One of the classiest R&B singles to grace the pop charts in years, this song really shows how far Timberlake has come since his beginnings in a schlocky boy-band. With its blend of classic R&B sounds and Swing influences, this is another clear sign of pop music becoming more intelligent and sophisticated in the last few years, and it’s songs like this and the old-style R&B hits that followed it that make me optimistic about the future of modern music.
Archives for January 2013
This is pretty widely considered to be OneDirection’s worst single, and I’m not inclined to argue. The lyrics are so poorly chosen and bizarrely bad that it almost sounds like a Train song.
This song was co-written by Mike Posner, and it can best be described as a version of “Cooler Than Me” that works. The music features the same underrated sense of melody Posner displayed in “Cooler Than Me”, and the lyrics could be described as a sweet reversal of the petty tone of “Cooler Than Me”, with the singer asking gently to see beneath the listener’s glamorous façade rather than attacking her for having one. In spite of his questionable credentials as a performer, I always thought Posner had songwriting talent, and this truly beautiful song, exquisitely sung by Labrinth and Emili Sande, proves that fact beyond a shadow of a doubt.
I have to say, this rousing R&B stomper is _vastly_ superior to Little Mix’s first hit (i.e. their butchering of Damien Rice’s “Cannonball”). It’s been described as a cross between Christina Aguilera and Girl Aloud, and while the lyrics do sort of recycle Girls Aloud’s trademark female-empowerment slogans, the production is quite distinctive, combining a number of seemingly disparate musical elements into a busy but fascinating mix. I’m still kind of mad at them for the “Cannonball” cover, but I have to admit, I can see why the British press are making such a big deal out of this single.
This is another “When We Collide”…that is, another case of taking an interesting song and sanding off all of the elements that made it interesting in the first place, and then presenting it as just another bland pop song. Here, manufactured girl-group Little Mix have, in return for winning a meaningless TV contest, been offered the chance to butcher a haunting folk tune by the talented Irish singer-songwriter Damien Rice. If you need a bland pop tune, why not just write a bland pop tune? I refuse to believe those things are hard to write.
This is a strong, biting and extremely personal rap song, and I am not the first to compare it to Eminem’s more serious efforts, but I can’t offer any higher compliment than that.
This is just idiotic, basically consisting of a female singer with a thick and very incongruous Dutch accent insulting the Spanish for partying (I don’t know either) and repeating the phrase “What the Fuck?” over and over. Next to “Swagger Jagger”, this is probably the worst British single I’ve covered for this section so far.
The actual music to this song isn’t bad, especially once the gospel backing choir comes in, but Dappy’s lyrics (‘Dappy’? Seriously?) are terrible, consisting of little more than a string of dropped names of bigger and more important celebrities.