By: Kate McBride || Arts & Leisure Editor

When it comes to music, I’ve found that I can only listen to the same mix of artists so many times before I start to get tired of them. Spotify does a pretty decent job of curating playlists that are specific to each user (Discover Weekly, On Repeat, Daily Mixes, etc), and Apple Music does something quite similar (i.e. For You mixes). I often find myself in pursuit of variety in my music—but not knowing where to start. Maybe you’ve heard a few things from other genres or styles of music, but you aren’t sure how to dive in.

My solution? YouTube.

YouTube has become my number one side-kick in guiding me out of my melodic comfort zone. There are countless music review and reaction channels to choose from, and I have curated some of the channels that have introduced me to some of my absolute favorite music.

1. Turning the Tables

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I’m starting this one with a bang: Turning the Tables. These guys are relatively new to the music reaction scene, and they’re awesome. The concept of this channel is very simple: Connor sits down with his dad, Kevin—each with a mug of tea in hand—and they go track-by-track through one of Connor’s hand-picked albums. Connor has an extraordinarily broad taste in music, so it is almost impossible to predict what album they will delve into next: Radiohead, Kid Cudi, Daft Punk, Phoebe Bridgers, Father John Misty, Charli XCX—you get the point, they really cover their bases. Open-mindedness with music is a bit hard to come by, but Kevin is always so ecstatic about delving into the albums that his son loves so dearly—it really is lovely to watch. The father-and-son duo provide captivating commentary on the lyrics, production, and vocals of each record. Experiencing the joy that comes along with hearing your favorite album for the first time is a feeling unlike any other—Connor and Kevin give us that gift with the release of each new video.

Dad Reacts to Kid Cudi – Man on the Moon: The End of Day
Dad Reacts to Radiohead – In Rainbows
Dad Reacts to Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d city

2. NPR Music (Tiny Desk Concerts)

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While this isn’t a music review or reaction channel per se, I simply cannot resist the urge to throw this one in. If you’ve ever craved the experience of seeing your favorite performer live in an intimate setting, the NPR Tiny Desk Concerts are best at filling that void. Behind a knick-knack, paper, and book-filled desk sits some of the most legendary artists of the day, including but not limited to: Mac Miller, Harry Styles, Tyler, the Creator, Masego, Thundercat, Taylor Swift—the list goes on and on. Each artist plays around three to five of their own songs (and some of them even sing covers of other artists’ songs, as well). These are some of the most raw performances that you’ll find for the majority of these artists, all in one channel.

Mac Miller: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert
Tyler, the Creator: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert
Perfume Genius: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

3. Anthony Fantano (TheNeedleDrop)

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You know I had to do it. If you have dipped even a toe into the lore of record reviews, I would bet on the fact that you’ve stumbled across an Anthony Fantano video. Revered by millions for his bite-size criticism of newly-released albums (as well as the occasional classic), Fantano—kindly known as “The Melon” amongst his diehard viewers—stands at the forefront of this sector of Youtube. Following a few minutes of track-by-track commentary, Fantano rates each album on a score from one to ten, with a ten rating being saved for only those most deserving. Over the last decade, Anthony has uploaded thousands of videos (across platforms including YouTube and Twitch). If you’re looking to start somewhere, TheNeedleDrop is without a doubt the way to go.

Sevdaliza – Shabrang ALBUM REVIEW
Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly ALBUM REVIEW
Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher ALBUM REVIEW

Sophomore Kate McBride is the Arts & Leisure Editor. Her email is