I know this is a music column, but I have a non-musical recommendation for all of you this week. Everyone reading this should go see Black Panther. I’m no movie critic, so I’ll let our Kt Schafer’s review do most of the talking, but seriously go see it. The entire cast is phenomenal. It looks incredible. Ryan Coogler is a directorial genius. To tie it back in to Take 5, I’ve been talking about the soundtrack for weeks now. I’m happy to report that the soundtrack and score used in the movie itself both live up to the hype. Let’s run through our five tracks this week, then I’m going to go see Black Panther again.
A$AP Rocky, 21 Savage, Gucci Mane, London On Da Track – Cocky
We are long overdue for a new A$AP Rocky album. While new single “Cocky” is from the Uncle Drew soundtrack (which is still a real thing), it hopefully serves as a harbinger for Rocky’s more permanent return. London On Da Track provides a hook and beat that oozes with the confidence contained in the song’s title. Since it’s for a basketball movie, most of the lyrics from Rocky, Savage, and Gucci focus on the sport, which is more than alright with me.
Brandi Carlile – Hold Out Your Hand
Brandi Carlile‘s album By The Way, I Forgive You has been on my radar for awhile now, and it did not disappoint. There’s an intensity, openness, and emotion to the songwriting that has completely blown me away. Every song is impeccable, and I have been particularly been drawn to the hope of “Hold Out Your Hand.” Carlile blazes through the verses at lightning speed, and the bridge extolling the possibility of a better and brighter future is something to behold. There is every emotion under the sun on By The Way, I Forgive You, and the joy of “Hold Out Your Hand” shines bright.
Sleeptalk – I Hope You’re Doing Well
I hope you had a lovely Valentine’s Day last week. I hope it was filled with time with your loved ones, whether friends or significant others. I’m not naive enough to think that was the case for everyone, though. For those of you who had a rough go of it this year, Sleeptalk are here for you with “I Hope You’re Doing Well.” “I’m so sad I could die,” goes the chorus, and who among us can’t relate to that feeling after a breakup? Even if it didn’t fit with the time of year, “I Hope You’re Doing Well” would still be on this list, as a great pop-tinged breakup anthem is something I can get down with at any time of the year and regardless of relationship status.
Frank Ocean – Moon River
“Moon River” is not technically a new song. It’s half a century old, originally performed by the one and only Audrey Hepburn. However, two things put it on this list: cover versions of songs count as new versions to me, and also I write this column and I’ve decided it’s going on, so there. Can you blame me? Frank Ocean perfectly captures the longing of the original song. The vocal layering and pronounced hum of the electric guitar as it finishes each chord create a lovely density. Finally, there’s always more room in the world for Frank Ocean crooning.
Beach House- Lemon Glow
Just like A$AP Rocky up top, Beach House haven’t put out a new studio album since 2015. There was a B-sides collection last, but we’re greedy for more. That’s why we’re so excited that Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally are back with “Lemon Glow.” The slow sway of the song was a perfect fit for a Valentine’s release. A two-line chorus of “When you turn the lights down low/Lemon color, honey glow” is perfectly evocative, and the rest of “Lemon Glow” is no joke, either. Is Beach House’s new album here yet?
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