New Notes from November (Taylor’s Version)

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In case you’re looking for some new tunes to listen to while turning in those last minute assignments and preparing for finals, tune into Spotify or Apple Music. With a number of new releases raked in from November, streaming services have turned into a hub of chart toppers, featuring Adele, Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift and more. Below is a recount of the new top albums to make for easy playlist curation:

woman listening on headphones
Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

Adele – 30

Six years after her last album release, Adele covers all the emotions in her new album, spanning the heartbreak of divorce to the joy of childbirth. Released on Nov. 19, the 12 songs total just under an hour, allowing for an easy listen. Somewhat different from her past albums, these songs sprinkle in a slight sense of R&B and pop. You definitely won’t get tired of this album.

Best song: Easy On Me

Maybe it’s because this song has been trending on TikTok and playing on every New Jersey radio station for the past few weeks, but it is unforgettable. In typical fashion, it features her belting with the classic piano, pairing emotional lyrics with an emotional listening experience.

Runner up: My Little Love

The emotional ballad couples her singing with raw voice recording clips, where she explains her divorce to her 6-year-old son. With dramatic instrumental and vocals, it’s moving whether you tune into the dialogue or just vibe to the music.

Taylor Swift –– Red (Taylor’s Version)

Nine years after the original release of Red, Swift took up residency on the top charts and crashed Spotify with her rerecording released on Nov. 12. The album features 16 original and 10 new “from the vault” songs, along with a few singles and alternate versions, and is part of her project to own the rights to her music. Despite an over two-hour listening time, the album does not disappoint. While I had higher expectations of some of the classics, such as 22 and We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, “Red (Taylor’s Version)” is a hit. 

Best song: All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)

For Swifties, this extended version of the classic All Too Well has been highly anticipated. Chilling, emotional and relatable, it is both captivating and enthralling. The background vocals and instrumental truly make the song, proving it impossible to listen to without getting goosebumps. 

Runner up: Nothing New (feat. Phoebe Bridgers) (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)

While Bridgers and Swift have different vocal styles, this seems to mesh their differences into one unique tune. The feature makes the song more emotional than anything else on the record, but it’s still streamable. Therefore, I’ll give a warning: it’s probably best to use your free Spotify skip on this song if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with the end of the semester –– this song will not help. If you enjoy wallowing, however, feel free to go ahead with a box of tissues. 

ABBA –– Voyage

Over 40 years after their last release, ABBA returned to the top song charts with a bang. Totaling at 10 songs with a listening time of 30 minutes, the Swedish band remained consistent with their music style while introducing a new spin. Featuring a variety of instruments and blending together unique music styles, you won’t get tired of this record. Catchy and mood boosting, one could only hope for a third installment of the “Mamma Mia” series to give these songs their rightful spotlight.

Best song: Don’t Shut Me Down

Soft percussion, bass and piano come together to rock in this upbeat hit. If you’re looking for the perfect background music to envision yourself frolicking on a beach in Greece, this is the tune for you. 

Runner up: No Doubt About It

This number starts off slow and mellow, but eventually transitions into ABBA’s signature style of loud instrumentals and catchy lyrics. Sounding like it just came out of the first installment of “Mamma Mia,” it is the perfect upbeat tune for dancing in your dorm.

Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak and Silk Sonic –– An Evening With Silk Sonic

The debut album of new duo, Silk Sonic––comprised of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak––was released on Nov. 12 and garnered a massive amount of attention. If you’re looking for an R&B and pop combo that’s less depressing than Adele’s “30”, I suggest “An Evening With Silk Sonic.” With nine songs at around 30 minutes, it’s dangerously catchy.

Best song: Smokin Out The Window

Whether it’s the lyrics or background music, this song is not coming off repeat. Although repetitive with mundane lyrics, its upbeat tune is perfect to dance to or pump yourself up.  

Runner up: Skate

This upbeat number is both catchy and unique. Featuring drumming with upbeat instrumentals, it seems almost as if it sampled “The Price is Right” jingle. Skate mixed Mars’s old style of singing with new beats. 

While “New Music November” delivered, make sure not to spend too much time crying to Adele and Swift, or dancing to ABBA and Mars. With finals fast approaching, maybe save your listening for the library. These songs may be just the thing to get you through the rest of this semester. I know it all too well. 

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