‘On a Deadline’ passes Vibe Check

The following is a blog post from professor David Blow’s Feature Writing class.

In this blog I’ll be diving into the depths of Apple Music playlists. I’ll find some new vibes, give one a listen, then give it a quick review to see if it passes the Vibe Check.  

Is it just me or did this semester fly by? I would have said, “zoomed by,” but we were in person this semester.


The dad jokes are flowing tonight. Not proud of that one. Oof.

Let’s try this intro again.  

Three. More. Weeks. Three more weeks of this feeling. Three more weeks of this work. Let’s crush this.

This will be my final review. That being said, I would like to say something to all who have kept up with me this semester: Thank you. You’re cool. Let’s spin a playlist sometime.

“On a Deadline,” a playlist by Apple Music. How relevant can this get?


“And during the few moments that we have left, we wanna talk right down to earth in a language that everybody here can easily understand.” 

“Cult of Personality” by Living Colour slams through my earbuds. 

I, simply, cannot stop head banging. This guitar riff is iconic, this kick is thumpin,’ this snare has got some serious pop, and these hats are crashing just right.

I feel like hopping onto a flaming motorcycle and burning through these final projects like they’re the highway. Whew. I’m beyond impressed with this playlist already.

“Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi, builds next. “Oh oh oh, woah woah,” says the vox in my left ear. “Dun, dUN, DUN!” says the stabbing synth, sharpened like a blade, in my right.

I feel like going for a run. I never feel like going for a run. Wait, it’s winter. I should get a treadmill for occasions like this.

This is now my dedicated workout playlist.

What else we got?

“Back in Black” by AC/DC.

We’re on a roll. This playlist is killer.

How suiting is this song for the first day back from break? It’s the first day back, I’m buried in a pit of homework, but these guitars have me thrashing around so much that a beam of light is shining through the top. Nice. Let’s thrash until it’s gone.

Wait a minute, “Everlong” by the Foo Fighters??

Dave, am I allowed to swear? Whatever, f*ck it.

F******ck yeah dude, I love this song. What an honor it is to be able to review it.

I wish I could frame this intro and put it on my wall. A subtle guitar fades in to introduce you to the progression, the initial blast of that electric guitar casts over your entire body, those fast paced, tip-tappy hats are just fluttering in your face with preparation for intensity, and when that kick comes in, oh, when that kick comes in!

You just know something’s about to happen.

The cadence of this song makes my soul complete. It’s put together perfectly with its tight bursts of energy that pair graciously with the flotation device of Dave Grohl’s voice on top of those wholesome grunge breakdowns.

“Everlong” is a consistent headbanger that’s been in my rotation since the first time I heard it.

Hunter Smith, what key is this in? What mode? Are you able to tell just by listening to a song? That would be sick.

“Enter Sandman” by Metallica.

“You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” by Judas Priest.

“Whatever” by Godsmack.

“Girls, Girls, Girls” by Mötley Crüe.

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana. Oo. Good one.

These songs have been laid out in a row for one reason, and one reason only: They can be described with a word that encapsulates their general feel. Ready for it?


…okay it’s out of my system.

It’s been incredible rocking and rolling so far, but the playlist thinks it’s time to ease up with “November Rain” by Guns N’ Roses. Something downtempo, if you will.

It’s a sad song about a broken relationship, I think, but there’s something about it that’s comforting to me. Maybe it’s that guitar. This is going to sound so good when I play it on Dec. 18, while I’m walking all alone through that cold December rain.  

You probably knew this already, but “On a Deadline” passes the vibe check. If you’re an Apple Music user, give it a listen. If you’re on Spotify, switch to Apple Music for the remainder of this semester so you can give this playlist a shuffle. It might help you out, too.

Good luck on your finals, everybody. It’s been one hell of a ride on this burning motorcycle. Let’s leave this semester behind us in a colossal cloud of smoke.


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