Minaj’s work on this track, while not nearly as bad as what she’d do in the near future, is generally slightly subpar, with some genuinely inexplicable word choices. Eminem’s brilliant guest verses are pretty much left to carry the whole track, which they do, but while this song is ultimately fairly effective, it could have been a lot better if Minaj herself were in better form.
Archives for January 2015
It’s pretty widely acknowledged that Avril Lavigne hasn’t done anything worthwhile in over a decade, but this is pretty bad even for her. It’s a lifeless, empty, almost depressing attempt at a party song, and even within that field, it’s less interesting and memorable than Miley Cyrus’ attempt at the same thing that year, “We Can’t Stop”, which might explain why that song totally overshadowed this one. Also, why do schlock-pop singers feel the need to reference Radiohead in their songs? As I’ve stated before, it’s rarely a good idea to remind people of better music they could be listening to instead.
Another track from the Blown Away album that vastly surpasses the quality of Underwood’s previous work, this song is another attempt at a Miranda Lambert-esque revenge fantasy. However, where “Before He Cheats” was merely a song about ineptly-executed vandalism, this terrifying murder ballad about two wronged women ganging up to wreak vengeance on the man who deceived them both actually achieved a level of power not seen in this kind of song since Lambert’s “Kerosene”.
Slipknot have a lot of detractors, but I’ve always been impressed by their sheer brutality and the fact that unlike most of the more popular Nu-Metal acts, they really knew how to play those instruments. This album combines the more sophisticated style they adopted later in their career with the sheer abrasive anger of their first two albums. It was made after the tragic death of one of their original members, and they really do seem to be working out their grief and pain through the music. It’s a pretty intense musical experience.
The thing about Tenacious D is that they’re a comedy act, not a Heavy Metal band. The entire joke behind them is that while they confidently declare themselves the greatest band in the world, they’re not very good, and while Kyle Gass is actually a pretty talented guitarist, Jack Black is hardly a credible Metal vocalist. That actually works here, since they’re going for an affectionate tribute (pun intended) rather than a knock-your-socks-off authentic Metal performance, and say what you will about him, Jack Black is certainly passionate about his music, which makes him a good choice for this kind of reverent valentine to a great artist. Just don’t go into this expecting it to come close to Dio’s original.
This was the final song written and recorded by the great Country musician Glen Campbell during his tragic struggle with Alzheimer’s disease, and as far as swan songs by classic musicians at the end of their careers go, this heartrending Classic Country ballad is a pretty glorious one. It’s a harrowing description of the inevitable end results of his disease, yet the music sounds just like Campbell might have written and performed it back in the Sixties, and his performance (probably because he knew it was the last track he’d ever lay down) is the most moving I’ve ever heard him give.
I found most of Beyonce’s self-titled release to be interesting and meritorious, but the stereotype that Deluxe Edition bonus tracks are just filler that wasn’t good enough for the real album has never been more true. Between an unlistenably awful Trap production, the insanely repetitive lyrics, and an ear-bleeding slathering of auto-tune on Beyonce’s voice, this is Beyonce’s worst single since “Diva”.
This sounded like an interesting, if unlikely, combination, but it works much better than anyone thought it would. McCartney doesn’t really have all that much to do on the recording, but he helped write the song, and you can really see it in the melody and the lyrical conceit, which is essentially the same as that of “Let It Be”. This is easily the best thing Kanye West has recorded since the My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album, a truly beautiful soul ballad that ranks with the best work of his career, and I’m truly surprised it wasn’t more of a hit.