I have no idea how the Hell this song got nominated for a Grammy. I’m not the world’s biggest admirer of Wiz Khalifa, but he’s not usually _this_ bad. Also, I know Khalifa was the last one to have a hit with the ‘repeat a simple phrase over and over to simulate a catchy hook’ formula, but given that all the songs that have tried it since were dismal failures, did he really think he was going to get away with it today?
Archives for December 2014
I suppose now we’re going to get a Pentatonix Christmas single every year at this time. Well, I’m not the world’s biggest admirer of Contemporary Christian Music, but I have to admit that this is an exceptionally pretty song, and makes a much better showcase for Pentatonix than “Little Drummer Boy” did last year. In fact, I have to applaud Pentatonix for finally getting this lovely song on the charts after years of failed attempts by such big names as Cee Lo Green.
Even if it has a vocal sung by a famous movie star, it’s not every day you hear a track from a James Newton Howard film score on the pop charts. Howard is known for composing the music for such films as The Sixth Sense and the Dark Knight trilogy, and he brings a similarly ominous quality to this quietly intense folklike ballad co-written with the songwriters from the Lumineers. Jennifer Lawrence’s raw and striking vocal performance is also a surprise, and it only adds to the song’s haunting effect.
The prototypical Charity Single, “Do They Know It’s Christmas” ranks down there with “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” and “The Christmas Shoes” as one of the very worst modern Christmas standards. At least its American counterpart “We Are the World” had a good tune; this is just an utterly unpleasant guilt-trip ballad, complete with an incredibly condescending portrayal of the people it’s trying to help. And amazingly, this remake actually manages to be _worse_ than the original version. The performances are ghastly, comparable to those on the 2010 “We Are the World” remake, and the attempts to update the lyrics has only made them worse. This is one of the worst charity singles of the decade, right up there with the “We Are the World” remake and One Direction’s misguided cover of “One Way Or Another” and “Teenage Kicks”.
Verdict: Worse than the already horrendous original, which I wouldn’t have thought was even possible.
I’ll admit I found Gomez’ last big hit, “Come and Get It”, rather intriguing by her usual standards, but nothing could have prepared me for this. If it weren’t for Gomez’ recognizable vocals, I’d have expected this song to be by an Indie Pop performer like Lana Del Rey rather than a former Disney star previously known for making shallow dance-pop. This is a huge step in the right direction for Gomez, and a clear sign that she has decided to follow in her peer Demi Lovato’s footsteps rather than those of Miley Cyrus.