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“Sorry for Now” – Linkin Park
Sera Akdogan: Wow . . . is this really Linkin Park? This is pretty soft for the LP I used to know and love as an angsty teenager. Their new song sounds like sticky-sweet pop mixed with some weird EDM funk that I can’t quite relate to. Fifteen-year-old me would be disappointed with this sorry excuse for a comeback.
Edna Batengas: Really enjoyed this song, it was sweet and heartwarming. The EDM instrumental complements this track.
Neil MacAlister: There was a time when Linkin Park personified ridiculous, adolescent angst, and performative aggression. Now they’re making EDM pop. I never thought I’d say this, but I miss the old Linkin Park.
“Bad Liar” – Selena Gomez
SA: Why is Selena Gomez singing like she has a British accent? Does anybody else notice this? Aside from this minor annoyance, this is probably one of the worst new songs I’ve heard today. Even if Ms. Gomez could actually sing properly, I feel like this song would still fail.
EB: It’s very different to what we are typically used to hearing Selena sound like. Then again, Selena has gone through so much growth in her music career. It’s so mellow, yet at the same time extremely catchy. You go, girl!
NM: Wait, is this a Talking Heads sample? Does David Byrne know Selena Gomez is singing over “Psycho Killer?” Somehow, it actually works perfectly. This is one of the best Selena Gomez songs I’ve heard to date.
“Strip That Down” – Liam Payne, Quavo
SA: I like how this pulls you in right away. It has a catchy bass line and Liam Payne has a sexy voice. Not my style of music, but I think it would be a lot of fun dancing to at a club, after a round of cheap tequila shots. Disclaimer: this song might make you want to strip. You’ve been forewarned.
EB: Liam, Liam, Liam . . . One Direction was holding you back. Who would’ve known?! Loving this one, such a dance jam and also loving the new version of Liam Payne. He’s definitely talented. Looking forward to seeing what he comes up with next. Oh, and Quavo, always a pleasure. Bravo!
NM: If your single doesn’t have Quavo on it, did it really happen?
“Swish Swish” – Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj
SA: Katy Perry has lost it,in my opinion. This may have happened shortly after she created a song asking us if we ever felt like a plastic bag. I’m not sure if she’s running out of good songs to sing, or her voice has just lost its way. This sounds like one of those fast-paced repetitive songs they play in Urban Planet in order to get you to buy more. Sorry, Katy, even Nicki Minaj can’t help you out of this disaster.
EB: Am I the only one tired of Katy Perry? Never thought she had a great voice. Could’ve been a better song if she wasn’t singing it. And Nicki, what are you even doing on this track? You’re too good for this. Abandon ship, abandon ship.
NM: Katy Perry’s pathetic attempt at a diss track here is laughable, but Nicki Minaj is in full form for this. Katy doesn’t even need to be on here, this beat sounds tailor-made for Nicki.
“Dig Down” – Muse
SA: Muse needs to stop making music. Seriously. I knew it was Muse before Matt Bellamy even started singing — and that’s not a good sign. Literally all of their songs sound the same and it’s killing me to listen to his dragged-out vocals for the nine-hundredth time.
EB: LOL. Sounds so futuristic and now that I think of it, it’s also kinda creepy. Hey, but maybe I just don’t appreciate alternative rock music? Disclaimer: I loved that one song from the Twilight soundtrack, “Supermassive Black Hole,” but this one not so much.
NM: There was a time in high school where I thought Muse’s nouveau-prog sound was the coolest thing ever, and while I’m really over their whole gimmick now, this actually isn’t bad. This could easily have been on The Resistance.
“Strong Swimmer” – Vistas
SA: This song really speaks to me because I, too, am not a strong swimmer. Also, I’m happy to finally listen to something that sounds like actual music I’m used to — no autotune, synthesizers, or bass drops, just some good old-fashioned guitar, drums, and vocals. Reminds me of the Arkells a little bit because it’s really peppy and fun, in an indie-rock kind of way.
EB: This sounds like it belongs in a Disney movie soundtrack. Like the ones that your little sister or brother drags you to, makes you buy on Blu-ray, and, every Saturday night for as long as you live at your parents’ house, makes you watch over and over again. But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. I mean, like who doesn’t love Disney?
NM: Wow, is this Ireland’s answer to the Vaccines? I’m into it. This is solid.
“OK” – Robin Schulz, James Blunt
SA: I’m not sure why I initially liked that one James Blunt song (“You’re Beautiful”) because I realize now that his voice is actually terrible. Not only that, but the electronic backdrop (courtesy of half-decent DJ Robin Schulz) showcases Blunt’s voice in an unflattering way. The collaboration just doesn’t sound right to me.
EB: I actually feel that everything’s going to be OK once I mute this song.
NM: James Blunt sounds terrifying with his voice pitched up. Other than that, this is fine.
“No Love for the Wild” – HAERTS
SA:This song gives me Enya feels, mixed with a sprinkle of Weyes Blood. Strong female vocals, with a delightfully earthy synth-pop sound. I’m definitely going to check out more of HAERTS, and you should, too.
EB: Oooh, I’ve got chills now. There’s definitely an appropriate time and place for this song. Those sad, long transit commutes. Got me feelin’ some type of way.
NM: I feel like I’d like this song better if it had the slightest bit of variation in it.
“Switch” – Iggy Azalea, Anitta
SA: Oh no, Iggy is back? This makes me so mad because I honestly believe that she is a talentless, racist, phony individual. Besides her shady character, she will never be as good as Nicki Minaj in the female rap game. The song itself is awful; I mean, she’s singing about stop lights. Why is she still trying?
EB: Not even going to bother. BYE IGGY.
NM: Please, God, keep this woman out of my ears. This might be the weakest song in her atrocious discography.
“Nara” – Yaşar
SA: I only like this because I’m Turkish, but I wouldn’t actually listen to this at home — I’m not that Turkish. Yaşar is a talented singer, though, and he makes me long for Istanbul. I’m curious as to what the other Peaksters will make of this one.
EB: I really wish I knew what he was saying. He sounds so passionate!
NM: I feel like I’m at the most lit European wedding ever.
“Coolverine” – Mogwai
SA: I really enjoyed this song, and I do like Mogwai. Sometimes a powerful instrumental speaks more than lyrical ballads do — think This Will Destroy You or Explosions in the Sky. If you made it through the full 6:16 minutes without getting bored, I’m proud of you. You did a good thing today.
EB: I’m not sure why this is even on the list this week. And it was way too long.
NM: Digging the slow buildup, this has a really cool atmosphere and I love the way the drums come into it, but I think my favourite part of this song is the title.
“The Last Refugee” – Roger Waters
SA: I liked the old clip intro and how the song slowly consumes you as it goes on, like dramatic waves, pulling you in deeper and deeper with each chord progression. I’m a huge Pink Floyd fan, so it’s no surprise that I listened to this song and allowed myself to close my eyes, imagining that I was on a desolate beach somewhere, and not in the SFU library.
EB: I literally almost dozed off right onto my keyboard. ‘Nuff said.
NM: Roger Waters is 73 and this sounds like an outtake off The Final Cut. He’s one of those singers who’ll never lose their voice. This is everything I’d expect from a Roger Waters song in 2017.