Oswald Wagenseil, ‘22
For this review, I will be using the source https://www.billboard.com/charts/hot-100, to which I will listen to the top 10 songs so far of the week and review them on based on lyrics, singing/rapping, and beats. And at the end, I will calculate the average ranking of that song based on those 3 categories. This list is also in order the way the website lists the songs.
10. “7 Rings” Ariana Grande: Ariana Grande has undoubtedly changed throughout the years as a pop musician. I remember back in 2014 when her song “Problem” released and she was just the generic poppy star who used to be on Victorious. Now, she has embraced her uniqueness as an artist by doing things differently, and this song is an example of this. For one, the beat for this song is different as she goes for a low toned beat to which she sings with a mediocre level of what she is capable. But her lyrics sadly have not really shown that much improvement about what has changed from 2014. The only here is that she is showing to take care of mainly herself and her close friends, best seen in the lyrics “Wearing a ring but ain't gon' be no "Mrs.," Bought matching diamonds for six of my bit**es” and “Been through some bad shit, I should be a sad bitch, Who woulda thought it'd turn me to a savage?” Ariana Grande has been through a lot, especially last year, and is seen to change her music, and others are want to see what this new style leads her to in the future. Lyrics: 7/10. Singing/Rapping: 8/10. Beat: 7/10. Average: ~7/10.
9. “Bad Guy” Billie Eilish: This felt very uncomfortable to listen to. No disrespect to Billie Eilish, the great talented singer she is, but she has used her talents at an underwhelming level in this song. Her singing was just simple whispering (“Don’t Come Out the House” copycat…) which is disappointing as she could use her incredible singing more. The lyrics are typical for her style and are very simple too. This is best exemplified with the lyric, “So you're a tough guy, Like it really rough guy, Just can't get enough guy, Chest always so puffed guy.” However, the beat was very interesting and oddly pleasing. I liked the simple kickdrum sound to it and the beat switch at the end also scaled things up and made for a good beat for this song. Lyrics: 7/10. Singing/Rapping: 6/10. Beat: 8/10. Average: ~7/10.
8. “Without Me” Halsey: I could already tell this song was very personal to Halsey. Based on the lyrics, she talks about past relationships she has had in her lifetime, whether romantic or friendships and how it negatively affects her. This can be best seen in lyrics such as, “I said I'd catch you if you fall (Fall), And if they laugh, then f**k 'em all (All), And then I got you off your knees, Put you right back on your feet, Just so you could take advantage of me” and “Tell me, how's it feel sittin' up there? Feelin' so high, but too far away to hold me, You know I'm the one who put you up there, Name in the sky, does it ever get lonely?” In addition, Halsey sings this with such emotion and sadness that it really does put you in a vibe. A sad one. And finally, the beat is simple yet it can mean so many different feelings when listening to it. Lyrics: 9/10. Singing/Rapping: 9/10. Beat: 9/10. Average: ~9/10.
7. “Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse): This song, as well as the movie, is one of the best songs to come out of 2018. The beat is just perfect and immediately places you in a vibe that you never want to leave. The best way to describe the feeling is just being very proud to be you and vibrant among where you are. However, the lyrics are just as bland as can be, such as “Screamin' at my face, baby, don't trip, Someone took a big L, don't know how that felt” and “Callin' it quits now, baby, I'm a wreck (wreck), Crash at my place, baby, you're a wreck (wreck),” which speaks imagery that does not bring any contribution to the song. But then Post Malone and Swae Lee, two artists well-known for making catchy choruses, sing this song is the perfect fit for a song like this. They bring a laid-back feeling to add on being calming and relieved. Lyrics: 7/10. Singing/Rapping:8/10. Beat: 10/10. Average: ~8/10.
6. “Wow.” Post Malone: This… this actually does not sound bad. After “White Iverson,” I didn’t really think Post Malone would not get better after that (with the exception of “Congratulations”), but he proved me wrong with this song. The song has what appears to be very simple beat, but it fits PERFECTLY with the lyrics and overall sound the song makes. These lyrics are terrible though, such as “Cut the roof off like a nip-tuck, Pull up to the house with some big butts, Turn the kitchen counter to a strip club” and “Yeah, your grandmama probably know me (God damn), Get more bottles, these bottles are lonely,” all of which are typical modern pop/rap songs (I do not know which genre Post Malone is part of at this point). And overall, singing does fit along with the beat but is normal and generic. Lyrics: 7/10. Singing/Rapping: 7/10. Beat: 7/10. Average: ~7/10.
5. “Homicide” Logic Featuring Eminem: Well this song just came out of nowhere. Logic and Eminem collaborating on a song together will definitely make a good song, right? In all complete honesty, the song was mildly decent and could have been something more. Of course, the rapping was very good and Logic and Eminem delivers the fastest flows they can muster on this song. The beat is not that good as it is just annoying to listen too with a high pitch, so a better beat would have been better for this song. Finally, the lyrics were okay and don’t compare as well to some of the good punchlines and lyrics these rappers typically have. Lyrics such as, “No, this ain't a diss to the game, this a gas to the flame, Nowadays, everybody sound the same, s**t's lame, Like a moth to the flame, I'ma reel 'em in and kill 'em” and “With so many foul lines, you'll think I'm a free throw, Figured it was about time for people to eat crow, You about to get out-rhymed, how could I be dethroned?” are great examples of okay punchlines for such a high expectation song that just turned out okay. Also, what is with that ending at the end? Lyrics: 8/10. Singing/Rapping: 8/10. Beat: 7/10. Average: ~8/10.
4. “Sucker” Jonas Brothers: THEY ARE BACK! And they come back with a song that is… surprisingly good beyond the teen songs they have done in the past. The beat is pretty good as a combination of the bass and whistling, a very unexpected combination that works in a great way that makes this song very catchy. But, the song has generic lyrics in most pop songs nowadays. Best instances are “Any road you take, you know that you'll find me, I'm a sucker for all the subliminal things” and “You're the medicine and the pain, the tattoo inside my brain,” with the latter using a poor metaphor, very common among songs that chart this high. And finally, the vocals for this song, provided by Nick and Joe, are pretty good but they could have pushed the limit more. Lyrics: 7/10. Singing/Rapping: 8/10. Beat: 8/10. Average: ~8/10.
3. “ME!” Taylor Swift Featuring Brendon Urie: Well at least we won’t get the last year Taylor Swift of when she got the goth, rebel vibe going on. In other words, this song is a step in the right direction for her career. It just has the typical pop lyrics of this generations pop songs. Best seen from the lyrics, “Hey, kids! Spelling is fun! Girl, there ain't no I in "team," But you know there is a "me," and “Cause one of these things is not like the others
Livin' in winter, I am your summer, Baby doll, when it comes to a lover, I promise that you'll never find another like, Me-e-e.” Just all around silly lyrics. The beat is extravagant and does bring its charm so I will give the song that. And finally, the singing by Taylor Swift and Brendon Urie could have had more to it and not just mindless pop singing as usual. Lyrics: 7/10. Singing/Rapping: 7/10. Beat: 7/10. Average:~7/10.
2. “If I Can’t Have You” Shawn Mendes: Let’s be real this song is just a copycat of “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back,” also by the same artist. Seriously, the beat is just the simple guitar melody as well as the tempo to it. The whole time I was listening to it I thought this was the same song from last year. In addition, the lyrics are just really basic for Shawn Mendes and is all about love and being with that special someone. The lyrics, “Can't write one song that's not about you, Can't drink without thinkin' about you, Is it too late to tell you that, Everything means nothing if I can't have you?” and “It doesn't matter 'cause I'm so consumed, Spending all my nights reading texts from you,” just talk about love and it is very basic and unoriginal at this point. And the singing is just okay. It is not bad but doesn’t take risks to try anything new. Lyrics: 6/10. Singing/Rapping: 7/10. Beat: 7/10. Average: ~7/10.
1. Old Town Road” Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus: Why don’t I hate this song? The song has very dumb lyrics but I like them anyway. Best seen in, “ got the horses in the back, Horse tack is attached, Hat is matte black
Got the boots that's black to match” and “Cowboy hat from Gucci, Wrangler on my booty.” The lyrics are so dumb but who does not love them? The singing is actually pretty good, but the rap is a simple flow to it, which is mildly disappointing. And finally, the beat for this song is just really good to listen to. It’s just a simple guitar melody that is not that hard to play but it is so simple and meaningful at the same time. Just a good song that will be fun to listen to in the future, not to also mention the combination of country and rap being a surprisingly good combination. Lyrics: 7/10. Singing/Rapping: 8/10. Beat: 9/10. Average: ~8/10.