Cut Through the Noise: the Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar, Vance Joy, Jennifer Lopez (Week of Feb. 8)

Illustration+by+Isaac+Wert
Back to Article
Back to Article

Cut Through the Noise: the Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar, Vance Joy, Jennifer Lopez (Week of Feb. 8)

Illustration by Isaac Wert

Illustration by Isaac Wert

Illustration by Isaac Wert

Illustration by Isaac Wert

Welcome to “Cut Through the Noise,” an Entertainment column from the St. Louis Park Echo covering new music releases. Every week, a different Echo staffer takes on the role as writer, reviewing recent single releases from a variety of artists.

“Pray For Me” – the Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar: ★★★★/5

Fair use from Top Dawg Entertainment

“Pray For Me,” Kendrick Lamar and The Weeknd’s recent collaboration off the Black Panther soundtrack, curated by Lamar, takes a gritty approach to electro-pop. The song opens with a strange cacophony of techno sounds that don’t initially seem like they should go together, but it works. The beat stands out as something that I haven’t really heard before. The Weeknd’s clear, crisp vocals contrast nicely with Kendrick Lamar’s rhythmic rap. The whole song gives off an almost apocalyptic vibe with its use of reverb and synth sounds to complement the melody. During the song’s bridge, the background music mostly drops out, allowing for the Weeknd’s voice to shine through and add a new dynamic to the song. The lyrics are fairly clever but definitely aren’t a poetic masterpiece. With its different feel and change of pace from typical electronic songs, “Pray For Me” definitely earns a spot on your playlist.

 

“Saturday Sun” – Vance Joy: ★★★★/5

Fair use from Atlantic Records

“Saturday Sun,” released in anticipation of Vance Joy’s upcoming album “Nation of Two,” is a great song to add to your summer playlist. Starting with the gentle strum of a ukulele, the song emanates an alluring beachy vibe that successfully pulls listeners in. The tune is upbeat and fun, but with all of it’s talk about sunshine, it makes me wonder why it was released in the winter! The melody perfectly lies in Vance Joy’s vocal range and it fits his style like a glove. The lyrics are well written and don’t fall apart upon close inspection. This song is absolutely perfect for opening up the sunroof and singing along to on a drive down the coast. But for now, its summery vibe feels out of place with all the snow sitting outside my window.

 

“Us” – Jennifer Lopez: ★★/5

Fair use from Epic Records

Jennifer Lopez’s most recent single gives the world a new tune to shake our hips to on the dancefloor. “Us,” produced by Justin Bieber’s go to producer, Skrillex, is primarily a dance beat, accompanied by subpar lyrics. Following recent pop trends, the song has a throbbing techno feel to it. Though “J. Lo” sounds amazing as always, the actual melodies she’s singing are simply bland, uninspired and not very good; it’s extremely unoriginal and repetitive. The main melody and all of the lyrics just don’t seem like they’ve been thought out well. In spite of this, the song is a great song to dance to, mostly because of the pulsing, uplifting beat throughout the song, and its additive the strong rhythm.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story