Category Archives: new this week

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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Unconscious: Hot 100 Roundup—3/22/14

Coldplay—“Magic” #24 The news of Chris Martin’s breakup with Gyneth Paltrow, conscious or not, lends this song a certain poignancy. It sounds like too little too late, as if Martin was arguing with someone who’s already made up her mind. … Continue reading

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Don’t Go Cryin’: Hot 100 Roundup—3/15/14

The Chainsmokers—“#SELFIE” #55 Of course the music is all cliche—that’s part of the joke. And of course the vocals are incompetent even at being stupid—that’s part of the joke, too. As is the already dated quality of the words themselves. … Continue reading

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Old Guard, New Guard, Right Guard: Hot 100 Roundup—3/8/14

Lorde—“Glory and Gore” #88 In case you missed the overarching metaphor the first time out, Lorde would like to explain The Hunger Games to you. The battle for adulthood is on, only in Lorde’s version it’s three-way combat: against the … Continue reading

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