It has been said that music is the key to one’s heart. It is the key to someone’s soul. Music can also help us express what we are feeling inside. Feeling happy? Sad? Angry? Heartbroken? Feeling like you want to dance? Sitting in your bed and crying because of the coronavirus impact? I feel you, sis. I personally enjoy listening to music and it has been a huge impact on my life. So what should you listen to when you are stuck at home during quarantine? Here are 10 of the best songs you should put on your quarantine playlist.
1. Take Me To The Pilot – Elton John
Many—including Elton John himself —find the song’s lyrics cryptic and incomprehensible.
“If you feel that it’s real, I’m on trial. And I’m here in your prison. Like a coin in your mint, I am dented. And I’m spent with high treason. Through a glass eye your throne, is the one danger zone. Take me to the pilot for control, take me to the pilot of your soul.”
Lyricist Bernie Taupin has admitted to not knowing what the song’s lyrics represent, comparing his writing style in “Pilot” to poets like “Baudelaire and Rimbaud…(who) just threw things together and went ‘Wow! That sounds good.'” The lyrics possess many elements: betrayal, either political or personal (“treason”); the illusion of danger (“through a glass eye”); and fearlessness toward the unknown (“take me to the pilot of your soul”). According to Elton, this and other songs recorded during this period were inspired by the science fiction books Bernie was reading at the time. This has become a staple of John’s live shows and can be heard on many of his concert recordings.
2. With a Little Help from My Friends – Joe Cocker
Cocker performed the song at Woodstock in 1969 and that performance was included in the documentary film, Woodstock. This version gained even more fame when it was used as the opening theme song for the television series The Wonder Years. In 2014, a BBC poll saw it voted the seventh best cover version ever. The version heard in the film Across the Universe segues from the original to Cocker’s arrangement at the end of the song. In 2001, Cocker’s version of the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
3. Teenage Dream – Katy Perry
Musically, “Teenage Dream” is a mid-tempo pop song with a retro sound. It is styled in the genres of power pop and electropop, while taking influence from other genres such as disco and pop rock. Perry starts the song in a high-pitched voice while her vocals grow stronger as the song progresses. Lyrically, “Teenage Dream” discusses being with a lover who makes one feel young again. The song has topped the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Perry’s third number-one single on that chart, and her second consecutive number-one single after “California Gurls.” “Teenage Dream” has been certified seven times platinum in the United States, as well as receiving platinum and multi-platinum certifications in other countries.
4. Hey There Delilah – Plain White T’s
Plain White T’s released the song in May 2006 as the third single from their third studio album All That We Needed. In June 2007, over one year after the song’s release, it became the band’s first hit in the United States, eventually reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in July. From July 3, 2007 through July 28, the song was the number one most played song on the radio, and the number one downloaded song on the U.S. iTunes Music Store. It was the Plain White T’s first, and to date, only number one single. It also reached number two in the UK. The song ended 2007 as the year’s 14th biggest-selling single in the UK. Since its release, “Hey There Delilah” has been covered by many artists worldwide in one form or another. It has sold over 4,000,000 digital copies in the US alone.
5. Sorry Not Sorry – Demi Lovato
“Sorry Not Sorry” debuted on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart at number 52 three days following its release, selling 45,000 copies in the country. The single peaked at number six on the chart, becoming Lovato’s first top 10 entry in the United States since “Heart Attack” in 2013, and her highest charting song in the US. The song also reached number one on the Mainstream Top 40 chart, becoming Lovato’s second number-one on the chart. “Sorry Not Sorry” also managed to reach the top 10 in the charts of other major music markets, such as Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and United Kingdom, where it became Lovato’s sixth top 10 single.
6. Everybody Wants to Rule the World – Tears for Fears
The song’s lyrics detail the desire humans have for control and power. In 2017, Tal Rosenberg of Pitchfork stated that its lyrics could be applied in different scenarios such as the environment (“Turn your back on mother nature”), short-lived financial success (“Help me make the most of freedom and of pleasure/Nothing ever lasts forever”), dictatorial rule (“Even while we sleep/We will find you”), and the Cold War (“Holding hands while the walls come tumbling down”). The group revisited the song and its message in an interview with Yahoo! Music, stating that the song’s themes were still “just as poignant” as they were when they first wrote it. They mentioned that they discussed the Cold War with “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” and Songs from the Big Chair but that was the “U.S. and Russia then, and now the concern is more with the U.S. and [North] Korea.” Marc Ambinder from The Atlantic used the lyrics “Say that you’ll never, never, never need it / One headline, why believe it? / Everybody wants to rule the world” in his article about the United States government’s use of “original classified authority” and the abuse of power between the branches of government.
7. I Got You (I Feel Good) – James Brown
“I Got You (I Feel Good)” is a twelve-bar blues with a brass-heavy instrumental arrangement similar to Brown’s previous hit, “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag”. It also features the same emphasis “on the one” (i.e. the first beat of the measure) that characterizes Brown’s developing funk style. The lyrics have Brown exulting in how good he feels (“nice, like sugar and spice”) now that he has the one he loves, his vocals punctuated by screams and shouts. The song includes an alto sax solo by Maceo Parker.
8. That’s What I Like – Bruno Mars
The song was written by Mars, Philip Lawrence, Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Johnathan Yip, Ray Romulus, Jeremy Reeves, and Ray McCullough II. The former three produced the song under the name of Shampoo Press & Curl with the latter four, as The Stereotypes, co-producing it. Atlantic Records released the song to Hot AC radio in the United States on January 30, 2017, as the second single from the album. The song is a hip hop soul, new jack swing, R&B and funk track. Vulture‘s Craig Jenkins wrote that the production resembles that of “Kitty Kat” (2006) by Beyoncé. The song’s lyrics address extravagance, a luxurious lifestyle, and love.
9. Levels – Nick Jonas
SPIN Magazine listed “Levels” as the 11th best song of 2015. “Levels” clocks in at under three minutes, but were Nick Jonas expands it to three hours of immaculately stacked madness, we’d still play it on a loop. “Levels” offered a beat flexible and exuberant enough to challenge him to rise to the upper-floor.’ Billboard praised the song, calling it ‘really, really good.’ MTV’s Emilee Lindner wrote about the song: “Levels’ fuses funk with a club beat, layering the former Jonas Brother’s vocals with his spiraling falsetto ad-libs. It’s a quick, under-three-minute tune, but it’s enough to inject you with a little party if you need it.”
10. Sucker – Jonas Brothers
The song, released on March 1, 2019, through Republic Records, is the group’s first single together in six years. The group co-wrote the song with Louis Bell and its producers Ryan Tedder and Frank Dukes. The Jonas Brothers appeared on The Late Late Show with James Corden each night from March 4 to 7 to promote the track. It reached number one in Australia, Canada, Latvia, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Slovakia and the United States.
Which one of these best songs will you put on your quarantine playlist? Which songs will you be putting on your playlist? Sound off below!
Feature Image Source: https://www.elle.com/culture/music/g30726740/best-songs-2020/
Nicole Gibson is a junior at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut, where she is pursuing a bachelor of arts in journalism and theatre studies.