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“Are You Sure?” – Kris Kross Amsterdam feat. Conor Maynard and Ty Dolla $ign
Jessica Whitesel: So I was expecting Kris Kross the rappers from the ’90s who wore all of their clothes backwards. Not some techno version of Justin Bieber and Ty Dolla $ign adding in some weird sing-talk rapping. I’m not loving this, but if I were drunk I would dance along.
Jessica Pickering: It’s like the studio put everything that makes a good pop song and put it in a blender and, by some miracle, it kinda worked? I don’t know, it’s dumb, but I’m here for it.
Dana Foth: Switching the letter ‘S’ with a dollar sign is sooo yesterday. Still, this song makes me want to sip a piña colada underneath palm trees. Got some strong summer vibes going!
“Last Text” – Jacob Sartorius
JW: Nope. I don’t like this at all. I don’t care that he is 14; this is bad. He’s already too far down the Justin Bieber path (since this song sounds exactly like early Bieber) and we shouldn’t let poor innocent Jacob Sartorius turn into that. Quit while you’re ahead and then use the money you made from this to go to med school or something.
JP: This worked for Jesse McCartney in like 2005 and then it NEVER WORKED FOR ANYONE EVER AGAIN. Please stop trying. I don’t care. You’re like 15, your love’s not real or deep. It’s hormones.
DF: Love songs used to be about letters or bringing your girl roses, sometimes even a Romeo and Juliet analogy (thanks Taylor!). I think we’ve reached the point where we’re singing about the last text message we send someone before going to sleep. Weird how times are changing.
“Love Me Better” – James Blunt
JW: WHY DOES JAMES BLUNT ALWAYS SING ABOUT PEOPLE HE SEES OUTSIDE AND THEN STALKS? He ripped off his own song and then decided to electronica it up. It’s not a good look on him. He needs to stop with the stalking. Also, it’s not that good of a song TBH.
JP: I’m just not big on whispy falsettos. It’s not cool, it’s just weird. And distracting. And you’re going to wreck your voice so stop.
DF: I really liked James Blunt when I was younger. I used to sing “You’re Beautiful” to my webcam while sitting on the floor being all emotional and shit. If these videos ever get found, I’ll go into exile. Voluntarily. Nevermind. . . so, I liked his old style more. I am just wondering why does everybody have to sound so mainstream these days?
“Pure Comedy” – Father John Misty
JW: I love Father John Misty. But thank goodness that I knew coming into this that this song was written in response to the US election because it is one of the most lyrically dense songs I’ve listened to in recent memory. It is, however, a good song, but I’m going to have to listen to it multiple times to get the lyrics all sorted out.
JP: Too artsy for me. I saw comedy and I was legitimately hoping for musical stand-up, Bo Burnham style. My disappointment is infinite.
DF: Interesting music video, amazing voice, great lyrics. Classic Sunday chill tune, to that I would drink a hot chocolate with marshmallows while being wrapped up in a warm blanket.
“So Good” – Zara Larsson feat. Ty Dolla $ign
JW: I just want to skip this so bad. WHY DO PEOPLE TALK-SING-RAP? Please stop. It doesn’t work for anybody. This song is not “So Good,” it’s “So Bad.”
JP: I swear to god this song has been released every year since 2009. Or at least it sounds like it. Down with shitty pop songs 2k17.
DF: I woke up from a nightmare where somebody was grinding on me from behind to this song. Not my thing.
“Jag vill ge dig allt” – Sebastian Stakest
JW: I think this is like the Swedish version of Pitbull or Enrique Iglesias maybe? I’m definitely getting some Latin vibes from this and honestly I’m usually all about Swedish songs, but not this time. And now I’m sad.
JP: I wish I could tell what they’re saying. The music is okay, but I feel like I can’t get an accurate read on this song without the lyrics. It’s kinda just noise right now.
DF: Not only great in gender equality, but also in producing musicians — you just gotta love Swedes! If I could only understand what he is singing. . .
“Cold Hard Truth” – Nelly Furtado
JW: Nelly Furtado is clearly not like a bird. She has not flown away. Maybe she’s like a flightless bird like an emu. Because she’s still here, and still singing about flying away. It’s nice that she has dreams, but an emu is never going to fly. It’s physically impossible. But if this song would fly away that would be great. It’s terrible.
DF: The cold hard truth is I can make it without you. Take that, mysterious lover of Nelly. It’s kind of catchy, one of the songs you listen to once on the radio and will never ever get rid of.
“Scared to be Lonely” – Martin Garrix feat. Dua Lipa
JW: If this song came on at the club I could see there being lots of tears. Like drunk girl sobbing tears. Nope, scratch that there will be tears or awkward-dance-floor-make-out-almost-sex. This is not a song that leaves lots of in between. I want to see it play out, but I know myself well enough that I would be too drunk to actually observe what happens.
JP: What did I say earlier about overdone? Something about shitty pop songs? Copy and paste that response here. If the music industry can’t be bothered with new ideas, neither can I.
DF: Martin Garrix is super cool. He was only 17 or something when he had his breakthrough with “Animals” and here I am procrastinating making a doctor’s appointment because I don’t like to call people. But well, this song somehow reminds me a lot of the Chainsmokers, a song that will probably be played in all mainstream clubs soon.
“Oh No Girl” – JJ Shiplett
JW: Oh no is right. This weirdly reminds me of Hinder. I don’t like to be reminded about how big “Lips of an Angel” was. And that is what this song reminds me of. I really wanted to like it because I’ve liked some of his other stuff, but I couldn’t even finish this song.
JP: Grade eight me would be so into this, which means current me hates it and is embarrassed any part of me would ever have been into this. 🙁 /10.
DF: His music is kind of country-ish; he really has an impressive voice. JJ just released his album Something to Believe In and indeed, his music makes me believe that there are types of music that have the power to convey feelings and deep emotions. Thumbs up.
“Time Served” – Joey Landreth
JW: It’s a nice song, but it’s a little country for my liking. Although, to be fair, it’s not unexpected. I saw him as part of his other project, The Bros. Landreth, over the summer and they were a little country. But this is also a really sad song. I think it’s about getting divorced, but it’s so pretty that the overt sadness kind of gets hidden just a little bit.
JP: This song makes me wanna take a nap. I mean I’m already sleepy, but like, this song is also super boring.
DF: Fulfilling all hipster clichés from the haircut to the beard to the nose piercing — but it’s about the music here right, so. . . I like the song and his variations of voice in combination with the guitar. Playing with loud and then more gentle tones, the way he puts emphasis on some parts just with these variations, that’s my definition of great music.
“Hold Me Close” – Overcoats
JW: It’s just a mash-up of all the popular pop sounds and I’m over it. It’s just a run of the mill pop song that isn’t very good.
JP: Halsey vibes here. Not into it though. Also making me want to take a nap. I think I’m just tired. I’m just going to go to bed at this point.
DF: First impression: reminds me a lot of Flume, which means it can only be good, right? Definitely a song I would recommend to my friends. I’m super up for more unknown artists anyways, just because if they actually make it and get big you get to say, “I knew them before they got big!!” — Obviously not the only reason, in this case, the song is perfect to EITHER comfort you when you feel lovesick OR make you super happy when you’re flying away on cloud seven.