Music Recommendation – Single – T.I., B.o.B and Kendrick Lamar ft. Kris Stephens, “Memories Back Then”

memories-back-thenWhile the song did have a brief run on the Billboard Hot 100, “Memories Back Then” is one of those mainstream Hip-Hop songs that you can toss in the category of “Good Rap Music” Or “Rap Music That Isn’t Rae Sremmurd Or Bobby Smurda”. I hate playing the “Popular music is awful” card, but when it comes to Rap, that has become the case with acts such as Sremmurd, Smurda, and Young Thug. But I’m sure I have gone on that tangent before.

The song features three expert lyricists, who set the bar for real verses and use their flow to their advantage. While I had yet to hear a great story by any of the three, this one did not disappoint from any of the camps. One by one, they go into a story from their younger lives, and open up the vault of memories based on other women and their last encounters with them. Each verse is superb as it is fascinating and focused; In fact, the chorus takes away from the song’s credibility more than anything else.

Overall, I would rate the song at:

9.25/10

This is definitely a song with excellent lyricism and some of the best work by each of the three rappers. You can check out the song below:

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Hear It First – Carly Rae Jepsen, “I Really Like You”

Carly-Rae-Jepsen-I-Really-Like-YouRelive your 2012 summer with the return of the reason you always heard “Call Me Maybe” wherever you went. Carly Rae Jepsen returns with a new song, titled “I Really Like You”. When coming up with a new tween anthem song, why not something as simple as that.

I hate how catchy this song is. You can pick it up easy and just spit it back out after a single listen. As Stereogum writes, “Resistance is futile”. Still, you can hear the song first below:

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Music Recommendation – Single – Curbi, “Discharge”

curbiIt has been a hefty sum of time since I wrote about anything remotely pure EDM, but let’s end that streak with Curbi’s vocal-less “Discharge”. The house song has a foot-tapping but unique rhythm that instantly attracted my attention upon playing it. The best part? Curbi is only 16 years old, so we can look forward to plenty more by the Spinnin’ Records signee.

The synth usage almost resembles a video game soundtrack. It has a retro-electro feel to it, while striking similarities to Martin Garrix. My biggest complaint would be how fast the beat drops, it just comes out of nowhere and feels like a bit of a let-down. Still, it is an impressive debut for the UK teen.

Overall, I would rate the song at:

8.25/10

You can check out the song below:

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Music Recommendation – Single – Logic ft. Big K.R.I.T., “Top Ten”

top-ten-logic-big-kritTwo mastered lyricists come together with production done by 6ix to rap on “Top 10”. Despite both of their high voices, the song goes hard and the simplistic hook makes the verses look even harder. Logic could have carried this song without K.R.I.T. most likely, but the guest role makes it even more worth listening to out of interest.

The lyrics are one of the strongest points of this song, and even Logic’s singing voice at the end of the song is a great addition. The song is solid and embodies what I believe modern Hip-Hop should sound like (save for some slurred speech, I just cannot make out some of the words).

Overall, I would rate this song at:

9.25/10

You can check “Top Ten” out below:

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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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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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