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
I sat down with this record expecting, even hoping, for something to tear apart. I was not ready to actually enjoy (most of) a Meghan Trainor album. The lead single, “No Excuses”, is such a trainwreck of a song I was ready to launch into a tirade about faux-sincerity, narcissism, and banal pop tropes that are all embodied by a mush-mouthed blonde commercial puppet.
Sure, she switches between personalities from song to song, decrying the horrors of a relationship, then wanting him back. Sure, when she sings the phrase, “Love Yourself”, it somehow sounds like she’s saying “Out dog yourself”. Sure, every song is a repetitive, four-chord, easily-digestible melody.
Goddammit if it doesn’t work this time. Ignore the Nicki Minaj part of “Nice To Meet You” and the melody and beat are quite pleasing. Close your eyes and listen to “Funk” and you can almost hear Janet. “Working On It” might be the most honest a pop star has been recently about personal failings. Throw a Spanish verse into “Lie To Me” and it could be Shakira. And the best part is, she finally has a producer that nearly eliminated the overuse of handclaps and ‘60s pop basslines.
My favorite track on the album has to be “Here To Stay”, in which she basically says, “Yeah, I’m a piece of shit, but apparently you’re into that, so let’s do this.”
The problematic tendencies definitely still exist (“Babygirl”, “Genetics”, and the aforementioned “No Excuses”), but by and large, this is a huge step in the right direction.