Song Exploder: Season 1 – Review

Song Exploder premieres October 2 on Netflix.

By Ariba Bhuvad

Are you a fan of music? Have you ever wondered about the genius involved with creating it? Well, Song Exploder is likely the show for you. If the name sounds familiar to you it’s probably because you’ve come across the podcast it stems from. In fact, it’s the longest-running music podcast dating back to 2014, created by the one and only Hrishikesh Hirway (with the calmest and smoothest voice ever). For the West Wing fans out there, he’s also the creator of The West Wing Weekly podcast.

Taking it from the hidden format of a podcast to a Netflix docuseries, Song Exploder dedicates each episode to one artist ranging from R.E.M. to Ty Dolla $ign to Lin-Manuel Miranda – and even Alicia Keys! Whether or not you’ve heard of these artists or the others participating in the series, Song Exploder finds a way to pull you into every episode.

Each musician reveals their musical process from start to finish–from creating the music and lyrics to the deeper meaning embedded within the song of focus. Along the way, you meet those that helped them on their journey of creating the song, and truly get a grasp on the analysis of their musical genius.

If you’ve listened to Hirway’s podcast before, then it’s basically the same format but just translated to the screen. Personally, watching it come to life with Hirway and the artist sitting across from one another made the whole experience visceral and riveting. I was intrigued by the entire process and even more so by their motivations and inspirations behind the particular song they were discussing.

The standout element of Song Exploder is the fact that it is incredibly diverse. The podcast is like this, and I was thrilled to see the Netflix docuseries keep the same tone. We get some rock, rap, and Broadway, which allows viewers to expand their musical horizons and understand a different genre of music.

We get a different perspective on artists we may have never thought to listen to before, and for that, Song Exploder truly gets a raving review from me!

I give Song Exploder a B+.