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2012 Top 100 Pop Songs: A Quick Review – #75-51

January 16, 2013 Leave a comment

This is Part 2 of my quick reviews of Billboard’s Top 100 Pop songs of 2012. If you want to see what I thought of the first quarter of the hits, then click the link below and check it out. Now for the rest…

Part 1 of 2012 reviews 

#75: Pound the Alarm by Nicki Minaj – The chorus has a nice hook. But I’m not a fan of what’s going on in the rest of the song. Borderline Rihanna knock-off track.

#74: Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love) by Ne-Yo – I know this song is really popular right now (or at least was), but I don’t see the appeal. It’s kind of boring and doesn’t really offer anything.

#73: Work Hard, Play Hard by Wiz Khalifa – Not as bad as other Wiz Khalifa songs I’ve heard, but it doesn’t do much for me. Also, the chorus chant is kind of silly.

#72: Climax by Usher – Another track that doesn’t immediately grab me. However, Usher’s singing here is top notch and definitely worth a mention.

#71: Rolling in the Deep by Adele – It was good last year, still good, especially with the luxury of not being overplayed.

#70: Blown Away by Carrie Underwood – I like what Carrie Underwood does with her music, though, while I don’t think this song is great, it has features of it that make it stand out.

#69: Paradise by Coldplay – I have the feeling this song will play quietly in some random dentist’s office in a few years. It’s that kind of song.

#68: Ho Hey by The Lumineers – I like this song, but only complaint is the ho’s and heys that are prolific.

#67: Pontoon by Little Big Town – Nothing too exciting here.

#66: Good Girl by Carrie Underwood – I did enjoy this one.

#65: Let’s Go by Calvin Harris ft. Ne-Yo – The flow of this good. It starts off nicely, but by the end is a tad repetitive.

#64: Rumor Has It by Adele – I didn’t know the Eurythmics were making a comeback…Wait…Seriously, the song is good, though I prefer the verses to the chorus.

#63: Work Out by J. Cole – Good flow in the chorus, but the verses just lose me.

#62: Back in Time by Pitbull – I hate the lyrics, or rather find them hilarious. I do like the sample and feel it could’ve been more effective elsewhere.

#61: Stereo Hearts by Gym Class Heroes ft. Adam Levine – This song is bland.

#60: Not Over You by Gavin DeGraw – Somewhere in-between boring and decent.

#59: Brokenhearted by Karmin – A mixture of the blandest elements of Ke$ha and Katy Perry.

#58: Springsteen by Eric Church – As a Springsteen fan, I found this song to be very…bland. Big surprise, huh?

#57: Dance (A$$) by Big Sean ft. Nicki Minaj – How did this even chart this high? This must be a joke.

#56: Don’t Wake Me Up by Chris Brown – Alright. If you say so, Chris.

#55: Want U Back by Cher Lloyd – Annoying. Definitely not my thing.

#54: No Lie by 2 Chainz ft. Drake – Bleh.

#53: Drunk on You by Luke Bryan – It doesn’t do it for me. More mediocre country music.

#52: Wanted by Hunter Hayes – More mediocrity.

#51: Ass Back Home by Gym Class Heroes ft. Neon Hitch – Even more mediocrity.

The official Billboard list for this section

 

Well, that was Part 2 of my look at Billboard’s Top 100 pop hits from 2012. Check back soon for Part 3!

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2012 Top 100 Pop Songs: A Quick Review – Intro and #100-76

December 23, 2012 10 comments

Once again, I take a look at the Top 100 year-end pop songs from Billboard magazine. This is my third year-in-a-row of doing this. I started doing this as a way of rethinking my relationship with music that is popular and personally digesting what’s changing or out there in a space I don’t normally inhabit. So, again, here is my take on this year’s Top 100. I focus on the songs themselves versus their music videos or other connections they’ve established. Each song gets a short blurb on my opinion. And, that’s about it. Here it goes:

#100: Burn it Down by Linkin Park – I really don’t understand the appeal of Linkin Park today. I feel like I’ve heard this song several times before. Admittedly, it’s not awful, just not original or all that good.

#99: Even if it Breaks Your Heart by Eli Young Band – I’m not too big on popular country music, however, this one is tolerable. Just not special.

#98: Fly Over States by Jason Aldean – And this is the type of country music that I gloss over. It’s really forgettable.

#97: Adorn by Miguel – Not awful. Just boring.

#96: Somethin’ ’bout A Truck by Kip Moore – More boring country music. This time around the lyrics of the song are somewhat hilarious. There are so many stereotypes about country music in this song.

#95: Hard to Love by Lee Brice – This year’s country music is bland. Another boring song.

#94: Diamonds by Rihanna – I have mixed feelings about this song. For every good part of this song, there’s mediocre things. As such, I’ll say it’s alright. Probably the best of the songs so far.

#93: I Don’t Want this Night to End by Luke Bryan – This seems like a variation of Fly Over States. Just as mediocre and boring.

#92: Cashin’ Out by Ca$h Out – Clever. This song is two letters from being just your name. This song is outdated and pretty bad. #91: It’s Time by Imagine Dragons –The lyrics are kind of dull, but there’s something appealing to this song. The chorus has a nice hook.

#90: We Run the Night by Havana Brown ft. Pitbull – This song proves repetition and echo is the key to success. Instead of bland country music there is bland club music.

#89: You Da One by Rihanna – There is little personality to this song and loses any of the impact that made Diamonds have any sort of appeal.

#88: Take A Little Ride by Jason Aldean – Another bland country song. This guy is sure good at them.

#87: A Thousand Years by Christina Perri – Dear God, this song is sappy. This is the music of Twilight generation.

#86: 5 O’Clock by T-Pain ft. Wiz Khalifa and Lily Allen – I can appreciate the camp of T-Pain and I genuinely like T-Pain, but this song does not work. It has bad pacing and takes itself too serious. The Wiz Khalifa verse doesn’t work either.

#85: Die Young by Ke$ha – I’m no fan of Ke$ha, but I must admit this isn’t her worst. In fact, I’d say it’s a decent club song. There are few lines that reek of standard Ke$ha, but the rest is different for her. Not special, but certainly not horrible.

#84: Turn Up the Music by Chris Brown – This song sounds like a mess. Whatever happened in production went horribly wrong.

#83: Love You Like a Love Song by Selena Gomez and The Scene – Not awful. Just forgettable.

#82: Red Solo Cup by Toby Keith – This country song actually sounds different. However, it feels more like a novelty song than an actual pop song.

#81: 50 Ways to Say Goodbye by Train – Train is another one of those artists I don’t get. The verses all sound like they borrowed a medley from The Phantom of the Opera. As for the chorus, it sounds like a rehash of their earlier single Drive By. Bleh.

#80: So Good by B.o.B – Not my favorite B.o.B track. The verses are fun, but the chorus is just alright. It’s a decent track altogether though.

#79: Birthday Cake by Rihanna ft. Chris Brown – This song is awful. Not only for the match-up of artists, but musically and lyrically horrid.

#78: Drank in My Cup by Kirko Bangz – Not horrid, but definitely not good. The lyrics are pretty awful. A Drake imitator of mediocre quality.

#77: Heart Attack by Trey Songz – Meh. Not as bad as Drank in My Cup. It’s just boring.

#76: Come Over by Kenny Chesney – Not a horrible mellow-ish country song. Just doesn’t do it for me.

 

And that’s the first part of my look at this year’s Top 100 pop songs. The next one will be up here soon.

If you want to check out my previous year-end Top 100 reviews you can find them below:

2011 Top 100 Reviews

2010 Top 100 Reviews

And the official Billboard Top 100 List

2011 Year-End Top Pop 100: A Review (#25-1)

January 5, 2012 Leave a comment

This post concludes my reviews of Billboard Magazine’s Year-End Top 100 Pop songs for 2011. If you want some further contexts for the reviews see the links below. Also, the top 10 songs will get a more fleshed out review than other songs simply because they’re the most defining songs of the year.

For previous entries in the review saga:

Part 1: Intro and #100-76

Part 2: #75-51

Part 3: #50-26

And now the final part of the review saga:

#25: ‘Good Life’-OneRepublic

The drum beat is pretty good, but the rest of the song is pretty boring. It also sounds like a leftover from the 90s.

#24: ‘Someone Like You’-Adele

It’s a decent track, but there isn’t much standing out for it. It’s just kinda there.

#23: ‘How to Love’-Lil Wayne

Wow. I didn’t think it was possible for Lil Wayne to make such a boring song. I guess he was trying to make his own version of Find Your Love (by Drake), but it falls flat.

#22: ‘Down on Me’-Jeremih ft. 50 Cent

This is incredibly boring. Nothing stands out. It’s something I’d expect more at the fringe of the Top 100 rather than the Top 25.

#21: ‘Look at Me Now’-Chris Brown ft. Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne

Chris Brown is at his worst of the year. And the beat and medley are really flawed. On the other hand, Lil Wayne is at his best for the year and Busta Rhymes is solid.

#20: ‘What’s My Name?’-Rihanna ft. Drake

This is probably the weakest Rihanna hit of the year. While there’s not nothing really wrong with it, there’s also nothing great. It’s fairly dry.

#19: ‘Fuckin’ Perfect’-P!nk

I never thought of P!ink being possible of making a boring song, but shows what I know.

#18: ‘Born This Way’-Lady Gaga

The first time I heard this I thought it was an neo-80s disco themed song. It’s about the same now. I also don’t think this is as good as The Edge of Glory.

#17: ‘Raise Your Glass’-P!nk

I like it more than Fuckin’ Perfect, but even though I like it more it’s still flawed. And I think the message of the former was better than the one here.

#16: ‘Tonight (I’m Lovin You)’-Enrique Iglesias ft. Ludacris and DJ Frank E

Enrique sets the song up for failure immediately with ‘ooh’s at the beginning. Out of tone for him.

#15: ‘Just the Way You Are’-Bruno Mars

The song is cheesy, but somehow works for me. One of Bruno’s better songs and one of the reasons I had hope for him.

#14: ‘Last Friday Night (TGIF)’-Katy Perry

I consider this song the antithesis of The Edge of Glory. That song was good, this one bad. The former emphasized fun parties, this one really dumb ones/ It featured the great saxophonist Clarence Clemons, this one features Kenny (freakin’) G. I hate this song a lot is what I’m trying to say.

#13: ‘Pumped Up Kicks’-Foster the People

This is the indie hit of the year. It’s pretty good. It’s nice to see a song of its style so far on the list.

#12: ‘S&M’-Rihanna

Again, not Rihanna’s strongest single of the year. I actually got tired of hearing it on the radio since it was a ‘little’ overplayed.

#11: ‘On the Floor’-Jennifer Lopez ft. Pitbull

I really like the beat and medley, and the chorus too. The verses don’t really do it for me though.

#10: ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’-The Black Eyed Peas

When I first saw the title for this I was expecting for some sort of reference to the Depeche Mode song of the same title. So, it did surprise me when it was something more original. For the most part I really do like this song. The first two thirds are solid. The ‘switch-up’ in the last part of the song kills it for me. However, I still enjoy listening to this song on the radio, knowing at least I can change the station when it reaches the last part.

#9: ‘Moves Like Jagger’-Maroon 5 ft. Christina Aguilera

Honestly, there’s nothing too special about this song. The guitar riff established at the beginning is good, but it doesn’t really hold up the track. The rest of the medley and beat is underwhelming. Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera aren’t that great either. It’s not a horrid song, but I also don’t feel like it’s Top 10 material.

#8: ‘Super Bass’-Nicki Minaj

I like Moment 4 Life more than this hit, but it’s not entirely bad either. The refrain and chorus are both good. The refrain for demonstrating Minaj’s single ability. And the chorus for doing a little of the same, but also for being incredibly catchy. I always found the two verses for the song to be too silly, but they do establish Minaj’s ability to create fast rap flows.

#7: ‘Fuck You (Forget You)’-Cee Loo Green

I love this song, it’s great. Everything works about it. The instrumentation and lyrics blend well together. Cee Loo is talented vocalist and he shows it off well here. I always love in this song how the instrumentation calls back blues music. I do believe that the ‘explicit’ version is the one to hear, mainly because it maintains the lyrical flow that the song establishes. But yeah, this song is great.

#6: ‘Grenade’-Bruno Mars

The song does demonstrate Bruno’s vocal and musical strengths, but also a low point for his lyrical career. It’s pointlessly extreme. And if it was as extreme as he makes it out to be, he doesn’t make the music match the extremes of his lyrics. To make it better he could tone the lyrics or increase the tone of the music. Also, it’s not as bad as The Lazy Song.

#5: ‘Give Me Everything’-Pitbull ft. Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer

I’m really ambivalent about this song. Sometimes when I hear I’m really into it and enjoying it, other times it feels really distant. Ne-Yo and Nayer’s parts are catchy though lyrically flawed. I’m really not sure how to feel about Pitbull’s part. I have this natural distrust of his talent, but again, I’m really not sure if I dislike it or not here.

#4: ‘E.T.’-Katy Perry ft. Kanye West

Speaking of people I naturally dislike, this song is also ambivalent for me. I like the beat and medley here for some reason, but this is song that fails for me for both vocalists. While Kanye is definitely the worst of the parts, Katy Perry is pretty bad here too. This song is passable for vocals, but somehow passable for its music.

#3: ‘Firework’-Katy Perry

This is different here. This song is a complete failure here. The music bores me here and is nothing special. The lyrics are also bland for me. However bad the vocals were in E.T. they are far worse in this song. I simply can’t stand Katy Perry’s voice in this song. This is her worst sounding song for me. It’s musically boring and her voice just strains the whole time.

#2: ‘Party Rock Anthem’-LMFAO ft. Lauren Bennett and GoonRock

Party Rock Anthem is another one of those songs that I have mixed opinions about. It’s negative in the sense that epitomizes the club music that dominates the pop charts in the past few years. At the same time that’s it strength. It showcases the fun, albeit silly, aspects of pop club music. I’m not surprised to see it so high on the charts, but it’s one of the songs I see more as a symbol for a larger trend than a part itself.

#1: ‘Rolling in the Deep’-Adele

The huge popularity of this song has been really surprising for me. Considering that last year’s #1 hit was Ke$ha’s Tik Tok it seems like we’ve come a huge way with this song. Adele has a strong voice that’s really showcased well in this song. The beat and music are really good for the lyrics and vocals of the song. It’s not my favorite song of the year, but it’s also indicative that there’s changing trends in popular music today.

 

And that concludes my look at Billboard Magazine’s Year-End Top 100. If you want to see my look at last year’s list see the link below. Next December expect me to do the same with the list for 2012.

 

Reviews for 2010 Top 100