Music you may have missed


Photo via Kenny Sun under Creative Commons license

Kendrick Lamar looks at the crowd, mid performance. Lamar helped make the “Black Panther” soundtrack, which was released this February, a week before the movie was released.

Luke Bennett, Staff Writer

This year has already been a great year for music as January saw the release of many popular albums and singles. In the month of February, we witnessed both the rise of new artists and the long awaited return of the famous. February has set a high standard for the rest of the year when it comes to original, great music.

“Black Panther” soundtrack (Explicit)

On Feb. 9, one week before the critically acclaimed movie “Black Panther” came to the big screen, Kendrick Lamar released its soundtrack. The futuristic sounding album features 14 songs with Lamar as the primary vocalist. However, it also features many other musicians ranging from very popular artists such as Travis Scott, The Weeknd, and Khalid, to up and coming artists such as SOB x RBE, SZA and Schoolboy Q.

The soundtrack is receiving many positive reviews and is quickly becoming one of the most popular movie soundtracks in history. Eight of the songs featured on the album reached the Billboard 100.

The songs on the album include a wide range of artists and genres. One of these songs is “All the Stars.” This song captures the powerful vocals of the alternative R&B singer Solana Rowe, better known as SZA. The song also utilizes the strong powerful words rapped by recent Grammy-nominated artist Kendrick Lamar. Other popular songs include the smooth, emotional R&B song, “The Ways,” featuring the newly popular artist Khalid, and the strong, fast, and upbeat song “X,” featuring Schoolboy Q and Saudi.

Photo via Wikipedia under Creative Commons license
Australian singer and songwriter Vance Joy plays guitar while performing. He released his second, “Nation of two,” this February.

In the “Black Panther” soundtrack, Kendrick Lamar proves to the world that he is one of the best. The album mixes hard hip-hop and slow R&B beautifully while making an already loved movie that much better.

“Nation of two” – Vance Joy

On Feb. 23, Australian singer-songwriter Vance Joy released his sophomore album, “Nation of two.” After releasing his first album, “Dream Your Life Away,” in 2014, “Nation of two” was highly anticipated by many of his fans.

As with most of Joy’s music, the album primarily uses acoustic instruments such as acoustic guitar and the ukulele. There is a smooth and carefree feeling that goes along with the album. Joy is an expert at telling a story with his lyrics and relaxing melodies and does that well on this album.

Vance Joy, or James Keogh, came into the spotlight with his memorable song, “Riptide,” in 2013. In his second album, Keogh tries to create more enjoyable songs by changing the overall tone of the album. Keogh changes the tone from a laid back, ukulele-driven, warm song in “Saturday Sun,” to a more serious, rock ballad with “One of These Days.”

The entire album is great from start to finish and the ukulele and acoustic sounds are getting ready for that spring feeling. “Nation of two” is a love story that is worth listening to.

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Post Malone looks at the crowd as he prepares to perform a song on stage. Post Malone released a new single, “Psycho,” in February off of his new unreleased album.

“Psycho” – Post Malone (Explicit)

In Post Malone’s new single “Psycho,” he shows us once again how he is one of the most popular new musicians in the music community. His debut album, “Stoney,” received much praise when it was released in January 2017. With the popularity of his first album, people are anxiously waiting for his second album, “Beerbongs and Bentleys.” His new album was set to have a release date of Dec. 1, 2017. However, it was not released at that time and he has yet to set a new release date.

“Psycho,” is the third pre-release single from his album along with the highly praised single “Rockstar,” released in September 2017, and “Candy Paint,” from “The Fast and the Furious,” in October 2017. As with the majority of Malone’s songs, “Psycho” features a slow, memorable beat, but with laid back, somewhat weak lyrics. The song also features up and coming rapper Ty Dolla $ign. Post Malone handles most of the song, singing and rapping over the slow-moving trap beat, with Dolla $ign coming in toward the end.

“Psycho” is just another step toward his long-awaited album. If every song ranks close to his newest single, the album will be a huge success.

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Justin Timberlake plays the guitar on stage. Timberlake recently released his first album since 2013.

“Man of the woods” – Justin Timberlake

From being a child actor in a children’s television program to joining one of the most popular boy bands in the 1990’s, the multi-talented Justin Timberlake has always been in the spotlight. The Memphis native started his career as a child actor in the television show “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.” Later in his life, Timberlake became a promising young star as one of the lead singers in the boy band *NSYNC. However, in 2001, Timberlake made a highly criticized move to leave the group and start his solo career with the release of his solo album “Justified.” His album took off and Timberlake became one of the most popular solo artists of the 21st century.

On Feb. 2, Justin Timberlake released his newest album, “Man of the Woods.” This is the first album since he released the 20/20 Experience, in 2013. With this album release, Timberlake has switched over to the pop genre.

This differs from Timberlake’s older albums, as his older music uses a more funk, acapella, beatboxing background, such as “Mirrors,” “Suit and Tie,” and “Cry Me a River.” However, with the release of “Can’t Stop This Feeling,” in 2016, Timberlake made the switch to an overplayed radio, pop superstar. The change for Timberlake is not a bad thing as his new album shows off his miraculous vocals and is receiving praise all around the United States.

The album has 16 songs that project an overall happy feeling. The biggest hit off the album, “Say Something,” features an acoustic guitar with many different forms of percussion. The song has a catchy chorus, and the duet with country music star Chris Stapleton makes the song all the better. Most of the songs on the album are seemingly folksy and have a country music influence. The song “Filthy,” however, is almost the exact opposite of that. The song features a futuristic beat and sounds like his earlier songs with the strange but likable beat and the funk sounding vocals.

In “Man of the Woods,” Timberlake has taken many different styles and genres and made them his own. He has once again taken us all by surprise with yet another astounding album full of great songs that hopefully will keep us satisfied until his next one.

“Pictures of girls” – Wallows

Feb. 22, marks the indie alternative band Wallows’ fifth single. The new band released its first single, “Pleaser,” in the spring of 2017. The band has had a growing level of success despite being out for less than a year. Wallows consists of three band members, “13 Reasons Why” star rhythm guitar player and singer Dylan Minnette, drummer Cole Preston, and guitar player and singer Braeden Lemasters.

The Los Angeles-based band starts their song with a catchy guitar riff, although it drops off once Lemasters begins to sing. The high reverb guitar parts, along with the soft vocals, creates a relaxed happy feeling. Despite being somewhat repetitive, the happy, warm, song is a perfect thing to get you out of the cold winter mood and into the warmth of spring.