Pop is Strange
Hot 100 Roundup—4/14/12

Justin Bieber—“Boyfriend”

This may be a magic leap in quality and maturity for Bieber, but it’s still derivative as hell—music via Justin Timberlake, phrasing via Chris Brown. And the lyrics are dumb on every level. The worst isn’t the infamous reference to fondue by the fire, but a couple of lines later when he warns the girl of his dreams that his falsetto is coming. We already know that falsetto represents ecstasy and climax and all that, Bieber; you don’t need to tell us about it—especially not in the middle of the song.

Waka Flocka Flame featuring Trey Songz—“I Don’t Really Care”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Trey Songz—“Heart Attack”

Trey Songz’s new romantic sincerity is an interesting turn in his career, but it isn’t resulting in interesting music. “Sex Ain’t Better Than Love” was too quirky and went on too long, while this one barely exists at all. I appreciate that he has something to say, but he needs to find a more exciting way to say it.

Sean Paul—“She Doesn’t Mind”

Did Sean Paul really expect to burst back onto the charts after his two or so years off without updating his sound? Things have changed—a lot—and here he comes with a record that could have been made five years ago, if not ten. He wasn’t much good then; now he sounds completely out of place.

Pitbull—“Back In Time”

Sue me, but I love this, if only because six months after her death we finally get at least a partial homage to Sylvia Robinson, plus Pitbull at his silliest and the hackiest, most obvious dubstep insert you’ll ever hear. A stupid novelty that sounds exactly like a stupid novelty is supposed to sound: fast, funny, and irresistible.

Josh Turner—“Time Is Love”

There are people I respect who love this, but I’m not one of them. This isn’t bad, but it’s essentially an updated George Strait record, and since Strait is making those himself I’m not sure I see the point. It sounds fresh because, aside from Strait, not too many people are making records like this, but it’s above-average commercial country and nothing more.

Michel Telo—“Ai Se Eu Te Pego”

A bright, breezy, not too cloying Brazilian singalong. First time I’ve heard Portugese on the chart. The lyric is about meeting a beautiful girl at a party (things are the same all over). Pleasant, but nothing special.

Chris Cagle—“Got My Country On”

Country hair metal (mullet metal?) with not a single cliché, country or metal, out of place. When Cagle takes the song to church I feel like pounding his pandering ass into the dirt. The worst country song to make the chart so far this year.

Dev & Enrique Iglesias—“Naked”

This has been floating around the Bubbling Under chart since the beginning of the year, and once you hear it you’ll understand why it hasn’t gotten much higher. Dev is fine, but this a rare substandard track from the Cataracs, and Iglesias is as smarmy as ever.

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