Yesterday, Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and current 2016 presidential hopeful, released an official Spotify playlist for her campaign, rightly assuming that music is the way to the voting populace’s hearts. To win the 2016 election, Clinton will need to capture the sympathies of Americans across demographics, and, as always, one of the most important populations is the youth vote. Low youth turnout was widely seen as a key reason for the Republican victories the 2014 midterms, and 2016 will likely see the 18-24 demographic once again playing a key role.
To find out whether or not Hillary’s campaign is on the right track, we tracked down some of said youth demographic, a.k.a. the future of America, a.k.a. our interns, to review the playlist and tell us whether it would win their votes. Raffaela, Sparkle, and Derek gave a track-by-track review of all 14 songs:
American Authors – “Believer”
Raffaela: If I heard this on the radio I would think it was by fun. and immediately change the station. I get why it’s on here, though. “I’m just a believer, things will get better.” And there’s “American” in the band name, so subliminally it’s a pretty savvy choice.
Sparkle: As the first song of the playlist, I think this sets the tone for Hillary’s campaign. It’s uplifting and optimistic and clearly states that “things will get better.” After listening to this I truly think I’m a believer.
Derek: The first verse of this song just screams vulnerability. While the track may turn it around by the end, it admits to feeling sheltered, scared, and afraid of going nowhere. It’s not a confident start to a playlist endorsing a presidential campaign. Trump takes the lead from track one.
Gym Class Heroes – “The Fighter feat. Ryan Tedder”
Raffaela: Travie McCoy in the house! Remember in “Billionaire” when he rapped that he was not only playing basketball with the President but that he was dunking on his delegates? And afterward Travie complimented him on his political etiquette? I wonder if Hillary plays any sports.
Sparkle: This is just a heads up to the other presidential candidates that she’s gonna “give ‘em hell.” Here comes the fighter!
Derek: This will be the track that echoes through a coliseum if she ever enters a boxing ring with Jeb Bush. You know, she’s “a textbook version of a kid going nowhere fast.” But now she’s yelling, “kiss my ass.” Hillary very well may be the first female POTUS. Politics and inaccurate anecdotal lyrics aside, I’ll say credit should be given where deserved. Appropriate song. She’s a fighter.
Katy Perry – “Roar”
Raffaela: I feel like this is the first song on the playlist Hillary herself actually listens to. I can see her listening to this before a big speech and getting really pumped up.
Sparkle: This is that song you play in the morning before you give yourself that motivational pep talk in the mirror. I can see Hillary now: “I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar!”
Derek: “Roar” is the sound of Hillary’s reaction to the Monica Lewinsky scandal. She is now using Katy Perry’s tune to empower her political prowess. Power move, Diane. That’s her middle name.
Ariana Grande – “Break Free”
Raffaela: Hillary likes EDM? And not just EDM, sugary sweet top 40 EDM? This whole thing feels like she’s pandering to the youth vote. Very transparently, I might add.
Sparkle: Just a reminder that your potential future president, who listens to Radio Disney on occasion, is back and stronger than she’s ever been.
Derek: This song references the highway to hell. Hillary Clinton loves AC/DC. And hell. Hillary Clinton is metal. #HailHillary666.
Kelly Clarkson – “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)
Raffaela: I admittedly have a soft spot for Kelly Clarkson because I was literally nine years old when she won American Idol, and I cried along with her when she sang her victory song “A Moment Like This.” I can get behind this as a campaign anthem.
Sparkle: She’s just piggybacking off of the meaning behind the last song. Hillary’s confirming yet again that despite what happened in 2008, she’s back and she’s better than ever.
Derek: This song gets me jacked up. I’d like to think she listens to this as a pre-debate anthem to get her blood flowing.
American Authors – “Best Day Of My Life”
Raffaela: This is the only artist that is repeated twice on the playlist, so I guess Hillary is a fan? As Secretary of State was she just trolling us all, saying she was overseas when she was secretly following American Authors on tour?
Sparkle: Super bold, super optimistic. I think I have an idea of what song she’s going to play on election day…
Derek: Hillary will begin to resent this song the day she loses the election to Donald Trump. Also, my mom loves this song.
Pharrell – “Happy”
Raffaela: Oh god. This fucking song. Old people love this song.
Sparkle: She definitely threw this in here because it was on the Billboard Hot 100 for about a year (not really, but close). Not to mention the song is just awesome.
Derek: My mother is quite fond of this song as well.
Jennifer Lopez – “Let’s Get Loud”
Raffaela: Hell yeah. I’m down with this vintage J-Lo for sure. I wish more of the playlist was like this. Songs that are a little old but still pretty good. Songs that I can imagine a 67-year-old politician actually having on her iPod.
Sparkle: Who doesn’t love a little J-Lo? This song gets me pumped up for election season and goes to show even Hill knows Jenny from the block. Throwback Thursday anyone? #TBT.
Derek: There is a perfect song. Nothing clever here.
NONONO – “Pumpin Blood”
Raffaela: “This is your heart. It's alive. It's pumping blood.” This could be Hillary’s life affirming song. When she gets too stressed or Bill is bothering her, she just puts this on and tunes everything out.
Sparkle: Her view on the importance of the education system is clear here. We can learn a lot from this song about human anatomy.
Derek: This song’s music video features a hipster couple whose relationship is in turmoil. After a split, it ends with the man dancing on a rocky coastline with his pet bunny rabbit. I can see the connection here.
John Legend, The Roots, Common, and Melanie Fiona – “Wake Up Everybody”
Raffaela: At first, the beginning of this sounded like Wu-Tang’s “A Better Tomorrow” and I got super excited, but it turns out it’s John Legend. I do like this, however. If Hillary wins it’ll be nice to know that there will still be hip-hop and R&B bumping through the White House.
Sparkle: Whoa, didn’t see this one coming! Yet another song that fits into the optimistic and uplifting tone she’s set with this playlist. Wake up everybody! Hillary is coming, and she’s bringing change.
Derek: Hillary isn’t the only First Lady to show public support of Common. This is for solidarity with Michelle Obama. Of course, it’s an inspirational song for the children, but it also shouts out God. This is because Hill wanted to balance out that satanic Ariana Grande song.
Sara Bareilles “Brave”
Raffaela: This song and “Roar” sound so similar to me. I think it’s the staccato piano in the background. As for its relation to Hillary and the campaign, it definitely hints at her tough, no-nonsense persona.
Sparkle: This is about the sixth or seventh song on this playlist that can probably be found playing in the background of a Toyota or Garnier commercial, but if you turn on your TV you’ll also hear this bad boy in a Nokia phone commercial. Hillary watches TV too!
Derek: I’ve heard this song a hundred times but never knew the name of it. Show me how big your brave is.
Kris Allen “Fighters”
Raffaela: Wasn’t this guy on American Idol too? Hillary 2016 sponsored by American Idol.
Sparkle: You would think by this point I would get tired of the cliché uplifting songs she’s put into this playlist. But yet again she reminds us that although life can be tough even for a successful political figure, we should not forget that we were born to be fighters. Thanks for the motivation, Hill.
Derek: Don’t let her fool you into thinking this is just another hack motivational song. There are references to fire, flames and screaming in these lyrics. Recurring theme? I think not. This is either a Dragonforce reference or a revisit to the aforementioned hell. Either way, \m/
Jon Bon Jovi “Beautiful Day”
Raffaela: Bold choice, Hilldog. Going for the Jon Bon Jovi solo stuff over any song by the way superior Bon Jovi band. I really dislike this song. Much like any presidential campaign, it is way too optimistic.
Sparkle: Ah, Jon Bon Jovi. Classic choice for a classic woman. Love it.
Derek: This song is from Finding Neverland: The Album, which is a record that’s inspired by a Broadway show that is in turn inspired by a 2004 film that is somehow related to Peter Pan. It starred Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet and Dustin Hoffman. Rotten Tomatoes gives it an 83% on its “Tomatometer.” Maybe Hillary liked this movie.
Marc Anthony “Vivir Mi Vida”
Raffaela: Does Hillary speak Spanish? Because this entire song is in Spanish. My elementary school-level translation skills tell me the song title is “Live My Life” which is a good enough ending to the playlist. It’s Hillary saying she’s just living her life and doing what she does. That being said, I’m pretty sure one of her 20-something staffers chose most of these songs.
Sparkle: So far she’s had a little of everything. Her diversity in music choice is admirable. I don’t speak Spanish, but since it reached the top of the charts in Hot Latin Songs on Billboard I’m going to trust that it’s great. Marc Anthony and J-Lo on one playlist? She knows her pop culture.
Derek: Smart move. Pick one Spanish song in an attempt to reach a different demographic of voters and internet youthfuls. But I’m pretty confident in asserting that 257 of the 258 million Youtube views on that song are from women who look like my mom. My mom likes this song, too. I personally would’ve went with Jowell y Randy, but what do I know?
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