How about a conservative version masterminded by Glenn Beck?
Posts Tagged ‘Glenn Beck’
Because of the larger than usual number of records to hit the chart this week, I decided to split the roundup in half; the Hot 100 today, Bubbling Under tomorrow. Chances are this will become a regular thing. The number of records making the chart each week seems to be growing, even when Glee doesn’t add its weight to the equation, and I’ve enjoyed combing through the Bubbling Under chart for those who have never made the big chart and possibly never will. How long this will continue depends on how much free time I have, but right now I have plenty, so we’ll give it a go.
Lady Gaga—”Born This Way”
Celebratory in all the right ways, if hardly groundbreaking, this represents a shift in Lady Gaga from persona—and not a very nice one—to person. She’s said herself that there is essentially no difference now between Stefani Germanotta and Gaga, a position that allows her to double-down on concept and at the same indulge her personal, real-life loves and opinions without any noticeable division between her human self and her image. It’s impossible to judge where this will go based on only one song, but in its way it’s not much different than what Taylor Swift has done in mixing her life with her art, albeit with a more eccentric fashion sense. It’s a tricky path, and it’s hard not to wonder if some day Gaga will turn into the Norma Desmond of pop music, trapped in her own delusional image of herself. For now, though, it’s working, and though “Born This Way” is more pastiche than anything original, cheering on a victory that for the most part has already been won, it’s still her pastiche, and it comes across as the real thing, even if Gaga herself doesn’t.
Jay Sean featuring Lil Wayne—”Hit the Lights”
The particular strain of British hip-hop that Jay Sean represents, along with Taio Cruz and Tinie Tempah, is, in many ways, almost irresistable. The hooks are insistant, the tempos bright and bouncy, and the overall atmosphere one of mindless but real enjoyment. This song would appear to be about dancing. Lil Wayne adds nothing, but he doesn’t subtract, either, and this bounces along so effortlessly its impossible not to be sucked in. So what else can I say but “here’s another one”?
Colbie Caillat—”I Do”
A lot of people will probably hate this on general principal, and once it becomes a staple soundtrack for engagement ring commercials they’ll have a right. But charming is charming, and this bounces along, lighter than air, with a confidence and optimism that for most people would probably be sadly misplaced. For someone as privileged as Caillat though, it makes perfect sense, and I still say that she’s essentially a Taylor Swift for rich beach-bunny’s and all the girls who wish they were. Why shouldn’t they be allowed to have a soundtrack of their own?
“Silly Love Songs”, #45
“When I Get You Alone”, #47
“Fat Bottomed Girls”, #56
“P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing), #58
“She’s Not There”, #87
Wiz Khalifa—”Roll Up”
Khalifa’s an interesting case, but I’m not sure I understand the fuss that some are making about him. As a rapper he’s less pop than, say, B.o.B., but a lot more pop than others; his vocals have some of the flat dryness of Drake, but with a smoother, less self-important flow. All the same, nothing much about him stands out. He’s good, but he’s not great, and though I appreciate the believability of the scenario he creates here, and his stuff goes down pleasantly enough, there’s nothing special or new about it, either. I wouldn’t call him mediocre, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to hear him.
Jana Kramer—”I Won’t Give Up”
Weepy-eyed country doesn’t come much more ordinary than this. I’m sure she means well, but nobody ever saved a man by boring him to death.
Lupe Fiasco featuring Skylar Grey—”Words I Never Said”
It’s been a long time since anything so blatantly political has appeared on the Hot 100, and Fiasco wins big points with me by not pulling any punches, including calling both Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck racists, which they are. It also helps that he supports common sense rather than any political or philosophical side—berating both Muslim terrorists and right-wing Israelis, and blaming the problems of the inner city as much on those who live there as on the system. He loses me on the 9/11 conspiracy stuff, but fortunately he buries that in the mix. Which isn’t hard to do, since the sound is huge. He knows what he’s talking about, and he rarely slips up. Almost guaranteed to disappear as quickly as it arrived, but this is a welcome breath of fresh air.
While Lupe Fiasco works out the details, Justin Bieber, bless his precious little seventeen-year-old soul, only knows things are bad somewhere because he sees the news on TV in his hotel room between personal appearances. So when his handlers presented him with this inspirational poster to the world, he sang it as best he could, trying hard to imagine how it must feel to care about these things (thinking how Michael Jackson did it helped a lot). It’s all part of the job, folks, all part of the job.
My Chemical Romance—”Sing”
An instant anthem, not least because I’d swear I’ve heard it somewhere before. Still, these guys know how to toy with a formula and bring some life to it, and the music and lyrics are gritty enough to get away with the uplift parts. Unfortunately, this might also be another step in their turning into the newest version of Green Day. As long as they keep their sense of humor, that might not be bad thing. If they lose it, though, the way Green Day did, watch out.
Miranda Lambert—”Heart Like Mine”
One of my favorite songs from Revolution, containing what might be the most striking and daring image from that album: Jesus greeting Lambert in heaven with a pair of champagne flutes. Up until this song, Lambert, unlike most of her country contemporaries, has avoided sticking Jesus into her music—he didn’t show up on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend at all—and now that he makes an appearance it’s as a drinking buddy. She’s not just a great singer and songwriter, she’s just the sort of Christian I can get along with. I only hope this doesn’t raise a stink with the fundamentalists.
Ronnie Dunn—”Bleed Red”
The artist formerly known as half of Brooks and Dunn opens his solo career with a sympathy move: “See, I’m still a souful, feeling sort of guy, even without what’s-his-name.” Next time he’ll be picking up cowgirls in honky-tonks over rock and roll guitars just to demonstrate his “range”. A career’s a career. You gotta keep it going somehow.