The Spotify Courtroom

New year, same column. Staff writer Jack Toal is back and, this week, he’s taking on a playlist submitted by junior Hunter Jackson. With nearly every genre included and a somewhat ambiguous goal, Jackson almost earned himself an A.


The Spotify Courtroom. Graphic by Charitha Lakkireddy.

I’m Jack Toal, a junior at BVN and a staff writer for the North Star. I’m a self-proclaimed music aficionado, and that title isn’t limited to any artist or genre or mood. I have a long and successful history of making playlists, as can be confirmed by my friends, who all leech off my playlists because I have the best ones. I thought I’d share my talents beyond my friend group and invite BVN to put their playlists on trial through a weekly column. In the Spotify Courtroom, I’ll choose one submitted playlist each week, critique it, and offer suggestions as well as new and improved versions of it. 

Initial Grade: 88/100

Genre(s) Included: Practically Everything, Mostly Indie, R&B

Submitted by: Hunter Jackson, Junior

Original Playlist: to get david off phoebe

Playlist Length: 28 hours, 2 minutes

“I wanted attention.” – Hunter

Hunter, I’m not going to lie, I don’t know what the goal of this playlist is, but I like it. I think that you were going for something to play in the car or while handing out with friends possibly, mostly based on the name, but I also think it’s for you to relax to. It’s got practically every genre and all types of sounds but there are a couple things I would change. First, since it seems to be a pretty relaxed or chill playlist there are some songs I’d advocate for you to remove. I didn’t listen to the entire playlist, due to its length, but of what I did get through I’d remove “16 Dogs” and “Neck Brace” by City Morgue, “327” by Westside Gunn, “Sparkdala” by Quasimoto, “Vaccines Made Me Gay” by GRLwood, “Magazine” by $uicideBoy$, “St. Martin de Porres” by Mary Lou Williams, “You’re Going to Miss Me” by 13th Floor Elevators, “You Can Do It” by Nuyorican Soul, and “Forever” by Danger Incorporated. Most of these just stood out from the rest because they sounded super different from the others. Some of them were just bad though, such as “Forever” by Danger Incorporated really just isn’t good. I’d also remove any other rap because that has less of a fit for the majority of your playlist. The removal of these songs would make the playlist smoother overall.

Excluding those removed, I really like the songs that are already in there and the artist diversity you have in there. As for people to add I’d add some Billy Joel such as “My Life”, “Vienna”, and “She’s always a Woman” would be good additions if you wanna add more to the classic sound you have on there like The Smiths. You should also check out The Growlers and their album City Club. The songs “Rare Hearts” (not from an album), “The Daisy Chain”, and “Blood of a Mutt” all have a fairly relaxed sound that would fit nicely into your playlist. Since you also have some R&B in here, I’d suggest adding some Sonder to your playlist. Their album “Into” is super good and has a sound that will make you transcend. Their songs “Searchin”, “Sirens”, and “Feel” are among my favorites in the album “Into” but you should also listen to “Too Fast” and “What you Heard” if you like his music.

I’d also add some UMI, The Licks, Peach Pit, more of Yellow Days, Puma Blue, Dreamgirl, Gus Dapperton, Her’s, more of TV Girl, and more of almost every artist you have in your playlist. Since your playlist has so many genres I tried to grab ones with mostly the same kind of chill/relaxed idea. I also tried to go for some artists that weren’t on your playlist and didn’t sound too out of place if they were put on. The revised playlist I made only has ones that I suggested because I’m not going to add 28 hours worth of songs, so it’s just made up of the suggestions.

Revised Playlist 

What I’d Call It: rare to sleep