New York City, NY — by Yas Akdag, Holden Lay, Candace Patrick, and Annie Williams
This story was originally published on New York University’s Washington Square News.
“emo girl” by Machine Gun Kelly feat. WILLOW
There are times when an artist — even one who you may not usually care for — deserves credit for trying a new sound. Machine Gun Kelly and WILLOW’s latest track “emo girl” is not one of those times. The track is a lifeless attempt at a 2000s pop punk love song. The instrumental intro starts off somewhat promising, with a Y2K-appropriate intro that’s sampled from the film “Jennifer’s Body” (starring Kelly’s fiancée, Megan Fox). But the guitars are overproduced, making the song lack the sloppy charm of pop punk’s best entries. However, things take a turn for the worse when MGK opens his mouth to sing: “She’s got makeup by the mirror in her bedroom / Thigh-high fishnets and some black boots.” It feels like he wrote these lyrics via a Mad Lib of emo-punk tropes — and it’s totally stale. Similarly, the line in the chorus: “I fell in love with an emo girl / I’m in love with an emo girl” leaves a lot to be desired. As a song, it’s formulaic and calculatedly superficial, and as a throwback to 2000s punk, it feels like a second-rate imitation rather than a loving homage. The track doesn’t even fulfill the bare minimum — it’s not catchy at all. This could’ve been a fun track, but personally, I failed to fall in love with “emo girl.”
“Tomorrow” by John Legend, Nas and Florian Picasso
John Legend, Nas and DJ Florian Picasso have teamed up to produce an uplifting and high-spirited single, “Tomorrow.” The artists adopt a consistently sunny disposition, allowing the track to echo their optimism. Over the rolling melody of an ever-shifting piano line, John Legend’s soulful voice escalates into a falsetto during the chorus as he repeatedly croons, “Hello to tomorrow / Hello to tomorrow / Can’t wait to get started / Can’t wait for tomorrow, tomorrow.” The track’s insistent syncopated rhythm keeps the track upbeat and creates the perfect blend of both hip-hop and power ballad. In his first verse, Nas reflects on the past, rapping, “Yeah, just 12 hours from now / After the sun go down / After barrels of laughter, barrels of fun / Goodbye to yesterday, I’m proud.” “Tomorrow” is a track that has come at the perfect time, as it reminds us to persevere and stay hopeful about our futures despite what may be going on around us.
Read the rest of the story at Washington Square News.