The Secret Sauce In Beyoncé's Collaboration With Eminem Is This Female Songwriter

After my first job MTV working as a music programmer, I can't stop trying to matchmake people with music they might like. So, I wrote a book called Record Collecting for Girls and started interviewing musicians. The Music Concierge is a column where I share music I'm listening to that you might enjoy, with a little context. Follow me on Twitter or Facebook, or leave me a comment below and tell me what you're listening to this week.
Eminem feat. Beyoncé "Walk on Water"
Let's get this straight, Beyhive: this is a Beyoncé feature, not a Beyoncé song with Eminem on it. It might interest you to know that her hook was primarily written by Skylar Grey, who you remember as the co-writer of his Rihanna featuring hit "Love the Way You Lie." Grey is also a co-producer on the track. Not that anyone can outshine Bey, but Grey has a huge hand in this one that shouldn't be overlooked. That said, this collaboration is not one I would have guessed would happen in a million years. Eminem's rap is imperfect, though my patience for him has increased significantly after his BET performance calling out Trump supporters. Probably the most important thing he's doing is addressing the opioid addiction crisis in America, which I couldn't laud hearing in a pop/rap song more, and would like to hear more of. That said, there are a few words he says I'd like to hear less of (yes, exactly the ones you think) and obviously there can never be too much Beyoncé, so HMU when someone makes a remix that's only her chorus.
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Little Big Town with Jimmy Webb "Wichita Lineman"
If you didn't catch the CMA Awards on Wednesday, let me recap it for you: this is the only performance you absolutely need to see. Little Big Town is made up of masterful harmonisers, some of the best in the history of music in my opinion, and their take on this Glen Campbell classic is pitch-perfect in every way. If listening to this song doesn't make you tear up, check your pulse. You may be dead inside.
I'm With Her "See You Around"
This trio caught my eye with their cheeky, feminist name and caught my ear with their bluegrass-infused harmonies and sparse but crisp musicianship. Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, Aoife O'Donovan, the women who make up I'm With Her, have the kind of music chemistry that does not come around often. And, in case you were wondering, the multi-Grammy winning women in this group play their own instruments. It's not remarkable, but since we don't all default to thinking women play instruments, it is worth remarking on.
Angel Olsen "Fly on Your Wall"
Angel Olsen has a new album of b-sides and rarities that is exactly what my brain wants to hear right now. I don't know about you, but I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around the new wave of sexual misconduct allegations and admissions this week, and Olsen's voice alone, alongside accompaniment by her guitar, is soothing and perfect. It makes me think of how the sound of one woman can have a ripple effect, can be as loud or quiet as we want, can sound like whatever we want. It can be a bit difficult sometimes and isn't laden with pop hooks. It's just real. At this moment, it is perfect.
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Foster the People "Sit Next to Me"
I really miss those mid-'00s "dance it out" as Cristina and Meredith did during Grey's songs that used to be so prevalent (watching the 300th episode reminded me). This, THIS is one of those songs — or at least, it's a kindred. I'm having a super chill dance in my chair party listening to it right now, not breaking a sweat. The step up several keys at 2:58 is super interesting, as is the G-chord chorus that feels like coming home. It is one of those songs you'll just immediately like, even if you don't quite know why.
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