Bad Meets Evil featuring Bruno Mars—”Lighters”
Aside from the profit motive, I can’t think of a single reason for this record to exist. Mars repeats himself, only this time demanding acclaim for doing so; Eminem reminds haters for the umpteenth time that their hatred only makes him stronger; and Royce Da 5’9″ complains about T-Pain not letting Royce have a verse on one of his records. Based on this, T-Pain was right.
Javier Colon—”Angel”, #64
Vicci Martinez—”Jolene”, #76
Casey Weston—”Black Horse and the Cherry Tree”, #90
Xenia—”Price Tag”, #99
Shania Twain—”Today Is Your Day”
After all these years Twain pins her come-back on a Sara Bareilles imitation, only without the sarcasm and cynicism that makes Bareilles interesting. Just to prove she’s still country she throws in some token banjo on the second verse and then buries it in the mix. She seems to believe that she’s still a star and can pick up where she left off without much effort, the same mistake Usher made a few years ago. Whether she has the talent or the energy to realign her career the way he did is another question.
Pitbull featuring Marc Anthony—Rain Over Me”
Not good. Not terrible, but not good. Not a surprise, either. When your career is based on club-bangers, any album more then three singles deep is considered a masterpiece, if not a miracle. Pitbull has already made his quota.
Gym Class Heroes featuring Adam Levine—”Stereo Hearts”
Travie McCoy is a major irritant, and here he brings Levine, who is only a minor irritant, down to his level. Levine takes himself too seriously, and McCoy doesn’t take himself seriously at all, but they’re both egotists who think they’re geniuses and who lack the ability to see how average their talents really are. McCoy is more irritating because he can’t shut up, but Levine makes the major mistake here of trying to be funny (at least I think that’s what he’s doing), which only demonstrates what a stick he really is. Weirdest moment: the middle eight that rips off Vampire Weekend. This is either a joke that doesn’t work or an attempt to establish seriousness in a way that makes no sense at all. Either way, it’s cringeworthy.
Joe Jonas—”See No More”
Jonas plays his dance-pop the same way he and his brothers play their rock and roll, with a misplaced, earnest intensity that turns everything he/they do into numbing bombast. Pop actually eases the pressure on Jonas a bit, but the song is mediocre, and Jonas has no idea how to make anything better of it. He has now failed at rock and roll, acting, and pop. Isn’t it time to quit?
Afrojack featuring Eva Simons—”Take Over Control”
Reviewed in Bubbling Under, 5/14/11
Billy Currington—”Love Done Gone”
Currington has a decent voice, but you’d need to listen to this garish, Barry-Manilow-goes-country monstrosity more than once to realize it. I did, but I’m a professional. I doubt most people could get through it even once.