The Zac Brown Band are one of the most consistent acts in the modern country genre, and this is one of their most beautiful songs yet, with an affecting lyric, impressive instrumentation and particularly gorgeous vocal harmonies.
Archives for January 2014
The lead single from the Prism album, “Roar”, was a return to Katy Perry’s ‘classic’ style, but this follow-up is just another of her delusional attempts to reinvent herself as a ‘serious’ artist. Not only is it the first intentional attempt to co-opt Trap music for a sellout pop song (“Harlem Shake” having essentially been an accident), it’s one of trashiest, most ridiculous songs of Perry’s career, with a convoluted concept that fails on every possible level. Combine this with a terrible guest verse by idiot rapper Juicy J, and you have easily the worst single Perry has ever released.
Pharrell Williams was a guest artist on two of the best and most successful dance tracks of the year, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”. This song, which was apparently written for the soundtrack to a CGI animated movie, is a retro-style dance track very much in the same vein as and of comparable quality to his previous hits, so it’s not surprising it achieved similar success.
The score of Wicked is one of the few pieces of Broadway-related music to penetrate the mainstream pop consciousness in the current century, and it largely has Glee to thank for that fact. This softer, abbreviated version of the show’s famous showstopper doesn’t achieve the impact the song has in the actual show, but Lea Michele and Chris Colfer certainly sing it beautifully.
Soulja Boy, who burst on the scene with the maddeningly annoying dance novelty “Crank Dat” in 2007, is, or rather was, one of the worst and stupidest rap acts in the entire history of the genre, ranking alongside the likes of Vanilla Ice and Insane Clown Posse. Roughly between 2007 and 2009, he released a string of the most repulsive rap songs of his generation, but this, thank God, was the last time he would ever trouble the Top Forty.
This is one of the finest items from Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album, with Kanye’s gloriously funky beat and one of Nicki Minaj’s best verses ever being particularly outstanding.
This was Taylor Swift’s musical response to the whole Kanye West/VMAs unpleasantness. Oddly, given Swift’s often vicious songs directed as those who’ve wronged her, this song is surprisingly sympathetic and forgiving. It’s a beautiful and deeply touching song that shows off Swift’s depth as a songwriter, and is one of the most interesting items on the brilliant Speak Now album.
This epic, ten-minute song was the centerpiece of Kanye West’s brilliant My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album. It isn’t the best of the albums’ singles, and the lyric is quirky to the point of being downright strange, but the music itself is lush and frankly gorgeous, and the song as a whole is one of Kanye’s most fascinating compositions.