Tag Archives: #PhillipsSongOfTheDay


For the past couple weeks I’ve been slightly obsessed with the song “Don’t Let Me Down” by the Chainsmokers featuring Daya.  It has such a great dance beat, and the synths/dubstep are perfect.  It’s the perfect song to blare and dance to (or, if you’re like me, bike to).

My favorite part is the bridge to the end of the song, particularly when Daya hits that note around 2:55.  The way she sings that part of the song has this heart-wrenching vulnerability to it and it really defines the song.  There’s a sense of urgency, a pleading for this person not to let down or hurt the narrator.  It’s magnificent, particularly because this is an EDM song brought to you by the guys who created “But first, let me take a #selfie” (remember that song?).  It’s almost a complete 180, emotionally.

Because I was so impressed by Daya’s vocals, I decided to check out her other hit song “Hide Away.”  I remembered it made some waves on radio, but I never gave it a full chance.  So I listened to it, and it’s been on repeat.  Damn, she’s hooked me.

I wouldn’t say “Hide Away” lives up vocally to “Don’t Let Me Down,” but Daya does have this old soul quality in her voice.  It’s intriguing to listen to, plus the chorus is incredibly catchy.

While I would overall give this song a thumbs up, I felt it had some minor problems structurally with it.  I actually ended up making my own edit of the song (for my own personal listening) to improve it as much as I could.  The main thing I did was I got rid of the bridge.  The drum beats were great, but I thought on the whole it was a bit awkward.  They could’ve gotten a way with doing some sort of instrumental with the drums and synths and then worked back into the chorus.  It would’ve flowed better.  They also should’ve left the outro out…I mean, it doesn’t really hurt the song, it’s just not really necessary.   But as I said, it’s great as it is…could’ve been better.

So keep your ears out for Daya, she seems to be making quite an impression and it appears her new single “Sit Still, Look Pretty” is starting it’s climb up the charts.

Lost Boys Like Me Are Free

I was out driving, flipping through the radio stations, when I stumbled across “Lost Boy” by Ruth B.  I heard about the song – it was inspired by Peter Pan, causing it to go viral and thus land Ruth B. a record deal – but I never actually heard it in it’s entirety.  And my gosh, the girl can sing.  Her vocals soar soothingly over the piano, perfectly hitting the unexpected high notes.

The song has struck  chord with me particularly because I think she’s speaking about the importance of imagination.  The character in her song appears to be lonely and quite lost in life, so he escapes into Neverland with Peter Pan.  He turns to the power of imagination to live and to be free.  Just an important reminder to all us that deep inside all of us is our childhood self and the power of imagination.

So Just Dance Dance Dance

So I’ve been having somewhat of a bad week.  Just a lot of stressful things going on, one after another, when I’m sitting in dreadful traffic flicking through the radio and “Can’t Stop The Feeling,” Justin Timberlake’s news song, comes on the radio.  My head starts nodding along, my foot starts tapping along (obviously the one that’s not on the peddles controlling the car…that’d be dangerous), and my day is instantly better.

The song has a great, optimistic beat coupled with a fantastic bass line that drives the song, causing one to stop what he/she is doing and start dancing.  My favorite part of the song is during the chorus when he sings “so just dance dance dance dance.”  Normally I would find the repetition of the same work a bit irritating, but here I find it catchy.  It keeps me, well, dancing.

You’ve probably already heard “Can’t Stop The Feeling,” but if not, here’s to hopefully cheering up your day!

Just Go

Joy Williams is perhaps best know for being one of the members of the country duo The Civil Wars.  Despite the group disbanding in 2014, Williams continues to create and release music as a solo artist (I actually think she did that before and during The Civil Wars era).

I stumbled across her single “If You Wanna Go,” – which I don’t believe was released on any album, it’s a stand alone single.  Regardless, it’s a beautiful and timeless song.

The piano-driven song features Williams’ soaring vocals as she effortlessly delivers a heartfelt performance.  There’s something fragile and real in it that sinks in and grabs at the heart strings.  I find the song to be quite refreshing as it delivers a clear perspective to an end of a relationship.  It’s a rare song because while the lyrics convey a breakup message, you don’t need to listen to what she says to feel the emotion.  It’s all tied together perfectly.

On Iggy’s “Team”

Over a month ago, Iggy Azalea released her new single “Team” from her upcoming album Digital Distortion.  At first, I wasn’t chuffed.   I do enjoy some of Iggy’s songs (they tend to have good beats to bike/work out to), but I wouldn’t call myself an Azalean (a giant fan of Iggy Azalea).  When I heard the preview of “Team” on iTunes, it didn’t initially grab me.  But judging a song based on the forty second preview (or however long they are these days) is like judging a book by its cover, so I listened to the below YouTube clip.

After I heard the song in it’s entirety, I immediately bought it.  The thing I like about this song is that you can just blare it  on repeat and dance (or bike) and lose yourself (also, my biking playlist was getting kind of stale, so I needed new tracks).  It has a great beat and some interesting synth work.

This song also got me to think about a debate that started when Iggy Azalea was nominated last year for her Grammys: is she a true rap/hip-hop artist or is she more in the pop genre?   There were many debates whether “Fancy” was more of a pop song than a rap song (I was confused why “Fancy (featuring Charli XCX)” was nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance – I had thought it would fall under the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration).  Personally, I think she’s distinctly rapping in that song – Charli XCX is obviously singing a pop melody, but the verses are not sung. They’re clearly rapped.

But if I compare “Team” to “Fancy,” “Team” sounds more like a pop song.  I mean, she is rapping in the verses, but it’s more of a fierce sung rap (if that makes sense). They’re not like the traditional fast chant of a rap.

I bring this up not to discredit Iggy Azalea as an artist, but to point out that genre labels don’t really matter, especially in this current climate of music.  Genres are crossing over, styles and elements of each genres are fusing together and we’re getting new sounds.  I personally am all for this breaking down of musical rules and artists creating what’s true and honest to them.  I grew up taking music lessons since I was five, and it always bothered me that there were so many rules, that music had to be played a certain way.

If it sounds good, who cares if it’s done the right way?


Too Little Too Late

I’d consider myself an audiophile.  I mean, I had to buy the maximum allowable storage for my phone so I could store the entirety of my music library – you never know what musical mood you’ll be in when you’re on the go – and even then it doesn’t fit everything.  So when I was setting up my music library on my new computer (which took a long time), I decided to weed through it and get rid of songs/albums I haven’t listened to or won’t listen to anymore.  I have this habit of collecting as much music as possible, so it creates a giant library and then it causes setting up the library a huge project.


So, I was going through my collection and I found The High Road by JoJo, particularly her song “Too Little Too Late.”  I honestly don’t remember how I obtained the song or the album, but it’s becoming one of my favorite songs.  It has a infectious and irresistible chorus that’s been stuck in my head and struck a note in my soul.

When I first heard the chorus, I felt a kinship to JoJo.  One of the best moments you can have is when you finally find a song that says exactly how you’ve been feeling.  That’s the power of music: it can capture our emotions and moods and unite us in an almost magical process.  I can’t say the specifics JoJo provides in the song are exactly what’s going on in my life, but the overall emotion of being fed up with someone and moving past them because they’re not making much of an effort is something that I totally relate to.

So now I’m digging through the rest of my music library to see whatever gems have been hiding away.

I Took a Pill in Ibiza

For a while I’ve seen Mike Posner’s new song “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” rise on the charts on iTunes.  I never listened to the preview because, yes, I judged a book by it’s cover (or a song by it’s title).  I figured based on the title and Posner’s previous work that it probably was about doing drugs in a foreign land. And while it kind of is about that, it’s actually the complete opposite than I expected.

So, there I was, scrolling through iTunes trying to find something new to listen to…I’ve kind of been a music rut lately…and I kept seeing “I Took a Pill in Ibiza.”  So, I finally caved and I hit the preview.  And then I searched for it on YouTube to listen to the whole thing.  And then I bought it from iTunes.  Because holy crap I was completely wrong thinking it was some party anthem.  It’s incredibly beautiful and moving.

Yes there is a dance remix that is climbing the iTunes charts, but the original version from his The Truth – EP is amazing.  It starts off with this folksy guitar and it has warmth and soul in it.  The beauty of the song comes from his raw, honest truth (probably the inspiration behind the title of his EP).

Mike Posner was big a few years ago with his hit “Cooler Than Me,” and then I believe he produced or cowrote (or both) a song for Justin Bieber and he was a big/in-demand synth pop producer.  So this is a complete 180 from what I’m familiar with.  I don’t know where Mike Posner has been in the past few years or what exactly happened to him, but from this song you know he’s been through a lot.  You can feel his struggle as he tells his truths.  It’s both heartbreaking and heartwarming to experience someone being that honest in music.

New Bohemia

It snowed today.  Well…slushed is more like.  Like, it started out as snow, then it rained, then it froze.  So, when I went to shovel my driveway, it was incredibly hard, heavy, and awful.  I could’ve thrown my shovel down and had a meltdown (which was very likely to happen…I hate the cold and the snow…I really need to move to a warmer climate), instead I turned up “New Bohemia” by Transviolet and moved that snow around.

I discovered “New Bohemia” rather by accident.  I downloaded this free game on my phone which was great except it forces you to watch three  commercials (always the same three) every time you start a new game (I know, annoying).  I usually would ignore the commercials, but there was one that played this song and I really liked the fifteen seconds I heard.  You would not believe how hard it was to figure out what the song was, but after extensive research (more than I am actually proud to admit), I figured out it was “New Bohemia” by Transviolet.  Instantly I bought the song from iTunes.

“New Bohemia” is incredibly catchy, and I love the youthful, care-free nature of it. You could literally put it on repeat and get lost in it for hours and it would never get old.  I’m such an old fart that I usually don’t dance when I hear electronic dance music, but this song really gets me moving (in fact, I’m dancing in my seat as  I write this…it’s also good when biking/exercising).  My point is that if you’re looking for new music that will aid you in your snow shoveling or just to freshen up your playlists, check out Transviolet.

25 and Loving It

After four long years, we were finally grace with Adele’s new album, 25.  Adele has said that she was at first afraid that she would not be able to follow up her last album, 21, which was an enormous success and broke so many records (including being the first album since the advent of the internet and illegal downloading to be certified diamond (selling over ten million copies)).  This in addition to some personal issues probably caused the delay.  But it was worth the wait.

After finding peace with the fact that 25 may not live up to 21, Adele has said that writing became fun again like it did when she was writing her first album, 19.  Her album certainly shows her focusing on herself, her truths, and writing what she was experiencing: the transition into adulthood.  The album has a sense of yearning for simpler times but also a sense of acceptance towards the past.  The greatest growth Adele has made in these four years is that in 21 she was blaming a lot of her heartache on her ex-lover (who probably was to blame), but 25 shows Adele accepting that while he may be a jerk, she needs to move on with her life.  That she is in control.  (By the way, I have no idea if the same guy inspired both albums, I’m speaking in general of love: that when she was younger, she would blame love but now that she is older, she accepts it).

I don’t think Adele has anything to worry about in regards to 25 not living up to 21.  The album alone has been sitting in the iTunes top one or two spot for the month it was on preorder (an unusual feat) and is on track to sell well over a million copies in its first week (per Billboard).  Even still, her vocal work (which was already phenomenal) has seemed to grow as well.  Her voice seems to have grown warmer, slightly deeper and even more emotive, it such a thing was possible.

My favorite song after a quick listen through was definitely “Send My Love (to Your New Lover).”  The song, co-written with Max Martin and Shellback – the two masterminds behind some of Taylor Swift’s recent hits like “Shake it Off,” “Blank Space,” and “Bad Blood” and a ton of other hits (look up Max Martin’s writing/producing credits on Wikipedia, it’s literally every hit song since the ’90s…he’s a genius) – is quite upbeat for Adele.  It’s faster paced than we’re used to, but it’s amazing.  It starts off with this fantastic rhythmic guitar and drum beat.  The chorus is particularly infectious with the way she sings “lover” in the line “send my love to your new lover.”  It’s so un-Adele but it’s fantastic.  It’s not Adele trying to be someone she’s not, it’s her showing us a new side of herself.

“Send My Love (to Your New Lover)” was apparently supposed to be the lead single but Adele felt that “Hello” was a better representation of her album as a whole – she didn’t want people to think the whole album was entirely upbeat like “Send My Love (to Your New Lover),” which it isn’t.  Regardless, “Send My Love (to Your New Lover)” should be a future single, as well as “When We Were Young” (which I think will be her next single), “Water Under the Bridge,” and “Remedy.”  The entire album is really full of glorious hits and I can’t see 25 not coming close or even surpassing 21.

UPDATE: 25 sold 3.378 million copies in it's first week on sale, which shattered the record of most albums sold in the U.S. in it's first week.  NSync sold 2.416 million copies in one week in 2000.  25 even went on to sell over a million copies in it's second, which I believe is the only album to do that. As of December 24th, 25 has sold 7.13 million copies.  That's in one month of sale!

Cam’s “Burning House.”

Occasionally I will poke around iTunes to see what music is out there.  Sometimes I will scroll through the top 100 songs and listen to the previews.  Every now and then I will stumble across a new artist and instantly become obsessed with the song.  This just happened with the song “Burning House” by newcomer Cam.

I’ve seen the song on the top songs chart for a while now, but I finally decided to listen to it and I instantly could feel the heartstrings within me being pulled by the beauty of the song.  So I quickly googled it to hear the whole song and stumbled across this live version and I was struck by how unreal and beautiful her voice is.  It was within the first five seconds of hearing the song that I went back to iTunes and bought the song.

The mixture of Cam’s vocals and the acoustic guitar makes the song so fragile and raw, which amplifies the heartbreak within the song.  My only criticism of the song (if there had to be one) is that the background vocals slightly take away from the song; they were rather unnecessary in my opinion.  For instance, if you listen to the first part of the first chorus in the studio version (below, about 1:03-1:09), it leaves out the background vocals and it gives Cam more room to shine and stun with her vocal work.  I also think they somewhat cover the warmth of the strings and fill a space that doesn’t need to be filled.  Listen back at Sugarland’s hit song “Stay.”   It featured just an acoustic guitar and Jennifer Nettles’ striking voice (there may have been an organ in there or something along those lines, but it was very subtle) and it made the song incredibly powerful.  The same principle should’ve been applied here to make this gorgeous song even more beautiful.

But like I say, I think this is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve heard this year.  It just has this rawness to it that really makes you feel something and connect with Cam.  If I were a Grammy voter – and I’ve long since thought I should be, but I don’t “qualify” – I’d definitely nominate this song for Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance.  I can’t promise or even predict that this will happen because Cam is so new to the music scene, but I’ll be very happy if it does happen.