Playlist: 15 Tracks To Spin Heading Into August

August 3rd, 2013 12:00pm EDT

Panic! At The Disco So August 2013 has arrived…ugh! Where did summer go? SMH! Well, whether life is in a state of “earthquake weather” because you were an a-hole to your girl, or you see a hot girl and you just want to ask her out for “dinner and a movie”, well music can help you out with that.  There is definitely something on this playlist for everybody.  15 Tracks to tackle August bay-bay (*speaks in Dick Vitale voice)!

Panic! At The Disco featuring Lolo, “Miss Jackson” 
Single (Fueled by Ramen)
Genre: Pop / Alternative
I know, I know, I know! The Fall Out Boy / Patrick Stump comparisons won’t die down with this new pop cut courtesy of Panic! At The Disco, but who cares? Similar to the lyrics on the addicting chorus which cleverly allude to Janet Jackson’s 1986 hit “Nasty” (“Miss Jackson, Miss Jackson, Miss Jackson are you nasty….But I love her anyways”, I love this pop song anyways as well.  #TeamPanic

Cornell Campbell Meets Soothsayers, “We Want to Be Free”
From album Nothing Can Stop Us  (Strut)
Genre: Reggae / International
Who is Cornell Campbell? A veteran reggae artist with a killer falsetto…  This meaningful number tackles the issue of slavery and being free.  Yeah, maybe it’s not a jam to play for your girl- or boyfriend when you’re trying to incite the romance (catch my drift?), but it’s great for chilling on the beach… or backyard…or in the house.  The music provided by Soothayers is nothing short of awesome.  #FreedomMusic

Joe, “I’d Rather Have a Love”
From album DoubleBack: Evolution of R&B (Massenburg Media)
Genre: R&B
Believe it or not, R&B still lives! Sure, it’s not killing the charts anymore, but what would a date be without a good slow jam? Joe’s “I’d Rather Have Love” is a great, chill old-school adult contemporary joint.  Even better, he doesn’t oversex here in the least; it’s about genuine, monogamous love.  As hard as it is to believe R&B still lives, what about chilvary? Everybody claims it’s dead, right? #MonogamousLove

Matt Nathanson, “Earthquake Weather”
From album Last of the Great Pretenders (Vanguard)
Genre: Pop / Rock
“Earthquake Weather” finds Matt Nathanson doing what he does best – writing and singing a song! On this particular tune, Nathason claims that “…it feels like summer / but it’s earthquake weather…” It may feel ‘rocky’ since he’s thinking about this girl he’s apparently wronged (and ain’t nothing worse than a woman scorned!), but for us, well, it’s another great ‘summer’ jam.


Jay-Z featuring Frank Ocean, “Oceans”
From album Magna Carta…Holy Grail (Roc Nation)
Genre: Rap
Being frank, Jay-Z’s latest album Magna Carta…Holy Grail wasn’t his most ‘triumphant’ affair.  Even so, “Oceans” featuring Frank Ocean is a standout moment.  Frank delivers a wordy, but alluring hook dabbling in racism (slavery) and socioeconomic status: “I see elephant tusk on the boar of a sailing lady / docked on the Ivory Coast / Mercedes in a row winding down the road / I hope my black skin don’t dirt this white tuxedo / before the Basquiat show and if so / well fuck it, fuck it / Because this water drown my family / this water mixed my blood / this water tells my story / this water knows it all / go ahead and spill some champagne in the water / go ahead and watch the sun blaze / on the waves of the ocean”. Jay-Z steps up as well, specifically lyric “…Only Christopher we acknowledge is Wallace / I don’t even like Washingtons in my pocket / Black card go hard when I’m shopping…”  #RealTalk

Avenged Sevenfold, “Hail to the King”
Single (Warner Bros.)
Genre: Rock / Metal
Pretty simple lyrics (“Hail to the king / hail to the one / kneel to the crown /  stand in the sun / hail to the king” ), assertive vocals,  jagged sounding guitars, and a stomping drum groove.  What more is there to say? Don’t we all love a good metal song? I’m rocking out and hailing to the king! #MetalJam

Ace Hood, “Another Statistic”
From album Trials & Tribulations (Cash Money / Republic)
Genre: Rap
“Another Statistic” is the type of rap track that easily earns the respect of the listener.  Hood speaks on the plight of black men (“Rather see me crucified, police are the crucifiers / shoot us up and dig a ditch, this ain’t nothin’ new to us…) referencing numerous examples including past Martin Luther King, Jr., Emmett Till, and Trayvon Martin.  A serious and heavy as it is, the ‘real talk’ doesn’t keep it from being a sensational listen as well.  #TrillRap

Ronald Isley, “Dinner and a Movie”
From album This Song Is For You (eOne)
Genre: R&B
“Dinner and a Movie” is old-school courtship at its best.  Ronald Isley thinks simply here, but does so effectively: “Hello, hello girl, what’s your name? / I was thinking maybe we do dinner and a movie”.  That said, I’m sure Mr. Biggs can get any woman he wants, even at 72.  The rest of us… not so fortunate.  #ForeverMackin

Mayer Hawthorne, “Her Favorite Song”
From album Where Does This Door Go? (Republic)
Genre: R&B
On “Her Favorite Song”, Mayer Hawthorne impresses vocally.  The elements of classic soul are potent, but the cut also eschews anachronism, through tweaking the formula. Mayer Hawthorne literally sings about his lady’s ‘favorite song’ soothing her: “But when she gets home, she puts her headphones on / she plays her favorite song and fades away / and when the music’s on she can do no wrong/ and she feels safe and calm and it’s ok / and she says (ba ba dum ba dee ah dum ba / ba ba dum ba dee ah dum ba…” If you watch the music video, there are literally ‘dogs’ in a bar setting, making the reasoning behind ‘her favorite song’s therapeutic nature. #TherapeuticMuzik

Cody Simpson, “Pretty Brown Eyes”
From album Surfer’s Paradise
Genre: Pop
No I’m no big teen pop fan… I mean I’m in my twenties.  That said, since I promised something for everybody, I included something for the youth in Cody Simpson’s Pretty Brown Eyes”. I mean Simpson’s vocals are thin, specifically the falsetto, but he’s all of twelve… um sixteen.  But hey, that lyric “The JT song that can move that body / she dancing all night long” is sorta slick, right? If you are a tween… #TweenPop

Ciara, “Sophomore”
From album Ciara (Epic)
Genre: R&B
“Sophomore” plays on school grades you might say. It sounds dumb, but actually, it’s a turn on.  “I ain’t no amateur / baby I know how to handle ya / If you ready for this ride, get your saddle up / I need a boy with some stamina…” Yeah, that’s real hot!  What’s most shocking about “Sophomore” is that Ciara doesn’t even break a sweat.  She’s playful, but coupled with the excellent if somewhat subtle production, “Sophomore” packs a punch without overdoing anything.  #SophomoreBaby

John Mayer, “Wildfire”
Single (Columbia)
Genre: Pop / Rock
Need a reason to look forward to John Mayer’s upcoming studio album?  This folksy/roots/country/pop hybrid sounds distinct from anything the pop/rock artist has released previously. Vocally, Mayer sounds clear and enthused.  And that guitar solo – that’s where ole boy is at his best.  #Fiery

The Weeknd, “Belong To The World”
Single (Republic)
Genre: R&B
There’s just something about that boyish tenor voice isn’t there? This particular cut is a bit busy, but it’s hard to deny The Weeknd is one of the R&B artists to watch int he future.  I’m excited for his upcoming album; I’m still riding high off “Twenty Eight” and “Wicked Games” (Trilogy).  #ModernSoul

Steve Grand, “All-American Boy”
Single/Viral Hit
Genre: Country
Has there ever been a viral hit that was such a ‘hit’? Steve Grand’s country song with a gay love story has made a gargantuan impact, like everywhere.  I’ve written about it and here I am including it in my playlist post.  #ProgressiveCountry

Dawn Richard, “Meteors”
Single (Our Dawn Entertainment)
Genre: R&B
Don’t sleep on the former Danity Kane / Diddy-Dirty Money singer.  BTW, Dawn Richard previously released and album called Goldenheart.  “Meteors” is modern R&B epitomized, with experimentation full throttle with production and vocal tricks.  #OutOfSpaceSoul

Related articles

Review: Ronald Isley, ‘This Song Is For You’ (
Panic! At The Disco Return With “Miss Jackson” and Upcoming Album (
Review: Mayer Hawthorne, ‘Where Does This Door Go’ (
Forthcoming Albums To Anticipate (August 2013 Onward) (

Filed under: adult contemporary R&B, Alternative, Country, Dance-Pop, Hip-Hop/Rap, Music, New Music, Playlist, Pop, Pop Culture, R&B/Soul, Rock, Singles, Teen Pop, Urban Tagged: Ace Hood, Avenged Sevenfold, Ciara, Cody Simpson, Cornell Campbell, Cornell Campbell Meets Soothsayers, Dawn Richard, Frank Ocean, Jay-Z, Joe, John Mayer, Matt Nathanson, Mayer Hawthorne, Panic at the disco, playlist, Ronald Isley, Soothsayers, Steve Grand, The Weeknd

Related: Panic! At the Disco, Starpulse Exclusives, Music, Rock Music, R & B, Rap/Hip-Hop, Punk Music, Country, Pop

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