Song of the Week: “FML” by Kanye West
Kanye West is a crusader of the id. His spiky personality is the result of having fought against marginalizing perceptions of him since the beginning, when he was a young producer with aspirations of a rap career. Yet doubts still linger over Kanye West’s talent/sanity after 12 years, seven indisputably great albums, and two children. But when the doubt originates from within himself, there’s something deeply wrong. “FML” begins with Ye barely pushing out the words, every pause filled with an elegiac piano sample that rattles on. West then raps about his fears of infidelity and a lack of dialogue — death knells for any relationship — before The Weeknd’s voice soars in and hits a wall of sound. There’s no solution laid out — only hope that there’s something more than Lexapro in store.
– Sam Velazquez, A&E Editorial Assistant
Song of the Week: “Ophelia” by The Lumineers
The Lumineers released their self-titled debut in the midst of a Mumford-led nu-folk movement reviving the genre overseas. After topping the charts with their charming brand of vintage Americana, the Colorado three-piece vanished. The Lumineers became a myth, a forgotten “Mumford-band” seemingly unable to return to a music scene that no longer championed the banjo-clad, suspender-wearing folk giants of four years ago. But they’ve recently returned with shocking tour and album announcements, and their new single, “Ophelia,” is evidence that their ‘60s folk tunes have retained and built on the allure of past work. Singer Wesley Schultz vocalizes the band’s evolving relationship with fame, reminiscing “When I was younger, I should have known better,” before accepting the band’s early success, crying “I can’t feel no remorse.” The single maintains the drum progressions of “Ho Hey” and “Stubborn Love,” but shifts the melody’s reliance on guitar to piano. “Ophelia” delivers a distillation of 20th century sounds, perfectly packaging them into a succinct, simple, modern hit.
– Karly Nisson, A&E Editor
Song of the Week: “Ocean Eyes” by Billie Eilish
As the average middle-school student finishes their math homework before dinner, Billie Eilish calmly clears her throat and finishes the final harmonies in her new single, “Ocean Eyes.” The 13-year old singer, with help from her 17-year old brother, Finneas O’Connell (“Glee”), has created an addictive track with simple eloquence and effortless electronic instrumentals. Eilish’s hauntingly beautiful vocals enrich the soft synthesizer and develop the peaceful yet passionate tone of the song. Billie Eilish combines repeated background harmonies with a memorable chorus pattern to successfully achieve the captivating quality of pop mixed with the relaxed informality of an indie track. “Ocean Eyes” illustrates a bright introduction of new talent and hopefully is an indication of new music in the future.
– Peter McInnis, A&E Staff Writer