Rihanna’s crooning ballad, “Love On the Brain” gets a vamped up 80’s-esque remix. The original version serves as one of the singers most captivating songs, vocally. She squeals, growls, and moans about being in love with someone who maybe doesn’t deserve her; “You love when I fall apart, so you can put me together, and throw me against the wall.” The Gigamesh Remix takes on a happier feel, with a lighter beat as the chorus is edited to just Rihanna shouting, “must be love.” Remixed, “Brain” takes on a whole new meaning that makes you bop your head and tap your feet while paying homage to the 1985 hit, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” Gospel goes out the window, and electro pop slides in almost as if it was meant to be this way. I have now dubbed this as one of my favorite Rihanna songs remixed.
This rap/rave group, titled Die Antwood created the next novelty song you need on your “going out” playlist. “She gets everything she wants, she gets everything for free…” a woman whispers in a muffled tone as a pulsing beat pounds in the background while child-like vocals take over the next verse. “Coochie” feels raunchy and explicit (as the single cover artwork shows) but is easy to ignore when the sounds pour in from a variety of genres. This duo from Cape Town, South Africa are one of the most unique groups we’ve seen in a while. The slight mix of pop, EDM, and rap is enough to appeal to almost anyone. “Gucci Coochie” feels like a saucy party in the early 2000’s with mini skirts, flip phones, and lots of eyeshadow.
“Bad Things” – Machine Gun Kelly feat. Camilla Cabello
We’ve heard it before and we’re hearing it again. A rapper spitting game on the verses while a popular female singer croons a hook you can never get out of your brain. “Airplanes (B.o.B feat. Hayley Williams / 2010),” “Empire State of Mind (Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys / 2009),” and more recently, “Me, Myself, and I (G-Eazy feat. Bebe Rexha / 2015).” It seems to be a foolproof formula that results in mega airplay and a lot of new fans. Ask me how much I listen to Machine Gun Kelly. None. But you bet I learned every word to “Things” before I even pulled into work on Friday. Camilla’s voice is absolute pop perfection as she enchantingly sings, “Am I out of my head? am I out of my mind?…Don’t think that I can explain it, what can I say, it’s complicated.”
While listening to Machine Gun Kelly rap, you realize he’s not that great of a rapper. He seems to be in the minor leagues of the rap genre. You almost just wait and wait for the chorus to play again so you can sing along with Camilla, as if she’s guiding you along a moonlit path while miniature twinkle lights line the dirt behind her delicate prancing baby feet. “Bad Things” proves her vocals are worthy of a solo project, MORE than worthy. Camilla is no stranger to collabing, her duet with newcomer Shawn Mendes, “I Know What You Did Last Summer” skyrocketed on the pop charts and even went gold.
The truth is, “Bad Things” is good, but in about two months, people won’t be listening to it anymore. It’s a solid song for right now, but nothing substantial. What’s B.o.B up to these days? No idea, because he never texts me back. Just kidding. Machine Gun Kelly needs to grow his fanbase and that’s exactly what this song will do for him. So, kudos to Kelly for mastering this formula for people to latch onto once again.
Cade is a 19-year-old singer-songwriter and producer who has earned his music creds with artists like G-Eazy, Jason Derulo, and more. “Care” is a beautifully written song about an ending. “It is what it is, you know what you did,” he nonchalantly sings. The sound would succeed on pop radio as the chorus tap beat builds to “you don’t even care for me anymore.” EDM chill waves pulse after the chorus. A song that makes you see the beauty in every situation. Bad breakup? Make a dope song that is the perfect crossover from pop to EDM. There seems to be a trend where songs have great vocals with a fantastic electronic setup and it totally works. I desperately want to hear “Care” on the radio.
Oh My My, is the title of their latest album since their 2013 release, Native. A 16-song tracklist reminds fans just how unstoppable they are. One Republic feels like an old friend, that you’ve had most of your life. You love them dearly, they are always there for you, and whenever you start to forget or lose touch with them they come right back into your life again, for the better. They make you a better person and an even bigger fan.
This album takes a slight turn down a path we’ve never heard from this talented group. Pulling influences from electronic leaders like M83 and Miike Snow, the boys pull back from their usual rock-alt/pop sound. While listening to the album you find yourself getting lost in it (like you would any other 1R album) but this time the music is more rich and unique. The songs are heavier while the lyrical quality remains as One Republic as ever; beautiful, poetic, and slightly cliche.
Lead singer, Ryan Tedder talked about the album as a whole to officialcharts.com saying, “It’s a very diverse album, but when you start hearing some of these songs, the humanity is there – that’s what took so damn long to make it.” Songs like, “Kids,” “Future Looks Good,” and “Wherever I Go” sound like the band we know and love. Catchy choruses and a thudding array of instruments float through each verse in the most cohesive way. While “Oh My My,” “NbHD,” and “A.I.” make you realize that this band CAN succeed at electronic music. They keep a gentle balance between overboard and juuuust right. Each one still feels like it could be stripped down and played in a coffee shop. The instrumentation is still present, even though the sound has shifted. Tedder’s voice motivates you on “Future Looks Good”, singing “you are, you are the future, and the future looks good.” Which is something he’s been good at; writing lyrics with meaning that most artists can’t do their whole careers. One Republic have kept a close grasp on why they are a band in the first place; for the music.
“Born” is one of the best off the album. A song bound to be played at many future weddings (only if they have good music taste, like me.) The lyrics make you wish you were in love; “Yeah found someone to keep my head up, yeah trading darkness for the dawn, I was born, born to love you.” The chorus is so angelic, it feels as close to heaven as you’ll ever get here on Earth. In a world full of so much disagreement and hate, One Republic manages to sprinkle our souls with pure appreciation and love.
One Republic have once again shot themselves to the top of my list. Just when you think they can’t get any better, they do. Notorious for giving you a big warm hug and reminding you that life is beautiful.
The sensual vocals from George Maple on “Buried” help you focus on the beauty of EDM that is often pushed to the side in favor of a bombing drop that makes your heart sweat. What So Not has reached new levels with their sound. Making “sound” the main focus, instead of the “drop.” Layered vocals, pulsing electronic notes, and guitar riffs mimicking subtle R&B make Divide & Conquer sound like liquid dessert.
At times it can get dark and weird, which is expected from this group once in a while. The production is high and sometimes overwhelming, in a good way (listen to opening track, “Divide & Conquer”and “Lone”). But Conquer feels more powerful than anything else. Emotionally charged and beautiful in the harshest ways. “Trust” features begging vocals that plead you to get lost in every second of the song, while closing song, “Adieu” plays with horns, heavy bass, and muffled inaudible vocals.
EDM has become such a diverse genre, mixing so many different musical elements, and even several genres. Female vocals become moneymakers, and rap cameo’s become just as addicting as a classic rap album you’ve heard a million times. The drop becomes irrelevant and the musical quality takes the lead. What So Not are genuine trendsetters not to be messed with.