Before I submit the list of my favorite five songs while in lockdown, I would like to share with you my impressions about the pandemic. To start with, I am pretty sure that everybody’s life has changed because of the unpredictable novel of coronavirus. We were forced to change our behaviors and habits. Therefore, the coming of coronavirus means starting a new life. At the psychological level, for some, it is the appropriate time to forgive oneself and revise the whole thing. However, others are just bored to death, stressed and even depressed particularly the outdoor type. We might think of people with severe psychological problems and serious diseases such as cancer and so on. Anyway, the fact that I am descending from a third world country, this means that the financial capital of Morocco is still low despite its progress during the last few years. Over the half of the population are living at the threshold of poverty especially in countrysides. The majority does not have a stable income. To go further, some people work only to guarantee what to eat. Therefore, starvation for them is worse than the pandemic itself … I was optimistic when I did not see the pandemic spreading as a bushfire over Africa. If this was the case, the continent would be then a blank spot in a minute because of the lack of medical care and only god knows what else. Under such circumstances, I was thinking about jotting doing a list of the most frequent songs I enjoy listening to in such a hard situation. Music is about escapism. You turn on the playlist. You close your eyes and let your imagination takes away.
5. Drake - Toopsie Slide
Toopsie Slide is a trap song by the Canadian singer Drake from his last album Dark Lane Demo Tapes. The song was published on 3 April 2020 on YouTube. As the Kiki dance in his In My Feeling, the title of the song alludes to a dance by a choreographer who bears the same name. As it is described in the song, the dance goes like this “it go, right foot up, left foot slide. Left foot up, right food slide.”. There are several allusions to the king of pop Michael Jackson in the song. The latter has a huge influence on Drake. For instance, in the chorus, “Don’t you wanna dance with me? No? I could dance like Michael Jackson. I could give you thug passion. It’s a thriller in the trap where from” and “Basically, I am saying either way, we ‘bout to slide (who’s bad). The video clip shows the empty streets all over Toronto during the quarantine. Drake is wearing as the song “Black leather gloves, no sequins. Buckles on the jacket, it’s Alyx sh*t. Nike crossbody, got a piece in it.” The video is also a tribute to the lately deceased Kobe Bryant.
4. Times Like These - All Stars
Times Like These is a charity song produced by BBC radio 1. It is released on 23 April 2020. The song is a slow cover of the rock band Foo Fighters. It features various giant artists signing from home including Zara Larsson, Sean Paul, Dua Lipa, Rita Ora, Yungblud, Rag’n’bone man, Ellie Goulding, Jesse Glynne, Dan Smith, Dave Grohl, Chris Martin, Hailee Steinfeld, Anne Marrie and others. The song is ranked number 1 in the charts for weeks. In fact, there is not a big difference between the cover and the original song except for the last verse written by AJ Tracey and Sean Paul.
3. Bob Dylan - I Contain Multitudes
Probably this is the gloomiest song on the list. I contain Multitudes is a single from the upcoming album Rough and Rowdy Days by the Nobel laureate for literature Bob Dylan. The song appeared on 17 April 2020 on YouTube. What I like about Dylan is his extensive intertexuality to literature. In order to understand him you must be a bookworm. The title of the song is taken from the poem of Song of Myself by the American poet Walt Whitman “I am large. I contain Multitudes.” The beginning of the song echoes Shakespeare’s Macbeth “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow”. The song can be read as a eulogy, in the sense that the lyric sounds as if it is written about the pandemic. For instance, when Dylan sings, ‘The Flowers are dying like all things do” Besides, the allusion to the gothic writer Edgar Allan Poe “Got a tell-tale heart like Mr. Poe” can be interpreted in the light of the damage done by corona.
2. Dua Lipa - Physical
I am a big fan of Dua. Her last single Physical is a massive hit, which was released in beginning of the pandemic exactly on 30 January 2020. It is indeed a nostalgic song that takes you back to the 80’s one of the most celebrated epochs in the history of music. The title of her new album Future Nostalgia sounds paradoxical in nature. The word nostalgia is most of the time related to the past. So how can we be nostalgic to the future? The syncopated rhythm of Physical is full of energy and power. It makes you want to dance nonstop. Dua Lipa is much indebted to the queen of pop Madonna and the songs of Blondie and other classical artists in the making the album as a whole. Physical is descriped as a synth pop song due to its electronic sounds that make you feel as if you are in a disco.
1. The Weeknd - Blinding Lights
Actually, there are affinities of similarity between Dua Lipa’s Physical and The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights to the extent that there is a mash up titled Physical Lights on Youtube combining both singles. Unlike Future Nostalgia, After Hours’ lyrics are cold and dark. It is a cocktail of blues and disco. Blinding Lights pastiches classical hits such as A-ha’s Take On Me and Prince’1999 in terms of the tempo, rhythm and synthesizers. Besides, the video clip looks like a hollowodian film. I have in mind Joker or Sin City as the song alludes to “Sin City’s cold and empty.” Other songs that I liked the most that are not on the list from the same album include the psychedelic song After Hours, Scared to Live, Heartless, In your Eyes. To sum up, After Hours remains one of my best albums so far. It is the kind of albums that stuck in your in mind and reminding you of something probably the pandemic!