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Today's Top 40 Spectrum: Milwaukee & Molly Edition

Spring break! No parents! Yes, I am on a wild excursion through the land of Milwaukee and soon to enter the vast wilderness of Chicago. While loafing around on this Monday afternoon, the wonderful localite Molly (of the epic T.I.'s Road To Redemption post from a few weeks back) and I have been discussing the state of Top 40 radio in the southeast corner of the cheese and beer state. So with twice the input, we bring you twice the songs in Today's Top 40 Spectrum. I also haven't done this feature in a while, so there's a lot to be talked about. Let's take a look at what's pervading the 103.7 KissFM airwaves here in what the Algonquin's called "the good land", ranked from most awesome to most heinous, with commentary from both yours truly and the hostess with the mostest...

"Mad" by Ne-Yo: Molly says, "I like how it's so textured. It's a ballad but it doesn't feel super sappy - something you wanna listen to more than once, unlike most slow songs." I couldn't agree more. More than the killer vocal layering during the pre-chorus and chorus, I feel like the subject matter is relatable, which I usually don't in pop songs. There's no blaming of one person over the other, it's just a simple and universal "I don't want us to be mad at each other." Who can't relate to that? Of course this all gets ruined if you check out the video, where the male revelation of "life's too short to fight" only come when he witnesses a boy get run over by a car. What?! Totally unnecessary.

"Day 'N' Nite" by Kid Cudi: Molly says, "I like his mixtape a lot, but it seems like he's only benefiting from Kanye's popularity, with his meandering-speed minimalist hip hop. That kind of stuff never got KissFM radio play. Why kids like this and/or give it a chance is beyond me, but I'm glad they did." Once again, no disagreement here. I'm listening to the mixtape in question now and there's a killer Band Of Horses sample. I'm such a sucker for merging the trendy neon hip hop and indie rock worlds. It's downbeat yet still catchy and is totally universally and objectively enjoyable. He's like Kanye, yes, but no ego and no ostentatiousness.

"Green Light" by John Legend feat. Andre 3000: Molly says, "they're both adorable, two thumbs up! It's a dancey party song without being abrasive. There's a smoothness to it -a loungey feel with a dance beat, like you're laying around on a Sunday yet there's dancing involved!" Here's where opinions begin to diverge. I also somehow still find Andre 3000 interesting, if only because he's so family-friendly wacky, like a Sesame Street character, but the jury's still out on Legend. Molly pointed out that he was cuddly and funny on the Stephen Colbert Christmas Special, but I still find him so...plain. I think this was in a car commercial or NBC bumper or something, and that kind of always ruins pop songs for me.

"Crack A Bottle" by Eminem feat. Dr. Dre & 50 Cent: Molly says, "love the sample, like the Dre verse, but still like the Wu-Tang song that uses the same sample better. Eminem's verse is so offensive ('Bitches in my Tahoe'?!)." She doesn't want to say more I don't think because I've been making fun of her for liking this so much. It's totally her jam and she doesn't want to admit it. That's fine. I find it only slightly less obnoxious than ever other Eminem song, but she is right, the Dre verse is surprisingly slick. "Would you classify Eminem as useless?" she asks as I'm typing this. "Oh my yes." She's trying to remind me of his critical acclaim, but I can only reiterate that I never understood it. He's a terrible human being.

"Dead And Gone" by T.I. feat. Justin Timberlake: Molly says, "there's nothing to say. I'm bored. I fell asleep. I feel like I liked it the first time, but instead of growing more on me, it grows in a different way - it grows on me like mold." She's right, though I don't totally comprehend the mold simile. And I think the first time I heard it I was in denial over it being T.I. Because gone are the warm electronics that make his other singles so wonderful and also I was sure that Timberlake's falsetto was actually that of the guy from Maroon 5. So if anything, my opinion of the song has slightly improved since I first heard it, if only because I now know who's involved, which is totally an unfair way to make an assessment, but whatevs, I guess I'm superficial when it comes to pop music. Surprise surprise. Seriously though - mediocrity city.

"How Do You Sleep" by Jesse McCartney feat. Ludacris: Molly says, "this is totally like driving around in your car in the summer when you were 15. Everyone likes to pretend they didn't listen to this kinda stuff but c'mon. Also, he's totally like this scrawny white boy trying to be cool, delivering these totally absurd lyrics." Especially while watching the video, the latter is especialy true. He looks like The Mickey Mouse Club is still on the air, and that's coming from someone who's often mistaken for a 14-year-old. Nevertheless, the song is completely innocuous and the production is admittedly dense for a throwaway boy band-throwback track. I think this guy surprised me with his last single to, so bravo, Mr. McCartney. You're not terrible. I don't even remember the Ludacris verse though, and I have no interest in seeking it out to comment.

"Right Round" by Flo Rida feat. Kesha: Molly says, "ugh that female vocal part is really abrasive, like nails on a chalkboard or a dying cat. But overall, I'm not offended by this. It's a good sample, but (female vocal comes back in) why would you sing like that?! Whatever. If the kids like it, fine. I understand why it's popular." I also find very little to comment on regarding this song. So what if he wants to sample that song from The Wedding Singer? I remember watching the intro to that movie and knowing I was going to buy the soundtrack, so fine, go steal stuff and turn it into a hip hop riff. I'm not going to go nutso over it - originality went out the window when Flo Rida picked up his first mic, so it's old hat now. Haha Kid Cudi just totally made fun of Apple Bottom jeans on his mixtape. Nice.

"Kiss Me Thru the Phone" by Soulja Boy: Molly says, "really? 'Kiss me thru the phone'? You want me to do that? It seems like it's a joke that's being played on me. Who writes this, pitches the idea, and the artist is like 'yes!'? Don't you want to be a fly on the wall when that happens?" Yes. Yes I do. And yet, I'm also totally surprised that a Soulja Boy song is this listenable. There's no cacophony of men yelling at me about their swag and no crunk beats. And there's an inviting blipping keyboard just like T.I.'s signature sound! Beautiful. Really though, the concept of the song is too hilarious to make me actually groove to this. Too bad.
"Don't Trust Me" by 3OH! 3: Molly says, "'Do the Helen Keller and talk with your hips'? Offensive...it makes me feel dirty so maybe it accomplished its goal, since it's saying you shouldn't trust him. And I do feel like a skeezy guy's talking to me during the song. Thus, I do not trust him." And here's our only rock-ish song on today's spectrum. It's sad because it has the potential to be sickly sweet and innocent like emo guilty pleasures such as HelloGoodbye, but it just somersaults into self parody with its snarky party anthemics and shock value theatrics. Gross. It's just monumentally gross and basically intolerable. Molly urged me almost violently to find a picture of them and so you're given a visual aid, as if you needed another reason to hate them. "It makes so much sense now!" Molly exclaims with glee.

"I Love College" by Asher Roth: Molly says, "what is there to say about this? It's like the musical or auditory equivalent of what a male d-bag is in person. It's just embarrassing. (She's yelling at YouTube now.) You're not Missy Elliott! Only she can take any word and rhyme it with another one - who's friends with you?!" Perhaps my favorite line is the one that spins a little brain-melter such as this: "No time is wasted when you get wasted." That deserves a slow clap. And...yeah, nothing else. Just the most sarcastic, silent rage-filled slow clap. That and an inexplicable urge to now listen to/watch the video for the classic "Summer Girls" by LFO, aka Lyte Funkie Ones. They rap the same way except one is so vacuous that they're kind of sympathetic (8 years ago I would not have admitted that), and the other is just sad.

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  1. Anonymous .molly. | 7:51 PM |  

    Oh goodness. New Eminem music video released! It's not for "Crack a Bottle," but it's just about as suck-tacular as I would have expected.
    Such a philistine...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIkzQYns61Q

  2. Blogger Sean | 8:50 PM |  

    hahah, that video was funny.

  3. Anonymous .molly. | 12:34 PM |  

    I also wanted to add that although I don't mind the Flo Rida song - songs about being in love with strippers feels so 2007. I guess the the topic was more timeless that I assumed...

  4. Blogger chris | 6:18 PM |  

    How is it that Dre in a Star Trek costume is hilarious, but Eminem in any costume just makes me hate him more?

    Totally agree about the stripper love song. Let's move on to something more creative, like librarians. I would love to hear a Flo Rida song about hot hot librarians are.

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