A Month of Tunes

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A collage assembled by Lila Mago '21 showcasing the top songs of the month. Photo Credit: Lila Mago '21

Lila Mago, Club Writer

As a person who gets tired of songs very fast, I am constantly in search of new music to add to my playlist as well as expand my musical horizons. I like to do this is by looking at music charts such as Billboard, iTunes, or Spotify to see what people across the world are enjoying right now. On December 1st, 2019, I decided to review the top song in every genre on the iTunes charts to help explore today’s musical trends gain a new perspective on certain music categories. I evaluated the songs in three categories that I consider to be crucial to any good song: catchiness, unique flair and emotion. Catchiness is the quality of memorability, while unique flair sets the “wow” factor that brings a song at a higher ranking than others. An “emotion” is the caliber of sincerity and sentiment within the song. Here are the top hits of this month!

 

Alternative

 

  • Dance Monkey – Tones and I

 

“Dance Monkey” is a lively single by Australian singer Tones and I on May 10th, 2019. It caught flame on the Alternative Chart by reaching Number 1 right off the bat. It’s a fun and upbeat song combined with the singer’s unexpectedly unique, colorful voice. The song has a catchy chorus which is what makes “Dance Monkey,” an enjoyable listen for all music lovers. 

 

Lila’s Rating Scale: 

Catchiness: 8/10

Unique Flare: 9/10

Emotion: 5/10

 

Blues

 

  • At Last – Etta James 

 

I was surprised to see the classic song “At Last”, by Etta James released in the year 1959 was surprising to see on the #1 spot to say the least. However, “At Last”’s emotion-charged lyrics, groovy melody, and beautiful vocals are a testament to the song’s ability to touch audiences no matter what year it is. 

 

Lila’s Rating Scale: 

Catchiness: 7/10

Unique Flare: 6/10

Emotion: 9/10

 

Children’s Music

 

  • Baby Shark – Pinkfong

 

There is no doubt that “Baby Shark” has dominated children’s music in 2019, causing everyone from toddlers to the Washington Nationals to wave their hands in the air like a shark with glee. “Baby Shark” is almost catchy to a fault; after listening to the song once, the emotionless “do-do-dos” of the shark family will haunt you for the rest of your day. However, this quality is what makes it so appealing to young children, which makes it no surprise that “Baby Shark” is still in the #1 spot today. 

 

Lila’s Rating Scale: 

Catchiness: 10/10

Unique Flare: 3/10

Emotion: 2/10

 

Christian and Gospel

 

  • You Say – Lauren Daigle

 

 

“You Say” by Lauren Daigle packs in emotional lyrics, sentimental piano, and powerful vocals all into one song. The song points listeners to a motivating message about love and faith in others, which makes it very uplifting and inspiring to listen to.

Lila’s Rating Scale: 

Catchiness: 6/10

Unique Flare: 5/10

Emotion: 8/10

 

Classical

 

  • Perfect Symphony – Ed Sheeran & Andrea Bocelli

 

“Perfect Symphony” by Ed Sheeran & Andrea Bocelli is a remake of Sheeran’s song “Perfect,” but with classical instruments. Famed Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli takes the lead in the second verse after the chorus. The classical instruments such as the harp and the violins add a bit of color to the song and a new dimension of emotion, which heightens the listening experience. However, Bocelli’s strong and powerful voice in the second verse is a little off-putting due to his contrast to Ed Sheeran’s softer and more reserved style of singing. Overall, the song is very endearing and the styles mix well.

 

Lila’s Rating Scale: 

Catchiness: 8/10

Unique Flare: 6/10

Emotion: 8/10

 

Comedy

 

  • The Chanukah Song – Adam Sandler

 

This classic Jewish holiday song, The Chanukah Song, released by comedian Adam Sandler, amusingly dictates how Jews celebrate the holiday of Hanukkah. His funny lyrics and delivery make the song very appealing and joyful to listen to. 

 

Lila’s Rating Scale: 

Catchiness: 7/10

Unique Flare: 5/10

Emotion: 2/10

 

Country

 

  • 10,000 Hours – Dan + Shay & Justin Bieber

 

While Country isn’t my preferred genre of music, I enjoyed listening to Dan and Shay’s “10,000 Hours.” It’s sentimental lyrics and sweet vocals from Dan, Shay, and Justin Bieber relay a sweet message of long-lasting love. However, it still sounded like every other modern country song out right now.

 

Lila’s Rating Scale: 

Catchiness: 9/10

Unique Flare: 2/10

Emotion: 6/10

 

Dance

 

  • With You This Christmas – Why Don’t We

 

Overall, I would describe the song “With You This Christmas” by Why Don’t We as “cute.” The song stuck to a generic pop-sounding beat with cute holiday lyrics rather than branching out more into the dance genre as I had anticipated. “With You This Christmas” doesn’t contain much individuality, but it still has the elements of a merry Christmas song. 

 

Lila’s Rating Scale: 

Catchiness: 6/10

Unique Flare: 1/10

Emotion: 2/10

 

Electronic

 

  • FALL – deadmau5

 

Listening to “FALL” by deadmau5 was an interesting experience. Although I am not personally a huge electronic fan, something about the way the song was layered and how different beats slowly came into play really made the song engaging and adventurous. If you are searching for a song to make you feel like you are stuck inside a computer, “FALL” is definitely the song to listen to.

 

Lila’s Rating Scale: 

Catchiness: 5/10

Unique Flare: 10/10

Emotion: 0/10

 

Hip-Hop/Rap

 

  • Circles – Post Malone

 

“Circles” by Post Malone successfully combines the elements of a catchy beat, a catchy chorus, and grief-stricken lyrics to create a great song. Fitting to listen to in most situations, “Circles” definitely deserves it’s #1 spot in the Hip-hop chart.

 

Lila’s Rating Scale: 

Catchiness: 9/10

Unique Flare: 7/10

Emotion: 5/10

 

Jazz

 

  • What a Wonderful World (Single Version) – Louis Armstrong

 

“What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong is another classic song that has stood the test of time. Armstrong’s power to make the listener smile through his distinctive voice and sweet lyrics speaks for itself. 

 

Lila’s Rating Scale: 

Catchiness: 9/10

Unique Flare: 8/10

Emotion: 6/10

 

K-Pop

 

  • Obsession – EXO

 

“Obsession” by group EXO sets itself apart through it’s sonorous beat incorporated with background musings of “I want you” and “I don’t think so,” giving the song a darker vibe which flows well with the dreamy feel of the chorus. Overall, the unique qualities of the song “Obsession” allow it to stand out amongst other music, making the experience of listening very engaging and fun.  

 

Lila’s Rating Scale: 

Catchiness: 7/10

Unique Flare: 9/10

Emotion: 5/10

 

Latino

 

  • RITMO (Bad Boys for Life) – The Black Eyed Peas & J. Balvin

 

“RITMO” contains all the aspects of a successful Latino genre song, the groovy reggaeton beat, fun raps, and an addictive beat drop in the chorus. The carefree and bright vibes “RITMO” exudes make it very enjoyable to listen to.

 

Lila’s Rating Scale: 

Catchiness: 8/10

Unique Flare: 4/10

Emotion: 3/10

 

Metal

 

  • Enter Sandman – Metallica 

 

“Enter Sandman” by Metallica is exactly the type of song my Dad enjoys listening to. The identifiable guitar riff in the beginning followed by building guitar and drums make the song undoubtedly Metallica, and a hit for metal fans around the world.

 

Lila’s Rating Scale: 

Catchiness: 6/10

Unique Flare: 8/10

Emotion: 5/10

 

Pop

 

  • Memories – Maroon 5

 

The sentimental lyrics and simplistic instruments in the song “Memories” by Maroon 5 makes the song very appealing to a wide audience. Evoking the emotion of remembrance within the audience allows “Memories” to stand out as a song, for the emotion personally connects and impacts the listener. 

 

Lila’s Rating Scale: 

Catchiness: 8/10

Unique Flare: 5/10

Emotion: 7/10

 

R&B/Soul

 

  • Blinding Lights – The Weeknd

 

“Blinding Lights,” the latest single from The Weeknd, is a catchy song with a fun synth beat and an appealing melody signature to his style of music. Overall, “Blinding Lights” is an entertaining listen, with unique elements that attract a greater audience.

 

Lila’s Rating Scale: 

Catchiness: 8/10

Unique Flare: 7/10

Emotion: 5/10

 

Reggae

 

  • W (feat. Gunna) – Koffee

 

“W (feat. Gunna)” by Koffee is a song that I would say is the perfect definition of the new wave of Reggae. The incorporation of modern sounds with the signature groovy and chill Reggae vibe is the perfect example of the genre’s progression throughout the years. The layered “pop” sounds in the background of the song added animation and vividness making the song even more of a delightful listen.

 

Lila’s Rating Scale: 

Catchiness: 8/10

Unique Flare: 8/10

Emotion: 5/10

 

Rock

 

  • Saints of the Blood – Black Veil Brides

 

The song “Saints of the Blood” by Black Veil Brides is an intense Rock song that is reminiscent of something one would find on Guitar Hero. The pained lyrics and rebellious in-unison yelling from the band members make “Saints of the Blood” undoubtedly Rock.

 

Lila’s Rating Scale: 

Catchiness: 4/10

Unique Flare: 6/10

Emotion: 4/10

 

Singer/Songwriter

 

  • Be Alright – Dean Lewis

 

The touching story told by Dean Lewis in the song “Be Alright” is a reminder that there is hope for healing after heartbreak. Lewis’s emotionally charged voice combined with his heart-wrenching lyrics makes the song more personal and meaningful.  

 

Lila’s Rating Scale: 

Catchiness: 7/10

Unique Flare: 5/10

Emotion: 10/10

 

Soundtrack

 

  • Into the Unknown – Idina Menzel & AURORA

 

“Into the Unknown” from movie Frozen 2 is no “Let It Go” but it resembles a classic Disney song that is perfect to belt to alone or with friends. Both motivational and perky, “Into the Unknown” does a wonderful job of transporting me back into my childhood. 

 

Lila’s Rating Scale: 

Catchiness: 8/10

Unique Flare: 5/10

Emotion: 9/10

 

World

 

  • Somewhere Over the Rainbow – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

 

“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole has always been a favorite song of mine. The simple feel of the ukulele along with Kamakawiwo’ole’s blissful lyrics give the song very endearing and pure qualities.

 

Lila’s Rating Scale: 

Catchiness: 9/10

Unique Flare: 7/10

Emotion: 7/10