The musical aspect of Battle Hymns is too often neglected lately. Let's face it, its been awhile. The sad fact is that I just don't buy all that much new music these days, thus the dirge of music reviews. I also know that my favorite music genre of choice, metal, isn't everyone's cup of tea. Why, I don't know. Metal really is the best kind of music. Instead, lots and lots and lots of people listen to shitty, bland corporate music that is completely devoid of art or sincerity. Which by the way is exactly what I'm about to do. I'm going to listen to the Billboard Top 10 hits of RIGHT NOW and share my thoughts. Ok, deep breath. Here I go. In descending order...
*Props to Dan Savage, of The Stranger, who did a similar article a few months back, thus giving me the idea.
#10: Black and Yellow by Wiz Khalifa: Yeah, uh huh! Of the ten hits, I'm pretty sure this is the only one I've heard before. Pretty much every sports team out there has remixed this song into an anthem about their own team, changing the colors to team colors and switching up the lyrics a little bit. I'm not sure which is a bigger feat of creativity, writing this song, or taking what Wiz wrote and making it work for say, the Seahawks.
One thing I've noticed right off the bat, Wiz cant rhyme for shit. Either that or he just knew that his hook was money so he phoned the verses knowing it was a hit no matter what he actually wrote. Some of Wiz's awesome rhymes: "roarin'" and "for it," "diamonds" and "time is", the guy needs to read some Dr, Seuss or something.
#9: Tonight by Enrique Iglesias feat. Ludacris: Yes! What would a top ten be without Ludacris? Wait, I forgot it wasn't 2005 anymore. How do some of these guys stay around for so long? Also, Enrique, I'm disappointed. I thought you were a "singer". Why you gotta use the auto-tune gimmick? What the fuck is it with the auto-tune bullshit? How is that still cool? It is a stupid sound trick that sounds terrible in every song it's ever been used in. I mean, have you guys not heard Domo Arigato by Styx? Same idea, same shitty sound.
This song is nothing more than a soulless club hit. It has a thumpy beat that even white dudes could dance to, and I just picture Enrique grinding with like three cougars at once, dancing to his own song. Luda's rap verse could be rapped by a five year old, that's how complex the lyrics and rhymes are. What a terrible fucking song.
#8: Never Say Never by Justin Bieber feat. Jaden Smith: A trend I'm noticing here: almost every radio hit these days has to feature someone else. Someone will all of a sudden be featured in everyone else's song, then boom, they have their own solo album and their career blows up and the cycle of shitty music continues. These bastards are are thick as thieves! The amount of nepotism in the music/acting industry is outlandish. This song, featuring the son of The Fresh Prince, is a great example.
Sorry, but I already hate this song, without listening to it. For one, I really hate J-Beebs or whatever he's called. Nice hair dude. Anyway, my personal preferences aside, this song really does suck. Did you know "there's just no turnin' back, when your heart's under attack"? That is some deep shit right there. The sooner this kid's star fades into obscurity the better. Jaden's rap delivery, cadence and voice are reminiscent of Kris Kross. Not a good thing. Ok, just end now song...
#7: S&M by Rihanna: Wow, the beginning is really annoying. That was a painful 30 seconds of repeated "Na, na, na, na come ons". Off to a great start. Another bass heavy club hit from the looks of things. From the lyrical content, I'm guessing this song is supposed to create some sort of "bad-girl" image for Riannah. She likes whips and chains. Whoa. It's funny how pop music from the 80's still manages to be more shocking, controversial, and also interesting than the shit produced today. Riannah might like the smell of sex, but that doesn't hold a candle to Like a Virgin. Totally, completely a forgettable, song. Hope I never have to hear it again.
#6: Fucking Perfect by P!nk: P!ink kinda grosses me out. There's just something about her mannish jaw that I find creepy. If you didn't know, her "singing" voice is terrible. I guess this song is supposed to be about the struggles of and angsty teenager. Hey, that's never been done before. Awesome concept. At least the song has a positive vibe. You should believe in yourself, and think you are perfect just the way you are, but then the video goes and glorifies fighting with your family, getting shitty grades, and suicide. Way to go guys. Fucking Perfect.
#5: Firework by Katy Perry: In the opening line, Katy asks: "Do you ever feel like a plastic bag?" Nope. Shit, I'm worried I might have a hard time connecting with this song. Hoo, yuck, Katy's range is pretty limited. When she tries to actually sing, you know like belt something out, despite her producer's best efforts, and knob tweakings, her voice falls apart. Another lame concept that I guess is supposed to make me feel inspired to let my inner light shine out. Yeah, not feeling it.
#4: I Need a Doctor by Dr. Dre feat. Eminem and Skylar Grey: After those last 6 songs, I really do feel like I need a doctor. Enter the most talented musicians on the top ten list: Dr. Dre and Eminem. I liked Dre back in the 90's, and even though I'm not a fan of his music, I think Eminem actually moves the rap genre forward rather than backwards like most other popular rappers these days.
I'm assuming Dre created the beat for this song. If so, it is one of his weaker beats. I don't know why I expected this song to be a savior. It plays right into that middle road of being easily accessible to the masses and never veers from the path or is remarkable in any way. At this point I'm just waiting for Dre to drop his verse, which I know is coming, and will probably also be a let down. Oh snap, here it comes....and there it goes. Dre always was a better producer than a rapper.
#3: Grenade by Bruno Mars: I have no idea who Bruno Mars is, but I must be missing out on something amazing. I mean, anyone whose video has 95 MILLION youtube views must be like, the best musician ever right? Hmm...I'm skeptical.
Ok, there you go, right off the bat: he's singing in a baby voice. Ugh, I hate it. Bruno, would you really catch a grenade for the woman you love? Really? Of course not. Be fucking realistic. You probably wouldn't take a blade, or jump in front of a train either. Also, what kind of relationship are you in if those kinds of things are distinct probabilities? You might wanna bail on that one. I'm wondering, is Bruno dating Ramona Flowers or something, and all these evil exes are trying to kill him with grenades and swords and trains and shit? What is the point of doing all these deadly things anyway, if you did, you'd be dead, thus making it impossible to be with the woman you love, and isn't being with that person no matter what, the point of it all?
Yeah, anyway, moving on. Two more to go.
#2: Fuck You (Forget You) by Cee Lo Green: This is sort of the opposite of what ol' Bruno Mars was singin' in the last one. I guess Cee Lo's chick left him for another dude, and he's not the type to move on so easily, or handle things like an adult.
My endurance is definitely running low right about now. These songs just aren't any good. Oh great, there's this part towards the end where he sings in this whiny-cry baby voice and it is really terrible. As far as I can tell, this song is a hit based on it's snappy, and liberal use of the word "fuck". I guess everyone can sort of relate to the lyrics a bit too, but who cares, that doesn't make it a good song. Everyone could relate to a song about drinking water too, and I bet that would suck just as bad.
#1: Born This Way by Lady Gaga: I'm pretty sure this will be my very first time ever listening to a Lady Gaga song. Give it up to me for achieving a life-long dream! L. Gaga strikes me as a Madonna rip off, but I have nothing to base that on other than her looks, which sort of reminds me of Madonna in her vogue era. Big surprise, unlike Madonna, Lady Gaga has a bad singing voice. Words of wisdom I've gleaned from this song: "Don't be a drag, be a queen".
Ok, scratch that earlier comment about Lady Gaga being a Madonna rip off, I've decided she's actually the love child of Madonna and Dee Snider from Twisted Sister. Take a look:
See the family resemblance?
Ok, my work is done here. What a dumb, torturous idea. Do yourselves a favor and listen to something else. Something that will inspire you and make feel good. I just sorta feel dead inside.