Today’s playlist is titled Boundless. The first playlist of the new year, Boundless is meant to be unbound by any genre. You will find rap, rock, pop, folk, and R&B. These songs use different styles of music to explore feelings that are both common and unique in us all.
Big K.R.I.T. has the second song on the playlist with “Pick Yourself Up”. The beat is familiar territory for K.R.I.T., the sonics of this song are in the same field as “R4 Theme Song”. There are three stories in this song; the first is a man who spends his money wrong; next, a young K.R.I.T., reminisces about his car, how he wanted one and got one on his own; finally, a woman who is treated wrong hoping that one of her men will choose her as the one but they keep using her. The message is clear, you’ve got to fix your problems yourself and do things correctly if you want good things to happen to you.
“Atlantic City” by Bruce Springsteen is one of the quieter moments of the playlist. The song is simple, with Bruce’s layered vocals and his guitar providing the soundscape. Honestly, the song’s chorus melody reminds me of Backstreet Boys “I Want It That Way”. I love the lyrics and delivery of this song. A stand-out for me is:
Well, I got a job and tried to put money away
But I got debts that no honest man can pay
So I drew what I had from the Central Trust
And I bought us two tickets on that Coast City bus
Few songs have said so much through an instrumental like Tyler, the Creator’s “Garden Shed”. Tyler does not come in until the very end, but the instrumental builds up like it is the true message of how difficult it can be to admit something. The beauty, the anger, the loss of a feeling that can change your life are all reflected in the ever-morphing beat. “To find the words” for a secret, or something you maybe have not come to true terms with. Estelle provides dreamy, well-sung vocals for the majority of the track.
Along with having perhaps the greatest album cover of all time, “Lazy Nina” by Greg Phillinganes is the funkiest song on the playlist. Not only does this song get me dancing, it also has a beautiful message. “Lazy Nina” is about how the most memorable moments in a relationship can be the little ones. The song plays like a classic 80’s movie montage. I’m dancing right now, as I sit at my desk, writing and listening to this song.
Where Phillinganes remembers the easy-going times of love, Lauryn Hill remembers the pain that comes along with deep emotion in her classic song “Ex-Factor”. Is there a better love song than this? Not the love of a wedding day, but the love you have for someone that you can never be with again. Every lyric of this song can sting you to the core if you’re not careful. Lauryn, in her beautiful poetic way, gets to the core with the lyric, “tell me who I have to be, to get some reciprocity”. Fantastic line, with fantastic use of the word reciprocity.
“Pet Cemetery” by Tierra Whack is only one-minute long but, like most of her album Whack World, I wish it were longer! Her inflection on her opening line is so great. The song is so beautifully heartfelt but I can’t help but crack a smile every time I hear it. Her voice is greatly applied to the background, choral-like section of the soundscape.
There are a few songs on this playlist that make me want to turn the keys in the ignition and go for a long drive. One of those songs is the Dire Straits’ “So Far Away”. This is a highway song through-and-through. This song you put on while driving the I-5, roll the window down, and reflect on that special someone in your life.