Category Archives: singles

Working Out, Going Out, Hanging Out
Hot 100 Roundup—12/13/14

James Newton Howard Featuring Jennifer Lawrence—“The Hanging Tree” #12 For a minute or so this almost works. Jennifer Lawrence’s singing, like the song itself, is simple and crude, which in the context of the movie is exactly what it should … Continue reading

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Oh Shit, It’s Christmas
Hot 100 Roundup 12/6/14

Pentatonix—“Mary, Did You Know?” #26 Lyrically risible (“This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you”), theologically unsound (Jesus was never the lord of any nation, and he rejected the opportunity when Satan offered it to him), vocally undistinguished (if … Continue reading

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“Sounds Like It Got a Three On It”
Hot 100 Roundup—11/29/14

Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars—“Uptown Funk” #65 The late-seventies James Brown riffs are welcome, and Mars sings his heart out (I bet he kills this live), but the music is Ronson’s usual stiff, ersatz soul-funk, and I find it impossible … Continue reading

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White Boys
Hot 100 Roundup—11/22/14

Selena Gomez—“The Heart Wants What It Wants” #25 Preparing to leave Hollywood Records for Interscope, Gomez reteams with her Disney producers RockMafia, who generously provide her with her best single since “Naturally”. Tim James and Antonina Armato load the track … Continue reading

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Hot Lips
Hot 100 Roundup 11/15/14

Taylor Swift “Blank Space”, #18 “Style”, #60 “Wildest Dreams”, #76 “Bad Blood”, #80 Fans choice: now that the album is out we find out what Swift’s audience wants to hear. In the past, nearly every track from a Swift album … Continue reading

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You’re Gonna Make It After All. And Then What?
Hot 100 Roundup—11/8/14

A hodgepodge this week: eleven records with only two of any quality, one by a new artist who’s most likely a oneshot (Dej Loaf), the other a decent throwaway by an artist capable of far better (Eric Church). But most … Continue reading

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Out, In, Up, Gone
Hot 100 Roundup—11/1/14

Taylor Swift—“Out Of The Woods” #18 The album may be called 1989, but the real source, for this song at least, is 1965 and the melodramatic girl-group sound of the Shangri-las. The wistful, echoing background vocals, the bracing shifts in … Continue reading

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Yes, That Means Everybody
Hot 100 Roundup—10/25/14

Jimmy Fallon featuring will.i.am—“EW!” #26 I appreciate Jimmy Fallon’s love of music, because it results in great bookings on his show, but I’ve never found him funny, and this joke was done better earlier in the year by “#selfie” (even … Continue reading

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Ordinary People
Hot 100 Roundup—10/18/14

One Direction—“Steal My Girl” #13 The lead single from their fourth album in four years, and not only do they not sound burned out, they keep getting better. They’ve learned how to sing—though I still can’t tell them apart—and, more … Continue reading

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Rap Week: Hot 100 Roundup—10/11/14

I can’t remember a week when so many rap records hit the chart all at once. Most of them are pretty good, too, though one of them (guess who?) is among the worst things I’ve ever heard. The rest of … Continue reading

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