith

First-Year / Broadcast Journalism