All of Pitbull’s really outstanding songs (“Give Me Everything”, “Feel This Moment”) have been the result of him piggy-backing on the work of someone far more talented than himself. Like his closest peer Flo Rida, he relies on samples, star producers and big-name guest singers to disguise his own lack of substance. This song goes the sampling route, with a chorus drawn from “Tequila” by the Champs and verses modeled on “Walk This Way” by Aerosmith and Run-DMC. While most of the credit for this song goes to its superb production, it’s still the best thing Pitbull has done in well over a year.
Archives for October 2014
Derulo’s last two atrocities, “Talk Dirty” and “Wiggle”, were certainly reprehensible in their own way, but at least on them I knew what the Hell he was talking about. Here, he couches his sleazy stupidity in obscure references that I didn’t bother to try to decrypt because I could tell the answers would be stupid anyway. I’m genuinely unsure which is worse…the insulting bluntness of “Wiggle”, or watching Derulo try to be pretentious and actually manage to fail at it.
Given the title and subject matter, not to mention Lopez’s track record as a pop singer, it was kind of a given that this was not going to be a good song, but the stale, artificial Middle Eastern sounds were still completely uncalled-for. It honestly sounds like a Chris Brown composition, and in fact, for those who don’t know, that’s exactly what it is.
This song has basically the same subject matter as the disastrous “Started From the Bottom”, only here the writing is actually strong enough to back up his grandiose claims. This is Drake’s best single since “Take Care”, and probably his best actual rap song to date. Drake has never been able to maintain a consistent level of quality, but with this song he seems to be proclaiming his intent to change that, and this single almost gives me hope that he can pull it off.
Another retro-R&B piece in the same vein as “Sing”, this is essentially Ed Sheeran’s version of a Taylor Swift breakup song. He must have been taking notes during their collaboration last year, because he actually does a really good job capturing the bite and venom she typically brings to that kind of song.
As novelty dance memes go, this is significantly less interesting than either “Gangnam Style” _or_ “Harlem Shake”, which at least has the novelty of the Trap genre in its favor. This just sounds like a particularly worthless piece of generic Glam Rap, and would probably be a lot more deplorable if it wasn’t so utterly forgettable.
This is one of Eminem’s most thoughtful, introspective and self-examining songs, and it features some of his most intelligent, insightful, and brilliant lyrics. A lot of the fair-weather fans who loved him more for the controversial subject matter than the quality of his lyrics will resent him engaging in this kind of serious, contemplative material, but I consider this one of the best songs of his career so far, although it requires careful and close listening to see why.
There have been so many fascinating pieces of dance-pop on the British charts lately that my reviews of them are becoming rather monotonous, and this high-powered dance arrangement of a pop-soul ballad is another fine item in an increasingly long line.