Our generous data-loving music streaming overlords Spotify have teamed up with our generous data-loving video streaming overlords Netflix to deliver a fun, data-mining plugin! I love the internet, don’t you? Everything is so much fun and all you have to pay to access it is a small fee and all your data. That’s only partially a joke, because I love content more than I love my own privacy, but I digress. Spotify and Netflix have released a Queer Eye plugin that tells you which of the five queer eyes––that’s Karamo, Tan, Antoni, Jonathan, and the other one––your music taste is most similar to.
It’s a ‘fun’ tie-in with Pride Month (there is no such thing as a benevolent corporate tie-in with a social movement, but okay) and the new season of Queer Eye, and is fairly harmless as far as these things go, I guess. It’s definitely much better than the ‘Smirnoff Equaliser’ that generated playlists with 50/50 male and female artists but accidentally included abusive artists in those lists! If you so choose, you can find out which queer eye your taste aligns with here.
Mine was Tan, which I was initially disappointed about––I wanted Antoni, obviously––but if Queer Eye has taught me one thing, it’s that sometimes life is hard, or something. (I don’t really like or watch Queer Eye that much.) But this raises an interesting question: which of the Queer Eye fab five has the best taste in music? Is it the Strokes tee-wearing Antoni? Or the misleadingly-titled ‘culture expert’ Karamo? Maybe it’s the deeply underserved interior designer Bobby Berk! I decided to try and find out using some Very Objective* methods. (*Not at all objective.)
The Official Queer Eye Music Taste Ranking
5. Jonathan Van Ness
Jonathan has the worst playlist, mostly because it just doesn’t feel like there’s much personality here. It’s almost as if Jonathan is actually just a personality-free catchphrase bot with very long, shiny hair. There a troubling amount of RuPaul on this playlist––come on, Jonathan, nobody actually likes listening to “Sissy That Walk”––and the rest of the list feels like a stock-standard ‘empowerment anthem’ grab bag from “I’m Coming Out” to “I’m Every Woman”. There is also a Lil Uzi Vert song on this playlist (“The Way Life Goes”) and no, I cannot work out why.
4. Bobby Berk
Who exactly is Bobby Berk? Who is this man who likes Meghan Trainor and Jewel, but also puts three Missy Elliott songs in his playlist? And then finishes the whole thing with an Imagine Dragons track? There seems to be a vague theme to Bobby’s playlist––the songs “Work From Home”, “House Work” and “Work Bitch” are all included as a nod to the fact that he works, I guess?––but not enough of a theme to actually call this a ‘themed playlist’. There’s a lot of strange pop EDM, but none of the pop EDM you might expect (Galantis, Jax Jones, an Avicii deep cut) and, perhaps most perplexingly, four songs by Betty Who. Bobby is easily the most nondescript queer eye, and fittingly, he seems to only really enjoy music by the most b-grade of pop stars.
3. Antoni Porowski
So, I know from watching a lot of Antoni’s Instagram stories that he likes to listen to a shuffled playlist of Lana Del Rey’s back catalogue while he cooks. I also know that Antoni wears a lot of Strokes t-shirts, so many that the band actually sent him a box of them. Antoni is clearly the “””indie””” queer eye. So where is the indie music on this terrible playlist? There’s like, an awful Macklemore song, and then a Tegan and Sara song, and then like, twenty billion eighties tracks? Some redeeming features of Antoni’s playlist include “Hang With Me” by Robyn and two Frank Ocean songs (even then, though, they’re both from Channel Orange!) but still: poor form, Antoni.
2. Karamo Brown
Karamo’s playlist, like Bobby’s, lacks any real cohesive identity, but at least the random selection of tracks he’s chosen are, y’know, listenable. Opening with Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor”, Karamo also includes Frank Ocean, Janelle Monae, Drake, Troye Sivan, Ariana Grande, and BTS across his playlist, ending with Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE”. There are some weird choices (both Adam Lambert and Empire’s Jussie Smollett make appearances, suggesting that Karamo finds a lot of his music from TV) but in all, there’s only a handful of really skippable songs (including not one, but two Meghan Trainor songs!) here, which is more than can be said for most of the other playlists.
1. Tan France
As it turns out, style expert Tan France was Queer Eye’s indie MVP the whole time. Tan’s playlist starts with a song from a 90s Bollywood film, includes “Supercut” by Lorde (real heads know that “Supercut” is the best Lorde song), and both of Sufjan Stevens’ songs from Call Me By Your Name. The more indie tracks sit amongst party hits like DJ Khaled’s “Wild Thoughts” and Jason Derulo’s “Swalla” (I wonder if Tan, like me, discovered that song through the actually-pretty-good Amy Schumer film I Feel Pretty?). Anyway, Tan’s playlist is definitely the most listenable in terms of individual songs; whether I’d actually listen to this playlist, which oscillates pretty wildly from party tracks to emo tracks, is a different matter. But still: anything is better than Bobby’s playlist.
Shaad D'Souza is Noisey's Australian editor. Follow him on Twitter.