Susan Behrends Valenzuela
Welcome to the fresh face of what once was Weekly Radio Roundup. The essence of the Roundup remains the same, only with a new title and the ability to follow notable singles from each week on an accompanying playlist. Most of this week’s singles are brimming with nostalgia. Listeners can peek into historic vaults and transport themselves back to musicians’ pasts, offering a tempting taste that leaves people impatiently awaiting their next releases. Until those future tracks arrive, here are the songs we think you should listen to.
“Mr. Perfectly Fine” (Taylor’s Version) [From the Vault] – Taylor Swift
Candace Patrick, Staff Writer
Two days before her highly anticipated re-release of2008’s “Fearless,” Taylor Swift dropped the previously unreleased single “Mr. Perfectly Fine” as a surprise. Written at the time of other “Fearless” tracks — nearly thirteen years ago — the song is yet another example of her timeless songwriting abilities. A boppy and sarcastic tune about heartbreak, “Mr. Perfectly Fine” immediately transports us back to Swift’s country-pop era. The infectious beat makes it the perfect song to dance along, as if we were in the late 2000s all over again. Swift’s straightforward, slightly bitter lyrics like “insert lyrics here” gave rise to predictions about who was the subject of the song. Some people believed that she referenced her previous boyfriend, Joe Jonas. Regardless of the inspiration behind the song, it serves as a piece of nostalgia that allows us to reminisce about simpler times.
“Welcome 2 America” by Prince
Ana Cubas, Music Editor
If you’ve ever asked yourself “What would Prince think?,” “Welcome 2 America” might provide some answers. A sinful tease of Prince’s historic repertoire, “Welcome 2 America” is an indulgent reminder of his artistry and enigmatic persona. Recorded in 2010 and released this month by his estate, the track is a funk-filled spoken word track critiquing mass media, exploitation, the American education system, celebrity culture and other weighty topics that only Prince could fit into five minutes.
A cryptic, droning bass emerges early in the track, creating a suspense that is met with a glittery sound which can only be described as mystical — “Welcome 2 America” feels like an episode of The Twilight Zone: eerie, alluring, fantastical and yet scarily accurate at times. Don’t expect Prince to sing a note — the only singing comes from his background singers when they sing lyrics like, “Welcome to America/Go to school to become a celebrity.” The vocals syncopate in a jazzy tone singing, “F-A-M-O-U-S.” Prince is a supernatural figure, able to create a track specific to contemporary culture while making it timeless, as if he could predict the future — even though he didn’t know when it would be released. While it was not his desire to have the single shared, “Welcome 2 America” proves that Prince never compromised on the quality of his music.
“The Limit’ by DARKSIDE
Nicolas Pedrero-Setzer, Arts Editor
DARKSIDE is back. After not releasing anything in seven years, the collaborative duo of Nicolás Jaar and Dave Harrington finally released two new singles in anticipation of their forthcoming album. Their latest single, “The Limit,” is a strange combination of stretched synths and groovy loops. The track’s got a catchy pop angle to it, as Jaar croons “I’m turning around/No, I can’t see the ground/Don’t sow what you reap/Don’t feel what you see” over and over again.
The real spark of genius comes in around the two-minute mark, when the song collapses in on itself after coming to a standstill and leaning into a sonic explosion. It’s absolute magic for the brain. This track shows that Jaar is one of the greatest producers working today and that he knows what he’s doing by deconstructing and redefining today’s sounds. After all, there’s no one else who can make computers sound like Coltrane.
“Kiss Me More” by Doja Cat feat. SZA
Isabella Armus, Contributing Writer
Pop’s newest diva and TikTok savant Doja Cat is back to promote her upcoming album with a new single: “Kiss Me More.” Tinged with the same soft-disco flair that made “Say So” a runaway hit, “Kiss Me More” is a groovy escapade that has Doja explicitly detailing her desires. The chorus is a candy-coated loop of the singer innocently crooning for her lover to “kiss her more,” but as the track swiftly transitions into her rap verse, the innuendo becomes fiercely simple. With bars like: “I, I feel like f-ckin’ somethin’/But we could bе corny, f-ck it/Sugar, I ain’t no dummy, dummy.” R&B favorite SZA matches Doja’s energy with a playful, yet commanding verse: “Control, don’t slow the pace if I throw back/All this ass for real/…./Fantasy and whip appeal is all I can give you.” Though this duo probably can’t be lauded for their enunciation, their witty verses turn this carefree single into the summer banger we deserve.
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