Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Best Pop Songs of 2013

With a just a week left in 2013, and with no major album releases coming (except for a Beyoncé wannabe potentially dropping without notice), it is time to unveil the best pop songs of the year.

Last years rating on this site was just messy, we shall never speak of it again. This year, instead of saying "this was the 77th best pop song this year," I'll just be listing some standouts with no relative order.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Track By Track Album Review: Beyoncé - Beyoncé

So this bitch decided to keep the world waiting for 12 months by teasing with snippets and full versions of songs without ever releasing them. Then, last night, with no prior announcement or warning, her 5th studio album dropped on iTunes, with each track getting their own music video. Since this is being described as a visual album, I will not only review the song, but the accompanying music video as well.

Pretty Hurts: When a woman as beautiful as Beyoncé releases a track called "Pretty Hurts," she has your attention from the very beginning. The video portrays an out of control beauty pageant, showing Beyoncé repeatedly running to the toilet to vomit, cut between scenes of her at home, backstage and on stage. When asked what her aspiration in life is, Beyoncé replies, with much thought and hesitation, "to be happy." The song and video make a statement that no one wants to acknowledge in mainstream media, that just because you're pretty, skinny, successful, you can be unhappy, and there is justice in feeling that way. The drum propelled song itself could become an anthem for struggling girls everywhere (a demographic Beyonce constantly appeals too for better or worse).
Video: A+
Song: A-

Ghost: Not a track on the audio portion, but a video and song on the visual portion. It's definitely very creepy, Beyoncé contorts and twists herself around painted black, while overlapping vocal tracks give off a haunting vibe. It creeps me out too much to give it a grade, and I don't have any desire to watch it again.
Video: Creepy as hell.
Song: Also creepy as hell.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Live Review: Lady Gaga - Do What U Want (Acoustic) @ Alan Carr

Gaga has had a pretty good year (or not, depending on what side of the ARTPOP fence you are) and she might have ended her year on a massive high note. This performance really showed off all of her strengths, her voice, her ability to sing acapella without issue, and her piano skills. It wasn't too weird, in fact it wasn't really weird at all.

Gaga is at home in both restrained and explosive settings, but this shows off a potential for universal appeal. With just a xylophone, a piano, and a great vocal, Gaga managed to blow the roof off of the place, all without alienating any demographics. Grandpa and Grandma aren't going to be flashed by anything, and maybe the lyrics are a bit too sexualized for them, but they will probably be too busy thinking, "Sweet baby Jesus, she has pipes!"

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Music Video and Single Review: Rebecca Black - Saturday

Rebecca has returned to the calendar, and to the music scene, for her Friday follow up entitled Saturday. And before you bash your head into the keyboard, she isn't taking herself too seriously with this one.

16 year old Black's Saturday video is definitely self aware, something she proved earlier this week by re-watching and cringing through her 2011 viral smash, Friday. She portrays the typical teenage party scene, with a more Disney-image (IE writing fun, fun, fun, fun on passed out party-goers face instead of say… a male body part), and makes sure that this video will prove far less embarrassing. She makes quite a few references to her past work, with a "yesterday was Friday, today is Saturday" bridge, a "gotta have my bowl" of cereal, and the infamous pink clock.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Live Performance Review: Hyorin - End of Time (Beyonce Cover)

I don't usually pay attention to the K-Pop world, but when I went on Billboard to see the few words, "nail Beyonce,"I knew I had to see what could be described as "nailing Beyonce." And let me be the first to say, this wasn't a mess, but it wasn't much of "nailing it" either.

Now, I probably wouldn't have much to say if I hadn't seen Beyonce perform the song in front of my very eyes at the Super Bowl in February (that performance blew my mind), this performance was clean, but it lacked energy and complexity. Hyroin looked tired with her dancing, sounded boring with the vocals, and no where near as appealing as Beyonce. There was hardly any stage presence, shocking for someone whose been described as Korea's Beyonce. When covering Beyonce, one must be spot on, as Beyonce works like clock work on 99% of performances. This was more like a 90 year old clock that's fallen a little slow.