If you can’t get enough of the Billboard charts, then you’re in luck! If you complain constantly about the state of pop music these days, then we’ve got the songs to prove you wrong. Crimson Arts brings you its monthly Singles Rundown, which covers the best recent singles in pop music of today.
Over the last few years, thousands of fans have come to love Passion Pit’s trademark energetic, synthesized sound. In “Take a Walk,” however, the group’s frenzied passion is toned down into a despairing narrative about a slowly collapsing family. The electronic instrumentation is the same, but this time it’s bound by a more rigid beat. Pounding bass drum and muted guitars make the song sound like a march, which parallels the lyrics about a man marching through his repetitive and desolate life.
Arguably the catchiest song of the season, “One More Night” is packed with enough “oohs” to leave hipsters shaking their heads but the rest of us singing along whenever we hear them on the radio. There’s nothing special or unique about this record—it’s pretty much “This Love, Part II”—but due to its infectious reggae-influenced beat, jittery guitar, and steamy vocals, it is no wonder that people everywhere are swooning to the rhythm for one more night.
If you are looking for another Rihanna power anthem featuring charged-up lyrics and dark, aggressive production, you won’t find it in “Diamonds.” The wild woman from “Loud” and “Talk that Talk” disappears as she compares her lover both to a “shooting star” and a “vision of ecstasy.” However, this stripped-down version of Rihanna allows us to better hear her vocal prowess. The delicate chorus highlights her voice, which was often walled up by heavy-handed synth and string parts in her past few albums. But like in past releases, the hook’s catchiness is undeniable and is one of the main things that ties her more passionate albums to this new, calmer self.
Over the past few months, tabloids have been catching Kanye West partying wildly with a new crew. In his new song “Clique,” he cements his group’s status as one of the most boisterous and talented in hip hop. Featuring Jay-Z and Big Sean, “Clique” begins with a sung intro that contemplates the implications of materialism. Yet when beat drops the focus shifts to partying and away from any deep thoughts on the consequences of their lifestyle. Big Sean gives his two cents on the issue: “Ain’t nobody fresher than my clique, clique, clique, clique, clique.”
While the song may not be lyrically powerful, its slick, bouncy production showcases exactly what many have come to love about Kanye. After Big Sean raps the chorus over a simple, bass-drum-driven beat, the track erupts with snare, strings, and an ominous chorus. This explosive transition is repeated three times, each one giving the song another boost of manic energy and creating a dynamic listening experience.