A Look At Billboard Top 10 – Week of 8/25/14

Oh, Billboard. Well over a month later and you’re still unbelievably uninteresting.

Okay, so that’s not strictly true. I will admit that this glance-over fared much better than the previous one, which you can read here. And once again I’m going to be indecisive on how I want to handle this whole Billboard thingy and stick with the top ten.

Also, because I’m a nice person, I’m going to shake things up and provide you all with the songs for listening, right here on this blog. That’s right – I am saving you the excruciating effort of typing in the names of these songs into Google, clicking the link, and waiting for that stupid leg lotion ad that won’t leave YouTube alone to finish playing. You can thank me later.

I will make a few exceptions to the Top Ten restriction before I start reviewing the Top Ten of the Hot 100 right now, and that is only to say that Clean Bandit’s “Rather Be” is the best song of the summer and I absolutely, shamelessly, passionately, adore it. I never get tired of it.

 

 

And if you want another good listen, the Michael Jackson/Justin Timberlake song “Love Never Felt So Good” isn’t half bad either. No, not even the Justin Timberlake half.

 

 

There have been a few other good ones here and there, too. Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” has still managed to stay in the Top 20 and is actually crawling back up, if you can believe it. And yes, I can hear the moans and groans even from this side of my computer, but honestly, out of all the songs in the universe that could be overplayed as much as “Happy” I’d say we got pretty lucky, wouldn’t you?

(Wait a minute…got lucky? Like “Get Lucky”? Get it? It’s another Pharrell Williams song? Get it? Get it? I didn’t even realize I made that joke until after I wrote it!)

Anyway, you guys don’t want to hear “Happy” again so I’ll just leave the Weird Al version below instead.

 

 

But let’s talk about the Hot 100 Top 10 of right now, because there are a few surprises. A few.

1. “Rude” by MAGIC! 

 

 

You know, I’ve never particularly cared for “Rude,” but unlike most pop songs where I can kind of see the popular appeal, I just can’t figure this one out. Ever since “Rude” replaced “Fancy” as the #1 song on Billboard, I kind of stopped following Billboard for a few weeks – not for that particular reason or anything, just to take a break. I check back in a few weeks later expecting to see a whole new list, and I was honestly shocked to see that “Rude” was still at the top. Who knew that reggae-influenced pop had such staying power?

If I had to guess, I’d say that “Rude” will probably be MAGIC!’s one and only claim to fame, but I have been wrong before. If you keep going down this list you will definitely see.

2. “All About That Bass” – Meghan Trainor

 

 

When I checked back in on Billboard’s list, this song immediately popped out to me because it was one of the only songs that was marked as actually moving up in the charts, and not down, as most of the songs in the top ten have been doing as of late. And – yeah, I’m kind of surprised about the success of this one. It’s a pleasant surprise, though.

What is happening to Billboard? Some of the year’s biggest hits have very much deviated from traditional pop sounds, going for a reggae or retro feel instead. And, yeah, I’m totally a big supporter of it. Forget the loud, buzzy, repetitive EDM crap, bring me more of this.

Anyway, about the song itself, as it is by far the most interesting thing on this list, it’s…good. I had to listen to it a few times to come to that conclusion, but I think I’ve made up my mind that compared to other songs on the list, it’s good. It’s not great, but good. I think if I had to make one complaint, it would be that it doesn’t really know how it wants to get its own point across. I get that it’s criticizing societal views of weight or whatever, but I’m not really sure what being “all about that bass” has to do with body weight, unless that’s a slang term or something I’m not aware of. Also it might not help that the song contains the lines “Go ‘head and tell them skinny bitches that. Naw, I’m just playing, I know you guys even think you’re fat, but I’m here to tell you that you’re perfect” which barely escapes being hostile towards these supposed “skinny bitches” especially since being underweight can be a serious health problem, yadda yadda yadda. I’m not going to take it that seriously. Especially since the singer, Meghan Trainor, apparently said this in response to that line: “But, I’m not bashing skinny girls. Some girls have commented, ‘I’m a size zero, so you must hate me.’ But that’s not it at all! There have been battles on my YouTube page, like, ‘You don’t know what she’s talking about. She’s actually saying, ‘I know even you skinny girls struggle’.’ And that’s exactly how I feel.” Well, you might have articulated that a little better in the actual song, but for now I’m giving you the thumbs up.

3. “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith

 

 

Sam Smith, the guy with possibly the most boring name in pop music history, has written a song that isn’t actually as good as it thinks it is. It is the epitome of a mediocre song with too much false hype. Still, I do recall writing this over a month ago:

This poor guy is going to be gone by next month.

-Knife Ink, “A Look At Billboard Week of 7/11/14”

Ugh. I am bad at this.

4. “Break Free” by Ariana Grande

 

 

This is a good season for Ariana Grande, let me tell you. She has three hits in the top ten right now. Unfortunately “Break Free” is my least favorite of those three. The last time I heard it, I actually forgot it was Ariana Grande singing.

5. “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX

 

 

Okay. This is ALL I want to say about “Fancy” ever again – I sincerely wish that it had come out earlier so that Weird Al could have made a parody. That is all.

6. “Am I Wrong” by Nico & Vinz

 

 

You know, I just don’t get “Am I Wrong?”. And for all it repeats “that’s just how I feel,” I find myself screaming at the song, “HOW, SIR? HOW DO YOU FEEL?” Can anybody explain this song to me because I just. Don’t. Get. It.

7. “Problem” by Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea

 

 

I’ve already spoken about “Problem.” Not Ariana Grande’s best song, but it is admittedly catchy as hell.

8. “Black Widow” by Iggy Azalea ft. Rita Ora

 

 

I WAS RIGHT! I WAS RIGHT ABOUT SOMETHING!

Okay, I know I’m basically wrong about 95% of the time when it comes to predicting chart success, but remember this?

There’s a new Iggy Azalea song at #97 right now. Why do I have a feeling it’s going to be higher?

-Knife Ink, “A Look At Billboard 7/11/14”

Oh yeah! Who called it?

“Black Widow” is so much worse than “Fancy” it’s not even funny, and “Fancy” wasn’t even that good. I’m nobody to start judging rap, but I don’t even thing Iggy’s that great on this one. And she seems to have star quality, like she could end up making some good stuff eventually. But then again, “Black Widow” could be the greatest rap song of our generation and I wouldn’t know the difference, so I probably shouldn’t be saying anything.

9. “Chandelier” by Sia

 

 

I really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, don’t like this song.

10. “Bang Bang” by Ariana Grande, Jessie J, and Nicki Minaj

 

 

And so we come to the final song on the list, which is also the third song in the top ten to feature Ariana Grande. Kind of. When you have three major pop stars on your song you kind of have to share, if you know what I mean. And Jessie J has such a loud, blasting, grating voice that she pretty much dominates whatever song she’s in, whether it’s intentional or not. Ariana’s got a nice voice and all that, but she’s too sweet and cute to be appearing in a song with Jessie J and Nicki Minaj. There’s an imbalance here that just doesn’t make this song completely work for me. Still, I can at least see why it’s gotten popular. It is, as is now becoming associated with Ariana Grande, catchy as hell.

Besides, it will never replace the one and only “Bang Bang”.

 

 

Well, that’s all, folks. I leave you with a present: Al Stewart’s “Soho – Needless to Say” and if you find better lyrics than these in the Billboard Charts I will applaud you. Spoiler alert: you won’t.

 

 

Also follow me on Twitter. It’s for the good of humanity. Just kidding. But follow me anyway.

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A Look At Billboard – Week of 7/11/14

All right, so you’ve probably noticed that the title of this post isn’t “Billboard Top 10” as it usually is. That’s because I’ve decided to become even more annoying with these Billboard posts and basically just jump around Billboard’s list and talk about whatever I find, mainly because I’m sick of talking about the same songs over and over again, or having nothing to say about a certain song. Hopefully I will be able to address new songs and new artists I haven’t before, as well as refresh certain views on artists I have talked about before.

Speaking of which, let’s start with a little band called Maroon 5.

9. “Maps” by Maroon 5

There are many things in this world I hate, and one of those things is Maroon 5. But I’ve realized recently that hate might really be geared towards the main face of the band, Adam Levine. You see, I’ve heard bands that create the same bland, boring songs over and over again (*cough* Coldplay), but there are very few bands whose lead singer’s voice closely resembles an autotuned injured wolf. Every time Adam Levine goes into the falsest of autotuned falsettos, I kind of want to punch something.

“Maps” is no different from any other Maroon 5 song – boring, bland, and incredibly annoying. Because of this, I find that in order to even tell one song apart from the other I have to watch the music videos, which is unfortunate, because Maroon 5’s music videos are just…awful.

The music video for “Maps” features a woman whom Adam Levine apparently had a relationship with getting hit by a car, and we have to watch people bring her bloody, dismembered body into the emergency room, and then Adam Levine sings a song that is, of course, all about him and how she treated him terribly.

Wow. Adam Levine, you are a reprehensible human being. Please stop trying to make music.

All right, moving onto #5.

Who the hell is Sam Smith?

5. “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith

First of all, Sam Smith, if that is his real name, should probably have changed it to something a little more memorable. I mean, you don’t get much more boring than that. Sam Smith. This poor guy is going to be gone by next month. Unless, of course, his music is good enough to keep him in the spotlight.

Which, it isn’t, really, but I will cut “Stay With Me” a little bit of slack because while I don’t think it’s good, I don’t really think it’s bad, necessarily. I like the layers of harmony on the chorus, I like the one itsy bitsy chord that, for a brief moment in time, verges away from the four chords of pop. The song would be improved if Sam Smith didn’t sound like he was singing with a pillow over his face, but I honestly can’t bring myself to hate this one too much. I don’t see it sticking around, but my predictions have been wrong before.

7. “Summer” by Calvin Harris

I’m not at all familiar with Calvin Harris, so I have to ask: does he sound like he has the flu on all of his songs?

11. “Latch” by Disclosure feat. Sam Smith

Bland. And Sam Smith’s voice goes from muffled to annoying.

28. “Me And My Broken Heart” by Rixton

Who the hell is Rixton??! What is happening to Billboard?

I actually think I could get into this song, if I were in a good mood. It uses a chord progression (or almost uses it) that I haven’t heard in a while and is welcome, although I wish they could have used it like Al Stewart did in “The Palace of Versailles.” Which is, like, the best song ever.

2. “Rude” by MAGIC!

I very much appreciate the reggae beat. Now, if only I could erase the premise and the lyrics of this song (neither of which are very good) every time I hear it, it might be a little more enjoyable. Still, I can’t pretend like I hate it.

Oh, yeah, and MAGIC! is possibly the dumbest name for a band.

Ever.

15. “Break Free” by Ariana Grande ft. Zedd

Ariana Grande wasn’t too successful with her huge hit “Problem,” in my opinion, but she’s talented enough to redeem herself. Although teaming up with Zedd, who did the abomination of a song “Clarity,” doesn’t give me much hope.

(After listen)

…Boooring. Moving on.

14. “Classic” by MKTO

Eh…it’s okay, I guess. I certainly don’t hate it. I do wish it actually sounded more “classic.”

16. “Amnesia” by 5 Seconds of Summer

First observation: if you want to be a successful, chart-topping music group, naming your band “5 Seconds of Summer” probably isn’t the smartest idea.

Second observation: I think I’ve heard this song ten million times, under different names by different artists.

Third observation: 5 seconds of summer is probably all 5 Seconds of Summer is going to get on Billboard, relatively speaking.

20. “Boom Clap” by Charli XCX

This song is literally the most annoyingly dangerous thing in the universe. I almost didn’t put it on this list because I knew once I typed the title it would start playing in my head and never ever leave. I’m serious. It’s an absolute parasite of a song. It will suck out your major thought processes and leave you with nothing but a loud, obnoxious pop song playing in your head for eternity. Don’t listen to this song if you haven’t done so yet. Escape it while you can.

17. “Chandelier” by Sia

I can’t understand a single word she’s singing. She sounds drunk.

38. “Come With Me Now” by KONGOS

Now THAT’S what I’m talking about! Accordions! Guitar solos! ROCK! Actual rock chords and beats and vocals! YES!! ME LIKE!

Other observations…

I’m glad to see Coldplay’s song has dropped so low. I’m also sad to see that the Michael Jackson/Justin Timberlake song has as well. 😦 Much sadness.

Does Ed Sheeran only release songs with one-word titles?

Jason Derulo really has a song called “Trumpets,” which I assume is composed of the leftover sound bites from “Talk Dirty.”

There’s a new Iggy Azalea song at #97 right now. Why do I have a feeling it’s going to be higher?

A Look At Billboard Top 10 – Week of 5/25/14

Wow, finally things have changed!

As of right now, Pharrell’s song “Happy,” which sat at No. 1 for weeks, has dropped to No. 4 and has been replaced with…

…John Legend’s “All Of Me.”

…..

………..

…I just don’t know what to say. I mean…really? That song? You guys picked the blandest, most boring-as-hell, underwritten song out there?

Um, whatever floats your boat, I guess.

Anyway, let’s see what’s new on the list. And from now on, I’m only doing the top ten, simply because I don’t feel like going through the top twenty. I just don’t. Have mercy on me.

All right, let’s see what we have here…

Anything in bold is me before I listen to the song, normal type is after.

No. 2 – “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX. I’ve never heard of it. Be right back after a listen…

Well, that was a miserable 3 minutes and 24 seconds of my life. How do I describe this? It was like an endless ear raping. And it only lasted three minutes and 24 seconds. Just the same monotonous, shallow, horrible chorus over and over again, with verses that were either equally intelligent or completely unintelligible. No. 2. Huh. Billboard, you’re really starting to suck.

No. 3 – “Problem” by Ariana Grande. Oh, good! Ariana Grande. I like her. She’s actually quite talented. Let’s see what she’s got for us here.

Well, she took a leaf from Jason DeRulo’s book and added in the irresistibly catchy horn, but other than that, I’m sad to say that I don’t see anything particularly special about this song. It’s not even close to her best work, and it’s kind of annoying. Still, it’s better than the two that come before it, that’s for sure.

No. 4 – “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. I’ve already spoken about this one many, many times. It’s wearing out its welcome, but it’s still a good song.

No. 5 – “Turn Down For What” by DJ Snake and Lil Jon. I’ve already spoken about this one too. I’m going to do something absolutely shameful and quote myself.

“Turn Down For What” is not a song, but a conglomeration of the various noises emitted by autotuned robot chipmunks. It is unbearable.

I’ll keep quoting myself until the song’s taken off the list. So there.

No. 6 – “Dark Horse” by Katy Perry. GO AWAY. GO AWAY. GO AWAY.

No. 7 – “Talk Dirty” by Jason Derulo. Man, maybe the charts aren’t so different after all.

No. 8 – “Not A Bad Thing” by Justin Timberlake. Okay, I take everything back. Nothing has changed. There is absolutely nothing new on this list. Billboard sucks. The most boring song ever written is at No. 1, autotuned chipmunks dominate the No. 5 spot, Katy Perry still controls half the country’s minds and Justin Timberlake is still making bad music. Forget it. This is stupid. I’m never doing one of these agai –

No. 9 – “Love Never Felt So Good” by…Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake. Wait, what? Michael Jackson? What? What is this? *Goes to Wikipedia page to find out what this is* No way! They released a new Michael Jackson song? And had Justin Timberlake sing on it? Could this possibly mean that Justin is actually going to show off some…talent for once? And in a freaking Michael Jackson song? Oh my gosh, I’ve got to listen to this right now! *Hurriedly goes to YouTube*

God bless you, Billboard.

Okay, I’m not a Michael Jackson fanatic or anything, but compared to the other songs on this list, this is golden. Say what you want about the music or the man, but Michael Jackson was a phenomenal singer, and listening to this song reminded me of just that. Throw in a catchy beat, some nice chords, and a good Justin Timberlake and you have what I consider to be a pretty decent song. The fact that Justin can hold his own against Michael Jackson is PROOF of my theory that Justin is way more talented than he’s willing to let any of us believe. Well, you don’t fool me, Justin. I can see right through you.

Well, I’m pumped! Who’s at the No. 10 spot?

No. 1o – “A Sky Full of Stars” by Coldplay. The thrill is gone.

Well, what do you know, ten seconds in and it sounds like EVERY OTHER COLDPLAY SONG IN THE FREAKING UNIVERSE.

Actually, this song is a perfect representation of why I don’t like Coldplay very much. They’re not the worst thing out there for sure, but they’re nowhere near as good as people think they are. Just look at the title of this song. “A Sky Full of Stars.” How original. Next they’ll be releasing singles called “An Ocean Full of Water” or “A Dog Food Container Full of Dog Food.” The song itself starts like pretty much every Coldplay song starts – piano entrance, bland lyric here, bland lyric there, uninteresting four chords of pop. Not even worth a full listen. I’m going back to the Michael Jackson song now.

Well, there you have it. Billboard slowly getting worse. Or possibly better. Only time will tell.

………I couldn’t help it.

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