It’s going to be an awkward Thanksgiving for families across America this year. And while constructive conversation is encouraged, we’re offering a nonpartisan playlist to help cool any tension before, during, and after dinner table debates.
It was a controversial year for music as well, however, as artists engaged with politics more than at any other point in recent memory — whether they meant to or not. Beyoncé‘s performance with the Dixie Chicks at the Country Music Awards this month, for example, outraged country’s more conservative fans. And just this weekend, Beyoncé got wrapped up in Kanye West‘s Donald Trump tirade. Then, when you thought Hamilton might be the last safe haven, Mike Pence shows up and gets booed, leading to a Trump rant on social media (he wrested control of his Twitter machine back from his staff, apparently).
Alas, we’ll always have universal truths, like Adele, to hold us together. And the youthful brothers of Rae Sremmurd are bridging generational gaps with their “Black Beatles” single, which Paul McCartney himself responded to. (Don’t tell your family that Hillary Clinton used it in her #MannequinChallenge video, though.) Plus, we’ve got Chance the Rapper for a little spiritual healing, Solange’s very appropriate album, “A Seat At The Table,” and some Leonard Cohen, naturally. We should be thankful he gave so much so late in life.
Below, 10 songs that reach across the aisle, as you reach across a groaning table.