One more sign that the Glam Rap genre is dying is the fact that all the new names in the last few years have been either blatantly loathsome like 2Chainz or Big Sean or completely impossible to take seriously, like Iggy Azalea or this moron. This song would actually later form the basis for the sublime smash hit “Uptown Funk”, but it’s hard to believe when you listen to this cliche-ridden, almost self-parodistic piece of trash that anything that wonderful could possibly have been made out of it.
This song is a frustrating combination of a gorgeous Quiet Storm melody with lyrics as stupid as those in “The Lazy Song”. If Bruno Mars likes to write the occasional stupid novelty song, I suppose he can be forgiven, given how consistent the rest of his output is, but I wish he had made better use of this tune.
This song was written by a terminally ill musician, and managed to provide him with his only hit before his death. Obviously everyone wanted to like this song for reasons not entirely related to its quality, but the truth is that it really is quite good, a well-written and touching song about the fear and uncertainty of impending death, and I like to think it would have succeeded even without the surrounding circumstances.
Wow. I know the Club Dance charts should have stopped surprising me by now, but I never thought I would see Akon’s name on _any_ chart again. This House-Music jam has a capable enough production by Dave Aude, although Luciana plays second fiddle to the much less talented Akon here. But Akon’s fingerprints are all over the lyrics, a posturing sex jam dedicated to ‘Good girls who want a bad boy’ and replete with such questionable phrases as ‘I wanna rip you’.
Korn were actually a pretty decent band in their prime, but their horrifying 2011 album The Path of Totality was legitimately hated even by their fans. The album this single came off of features the return of their original guitarist Brian Welch and was one of their periodic attempts to recapture their original sound, but this lead single is a dubstep-infused dance-rock song that would have seemed totally at home on The Path of Totality. Apparently, the band saw releasing this completely misleading track as a lead single as some kind of practical joke on the fans, but I will admit that the actual album is the best thing they’ve released in years.
All of the genre charts I’ve been covering for the past year or so have been fascinating learning experiences, but the Club Dance charts are just weird. I’d really like to meet one of these Billboard-authorized DJs, because you wouldn’t believe the stuff that regularly reaches number one on this chart. I mean, okay, you’ve got your niche house-music names like Dave Aude, and your minor hits by established artists (“Chasing the Sun”, “Catch My Breath”, etc.). But then you have items by bands you didn’t even know were still together (Depeche Mode’s “Heaven”, for example), awful novelties that you can’t imagine anyone dancing to (“Peacock” being the most egregious example), and stuff that is so bizarre and out of place it defies description. Either this is Yoko Ono’s sixth (count ‘em, six) Number One hit on the Club Dance charts in the current decade alone, or I’ve finally gone insane. Frankly, the latter would surprise me a lot less.
This may be the first instance of an Indie band ‘selling out’ (or at least altering its sound to be more ‘mainstream’) while still staying entirely within the genre of crossover Indie Rock. Fitz and the Tantrums were initially a Motown-influenced soul-rock band with an extremely distinctive sound, but on their latest album they’ve altered their style to be more in line with the most common sound among Indie crossovers acts, such as fun. or Imagine Dragons. They haven’t sacrificed their quality, as this is still an excellent song, with a particularly moving lyric, but it does give one pause to know that the Indie Rock crossover trend has become so established that bands are actually changing their sound to match this new definition of ‘mainstream’.
As modern metal bands go, Five Finger Death Punch are one of the worst, and this song is their typical melodramatic caricature, but having the legendary lead singer of Judas Priest as a guest vocalist does provide a very nice compensation for the song’s failings.