Tennis Court

The song stuck in my head and on repeat today? “Tennis Court” by Lorde, from Pure Heroine.  As such, this song is, for it’s second time, #PhillipsSongOfTheDay.

This song, like many of Lorde’s other songs, stood out to me upon first listen, but I’m still not entirely sure what it’s about.  I did find this interview with Lorde with VH1 describing the song:

 

Based on this video and further reflection of the lyrics, I personally take the song as being about growing up and trying to find your path in life.  For Lorde, she’s gained a lot of fame and attention for her music, so she has to factor that into her life plan.  For me, I’m not entirely sure what the heck I’m doing next week, let alone in life.  I know what I want to do, but who knows if that will work out.  I think this songs has resonated with me so much because of lyrics like:

“Don’t you think that it’s boring how people talk
Making smart with their words again, well I’m bored
Because I’m doing this for the thrill of it, killin’ it
Never not chasing a million things I want
And I am only as young as the minute is full of it
Getting pumped up on the little bright things I bought
But I know they’ll never own me”

“Baby be the class clown
I’ll be the beauty queen in tears
It’s a new art form showing people how little we care
We’re so happy, even when we’re smilin’ out of fear
Let’s go down to the tennis court, and talk it up like yeah (yeah)”

“I fall apart with all my heart”

“Tennis Court” also has been stuck in my head because, yet again, Joel Little has done a phenomenal job producing the song.  Strong points include the modified “yeah” throughout out the song (e.g. the “yeah” after the lyric “let’s go down to the tennis court and talk it up like yeah”), the swirling synths and beats during the chorus, and Lorde’s overall vocal delivery.  My one criticism of the song would weird/random synth that goes off around 0:05, and continues throughout the song, take a listen:

The best way I can describe the sound is that it’s kind of like that sound the scanner makes at the checkout counter at the grocery store (right?!).  Like I said, I first thought it was random and weird, it stood out like a sour thumb.  But, now, I think it adds to the beat and rhythm of the song, especially after the second chorus around the bridge (2:07-2:33).  I personally would not have thought to have added that to the production of the song, but it’s not horrible.

Random fact, my iTunes is playing the song "Paper Aeroplane" by KT Tunstall after "Tennis Court," it makes a kind of delightful transition…the accordion of "Paper Aeroplane" contrasts nicely from the synths of "Tennis Court"

The Most Beautiful 12 Seconds of My Life

Last week, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Let it Go,” from Frozen.  When I saw Idina Mezel perform the song live during the Academy Awards, I was taken with her incredible vocal ability and the power of the song.  And naturally I had the chorus of “let it go, let it go” stuck in my head.  I then decided to download the song, and what a good decision that was.  “Let it Go” performed by Idina Menzel is #PhillipsSongOfTheDay.

After downloading “Let it Go” from iTunes and it started playing, I got shivers from the opening music.  The piano is just beautiful.  So beautiful that I actually put a loop on it just to listen to that piano.  It’s just…ah, take a listen:

These twelve seconds suck you into listening to the rest of the song, which isn’t a bad thing.  I know what you guys may be thinking right now, “Phillip, really?  A disney show tune?  You need to man up, dude.”  Well, I think this song is pretty catchy, but more important, it’s empowering.  It doesn’t matter if you male/female, masculine/feminine, young/old, these lyrics emphasize that you can get through any struggle and all your problems/mistakes in the past are just that, the past.  For example:

“Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door

I don’t care
What they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway

It’s funny how some distance
Makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me
Can’t get to me at all

It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me
I’m free

Let it go, let it go
I am one with the wind and sky
Let it go, let it go
You’ll never see me cry

Here I stand
And here I’ll stay
Let the storm rage on”

“I’m never going back,
The past is in the past”

Perhaps I just enjoy songs whose narrators overcome some obstacle or hold a high level of confidence, but I find this song truly inspiring and uplifting.  Even after a stressful week of midterms and craziness, it feels good just to get lost in such a song that makes you realize that everything will be alright, things will work out….eventually…

Side Note: If you get a chance to look up Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez's acceptance speech after winning their Oscar, I would totally suggest it, it was so adorable!  They rhymed/sang their speech and dedicated it to their daughters (they're married!).  I just thought their speech was one of the highlights of the Oscars… I tried to find a clip of that and a clip of Idina Menzel performing at the Oscars, but YouTube is taking down such clips down so fast that even if I found one, it'd be gone by tomorrow...

Maybe Next Time He’ll Think Before HE CHEATS!!!!

So midterms are almost over.  Spring Break is next week.  I’m making it through this semester (barely).  I’m just incredibly tired and don’t want to do anything but watch tv and sleep (holla).  In this honor, “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood is #PhillipsSongOfTheDay because it embodies the feelings all college kids have towards studying and college this point in the year.

“Before He Cheats”  was released from Underwood’s debut album, Some Hearts following her win of American Idol, and has subsequently won her a Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance (it also won Best Country Song and was nominated for Song of the Year, but Underwood did not receive those honors as she was not one of the writers).  I personally believe this song is the reason Carrie Underwood is Carrie Underwood; it catapulted her into one of the most successful country acts today.  I remember it “spilling over” (borrowing T. Swift’s term) into pop radio, and it being one of the most played songs of the summer.  This is probably because it showcases Underwood’s amazingly aggressive vocals (she does an incredible job with her scream/growling/grunting words like “right now”), but also because the lyrics are unbelievable catchy.

In particular, I find the second verse just clever from a songwriting perspective:

“Right now, she’s probably up singing some
white-trash version of Shania karaoke.
Right now, she’s probably saying, ‘I’m drunk’
and he’s a-thinking that he’s gonna get lucky,
Right now, he’s probably dabbing on
$3 worth of that bathroom Polo”

Just the phrase “$3 worth of that bathroom Polo” is such an incredible descriptor/visual.  We just get an image of the jerk this guy is, him primping himself for his date with the other woman (and overindulging in wearing too much cologne).

Listen/watch the music video for “Before He Cheats” (don’t you just want to beat up a car with Carrie Underwood?):

No, but the real reason “Before He Cheats” is today’s #PhillipsSongOfTheDay is the fact that I’ve just been listening to it on repeat for the past hour and it just encompasses how I feel.  Have I been cheated on?  No.  And I’m not really pissed off at the world.  Again, I’m just coming to the end of midterms and it is almost Spring Break…so I’m done with school.  I just want to sleep…

Your Midterm/Finals Study Playlist.

I am a college student, and as such there are two things I have to do on a regular basis:  study and procrastinate.  I say this because I have a midterm tomorrow and I really would rather do anything but study.  In all fairness, it’s for an international business management class and, like, all the concepts of that class are just common sense and things you just learn in life/other classes.  Like, I know that different countries/nations/cultures are different and thereby have different standards and customs.  I know we are becoming a more global world…argh….but it’s required for my major, so what can you do.

Anyway, the way I deal with getting through the monotony is, of course, by listening to music/listening to a tv show (like you play the tv show but you don’t actively watch it…it works if you’ve seen the episode before…you college students out there know what I mean…).  Recently, though, that has not been helping me focus and study because then I get caught up in the music (I end up creating some type of remix or mashup…#DJPhillipProblems) or end up just flat out watching the show.  The one song that has helped me snap my focus and actually have made me productive has been the mashup done by the Piano Guys (youtube sensation) of “Love Story” by Taylor Swift and “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay:

I love both of these songs, and putting them together was not only genius, but it’s perfection.  I commend the Piano Guys for making such a stunning song and being such an inspiration to us musicians out there (side note: I had a friend in high school who played piano, and we decided we wanted to do this for our school’s talent show (I play cello), but we both realized we weren’t as good as these guys…like we both were playing our respective instruments for like 10+ years and were considered quite good, but we couldn’t wrap our brains around sounding like the Piano Guys…I guess the trick is to not sound like them and make it our own…).

Also, not to brag, but this song has been a #PhillipsSongOfTheDay…so, you know, it’s good…

Anyway, so I have this “Love Story Meets Viva La Vida” on repeat and I’m off studying away….Best of luck on your midterms (if you’re taking them)!

P.S. The Oscars are on tonight!!!  Who's watching?!  I am!!!  Rooting for JLaw and all those nominated from American Hustle (Amy Adams totally deserves the Oscar even though Cate Blanchett probably will win…)