Listen to this week’s YouTube Music playlist here.
Natalie Portman, “Wrapped Up”
Sounds like: Two stars at their peak
Perfect for: Comfort and solace following tragedies on both the large and small-scale
Vox Lux has become one of this year’s most polarizing films, but there’s nothing to debate about its plot-driving track “Wrapped Up,” written by Sia. In the film, a stripped down version of this ballad is performed by the younger version of Natalie Portman’s character Celeste after tragedy hits her hometown. When Portman as an older, more cynical and glitzier Celeste performs it, the song is as amped up as her life has become, with tear-inducing, heart-racing harmonies above a stadium-worthy arrangement.
Zayn, “Good Years”
Sounds like: A former teen idol prematurely looking back
Perfect for: Remembering just how far Zayn’s voice can go
Today, Zayn releases his 27-song sophomore album, Icarus Falls. “Good Years” served as the final preview of the album. It’s an emotional ballad that dismisses the hoopla of his previous solo songs, instead focusing on his impressive voice and some life reflections as the former One Direction member hopes he didn’t waste all his good years.
RuPaul, “Get to You (This Christmas)”
Sounds like: An Eighties Christmas blitz
Perfect for: A very happy holi-slay
RuPaul loves the holidays, and the drag superstar’s latest holiday album, title Christmas Party, is his best yet. Released in November, Christmas Party was an important component of the RuPaul’s Drag Race Holi-Slay Spectacular, which aired on Vh1 last Friday. “Get to You” was part of an important group lip-sync number and is a highlight of both the show and album with its driving retro synth and irresistible hook that serves up plenty of Eighties realness.
Dolly Parton and Miranda Lambert, “Dumb Blonde”
Sounds like: A modern revival of a worthy classic by two of country’s finest
Perfect for: Reminding yourself that these are two of music’s smartest blondes
Dolly Parton and Miranda Lambert are among the wittiest, catchiest writers of their country generations, and the pair make for a match made in heaven on their remake of Parton’s 1967 hit “Dumb Blonde.” The song is part of the soundtrack for Netflix’s new film Dumplin’, which features remade versions of Parton classics or new songs written by the icon. On “Dumb Blonde,” she and Lambert sing with each other like they’re looking into a mirror.
Bruce Springsteen, “The Promised Land”
Sounds like: Intimate reflections from our greatest rock & roll star
Perfect for: Sitting with a specially curated review of Bruce’s career by the man himself
Bruce Springsteen’s time on Broadway is coming to an end tomorrow, but Springsteen on Broadway will live on. One of the shows was shot for a Netflix special that you can stream this weekend, and the official album is out today. One highlight is the stripped down take on “The Promised Land,” which serves as a somber revision of the Darkness on the Edge of Town classic while reflecting on the first time Bruce drove cross-country as an up-and-coming star and saw the American west.