Favorites Friday – Rihanna, “Disturbia”

rihanna-good-girl-gone-badEarlier this week I spoiled that I would be writing about Rihanna this Frid – Saturday. Of course, I had to start with a personal favorite of hers, “Disturbia”. What made this song a favorite of mine, you may ask? Either hours of playing Just Dance 4, how unique the concept of the song was, or how catchy that “bum-bum-be-dum-be-dum-dum” part is.

The lyrics are way off from the low standard of most Pop music, and even better than most of Rihanna’s lyrics from other songs. In the end, nothing she ever releases will top “Good Girl Gone Bad”, but I’ll save that rant for another time.

Really, the chilling sound yet easy listening of the track makes it the most interesting. Vocally, there is quite a bit of autotune and work done, though I can’t say I still don’t love singing along to it.

Overall, I would rate the song at:

8.5/10

You can go check out one of my favorites below (Hopefully you’re not claustrophobic like me):

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Throwback Thursday – Styx, “The Best Of Times”; “Too Much Time On My Hands”

I could not decide on which Styx song from their 1981 album Paradise Theatre I should write about, and then it hit me:

why-not-both

styx-paradise-theatreSo here I am, writing about two throwback songs, on a Friday no less! Guys, being a homeschooled high school student does not give you much breathing room for writing about music. Regardless, let’s talk about each of these songs:

“The Best Of Times” – My favorite of the two, and also one of my favorite Styx songs in general, is “The Best Of Times”. It was always like Elton John singing after getting kicked in the balls. The vocals were high but not irrationally so, and the pacing leads perfectly into the instrumental at the bridge. The whole song is a great listen and one of the best songs by Styx.

9.75/10

“Too Much Time On My Hands” – While “The Best Of Times” may be the better (and more popular) of the two, something about “Too Much Time On Your Hands” just does not get old when listening to it. The intro is intriguing, the lyrics are relateable and interesting, and the tune is so easy to enjoy. Of the two, this seems to get more play time, mostly because of how good the chorus. However, it does have a bit of repetition to it that should get old to others after a while, but somehow does not for me.

9.25/10

Hope you enjoyed, Styx have some great songs but Paradise Theatre definitely includes some of their finest works. Afterall, who didn’t love them in the ’80’s?

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Music Recommendation – Single – Nate Ruess, “Nothing Without Love”

Fun. Visits New.Music.Live. in Toronto on April 24, 2012I have to say, I probably would not be writing about this song if it weren’t for the impression I was given when listening to Fun.’s Some Nights album. Nate Ruess’ voice has seriously grown on me, and I was hoping for big things from his debut. While it was impressive, this song did not attract the notice from the audience that I expected.

The song has a rhythm to it that feels easy and a feeling of loving passion. “Nothing Without Love” sounds cheesy (and believe me, the “na na na, oh” bits are), but the attitude and emotion of the song really gives the lyricism some power. Of course, the music video also helps with that (you can’t tell me I’m the only one who laughed when he was singing and swallowed a little bit of water). His pure voice is absolutely fantastic, and the pacing of this song leads into a big performance by Ruess.

Overall, I would rate the song at:

9.5/10

This song had to grow on me a little, but now it is one of my favorites. Really loving the energy, the tone and its sound. It is unique, and stands out amongst both Indie and Pop music. I seriously recommend hearing it, and keeping an eye on Nate’s follow up singles. You can listen to the song below:

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Hear It First – Rihanna, “Towards The Sun”

rihannaRihanna released her first new solo music in a while. I have a serious soft spot for Rihanna’s music, something about certain tracks just get me. Note that foreshadowing for my next “Favorites Friday”.

The song sounds like a collected group of singers and features plenty of heavy production, but I can admit the song is decent. “Towards The Sun” is vague lyrically, mostly because it’s use is for the upcoming movie Home. You can check out the song by following the link below and see what you think:

http://www.complex.com/music/2015/02/rihanna-towards-the-sun

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Hear It First – Tinashe ft. Iggy Azalea, “All Hands On Deck” (Remix)

all-hands-on-deck-remixI actually liked the original “All Hands On Deck”, but Tinashe decided to remind us of the sobering fact that she will be going on tour with Iggy Azalea soon with a perfectly fine song remixed with a rap verse. As Iggy Iggs puts her spin on the song, her role simply gives the song an extra boost in popularity. Sadly, most people did not even consider listening to this song until Iggy was squeezed into 40 seconds of it.

That being said, it may be one of the better contributions by Iggy, so I can’t say she completely ruined it. The remix simply offers nothing more than the original already did. If you’re interested, you can check out the remix below. The original song is still enjoyable, so I recommend looking it up as well. Hear the remix first below:

https://soundcloud.com/tinashenow/all-hands-on-deck-feat-iggy-azalea/s-VDM18

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Guilty Pleasure – Ariana Grande, “One Last Time”

ariana-grandeI always loved the joke (and do not take credit for it) that says “Name an Ariana Grande song without the word “featuring” in it. The ironic part is that her first real hit without the word “featuring” happens to be my favorite. I tried hard to not like this song, especially after its corny music video. But what can I say?

I cannot pretend that I do not actually love this song. This could be either because I have not heard a song that really knocked my socks off in a while, or if subliminally it is just that good. Or maybe because the young adolescent in me once found Ariana Grande attractive. Still, the lyricism is low quality and the subject is selfish. The only thing that the song really has going for it is how repetitive the song gets so as to imprint its lyrics in your head. Pacing is not bad either, I suppose.

Important to note is that this is signature Pop music, beat and everything. I guess I was bound to find something by Ariana that I would like when her music is meant to appeal to an audience as wide as humanly possible. Overall, I would rate this song at:

5.75/10

I can’t say the song as a whole is completely terrible, otherwise I probably would not like it. However, I have to admit that there is not much going for “One Last Time”. The vocals are rather mediocre, but they don’t have much to do until the end of the song. Despite its flaws, I still find myself really enjoying giving this song a listen a few times a day.

You can check out the song below and help me figure out why I even enjoy this damn thing:

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Favorites Friday – The Weeknd, “Wicked Games”

the-weekndI’ve been away this weekend, and you know what they say about hotel wifi: it sucks. Luckily, we can use our imaginations and act like it is still Friday night. For my next installment of musical favorites, we’ll start with my first song I ever heard by The Weeknd. Of course, I downloaded “Crew Love” on Drake’s Take Care, but I had no real inclination to listen to that song more than a couple of times. It took hearing Abel’s solo work to realize my love for the singer.

I have written about The Weeknd plenty before, and you may know that his “Adaptation” ranks in my Top 50 all-time favorite songs. “Wicked Games” may not be an all-timer, but it still stands as an excellent piece and one of the best songs by The Weeknd. The tune is gritty and unfiltered, releasing an emotional opening-up to Abel’s mistress.

The vocals echo a bit but stay rather pure (oftentimes it sounds almost live, especially on the chorus). The beat is simplistic, but features usage of multiple instruments and is subtle enough to carry along the vocals.

Overall, I would rate the song at:

9/10

You can check out the song below:

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Hear It First – The Singles, “Candy”

the-singles-candyEver wonder what it would sound like if Scarlet Johannson made music with Este Haim and a few other noted artists, including Kendra Morris, Holly Miranda, and Julia Hatigan? Me neither, but I guess this is worth hearing anyways. If you were ever unsure how many times the phrase “Candy to my heart” could be uttered before it got way old, this song will help you find out.

Johansson added on the song, “I love Grimes. And I love the Bangles. And I love the Go-Go’s. I wanted it to be like those bands: ultra pop but also a little ironic, a little in on the joke.”

The song is highly repetitive and the vocals crack a bit. The song is not of the highest quality, but I can see the sound progressing and evolving into something a bit more solid. You can check out the new song by following the link below and see what you think:

http://www.stereogum.com/1782402/scarlett-johansson-este-haim-holly-miranda-debut-grimes-inspired-supergroup-the-singles/mp3s/
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Throwback Thursday – Peter Gabriel, “Shock The Monkey”

Peter-Gabriel“Shock The Monkey” is fascinating because it did everything that I want music to do now: It introduced a whole new sound to radio that no one had experienced yet. I’ve heard plenty of music by Genesis and Peter Gabriel due to my dad’s superfan status for the singer, but “Shock The Monkey” is one of Gabriel’s best.

The instrumental is entrancing, and Peter Gabriel’s echoing voice hits several notes easily. The lyricism is odd but quite humorous. They are mostly funny because they are metaphorical for love. Yes, “Shock The Monkey” is a love song.

After its release in 1982, the song saw success on Billboard. It was Peter Gabriel’s first charting, but mostly saw success in America. Overall, I would rate the song at:

9.25/10

You can check out the throwback song below:

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Music Recommendation – Single – David Guetta ft. Emeli Sande, “What I Did For Love”

david-guettaI hate to say it has been a while since I have written about EDM when the song is by David Guetta, but oi, you’ll like what I give you, dammit. “What I Did For Love” features Emeli Sande, noted for her hit “Next To Me”, along with – well, that’s pretty much it.

The song expresses regret and remorse for past actions in relationships but the likely prediction that it will just happen again, like it always does. I do appreciate the truthful subject matter that many fail to recognize, that often rational thinking is just impossible for someone that you have true feelings for. Also, the song is pretty catchy. But of course it is, the beat is by David Guetta.

Overall, I would rate the song at:

8.5/10

Though the song gets a bit yell-y and just over-zealous too early, leading to awkward pacing, I do consider one of the best songs of David Guetta’s recent works and definitely recommend it. You can check out the song below:

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