Showing posts with label shakira. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shakira. Show all posts

Saturday, March 2, 2019

the top ten best hit songs of 2009

So I'll admit to being surprised that this, of all things, is the next top ten people want me to cover. You'd think folks would want me to finish off the 2010s proper before going back to 2009, but there you have it.

But I get it, because while I'd struggle to call it the best of the 2000s, 2009 was a pretty glorious year. Not only did it showcase the birth of YouTube chart criticism, but it was such a potent year to cover! 2009 is widely accepted by most as the birth of the club boom, where the kinetic, rock-tinged pop of the mid-2000s picked up more layers of glitter and went to party hard, picking up a grabbag of whatever hip-hop had survived the ringtone era, whatever rock that was willing to party, and basically lock the placid country scene out of the clubhouse entirely. More to the point, it was impossible to not see 2009 as a year of reckless abandon: the economy had crashed, most of my generation was broke, and if we we didn't have money, we were going to party as if we did - it might have seemed bleak, but I think a lot of us were riding the contact high that came from a new president and a desperate desire to believe in hope... even if that contact high would lead to incoherent silliness and a hangover we'd only halfheartedly regret. But I'll say this: even if I've slowed down a little bit, it's hard not to miss the manic fun of this year, especially when there were so many great hits, so let's get things started with...

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - december 16, 2017 (VIDEO)

Lighter week, for sure, but I wouldn't really say a better one, to be honest.

Thankfully, next up is both lighter and better, so stay tuned!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - december 16, 2017

So this is a point we typically hit around this time of the year: the charts start to slow down for the holiday season, we get a few extraneous songs from The Voice - just one thus far - and a sense that barring a major disruption, we're going to have some stability. Granted, said stability could be disrupted by that Eminem record dropping in just over a week, but that'll remain to be seen.

Friday, October 20, 2017

video review: 'el dorado' by shakira

So considering the record dropped months ago, I'm a little astounded how well this video has done... heh, guess there really was some demand.

Anyway, next up is something new, stay tuned!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

album review: 'el dorado' by shakira

Well, this is awkward, and I think an explanation is owed why I'm covering this months after it was released, because given how many times I've said I'm a Shakira fan, you'd think I'd be on top of this...

And yet I've been pretty reticent about reviewing this record and here's why: I don't speak Spanish. I know maybe a few words, I can maybe follow the general gist of it if I try, but I have a hard enough understanding French, and I'm Canadian! And thus when I discovered that Shakira's newest record has only a few English songs on it, I didn't have the same interest, because one of the reasons I like Shakira's songwriting is that her phrasing of English feels distinct and a little offkilter in a cool way. If I wasn't going to get that - and given that I was generally underwhelmed by the lead-off singles - I didn't have the same interest. And it's not even that I'm averse to covering music in a different language - I've covered black metal that's not in English, although you could definitely make the argument that lyrics are generally peripheral when it comes to that genre in comparison with pop. But as I've said in the past, I connect best to music when I can follow or understand the arc of the songs, and I was concerned about that with El Dorado, especially considering Shakira herself admitted uncertainty and writer's block going into it. So yeah, this might be a fairly short review, but my Patrons did laboriously vote to get it to the top of my schedule, so okay, how did it go?

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - june 3, 2017

So this is one of those weeks where I expected a lot of activity... and I didn't get it. This was supposed to be a week where Harry Styles and to a lesser extent Paramore impacted the charts... and it didn't happen. In fact, if we're looking at a week where summer grooves seems to be settling into gear, it's here, which led to a little more stability than I expected.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - november 19, 2016 (VIDEO)

Well, this was precisely what I needed on an awful political day, a whole lot of shallow shouting in my ears. Just fucking perfect.

On that note, there might be a political tinge that'll creep into upcoming reviews where appropriate. Just felt that it's important to warn you if you get turned off by that sort of thing, but culture matters, and even if I'm insulated by a border from the president-elect's new administration, he still has the capacity to do damage, and I'm not taking this laying down. Stay tuned!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - november 19, 2016

First, a bit of housekeeping. As some fans are probably very much aware, the episode of Billboard BREAKDOWN from last week is blocked in all countries because Sony decided they didn't like my usage of Little Mix, even though I gave it Best of the Week. I was tempted to drop and reupload it, but at the moment I also have the entire script and attached videos on my blog for that episode, so you can head over to, check it out there, and just imagine my dulcet tones saying all of it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - july 30, 2016 (VIDEO)

Well, this was an interesting episode to make. Took a little longer than I expected, but overall a better week, I think, especially before Britney and Katy make their big returns.

Next up, I think it's finally time I talk about Fates Warning, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - july 30, 2016

I have mixed feelings about the Hot 100 this week. On the one hand, our new entries look pretty promising for the first time in a while, and I have to hope that a few of these tracks will actually stick around for a bit... but on the other hand, I also have to take a look at our gains and realize that even they start to gain traction, they've got a ways to go to overtake the tidal wave of garbage that's ascending up the charts when the summer lull blocks out most competition. Joy.

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?

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!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

video review: 'shakira' by shakira

Damn, I wish this album was better. Eh, it happens.

Next up... yes, I'll will be covering 'Pinata' by Madlib & Freddie Gibbs, but I need a little more time to truly process it, so it'll probably be Jerrod Niemann next. Stay tuned!

album review: 'shakira' by shakira

Oh, I've been looking forward to this review since the beginning of the year.

See, if we were to go back twelve years to 2002 and look at my list of my top 10 best hit songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart... well, the first one would be Eminem's 'Lose Yourself' and the second would be 'Where Were You', Alan Jackson's heartbreaking song about 9/11 and really the best song not written by Bruce Springsteen about that tragedy, but the third on my list would 'Whenever, Wherever' by Shakira, an artist of which I've been a fan since she's crossed over to English radio in the early 2000s. And looking back on her massively successful career, I don't feel any shame whatsoever in saying that Shakira is the sort of pop star I really do enjoy. Not only is she the main writer of a lot of her own music - and a pretty good one at that - she's also the sort of pop star who can blend genres effectively, has a distinctive voice and sound, and also has buckets of raw charisma. She works along a similar line of alpha female sexuality that Beyonce does, but I've always thought Shakira has more emotional range and always seemed to be having more fun as a pop singer.

Plus, she's weird - and I mean that as a compliment. Between the odd assortment of instrumentation she routinely uses and her frequently bizarre lyrical choices, I'm always a little perplexed whenever I cover a Shakira album, because while she might tackle conventional pop subject matter, she's going to do it in her way, and damn everyone else. And yet, she's been quiet for a while, because after she released She-Wolf in 2009 and Sale el Sol in 2010 in Spanish, she took some time off, half to have a baby, half to work as a coach on The Voice, and half because she changed labels to RCA Records. On the one hand, I'm happy to see a new record from Shakira... but on the other hand, there are significantly more names in the writing credits than I'd usually like to see on a Shakira album, plus some collaborators that don't leave me that enthused, including Rihanna and country artist Blake Shelton of all people, who seems to make it his job to collaborate with everyone who shows up on The Voice with him. So, how is this new self-titled album from Shakira?