By: Nathan Ma

Holy cow can someone remind me how to do this? They ain’t kidding when they say you forget half you learn over the summer, and I guess I’d include writing print(?) media articles based around new music on the list. Guess the best way to do this is to go into the iTunes and check off the “date added” button…

On Kendrick Lamar’s new single “i”…

While the concept of self-love, the central theme on Kendrick’s new single, is a far-cry from the smashing club raps found on 2012’s excellent “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City”, the new look fits Lamar quite nicely. Recently demanding his songs be recognized as “statements” instead of singles, “i” fits the bill with its combination of Motown swing, emotional sentiment, and (it’s the only word I can use to describe it) ill flow from Lamar.

On U2’s “Songs of Innocence” …

At this point, U2 is the musical equivalent of dad’s (or I guess grandads) trying to steal the spotlight from their kids by obnoxiously showing off their new brewing kit, or some other fatherly paraphernalia. Though we are forever indebted to you, face it Bono; Coldplay, Arcade Fire, Kings of Leon, The Killers, hell even Imagine Dragons are doing a much better job imitating you then you are trying to recapture the good ol’ days.

On Conor Oberst’s “You Are Your Mother’s Child”…

While I wonder whether the tear-jerker song was ever en vogue, Conor Oberst has been ripping them out over the past decade like it’s nobody’s business. Chalk up “You Are Your Mother’s Child” from 2014’s “Upside Down Mountain” to the list. Based on the song title you could string together an idea of what lays in store, but nothing can fully prepare you for how Oberst morphs basic prose into a piledriver of emotion. Awesome stuff.

Talking about Lily Allen’s “URL Badman”…

It’s not for me/It must be wrong/I could ignore it and move on
But I’m a Broadband Champion/A URL Badman/
And if you’re tryna call it art/I’ll have to take it all apart
I got a high-brow game plan/A URL Badman
There’s nothing I can really do to sum up her brilliance better than the lyrics themselves. Katy Perry, T-Swift etc get and deserve their credit for raising the musical and moral bar for their brand of pop music, but damned if Allen isn’t on another universe in terms of smarts.