Showing posts with label kygo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kygo. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - july 13, 2019

Okay, bit of a slower week, but kind of a mess too...

Anyway, tomorrow is the sixth year anniversary, and I've got something fun planned, so stay tuned!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - july 13, 2019

Am I the only one who thinks that we all dodged a bullet this week? I figured there was a real possibility that given the sparse set of releases we could get something disruptive and unpleasant like a week full of Chris Brown, but he only managed to lodge one new song on the Hot 100 and otherwise... looks like a pretty relaxed week. Not precisely a great one, but thankfully a bit slower.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - june 30, 2018 (VIDEO)

So I don't think people were expecting how harsh I was in this video.

Oh well, I'm not going to mince words, and I've already made my lengthy pieces surrounding XXXTENTACION. It's your choice to not reckon with the consequences of your listening choices, not mine.

Anyway, might as well talk Death Grips next, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - june 30, 2018 know, it's funny, people were reaching out to me for my reaction when XXXTENTACION posthumously went to #1 this week and all I tweeted was '...'. That was it, and people assumed or projected so many emotions upon that tweet... when reality I just did not care. And I still don't - I've said my piece on XXXTENTACION a number of times, my review of ? was over fifteen minutes long, and to see this response... well, it's very telling to say the least, that in the dumpster fire of the Hot 100 in 2018, instead of any of his other songs American audiences chose to send the one where he's guilt-tripping a significant other by threatening suicide to the #1. 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

the top ten best hit songs of 2017 (VIDEO)

Always the one that's the most entertaining to put together, a real treat here. Enjoy!

the top ten best hit songs of 2017

So as I said in my last list, I haven't considered 2017 nearly as bad of a year as some critics have, especially when it comes to the hits. Yeah, there was a lot of stupid, misinformed, or just outright offensive garbage that clogged up the charts, and I can see if you weren't willing to dig beyond the top ten you might dispirited in the dreary trap slog, but the truth is that the songs that did break away from that sound or mold - or hell, even a few of the tracks within it - were true gems across multiple genres. Yeah, country struggled in the mainstream this year, but there was real greatness in pop, hip-hop, EDM, R&B, and even some rock-leaning tunes. I wouldn't quite say the overall quality or sheer number of hits is comparable to 2015 or 2012, but it is up there. 

And what surprised me in a great way was the truly amazing hits of this year were strong enough to maybe even reach my year-end list of my favourite songs of 2017, not just the hits! And you know, for as many obscure or weird albums as I cover and then love, this is still a great feeling, that sometimes quality does win out and rise to mainstream prominence for everyone to share, and that's good for culture everywhere! Yeah, I know some of these picks might be controversial - especially in my Honourable Mentions - but as always they debuted on the year-end Hot 100 for 2017, and I did manage to find some quality here. So let's start with the Honourable Mentions, particularly one that if you saw my worst hits last year might shock you a bit...

Sunday, November 12, 2017

video review: 'kids in love' by kygo

My god I'm bad at remember to cross-post these videos... whatever, the record is still a lot of fun, enjoy!

Friday, November 10, 2017

album review: 'kids in love' by kygo

So I rarely talk about other critical opinions in my reviews, mostly because I don't tend to read many other reviews before my own and I don't want bias creeping in. I'm going to make an exception to this here, specifically in reference to Cloud Nine, the debut album from the Norwegian DJ Kygo that I reviewed last year. You might not know this, but it was one of the more critically derided records of 2016, certainly accruing lower scores than many would expect for a lightweight tropical house debut. And believe it or not, I'm not surprised by this: mainstream critical outlets need some punching bags, so instead of taking it out on inept bro-country or endlessly regurgitated trap or - god forbid - an act that other critics actually liked - why not go after a tropical house DJ little known stateside who can serve as an easy trendy target that won't fight back?

And let me make this clear: some of the criticisms of Cloud Nine are valid - it's overlong, the quality of guest stars is all over the place, it can feel incredibly thin at points, and overall the individual songs don't stand out as much as they should. But on the flip side it was a record that grew on me a fair bit throughout the summer of 2016, and most of that goodwill came down to Kygo himself: a sharp producer with good tastes in tone and groove that knew how to build a breezy likable vibe, which by the low standards many judge this genre was all he was looking to do! Hell, the fact that it managed to get a passable performance from Julia Michaels on 'Carry Me' should be worth noting at least - but then came 2017 and the Selena Gomez crossover that showed Kygo sharpening this talents. Not to spoil too much, but 'It Ain't Me' is one of the best hit songs of 2017 easily, and if Kygo could bring that talent for hooks to his new record, with guest vocals from John Newman, OneRepublic, Ellie Goulding, and plenty more, I was actually excited, especially as it seemed like he tightened things up, even despite including all the songs from his Stargazing EP from earlier this year. So what did I get with Kids In Love?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - may 20, 2017 (VIDEO)

Well, this episode got a LOT of conversation... huh, a little surprised, to be honest, especially with so many mediocre tracks. Oh well.

Next up... ooh boy, it's Logic. Stay tuned!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - may 20, 2017

So I think it's fairly obvious that we live in uncertain times, and while music critics and cultural anthropologists will debate how much the music that charts will reflect the world around us, I think you could make a case for the Hot 100 being the most unsettled it's been in some time. Because while you could make a story about Katy Perry collaborating with Migos, or the fight for dominance between One Direction members, or that Gorillaz for no discernable reason failed to sell enough to chart this week, the big story is for the third time in three weeks, we have a new #1... and like with the others, there's no clear indication of how long it'll last.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - march 4, 2017 (VIDEO)

Well, this week was all over the place - and seemingly like every meme-associated review I do will probably wind up with a ton of hits, go figure.

Next up, though... actually, I have no idea how many hits this next review will accrue, we'll see. Stay tuned!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - march 4, 2017

Okay, so as you can all probably see, this episode of Billboard BREAKDOWN is a day late. This is because of President's Day in the United States, another holiday that extends the chart week... and considering the Grammys happened, it also seems to have the peculiar impact of blunting their overall impact on the Hot 100, at least in the way I expected. Now that didn't mean it didn't cascade through - we'll get to that - but it also meant that we got another overloaded week full of changes...

Thursday, May 19, 2016

video review: 'cloud nine' by kygo

Truth be told, I was reticent about covering this record, but really, it turned out to be rather nice. Good listen.

Next up, Chance The Rapper, White Lung, and finally Ariana Grande, so stay tuned!

album review: 'cloud nine' by kygo

So let's talk a little about tropical house.

Because in mainstream pop, you can't go that far on the radio without hearing its influence, and yet in comparison with most house music, it's relatively new. An offshoot of deep house that got its origins in the mid-to-late 2000s, it has become huge in the mainstream thanks to big pop crossover singles, or pop artists like Justin Bieber hopping on the sound. And really, it makes sense: the dark hollow tones of deep house could work in the right environment, but it didn't have the same sort of festival ready vibe that the lighter, more liquid tropical house tones did. And with the inclusion of a broader and brighter instrumental palette, it's the summer-ready material that might not have the bombast of the EDM of the first few years in the 2010s, but it definitely has more groove.

And yet I would make the argument that, like with so much electronic music, the US charts barely reflect the world-spanning scope of the genre. And one of the biggest cases of that is Kygo, a Norwegian producer who first smashed onto the scene with 'Firestone' in 2014 that finally crept onto the bottom of the Hot 100 late last year. But even though the United States may have forgotten he exists, the rest of the world hasn't, with multiple massive singles and as of yet the fastest artist to hit one billion streams of Spotify. Obviously there is something to this guy who has grabbed everyone's attention - along with the fact I've been getting requests for months to cover this album - and his debut album did have an impressive array of vocal talent, including John Legend, Foxes, Labrinth, and plenty more. That being said, I was a tad skeptical how well the tropical house formula would hold up over the entire record, or if Kygo could keep things interesting beyond the singles. So I hopped on Cloud Nine - what did I find?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - october 3, 2015 (VIDEO)

And this week happened. Whew, it took way too long to get this out, and considering how insane my schedule is this week, I'm lucky I got this out at all.

Next up... I really want to cover that Ought record, but waiting in the wings we've got Fetty Wap, Silversun Pickups, Kurt Vile, CHRVCHES, Julia Holter, The Underachievers, and that's not even counting Destroyer and Scarface (the former of whom I'm ready to cover and the latter I'm way behind in my backlog listen-through)... hold on tight, folks, this might be getting crazy.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - october 3, 2015

I can predict a lot of people will be celebrating parts of this week's Hot 100. Not all of it, obviously - there's too much Rae Sremmurd to really get away with anything jubilant - but I can see a lot of people seeing the new #1 and a few of the new arrivals and getting excited. And that only further defines the difference between music nerds who follow the charts and the mainstream population, because I look at this week and I can only wish I'm as excited as everyone else.