Category Archives: new this week

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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You Only Live Once, But You Can Make Bad Pop About It Forever
Hot 100 Roundup—10/4/14

Jennifer Lopez featuring Iggy Azalea—“Booty” #18 Note the use of the third-person: it isn’t her own booty Lopez is singing about, it’s some nameless object of male attention. She sounds more like a madame, a famous courtesan herself once upon … Continue reading

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Future Games
Hot 100 Roundup—9/27/14

Fall Out Boy—“Centuries” #22 I’d like these guys a lot more if they didn’t seem so concerned about their place in the rock and roll pantheon. Of course, the fact that they believe in a rock and roll pantheon at … Continue reading

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Yawn
Hot 100 Roundup—9/20/14

Sometimes the Hot 100 almost literally puts me to sleep. Feel free to skip this week; I wish I could have. Jason Aldean—“Sweet Little Somethin’” #71 Rock by the numbers; country by default. Jeezy Featuring Jay Z—“Seen It All” #85 … Continue reading

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Darling Nicki
Hot 100 Roundup—9/13/14

Eminem featuring Sia—“Guts Over Fear” #22 Eminem says it best himself: “Sometimes I feel like all I ever do is find different ways to word the same old song.” Then he says it again: “Feel like I’ve already said this … Continue reading

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Free Shrugs
Hot 100 Roundup—9/6/14

Taylor Swift—“Shake It Off” #1 One of the paradoxes of teen life is the younger you are, the more you want to sound mature and assume adult responsibility; then, when you leave adolescence and realize just what that responsibility entails, … Continue reading

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Can I Put My Head Back In My Shell Now?
Hot 100 Roundup—8/30/14

Ariana Grande featuring Big Sean—“Best Mistake” #49 Hooking up with Big Sean is always a bad idea, and it’s even worse when the song isn’t up to scratch (or barely a song). Never that impressive to begin with, Ariana Grande … Continue reading

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