Single Review – Childish Gambino – This Is America

The multi-talented Donald Glover returned with the first new material since Awaken, My Love from 2016; an album which saw him tilt his style towards a more vocal based, soulful direction. With his new single ‘This is America’ this only forms a small part of a multi-faceted arrangement taking in elements of Soul, Pop, Rap and switching styles throughout. The lyrics along with the excellent video transcend many issues in a bold fashion, but treats others with subtlety. Glover’s approach ensures you have to take in the harsh truths he details whilst enjoying the music; both are entwined to the point you can’t ignore the content and the musical shifts and changes signpost this brilliantly. Whether it’s mass shootings, the worship of gun culture, the targeting of the African American communities by law enforcement or the general apocalyptic images he paints, the message is the same; This is America. It is a true example of free speech so coveted in America and a work of art beyond it. You can’t ignore it for it’s not just another form of entertainment, it’s a statement.

Owen Riddle

Single Review – Foxygen – America

The Californian Indie duo have release their first track since 2014’s And… Star Power with ‘America’. This new single is a random turn as it is a orchestral and cinematic piece, almost a soundtrack to a mid 1970’s musical. Everything from the swinging brass band behind them, the sweeping strings and the worn electronic chords. It makes little sense in this regard and whether it is going to be part of their fourth studio album… who knows? What we do know is that it will be a very intriguing listen if it’s a sign of things to come. 

Owen Riddle

Sunday Suggestion – The Beatles – I Want To Hold Your Hand

I have chose this song due to its historical impact. The impact The Beatles made on the USA and spring-boarding them out of Europe to be a truly global craze. ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ has never been my favourite Beatles song but it can certainly be appreciated as one of the first and finest pieces of Rock Pop ever created. It is made all the greater by the musical and vocal flair and intelligence that they had. They were able to craft a song packed full of melody and hooks from the compressed rhythm guitar and the sliding lead. On top of the bass is fluctuating and manipulating it’s own tune. The vocal harmonies and combinations that are combined just result in a joyous unison and provided the final piece of the Rock ‘n’ Roll puzzle that was left by Elvis and the death of Buddy Holly. The song came at a time when the United States was in a gloomy, mournful state of national depression with the assassination of JFK still vivid in everyone’s minds. For these outsiders to come in with their odd appearance, accents, music and a complete disregard for procession and commercial behaviour was exactly what was needed to lift the country back on to it’s feet again with what is undoubtedly one of the greatest pop songs of all time and it’s what they used to break America 50 years ago this week.

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