Hillary Clinton, Presidential candidate and purveyor of millennial-targeted merchandise, is fully ready to take this election thing by storm. And as everyone knows, to run for President, you have to have signature jams to back you up. Hillary just don’t stop thinkin’ about tomorrow.
While Clinton hasn’t yet chosen an official theme song—and, let’s face it, it’s gonna be tough to top Obama’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” in 2008—her 14-song playlist on Spotify presents some potential options. Relatively diverse genre-wise (though not as much as Obama’s 2012 picks), the playlist is meant to pose to us another facet of her message and her personality, a Lloyd Dobler mixtape for voters. So, what does this say about her? And would you vote for her based on the picture conveyed by her songs?
It’s key to look at the choruses—American Authors’ skyward-facing, adult-contemporary rock jam “Believer” opens the playlist, and says it all: “I’m just a believer/ That things will get better/ Some can take it or leave it/ But I don’t wanna let it go.” And yet, there are Easter eggs to be found in the cut. Gym Class Heroes’ “Fighter,” features Travie McCoy’s “Half the population’s just waitin to see me fail/ Yeah right, you’re better off trying to freeze hell/ Some of us do it for the females,” which seems like a pretty accurate summation of the Hillary steez.
Katy Perry’s “Roar,” Ariana Grande/Zedd’s “Break Free,” and Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” all seem pretty on the nose—powerful women singing about getting theirs and staying strong under pressure—and they’re followed up by another uplifting American Authors jam about never giving up, et cetera. This gives me fear that American Authors are going to be her official campaign band. Is it because they have “American” in their name? I hope not, although having listened to “Best Day of My Life” three times to avoid getting to the next track, Pharrell’s “Happy,” American Authors seem like a comparatively minor threat. Yes, Hillary Clinton put “Happy” on her playlist. Constitutional obligation, at this point.
After that, she found the most culturally Puerto Rican-sounding song on J.Lo’s On the 6—“Let’s Get Loud,” a disco-salsa pop song about never giving up—and NONONO’s “Pumpin Blood,” which I know because I have heard it in a commercial or ten before, and literally nowhere real. (UNTIL NOW.) John Legend’s “Wake Up Everybody” is a shoo-in, a Harold Melvin & the Blue-Notes cover that hits the obligatory social consciousness/concerned about the world touchstones, while Sara Bareilles’ “Brave” semi-reprises Katy Perry’s “Roar” and shows that Hillary refuses to engage in media-created divisiveness between powerful women! Just like Kris Allen’s “Fighters,” we’re all in this struggle together, girl.
Finally, rounding up the tail-end, Jon Bon Jovi’s “Beautiful Day,” from Finding Neverland, a movie about what whoever wins the presidency will do, amirite. And then another old salsa song from a Latino that white people know because of J.Lo, Marc Anthony’s “Vivir Mi Vida,” which touches on the subject of Marc Antony living his damn life. I adore Marc Anthony’s music but that toss-in of one of his more... “digestible” numbers felt a little pander-y to me. (Also, this obviously shouldn’t matter, but Prince’s performance at the White House over the weekend is just a reminder that, no matter who is elected, the Presidency is about to get a lot less cool, culturally.)
So, would you vote for Hillary based on this playlist? My verdict: possibly, depending on her opponents’ playlists. Would you allow Hillary to make you a workout mix? My verdict: slow BPMs, very little oonce-oonce, HELL NO.
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