Showing posts with label jake owen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jake owen. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

video review: 'greetings from... jake' by jake owen

So yeah, as I've emphasized a few times, this was a fair bit better than I expected (go figure). If you're looking for a lightweight fun project, you can do a lot worse than this, so check it out.

Next up... you know, let's go for hip-hop, so stay tuned!

album review: 'greetings from... jake' by jake owen

So I'll say this right now: Jake Owen frustrates the absolute hell out of me.

And unlike most of the indie country scene, I'd argue it's not because he's a bad artist, but more how he's never quite lived up to his potential in a consistent way. You have an artist who is easily one of the most charismatic act working in country, with a warmth and good-natured openness that's incredibly charming, and on every album he'll deliver at least a handful of deep cuts that are genuinely fantastic - in multiple years where he's put out projects that are incredibly uneven, he's still nabbed slots on my year-end lists! So I can't dismiss his presence in country... but at the same time, despite being an act who seemed to comfortably survive the bro-country era better than so many peers, I'm left with the feeling that his albums should be much better than they are. Part of this I blame on Joey Moi's overblown production, but a bigger factor just seems to be a pileup of silly or uneven ideas that miss as often as they hit, which you can likely blame on Jake Owen's lack of personal writing credits.

And on this album, it seemed to be more of the same. I did appreciate how much Owen had tried to embrace Shane McAnally and Ross Copperman on production on his 2016 album American Love, but thanks to some poor single choices, it likely didn't hit the way it should have, and he was back to Joey Moi for this project on the new label Big Loud Records. But what worried me more was the guest stars: I know that Jake Owen is more open to sounds outside of what would be expected in country, but was it worth getting Kid Rock and Lele Pons on this? And with more cowriters than ever... look, even from what I know with Jake Owen, I was preparing for disaster - so what did find on Greetings From... Jake?

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - january 12, 2019 (VIDEO)

Man alive, this took so damn long to finish... oh well, let's see what I can do next - stay tuned!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - january 12, 2019

So this is one of those weeks on Billboard BREAKDOWN that can be draining to talk about, mostly because it's easy but time-consuming to explain at length. To put it simply, if you look at the Hot 100 a full half of it advanced ten positions or more, we have a ton of returning entries, and a full slate of fourteen new arrivals - and no, there wasn't an album bomb. No, as I said, I can explain this fairly easily: along with the album bomb from 21 Savage drying up, all the Christmas music exited the chart and a lot of older music this week picked up radio spins thanks to year-end countdowns, and given that there was no big releases to plug in the gap, the flood of music to replace it is all over the damn place and really shows no indication of what could last long term.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - june 9, 2018 (VIDEO)

And now we have a busy but overall pretty damn good week, I'm generally pleased with this.

Next up... okay, fine, we'll deal with the elephant in the room, and I won't have a lot of mercy - stay tuned!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - june 9, 2018

...well, I can't say that the Hot 100 doesn't surprise me occasionally. I was expecting some fallout from the Pusha-T and Drake beef, but the most we got was the worst song to come out of it and half of Pusha-T's album! And when you pair it with all the rest of the scattered entries, this week wound up feeling surprisingly busy...

Friday, August 5, 2016

video review: 'american woman' by jake owen

I honestly wish this record was a lot better than it was... but eh, it happens. 'LAX' was a great song, hope it gets dropped for release soon.

Next up, DJ Snake, so stay tuned!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

album review: 'american love' by jake owen

Let's talk about charisma. I think a lot of people - and I include critics in this - who downplay how much charisma contributes to an act's success and viability, but let's get real: there are people who 'have it' who can stick around and become superstars; and people who don't and have to utilize every trick in the bag to compensate. These are the artists who make it look easy like Usher and Mariah Carey and Justin Timberlake and Ludacris, or the people with such prodigious stage presence where you can't help but look, like Garth Brooks or Ke$ha or - as much as I don't like to admit it - Luke Bryan. And artists who have raw charisma can often get away with a lot more than less-expressive counterparts, or somehow find a way to what would destroy so many other performers and make it something that connects.

So let's talk about Jake Owen, arguably one of the most immediately charismatic country stars to come out of the opening years of bro-country and ride the trend to reasonable success. He was also one of the few artists who understood if you're going to make stupid music, you might as well make it fun, which is one of the reasons why 'Beachin' still holds for me as one of the best hit songs of 2014. But I've always thought that if he wanted to aim higher, he could put together potent music that cut more deeply, as songs like 'Ghost Town' and 'Life Of The Party' from the far better than expected Days Of Gold proved in late 2013. Hell, pair him with solid songwriters and I had hopes that Jake Owen could deliver, especially in 2016 with bro-country a mostly distant memory and minus Joey Moi's overdone production. And while I thought the lead-off single 'American Country Love Song' was a little by-the-numbers in the writing, I was still won over by Owen's performance, so I figured what the hell and I checked out American Love - what did we get?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - march 26, 2016 (VIDEO)

It was better, but Lord only know that when Ariana comes in next week where the charts will take us - there's too much instability at the top to hold for long.

Regardless, Flatbush Zombies coming tonight, then probably going to finally cover that Mount Moriah or Denzel Curry... and then coming up this weekend is one of my most anticipated projects of this year, so definitely stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - march 26, 2016

So I get the feeling that the universe saw the charts last week, wondered how the hell they could let that much concentrated awful pile up, and sprung into action to correct it. And as a result... okay, it wasn't amazing, but definitely a major improvement. And while I knew Kendrick was going to land a few songs - thankfully enough to compensate for Meghan Trainor - I didn't expect that we'd also get hits from Jake Owen and Shakira, two of the most naturally charismatic performers in the past fifteen years, so we're bound to get an upswing, right?

Friday, July 3, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - july 11, 2015

And that happened. Whew, glad that episode is over with.

Next up, I finally talk about Vince Staples. From there, Czarface, Between The Buried And Me, I've got my work cut out for me. Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - july 11, 2015 remember when I said last week I had a sense of foreboding that something bad was coming, that I couldn't quite feel it and it hadn't quite happened yet, but it was on its way? Yeah, I'm starting to wish these bad feelings didn't come up so much, because sure enough...

Saturday, January 10, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - january 17, 2015 (VIDEO)

Dear god, this was a rough week - although, bizarrely, nowhere near as bad as I was expecting. Let's hope for the best next week, where I have a very manageable number of album reviews and I'm expecting to deal with the extended aftermath of Rae Sremmurd. Lovely. Either way, stay tuned!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - january 17, 2015

So once again this week we're dealing with the last fragments of 2014, even as the new hits of 2015 begin to rise up the charts. And yet even despite the turnover to a new #1 - trust me, we'll get to it, I'm as excited as anyone - I can't help but look down past the justly deserved gains and see a whole load of crap bubbling up to the surface. Folks, there are some bad songs that dropped this week, and believe me, it's not going to be pretty cleaning them out.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

the top ten best hit songs of 2014 (VIDEO)

And here's list #2. Yes, I know it's excruciatingly early, but I'm posting this from the airport, it happens. Enjoy!

the top ten best hit songs of 2014

And now onto our second list, and the one that doesn't give me heart palpitations whenever I think about it, the Top Ten Best Hit Songs of 2014. 

Once again, let's go over some of the main rules: the songs need to debut on the year-end Billboard Hot 100 list this year - so while there are songs like 'Counting Stars' and 'Wake Me Up!' that came out last year and still made this year's Billboard 100, they already had their shot to make the list.

What gets a little frustrating because while the year-end Billboard Hot 100 didn't have as many outright terrible songs as last year, I'd also make the argument it didn't have as many genuinely awesome smash songs either. 2014 tended towards average all around, with only a few genuinely great songs and a whole sea of songs that were pretty solid but didn't evoke a huge amount of reaction from me, one way or the other. And once again, this is my list of my favourite hits - the list of the songs from across the entire year that never touched the charts is on its way - but that's not ripping into these songs, most of which had real genuine quality behind them.

But let's not waste time, let's get to the Honourable Mentions!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

video review: 'days of gold' by jake owen

Well, this was a nice surprise. Can't say I was expecting Jake Owen to deliver anything worth listening, after all.

Next up will probably be Childish Gambino's new album, so stay tuned!

album review: 'days of gold' by jake owen

A few months back, I reviewed the mostly-ignored album from Joe Nichols, and in that review, I mentioned that a certain male country singer had come out against the rising trends of bro-country, stating that 'we need more songs that just songs about tailgates and cups and Bacardi and stuff like that'. And yet, the traditional country music press had to restrain some scoffs of disbelief when they heard that comment - mostly because it was coming from Jake Owen. 

Okay, some background. Jake Owen is a country singer that had his major breakthrough hit in 2011 with 'Barefoot Blue Jeans Night', a song I only ever thought was okay, mostly buoyed by the strengths of the performer himself. As much as Jake Owen doesn't seem to be the brightest apple in the bunch (at least to judge by his songs), he has the energy and affability of a born showman, a guy with a ton of natural charisma and likability, which is a natural fit for his upbeat, beach-ready brand of country. But it's hard to deny that songs like 'Barefoot Blue Jeans Night' were the prototypes for the rise of bro-country that we have today, and thus it was a little difficult for some to take Owen remotely seriously in his comments about going back to tradition. 

But then I thought, 'Wait, how the hell is that fair? We let the Zac Brown Band retain their traditionalist country credentials when they do songs with Jimmy Buffett, and there isn't anything inherently wrong with making dumb, fun party songs! The bigger problem has always been the gradual stripping away of individuality between songwriters across Music Row, and if we're looking to call Jake Owen on any hypocrisy, it might be here, because he doesn't have a single writing credit on his newest album Days of Gold. But on the other hand, there has been 'bro country' music that I've liked, and one of my biggest issues with the genre has been how unnecessarily serious and over-the-top macho so many of the artists have played it, so maybe Owen's goofball charm and charisma might play to his advantage. So, how did Days of Gold turn out?