Music review: The Chainsmokers, Migos and The Weeknd

by Emma Guo | 1/20/17 12:00am

“Paris,” The Chainsmokers

Fresh off the heels of hits such as “Roses” and “Closer,” The Chainsmokers released its new single “Paris” last Friday. Coinciding with its formula for producing successful tracks, “Paris” begins softly, with a few standalone notes that eventually are layered on with a solid beat, creating another party hit. However, The Chainsmokers have chosen to deviate from its highly successful formula in this single by highlighting member Andrew Taggart’s vocal abilities. Taggart sings almost the entire song with hints of female backing vocals. In another break from the norm, “Paris” is a primarily lyric-driven song.

Lyrics like “You look so proud / Standing there with a frown and a cigarette / Posting pictures of yourself on the internet” paint a highly specific picture. This attention to detail is reminiscent of “Closer,” whose chorus reads “The backseat of your Rover / That I know you can’t afford” and “Pull the sheets right off the corner / Of the mattress that you stole / From your roommate back in Boulder” leave the listener feeling like the hypothetical ex-girlfriend who inspired the song definitely knows that she’s being called out. “Paris” achieves a similar effect. Its lyrics narrate the familiar story of a couple that lives together but undergo struggles; this story is paired with an addictive, albeit redundant, tune. If I were to guess, Taggart and his partner Alex Pall have another massive hit on their hands.

Rating: 4/5

“Bad and Boujee,” Migos (featuring Lil Uzi Vert)

If you haven’t heard “Bad and Boujee” or at least heard of this song, you either didn’t watch Donald Glover thank Migos for its existence at the Golden Globes or haven’t lived on a college campus during the past few months. Just know that when someone says “raindrop,” immediately respond with “drop top.”

“Bad and Boujee” is rife with rhythmic one-liners and backed by an irresistible, head-bobbing beat. It’s not particularly philosophical or thought-inducing, but it certainly is catchy and easily quotable, with lines like “Cry me a river / Give you a tissue.” The song is the epitome of confidence, and Migos and Lil Uzi Vert captivate the listeners with their fluid rapping. It’s no 2Pac, but it certainly is a well-produced and well-written hit, and with good reason.

Rating: 4/5

“Rockin’,” The Weeknd, “Starboy”

“Rockin’” is track number five on the new album by the R&B artist The Weeknd. It opens with a series of quasi-psychedelic beats and soon transitions into a banger. Per usual, The Weeknd sings about topics like sex, drugs and his irresistibility to women, with lyrics such as “I just want your body next to me / ’Cause it brings me so much ecstasy.” There is nothing particularly new or revolutionary about the lyrics of the song — it’s a classic song by The Weeknd.

The newest and most listen-worthy aspects of the song are the beat and tune, courtesy of producers Max Martin and Ali Payami. ­It’s syncopated and infectious, making the listener want to get up and dance, At its core, the song seems more like an electronic dance music hit than a smooth R&B song, but The Weeknd’s unmistakable voice and the refreshing driving beat combine for a new style.

Rating: 3.5/5

“I Feel It Coming,” The Weeknd (featuring Daft Punk), “Starboy”

“I Feel It Coming” is the final track on The Weeknd’s new album, marking the second appearance of Daft Punk as a collaborating artist (after “Starboy”). The track boasts a danceable beat combined with the soft crooning of The Weekend singing to a woman he hopes to seduce. The lyrics include lines such as “You’ve been scared of love and what it did to you / You don’t have to run, I know what you’ve been through” and “I can see it in your eyes / ’Cause they never tell my lies.”

The song itself isn’t a “banger,” nor is it classic R&B. It’s slow and takes its time to develop. “I Feel It Coming” layers electronically produced sounds, a syncopated, disco-esque background and a solid, danceable beat. Though the song lasts about four-and-a-half minutes, the repetitiveness of the last minute makes it seem much longer than it really is. It’s certainly not fit for a fraternity “rager,” but it is a well-written song with a successful driving beat.

Rating: 4/5