Music of the Month: November 2017

If one thing has become evident this month, it’s that the abundance of new releases is winding down. That is to say, there hasn’t been much variety in what I’ve been listening to this month. But that’s not going to stop me from telling you all about it. There’s going to be a lot of repeat artists, so bear with me:

1. “Échame La Culpa” by Luis Fonsi & Demi Lovato: Obviously, I’m going to start off with my dream lady (as usual). This Spanish collaboration is filled with plucky Latin guitar. The song is about a couple that’s been fighting, but now wants to put all that aside. Forgive and forget, so to speak. “Échame la culpa” roughly translates to “blame me” or “put the blame on me.” It’s a cute song and very fun to listen to. Demi’s vocals sound superb (as is par for the course) and Luis is endearing in a way he wasn’t on “Despacito.” Definitely give it a listen if you haven’t.
2. “If I Get My Way” by Little Mix: Normally I am vehemently against “friendzone” songs, but I’ve made an exception for this one. This is mainly because of the way it’s framed. Something about the girls singing the phrase “if I get my way” in regards to their crush leaving his girl for them absolves it of any presumption. Yes, they still assume they could be better lovers (or, if we make it singular, the narrator assumes she’ll be a better lover), they still acknowledge it’s “their way” and not necessarily truth. Plus, it’s really poppy and the girls sound great. While I wish Little Mix hadn’t waited a year to release the super deluxe version of Glory Days, this is still a great track that you should give a listen.
3. “I Know” by Aly & AJ: After years without a release, Aly & AJ are back with a brand new EP entitled Ten Years (a celebration of the ten-year anniversary of their debut album Into the Rush). Soaked in ‘80s pop brilliance, this EP is a welcome comeback. This song finds the sisters trying to comfort someone dealing with depression. It’s a simple song, but well-meaning. You should definitely check it out.
4. “Tequilawine” by Olivia O’Brien: This R&B bop finds Olivia running into an ex she’s not quite over and drinking to forget. She finds a nice balance between sad and upbeat, kind of like a sad drunk person trying desperately to be happy (apt, indeed). Her vocals are great, smooth as a glass of wine. Give it a listen if you’re looking for something fresh.
5. “Is Your Love Enough?” by Little Mix: This dance-pop song is a sexy little number about convincing your partner to make you believe their love. Naturally, the song is more focused on sex, but it’s evident the narrator is looking for a relationship too. It’s the best new song on the platinum edition of Glory Days, so definitely give this one a shot.
6. “Promises” by Aly & AJ: Another ‘80s-tinged track, this mid-tempo song finds the narrator discovering her lover is cheating. She tries to write it off as “another mistake” and “another big break of promises,” but there’s a layer of melancholy to the song that betrays the inner heartbreak. It’s subtle, the lyrics misleadingly simplistic. Another quality track from a quality duo.
7. “Hold Me Tight or Don’t” by Fall Out Boy: The latest promo single for MANIA, this song combines piano, dance music, and an underlying vibe of emo pop punk. Patrick’s vocals are stratospheric as usual and Pete’s lyrics are dark and wonky. The song commemorates a relationship at the point of ultimatum: either they’re going to go all in or they’re done. My favorite lyrics are “And when your stitch comes loose/I want to sleep on every piece of fuzz and stuffing that comes out of you.” I like the visual it gives me. While still not quite up to par with their older stuff, it’s still a good song and you should give it a listen.
8. “Dear Lover” by Little Mix: This song, a mid-tempo track, cleverly mixes EDM with acoustic guitar. This song finds the narrator in a rough place where she just wants some affection for a night, but is unable to give more than that. It’s strangely hopeful for such a downer, but also the most honest of the new Glory Days tracks. Check it out if you haven’t.
9. “The Distance” by Aly & AJ: This drum-heavy track is just shy of being a power ballad. It finds the narrator looking back sadly at a long-distance relationship that just didn’t work out. Even though the couple loved each other, the distance was just too much to bear. The sisters sound their best on this track, though their vocals are always good. This is my favorite song on the EP and one you should definitely check out.

What music have you been listening to this month? Any new releases I should know about? Tell me about it in the comments!

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