Showing posts with label meghan trainor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label meghan trainor. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - march 17, 2018 (VIDEO)

And here we go - took a lot of processing power to get it out the door, but it turned out pretty well as I still keep tweaking my camera.

Next up, looks like Young Fathers - stay tuned!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - march 17, 2018 I said last week that most of my general predictions surrounding the week came true about the expected activity, and while I also did say that I expected Meghan Trainor to break through this week, I also made the statement that I didn't expect much else to happen. And boy, was I wrong in the worst possible way, as despite a few very select gems, XXXTENTACION and Chris Brown of all people showed up to remind me that the charts might just be at their most intolerable since 2016, and there's far from enough good songs to save them!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

the top ten worst hit songs of 2016 (VIDEO)

So this happened... awful songs on a pretty horrible year-end list, but hey, it happens.

Next up, though, is the best hits of 2016 - man, looking forward to that one, so stay tuned!

the top ten worst hit songs of 2016

I'm going to try and maintain a level composure for as long as possible with this list. I know so many of you will want me to get good and furious - after all, it's the Worst Hits of 2016, this is when you're supposed to deliver the killing blow with righteous fury. This is your chance to exile the dregs to whatever just punishment they deserve, take a blowtorch to the rectum of a year that so many music critics have already branded as one of the worst in recent memory, certainly this decade. And if you look at the year-end Hot 100...

Well, here's the thing: due to my stipulation that I can only choose songs from that list, and the fact that I have my weekly show Billboard BREAKDOWN discussing all of these changes in detail, I've been acutely aware of this disaster for months now - I've seen it happen in slow motion. The calls of '2016 is the worst' picked up in the summer and exploded this fall - not helped by cultural forces beyond the charts themselves - but it becomes disheartening when you've been coping with it week after week and you can explain in excruciating detail why this happened. What it reminds me of most are the charts in the very early 90s - replacing Paula Abdul ripoffs for Rihanna ripoffs, an embrace of tepid tropical or adult contemporary sounds in pop that stank of non-effort, and when there were new acts on the horizon they looked to have no sustainable future in sight - or at the very least you hoped they didn't. Hell, even country in the early 90s was on the upswing thanks to the neotraditional sound like the Americana revival today, but whereas we could look to shifting trends in hip-hop and rock to revitalize that decade going forward... well, in rap we somehow managed to get the dregs of an otherwise promising year and the most 'rock' getting airplay was twenty one pilots and X Ambassadors. As I said, every critic has already told you this year was dreck, now it's time to go deeper and count out the worst of the worst. Fair warning, this is going to get ugly, so let's start with Dishonourable Mentions!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - june 4, 2016 (VIDEO)

Well, this was a weird week - and arguably one of my weakest episodes of Billboard BREAKDOWN in a while. Flubs, not catching on that Drake's revival was thanks to Spotify... ugh, not pleased with this.

And on that note, ANOHNI review is up next, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - june 4, 2016

So we're now settling back into routine - well, as much routine as we can expect, especially when Ariana Grande is coming around the corner next week - and this has led to something of a bizarre case that I've observed happen to big debuts in the past. They have tons of songs smash onto the Hot 100 the first week, and yet while things cool off dramatically the second week, the third week a whole group of them seem to bounce back. Now there are a lot of reasons for this: initial fatigue after a binge feeding into renewed interest; the radio picking up a few for rotation; or even the case of compensation against a reset to equilibrium...

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

video review: 'thank you' by meghan trainor

Whereas in this case I don't think anyone was remotely surprised that this kind of sucked. Go figure.

Next up, 20k Q&A and Billboard BREAKDOWN, so stay tuned!

album review: 'thank you' by meghan trainor

Let's talk briefly about selling out.

Now I know that even by opening up the review like this, I've set myself up for a certain amount of backlash, particularly from people who think that I'm using it as an opportunity to denigrate a shift to pop. The funny thing is that you can 'sell out' while still remaining in the same genre, by compromising artistic principles or a unique sound for something that's more generic but is guaranteed to sell better. And that's not making the implication that selling out is inherently a bad thing either - some acts only discover a pop sensibility when they do so, which can result in them making more melodically satisfying music - but especially for an act starting out, it can be a bad sign for times to come, and it tends to rend fanbases in two.

As such, I've had a certain academic curiosity in watching how people have reacted to Meghan Trainor's lead-up to her sophomore release. With her debut album Title, Meghan Trainor carved out a distinctive niche for herself, even if it did happen to turn my stomach with every subsequent listen, a doo-wop inspired retro-pop sound that was safe, self-satisfied, and overwhelming white and saccharine. It was very much music for a demographic that didn't want to be challenged by their music, which would have been fine if Meghan Trainor's songwriting and delivery didn't demand frequent challenges for a load of unsettling implications and amateurish sloppiness, something which Trainor seemed adamant in ignoring. In other words, there are reasons why she took the top two spots on my Top Ten Worst Hit Songs of 2015, one for her collaboration with Charlie Puth on 'Marvin Gaye' and the top spot all for herself with 'Dear Future Husband'.

And yet even despite the avalanche of requests for me to tear her sophomore album a new one, I was genuinely perplexed about Meghan Trainor's new direction. With a track like 'No', which traded one style of plastic pop for another - 50s for late 90s - I had no idea where Trainor was going to be taking her sound as a whole. Was she succumbing to what acclaimed critic Nathan Rabin has described as the 'hoification process' and augmenting her material with more openly brazen sexuality - which would certainly be amusing to dissect after Title - or was this a half-measure to court mainstream nostalgia baiting with a sophomore release that further muddied her message? And more importantly, would it be listenable? Well, I dove into Thank You to find out - 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?

Thursday, December 24, 2015

the top ten worst hit songs of 2015 (VIDEO)

Well, it's finally here, the video so many of you have been wanting for so long. Once again, thanks for your patience - because man, this is a doozy. Stay tuned for the Best Hits of the year in a few days, but until then, have a Happy Holidays!

the top ten worst hit songs of 2015

There are a lot of critics - myself included - who will say that 2015 was a better year for the Hot 100 than previous years. While there were a fair amount of bad songs, they don't quite dip into the seething rage that sparks when you have songs implicitly endorsing date rape like in 2013, or watching two of my favourite genres spiral into inane, offensive nonsense like in 2014. And sure, some of that did continue into 2015, it was largely overshadowed by the good songs being better and the bad songs not quite having the same staying power or cultural presence, with a few unfortunate exceptions that we will be discussing.

So let's re-establish the rules: the songs need to have debuted on the Billboard Year End Hot 100 this year, and just being obscenely boring doesn't cut it. So if you were expecting Rachel Platten's 'Fight Song' or 'Somebody' by Natalie La Rose on this list, it's not going to happen. And one other thing: just because I might have had a passionate reaction to the song on Billboard BREAKDOWN is no guarantee that the song might land on this list. As much as 'Coco' by O.T. Genasis is ridiculously incompetent, it's too stupidly earnest to be hateable so much as it is hilarious. This list is for songs that make my stomach churn, the tracks I avoid with all costs, the compositions where you wonder who in the Nine Hells greenlit for public consumption.

Of course, for some tracks you can see what they were going for, so let's start with our Dishonourable Mentions!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - july 25, 2015 (VIDEO)

Man, this one actually turned out pretty well - with the exception of whatever the hell is up with my hair. God, that swoop on the right looks terrible...

Anyway, Years & Years, Jason Isbell, and Ghostface Killah coming up, so stay tuned!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - july 25, 2015

Yes, I'm going up a Tuesday - no, not like that. What sort of rampant insanity is this?

Friday, June 26, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - july 4, 2015 (VIDEO)

Believe it or not, this review was absolute hell to get out - beyond just the lacklustre songs too.

Okay, finally time to deal with some old business - stay tuned!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - july 4, 2015

You ever see one of those charts on which not a lot really seemed to happen, but still gives you a feeling of foreboding regardless? Believe it or not, I got that feeling pretty strongly this week, because despite the fact very few new songs dropped or impacted the charts in any largely significant ways, I can see things are coming up for change across the board as the summer settles in.

Friday, March 27, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - april 4, 2015 (VIDEO)

Well, this was a great week - effectively repeating a lot of things I already said in the Kendrick review, but whatever.

Okay, next up, got a whole slew of albums after I tackle this particularly difficult one. Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - april 4, 2015

So you know how I said last week that I knew something awesome was coming this week? Well, here's a funny thing - when you start hearing press releases about certain artists beating streaming records off of critically acclaimed releases, you suddenly realize that Billboard includes streaming information in its calculations, and that means songs that would never otherwise land on the Hot 100 will suddenly notch hits. And sure, they might not stick around for long, but if they somehow land enough impressions or make enough of an impact with the audience... In any case, by now anyone who follows the music industry should know what I'm talking about: Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly, and by some miracle six songs from it landed on the Hot 100. And it seems like in response the Hot 100 went into a massive panic in response to so much great music injected into it, and all sorts of semi-explicable insanity happened this week.

Friday, January 9, 2015

video review: 'title' by meghan trainor

Honestly didn't think I would have a chance to get this out, but here we go.

Okay, Billboard BREAKDOWN is coming, so stay tuned!

album review: 'title' by meghan trainor

You know, outside of Billboard BREAKDOWN, I've never really talked at length about Meghan Trainor in any capacity. And considering her very recent pop culture ubiquity - and controversy - that's a little surprising. And part of me wonders why I'm even reviewing this record, mostly because from every single Trainor has released, there's been one message emblazoned across her music: namely, that it's not for me.

And yet, one of my goals this year is to delve more deeply into music outside of my comfort zone, so let's actually talk a bit about the woman behind the music. Believe it or not, even though Title is advertised as Meghan Trainor's debut album, she actually released three acoustic records while she was at Berklee, where she later dropped out to pursue her dreams as a songwriter. She eventually wound up in Nashville where she was writing songs for - and when I discovered this, I wasn't surprised in the slightest - Dan + Shay, Hunter Hayes, and Rascal Flatts. Note that these are all country artists - and more importantly, they're pop country that produce some of the most polished, safe music imaginable. More on this in a bit, but it was in Nashville she met Kevin Kadish, wrote 'All About That Bass', and the rest is history.

And let's make this clear, the success of Meghan Trainor has been meteoric - but again, I'm not surprised. 'All About That Bass' was being pushed to an under-served demographic and sounded like little else on the radio, of course it was going to do well, especially considering how non-threatening it is, but at the same time it wasn't exactly anything that got me interested in hearing more Meghan Trainor. Now that's not saying I don't like retro doo-wop or jazz or even bubblegum pop - you're talking about a guy who owns multiple S Club 7 albums - but for as much as Meghan Trainor's music prompted discussion and controversy for the lyrics, the music itself had never really interested me.

But I figured that I probably wasn't getting the whole picture, so I picked up her major label debut album Title and took a listen - what did we get?