Category Archives: new this week

Slave To the Bad: Hot 100 Roundup—6/7/14

Before we get started with this week, I just want to point out that despite the fact that I’ve panned the first two singles, Miranda Lambert’s Platinum is her best album since Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, if not her best album, period. … Continue reading

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Second Rate Doesn’t Always Mean Bad
Hot 100 Roundup—5/31/14

5 Seconds of Summer—“Don’t Stop” #47 Pop-punk readymades perfectly applied, and this time without the irritating product placement. Not as deep (cough) or experimental (cough cough) as their pals in One Direction, and there’s still too much teen-boy leering for … Continue reading

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Remember When Iggy Meant Pop?
Hot 100 Roundup—5/17/14

Arianna Grande featuring Iggy Azalea—“Problem” #3 Produced by Max Martin, and in the great Swedish pop tradition this is catchy as hell while making no sense whatsoever. Or, to put it in the form of a question: why is the … Continue reading

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Fluffer Than Fluff
Hot 100 Roundup—5/10/14

Avril Lavigne—“Hello Kitty” #75 Unless you believe that copying or borrowing elements from a foreign culture for the purpose of creating art or entertainment is racist—a broadening of the term that renders it almost meaningless and smears every artist who … Continue reading

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They Got a Sayin’
Hot 100 Roundup—5/3/14

Lana Del Rey—“West Coast” #17 My difficulties with Del Rey revolve around performance rather than concept. Her intelligence is as obvious as her lack of vocal talent, and the music she places around her voice is smart but often overdone, … Continue reading

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Bring Out the Big Balloons!
Hot 100 Roundup—4/26/14

Ed Sheeran—“Sing” #15 With Pharrell in the producer’s chair, this was guaranteed to at least not be a rhythmic embarrassment. The acoustic guitar driven beat is a welcome change from the usual drum machines, Sheeran’s vocals are fine overall, and … Continue reading

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[How Did I Post This Without A Headline?]
Hot 100 Roundup—4/19/14

5 Seconds of Summer—“She Looks So Perfect” #60 Australian boy band, One Direction approved, bouncy, loud, maybe slightly better than average. None of that matters. What matters is the chorus, an insidious earworm that implants itself instantly in your brain … Continue reading

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Insanity, Fever, Drugs, and Other Lies
Hot 100 Roundup—4/12/14

Shakira—“Empire” #58 “Empire” is so insane that I couldn’t tell you whether it’s any good or not. Shakira borrows half a dozen different vocal effects, invents a few of her own, ties them to some of the silliest lyrics you’ve … Continue reading

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No, No, and Oh My God No
Hot 100 Roundup—4/5/14

Calvin Harris—“Summer” #69 When pop producers go EDM, their productions are still recognizable as pop—the beats and flourishes may be different, but the overall structure holds tight to tradition. When DJs go pop, though, the result is often a clumsy … Continue reading

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I Luh Ya Pop
Hot 100 Roundup—3/29/14

Soko—“We Might Be Dead By Tomorrow” #9 Yet another YouTube flash, debuting in the top ten and disappearing completely the next week. Soko herself isn’t a flash—she made a wonderful record with Cornershop a couple of years ago—but this is … Continue reading

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