When I first heard that Gwyneth Paltrow made a “Summer Jams” playlist for everyone in the world I was not impressed. “Ooo, I’m married to the ultra-famous Chris Martin of the legendary rock band, Coldplay. I know music; I should tell people about music. Blah blah blah”, says Gwyneth. Not to mention it is very difficult to take any sort of advice from a lady that names her child after a standard, common fruit. However, I became intrigued when I found out her playlist was featured on the Man, Jay-z’s own blog, Life + Times. You see Jay-z is really cool and has impeccable taste in all things. I trust him implicitly, so I knew that G. Pal’s list was at least worth a listen. I must retract my initial prejudgments of Gwyn and admit that the playlist is good; like really good. Although it is filled with top-notch songs Gwyneth provides her own “insightful” reviews of each song, which give me a better understanding of her knowledge of good music. We’ve all know girls from highschool who one week are exclusively listening to radio’s Top 40 and then the following week start dating a new guy who happens to be into dope music. This new BF introduces his new GF to his favorite music and she pretends to take a deep interest. The girl’s Facebook statuses are now all about how she is in love with the Weeknd and Frank Ocean and how she just went to see Grimes live at some dive bar. This girl is Gwyneth Paltrow.
I am absolutely convinced that Gwyneth had nothing to do with the making of this list, which is evident through her reviews. Just like her clothing, speaking notes, make-up, food and hairdo probably are, this playlist reeks of being curated by an expert in how to make celebrities seem trendy. For some reason, G. Pal needs to be seen as hip and cool – perhaps Chris Martin’s swag meter is falling and she’s worried that may inversely affect her. It is suspicious that Coldplay does not make an appearance on the playlist. It seems Gwyneth knows as well as we do that Coldplay will do nothing for you when you want to see cool.
Gwyn wants you to believe that this is her playlist and that she hand picked these songs so she’s provided small reviews/reasons she likes each song. On the first song of the playlist, The Recipe by Kendrick Lamar featuring Dr. Dre, Gwyneth explains, “I was excited by the debut of Kendrick Lamar… I’m into it! This dreamy Dre-sounding track features the Dr. himself.” Sorry, G. Pal, this isn’t the debut of Kendrick Lamar, he’s been around for a while and released one of the best mixtapes of the year in 2011. It also hurts my feelings that you would ever describe a classic Dre beat as “dreamy”. He hasn’t created a song for Boyz II Men or 98 Degrees – this is the man behind N.W.A. (although I am equally excited to hear the Dr. and Kendrick team up for a definitive West Coast track). In an attempt to convince the world she’s also deep Gwyneth throws some slower “Jams” on the list. Songs like Other People by Beach House, which about she says, “I’m into this band and its mellow dreamy beach music, thus their name”. She clearly knows nothing about Beach House and wrongly justifies the band’s name for them (again with dreamy? wtf). On Deerhunter’s Helicopter Gwyneth declares, “As you can probably tell, I like ethereal, mellow music in the summer time”. Translation: “Please recognize that I am cool, it means so much to me”.
If this playlist were made by anyone else it would carry with it a lot more cred. It is full of some of my favorite songs right now and is a must listen for the summer. I just wish G. Pal wasn’t the one who made it.
Kendrick Lamar – The Recipe feat. Dr. Dr
Pinback – Loro
Grimes – Genesis
Hot Chip – Motion Sickness
Frank Ocean – Thinkin About You
Usher – Climax
Beach House – Other People
Deerhunter – Helicopter
French Montana – Pop That feat. Rick Ross, Drake, and Lil’ Wayne
Neon Indian – Halogen (I Could Be A Shadow)
Wugazi – Shame On Blue
Note: This playlist has been amended for improvements. I have removed some of the songs I would not have included. It is much better now. Trust.