Strong Songs

By Kirk Hamilton

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Category: Music

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Music: it's good. On each episode of Strong Songs, host Kirk Hamilton takes listeners inside a piece of music, breaking it down and figuring out what makes it work.

Episode Date
"Single Ladies" by Beyoncé

On this episode, Kirk dives into one of the greatest pop songs of all time.

Beyoncé's "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" is arguably the defining song of the last decade, but it's far from your average pop tune. With its unusual tensions and unstoppable groove, it defies safe harmony and resolution, and its composers were more than happy to flip the beat and leave their audience searching for the downbeat.

Band/Artist: Beyoncé

Album: I Am... Sasha Fierce, 2008

Composed by: Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Christopher Stewart, Terius Nash, Thaddis Harrell 

Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify


Dec 12, 2018
"You Can Call Me Al" by Paul Simon

This week, Kirk breaks down one of his favorite songs from one of his favorite albums.

Paul Simon's "You Can Call Me Al" was a single from his incredible 1986 album Graceland, and its music video introduced a generation to the wonders of goofy lip-synching and fretless bass solos. It's a harmonically simple tune with a cleverly dense arrangement, and brilliantly uses musical layering.

Band/Artist:  Paul Simon

Album: Graceland, 1986

Composed by: Paul Simon

Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify

Nov 28, 2018
"Africa" by Toto

On the first episode of Strong Songs, Kirk breaks down Toto's hit song "Africa," a single so good that it still lights up the Internet today.

Band/Artist: Toto

Album: Toto IV, 1982

Composed by: David Paich and Jeff Porcaro

Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify

Nov 18, 2018