‘Music Monday’ is a weekly blog in which I compile a list of ten songs I have been enjoying in the past week. This edition features Robbie Williams, The Weeknd, Kings of Leon amongst others.
1) JoJo – Save My Soul
JoJo is best known for 2005 smash R&B hit ‘Leave (Get Out)’, released when she was just fifteen years old. Since then, she took a hiatus and returned a five years ago but with limited success. ‘Save My Soul’ is a powerful and emotive ballad from her latest EP ‘III’ with a soaring melody, crashing percussion and haunting piano chords. Stunning.
2) Tove Lo – Talking Body
Sensual and seductive synthpop song by Swedish recording artist Tove Lo. A fine pop track; catchy with an easy sing-along chorus.
3) Steve Angello – Wasted Love
Epic dance track with the Coldplay-esque euphoria. Dougy, lead singer of The Temper Track lends his vocals to this powerful and uplifting song.
4) Daniel Bedingfield – Never Gonna Leave Your Side
This was always a little inferior compared to Bedingfield’s other famous ballad, the gorgeous ‘If You’re Not The One’. It’s a beautiful song nevertheless and a lovely pop ballad.
5) Richard Marx – Right Here Waiting For You
Slushy and sentimental ’80’s power ballad, a little cheesy but gorgeous nonetheless. One of the most beautiful ballads in pop history, evident from its extensive list of covers.
6) Kings of Leon – Use Somebody
A plea for help but refreshingly presented in an alternative rock format instead of as a ballad. An epic, emotive track full of stadium-rousing ‘oh’s’, wailing guitars and Caleb Followill’s raspy vocals. Still as good now as it was upon release back in 2008.
7) Robbie Williams – Different
One of Williams’ most underrated singles of his career. Co-written by Gary Barlow and Jacknife Lee, it’s a haunting and powerful pop-rock track aching with sincerity. Williams’ forte has always been the ability to put his heart on his sleeve and channel this into well-written lyrics. This deserved to fare SO much better on the UK chart.
8) Justin Bieber – What Do You Mean?
Bieber appears to have made it through his rough Britney-esque meltdown and has returned triumphantly with his best music yet. ‘I Need U’, a collaboration with Diplo and Skrillex was an incredible comeback and ‘What Do You Mean’ continues Bieber’s new electronic-dance-music sound. ‘What Do You Mean’ uses minimalistic instrumentation and gentle, funky production built up of squeaky, steel-pan-like synthesisers, skippy percussion and Bieber’s gentle vocal.
9) The Weeknd – As You Are
Dark, powerful and catchy track from The Weeknd’s (real name Abel Tesfaye) third and current album ‘Beauty Behind the Madness’. Canadian Tesfaye has been in the industry for a while but is only now finding worldwide success, aided greatly by ‘Earned It’, featured in this year’s Fifty Shades of Grey movie. Tesfaye is a pioneer of the ever-developing PBR&B (an alternative version of R&B music) and ‘As You Are’ is a strong demonstration of this. With slamming 80’s-styled percussion, echoing vocals and gentle synthesisers, it’s an explosing and haunting track. Incredible song.
10) The Weeknd – I Can’t Feel My Face
It’s easy to dismiss this song at first with it’s slightly deranged lyrics but it is also unmistakably catchy with its funky guitar riffs and heavy percussion. Very MJ.