Headphones: Speakers Up, Windows Down
As we head into summer, it's only fair that the music we listen to reflects our excitement. Major Lazer has been around for years now, mastering their unique dance music and maintaining an unwavering popularity. Their new six track album is a perfect wake-up call and soundtrack to get you on your feet. Diplo, Walshy Fire and Jillionaire make up the trio that Know No Better than to create these particularly great songs. Arcade Fire has returned to the scene with an incredible single and new music video to match. Watch two new, moving music videos – one from alternative artist Placebo, and the other from blink-182's most recent album California.
Album of the Week: Know No Better – Major Lazer: Major Lazer’s new EP, "Know No Better" is the perfect party soundtrack to head into summer to. You might want to save these six songs for Friday and Saturday night, but either way you can’t have a bad time to these lively tracks. The intro and album title track "Know No Better" featuring Camilla Cabello, Travis Scott and Quavo has a little bit of everything in its sound. This song masters the pop-EDM structure, yet is infused with rap and hip-hop beats including a dance solo prompted by Cabello reciting “I know you better.” The track begins with a harmonic piano turning into an electronic auto-tuned verse by Travis Scott, followed by the back and forth between Quavo and Cabello, a former Fifth Harmony member, with her familiar and precise voice.
Each song brings something new to the table, mastering a unique and compelling dance record. J Balvin and Sean Paul really add flare to the second track: "Buscando Huellas." The dance beat in this song is quite infectious and fitting along with Balvin's beautiful vocals and Paul’s signature role he has in almost every song he is featured in.
The more you listen, the more into the album you will get and the more you’ll enjoy. When "Particular" plays, you feel a certain urge to stand up and dance to the incredible job Diplo, Jillionaire and Walshy Fire have done producing of this huge collaboration. An electronic string instrument subtly adds a great deal to this song, while Nigerian Singer Ice Prince noticeably adds to the track in a huge way. It seems as though each song takes up a larger, more intense dance beat. The track following "Particular," is the invasive, energetic "Jump." The title could not be more fitting as the track will literally force people to jump in dance.
The album is concluded in a strong way, ending with Machel Montano and Konshens' afro-beat vocals over tropical reggaeton beats in "Front of the Line." With another dance track on the album, we can gather that Major Lazer desires absolutely no one to be sitting down while this record plays.
Single of the Week: Everything Now – Arcade Fire: This symphonic, multi-layered song is becoming more and more popular for a reason – it’s fantastic. "Everything Now" by Arcade Fire is simply joyful; especially with the windows down approaching the summer sun. The music video perfectly illustrates the irony of the world we live in today – we need everything now when we really only need the simplicities life has to offer us (air, freedom and the ability to share love).
The single was co-produced with Thomas Bangalter and Steve Mackey from Daft Punk. The group gets an A+ for creative song writing and bringing something so relevant and incomprehensible to the forefront. Waiting for Arcade Fire for the past four years was worth every minute of this light-hearted, lovely song and visual illustration. “Stop pretending/ You've got everything now!”
Alternative: Life’s What You Make It – Placebo: This touching music video was created by Sasha Rainbow, and takes place in a poor, polluted area among trash and debauchery. Among this destruction, a few core characters are shown making the most of their situations. The music video accurately translates Placebo’s words: “Life’s what you make it.” Children with nothing to call their own are dancing beside the real devastation that lives in Agbogbloshie, one of the worlds largest electronic waste dumps.
Rock: Home Is Such A Lonely Place – blink-182: From their latest album release in 2016 of "California," the new music video for "Home Is Such A Lonely Place" is delightfully raw. The video is filmed through the lens of old film cameras, through the bands perspective. The footage catches real, intimate moments shared between the three incredible artists. The lyrics are beautiful and reminiscent, “I wish we could save today.” The video appears as simple as it really was to film according to the band; “All we had to do was be ourselves at home with our family and friends, as we prepared to leave for tour. Consequently, it’s also our most personal and honest videos, and one of my favorites.” Mine too, blink-182.
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