It was an exciting, packed weekend, wasn’t it? To start with, Halloween festivities are in full swing, and we hope you had a suitably spooky time. Our 31 Days of Halloween is drawing to a close, and you can search the tag for it to read any articles you may have missed. If you’re more of a tv person, you’re probably well on your way to finishing the second season of Stranger Things. If all of that wasn’t enough, last week saw a bevy of album and single releases, which is what this particular column is concerned with. Let’s do it.
Selena Gomez, Marshmello – Wolves
Selena Gomez has spent 2017 periodically releasing singles that dominate the culture. “Bad Liar” was an anthem this summer, and “Fetish” featured previous Take 5 selection Gucci Mane. Just in time for November, Gomez returned with “Wolves,” great new single. While the collaboration with Substream favorite Marshmello is unexpected, it’s not out of character for Gomez, who worked with Kygo on February’s “It Ain’t Me.” Either way, “Wolves” works. Marshmello provides a fine layer of EDM over the heavily guitar driven pop song, and it’s no question that Gomez can easily handle a big pop hook.
Julien Baker – Shadowboxing
There was never any doubt that Julien Baker‘s sophomore album Turn Out The Lights would be a masterpiece, and it’s finally here for all of us to enjoy. The entire album is an emotionally devastating experience, with the intimacy that Baker brings to all of her music and lyrics that will bring the tears flowing readily. Baker has aways managed to turn her personal struggles into songs that we can all relate to, and “Shadowboxing” is no exception. The feeling that comes from someone close to you not being able to understand your struggles is rough, and Baker channels all that frustration, sadness, and hurt into a near perfect song.
MØ – When I Was Young
Not every release this week was heavily anticipated like the last two. No one knew a new EP from Danish pop icon MØ was coming, but it did. The When I Was Young EP is good from beginning to end, but it’s titular single is its best track. MØ has always released pop hits that sound like no one else, and the same can be said here. A big, repeating, horn-fueled instrumental break and the cadence that MØ utilizes on the bridge are the big sells here, but she’s built a great song around those aspects, as well.
Kelly Clarkson – I Don’t Think About You
Over 15 years and eight albums, Kelly Clarkson has been a constant force in music. She’s experimented with many different sounds over those years and albums, and that eighth album Meaning of Life that came out on Friday is no exception. There’s a lot to love on the album, but “I Don’t Think About You” is a good choice to start with because it showcases the two constants of Clarkson that have made her so good and so beloved: she can sing, and she’s a total badass. “I Don’t Think About You” is a ballad of the highest order, Clarkson and a piano at the center of it all as she tells someone from her past that she is well and truly over them and she loves herself more than anything. It’s a cathartic and empowering track, and shows Clarkson is going to stick around for a long time to come.
Cam – Diane
Do you want vocal harmonies? Cam‘s new song “Diane” has some stunning vocal harmonies. Do you want energy? Cam’s new song “Diane” is straight caffeine in the form of a country song, a track that pushes along at 1000 miles per hour. Do you want a song with some history? Cam has said that her new song “Diane” is a “response to Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene.'” In terms of history, it’s directly related to one of the world’s most iconic songs, country or otherwise. No matter what you want in a song, Cam’s new song “Diane” is what you need. Listen to Cam’s new song “Diane.”
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