Another month, another batch of music to review and/or lampoon.
Zack’s Top 3 Albums of the Month
3. Tim Heidecker – Fear of Death 2. Big Sean – Detroit 2
Detroit 2 was released nearly 8 years to the day of the release of Big Sean’s fourth mixtape, Detroit. Back then, Sean was doing it: his first studio album, Finally Famous, had dropped the year prior. A week after Detroit would be the release of Cruel Summer, a compilation album showcasing several G.O.O.D. Music artist, including Sean on two smashers: Clique and Mercy. He was still with his high-school sweetheart too.
Fast-forward to today: Detroit 2 is Big Sean’s sixth studio album, and he hasn’t slowed down a lick. He’s quietly made a name for himself as one of the best rappers in the game. And, like all the greats do, he spans a variety of topics on Detroit 2, without holding anything back. Whether it’s the diagnosis of his heart condition on “Lucky Me”, the squashing of the apparent non-beef with Kendrick Lamar on “Deep Reverence”, or the vulnerable matters-of-the-heart jam “Guard Your Heart”, Sean puts it all out on the table.
This was a better than expected month for chart debuts. Don’t get me wrong, there was still some bad, but less than normal and the bad all have the same thing in common: they’re boring as hell.
15. Internet Money ft. Don Tolliver, Gunna and Nav– Lemonade Have you heard a hip hop song before? Are you familiar with all the clichés about all the riches that these rappers that you’ve never heard of brag about on their songs? Good, you’ve got the content of this one covered. They mention drugs a lot too, which makes sense because the track sounds like someone fed Ableton all the Quaaludes then told it to spit out an acoustic guitar backed beat. There’s seriously not much to this song and even less when you factor in how damn boring the beat is.
Hopefully, you’ve returned to day with the promise of some good music from 1991. Not one to disappoint, that’s what we’re here to do.
We’ll start out with a group of songs that just missed out on a spot in the top 10. There was quite a log jam of scores just outside the top 10, further proving what I said before that 1991 was an odd year of a lot of decent: – Wilson Philips – You’re in Love – I put it to you that this is a better track than their more well known “Hold On”. – Bonnie Raitt – Something To Talk About – A classic bluesy rock track, Raitt’s voice is so smooth, its the butter on top of this song. – Sting – All This Time – A reflection on the passing of his farther, this track is quite upbeat given the subject and is driven by a solid Hammond organ piece. – Roxette – Fading Like a Flower (Every Time You Leave) – Great guitarwork in the background of a powerhouse piece of pop. – Extreme – Hole Hearted – Great piece of acoustic rock, punctuated with vocal and instrumental harmonies. And after all those we are finally into the countdown.
10. Oleta Adams – Get Here– Year-end: #80, Peak: #5
The next installment of my project to review the year-end Hot 100’s of every year of my existence takes us to a kind of K-T line for pop music. 1991 was a very interesting year in that music is on the brink of a major shift, so the rules are kind of different. Dance pop rules the airwaves, hair metal is making its last gasps at life and soft rock is king. The charts are just kind of… weird. After listening to the top 100 songs on the charts from that year I think the best way to describe 1991 is meh. There were few songs that I would term “bad”, but there’s not a ton of “great” either. The middle ground, however, is packed with singles of all stripes. With that in mind, here’s how the bottom of my rankings shaped up. If you want to see Billboard’s full list, you can click here.
Before we really dive into the list, here’s a few tracks that were just good enough to miss the bottom 10: – The Escape Club – I’ll Be There – Some shaky vocals on an otherwise lifeless track, even for an early 90’s ballad. – UB40 – Here I Am (Come and Take Me) – Pretty standard reggae cover that manages to drain all the soul and feeling from the original. – Warrant – I Saw Red – Written after the lead singer caught his girlfriend in bed with Richie Sambora, it’s weak sauce given the subject. It takes two-and-a-half minutes to get to any shred of a passion in the vocals. – Paula Abdul – The Promise of a New Day – Man, are the back-up vocals distracting and not in a good way. Add the weird synth bells and you a track musically trying way too hard.
Another month that was surprisingly middling. I don’t feel like anything that reached the top 40 this month will blow your mind, but there were plenty of solid tracks. Here’s everything that made its debut in the top 40 during the last month.
19. Ily (i love you baby) – Surf Mesa ft. Emilee
It’s the chorus of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” with an airy boring electronic beat. The vocals sound like Surf Mesa had Emilee record the six lines of the original song they used, then ran her vocals through the soma filter. This supposedly falls into the “chillwave” genre, but to me it proves we should be putting Soundcloud on ice.
The Brofather is back to sing the praises of a new drink. Beer alone is no good, we need tequila. Actually, we need a rewrite of Tracy Byrd’s “Ten Rounds with Jose Cuervo” with a little Kenny Chesney spin on it and… oh, he name checks Chesney in a verse. Well, at least he knows. It’s a song that is technically fine. His band is more than capable. A few extra points for trying to make a party song in the middle of a summer where we could all use a pick me up. But there’s still quite a hole to dig out of here.
This week, we take a look at another pretty good month in music. Jeremy and Zack give us their favorite albums of the month, Dan looks at the best and worst top 40 hits and the guys play their first round of the Looks Like game.
Jeremy’s Top 3 Albums of July: 3. Mannequin Online – I Feel It 2. Gaerea – Limbo 1. Ellie Goulding – Brightest Blue
Zack’s Top 3 Albums of July: 3. Gucci Mane – Gucci Mane Presents: So Icy Summer 2. Taylor Swift – folklore 1. Juice WRLD – Legends Never Die
Dan’s Top 2 Top 40 Tracks of July: 2. Megan Thee Stallion – Girls in the Hood 1. Lil’ Baby – The Bigger Picture