I have the distinct pleasure of writing this week’s Guide Grooves, featuring my favorite band: the irreplaceable and unmatchable Mumford & Sons. My friends have expressed concern that I would be unable to eloquently verbalize my love for their new album Babel, but I intend to make an attempt at it in this post. Im my excitement about Mumford, I forgot all about the other new releases featured in last week’s issue of The Guide. I was pleasantly surprised selections from P!nk’s new album The Truth About Love, Frank Ocean’s new single “Blue Whale” and Missy Elliot’s triumphant return with “9th Inning” featuring Timberland.
Just Give Me A Reason — P!nk ft. Nate Ruess A really excellent change of pace for P!nk. This slower ballad begins with just a piano line and P!nk’s melancholy voice, but then breaks into a driving beat with the melodious voice of Fun.’s Nate Ruess (though I still refer to him as Nate Reuss of ‘The Format’). His entrance turns the song into a heartbreaking conversation between two lovers. I absolutely love this song; it adds a great contrast and color to the album.
Beam Me Up — P!nk So I made the decision to review the two very non-P!nk songs on this very P!nk album. Amid the angry and edgy tracks, I found the aforementioned ‘Just Give Me a Reason’ and this song, ‘Beam Me Up’. Tragic, passionate and fully equipped with swelling violins and twanging guitar lines, one could barely recognize this as a P!nk song. Which, in this case, is a good thing.
Babel — Mumford & Sons The titular song to an immensely epic album. This powerful and exciting banjo line, intermixed with Marcus Mumford’s unique crooning, is enough to make anyone a Mumford fan. I can’t lie though, my favorite part of the entire song is Marcus’s little “whoo!” about a minute into the song.
Below My Feet — Mumford & Sons The second to last song in this album, Mumford & Sons takes their time with this more ballad-like arrangement. The intense and quiet verses, interjected with nearly acapella choruses, create that classic Mumford drama that pulls you into the song just in time for the swelling bridge. Proceed to cry.
Reminder — Mumford & Sons This song gives me absolute chills. “A constant reminder of where I can find her light that might give up the way. It’s all that I’m asking for without her I’m lost, but my love don’t fade away.” ‘Nuff said. Beyond heart-wrenching. The effect doesn’t fade after 42 listens either (I speak from experience).
Lover of the Light — Mumford & Sons This song was released earlier than the rest of the album, and I have many fond memories screaming this at the top of my lungs with the car windows down, whether other people were in the car or not. As I write this, my roommate looks at me as though I’m psychotic as I dance around at my desk playing the air banjo during Winston’s little solo before the final choruses. Excuse me while I turn up the volume.
Blue Whale — Frank Ocean And now for a complete shift of musical styles. Frank Ocean’s slow and conversational rap style comes through in this new single. Rather repetitive, but you don’t find yourself waiting for it to end. The rhythmic pattering is actually quite comforting.
9th Inning — Missy Elliot feat. Timberland Oh haiiii Missy… where have you been? This song is more likely to be used in Georgetown locker rooms as an intense pump-up song before sporting games than it is to be used to excite drunken Hoyas on the laser-strewn dance floors of Brown House (yes, I did learn where it is).