Monthly melodies: December

This month’s picks include music from Taylor Swift, Kid Cudi and a Christmas special by Mariah Carey


Ryann Daugherty

In the Monthly Melodies series, TRL covers some of the most notable albums and singles that dropped in the last month that were not covered with their own in-depth review.

“Evermore” by Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift’s new album “Evermore” is amazing. Her blend of different musical styles, combined with her quiet, unique sound, create a product that is both addictive and great. The song “Evermore,” which shares its name with the title of the album, is a gorgeous and emotional piece, featuring a very simple stepwise motif with a beautiful melody. Swift’s vocal talent shines through the most during this section. When Bon Iver comes in, the true merit of the song shines through, as both voices create a call-and-response harmony. “Willow” features a very ethereal sounding guitar and manages both a worldly and otherworldly feel concurrently. Again, Swift’s vocal prowess is allowed to shine, and shine it does. Finally, “no body, no crime” is the biggest deviation in tone that I heard throughout the album, returning back to Swift’s country roots in both style and story. Overall, an album well worth a listen, provided you aren’t already listening.

Rating: A+

“Man on the Moon III” by Kid Cudi

Kid Cudi’s new album “Man on the Moon III” has a great sound across the songs in its library. “She Knows This” has an amazing beat that is very fun and easy to vibe to. Its whistle section is also very impressive. “Another Day” has a great bass line that, coupled with Kid Cudi’s lower notes, makes for a very good song. Lastly, “Sept. 16” features a section with some autotune used for effect, and when I listened, it almost transported me to a world of neon and color. It’s a very solid album overall, albeit a tad repetitive.

Rating: B+

“Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special” by Mariah Carey

This month being December makes two things certain – one, Christmas is coming, and two, Mariah Carey becomes relevant again. I struggle to think of a single Christmas after 1994 where the iconic “All I Want for Christmas” wasn’t blaring out of every car radio. The queen of Christmas is back with hits sung in her Apple TV special, singing fun and classic Christmas songs like “Oh Santa!” with Ariana Grande and “Joy to the World.” With it being Christmas time, I thought it is appropriate to include this in the sounds of the season. While it’s songs we’ve all heard before, it’s Mariah Carey singing them, which can either be a plus or minus depending on who you are.

Rating: C (for Christmas)