Hot 100 Roundup—3/12/11

Jennifer Lopez featuring Pitbull—”On the Floor”

Anyone with any sense knows why this debuted in the top ten. Lopez’s presence on American Idol may, in fact, be the only reason this record was made at all. Some people have already mentioned the irony involved in Lopez coaching singers when she doesn’t have much of a voice herself, but weak vocals are the least of this record’s problems, which is such a blatant grab-bag of current dance floor trends that even Pitbull sounds a little unsure of it. You can’t say Lopez and her producer, RedOne, aren’t up-to-date, but ripping off a track as recognizable as “Stereo Love” when it’s just peaked on the charts is about as daring as this record gets. For anyone who may have wondered whether it was RedOne or Lady Gaga who provided the creative firepower on The Fame, this should answer your questions quite nicely.

Glee Cast
“Don’t You Want Me”, #49
“Blame It (On the Alcohol)”, #55
“Tik Tok”, #61

Back to normal.

Wiz Khalifa featuring Too $hort—”On My Level”

Not a terrible track, but the presence of Too $hort makes me question Khalifa’s judgement. Too $hort is now too old to indulge in stimulants himself, so instead he talks about getting girls loaded so he can have his way with them. What a guy. Is this why some people are raving about Khalifa? Because he’s bringing back “real”, stupidly sexist hip-hop? As if it ever went away.

“Someone Like You”, #65
“Set Fire To the Rain”, #88

Adele has a voice—when she isn’t blasting like an air raid siren she manages to be both growly and vulnerable, with a touch of hysteria thrown in for good measure—but these are terrible songs, if they can even be graced with the designation of song at all. They’re set pieces for her voice; the lyrical blather serves as nothing but an indicator of what she’s getting so upset about. She’s young yet, so maybe she’ll learn, and when she gets around to making 35 she may even have something to say. But since her sales are encouraging her in the wrong direction, I don’t hold out much hope.

Big Time Rush featuring Snoop Dogg—”Boyfriend”

Snoop teaming up with this Nickelodeon-sponsored boy band has a lot of people shaking their heads, but other than their choice of words and their preferred stimulants (Big Time Rush are high on life, you see), I don’t see much difference. Both have fairly shallow ideas about love and romance, one the result of inexperience, the other the result of too much experience. Snoop, of course, is super cool while BTR gush, but while BTR sees nothing but the stars in their own eyes, Snoop sees nothing but Gucci bags and the size of her thighs. Since they’re both looking for the wrong things, why shouldn’t they search together?

Mike Posner featuring Lil Wayne—”Bow Chicka Wow Wow”

Reviewed in Bubbling Under, 2/28/11

DJ Khaled featuring Rick Ross, Plies, Lil Wayne & T-Pain—”Welcome To My Hood”

Reviewed in Bubbling Under, 2/28/11

Kirk Franklin—”I Smile”

I’d never heard of Franklin before this, and since he doesn’t actually sing on this track, I thought he was some sort of Prosperity Gospel preacher. But he has a long history on the gospel circuit and seems to be the real thing, though you’d never know it by listening to this happy jingle for Jesus. Not that it blatantly advertises itself as such: for the most part it’s a positivity anthem with a few religious references thrown in. It’s essentially all chorus, and though it seems friendly enough at first, it gets cloying fast, and then it goes on and on and doesn’t leave you alone, like a cheerful bus stop proselytizer who doesn’t recognize the fine line between being friendly and being an irritant. Franklin actually starts out irritating by dedicating the song to “depression, recession, and unemployment”, no doubt for opening desperate people’s hearts to the message of the church. Which is one of the reasons I, and many others, hate the church to begin with.

Joe Nichols—”The Shape I’m In”

Reviewed in Bubbling Under, 2/21/11

Aaron Lewis featuring George Jones & Charlie Daniels—”Country Boy”

Reviewed in Bubbling Under, 2/21/11