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President Obama's Campaign Playlist: The 5 Biggest Surprises
On Thursday morning (Feb. 9), our decidedly modern president took to Twitter and Facebook to trumpet his coolness once more. He and his team compiled an official Obama Campaign 2012 Playlist and shared it with the world via Spotify.
Many of 24 songs made total sense: Folks like Arcade Fire and Bruce Springsteen are not only anthemic and politically-charged, but both artists endorsed him in 2008. Plus, the whole world knows about Obama's love of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together." Still, the playlist struck us as oddball in places, yet too safe in others.
We understand that on-point messaging and diversity (as to appeal to all demographics of Obama supporters) are important. We're also aware that campaign staffers nominated songs -- if it were Obama's personal playlist, we'd surely be seeing some classic jazz and Jay-Z, from what we know about his taste. Before we go back to analyzing our president's political track record instead of his record collection, we'd like to point out the five most surprising selections on the official Obama Campaign 2012 Playlist (which you can view in full below). Overall, we give him and his team kudos for taking chances on the playlist, but we also have a few ideas of all-too-fitting tracks Team Obama left off.
"Mr. Blue Sky" - Electric Light Orchestra
We get it: It's recognizable, and even we can imagine Obama taking the stage with this "good guy" anthem blaring.
But: The chorus of this ELO classic is intently focused on finding out why Mr. Blue Sky went away for so long. A great message for a campaign -- but a RE-ELECTION campaign? Proceed with caution.
TWO Sugarland & Darius Rucker Songs
We get it: Country is an excellent way to show southern states that you can speak their language -- or at least to say, "People are people -- ain't this a great song?!"
But: Even the most amateur of DJs knows that repeating artists on a playlist is against the rules.
"The Best Thing About Me Is You" - Ricky Martin Feat. Joss Stone
We get it: It's a song whose video and intro are all about equality, from the out-and-proud Ricky Martin.
But: When Martin sings, "Let's take a chance and hope for the best" in the chorus, he's talking about a relationship.
"No Nostalgia" - AgesandAges
We get it: A catchy ditty filled with handclaps, singalongs, Dr. Dog-esque riffs and Jack White-ish vocals. Plus it says, "Look how hip I am, young voters! Even I barely know who this band is!"
But: It's A LOT to expect an unknown song to serve as a political anthem.
"Love You I Do" - Jennifer Hudson (from "Dreamgirls")
We get it: Obama's campaign is all about the love, about him being not just a good man but the perfect man... for the presidency.
But: This is a legitimately mushy love song, from a lyrical standpoint. We don't want to think about our president romantically loving his supporters (flashes of Clinton).
Now, for songs we'd like to see on the Obama campaign playlist:
"Mr. November" - The National
Choice lyrics: "I won't fuck us over/I'm Mr. November" and "I used to be carried in the arms of cheerleaders"
"Made In America" - Jay-Z & Kanye West
This one's for all the folks who still have doubts about Obama's birth certificate.
And is it too cocky for us to say the Foo Fighters' "My Hero"? Imagine the slow-motion stage entrance. Just imagine.
The full Obama campaign playlist, which you can stream:
Different People - No Doubt
Got To Get You Into My Life (Live) - Earth Wind & Fire Experience
Green Onions (Single/ LP Version) - Booker T. & The MG's
I Got You - Wilco
Keep On Pushing (Single Version) - The Impressions
Love You I Do - Jennifer Hudson (from the Dreamgirls soundtrack)
No Nostalgia - AgesandAges
Raise Up - Ledisi
Stand Up - Sugarland
This - Darius Rucker
We Used to Wait - Arcade Fire
You've Got The Love - Florence + The Machine
Your Smiling Face - James Taylor
Roll With The Changes - REO Speedwagon
Keep Marchin' - Raphael Saadiq
Tonight's The Kind Of Night - Noah And The Whale
Keep Me In Mind - Zac Brown Band
The Weight - Aretha Franklin
Even Better Than The Real Thing - U2
Home - Dierks Bentley
Everyday America - Sugarland
Learn To Live - Darius Rucker
Let's Stay Together - Al Green
Mr. Blue Sky - Electric Light Orchestra
My Town - Montgomery Gentry
The Best Thing About Me Is You Feat. Joss Stone - Ricky Martin
You Are The Best Thing - Ray LaMontagne
We Take Care Of Our Own - Bruce Springsteen