“Life Less Ordinary” – Carbon Leaf
Start the week off right with this track, dedicated to the message of the chorus: “Live a life less ordinary, live a life extraordinary with me.” And that’s what we should all strive for. It’s inspiring, so it makes for a great start to the week, but it’s also just plain fun to listen to because of its catchy melody, and (if you’re a lyrics person) the surprise twist ending at the end of the song. Listen to this while you’re stuck doing homework and it just might make your day a little better.
“Wagon Wheel” – Darius Rucker (originally by Old Crow Medicine Show)
With its sweet melody and tight harmonies, it’s no wonder that this song was an instant hit not only with country music listeners, but the mainstream audience. It’s the story of a man traveling through the South, on his way back home to the woman he loves. Though we may not be in his exact shoes, Monday is the day that we all start our long journey towards the already-highly-anticipated weekend. It’s not an easy day, but listening to this song on your way to class might make the journey a little more inspiring: What are you working towards this week?
“Love Remains the Same” – Gavin Rossdale
After hearing this song last week for the first time in ages, I quickly discovered how much I like it (despite having forgotten about it entirely). It’s an understated song: slow and simple, and it never really swept the nation. Still, it excels in terms of both the vocals and the message that “everything will change, but love remains the same.” The song paints the picture of a chaotic world, filled with dirty city buses and bars, where the only thing that helps the narrator through is knowing that love will always stay the same. The visualization evoked by this song is impressive, and that’s what sets it apart. Take four minutes to listen, and you will not be disappointed.
“Woods” – Bon Iver
If you’ve ever listened to anything by Bon Iver, this song will be different from what you’re expecting. If you haven’t ever listened to anything by Bon Iver, you should really try it out. Though not generally what I would choose for a calming Wednesday song, because it is completely auto-tuned, it still manages to feel beautiful and relaxing in the midst of all of the machinery. For the sake of clarification, this song was not auto-tuned because it needed to be. It was done as an artistic choice and it’s still quite clear that all voices in the song are actually singing, and singing well. What really makes this song is the fact that the harmonies are fantastically complex, which is not something generally heard with auto-tuned music. This song is intricate and unique, and definitely worth checking out.
“Troublemaker” – Olly Murs
Every time someone mentions this song to me, they say that they originally thought it was Maroon 5, because it sounds so similar to their older style (like, “Songs About Jane”-era Maroon 5). With a strong beat, catchy melody and uniquely good vocals, this track is ideal for dancing – or even just head-nodding – while working. Whether your week is over or you have a giant test tomorrow, listen to “Troublemaker” to take a break and get pumped for whatever your weekend has in store.
“Crazy in Love” – BeyoncÃ©
BeyoncÃ© is an icon, and it would be difficult to argue otherwise. With numerous hits, albums, movies and a family of her own, she has everything in the world on lock. Knowing who she is today, it’s interesting to look back on old-school BeyoncÃ©. Released in 2003, her debut solo single “Crazy in Love” was recorded before anyone could have known how far her star would rise. This song also includes an entertaining glimpse into her future as it features her husband-to-be, Jay-Z. Years later, this is still one of my favorite BeyoncÃ© songs, so listen to this blast from the past and I dare you not to dance to it.
“A Little Party Never Killed Nobody” – Fergie, Q-Tip and GoonRock
This song was produced for the soundtrack to the film “The Great Gatsby” and, much like the film itself, it takes something new and makes it feel old. “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody” is fascinating due to the way it combines the party-song of today with the musical styles of the past, including a filter and saxophone accompaniment, which you don’t come across too often these days. Though the message is the same as many contemporary songs, it’s twisted in this song as the musical style sets it apart and makes it far more fun than most of its “modern” counterparts. Send yourself back a few decades with this song – then have a great weekend!
– By Emma Reidy