Tag Archives: Justin Bieber

Naptime, or How Did You Stay Awake in 2013?

If one word could sum up pop music in 2013, I would choose “exhausted”. “Tired” isn’t enough, and “comatose” would be going too far, but “exhausted” seems just right.* It isn’t that people aren’t trying—if anything they’re trying harder than … Continue reading

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Men and Their Stories—Hot 100 Roundup 12/28/13

Justin Bieber featuring Chance the Rapper—“Confident” #41 Saving the best for last, Bieber finally reaches the end of his string of Journals singles. “Confident” is uptempo reggae with dub touches, a surprise after the moodiness of the previous records. Bieber’s … Continue reading

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Spaghetti Western Christmas: Hot 100 Roundup—12/21/13

Pentatonix—“Little Drummer Boy” #13 My second least favorite Christmas song (number 1: “Do You Hear What I Hear”), done with a human beatbox (how did that take so long to show up?) and a group of singers who desperately want … Continue reading

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Up Down Up Down: Hot 100 Roundup—12/14/13

Justin Bieber—“Roller Coaster” #47 Unlike almost every other pop song that has featured a roller coaster, Bieber’s latest entry in his string of diaristic singles uses the slow parts of the ride. The fast bits pay proper homage to the … Continue reading

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Bombs Away: Hot 100 Roundup—12/7/13

One Direction “Diana”, #11 “Midnight Memories”, #12 “Strong”, #87 Good hooks, good words (mostly about being famous, but then what else would they know?), and they love their rock and roll. But the end result is too stiff, too slick, … Continue reading

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An Agreement of Sound? Hot 100 Roundup—11/30/13

Matthew Schuler—“Hallelujah” #40 Justin Bieber—“All Bad” #50 Over three minutes, but, just like “Bad Day”, “All Bad” sounds like a fragment—verse, chorus, verse, chorus, no bridge or middle eight, no lyrical conclusion or climax. Considering the concept of Journals this … Continue reading

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Dopes: Hot 100 Roundup—11/23/13

Lady Gaga—“Dope” #8 Gaga’s love for seventies-style piano ballads is her greatest weakness, and “Dope” is one of the worst records she’s ever made. The song, with its melodramatic pauses and overloaded metaphors, is bad enough, but Gaga’s slurred vocals, … Continue reading

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Rocket Number Nine: Hot 100 Roundup—11/16/13

Eminem featuring Rihanna—“The Monster” #3 The hook and the beat are different, but Eminem has done this rap, in one variation or another, several times. He spends so much time explaining and excusing what he does that you wonder how … Continue reading

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Four Queens, a Would-be King, and Three Jokers: Hot 100 Roundup—11/9/13

Three or four years ago, a week in which Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, and Rihanna all put new songs into the Hot 100 would have been cause for rumination on the changes in pop culture and the future … Continue reading

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Chinese Food of the Gods: Hot 100 Roundup—11/2/13

Eminem—“Rap God” #7 Praising Eminem’s technical skills is like praising a high speed juggler or a savant who can instantly calculate the day of the week for whatever date you give him: what they do is impressive, but it doesn’t … Continue reading

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