It took more than six years, but President Obama has finally made us a summer mix tape!
Obama broke from his Martha's Vineyard vacation to release two playlists on Spotify, the music streaming service. The lists, which a White House press release says were "hand created," are pretty ecumenical. There are a few selections that are sure to appeal to his aging liberal base: some Bob Dylan, a little Joni Mitchell, a Rolling Stones track and a Van Morrison cut.
There's also some Al Green, whose song "Let's Stay Together" Obama sang at a Harlem fundraiser in 2012.
Even though he's in the fourth quarter of his presidency, Obama may still feel the need to impress us. How else do you explain his selection of Okkervil River, an Austin,Tex. based indie rock band that takes its name from a short story by Russian author Tatyana Tolstaya?
What's missing from the list? There's no Bruce Springsteen, whose music has become a staple at virtually all of the president's speeches. Is Obama sick of the Boss at this point in his presidency? There's virtually no country music. The closest Obama comes is a track from Aoife O’Donovan, whose music has been described as "progressive bluegrass."
Also conspicuously absent is Prince, who played a private concert for the president and 500 guests at the White House earlier this summer.
Why did Obama wait until the summer of 2015 to release his playlists? Mix tapes are a staple of summer love. Is Obama jealous of all the attention the electorate is lavishing on the new crop of presidential candidates?
The White House offered up a different explanation: The music is part of the president's effort "to grow its social media presences and find new ways to connect with people," according to a White House press release.
Even better, the White House promises that it will soon be sharing "more playlists created by people in the White House," the press release states. Can we expect Joe Biden to release a list of songs that he likes to blast when he drops the top in his Corvette and hits the open road? So far, no word from the White House.
Here's the president's full list broken up into "daytime" and "nighttime" selections:
The President’s Daytime Playlist
Ain’t Too Proud to Beg – The Temptations
Live It Up – Isley Brothers
Memories Live – Talib Kweli & Hi Tek
Tombstone Blues – Bob Dylan
So Much Trouble in the World – Bob Marley
Paradise – Coldplay
Tengo Un Trato (Remix) – Mala Rodriguez
Wang Dang Doodle – Howlin Wolf
Another Star – Stevie Wonder
Hot Fun in the Summertime – Sly & the Family Stone
Boozophilia – Low Cut Connie
Wherever Is Your Heart – Brandi Carlile
Good Day – Nappy Roots
Green Light – John Legend
Gimme Shelter – Rolling Stones
Rock Steady – Aretha Franklin
Down Down the Deep River – Okkervil River
Pusher Love Girl – Justin Timberlake
Shake It Out – Florence + The Machine
La Salsa La Traigo Yo – Sonora Carruseles
The President’s Evening Playlist
My Favorite Things – John Coltrane
Superpower (feat. Frank Ocean) – Beyoncé
Moondance – Van Morrison
Is Your Love Big Enough? – Lianne La Havas
How Can You Mend a Broken Heart – Al Green
Red & White & Blue & Gold – Aoife O’Donovan
Nothing Even Matters – Lauryn Hill
The Best Is Yet to Come – Frank Sinatra
You Don’t Know Me – Ray Charles
I Found My Everything – Mary J Blige
Help Me – Joni Mitchell
I’ve Got Dreams to Remember – Otis Redding
Suzanne – Leonard Cohen
Feeling Good – Nina Simone
Stubborn Love – The Lumineers
Until – Cassandra Wilson
UMI Says – Mos Def
The Very Thought of You – Billie Holiday
Flamenco Sketches – Miles Davis
Woo – Erykah Badu