Category Archives: new this week

Take It Easy
Hot 100 Roundup—1/31/14

If you read this blog on a regular basis, you know I’m no fan of pretension in pop, even while practicing plenty of it myself. So it’s nice that some artists who normally wear me out with their misplaced ambition … Continue reading

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Let’s Play Master and Servant
Hot 100 Roundup—1/24/15

A miscellany this week, and if the headline seems suggestive it’s only because there are two songs about sexual submission (one from a woman and one from a group of men), one about a woman who refuses to submit, and … Continue reading

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The Twilight of the Bros
Hot 100 Roundup—1/17/15

The success of Maddie and Tae’s “Girl In a Country Song” wasn’t just the result of women tiring of the stereotypical role country radio had placed them in, it was the result of country radio itself, and male country artists, … Continue reading

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Gift Card Week
Hot 100 Roundup—1/10/15

Even more of an annual tradition than The Voice, the latest chart reflects the first full week of Christmas gift card season, when millions of teenagers rush to cash in the Amazon and iTunes cards their less than doting relatives, … Continue reading

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Voiceless
Hot 100 Roundup—1/3/15

In what I hope won’t become an annual tradition, the first week of Billboard’s new year (the last full week of December in the rest of the world) is filled with finalists from The Voice, including, I assume, the winner … Continue reading

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New Year, No Rules
Hot 100 Roundup—12/27/14

Craig Wayne Boyd—“The Old Rugged Cross” #59 J. Cole “Wet Dreamz”, #73 “No Role Modelz”, #95 On his last album Cole sounded like a Kanye West wannabe: it was easy to appreciate his ambition, but it was obvious he hadn’t … Continue reading

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It’s Raining Voices
Hot 100 Roundup—12/20/14

Ed Sheeran—“Make It Rain” #34 It’s interesting to hear Sheeran sing someone else’s material: stripped of all his convoluted lyrical and musical tics, he turns out to be a decent singer—controlled, intense, even moving at times. “Make It Rain” doesn’t … Continue reading

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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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