The Black Eyed Peas–”I Gotta Feeling”
For a band that claims to be “so three thousand and eight” this sounds awfully nineteen eight-ohs. Reminds me of Wang Chung somehow, even though it doesn’t sound anything like them. What it does sound like is three or four different hooks searching for a song that ran into each other in a dark dance club hallway and decided to slither out onto the floor together in a minimalist conga line, never noticing how much their styles clashed with each other. The one bright spot is that by declaring this the music of the future, the Peas have guaranteed that it won’t be. That’s a relief, anyway.
King Cudi featuring Kanye West & Common–”Make Her Say”
With luck, and since radio programmers will probably be hesitant to add a song about a real gangbang to their playlists (as opposed to songs about gangbanging), this won’t be a hit. Though it could be. By isolating and highlighting the hook from Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” (and, before now, who even knew it had one?), Cudi creates a light, pleasant groove that sounds almost playful. Until you realize, of course, that this is bukkake rap’s first foray into the Hot 100, and you start to feel more than a little unclean. And for all of Kanye’s bullshit about college and exercising your medulla oblongata, it’s worth pointing out the the medulla is the most primitive part of the human brain, the so-called lizard brain that controls our most instinctive, animalistic actions. You know, like blowjob parties. Ugh.
Jason Aldean–”Big Green Tractor”
There could be others I haven’t heard, but this is probably the worst double entendre ever to appear in a country song. A big tractor, sure, but “green”? What kind of disease does this guy have exactly? Will any known fungicide kill it? Is this something only the little country girls understand?
The Fray–”Never Say Never”
After “Heartless” I was afraid this might be a Romeo Void cover, but thank God they only ruin their own material this time out. This is less pretentious than their previous hits, and the falsetto moves them closer to Maroon 5 territory, but the singer still slurs every word (I have this vision of him keeping a spittoon next to his piano), and the song is as dull as it gets.
George Strait–”Living For the Night”
I enjoyed Strait’s last single, “River of Love”, at first, but the more I heard it the more it reminded me of The Doobie Brothers. This is an even deeper step into ’70s MOR. It’s a good song, and Strait sings it with all the class and technical polish he possesses, but his excessive good taste squeezes out every ounce of honest emotion. High class country muzak, and nothing more.
Matt & Kim–”Daylight”
Courtesy of a Baccardi commercial, the Hot 100 is graced by a song that sounds like something you might have heard on They Might Be Giants’s Dial-A-Song (once just a regular call to Brooklyn, now a podcast). Only the TMBG version would be a minute shorter, have a less fuzzy arrangement, and contain lyrics that were both funny and coherent. And it wouldn’t be a Baccardi commercial.