In an act of musical self-flagellation, Kaylie Ramirez, arts editor and CSOM ’20, has tried to weave together the disparate threads of some of the most radically different songs I have ever seen. “I have been listening to them recently,” she says, as if this could explain a playlist that mixes Bob Dylan, Modest Mouse, and Britney Spears (and that’s only the first three songs). Known for her hastily uttered proclamations of West Coast superiority (“No one over here knows if Los Angeles is north of San Francisco,” even though she cannot name all the states in New England), Ramirez’s current listening habits promise an interesting experience at least. But let’s get into it.
It’s not as if she has bad taste. Each song on this 10-track Frankenstein’s monster—“There is something at work in my soul, which I do not understand,” anyone?—of a playlist is a good-to-great song in its own right. Frankie Vallie’s “Can’t Take My Eyes off You” is an icon of ’60s pop for a reason. But to be whiplashed with Lizzo’s “Tempo” immediately afterward is discordant to say the least. And it is this effect that I think truly speaks to the playlist creator herself. As the arts editor, especially with music as her specialty, she needs an honest claim to understanding contemporary music (Del Rey’s “Happiness is a butterfly” and “Sex” by inaptly named The 1975). But this is not enough. Ramirez requires a working knowledge of the “classics” (aka Dylan and Valli) and everything in between (read: Spears, Vampire Weekend’s “M79,” and The Smiths’ “This Charming Man”). Somehow, she manages to pull this off, but perhaps her actual taste gets lost in the shuffle.
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