Music Features

Frank Ocean

The final line of Frank Ocean's Blonde asks, "How far is a light year?"

It's the closing line of "Futura Free," the song's slow-burning final track, which is ostensibly an ode to Ocean's own growth as an artist. But as with all things on Blonde, the line grows more complex the closer you listen.

How far is a light year? Light travels a distance of around 9.4×1012 km in a year. "Futura Free" is 9.4 minutes long. That fact is a tribute to Ocean's exacting preciseness, to the mathematical perfection that underlies the artistic triumph that is Blonde.

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Music Features

Is DaBaby His Own Worst Enemy?

With the more recent headlines surrounding the emcee, it's felt like DaBaby has finally done something he can't finagle out of.

DaBaby "Giving What It's Supposed To Give" music video

DaBaby has been difficult to absorb lately.

The Charlottesville emcee was an exciting burst of caffeine right out the gates. His energized flow, goofy sense of humor, and IDGAF rhetoric made him seem like a Roadrunner, always on the move and always outmaneuvering those whothink they'd finally outsmarted him.

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Music Features

7 of Rock's Biggest One Hit Wonders

Sure, rock is changing and fading out with the times, but there was a sliver of time where rock stars were pop stars and vice versa.

Drowning Pool

While the term one-hit wonder has often only applied to pop music, there remain a few rock bands who have had their fleeting moment in the spotlight as well.

Sure, rock is changing and fading out with the times, but there was a sliver of time where rock stars were pop stars and vice versa. Post-grunge took over the world, and by the early aughts muddy-sounding rock bands were a dime a dozen. While many of these band names may escape you, the melodies listed below definitely bring back memories. Here are a few of the most memorable one-hit wonders in hard rock.

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Music Features

Review: Yung Bleu's "Moon Boy" Showcases a Pop Star In The Making

On Moon Boy, Yung Bleu's debut album, the crooner attempts to balance his dueling personas and ultimately presents a radio-ready project ripe with agenda.

Yung Bleu "Moon Boy"

The infamous Drake co-sign.

It's long been seen as a coveted secret weapon, a guaranteed career kickstarter for any artist lucky enough to snag one. With that said, the Drake feature hasn't always translated into a guaranteed success story. The trajectories of ILoveMakonnen and BlocBoy JB are a testament to that. But a Drizzy verse has always translated into an opportunity for young artists to capitalize on budding attention rather than curate that attention on their own.

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Music Features

This Haunts Me: Puddle Of Mudd's Awkward Return

The post-grunge group's return has say the least

Puddle of Mudd "Just Tell Me" Music Video

Puddle of Mudd

Wes Scantlin is back, and it's weird.

The asinine Puddle of Mudd frontman and his greasy band of misfits actually returned in 2019 with Welcome to Galvania, their first album after a bedeviled decade away. Scantlin's drunken debauchery both on and off the stage had tarnished the group's image by that point, and their puzzling return wasn't warmly welcomed as a result.

Welcome to Galvania peaked at No. 65 on the Billboard 200 its debut week, then disappeared from the chart altogether. Critics tipped their hat to the group's return and to Scantlin's seeming attempt at redemption, but musically the band sounded stale; and, with a reputation so sodden in controversy, a redemption arc in 2019 was a tall order to fill.

But the band's most recent music video for "Just Tell Me" aims to show naysayers that they're trying — that Scantlin is capable of being sober and kind, that the band feels all. "Sometimes, when I get crazy, all I do is wanna see you," Scantlin whinnies in his pinched Nirvana howl. Later on, he laments: "Sometimes when I get crazy, all I do is reminiscing you." "You're my one and only, song my end," Scantlin mumbles in the second verse. It's hard to note whether the blatantly ungrammatical lyrical are intentional or not, but I suppose it's the thought that counts?

Songwriting aside, the single's pseudo attempt at romance via its music video is hard to swallow in and of itself. Whether it be Scantlin's stiff dance moves at the 50-second mark, his candlelit studio session, or his shredding alongside a massive American flag in an airplane hanger, dissecting whether "Just Tell Me" is satirical or genuine is an all-consuming affair.

There are moments where Scantlin seems in on the joke. He juggles around his earphones during his studio session so much that he seems to be playfully poking fun at the music video cliches of 2000s corny rock and roll past. But then there are moments where he really thinks he's the shit — like when he dramatically takes off his Crocodile-skinned baseball cap and wide-rimmed sunglasses before belting into the microphone: "Breaks me down!" As for Scantlin's recurring love interest in the video – clad in a straw cowboy hat, clammy make-up, and "That's Cool" T-shirt – the nameless woman invites many questions herself.

Look, the overall point is that Puddle of Mudd has returned, and they want you to know that they're, like, deep, or something. Sobriety undoubtedly looks good on Scantlin, but their squirmy attempts at communicating empathy are just really uncomfortable to watch.

Puddle Of Mudd - Just Tell Me (Official Video)

Oldies playing in the car and it's raining | Dreamscape (road trip w/ cars passing) 3 HOURS ASMR

Ah, playlists. They've always been ways to communicate unsayable feelings and to transmit us to different, sometimes extremely specific times and places.

But lately my YouTube and Spotify recommendations have been filled to the brim with extremely specific yet somehow universal playlists. Though they all seem to express a variety of different experiences, most are escapist and some are definitely weirder than others.

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