Some more avid readers may have notices that the past two Sundays have been lacking in a certain promised segment. I’ve encountered an issue with my “iTunes Top-5” reviews. Turns out that the songs are more stagnant than I first thought, and I don’t really feel like reviewing the same 5 songs every week until they are eventually replaced by another song that sounds exactly the same to me. I really enjoy writing these reviews, so my solution is to review between 3 and 10 NEW songs in the iTunes top 10, meaning I can write one of these pretty much whenever I want! It just so happens that there are 4 new songs in the top 10 today, so after a long hiatus (and completely ignoring the name of this post), here’s the newest edition of “iTunes Top 5”. (wooo)
#3 Shot Me Down – David Guetta ft. Skylar Grey
This track frustrated me a lot. It is all too common these days for ‘artists’ like David Guetta to use older, mostly forgotten tracks to base their new house/trance/noise off. In this particular instance, “Shot Me Down” takes its lyrics and melody (in the verses) from the original track by Cher (or the somewhat better-known cover by Nancy Sinatra). Guetta’s version adds nothing lyrically, in fact it uses only the first verse of the original. Without the remainder of the story, it’s hard to know what on earth Skylar Grey is singing about. What Guetta does add is a terrible repetition of a monotone synthesiser, finished off by a random squeal from his female support. There’s not much more to say because the whole song is one verse and a section of squeaks repeated over and over again. In her defence, Grey does exactly what she’s been paid to do, and her voice is the only positive in a disaster of a song.
#5 Magic – Coldplay
Coldplay is arguably one of the world’s greatest bands, and it’s not hard to see why. It seems every time they release new music it manages to bring in new fans while still appealing to the old and faithful, something very hard to accomplish in music. “Magic”, the first single off their newest record “Ghost Stories”, is a simple love song done right. It does just enough to not feel repetitive or overly simple, but is still easy listening with easy-to-follow lyrics, making it possible for just one listen to hook you. As it progresses, the raw melodies are added to, creating points of complexion and intrigue. The overall arc of the song is basic enough, but somehow every time a lyric/hook is repeated it sounds and feels different in one way or another. “Magic” is the perfect way for Coldplay to slide (rather than burst) back on the scene in true Coldplay style (even though it has a very Maroon 5 vibe here and there), and it will surely find a place on my iPhone.
#6 When You Were Mine – Taylor Henderson
Cashing in on the popularity of down-on-their-luck boys with guitars is Australian (woo go us) Taylor Henderson, a singer-song writer with a broken heart, what I believe is a somewhat unique phenomenon. His song “When You Were Mine”, is actually pretty good. It’s well written, musically interesting and his voice is really, really good. He is what music producers see in their dreams; good looking, good at singing, and able to write his own material (I think…). It’s no surprise to see an Australian song this high on the charts. We LOVE ourselves here in Aus, but Henderson truly deserves his spot at #6. The thing I like most about this song is something I look for in every song; does he/she mean what he/she is singing. In this case, I’d have to go with yes. Good on ya’ Taylor.
#8 She Looks So Perfect – 5 Seconds of Summer
Let me get this straight. Pop/punk is my shtick, it’s my jam, and it’s what I devote most of my listening hours to. Maybe that’s why I’m so taken aback that there is (seemingly) a pop/punk track at #8 on the iTunes chart. It’s just so uncommon, but after listening to the song, it’s not hard to see why. “She Looks So Perfect” is everything today’s youth wants in a catchy pop song; simple tunes, gang vocals and obscure product placement. Lyrically it’s not the greatest song, but it’s 10x more complex than most of the songs that it stole the #8 spot from. If I was taking this track at face value it would probably score a little higher than it will, but unfortunately for 5SOS, I know their genre, and there is MUCH better material out there than this. Also, I misheard a lyric on the first listen as “I’ll slow down” (for his girlfriend), a good message for a lot of kids out there. Turns out it’s “I’m so down”. Come on guys… Seriously?