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by Emma
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


Rihanna (feat. Drake) - "Work"

There is a lot of good pop music out there in the world right now, and that means we all get to do the most pleasurable kind of work that exists in this life - sifting the firework-songs from the ones with a steadier, stranger fluorescence, finding new angles in our selves for all these sounds to press against. So much persona to sift through! So many synthesizers reaching their glowing tendrils out toward you from the darkness! So many invisible pulses of wanting and having and having to sing their way through you, wash across the lattice of your smaller bones.

One of the greatest delights of listening to the radio lately is that people are finally getting the hang of repetition again - appropriately (and maybe necessarily), this is an instinct that crests and recedes through pop music in decade(ish)-long increments. Something we all know instinctively for a while, that laces every single lovely song, and then somehow we all manage to forget it again, over and over and over. You can see it creeping in and out of the charts in time-lapse, songs that know how to work magic with it and then a new wave of songs that forget, in a round, forever and ever. I'm not wrong about this. In dry years, you will hear a chorus or a hook and feel very distinctly as though you are just watching some guy suck the air out of a kiddie pool, like someone is poking you in the same spot on your upper arm with the business end of a paperclip for an hour-long three minutes. In these times you still grit your teeth and party through, because what else is there? But it's joyless. No undertow, no float.

In lush years, when we all remember what it really means to repeat yourself, pop music gets good again. You get to give yourself up to its enchantments without hesitation or reserve. These are the times when we remember the difference between a list and an incantation - how every word has a new dimension hidden inside of it, one that you unlock by saying it enough, with the right melody threaded through. That's what a dream is. That's how you call it.


Posted by Emma at February 7, 2016 3:53 PM

Love this song! Also, I love your synopsis of the repetition of music. Interested to see how pop music evolves (or doesn't) from this.

Posted by rBeatz at February 10, 2016 9:49 AM

I really, really, really, really, really, really like this.

Posted by Ryan at February 10, 2016 12:55 PM

This album is really good. Wish more people were talking/listening to it.

Posted by Jordan at February 17, 2016 8:36 PM

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This is a daily sampler of really good songs. All tracks are posted out of love. Please go out and buy the records.

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about the authors
Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

Emma Healey writes poems and essays in Toronto. She joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. This is her website and email her here.

Jeff Miller is a Montreal-based writer and zinemaker. He is the author of Ghost Pine: All Stories True and a bunch of other stories. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Say hello on Twitter or email.

Mitz Takahashi is originally from Osaka, Japan who now lives and works as a furniture designer/maker in Montreal. English is not his first language so please forgive his glamour grammar mistakes. He is trying. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Reach him by email here.

Site design and header typography by Neale McDavitt-Van Fleet. The header graphic is randomized: this one is by Neale McDavitt-Van Fleet.
Dan Beirne wrote regularly for Said the Gramophone from August 2004 to December 2014. He is an actor and writer living in Toronto. Any claim he makes about his life on here is probably untrue. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.

Jordan Himelfarb wrote for Said the Gramophone from November 2004 to March 2012. He lives in Toronto. He is an opinion editor at the Toronto Star. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.
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our favourite blogs
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Back to the World
La Blogothèque
Weird Canada
Destination: Out
Endless Banquet
A Grammar (Nitsuh Abebe)
Ill Doctrine
A London Salmagundi
Words and Music
Petites planétes
Gorilla vs Bear
Silent Shout
Clouds of Evil
The Dolby Apposition
Awesome Tapes from Africa
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Pitchfork Reviews Reviews
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Nicola Meighan
radiolab [podcast]
CKUT Music
plethoric pundrigrions
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The Clear-Minded Creative
Torture Garden
Passion of the Weiss
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Horses Think
White Hotel
Then Play Long (Marcello Carlin)
Uno Moralez
Coming Up For Air (Matt Forsythe)
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My Daguerreotype Boyfriend
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