Musicality - Tove Lo, Taylor Swift, Lil Nas X, Miley Cyrus
“Bad as the Boys (featuring ALMA)” single
(Universal Music AB)
Lately, the end of summer tends to bring heartbreak songs. This one by Tove Lo might be my favorite. It definitely has my favorite lyrics out of all the recent breakup songs. The chorus goes: “I met her in the summer / thinking life would get better / but she’s gone now / Took my heart and sunk with it. / She was just as bad as the boys.”
It’s a great anthem for bisexual women. The somber lyrics are paired with an oddly catchy tropical background of mostly guitar and drums. Tove Lo keeps giving me more reasons to love her. I don’t get mad when her songs stay in my head. I had never heard of ALMA, a Finnish artist, before, but this duo worked very well together. I can’t wait to hear more from either one.
(Republic/Taylor Swift Productions)
Taylor Swift has released the title track, “Lover,” to her newest album, which is due out Aug. 23. She had already released two singles off the album, “Me,” and “You Need to Calm Down.” I loved the single “Me,” especially because it featured Panic! at the Disco singer Brendon Urie. That song, energetic and colorful, could not be more different from this one. However, “Lover” might be my favorite song now from Swift. The beginning reminded me of two of my favorite songs – The Sundays’ rendition of “Wild Horses,” featured in the 1996 movie Fear, and “Fade Into You” by Mazzy Star. It drew me in because of the similarities, but it’s different enough in the chorus to make it feel fresh and new. I love the ’90s vibe. I would not be mad if most of the album has the same feeling that this song evokes. I can’t wait to hear it.
Lil Nas X has already had an explosively successful year. At just 20 years old, the rapper has caused a stir by crossing two genres that have rarely worked together. Lil Nas X was rising on the country Billboard charts until the wildly popular song from EP 7, “Old Town Road,” which features Billy Ray Cyrus, was controversially pulled from that chart. That has not stopped the song from getting repeated play almost anywhere. Lil Nas X also made waves recently for coming out as gay. We live in a time where a rapper made a ferociously popular country rap song and immediately came out of the closet. What a time to be alive. Another interesting song from the EP is “F9mily,” which is basically an alternative rock song, featuring Travis Barker from Blink-182. I hope Lil Nas keeps bending genres. It will be interesting to see what he does next.
“Slide Away” single
Miley Cyrus’ new song is a little deeper and more serious than some of her other singles. It features a minimalist, two-chord guitar melody, which layers well with the drums and fits nicely with the pacing. Her vocal range in the song is amazing. She’s been in the tabloids quite a bit recently because of her breakup with husband Liam Hemsworth, and after reading that much gossip, you forget how great a vocalist she is. This song is a strong reminder of her musical skills, especially her songwriting. It’s definitely a breakup song, either a relationship or someone close that you just can’t be around anymore. It’s hard to tell whether this will lead up to a more serious side for her musically, but if that’s the route she’s taking, I’m here for it.