Mixtape 476: WU LYF – Heavy Pop

WU LYF – Heavy Pop

This song is the sound of the last party of summer, a bittersweet second farewell to your hometown. The spotlights shine down, the pool sits open and unused while the liquor sits open and finished. Friends have come and friends have gone, and you feel like everyone you’ve seen over the last few months have stopped by. People you didn’t even know were acquainted have hugged, and shaken hands, and promised to meet up again next year. You’ve been wished well and wished well in return.

This isn’t the sound of the last day of high school, or the last day before college. There’s wisdom, there’s a certain world weariness. Less excitement, less unknown, more inevitability. There’s a knowledge that you’ll never see some of these people again. Sure, some will stay in your life for a while longer, some forever, but there are no misconceptions that you’ll “keep in touch”, or “talk everyday”. There’s a few hugs, some handshakes, and a knowing goodbye.

This is more in the vein of my tumblog, Taken in Tune, where I write something inspired by a song I loved in a more freeform way. I felt like Heavy Pop warranted this sort of entry, but I still felt like it, being new and fitting with the theme, belonged on the summer mixtape (though it’ll likely close it when all is said and done). If you enjoyed this, I urge you to check out Taken in Tune, because there are some things I’ve written on it that I’m very proud of. On the other hand, if you hated this and would rather I left this sort of thing on my other blog, feel free to leave a comment saying so.

Regardless, song number five of the summer mixtape for 2011, the:

Mixtape 476 – 2011

…is Heavy Pop by WU LYF.

1. The Dean’s List – Dear Professor

2. Nicki Minaj – Super Bass

3. Jim Jones and Girl Talk – Believe in Magic (ft. Lloyd)

4. Cults – Oh My God

5. WU LYF – Heavy Pop

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Mixtape 476: Cults – Oh My God

You wanted a summer pop song? Here’s your goddamn summer pop song.

Cults – Oh My God

I like this for a lot of the same reasons I like Arcade Fire’s Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains), the vocals have an airy way of marching along without giving you a chance to breathe.

The whole song shimmers under the light of the sun, constantly propelling forward with no real regard for where it will end up. The song is anchored by a rolling rhythm section and crafted by the singer.  Out of nowhere you find yourself falling into the chorus, headfirst into a wall of sound, wondering how any part of the song could be catchier than another. Somehow, though, the chorus sticks in your head.

I had a tough time deciding which Cults song should be added to the mixtape. There are so many catchy, wonderful songs, including the previously released Go Outside, and You Know What I Mean, which I almost chose thanks to the last chorus alone (I’m a sucker for singing an octave higher), not even including the verse, which uses the tune from Where Did Our Love Go by The Supremes. Oh My God is just so good that I had to go with it.

Song number four of the summer mixtape for 2011, the:

Mixtape 476 – 2011

…is Oh My God by Cults.

1. The Dean’s List – Dear Professor

2. Nicki Minaj – Super Bass

3. Jim Jones and Girl Talk – Believe in Magic (ft. Lloyd)

4. Cults – Oh My God

Mixtape 476: Nicki Minaj – Super Bass

Alright, so I’ve got a new idea, a new format, I guess. Instead of saying “this song is awesome” or “this is the song of the summer” forty two times this summer, I’m just going to make a mixtape (so to speak, this is the internet after all), and then “release” it as a zip file when it’s done. So this way, you can grab the songs you want, or grab the whole thing once it’s all done and assembled into a nice little package.

ANYWAY, back to business…

Nicki Minaj – Super Bass

Nicki Minaj. I know what you’re thinking: “but Craig, why would you like Nicki Minaj? You’re a male, you’re usually snarky towards the mainstream, you don’t like popular music (usually), you’ve never liked a female rapper before, why would you start now?” and so forth.

To that I say, how the fuck do you know so much about me? I’ve written, like, 3 posts, I don’t have that much personal info, and, ostensibly, we don’t know each other.

Beyond that, however, you’re right. I usually don’t like the most popular songs, I’m usually snarky and bitter towards the mainstream (is it because I’m jealous that they have gallons, literally gallons of success, while I blog for free on the internet? …maybe), and I usually don’t enjoy female rappers.

BUT, holy shit, this time it’s different. I’ve changed, I swear. That first time I heard Nicki Minaj’s verse on Kanye West’s Monster, I pricked up my ears. This chick had talent. Sorry, she had talent. She rapped with a sort of ferocity that is missing in music today. She has an anger in her rapping, but marries it with an ability to turn a phrase with the best of them, and a pop sensibility that I can get behind.

Speaking of pop sensibility, that floaty background, accented with the attack of the kick drum, the processed guitars, the synths, it all gives the song a light summer sound without feeling frivolous. It all contrasts so well with the drive and, again, ferocity Minaj brings to every verse, easing into a pop chorus. It’s never too much of a good thing, and leaves you wanting more.

Even when the chorus is little more than replicating the sound of bass coming from a car stereo (the “super” bass, I suppose), it retains something that pulls you in. Even when the track falters at the bridge, the chorus steps forth again, reminding you why you were enjoying the song so much in the first place.

Then, the song just sort of…ends. And you restart it, because holy shit, those verses, man.

So, song two of the summer mixtape for 2011, the:

Mixtape 476 – 2011

…is Nicki Minaj’s Super Bass.

1. The Dean’s List – Dear Professor

2. Nicki Minaj – Super Bass