Three singles this week represent a wide variety of tastes


Photo credit/ Katlynn Whitaker

Patrick Kernan, Opinion Editor

For this review, things are going to be a bit different. There was a variety of singles released this past week by several truly amazing artists, and I felt that ignoring these singles in favor of an album would be a disservice to some great music. With that said, this time we’ll be focusing on 3 singles: one by the Wu-Tang Clan, one by Pink Floyd, and one by the Decemberists. It’s a really varied grouping, but each single comes from one of the biggest artists in their respective genres, so let’s get right to it.

Wu-Tang Clan released “Ruckus in B Minor,” the third single off their upcoming album “A Better Tomorrow.” The song starts with a reference to their song “Bring Da Ruckus,” the opening track to the group’s classic first album, “Enter the Wu-Tang Clan: 36 Chambers.”

After this brief bit of fan-service, the song truly opens with a voice Wu-Tang fans will no doubt recognize, that of the late ODB. I found this to be a really pleasant surprise, and was even happier to hear some other samples of ODB peppered throughout the track. It’s nice to see that, despite the fact that he’s been dead for almost 10 years, he is still an important member of the group.

“Ruckus in B Minor” is similar to most songs by Wu-Tang, in the sense that it is mostly about Wu-Tang, specifically how awesome they find themselves to be. This may be a bit grating to people who aren’t used to the typical levels of bravado that come along with a Wu-Tang track, but fans will find nothing surprising here.

Some of the verses on this track are truly amazing. As with most songs by this group, though, it’s apparent which members are the stars—GZA, Method Man, and Raekwon all perform excellently here—and which members are in support roles—U-God hasn’t gotten any better at rapping since the group’s first album, and Masta Killa seems to have only gotten worse.

The real star is, as always, RZA’s production. The driving beat of this song is sure to make you want to dance, and the blaring organ sample is a great touch. I’m giving this track a 4 out of 5.

Next, let’s talk about “Allons-y (1),” coming off Pink Floyd’s final album, “The Endless River.” This track is a weird one. It’s a two-minute-long instrumental that sounds almost exactly like “Run Like Hell” which comes off the group’s classic album “The Wall.”

The guitar in this song is truly amazing, and it shows that David Gilmore still has it. But this song just doesn’t feel like a single. It feels more like a two-minute long guitar solo cut out of the middle of a longer song.

I think “Allons-y (1)” is less of a single, and more of a “preview” of what’s to come on the whole album. I’m giving this track a 3 out of 5, because, as good as it is musically, it just doesn’t provide itself with enough context to make sense outside of the album.

Finally, we move on to “Make You Better,” by the Decemberists, the first single from the group’s latest effort, “What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World.”

If I were to come up with one word to describe this song, it would be this: “pretty.” As reductive as that sounds, I think it’s an apt description.

The group takes their trademark folk-rock sound and uses it to craft a simple, stripped-down song that still manages to be incredibly catchy. Lead singer Colin Meloy’s bluegrass vocals add just the perfect amount of emotion to the track, and he’s helped in that cause by some absolutely stunning backing vocals.

I have nothing bad to say about this track. I’m giving it a 5 out of 5, and, for the first time, I’m anxiously awaiting adding a Decemberists release to my collection.