Monday, February 25, 2013

Because I Felt Like It: Song Reviews Jan 12, 2011 11:31PM PST

I have nothing else to talk about now that training for the job started up really (and since I never finished the Lord of the Rings books over break like I planned to, and am currently on page 170 of 306 in The Hobbit... I watched A LOT of movies, don't judge; I already read this prelude in grade school anyway, I just wanted to read them in order), so I'm going to review what Vevo says are the videos of the week. I don't know why they're the videos of the week or even which week this list represents, just that there was a link to it on a Ricky Martin video I clicked on because it was the most popular music video on Youtube today. So, without further ado...

Note: While I'm aware most of these are pop videos, that does not mean pop is my taste, just the taste of whoever votes for Vevo video of the week. I can tolerate and even really enjoy pop, but I'm probably going to go easier on alternative stuff here, because I tend to like it better; just so we're all clear. Also keep in mind I only watched most of these once, maybe twice, so if there's something I missed don't be surprised.

Firework” - Katy Perry

Cheesy, inspirational pop song. Sounds a lot like “Teenage Dream” to me, though I'm not much of a Katy Perry fan so maybe I just don't remember right. Its lyrics are what you'd expect: cheesy and meant to be inspirational, but given the video it also seems like it's trying to be an anthem for minority groups or people who have felt prejudged in society's eyes.

For example, the video shows two gay dudes kissing, a fat chick jumping in a pool with only a bikini, and a kid with chemotherapy shooting fireworks from his chest... That last one is kind of odd considering the first two groups of people have some political opposition to them, and I'm not sure what sick asshole is rooting against a kid with chemotherapy like some people root against homosexuals and the obese, but he needs to stop. It's also kind of cruel, because the homosexuals and the obese person can actually do what they did, but the chemo kid is never going to get his Make-A-Wish request of shooting fireworks out of his chest come true; it's not like he's Katy Perry or something.

Overall, the music video is just a tame pop song video, not really offensive unless you're homophobic and/or hate fat chicks, but not interesting either.

Wet” - Snoop Dogg

This is nigh unwatchable, unlistenable (yes Open Office, I know it's a made up word), auto-tuned garbage. It's a shame that Snoop went from the cool beats and hooks of “Gin and Juice” and “The Next Episode” to this bullshit. The lyrics are shallow, the beat is boring, and auto-tune belongs nowhere near Snoop Dogg if it ever belonged in music in the first place.

The video itself is also dull unless you've never seen a rap video with hot women in your life before. Hell, half the time the blue tinge to everything makes sure you can't see the women all that well, and the lone lap dancer near Snoop Dogg towards the end starts out looking as bored as I probably did watching this. This music video is awful.

What's My Name?” - Rihanna ft. Drake

The song itself isn't particularly annoying on its own, but its constantly being played on the radio has definitely sent me up a wall. I like the parts where Rihanna sings with an accent like “Oh boy, you know you... oh na na na na,” but that's all I can really remember from the song and God does it suck having this stuck in your head.

Then again, I also remember how little I cared about Drake's lyrics. They're incredibly lazy, even for such a dumb sex song. Before rapping was a music genre, it literally referred to just talking, and Drake has so little flow and so little of interest to say that he might as well just be talking. I know he's appearing on like every track ever released in the absence of Lil' Wayne, but at least Wayne had a unique voice (even if I thought it was annoying) and some semi-clever rhymes. Plus, I loved the beats on Tha Carter III and at least understood the appeal, even if I didn't love Lil' Wayne as much as everyone else and their stoned puppy. Drake on the other hand, has no appeal I can understand at all.

It's an average song with an annoyingly catchy chorus and crappy Drake rapping, and the video is pretty blasé as well, just Rihanna in some ugly short shorts in a supermarket getting hit on.

Tonight (I'm Lovin' You) – Enrique Iglesias ft. Ludacris

According to Yahoo! Answers Enrique Iglesias is bisexual and a Spaniard, so there goes any jokes about him being in a video talking about screwing women I was going to make along with my previous assumption he was from Mexico originally. That's all well and good though, because I have mostly positive things to say about the song. It's catchy, makes me want to dance, and I've always liked Ludacris' voice even if his lines here are just as obvious, if not as lazy as Drake's in the Rihanna video (I'm a hypocrite, I know). The lyrics are also just as sexual and shallow as Snoop Dogg's “Wet,” but this song actually has a pretty good club-ready beat and I'm pretty sure Luda's not using auto-tune (not so sure about Iglesias but if so it worked better for him than it did for Snoop).

The video itself is about on par with “Wet,” with a bunch of hot girls in a club and a little break where Ludacris is in a limousine with an old, white, and dancing driver. I actually like Ludacris as an actor in movies, and he's believable here too.

The music video may have the same apparent flaws I criticized “What's My Name?” and “Wet” for, but the good beat makes it much more worthwhile than those tunes.

Rolling in the Deep” - Adele

The first song on this list to rise above the generic influence of pop also gave me my first “wow” moment in music I've had in a while. If the fat girl in the bikini in Katy Perry's video could sing as well as this plus-sized woman, I'd let her get buck ass necked if she wanted to, if it meant I could hear her sing. The song of sorrow after the end of a relationship has been done to death, but the pipes on the singer elevate it to Godliness... Goddessliness? The point is, Adele's voice has an awesome presence in this modern, Southern bluesy sounding tune that is both entertaining and stunning.

The video is simple and effective, with Adele sitting alone in a house, while a drummer underneath a set of stairs causes glasses of water to ripple on the floor above him. I don't remember much else about the video, but that's not a bad thing since it was probably because I was distracted by the beauty of the song. Edit: Actually, there are paper models of skyscrapers and awesome silhouetted dancers in the video too, as I recalled out on a third viewing.

This music video is the best thing I saw all day, and it is awesome.

The Suburbs” - The Arcade Fire

I love what I've heard of The Arcade Fire on commercials and live sets I've seen of them, especially whatever song they used on the advertisements for the film adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are. This song is not their best work by any means as far as I can tell what little I know of them, but its attempt at copying The Beatles' style more or less succeeds. It's got a nice lazy beat over its depressing lyrics (as is typical of a lot of Indie tunes) and it grows on you in a good way. The Beatles worthy catchy chorus doesn't hurt it either.

From what I could gather, the video is about friends fighting while military groups in the suburbs raid homes in the meantime. There's definitely a message in it I missed, but I will say it has the best photography of any video on the list, and has a very cinematic feel to it.

This is a solid song from a good band.

Dream Chasin'” - Chiddy Bang

I know I sound as much like a broken record as the rap industry does when I criticize it for having obvious and predictable lyrics, but that criticism once again applies to this rap tune about the ambition to make money. What I will say for it is that the beat and synthesizer in the song are great, and the rapper has a style comparable to Mos Def which is a huge compliment from me, even if his lyrics are not on par with Def's. Then again, he rhymed predicate with etiquette so that's... something, I guess.

The video takes place entirely inside a taxi, with Chiddy Bang rapping and what I assume is his version of the white guy from Hustle and Flow playing with keyboard effects. It looks like the video was made on a budget, but there's nothing technically wrong with it, so that's fine with me.

This song is by far the best rap song/song to involve rapping on this list and I'd like to hear more from Chiddy Bang. Edit: On second viewing I like this even more, loving his lyrics in fact.

Unfinished Business” - The White Lies

If The Arcade Fire was trying to channel The Beatles on “The Suburbs,” then this band is most certainly trying to channel … pretty much the 80s, or at least the lead singer is on this song. Actually, I kind of wish Type-O Negative was still around to cover this song, because its oddly dark lyrical content would sound pretty good with that band's lead singer. As it stands though, it's an enjoyable but not all too impressive Indie tune.

The video is nothing much to talk about, just some shots of a girl then back to the band and repeat. This music video is definitely one of the better songs for my taste on this list, but that's just my personal taste and really it's just as generic an Indie song as the pop and rap songs on here are generic for their respective genres.

Put it Down” - Bun B featuring Drake

The last song on the list and it features Drake, fucking wonderful. Well, to get this over with the beat is decent enough this could be a hit (if it isn't already, not like I'd know), and Bun B is an ok rapper even if his lyrics here are just as lazy as every other rap song on this list. Ok, to be fair to Chiddy Bang, they're actually a bit lazier than his. It doesn't help that Drake does both the chorus and I swear takes up way too much time on the ending verse, to the point where this should have been Drake featuring Bun B. You know, I remain completely neutral on Justin Beiber, Miley Cyrus, and the Jonas Brothers and before hearing the songs on the list I was equally apathetic towards Drake. After having to hear this much of the pretty boy's shitty rapping however, I might start actively hating him.

The video is once again set in clubs for the most part, and the lyrics are just bragging about money and whatever else. The list ends in a fizzle because the so-so beat can't save the song from the awesome power of godawful Drake brings to every song he's been in on this list so far.

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