Sunday, June 24, 2018

Album Review: Pray For The Wicked- Panic! At The Disco


So, Brendon Urie released the sixth album from Panic! At The Disco, a little over two years after Death Of A Bachelor was released in January of 2016 and went to #1 on the Billboard 200 album charts. When I first heard the first two singles, I had high hopes (Pardon the pun) for this to be the best album, even dwarfing their previous album which had greats like Emperor's New Clothes, L.A. Devotee, Hallelujah, and so on. I thought that their last album was a high bar to reach, with few songs that I didn't like or weren't that good. But, just how good was Pray For The Wicked by Panic! At The Disco?

Well I'm not gonna mince any words, it's by far the best album that Brendon has done for the band. This is probably the closest to perfection in an album that I've ever heard, like I don't hate a single song at all. You have the dual singles, Say Amen (Saturday Night) which sounds like the type of song you could sing to the top of your lungs to at a bar on Saturday night for karaoke. It also sounds like a perfect mix of Don't Threaten Me With A Good Time and Hallelujah from the previous album, and I really enjoy it a lot.

You also have the other single (Fuck A) Silver Lining, which is much more orchestral in terms of backing production, complete with the strings and horns, it does sound like something from the 50s or 20s, which seems to be what Brendon is trying to emulate. It's a perfect blend of modern and classic production, and I am glad to see it mixed beautifully here. He also name-drops Beyonce's Lemonade album, which was already a good album, so that only perpetuates this further. 

Then you have High Hopes, which I was quick to call the best song from Panic!, yes I would say this is better than the dark, evil anthem that Emperor's New Clothes was. This is just a pump up, empowering anthem of a song, it's much more empowering than actual empowerment anthems that I've heard, this one has a lot of weight to it, production wise and lyrically. 

There was also King Of The Clouds which had the chorus leaked long before it was officially released as the next single, and I was excited for the whole song, and trust me, Brendon did not disappoint. The verses are low-key, and great, but that chorus is just amazing,with how he belts it, and his falsetto when he says "I get lifted" is amazing.

But what is probably my favorite song is Hey Look Ma, I Made It, which actually got a video release the day the album came out, and I highly recommend checking it out at Fueled By Ramen's YouTube channel, it's something. But the song itself is amazing, mostly for it's content about Urie, tipping his hat to his mother as well as a celebration to his success in the music industry. And the production is just an amazing party anthem, it's the perfect blend of horns, production, and synths I've heard in a song in years.

And it's not like the deep cuts are bad, they are great, but the odd one out is the closing track, Dying In LA, where it's less party, and more stripped back, relaxing and just beautiful. It relies more on Brendon's soft voice in the verses with a piano backing him, and some strings, only for him to use his best voice in the chorus. It's probably the most beautiful production wise for a song off the album. The lyrics are even more beautiful, retelling a tale about someone who moved to LA to pursue their dreams, yet ended up unsuccessful, and how many are captivated at the glamour of the city, only to be broken down as time goes on. It paints a realistic picture of a person slowly losing hope and becoming who they promised they would never be in the city of (broken) dreams. Whereas most Panic songs paint the city in a good light, this one is more darker, yet more it seems more sincere than any other song about LA, especially with the emotion that Brendon is pouring and the production being beautifully crafted. One thing I don't like is the almost 50 seconds of just the strings in the background fading out and nothing else for Brendon to say, no bridge or final chorus. 

We also have Dancing's Not A Crime, being a party track with amazing production and trumpets and horns blended perfectly into the mix, it almost reminds me of Private Show, one of the deep cuts from Little Mix's Glory Days album. Upbeat, with production reminding me of a golden age of music, and amazing vocal talent, and the perfect dance track.

Then there's Roaring 20s, which is trying to be a sort of old 50s and 20s style song, with inspiration from musicals from Broadway, especially with his experience in the musical Kinky Boots. It has a great vibe in the production, with the horns, and his voice blending well in this song. It's a very jazzy feel to the song, and the lyrics about how this is his roaring 20s, meaning a period of prosperity for him, which is a historical term to reference how Western culture, especially in the U.S. was after World War 1, until 1929. It's kind of how Little Mix's last album was called glory days, this album seems to be Urie's glory days, or to reference a track from his previous album, Golden Days.

You also have One Of The Drunks, which is more downbeat, and lyrics about the consequences and downfalls of the party lifestyle, and how Urie once enjoyed it, would spend the night not being the party animal like what happened in some songs on this and the previous album. I will admit, this is probably the weakest track on the album, but it's not that bad. I do think lyrically it has faults, especially with how this song is about the dangers of a party lifestyle, yet he has songs like Dancing's Not A Crime, The Overpass, Say Amen (Saturday Night) and other songs from multiple albums saying a different story. The production is fine, but it's not as good as some of the other songs on this album.

But one song that is great is The Overpass with jazz and alternative pop rock fusions, like almost all of the album mixed well on this song, to make a highly infectious and fast-paced song. The lyrics are about  a relationship that has been torn apart but is longed for and so both Brendon and his lover can be together and be who they are. It's just a load of catchy fun, and I love it.

And finally there's Old Fashioned, Which has elements of trap snares mixed in with said jazzy pop rock alternative elements, and I think it's mixed well here. But that chorus where the horns and his voice become more lively and the trap snares cut out to make way for his amazing voice. The content is about how he is reminiscing the good times and being a teen with booze and meds, while also being envious about the wasted years of alcohol.

And yet, despite the narrative being somewhat cheek and tongue and confusing in some parts, it's his voice and amazing production that seals this albums fate for me. To me, this is probably one of the few albums that I feel promptly deserve a 5/5. There's also way too many best songs, and a severe lack of worst songs for me to actually list them. What I do know this is definitely the best album of 2018 for me, and a definite recommendation to Panic! fans. 

Friday, June 22, 2018

Billboard Hot 100 6/23/18: Nice For What- Drake (7)

Exits:

New Freezer- Rich The Kid/Kendrick Lamar (#98)
Paranoid- Post Malone (#94)
Lust- Lil Skies (#93)
Shoota- Playboi Carti/Lil Uzi Vert (#90)
Africa- Weezer (#89)
Rich & Sad- Post Malone (#88)
Watch- Travis Scott/Lil Uzi Vert/Kanye West (#87)
Humility- Gorillaz/George Benson (#85)
Must've Never Met You- Luke Combs (#81)
Finesse- Bruno Mars/Cardi B (#50)
No Mistakes- Kanye West (#36)
I Thought About Killing You- Kanye West (#28)


100. Welcome To The Party- Diplo/French Montana/Lil Pump/Zhavia Ward (#78)
99. Take Back Home Girl- Chris Lane/Tori Kelly (#100)
98. Singles You Up- Jordan Davis (#95)
97. Big Bank- YG/Nicki Minaj/Big Sean/2 Chainz (#92)
96. Drip- Cardi B/Migos (#84)
95. Babe- Sugarland/Taylor Swift (RE-ENTRY)
94. Sin Pijama- Becky-G/Natasha (#99)
93. Beautiful Crazy- Luke Combs (#77)
92. Wouldn't Leave- Kanye West (#24)
91. El Farsante- Ozuna/Romeo Santos (#97)
90. I Know You- Lil Skies/Yung Pitch (DEBUT)
89. Life Goes On- Lil Baby/Gunna/Lil Uzi Vert (#92)
88. Rich Sex- Nicki Minaj/Lil Wayne (DEBUT)
87. Sativa- Jhene Aiko/Rae Sremmurd (#83)
86. I Was Jack (You Were Diane)- Jake Owen (#86)
85. Violent Crimes- Kanye West (#27)
84. Lose it- Kane Brown (DEBUT)
83. Mi Niego- Reik/Ozuna/Wisen (RE-ENTRY)
82. Zombie- Bad Wolves (#82)
81. OTW- Khalid/Ty Dolla $ign/6LACK (#80)
80. Dame Tu Cosita- El Chombo (#75)
79. Youngblood- 5SOS (#96)
78. Lovely- Billie Eiliesh/Khalid (#79)
77. Overdose- YoungBoy Never Broke Again (#72)
76. I Lived It- Blake Shelton (#76)
75. Powerglide- Rae Sremmurd/Juicy J (#67)
74. Alone- Halsey/Big Sean/Stefflon Don (#73)
73. Kids See Ghosts- Kids See Ghosts (DEBUT)
72. Japan- Famous Dex (#68)
71. Fake Love- BTS (#48)
70. Praise The Lord (Da Shine)- A$AP Rocky (#70)
69. Cudi Montage- Kids See Ghosts (DEBUT)
68. Esskeetit- Lil Pump (#66)
67. Fire- Kids See Ghosts (DEBUT)
66. Everything's Gonna Be Alright- David Lee Murphy/Kenny Chesney (#71)
65. KOD- J. Cole (#60)
64. Dura- Daddy Yankee (#65)
63. Mercy- Brett Young (#74)
62. Freeee (Ghost Town Pt. 2)- Kids See Ghosts (DEBUT)
61. You Make It Easy- Jason Aldean (#62)
60. Ghost Town- Kanye West (#16)
59. Ball For Me- Post Malone/Nicki Minaj (#63)
58. X- Nicky Jam/J Balvin (#57)
57. Simple- F.G.L. (#55)
56. Sit Next To Me- Foster The People (#64)
55. Done For Me- Charlie Puth/Kehlani (#61)
54. Call Out My Name- The Weeknd (#52)
53. Woman, Amen- Dierks Bentley (#69)
52. Sad!- XXXTENTACION (#51)
51. IDGAF- Dua Lipa (#54)
50. Tati- 69/DJ Spinking (#47)
49. Up Down- Morgan Wallen/F.G.L. (#58)
48. Get Along- Kenny Chesney (#56)
47. Feel The Love- Kids See Ghosts (DEBUT)
46. I Like Me Better- Lauv (#53)
45. One Number Away- Luke Combs (#45)
44. Pray For Me- The Weeknd/Kendrick Lamar (#44)
43. Chun-Li- Nicki Minaj (#46)
42. 4th Dimension- Kids See Ghosts (DEBUT)
41. All Girls Are The Same- Juice WRLD (#49)
40. Yikes- Kanye West (#8)
39. Reborn- Kids See Ghosts (DEBUT)
38. Taste- Tyga/Offset (#59)
37. Freaky Friday- Lil Dicky/Chris Brown (#39)
36. Te Bote- The Forgettable Latin Posse (#43)
35. New Rules- Dua Lipa (#40)
34. Love Lies- Normani/Khalid (#42)
33. Plug Walk- Rich The Kid (#35)
32. Tequila- Dan +Shay (#41)
31. All Mine- Kanye West (#11)
30. One Kiss- Calvin Harris/Dua Lipa (#38)
29. Wait- Maroon 5 (#26)
28. I'm Upset- Drake (#32)
27. Havana- Camila Cabello/Young Thug (#33) [1 week]
26. Heaven- Kane Brown (#30)
25. Delicate- Taylor Swift (#37)
24. Rockstar- Post Malone/21 Savage (#29) [8 weeks]
23. Be Careful- Cardi B (#25)
22. Back To You- Selena Gomez (#31)
21. Whatever It Takes- Imagine Dragons (#22)
20. Better Now- Post Malone (#34)
19. Never Be The Same- Camilla Cabello (#18)
18. Look Alive- BlocBoy JB/Drake (#19)
17. Perfect- Ed Sheeran (#21)
16. In My Blood- Shawn Mendes (#20)
15. Mine- Bazzi (#23)
14. Walk It Talk It- Migos/Drake (#17)
13. Friends- Marshmello/Anne-Marie (#14)
12. This Is America- Childish Gambino (#7) [2 weeks]
11. Yes Indeed- Lil Baby/Drake (#15)
10. Meant To Be- Bebe Rexha/F.G.L. (#12)
9. No Tears Left To Cry- Ariana Grande (#13)
8. The Middle- Zedd/Maren Morris/Grey (#10)
7. Boo'd Up- Ella Mai (#6)
6. Ludic Dreams- Juice WRLD (#9)
5. Girls Like You- Maroon 5/Cardi B (#4)
4. God's Plan- Drake (#5) [11 weeks]
3. I Like It- Cardi B/Bad Bunny/J Balvin (#3)
2. Psycho- Post Malone/Ty Dolla $ign (#1) [1 week]
1. Nice For What- Drake (#2) [7th week @ #1]

Biggest Drop: Wouldn't Leave- Kanye West (-68)

Biggest Jump: Taste- Tyga/Offset (+21)

Streaming Gainer: Taste- Tyga/Offset (#38)

Digital Sales Gainer: Woman, Amen- Dierks Bentley (#53)

Airplay Gainer: Girls Like You- Maroon 5/Cardi B (#5)


New Arrivals:
Now I do like some of the Lil Skies songs that did chart, but not this one. Most of the melodic trap songs that's charted under his name have been decent, but this oily, off-kilter tones and cheap trap beat is not that forgiving. But I'm even less forgiving with lyrics about bashing girls as gold diggers, all while bragging about getting/taking from you. Also Yung Pinch doesn't help much, leaning mroe towards the sound of desaturated mumble rap, ruins this song with his lack of personality compared to Lil Skies. Also, he describes his diamonds as piss and will hit girls who test him, now that is one way to burn a song on me fast.

Well, I certainly was not expecting this, and the fact that Nicki Minaj actually had her album pushed back to later this year in August. However, that doesn't automatically mean that this song is good. Especially since it;s mostly just Minaj, talking about only screwing guys with money in the most blunt way possible, and as if Lil Wayne making it anymore explicit makes it better. Hint, it doesn't. And the production isn't all that good or interesting, with sharp piano keys, and a lumpy trap beat, it feels too calculated isn't even all that fun or sexy. 

Wow, what the Hell is this Kane? This is just another by the numbers bro-country pick up song, with overproduced drums and guitars, all while trying to mix in a banjo and fiddle. I also can't stand the pseudo-rap delivery, which feels clunky and the vocal production is just... off. So yeah, not a fan of this song.

So for those who don't know, Kid Cudi and Kanye West released a joint album under the title Kids See Ghost, and album titled Kids See Ghost and even has a track titled something you'll never guess.... Unless you guessed Kids See Ghost. And I gotta say, it's pretty good, not as good as Pusha-T's album but better than Kanye's own album Ye. The title track kind of reminds me of In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins with the eerie, muffled clink of production and deep swells of atmosphere. Of the songs that debuted, I don't really dislike any of them, they're all solid with good production, and good lyrics, with only a few lyrics and real world implications staining it, but it's nothing all that major. Still, this is a good album, and I'm fine with the songs charting.


Kids See Blurbs:
First is the death of XXXTENTACION, and honestly I'm not gonna mince words, I don't care. I never liked him and he was already a terrible person with what he actually did to his girlfriend. And what's probably gonna annoy me the most is the fact that his songs are getting sales and streaming after his death, meaning that next week we're gonna have to deal with a surge of XXX on the charts even after life in death. Joy.

Moving on from that, we have the exits, with the only major ones is New Freezer, and Finesse, with the latter being the most saddening, and will definitely be one of the best songs of 2018.

Ugh, Meant To Be re-entered the top 10 and just will not die.

Apparently anyone who said that Lucid Dreams was going to #1 was wrong, because of a data counting error, and I hope it doesn't go to #1.


Well I guess with Better Now being pushed as a single, I shouldn't be so surprised it jumped back into the top 20. I have a feeling this is gonna stick around to be a hit. 

Come on One Kiss, you can hit the top 10, I am pulling for you to become a big Summer hit. 

So I guess Whatever It Takes is gonna be the one hit off of Evolve to not hit the top 5. Kind of sad, since most  people say it's the best song off the album.

Can we please not give Tyga a hit this year? It's bad enough he have one pedophile rapper, do we really need two???

While I'm on the subject of what shouldn't be a hit, do we really need a generic reggaeton Latin song with too many artist to keep track of?

Next week, I am expecting a close margins game for the top spot, and most of the top 5 will be clawing tooth and nail for that spot.

Next week, I also expect that Beyonce and Jay-Z collab album to have some songs chart.

Top 20: 

0-Shit
20. Meant To Be
19. Friends
18. Never Be The Same
17. Lucid Dreams

1-Bad
16. Look Alive
15. Perfect
14. Better Now
13. This Is America
12. Yes Indeed

2-Meh
NONE

3-Decent
11. I Like It
10. Boo'd Up
9. Psycho

4-Good
8. Walk It Talk It

5-Great
7. Mine
6. In My Blood
5. No Tears Left To Cry
4. God's Plan 
3. The Middle
2. Girls Like You
1. Nice For What

Total Score: 53/100

Top 10:
1. One Kiss
2. Nice For What
3. Girls Like You
4. Done For Me
5. Whatever It Takes
6.  God's Plan
7. The Middle
8. IDGAF
9. Babe
10. Delicate

Bottom 10:
1. Freaky Friday
2. Sad!
3. Tati
4. Taste
5. Meant To Be
6. I'm Upset
7. Friends
8. Esskeetit
9. Dame Tu Cosita
10. I Like Me Better


Throwback Pick: Livin' On A Prayer- Bon Jovi (1986)

Friday, June 15, 2018

Billboard Hot 100 6/16/18: Psycho- Post Malone/Ty Dolla $ign (1)

Exits:


The Games We Play- Pusha-T (#100)
Moonlight- XXXTENTACION (#99)
High Hopes- Panic! At The Disco (#98)
Spoil My Night- Post Malone/Swae Lee (#97)
Everyday- Logic/Marshmello (#95)
Most People Are Good- Luke Bryan (#92)
For The First Time- Darius Rucker (#91)
Dinero- Jennifer Lopez/Cardi B/DJ Khaled (#80)
Youth- Shawn Mendes/Khalid (#76)
What Would Meek Do?- Pusha-T/Kanye West (#75)
If You Know You Know- Pusha-T (#73)
King's Dead- Jay Rock/Kendrick Lamar/Future/James Blake (#68)
Infrared- Pusha-T (#65)
A$AP Forever- A$AP Rocky/Moby (#63)
Ric Flair Drip- Offset/Metro Boomin (#44)
All The Stars- Kendrick Lamar/SZA (#41)

100. Take Back Home Girl- Chris Lane/Tori Kelly (RE-ENTRY)
99. Sin Pijama- Becky-G/Natti Natasha (DEBUT)
98. New Freezer- Rich The Kid/Kendrick Lamar (#90)
97. El Farsante- Ozuna/Romeo Santos (#96)
96. Youngblood- 5SOS (DEBUT)
95. Singles You Up- Jordan Davis (#91)
94. Paranoid- Post Malone (#83)
93. Lust- Lil Skies (#87)
92. Life Goes On- Lil Baby/Gunna/Lil Uzi Vert (#74)
91. Big Bank- YG/Big Sean/2 Chainz/Nicki Minaj (#66)
90. Shoota- Playboi Carti/Lil Uzi Vert (#88)
89. Africa- Weezer (DEBUT)
88. Rich & Sad- Post Malone (#79)
87. Watch- Travis Scott/Lil Uzi Vert/Kanye West (#84)
86. I Was Jack (You Were Diane)- Jake Owen (#93)
85. Humility- Gorillaz/George Benson (DEBUT)
84. Drip- Cardi B/Migos (#78)
83. Sativa- Jhene Aiko/Rae Sremmurd (#85)
82. Zombie- Bad Wolves (#86)
81. Must've Never Met You- Luke Combs (DEBUT)
80. OTW- Khalid/Ty Dolla $ign/6LACK (#77)
79. Lovely- Billie Eilish/Khalid (#89)
78. Welcome To The Party- Diplo/French Montana/Lil Pump/Zhavia Ward (RE-ENTRY)
77. Beautiful Crazy- Luke Combs (RE-ENTRY)
76. I Lived It- Blake Shelton (#71)
75. Dame Tu Cosita- El Chombo (#61)
74. Mercy- Brett Young (#72)
73. Alone- Halsey/Big Sean/Stefflon Don (#70)
72. Overdose- YoungBoy Never Broke Again (#52)
71. Everything's Gonna Be Alright- David Lee Murphy/Kenny Chesney (#69)
70. Praise The Lord (Da Shine)- A$AP Rocky (#45)
69. Woman, Amen- Dierks Bentley (#67)
68. Japan- Famous Dex (#58)
67. Powerglide- Rae Sremmurd/Juicy J (#50)
66. Esskeetit- Lil Pump (#60)
65. Dura- Daddy Yankee (#53)
64. Sit Next To Me- Foster The People (#64)
63. Ball For Me- Post Malone/Nicki Minaj (#62)
62. You Make It Easy- Jason Aldean (#42)
61. Done For Me- Charlie Puth/Kehlani (#55)
60. KOD- J. Cole (#59)
59. Taste- Tyga/Offset (#82)
58. Up Down- Morgan Wallen/F.G.L. (#54)
57. X- Nicky Jam/J Balvin (#48)
56. Get Along- Kenny Chesney (#57)
55. Simple- F.G.L. (DEBUT)
54. IDGAF- Dua Lupa (#49)
53. I Like Me Better- Lauv (#56)
52. Call Out My Name- The Weeknd (#40)
51. Sad!- XXXTENTACION (#43)
50. Finesse- Bruno Mars/Cardi B (#39)
49. All Girls Are The Same- Juice WRLD (#47)
48. Fake Love- BTS (#51)
47. Tati- 6ix9ine/DJ Spinking (#46)
46. Chun-Li- Nicki Minaj (#33)
45. One Number Away- Luke Combs (#34)
44. Pray For Me- The Weeknd/Kendrick Lamar (#29)
43. Te Bote- Too Many Artists To List (#36)
42. Love Lies- Khalid/Normani (#35)
41. Tequila- Dan + Shay (#37)
40. New Rules- Dua Lipa (#31)
39. Freaky Friday- Lil Dicky/Chris Brown (#26)
38. One Kiss- Calvin Harris/Dua Lipa (#32)
37. Delicate- Taylor Swift (#28)
36. No Mistakes- Kanye West (DEBUT)
35. Plug Walk- Rich The Kid (#27)
34. Better Now- Post Malone (#30)
33. Havana- Camila Cabello/Young Thug (#25) [1 week]
32. I'm Upset- Drake (#19)
31. Back To You- Selena Gomez (#38) 
30. Heaven- Kane Brown (#22) 
29. Rockstar- Post Malone/21 Savage (#23) [8 weeks]
28. I Thought About Killing You- Kanye West (DEBUT)
27. Violent Crimes- Kanye West (DEBUT)
26. Wait- Maroon 5 (#24)
25. Be Careful- Cardi B (#21)
24. Wouldn't Leave- Kanye West (DEBUT)
23. Mine- Bazzi (#20) 
22. Whatever It Takes- Imagine Dragons (#18)
21. Perfect- Ed Sheeran (#17) [6 weeks]
20. In My Blood- Shawn Mendes (#11)
19. Look Alive- BlocBoy JB/Drake (#12)
18. Never Be The Same- Camila Cabello (#16)
17. Walk It Talk It- Migos/Drake (#14)
16. Ghost Town- Kanye West (DEBUT)
15. Yes Indeed- Lil Baby/Drake (#6)
14. Friends- Marshmello/Anne-Marie (#13)
13. No Tears Left To Cry- Ariana Grande (#10) 
12. Meant To Be- Bebe Rexha/F.G.L. (#9)
11. All Mine- Kanye West (DEBUT)
10. The Middle- Zedd/Maren Morris/Grey (#5)
9. Lucid Dreams- Juice WRLD (#15)
8. Yikes- Kanye West (DEBUT)
7. This Is America- Childish Gambino (#4) [2 weeks]
6. Boo'd Up- Ella Mai (#8)
5. God's Plan- Drake (#3) [11 weeks]
4. Girls Like You- Maroon 5/Cardi B (#94)
3. I Like It- Cardi B/Bad Bunny/J Balvin (#7)
2. Nice For What- Drake (#1) [6 weeks]
1. Psycho- Post Malone/Ty Dolla $ign (#2) [1st week @ #1]

Biggest Drop: Praise The Lord (Da Shine)- A$AP Rocky (-25)

Biggest Jump: Girls Like You- Maroon 5/Cardi B (+90)

Streaming Gainer: NONE

Digital Sales Gainer: NONE

Airplay Gainer: NONE


New Arrivals:
So I was not expecting Becky-G to make a return, but I think that with her abandoning teen pop with reggaetron and with it gaining popularity and other Latin/reggaeton artists and songs on the Hot 100, I guess I shouldn't be too shocked to see her return. It's not memorable like Shower though, but it's decent I guess. 

Now onto 5SOS, and wow I have not been that kind to them recently, because this is not good. I mean, I wish that they had continued with more punk rock pop sound like Jet Black Heart which was a good song, but this, this is not what I wanted. This feels much like the mold of Maroon 5 and Zayn, with the guitars drowned in reverb and the blocky focus on the bass and kickdrums it sounds blown out and clunky despite the groove. I mean the lyrics are more mature than some of their other songs, but this production is just murky and desaturated, and in other terms, not good.

So apparently some fan wanted Weezer to cover Toto's 1982 #1 hit Africa, and I have to ask why? Africa is a 1980s classic, and just like Hey Jude, Bohemian Rhapsody, and other iconic classics, it should not be covered by a weaker band or artist, especially Weezer of all bands. The drumming is basic, the hook is flooded with blocky guitar phrases, and ugly gurgling synth that doesn't match the original at all, and Rivers Cuomo to... well honestly I don't even know. It does astonish me this managed to land on the Hot 100 proper in 2018, but still, not good.

And now I feel like we have traveled back to the mid 2000s what with both Weezer and Gorillaz getting their first songs on the chart in years. And, honestly I kind of like it, I like the jazzy beat and slick funk vibes. It's not quite as dark as you'd expect from Gorillaz, but honestly, I'm glad that it isn't a dark tune. The vocals are smooth, the slick bass and guitar works well, and the lyrics are great. It's about the frontman leaning to humility as a plea fro friendship in isolation. It's a lightweight summer jam that's well balanced and I hope it sticks around. 

Like most other Luke Combs songs, this is okay even though it's a post-breakup song that sounds like a Jason Aldean track, and the melodies are quite sour. It's okay, but just barely.

Now this is a first for me, a F.G.L. song that isn't awful garbage! It sounds like some of Mumford & Sons folk sound from the early 2010s. And yet the lyrics are just a meat-headed like most of this duo's music is, and yet... not gonna lie I do like this. I mean it's not great, High Valley and Brothers Osborne can do this jaunty folk sound and organic tones much better than these two, but I don't mind this, it's much better than Meant To Be or Up Down, that's for sure.

And we move on to the biggest story of the week, Kanye's album bomb from Ye, with all seven tracks debuting in the top 40 and more. Now I'm just gonna make this simple, it's Kanye's weakest album to date. It's not bad per say, but it is very mediocre and lacking the sort of substance that made Yeezus and Life Of Pablo great. There are good songs and bad songs, most notably I Thought About Killing You and Wouldn't Leave being the worst, mostly for the lyrical content. and awkward production. But Yikes, Ghost Town, No Mistakes and All Mine are pretty solid, especially All Mine and Yikes because of the darker production, it sounds like something off Yeezus about 4-5 years ago. I mean, it's fine enough, and I still like Kanye, but this is probably where his music starts it's downward spiral ,and it's a shame since he produced Pusha-T's album and that one was great. But for me, the album is an extremely light 5/10.


I Thought About Blurbing You:
For some unknown reason the Billboard website does not have the gainers at all. I don't know if it's just me or what, maybe it was such a slow week that they didn't have any, but I don't know.

It's almost like the moment I said that some songs could get higher Kanye disrupts that momentum for them, and it also takes a quite a few good songs out of the charts too. Hopefully some of them can regain lost momentum in the coming week(s)


I shouldn't be so shocked that Girls Like You jumped 90 spots into the top 5, but I am. I do love this song now, and I can definitely see it getting to #1, making it Maroon 5's first since One More Night back in 2012.

Glad to See Freaky Friday going into a downward spiral, I want it out quick and fast, that song is utter garbage.

This week also saw after 15 weeks Psycho get to #1. I'm not entirely surprised it got to #1, but it is in a weak position and I can see I Like It or Girls Like You overtaking it soon. 

Thank God Meant To Be finally left the top 10, hopefully it can leave the top 20 soon.

I cannot believe American is giving Juice WRLD a top 10 hit, and I have to ask why? There is nothing interesting or special about it.

Oh God, IDGAF just dropped below #50 despite having gains in it's performance, and it's on it's 21st week. I hope this one can stick around, and maybe make the year end list, I hope.

Next week will be quite sad since Finesse and Pray For Me will drop out, since both of them were by far some of the best top 10 hits of the year and rightfully deserved it. 

And now our exits, sad we lost All The Stars, and Dinero was never gonna be a hit, even with Cardi's name on it. I am especially pissed High Hopes wasn't a big hit, I really thought it could have been Panic! At The Disco's biggest song since Hallelujah, but I guess I was wrong. And we had Everyday dropping out as it had been in decline for weeks if not months.
Top 20:

0-Shit
20. Meant To Be
19. Friends
18. Never Be The Same
17. Lucid Dreams

1-Bad
16. Look Alive
15. This is America
14. Yes Indeed

2-Meh
13. Psycho

3-Decent
12. Boo'd Up
11. I Like It
10. Ghost Town

4-Good
9. All Mine
8. Yikes
7. Walk It Talk It

5-Great
6. No Tears Left To Cry
5. In My Blood
4. God's Plan
3. The Middle
2. Girls Like You
1. Nice For What

Total Score: 56/100

Top 10:
1. One Kiss
2. Nice For What
3. Done For Me
4. Girls Like You
5. The Middle
6. Delicate
7. Whatever It Takes
8. IDGAF
9. God's Plan
10. In My Blood

Bottom 10:
1. Freaky Friday
2. Sad!
3. Tati
4. I'm Upset
5. Esskeetit
6. Meant To Be
7. Dame Tu Cosita
8. I Thought About Killing You
9. Te Bote
10. Friends

Throwback Pick: Heaven Is A Place On Earth- Belinda Carlisle (1987)

Monday, June 11, 2018

Billboard Hot 100 6/9/18: Nice For What- Drake (6)

I am so very, very sorry for how late this is, but I really wanted to get post out before the weekend ended, but I got hopelessly sidetracked. Anyway, here are the exits for the chart.

Exits:

Don't Go Breaking My Heart- Backstreet Boys (#99)
Downtown's Dead- Sam Hunt (#98)
Outside Today- YoungBoy Never Broke Again (#97)
Gucci Flip Flops- Bhad Bhabie/Lil Yatchy (#96)

No Excuses- Meghan Trainor (#93)
Kevin's Heart- J. Cole (#92)
ATM- J. Cole (#89)

Stay- Post Malone (#88)
Red Roses- Lil Skies/Landon Cube (#87)
Champion- NAV/Travis Scott (#86)
Welcome To The Party- Diplo/French Montana/Lil Pump/Zhavia Ward (#84)
Sangria Wine- Camila Cabello (#83)
Let it Sing- Kevin Gates (#82)
Southside- Lil Baby (#79)
Like That- Kris Wu (#73)
Change Lanes- Kevin Gates (#69)

100. The Games We Play- Pusha-T (DEBUT)
99. Moonlight- XXXTENTACION (#94)
98. High Hopes- Panic! At The Disco (DEBUT)
97. Spoil My Night- Post Malone (#77)
96. El Farsante- Ozuna/Romeo Santos (#100) 
95. Everyday- Logic/Marshemllo (#91)
94. Girl Like You- Maroon 5/Cardi B (DEBUT)
93. I Was Jack (You Were Diane)- Jack Owen (DEBUT) 
92. Most People Are Good- Luke Bryan (#81)
91. Singles You Up- Jordan Davis (#78)
90. New Freezer- Rich The Kid/Kendrick Lamar (#75)
89. Lovely- Billie Ellish/Khalid (DEBUT)
88. Shoota- Playboi Carti/Lil Uzi Vert (#67)
87. Lust- Lil Skies (#95)
86. Zombie- Bad Wolves (#85)
85. Sativa- Jhene Aiko/Ra Sremmurd (#90)
84. Watch- Travis Scott/Lil Uzi Vert/Kanye West (#60)
83. Paranoid- Post Malone (#66)
82. Taste- Tyga/Offset (DEBUT)
81. For The First Time- Darius Rucker (#58)
80. Dinero- Jennifer Lopez/DJ Khaled/Cardi B (DEBUT)
79. Rich & Sad- Post Malone (#65)
78. Drip- Carid B/Migos (#72)
77. OTW- Khalid/Ty Dolla $ign/6LACK (#69)
76. Youth- Shawn Mendes/Khalid (RE-ENTRY)
75. What Would Meek Do?- Pusha-T/Kanye West (DEBUT)
74. Life Goes On- Lil Baby/Gunna/Lil Uzi Vert (#80)
73. If You Know You Know- Pusha-T (DEBUT)
72. Mercy- Brett Young (#71)
71. I Lived It- Blake Shelton (#64)
70. Alone- Halsey/Big Sean/Stefflon Don (#70)
69. Everything's Gonna Be Alright- David Lee Murphy/Kenny Chesney (#76)
68. King's Dead- Jay Rock/Kendrick Lamar/Future/James Blake (#61)
67. Woman, Amen- Dierks Bentley (#74)
66. Big Bang- YG/2 Chainz/Big Sean/Nicki Minaj (DEBUT)
65. Infrared- Pusha-T (DEBUT)
64. Sit Next To Me- Foster The People (#63)
63. A$AP Forever- A$AP Rocky/Moby (RE-ENTRY)
62. Ball For Me- Post Malone/Nicki Minaj (#50)
61. Dame Tu Cosita- El Chombo (#62)
60. Esskeetit- Lil Pump (#56)
59. KOD- J. Cole (#49)
58. Japan- Famous Dex (#52)
57. Get Along- Kenny Chesney (#59) 
56. I Like Me Better- Lauv (#55)
55. Done For Me- Charlie Puth/Kehlani (#54)
54. Up Down- Morgan Wallen/F.G.L. (#57)
53. Dura- Daddy Yankee (#47)
52. Overdose- Young Boy Never Broke Again (#42)
51. Fake Love- BTS (#10)
50. Powerglide- Rae Sremmurd/Juicy J (#41)
49. IDGAF- Dua Lipa (#51)
48. X- Nicky Jam/J Balvin (#48)
47. All Girls Are The Same- Juice WRLD (#53)
46. TATI- 6ix9ine/DJ SPINKING (DEBUT)
45. Praise The Lord (Da Shine)- A$AP Rocky/Skepta (DEBUT)
44. Ric Flair Drip- Offset/Metro Boomin (#45)
43. Sad!- XXXTENTACION (#32)
42. You Make It Easy- Jason Aldean (#39)
41. All The Stars- Kendrick Lama/SZA (#33)
40. Call Out My Name- The Weeknd (#30)
39. Finesse- Bruno Mars/Cardi B (#37)
38. Back To You- Selena Gomez (#46)
37. Tequila- Dan + Shay (#44)
36. Te Bote- Too Many Random Latin Artists To List (#40)
35. Love Lies- Khalid/Normani (#36)
34. One Number Away- Luke Combs (#38)
33. Chun-Li- Nicki Minaj (#28)
32. One Kiss- Calvin Harris/Dua Lipa (#43)
31. New Rules- Dua Lipa (#31)
30. Better Now- Post Malone (#29)
29. Pray For Me- The Weeknd/Kendrick Lamar (#25)
28. Delicate- Taylor Swift (#34)
27. Plug Walk- Rich The Kid (#26)
26. Freaky Friday- Lil Dicky/Chris Brown (#22)
25. Havana- Camila Cabello/Young Thug (#24)
24. Wait- Maroon 5 (#27)
23. Rockstar- Post Malone/21 Savage (#23) [8 weeks]
22. Heaven- Kane Brown (#21)
21. Be Careful- Cardi B (#16)
20. Mine- Bazzi (#18)
19. I'm Upset- Drake (DEBUT)
18. Whatever It Takes- Imagine Dragons (#17)
17. Perfect- Ed Sheeran (#15) [6 weeks]
16. Never Be The Same- Camila Cabello (#13)
15. Lucid Dreams- Juice WRLD (#35)
14. Walk It Talk It- Migos/Drake (#14)
13. Friends- Marshemello/Anne-Marie (#11)
12. Look Alive- BlocBoy JB/Drake (#12)
11. In My Blood- Shawn Mendes (#20)
10. No Tears Left To Cry- Ariana Grande (#9)
9. Meant To Be- Bebe Rexha/F.G.L (#7)
8. Boo'd Up- Ella Mai (#8)
7. I Like It- Cardi B/J Balvin/Bad Bunny (#19)
6. Yes Indeed- Lil Baby/Drake (#6)
5. The Middle- Zedd/Maren Morris/Grey (#5)
4. This Is America- Childish Gambino (#2) [2 weeks]
3. God's Plan- Drake (#3) [11 weeks]
2. Psycho- Post Malone/Ty Dolla $ign (#4)
1. Nice For What- Drake (#1) [6 weeks]

Biggest Drop: Fake Love- BTS (-41)

Biggest Jump: Lucid Dreams- Juice WRLD (+20)

Streaming Gainer: Lucid Dreams- Juice WRLD (#15)

Digital Sales Gainer: In My Blood- Shawn Mendes (#11)

Airplay Gainer: Psycho- Post Malone/Ty Dolla $ign (#2)

New Arrivals:
For those who don't know, Pusha-T released a new album recently as a response album to Drake, and after listening to it, it is pretty great. However, some of the songs that did manage to chart this week, being there are only 4 of them, most of them are actually the weaker tracks. The Games We Play, is not one of them, it's a pretty great track regardless. 

I haven't been this excited for a new Panic! album in a long time, not since Death of A Bachelor two years ago. And from what I've heard from the three songs released so far, it seems like a mix of Don't Threaten Me With A Good Time, Hallelujah, Emperor's New Clothes, Impossible Year and Victorious into one album, and frankly I'm fine with that. Meanwhile the new song High Hopes is definitely the best song thus far. I'm glad it had the sales to chart this week, but I did expect it to be much higher, not in the bottom 5. I love everything about it, from Brendon Urie's vocals, to the thumping bass and trap hi-hats, and trumpets, and I love the buildup near the end, it's just amazing. This is also easily better than Say Amen and Silver Lining, and I hope the album is just as good as the first songs we've heard so far.

When I first heard this after it went to #1 on iTunes largely because of the Cardi B feature, I was worried. But to my surprise Cardi wasn't that bad as I expected. I feared this would have been like what Cold and especially Don't Wanna Know was like; take a rapper and place them on the song to get more people interested to get it to be a hit, but only to find out that it's garbage. Luckily, this isn't, it's a mostly inoffensive song, that I can see being a hit, and I hope it does. The vocals are okay, Carid B is fine, and the production, okay it's soft, nearly AC levels of boring, but it's not that bad. And frankly, I think Cardi B actually manages to add some life into this song, and that's a good thing mind you.


Almost immediately I knew this reminded me of an old 80s song, just from the title alone. For those who don't know the title is taken from the 1982 #1 hit John Mellencamp song Jack And Diane, And that intro beat and guitar line in this song only cements that. Hell the music video itself is trying too hard with "And this is Jake Owen's take on that with I Was Jack (You Were Diane)" And honestly, it's fine enough, but the original is one of those 80s rock iconic songs that it's almost impossible to be better than one your trying to emulate. It's a decent enough song on it's own, I guess. It's tolerable, but the original's better. 

So this new Khalid song is boring and forgettable. Mostly because Khalid is the guest feature, whereas most of his songs actually are memorable in their own right. Hell, his feature on Youth with Shawn Mendes is more interesting than this. Also, this actually managed to chart because of 13 Reasons Why, one of the most boring, emo driven teenage gag-fests ever to land on the mainstream in years. So yeah, not a fan, next!

Oh great, just what I wanted, a Tyga comeback, and by that I mean I didn't want it. This is just another boring, basic trap song, and the only thing that makes it worse is Tyga himself. It's just more of his brand name porn, and Offset sounds so quiet in this song that I forget he's even in it! The only decent thing is the groove, and if it had Cardi B or Migos and not Tyga, this probally could have been so much better. 

Now speaking of Cardi B, a collab with J-LO, Cardi B and DJ Khaled makes a bit too much sense to be honest. And honestly I think it works well. I like the trap whirs and skitters being juxtaposed against the distorted vocals and what I think is a guitar buried in choppy whirs. It's a great mix of the brash trap beat and the content that  makes for a great groove. Speaking of the content, that is probably the weak point, although it's not bad, I actually think J-Lo speaking in Spanish about money is actually pretty good. However, Cardi's flow is quite staccato. But still I can groove to this.

Yeah... no not a fan of this. Normally I like Kanye's music, but after hearing this and his new album Ye, I am kind of upset. Speaking of which, almost if not all the songs off Pusha-T's album is produced by him. But my problem is the lyrical content, and the fact it's about Meek Mill with Kanye making shout-outs, I'm not a fan of this. 

This is a pretty okay song, but it's not all that outstanding. Pusha-T is great, but I feel with better bars and better production, this could have been better.

Oh great, back to the YG minimalism that I was never that big a fan of at all. And to make it worse, he got DJ Mustard for this, replacing the g-funk vibes from his previous project. And here, this song is so undercooked, a faint melodic tinkle and leaden fizzes against a lumpy beat, that's it. And then we have the guest verses, Big Sean is awkward as Hell and incapable of having any good charisma or flow, 2 Chainz is okay, except for his line about dinosaur shits, and Nicki is fine for the most part, but that part about dating Eminem is just... no. 

This song could have helped reignite the Drake beef... only to be squashed as Drake took the L by calling the whole thing off. But again this is a fine song, as Pusha-T strings through a series of observations about a corrupt and broken rap game with some seething content, over some great production. He even manages to take potshots at Drake, Baby and Lil Wayne. However the talk of ghostwriting being repeated towards Drake is kind of unfair. But with a killer bass guitar thumping and a bleak soul sample, I can dig this, definitely.

You know a few weeks ago when 6ix9ine left, I thought that we would not here anything from him ever again. But nope, he's back with a new song and he's just as awful as I remembered. I can't stand his shouting, and lyrics about how bitches suck his dick and he flies like Aladdin, with repeated words and rhymes, and how he's not as stupid as he talks about "licky on his blicky." At least Pusha-T had some class and genuine venom and talent, but 6ix9ine has none of that, his braying over this atonal mess of a song is one-dimensional and is nowhere near convincing at all.

This as well as A$AP Forever only managed to chart (Or in case of the latter, re-enter) because of the album dropping. And honestly I don't really care, and this song doesn't impress me at all. I like the flutes, and Skepta's DMX flow isn't that bad, despite being very blocky, the lyrics aren't all that interesting, and the groove is quite poorly utilized. That and the rhymes continue to be flubbed with this blocky flow, so that doesn't help much.

So of all the songs involving Pusha-T and Drake the absolute worst comes and enters the top 20, probably only because it's Drake. And it sucks, Drake brings absolutely nothing, there's no intensity over this desaturated murk, and even the title is a problem, calling it I'm Upset!? But the content might just be the worst, with this sort of meandering bitching about not paying for women, never shooting below the neck unless he's with a woman, which is unbearable, and only able to accept a bounty of half a million on his head. Drake, I have no sympathy for your petulant whining about girls coming for you when Pusha-T outed your own deadbeat tendencies and the child you're neglecting. I'm not hearing an explanation for that, and I think that Drake's days of making boring smuck like this are almost over, especially when we have Nice For What still at #1.

Blurb To You:
What you see is no error, I have indeed grown into No Tears Left To Cry. It's a great song, but I still don't see it as one of the best new songs of the year at all. Suffice it to say I do love it, but not as much as some people I know.

I keep expecting Psycho to finally go to #1 soon, considering it's still gaining airplay. Honestly, unlike some people I wouldn't totally mind, but it has been fading on me, and I much prefer Nice For What at #1 instead.

So, Delicate made the top 30, and honestly I could see it getting higher, maybe the top 20 at best. I also see Delicate being the only Taylor Swift song to make the year end list, I don't think End Game has the points necessary to make it.

Speaking of songs getting higher, One Kiss finally made the top 40. I could definitely see this being a Summer hit, it's got Summer written all over it, from the bouncy tropical synth driven production to Dua Lipa herself. I hope this becomes a big hit.

Speaking of Dua Lipa, IDGAF enters the top 50, right on the cusp of the 20 weeks mark. I hope this sticks around and gets higher, cause I'd be very upset if it doesn't.

Can we please not let Te Bote be a hit, it's just another forgettable Latin song with far too many Latin artists with no personality on it. I'd rather listen to Despacito and Mi Gente on repeat instead of this.

Can we also please get rid of XXXTENTACION?! It's bad enough that Look At Me barely made the year end last year, the fact that he has multiple songs on here is even worse, especially since some of them were top 40 hits, and one was a top 10 hit as well!!!

And now finally the exits. I'm sad that Don't Go Breaking My Heart didn't last as long as it should have, I think it's pretty good. I was getting sick of No Excuses, so I am kind of glad it flopped anyway. And I feel kind of alone in liking Sangria Wine, I thought it was a really good song. The rest, are nowhere near special enough to mention.
Top 20:

0-Shit
20. I'm Upset
19. Meant To Be
18. Friends
17. Lucid Dreams
16. Never Be The Same

1-Bad
15. Yes Indeed
14. Perfect
13. Look Alive
12. This is America

2-Meh
NONE

3-Decent
11. Psycho
10. I Like It

4-Good
9. Boo'd Up

5-Great
8. Mine
7. No Tears Left To Cry
6. Walk It Talk It
5. In My Blood
4. God's Plan
3. Whatever It Takes
2. The Middle
1. Nice For What

Total Score: 54/100


Top 10:
1. High Hopes
2. One Kiss
3. Done For Me
4. Nice For What
5. The Middle
6. Whatever It Takes
7. All The Stars
8. Delicate
9. IDGAF
10. God's Plan

Bottom 10:
1. Freaky Friday
2. TATI
3. Sad!
4. I'm Upset
5. Esskeetit
6. Meant To Be
7. Tame Tu Cosita
8. Moonlight
9. Friends
10. X

Throwback Pick: Stayin' Alive- The Bee Gees (1977)