Showing posts with label icona pop. Show all posts
Showing posts with label icona pop. Show all posts

Thursday, December 26, 2013

the top ten best hit songs of 2013 - video

So this turned out as well as I expected. List 2/4 done, stay tuned for more!

the top ten best hit songs of 2013

Here's a fun fact about me - as much as I nitpick and criticize and say all manner of things people don't want to hear about the music they love, I've got my own fair share of popular music that I cherish, appreciate, or outright love. Sometimes, quality rises to the top, and while none of this particular list will show up on my upcoming list of the best songs of this year, I still think they're worth mentioning if only to reinforce some vague sense of populism that I have. But really, it's nice to point out that some mainstream music gets popular because it's good, and sometimes pop or country or mainstream hip-hop can be just as good as the most underground of indie hits.

Now the rules are as before: the songs have to debut on the Billboard Hot 100 year-end chart this year - so as good as 'Die Young' by Ke$ha or 'Some Nights' by fun. are, I can't exactly mention them again on this list after they made my list last year. And on that note, don't expect any sort of coherent theme to these picks. While my year-end worst list had an abundance of terribly vapid luxury rap (especially near the top), on a year as varied and confused as the 2013 chart would indicate, my choices might surprise you. And fair warning: you won't agree with the majority of this list.

So let's get started with some Honourable Mentions, shall we?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

video review: 'this is... icona pop' by icona pop

The first of two videos coming out today (well, today as I measure it, which means the day ends as soon as I crash), and it's the worse of the two first. Can't imagine this review'll go over with much controversy whatsoever...

Second one is CHVRCHES - stay tuned!

album review: 'this is... icona pop' by icona pop

So, approximately six months ago, back before I was regularly doing these reviews for every album that came underneath my nose and browsing Pitchfork for the ones that slipped the net, I heard a song on the radio that had apparently been connected with Snooki and JWOW's spin-off show and had yet received critical approval from a certain majority of critics. And considering those two facts are rather disingenuously paired together, I took a deeper look at the song and discovered that it was called 'I Love It' by Icona Pop, featuring Charli XCX. To be completely honest, at that time I wasn't a big fan of the song, mostly because it sounded like fuzz-saturated house music with ephemeral lyrics and maybe one clever line, but I discovered that the song had been a big enough hit to help propel Charli XCX's debut album True Romance out of development hell and I figured that I might as well give it a look. And I actually did review that album and found it rather lacking, a expansive and well-produced darkwave-inspired album that threw out the hooks, the interesting lyrics, or absolutely anything compelling courtesy of Charli XCX. It was thoroughly below average, and outside of rave reviews that made no sense to me (seriously, for the most part the lyrics were completely worthless and Charli XCX either sounded vapid or too disconnected to care), I've spent the larger part of this year forgetting it existed.

Now 'I Love It', on the other hand, stuck around a little longer in my mind, mostly because the pop charts for this year have absolutely sucked. Compare this year to 2012, which had songs that at least seemed to have some staying power in the popular consciousness ('Gangnam Style', 'Call Me Maybe', 'Some Nights', I could go on), and you'll see charts that have no idea what style or genre is popular and thus a whole lot of junk (often really boring junk) rose to the top. So perhaps it was the benefit of lower standards that caused me to warm to 'I Love It', but then again, I can't deny it does have certain merits: the dual voices give it some real populist appeal, it has a lot of energy to match the crackling instrumentation, and the sheer wild abandon of the song, particularly in the bridge, is definitely infectious.

So on those qualities, I figured what the hell and I picked up the international debut album from Icona Pop. How did it turn out?