Sept 18 2012: MUSIC: Sept. 18 snapshot review

Review by me and Amelia Yang. Originally published http://elestoque.org/2012/09/18/entertainment/music-sept-18-snapshot-review/

Five different records were officially released on Sept. 18. The albums spanned five artists and multiple genres. Photos taken from Good Music, Interscope Records, Motown Records and RCA Records.

With 365 days in a year, you might think that most musicians would have the common sense to stagger releases of albums. But it’s Sept. 18, and we have five new albums coming out from five completely different artists. To take a snapshot of the state of the music industry on this day in 2012, we decided to review the second track of every album. Here’s what we thought:

Carly Rae Jepsen: This Kiss (from “Kiss”)

This melodramatic song chronicles the internal conflict of deciding whether or not to kiss a boy who has a girlfriend when you already have a boyfriend. Despite the unsavory morality of the song, Jepsen is quickly establishing her style as a pop artist with catchy lyrics. The irresistible poppy beat makes for a great track to dance to in the car, so expect to hear it on the radio sometime soon. However, it doesn’t quite live up Jepsen’s hit single, “Call Me Maybe.”

Ne-Yo: Lazy Love (from “R.E.D.”)

“Lazy Love,” like the song name suggests, is a bit lazy — it’s slow and far too simple. That’s not to say that “Love” isn’t pleasant to listen to, because it is. The problem is it lacks the excitement and catchiness factor of songs on the Billboard Top 100. In fact, the melody and style wouldn’t sound out of place on a standard-fare Rihanna album, which isn’t surprising because Ne-Yo wrote some of RiRi’s biggest hits. Too bad he hasn’t saved some of the special sauce for himself.

Nelly Furtado: Big Hoops — Bigger The Better (from “The Spirit Indestructible”)

When Furtado released “I’m Like a Bird” in 2001, her voice was unique and sincere. On “Big Hoops,” however, she sounds like an irritating blend of Nicki Minaj and Rihanna. “The bigger the better,” she repeatedly chants, possibly referring to the track’s thick dollop of thundering bass and noisy instrumentals. Furtado might be full of swagger, but what was meant to be a confident anthem quickly collapses into hole of whiny, overly autotuned mediocrity.

Pink: Blow Me One Last Kiss (from “The Truth About Love”)

Pink’s characteristically angry style is displayed in its prime with “Blow Me One Last Kiss,” yet another song about breaking up. She sings about a tired relationship, repeating “I think I’ve had enough of this/blow me one last kiss.” Pink’s angst makes for great music, with soaring vocals and crashing drums. It’s a track that begs to be sung along to.

Kanye West: Clique ft. Big Sean & Jay-Z

Kanye’s collaboration with Big Sean and Jay-Z works well. The percussion is tribal, and the occasional chanting in the background contrasts with the orchestra‘s dramatic flair. The lyrics are seemingly arbitrary, jumping from “I been up straight for nine days, I need a spa day” to “went through deep depression when my momma passed,” all mixed in with the customary obscenities that are so characteristic of hip-hop nowadays. But all of these elements mix together to create an overall well-made song that is best enjoyed in the car with the windows down and the bass turned up.

{cc-by-nc-sa} Yimeng Han

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