Peak Singalong: A Playlist

Everyone loves singing songs they know. Blasting the perfect song through your car speakers can bring a group of people together in elation and may even result in seatbelt constrained dancing and/or smiles–a sure sign the people with you are having fun. The following playlist is designed to bring you to that point of elation, to make you the coolest person in your car, and ultimately to help you reach peak singalong.

Before diving in, we must go over a few rules that helped to create this, the most perfect collection of songs to sing to; these are listed below:

  1. It has to be a song that everybody knows. My senior year of high school a bunch of my friends went to Chilis to celebrate my friend’s birthday. On the way home we played mewithoutYou’s “January 1979”, all of us yelled along to Aaron Weiss’ manic vocal delivery and had an amazing time doing so. But, how many of you could sing lyrics from that song right now? Thus, not acceptable—most people with you must know the song.
  2. It has to be foolish. There are great songs that people like to sing a long to, The Beatles’ “Hello, Goodbye” is a great example of this— the most acclaimed band of all time singing a song that people enjoy singing along to; however, adding “Hello, Goodbye” to a singalong playlist does not help one reach peak singalong. Peak singalong involves each person in the car screaming their lungs out in foolishness, not caring what they look like or who sees them. To reach this state, the song must inspire foolishness and must have some level of kitschiness. The Beatles are just too good of a band to bring about the cheesiness required, but one hit wonders and momentary pop stars are perfect for this.
  3. It must be good. Rule #3 is an amendment to Rule #2. While the song has to have a kitsch level to it, it must also be a good song. There are certain songs that are very foolish and may inspire some level of singalong, but won’t get you to peak singalong. Baja Men’s “Who Let the Dogs Out” or “The Macarena” are both examples of this—they’re funny to play but one can only keep up the I’m ironically having fun bit for so long (usually not the length of one of these songs). Thus the song must actually be enjoyable to listen to in order to fully bring about singalong-ness.

Songs on any singalong playlist will reflect personal tastes which will naturally be based on upbringing and the era of music each person grew up in, that being said, this is the definitive peak singalong playlist for every person.

You can follow along on the embedded Spotify playlist (or here) (sorry Tidal subscribers)

Peak Singalong: A Playlist:

  1. “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton
  2. “Everywhere” by Michelle Branch
  3. “My Immortal” by Evanescence
  4. “Behind These Hazel Eyes” by Kelly Clarkson
  5. “Complicated” by Avril Lavigne
  6. “Numb” by Linkin Park
  7. “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” by Fall Out Boy
  8. “Ocean Avenue” by Yellowcard
  9. “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson
  10. “Perfect” by Simple Plan
  11. “Iris” by The Goo Goo Dolls
  12. “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers
  13. “Take On Me” by a-ha
  14. “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer
  15. “My Boo” by Usher w/Alicia Keys
  16. “Big Girls Don’t Cry (Personal)” by Fergie
  17. “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen


Best of January 2015 Playlist

A playlist of the best songs from January for your listening pleasure.

Sleater-Kinney “Price Tag”

I talked about this release a little bit last week, this song–the album opener–is lead by Corin Tucker’s aggressive vocals as she attacks the song, a repeated riff lines the background, and the drums pound away. The song touches on the cost of getting things for cheap–probably music most of all.

The Decemberists “Philomena”

The latest album by The Decemberists seemed mediocre at best upon first listen, but “Philomena”‘s pure and relentless folk poppiness is a real heart melter. It’s doo-wop stylings are a great throwback, even if it doesn’t hide it’s impure intentions as well as songs from that era did.

Panda Bear “Crosswords”

Noah Benjamin Lennox’s work in Animal Collective and as Panda Bear is divisive–it’s often eclectic and experimental, but Lennox is capable of creating amazing melodies, often being compared to Brian Wilson of Beach Boys fame. Here, Lennox creates a dreamy melody backed by the psychadelic samplings he’s known for.

Kanye West with Paul McCartney “Only One”

This song is perhaps more famous for the memes about McCartney that it inspired after its New Year’s release date, but Kanye’s return to stripped down auto-tune is absolutely gorgeous. It’s a song about his daughter, from the perspective of his mother and though Kanye is known partially for his sincerity, he’s never made anything as beautifully honest as this.

Rihanna with Kanye West and Paul McCartney

Apparently Kanye and McCartney are making a tour around pop music this year and so far the results have been wonderful. Rihanna’s song is stripped down, lead by an acoustic guitar, giving it a sense of importance and honesty that again hits this sort of beautiful note. The song is pretty simple lyrically, which–because of the way it is presented musically–actually makes it work quite well. There is a world where this song is backed by some sort of David Guetta EDM beat and this world is awful; I’m giving credit to McCartney–who I assumed made the musical decisions here–for putting this thing together.

Joey BADA$$ “Christ Conscious”

This track features BADA$$ going hard–I know I’m not the typical crowd for a song like this, the sort of braggadocio that a lot of hip hop is known for–but BADA$$ absolutely goes for it here. The song is essentially three minutes of him (explicitly) telling the listener that he uses the mic like a gun, slaying people everywhere.