Showing posts with label travi$ scott. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travi$ scott. Show all posts

Thursday, September 8, 2016

video review: 'birds in the trap sing mcknight' by travis scott

So yeah... this happened. Not quite sure I can quite explain it, but I didn't mind this at all. Pretty decent listen, all things considered, and yet the critical backlash on this one has been fascinating to watch. Go figure.

Anyway, Billboard BREAKDOWN will be going up shortly, then probably Isaiah Rashad or Carly Rae Jespen - stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

album review: 'birds in the trap sing mcknight' by travis scott

Man, Travis Scott can frustrate me.

See, I didn't want to cover Rodeo last year, mostly on the thinking that his production was too cavernous and dark to really support the banal party lyrics and his general lack of distinctive personality, but going back to that review, I can say that I don't really hate that record so much as I find it underwhelming. The problem wasn't as bad as on Days Before Rodeo, but Travis Scott was getting crowded off the stage by guest stars with more presence or charisma, and it was hard not to see his persona as a composite of other artists.

That said, in recent months I've come to the conclusion that Travis Scott can work for me in the right environment, because he does have a knack for huge hooks that can go over the top, and he's not afraid of giving his mix the depth you'd need to pull it off. I wouldn't really be expecting substance... but again, he's making over-the-top party music, you don't really need a lot of substance if you avoid errors and crank up the bombast. That's one of the reasons I was a little exasperated when people accused me of 'not liking party music' during the Rae Sremmurd review - I can like it when it has convincing swell and personality that doesn't fill me with seething rage, and at least instrumentally Travis Scott can deliver that, and even over the past few months on hooks like 'Champions', he's been a propulsive presence. 

That said, I was a little worried about The Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight - outside of the frankly bizarre title, this record had the feel of being rushed out to capitalize on Travis Scott's now ascending popularity - and yet it missed its planned release date twice! And with fewer production credits than ever - yes, I know he's the executive producer but it's not a good sign that he's handling less of the beatwork with each successive album when that production was what added so much flavor - and still plenty of guest stars... look, I had reason to be concerned, but I really did want to like this - so, did it work?

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - september 3, 2016 (VIDEO) (VACATION REVIEW!)

Whew, this was an interesting little thing to film/edit on vacation. Overall, pretty damn pleased how it turned out, especially with how many takes we got to put it all together.

Next up, let's knock off that Cody Johnson review before we get into the rest of the week, shall we...

Thursday, June 23, 2016

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - july 2, 2016 (VIDEO)

So this week sucked on the Hot 100... thank god the album release schedule has improved and I've got YG and Swans next, or I'd just be flat-out miserable.

And speaking of which...

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - july 2, 2016

So a week or so back I might have said that I was gearing up for one of the worst upcoming album release dates in recent memory... and yet just days after I said that, all of my concerns seemed to drop away. Both Iggy Azalea and Rae Sremmurd pushed back their albums and that just leaves me with Riff Raff, and I can handle him. But apparently the universe was unwilling to let me get off that easy, because from a quick look through the charts, we've got a really bad week ahead of us, folks.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - february 13, 2016

So you know how I've been predicting things were going to get seriously unstable on the Hot 100 for a while now? Well, we've got a big one this week - major shifts in the Top 10 including a new number one, a ton of major shifts up and down, and a big crop of new entries... a shame more of them aren't better, but we'll get to that. Of course, Billboard also exacerbated the situation with a choice to shift their chart formula to better temper the impact of streaming, which they did by slightly shifting the balance in favour of sales. So how did that turn out?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - december 5, 2015 (VIDEO)

Well, this took way too long to finish.

So, now for a complete change of pace, that black metal that I said I was going to be talking about - stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - december 5, 2015

We are now beginning the second year of chronicling the Hot 100 charts in detail - starting in December because Billboard is weird like that. And even though this is the week I was prepared to unveil some new changes to the format, we also have to deal with one of the largest ever lists of new songs - because for some godawful choice to split their bases, One Direction and Justin Bieber released their new albums in the same damn week. Now sure enough a whole slew of these songs will be gone next week, but for now, given Bieber's shrewd promotional strategy to jack up streaming, we have a full list of twenty new songs. Now given that I already reviewed both new albums from Bieber and One Direction, I'll endeavour to keep these short unless it's a bonus track I hadn't otherwise covered, but strap in, folks, this'll probably be a long one.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - september 26, 2015 (VIDEO)

So that came out faster than I expected. Didn't make the week any better, but eh, it happens.

Next up, either Lana Del Rey or Metric. Either way... whoo boy, it's going to be wild. Stay tuned!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - september 26, 2015

So one of my general assumptions going into this week is that since we had so many new songs courtesy of The Weeknd's Beauty Behind The Madness, we'd have a comparable number of dropouts. It's a good rule of thumb, after all, as most album cuts don't tend to stick to the mainstream charts for long. And it's true that a few of them dropped out - but not nearly as many as I was predicting. In other words, we have a pretty lightweight week here - a fair amount of movement within the charts, but not nearly as many new arrivals as I was expecting.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

video review: 'rodeo' by travi$ scott

Well, that's killing two birds with one stone for you! If you don't get it, watch to the end, you'll see.

Okay, next up, Billboard BREAKDOWN for real and then Iron Maiden - stay tuned!

album review: 'rodeo' by travi$ scott

I wasn't going to do this review.

See, one of the big positives about Billboard BREAKDOWN for me is that I can get a few weeks or months warning about albums coming down the pipe that might not be to my preferences based off of lead-off singles. And sure, it's far from an exact science, but more often than not, if I'm hearing your lead-off single and it's over seven minutes of decently produced but completely empty luxury rap with Future and 2 Chainz, I'm not inclined to look up your debut album.

And that's where I thought it would end with me and Travi$ Scott, Houston producer-turned-'rapper' affiliated with Kanye West and T.I.. He became known for his oppressive dark and bleak production, which I could appreciate, but I keep going back to the old adage I have with luxury rap: if the beats are so dark and dreary where it's clear nobody's having any fun, why in the Nine Hells would I? And it wasn't as if Travi$ Scott was a rapper worth caring about - this isn't A$AP Rocky, where you could at least expect some competently structured flows - on a technical level, Travi$ Scott just wasn't impressing me.

And when I took a look at the credits for this upcoming album, I didn't know what to think. Sure, he had some respectable names, but he only had a couple production credits - in other words, it looked like he was de-emphasizing the talents that made him famous for those that wouldn't help him stand out in a lineup. On top of that, his features list immediately struck me as questionable. I already mentioned Future and 2 Chainz, but Quavo from Migos? Young Thug and Justin Bieber? Chief Keef and Swae Lee from Rae Sremmurd? But I thought, 'Okay, maybe with him stepping away from the production boards, it might not be as cavernous and dreary'... even though the lead-off single and the album's running time of over an hour did not inspire confidence. But hey, I'm willing to try new things, so how was the Rodeo?

Friday, June 19, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - june 27, 2015 (VIDEO)

You know, for a week that was pretty lightweight all things considered, this review was absolute hell to make. Between so many reshoots and that damned video glitch... ugh, I'm just happy it's over.

Next up, I think I'm about ready to talk about FFS or Kamelot before Kacey Musgraves comes through - stay tuned!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - june 27, 2015

So here's the mixed blessing of a week like this one. You look at the charts, see that very little actually happened across the board with perhaps one of the smallest numbers of songs new or returning to the Hot 100, and it allows you to breathe a sigh of relief. Finally, something that's pretty light across the board. But then it's the creeping question of whether I'll be able to keep all of this interesting on a week where - gasp - there's little to actually complain about!