Monthly Report: April 2014 Singles

1. Coldplay - "Magic"
Coldplay were never a particularly cool band to like, and they've only gotten less cool from there. But I really dug Viva La Vida as an album and enjoyed singles off of the last album that nobody seemed to care about like "Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall" and "Princess of China." And now, after years of Coldplay being one of the only bands played on both pop and alternative radio, they're re-entering a very crowded field of crossover hits, and nobody seems to care. But whatever, I like this, it actually reminds me a bit of the last lead single by the other big Stadiumhead band, Muse's "Madness," although it's not quite as good as that. Here is my running Spotify playlist of favorite 2014 singles, by the way. 

2. ScHoolboy Q - "Man Of The Year"
I thought it was pretty unfortunate when this song dropped a few months ago right on the heels of Kendrick appearing on the cover of GQ's 'man of the year' issue, TDE is really kinda failing at their mission to have a bunch of equally successful solo artists as everything after Kendrick trails off. But it's kind of a shame that Q hasn't really shaped up to at least be a radio fixture, because the singles off his album have really been good, especially this one. I'm kinda past rolling my eyes when big name rappers sample random indie bands I've never listened to, the Chromatics sample on this is really dope and puts an eerie edge on what's otherwise a pretty straightforward club banger. 

3. Bando Jonez - "Sex You"
I laughed so hard the first time I turned on the radio and heard a pitched-down voice intoning "SEX -- HAVE YOU HAD IT?" But it's really sapped my enjoyment of this song that all my local stations have been playing the "Love You" edit -- and these are all stations that played the hell out of songs like "Birthday Sex" and "Sex Therapy" and "Sex Room" so I didn't think it was possible for that word to be objectionable on R&B radio anymore.

4. Kacey Musgraves - "Keep It To Yourself"
I've only heard this song on the radio exactly once so far, but it sounded more at home there than I expected it to. In any case I'm glad Kacey's label is continuing to push the album with a 4th single even as radio has been resistant to her charms, relative to her sales and acclaim. Giving a great performance and winning an award on the Grammys telecast probably bolstered their confidence in her, "Follow Your Arrow" is still my least favorite single off the album but that was an awesome moment.

5. Pearl Jam - "Lightning Bolt"
Although I try to take all new Pearl Jam music at face value and not compare it too much to the period that made them my favorite singles act of the '90s, it's really kinda refreshing that Lightning Bolt is now the first Pearl Jam album with 3 good singles since Yield.

6. Sara Bareilles - "I Choose You"
I've been spoiled as a journalist about getting to meet and interview a lot of musicians I listen to, which has made it weird at my current day job, teleprompting, where I'm frequently around very famous people but, more often than not, am just kinda there and have no opportunity to socialize with them. A case in point, the other night I worked a corporate event where Sara Bareilles was the headline performer, and I'm really a fan of her music and wrote a very complimentary column about her a few months ago that it would've been cool to show her. But I was only backstage at the same time as her for a couple minutes, and it just felt too awkward to go up to her and try to make small talk or act like a fan. The performance was good, though, she played this song on acoustic guitar and it was a good arrangement. Glad she finally has a follow-up single to "Brave," which I was never very into, but I'm still hoping "Little Black Dress" becomes a single.

7. Colbie Caillat - "Hold On"
It's probably weird that I can say I'm a fan of Sara Bareilles but I find it embarrassing to admit I like a Colbie Caillat song, since they're probably looked at as similar artists for a similar fanbase. This song is really catchy, though, part of this hot streak that I hate to admit Ryan Tedder is on right now.

8. B.o.B f/ Chris Brown - "Throwback"
Here's one I really am embarrassed to like. Chris Brown is, of course, awful as a musician and as a person, and I just shit on the B.o.B album a few months ago for the cynical way it was assembled as a change in direction, and the way even the singles buoyed by Mike Will Made It and DJ Mustard and Future and 2 Chainz and Juicy J all seemed to be those guys' mediocre leftovers. But now that the awful "Jon Doe" has put B.o.B back on pop radio a little bit, rap radio has picked up on this song, which I totally didn't realize was kind of awesome when I listened to the album, that beat is just insane and B.o.B actually produced it himself, so respect where it's due, I guess.

9. Silversun Pickups - "Cannibal"
It's funny that these guys did a singles compilation after only three albums -- maybe it's an indication that they're finally leaving for a major label after years of being the only indie band consistently making hits on alt-rock radio. The new song on the comp is good, though, kinda follows on the synthy direction of their last big single, "The Pit," which suggests that even as they continue to get constant comparisons to the Smashing Pumpkins, their foray into electronic sounds won't be too derivative of the Pumpkins.

10. Imagine Dragons - "On Top Of The World"
It's funny, the weird grungestep power ballad "Radioactive" has become their gigantic crossover hit, but the upbeat acoustic debut single "It's Time" is still the reason I don't totally hate Imagine Dragons. And so I'm glad that their current single is another chipper pop song that sounds good in commercials and stupid movies like The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, which had this play over the credits.

Worst: American Authors - "Best Day Of My Life"
Going back to my lingering affection for "It's Time," it's mildly horrifying that a new band is getting big crossover money with a debut single that sounds like a deliberate carbon copy of the first Imagine Dragons single. The alt pop game is so dirty.
« Home | Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »

Post a Comment