rolling pop 2017

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who better to start it off with than the writer of maybe 33% of the last few years in pop (and maybe part of the reason it all sounds so goddamn sad)

a self-reinforcing downward spiral of male-centric indie (katherine), Thursday, 2 February 2017 07:15 (three months ago) Permalink

was initially put off by her garbled singing and the apparent basicness of it all but i've grown to like this actually. she is a great melodicist

monotony, Thursday, 2 February 2017 12:30 (three months ago) Permalink

love this song, looking forward to where she'll go from here

j. winters (josh), Thursday, 2 February 2017 17:41 (three months ago) Permalink

Zara Larsson is releasing her album in March. New single:

abcfsk, Friday, 3 February 2017 08:30 (three months ago) Permalink

i really like maggie rogers

J0rdan S., Wednesday, 8 February 2017 06:27 (three months ago) Permalink

her aesthetic is very like... if instagram was music but even tho i can recognize the trick i still fell for it

J0rdan S., Wednesday, 8 February 2017 06:30 (three months ago) Permalink

love the new track from tei shi:

joshywinty (josh), Saturday, 11 February 2017 08:28 (three months ago) Permalink

also this one from anna of the north:

joshywinty (josh), Saturday, 11 February 2017 20:46 (three months ago) Permalink

also uh new katy perry is... a thing

a self-reinforcing downward spiral of male-centric indie (katherine), Saturday, 11 February 2017 21:10 (three months ago) Permalink

from Worst Songs:

alternate titles: "Sia Continues To Not Do Subtext"; "I Didn't Expect Melanie Martinez To Be Where Katy Perry Is Being Positioned, Huh"; "If You Told Me Katy Perry Was Doing 'Pleasantville' I Would Have Expected Pinup Shit"

a self-reinforcing downward spiral of male-centric indie (katherine), Saturday, 11 February 2017 21:10 (three months ago) Permalink

I like the katy perry. And I've never liked katy perry. Lyrically it's cringe-worthy but the song.

abcfsk, Saturday, 11 February 2017 22:38 (three months ago) Permalink

riddle me this: how can she be chained to the rhythm when she doesn't have any?

joshywinty (josh), Sunday, 12 February 2017 07:24 (three months ago) Permalink

lol josh

As with all new Katy Perry songs I'll be playing the "how long can I go until I hear it involuntarily hear it", this often works out pretty well

lex pretend, Sunday, 12 February 2017 09:54 (three months ago) Permalink

god never try to type sentences when you're this hungover

lex pretend, Sunday, 12 February 2017 09:54 (three months ago) Permalink

it's pretty bad. surprised (but am i really?) she decided to come back with something roughly on the level of her (terrible) fifth single from the last album cycle.

(amusingly, early indicators of its commercial prospects are not looking good at all so perhaps you will never have to hear it lex!)

dyl, Sunday, 12 February 2017 16:53 (three months ago) Permalink

maroon 5 has released yet another song that will almost undoubtedly be played at their core format (adult pop) with the "featured" rapper's contribution replaced by a separately recorded, sung middle eight.

being completely serious here: at this point all black artists should refuse to be featured on tracks like this unless they are allowed to actually take up space on the recording instead of having their entire contribution squeezed into a narrow 35-second window that will inevitably be scrubbed from the version serviced to white adult stations. if an act, their team or boosters at radio feel its core audience will be scared off by 30 seconds of a black rapper's vocals, they shouldn't bother "featuring" him in the first place. and if they can't remain commercially relevant without the otherwise-unearned crossover rhythmic radio play and streaming activity, tough; they don't deserve to have it both ways.

dyl, Tuesday, 14 February 2017 19:01 (three months ago) Permalink

kudos to future apologising for it tho

||||||||, Tuesday, 14 February 2017 20:35 (three months ago) Permalink

one month passes...
three weeks pass...

I'm finding this cover of Lisa Loeb's "Stay" by Bright Light Bright Light inexplicably lovely:

https://soundcloud.com/brightlightx2/stay-i-missed-you-1

some sad trombone Twilight Zone shit (cryptosicko), Sunday, 7 May 2017 20:02 (two weeks ago) Permalink

jessie reyez!

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 17 May 2017 08:27 (one week ago) Permalink

"shutter island" also amazing

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 17 May 2017 08:31 (one week ago) Permalink

i fuck w this camila cabello single

flapp.y, Monday, 22 May 2017 17:33 (four days ago) Permalink

i do not

i really don't get why this newer crop of "new" (solo) artists is being introduced to its assumed audience with such faceless, on- or slightly-behind-trend material. liam payne's (terrible) new single is guilty of the same. i thought the typical strategy for introducing a new artist was to release something just ahead of the trends -- familiar enough to give us a comfortable in, but also distinctive enough to hint at where pop might be headed next (presumably to be led by these new artists). this crop of safe, unimaginative songs that sound like they would have been 'forward-thinking' hits 1-3 years ago is just not it.

dyl, Monday, 22 May 2017 17:42 (four days ago) Permalink

the "genie in a bottle" interpolation on camila's single only serves to remind me that THAT is how you properly introduce yourself as a new pop artist

dyl, Monday, 22 May 2017 17:45 (four days ago) Permalink

except it wasn't, Aguilera "introduced" herself with "Reflection"

sick, fucking funny, and well tasty (katherine), Monday, 22 May 2017 17:51 (four days ago) Permalink

ron fair on the typical strategy for introducing a new artist, at least regarding "Genie in a Bottle":

"In our business, it's more important to start off with a number one record on a debut act than it is to start off with a great song. But it's still great sugar candy."

sick, fucking funny, and well tasty (katherine), Monday, 22 May 2017 17:54 (four days ago) Permalink

oh yeah i forgot about that. i don't think i ever noticed her version of "reflection" at the time, even tho i went out and saw mulan and everything. not the best example then!

dyl, Monday, 22 May 2017 17:55 (four days ago) Permalink

like, I don't love this single (I'm guessing the waste-of-a-cello intro is not part of the single proper, because yikes, wish the cello showed up in the actual mix though) and I do love david frank but let's take off the nostalgia glasses here

sick, fucking funny, and well tasty (katherine), Monday, 22 May 2017 17:55 (four days ago) Permalink

that ron fair quote is interesting in that it's not clear whether he thinks "genie" is a great song. (i do!) or whether he thinks being great helps a debut single's prospects commercially. but point taken about how the priorities weren't particularly different back then!

dyl, Monday, 22 May 2017 18:04 (four days ago) Permalink

i would add tho that being ahead of trend or at least distinctive enough to set oneself apart from the back is not necessarily about being "great". the last debut single (for a non-crossover top 40 artist) that i think actually successfully accomplished what i described above was meghan trainor's, and i would be the last person on earth to describe that song as "great".

dyl, Monday, 22 May 2017 18:06 (four days ago) Permalink

* from the pack

dyl, Monday, 22 May 2017 18:07 (four days ago) Permalink

i went back and looked at a bunch of ex-boy banders' debut solos singles for a piece recently and found that it was mostly the opposite of what you're saying. usually the first single was really safe, often a ballad. consider like bobby brown's "girlfriend" vs the songs that would really propel him to solo stardom, or the first sisqo single vs "thong song" or "work it out" vs "crazy in love." justin timberlake is one of the only really notable group-to-solo artists whose first single was as good and memorable as the stuff that came after it, but he sorta had a head start insofar as he basically started making solo singles on the last nsync album, including w/ the neptunes. i don't like "pillowtalk" personally but you could probably lump zayn in with JT too since that song ended up having a long commercial tail.

so i think liam and camila etc are not special in that regard. i don't have a great deal of optimism for either as solo artists but i bet their next songs will be better.

J0rdan S., Monday, 22 May 2017 18:26 (four days ago) Permalink

"sign of the times" probably counts as an exception, at least as far as radio trends

sick, fucking funny, and well tasty (katherine), Monday, 22 May 2017 18:36 (four days ago) Permalink

Jordan Knight also broke formula in '99. Joey McIntyre did not.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 22 May 2017 18:40 (four days ago) Permalink

the first sisqo single vs "thong song" or "work it out" vs "crazy in love."

literally don't know either of these, were they soft-launched teasers or songs that were actually expected to do commercial damage?

dyl, Monday, 22 May 2017 19:12 (four days ago) Permalink

i assumed "thong song" and "crazy in love" were debut singles so i guess all my hand-waving is rly just based on selective memory, oops

dyl, Monday, 22 May 2017 19:14 (four days ago) Permalink

okay so "work it out" was a soundtrack single so basically similar to "reflection"

dyl, Monday, 22 May 2017 19:15 (four days ago) Permalink

i liked your theory before it was debunked, dyl. at the very least that's how things should be, imo

flopson, Monday, 22 May 2017 20:18 (four days ago) Permalink

I mean it's true in that "forward-thinking" material is generally given to rising artists, just not rising artists with as much at stake as former boy/girl group members.

sick, fucking funny, and well tasty (katherine), Monday, 22 May 2017 20:24 (four days ago) Permalink

Cabello track is mediocre pop but elevated by her wonderful Scherzingeresque performance

boxedjoy, Tuesday, 23 May 2017 12:32 (three days ago) Permalink

agreed the liam payne record is p awful

flapp.y, Tuesday, 23 May 2017 21:32 (three days ago) Permalink

surprisingly (she's usually the worst thing about any fifth harmony track) I like the Camila track even though it's pretty much a watered-down "Work"

sick, fucking funny, and well tasty (katherine), Wednesday, 24 May 2017 18:00 (two days ago) Permalink

New Shakira album's good.

case in point:

sean gramophone, Thursday, 25 May 2017 14:37 (yesterday) Permalink

surprisingly (she's usually the worst thing about any fifth harmony track)

curious as to how you came to this conclusion

boxedjoy, Friday, 26 May 2017 00:13 (nine hours ago) Permalink

bad and/or cutesy oversinging

sick, fucking funny, and well tasty (katherine), Friday, 26 May 2017 01:09 (eight hours ago) Permalink

"work it out" was more ~forward-thinking than "crazy in love"! (futuristic version of '70s funk vs actual sample of '70s funk.) but the most ~forward-thinking pop comes a couple of albums in, at least, and if it doesn't it often ends up in the act being somewhat niche.

it feels like camila cabello has been releasing solo stuff for months, mostly guest spots i guess, and she's the worst thing about all of those too.

the problem with liam payne and camila cabello is that i never had great expectations for them in the first place. sensible liam choosing this direction is hilariously ill-suited, presumably because harry gazumped him with the boring serious guitar singer-songwriter shit. i think the pop album i'm most disappointed by in 2017 is zara larsson. high hopes emphatically not met.

shakira album is good, yes, jumping on reggaeton (at last? has she done much of it before? i don't follow her career closely) is a good look.

lex pretend, Friday, 26 May 2017 05:45 (three hours ago) Permalink

love zara larsson and agree zl in 2017 feels a bit rushed, her 2016 success necessitating a bunch of tracks to put on an album with too little thought given to which and what

abcfsk, Friday, 26 May 2017 07:45 (one hour ago) Permalink


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