Listen to this week’s YouTube Music Playlist here.
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, “Shallow”
Sounds like: A Million Memes Are Born
Perfect for: Years of nostalgic karaoke
A Star Is Born, which hits theaters today, is this year’s most buzzed-about film, thanks in part to the dramatic build of co-stars Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s duet “Shallow” in the trailer. A sweeping power ballad, “Shallow” aims for the emotional peaks of Oscar-bait classics like Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” and Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” — and largely hits them. It’s one of many star-making moments for Gaga’s character in the movie, and a brand new one for the pop auteur herself.
Sounds like: Eight years was worth the wait
Perfect for: A dramatic scene of closure between two ex-lovers on a HBO series
You can officially stop playing that low-quality rip of Robyn’s “Honey” from HBO’s Girls now: She’s finally released it, dammit. The early, unfinished song’s appearance in the series’ final season last year proved how hungry fans were for the Swedish pop star’s first full album since 2010’s Body Talk series. Many tweets later, Robyn has fulfilled those dreams with a bittersweet love song that washes over you like a golden-colored sea.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, “Gainesville”
Sounds like: A lost gem from a legend who never lost his touch
Perfect for: Reflecting on the place where you came from
It’s been a year since the sudden, shocking death of Tom Petty, and the expansive new box set An American Treasure offers a new angle on his legacy. Best of all is “Gainseville,” a heartfelt tribute to his Florida hometown. Though it’s an outtake from his 1999 album Echo, it feels timeless.
Shawn Mendes’ R&B slow-jam “Lost in Japan” was already an out-of-the-box moment for the pop singer-songwriter. Now, Zedd has taken that song and turned it up a notch, crafting a glitchy, neon setting Mendes’ smooth vocals that makes the fantasy of linking up with a faraway crush feel like a video game adventure.
DJ Snake feat. Cardi B, Ozuna, Selena Gomez, “Taki Taki”
Sounds like: An ideal summer hit, arriving either one month late or 10 months early
Perfect for: Your next reggaeton rave
Cardi B can make any song sound like it’s the Song of the Summer, even if it arrives at the dawn of fall. Every inch of the Spanglish mega-collab “Taki Taki” sweats with dancefloor heat, and DJ Snake’s beat is perfect for this trio of artists. Ozuna’s eager confidence, Cardi’s luxurious demands plus Selena’s breathy crooning all add up to one of the year’s sexiest party starters.