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    I, A Millennial, Asked A Dad For Music Recommendations And It Actually Went Amazing

    Good music is timeless, TBH.

    Hi, we're Sam and Mike. Sam is 26 and Mike is...not 26. But we have at least one major thing in common: We both LOVE music.

    Sam Stryker / Mike Spohr

    We know this because one time Sam had to show Mike how to use Spotify. It's cool.

    We're both always looking for new music (AND sharing music with others), so we thought it would be cool if Mike gave Sam old-school music recommendations based on some of today's hottest artists.

    Would we succeed? Would we fail? Would we never talk to each other again? Only time would tell...

    1. Sam loves Lady Gaga...

    Christopher Polk / Getty Images

    Sam: It's crazy thinking that Gaga has been on the pop music scene for almost a decade, but "Just Dance" was released all the way back in 2008! What I love about her is she isn't afraid to try new stuff — she was pop on The Fame and went to darker places for The Fame Monster. She's done jazz (I don't want to talk about it), rock, country (LOL Joanne) — but the common thread is that she sings about fame, excess, and wanting to make it big. Also please #BuyTheCureOniTunes.

    I'm looking for something like: "Bad Romance" Mike suggested Freddie Mercury and Queen!

    Express Newspapers / Getty Images

    Mike: I have no qualms with Gaga. I think she's great. Now, I've seen her compared to Freddie before, but it's really a fitting comparison. Like Lady Gaga, Freddie was a top-flight songwriter, had a huge voice (the hugest?), wasn't afraid to genre-jump, and was totally magnetic onstage. Could you imagine the halftime show Freddie and Queen would have put on at the Super Bowl? He's a legend and she's well on her way.

    Start with: "Bohemian Rhapsody"

    Sam's verdict:

    OK, I've listened to a fair amount of Queen, but not through the lens of a Lady Gaga fan — and the suggestion makes perfect sense; they honestly belong on a playlist together! Also, fun fact: She took her stage name from the Queen song "Radio Ga Ga" (HER PARENTS DIDN'T NAME HER LADY GAGA).

    2. Next up, Sam *loves* some Beyoncé...

    Christopher Polk / Getty Images

    Sam: Beyoncé herself is no stranger to old-school music, whether it's dressing up as Rhythm Nation-era Janet Jackson for Halloween or sampling Led Zeppelin on Lemonade. I think what I love about Beyoncé isn't just how singular she is (or how she has Sia locked in her basement), but how she sort of transcends genres in her work. Her voice speaks for itself! (Also if there's one thing I've learned working on the internet it's never, ever fuck with The Hive.)

    I'm looking for something like: "Drunk in Love"

    ...and Mike suggested Tina Turner!

    Gary Merrin / Getty Images

    Mike: Man, Beyoncé has been at it so long I first heard of her (with Destiny's Child) when I was still in college. She is a legend, and if anyone has a spare ticket to one of her shows I'd love to tag along. Looking backwards, Tina Turner immediately comes to mind. Like Beyoncé, she can sing, dance, and PUT ON A SHOW (YouTube her singing "Proud Mary"). She kept the hits coming from the '60s to the '90s and what more can I say? Just listen to her — a legend among legends. Side note: I learned every word to "Private Dancer" when it came out, which is maybe a weird thing for a 9-year-old to do?

    Start with: "Proud Mary"

    Sam's verdict:

    Like Queen, I've listened to some Tina Turner before, but I forgot how mature and raspy her voice a GREAT way. I dig it and the Beyoncé comparison is so, so valid.

    3. Rihanna is full of talent AND attitude...

    Christopher Polk / Getty Images

    Sam: Rihanna is arguably the most exciting celebrity in the pop culture landscape, period. She's a fashion icon, she's AMAZING on social media, all of her songs chart well (yet she still maintains her artistry), AND she's done it all before the age of 30. Also, remember the time she rolled a blunt on her bodyguard's head at Coachella? (Please google that if you haven't.) I think what's so amazing about her is she DGAF and is so authentically herself. She's as evolved as an artist, but she's ALWAYS been BadGalRiRi.

    I'm looking for something like: "Sex With Me" Mike thought Whitney Houston fit the bill!

    Kevin Winter / Getty Images

    Mike: So it seems to me like younger people don't really think of Rihanna as a singer. All I hear is talk of how she's great on Instagram or whatever, but to these aging ears she can SING! And while her voice probably can't go as far as Whitney's did, it is very enjoyable to listen to. Also, Whitney — like Rihanna — could range from dance tracks to ballads, and always nailed it. And before you say this is a "duh" suggestion, ask yourself how much of Whitney's music you've really dug into lately. If not all of it, give it another listen!

    Start with: "How Will I Know"

    Sam's verdict:

    Listen, being compared to Whitney Houston is a TALL order — even though I'm a wee little babe, I've listed to enough of her music to know that. But I think Mike is right — if anyone can stand up to her, it's Ri.

    4. Nowadays, no one is better at tugging at heartstrings than Adele...

    Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images

    Sam: I mean, do I even need to say why Adele is iconic? She actually has a vintage-y sound so I feel like I'm cheating a bit, but whatever. The sweeping vocals, her warm personality — she just has that "it" factor. Oh, and her "Carpool Karaoke" segment where she rapped Nicki Minaj's verse from "Monster" leaves me desperately in need of an Adele rap mixtape. She's even got bars! I KNOW you've got someone good for me!

    I'm looking for something like: "Water Under the Bridge" Mike's selection was Joni Mitchell.

    Jeff Haynes / AFP / Getty Images

    Mike: Well, every 40-year-old has an Adele CD in their car and I'm no different. (I got it at Starbucks, no less!) Adele's voice is larger than life, so in that regard Joni Mitchell might not sound like the perfect recommendation (although she sings beautifully too). But Joni is a musical genius, and her music is disarmingly personal and emotional, just like Adele's. Listen to Blue and tell me you wouldn't want to hear Adele cover every song. (Seriously, if you only take one suggestion here, go listen to Blue.)

    Start with: "River"

    Sam's verdict:

    Joni's definitely a little more...acoustic...than I'm used to listening to, but I totally see the talent. Maybe on a rainy day I could jam to this — although we don't get a lot of those in LA!

    5. Regardless of your opinion of her, Taylor Swift is one of the most successful singer-songwriters alive...

    Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

    Sam: Swift is polarizing (don't ask me, ask Kim Kardashian...or Katy Perry...or Demi Lovato...) but there's no denying she can churn out hits — I mean, most artists dream of accomplishing HALF of what she did with 1989 alone. Swift is not the strongest vocalist, but her lyrics — oh, her lyrics are the type of writing you can't help but scream-shout-sing at the top of your lungs.

    I'm looking for something like: "Style" Mike went outside the box, and chose Carole King.

    Matt King / Getty Images

    Mike: Hey, if you forget all the drama with Taylor, you're left with a singer/songwriter who has done what very few others have in modern music history — established herself as a hitmaker in her teens and then gone on to write and record hit after hit. Carole King may not be the perfect fit — Taylor started in country while Carole's roots are pure Brill Building pop — but like Taylor she got started as a teen and never stopped. She wrote 118 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, like "I Feel the Earth Move" and "You Make Me Feel Like (A Natural Woman)," and her classic album Tapestry was as confessional as Taylor's songs.

    Start with: "It's Too Late"

    Sam's verdict:

    OK damn, Miss King has the range! I can get down with this. Her music makes me feel a little more classy, cultured, and sophisticated than I really am!

    6. Kanye West isn't just a rapper, he's a creative genius...

    Dimitrios Kambouris

    Sam: Kanye transcends rap with his larger-than-life personality. Everything he does — whether you love him or hate him — really feels like a significant pop culture moment (remember shutter shades?). His "Glow in the Dark" tour was one of my first concerts I went to and I'll really never forget it, it was THAT powerful. I'm really excited to see what you've got in store for me!

    I'm looking for something like: "Famous"

    ...and in an ironic twist of fate, Mike chose Beck!

    Kevin Winter / Getty Images

    Mike: Kanye may not have quite known who Beck was when he stormed the stage to protest his Album of the Year win over Beyoncé at the 2015 Grammys, but the irony is that Kanye would likely love Beck's '90s work. Beck may be more singer/songwriter today, but his '90s albums (especially his classic, Odelay) had a lot in common with Kanye's work — wildly inventive production, hip-hop elements, earworms for days, and brilliant, out-of-left-field rhymes. He was an innovative video artist, too, and used to tour with a marionette version of his band performing alongside him. Now that's a stunt Kanye wishes he'd thought of first.

    Start with: "Where It's At"

    Sam's verdict:

    Like Kanye, I'll still take Beyoncé. Sorry!

    7. Ed Sheeran is another super-talented singer-songwriter...

    Ethan Miller / Getty Images

    Sam: I'll admit: I don't *quite* get the appeal of Ed Sheeran (also his tattoo choices have me questioning his ability to make rational decisions), but then again, I'm certainly not his target demo! That being said, there's no denying Sheeran can write and record the type of earworm-y track that has universal appeal — it's like he was designed in a lab to churn out #1 radio hits.

    I'm looking for something like: "The Shape of You" Mike went with the trio of Elliott Smith, Nick Drake, and Labi Siffre.

    EMI / PYE / China

    Mike: I hadn't actually listened to Sheeran until just now, and he's not bad. Got some nice singer-songwriter chops that he mixes well with modernish production. But if you like him you should check out these fairly under-the-radar but totally brilliant singer-songwriters. Tragically, both Smith (who wrote the songs for Good Will Hunting) and Nick Drake ("Pink Moon") killed themselves, and turbulent emotions can be heard in their stunningly beautiful melodies. Siffre is alive and well, but wrote songs that were just as beautiful (and catchy), including "Watch Me," which is that amazing song from the This Is Us commercial.

    Start with: "Between the Bars" (Smith), "Pink Moon" (Drake), and "Watch Me" (Siffre)

    Sam's verdict:

    Siffre gets a pass. As for the other two...well, let's just say I'll be spinning Whitney again.

    8. OK, he's sure to spark conversation, but there's no denying Justin Bieber is a big frickin' deal...

    Kevin Winter / Getty Images

    Sam: Bieber is a polarizing figure to be sure, but there's no denying the obvious: With his latest album, Purpose, he grew up, went back to basics, and churned out a slew of hits. When he focuses solely on his music, he's the most exciting male pop star alive. I think the appeal of Bieber is whether he's singing over a fist-pumping EDM track like "Where Are Ü Now" or something slower like "Love Yourself," you can't help but sing along. He cuts right to what makes a pop track great, and it's infectious. Also, he has a cute butt.

    I'm looking for something like: "Sorry"

    ...and Mike's choice, Stevie Wonder, totally fits the bill!

    Ethan Miller / Getty Images

    Mike: Eh, I've always thought the Biebs was a little punk (still do, actually) but I have to grudgingly admit Purpose was terrific. Why would I dare besmirch the great Stevie Wonder by comparing him to Bieber? Well, both Bieber and "Little Stevie" (as he was first called) made their names as early teens, both have serious pop/R&B chops, and Bieber even covered Stevie's "Someday at Christmas" (Thanks, Google!). In all seriousness, Stevie Wonder is a foundation for a lot of what Bieber does, so you should check it out if you like the Canuck. (You should check it out anyway, actually.)

    Start with: "Superstition"

    Sam's verdict:

    Do I have two ears and a heart? OF COURSE I LOVE STEVIE WONDER.

    9. No one in music today is quite on Bruno Mars' level of energy...

    Kevin Winter / Getty Images

    Sam: Bruno Mars' appeal is largely rooted in his old-school appeal — think "Uptown Funk" and its funky '80s sound. But there's also something about his energy — he drips with optimism, and it's hard to not picture him with a smile on his face. He's a go-to artist when you need a track that will pick your day up. Also, moms LOVE Bruno Mars.

    I'm looking for something like: "Uptown Funk" Mike went back to James Brown to find the perfect fit.

    Frank Micelotta / Getty Images

    Mike: Bruno Mars is a major talent, a true performer in the old sense. And even though my 4-year-old listened to "Uptown Funk" at least 10,000 times last year, I still like the guy. Now — controversial statement ahead — I actually think Bruno has more range than the legendary James Brown (who mainly stuck to the uptempo funk). But nobody brought the party to the stage like James Brown (not even Bruno), and if you like "Uptown Funk," well, James Brown probably has 100 songs you will love just as much.

    Start with: "Get Up Offa That Thing"

    Sam's verdict:

    YES! Brown totally matches Mars' manic energy. My only question is, did moms love him as much too?

    10. You've heard The Weeknd's stuff all over the radio...

    Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

    Sam: Like Sheeran, I'm not the biggest fan of The Weeknd but I get why he's popular — but where's the last E in his name? He feels edgier than the other male acts on this list (a little darker, a little druggier), yet he's shifted to a more radio-friendly sound with recent releases. His voice sounds Michael Jackson-esque, and I dig his alt-R&B-meets-pop sound.

    I'm looking for something like: "I Can't Feel My Face"

    ...and Mike thought Michael Jackson was a natural fit.

    Afp / AFP / Getty Images

    Mike: I like The Weeknd's singles, and I hear Michael Jackson in them, too. So I suggest...Michael Jackson! Look, just like I wrote about Whitney Houston, I know you've HEARD of MJ and know "Beat It," but how deep have you gone into his catalogue? If you like The Weeknd, you'll enjoy giving Off the Wall and Thriller a deep dive. He may have anointed himself the King of Pop, but he fucking IS. You'd probably dig the Jacksons too, especially "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)."

    Start with: "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)"

    Sam's verdict:

    *Moonwalks across the BuzzFeed office.*

    11. Finally, Sam loves Lana Del Rey's ethereal voice...

    Samir Hussein / Getty Images

    Sam: Lana is another artist on this list whose appeal is distinctly rooted in nostalgia, this time of '60s and '70s lounge singers. With her ethereal voice and resplendent fashion choices, everything about her feels like a carefully chosen decision to create this musical character meant to evoke crooners of yore. And she's pretty darn good at it, so now I want some more.

    I'm looking for something like: "Young & Beautiful" Mike chose Fiona Apple AND Billie Holiday.

    Erika Goldring

    Mike: I got cool points with Sam last year when I told him I was a fan of Lana Del Rey. Her music evokes such a cool mood, you want to hear it again and again. Billie Holiday is OLD school, but if you like the torch singing Lana does, it all began with the amazing Billie Holiday. But a more modern reference is Fiona Apple, whose music sounds like it is made by an eccentric, damaged genius (which it is, I guess?). Many of her songs, like "Shadowboxer," sound Lana-esque, but even when they go their own way they create a mood that sweeps you up, just like Lana's music.

    Start with: "Shadowboxer" (Apple) and "All of Me" (Holiday)

    Sam's verdict:

    Yes, I can stan these two legends! Love how they both remind me of Lana in different ways (Apple's attitude, Holiday's vocals).

    And here's a playlist of most of the artists on this list for your listening pleasure!