It's been a very busy week for single releases! Two soundtrack singles, and two official singles from four pop queens. But who comes out on top?
Do What U Want (Feat. R Kelly):
Lady Gaga and R. Kelly come from two different sides of the music spectrum, yet they collaborated on what is easily one of the most infectious tracks of the year. Lady Gaga grunts and growls her frustration into some Xtina vocals, heading into the highest stretches of her chest voice to hit an F#5 in the bridge. R. Kelly's addition is decent, it definetly makes the track interesting, but his verse trades in non-sense for substance; "I could be the green in your blunt." Hmm. Interesting. A-
Let It Go:
Her second soundtrack single this year (Following Heart By Heart), Demi lays back on her latest string of arrangement bombast-icy. It's simple in every aspect, very simple melody, lyrics chained to theme of the movie, it all just progresses along at ground level, rather than letting Demi take it to some sort of climax, per usual. However, her infatuation with melisma is still there, for
Underneath the Tree:
God knows how many times I have heard people say that this is the new All I Want for Christmas. It's easy to see why, as Kelly and Greg Kurstin excellently captured the Christmas vibe for this track. Upbeat, jazzy, and of course, Kelly delivers a massive vocal. But lyrically, it's very bland, very unoriginal, and that is what makes it more like the aforementioned All I Want for Christmas. I'm torn between believing this is a new classic, or factory pressed christmas track. There aren't a lot of risks taken here, but it's still charming (and catchy). B+
Sweeter Than Fiction:
This will drive country sticklers crazy with rants like "listen to this! She's not country!" And they're right with this track at least, it is blatant pop music, more so than 60% of Red. Taylor sounds bored, and lyrically it doesn't even seem like she's trying. The most charming line is "Your eyes brighter than distance / This love is sweeter than fiction." How are ones eyes "brighter than distance?" What? That's very weak for someone as talented as Taylor. And of course the vocal doesn't stray outside her 1-octave comfort zone, and the production sounds like it was made on a 2003 Nokia. After all of that though, I can't deny that it is still somehow charming, and catchy. The power of America's Sweetheart. C-/D+
Which one comes out on top for you? Leave a comment below!