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Today's Top 40 Spectrum: From Jason Derulo To Crap!

I've been listening to a lot of Top 40 this month. Like way more than usual. And so, when a few days I realized I was about due to update Today's Top 40 Spectrum, I assumed it would be a great post chock full of the hits indicative of this supposed surprising upswing in quality pop music. Upon visiting the charts of both pop stations in town, turns out my judgment and listening habits were simply marred by the recent awesomeness of "Carry Out" and "Bedrock". Too bad so sad. Big shocker, Top 40 music still sucks, right? Luckily the one at the top of the spectrum is actually objectively awesome (no arguments!), otherwise I might have to reconsider my ability to properly judge the output of the mainstream music industry. Ha! That would have been scary! Anyway, here are your month's big jams (sorry Brigitte/Qualler, "Telephone" by the Gag-ster is still on the outset of both stations' Top 5), ranked from best to worst.

"In My Head" by Jason Derulo: Seriously though, this song is the major ish. It's at the top of KDWB's playlist, so I'm leaning toward thinking they're still the better station, despite the new guy in town 96.3NOW!'s obnoxious DJ abstinence. In fact, Jerksica just asked me the other day what was my favorite song on Top 40 now and the only number that came to mind was this one. All the way back to when I first heard it (think wayyy back in January!) I was happy to finally be able to pay attention to Derulo's talent without the obfuscation of Imogen Heap's warble on his first, more successful single, "Whatcha Say", which you can for some reason hear a bit of at the beginning and ending of his video for this new one. While it doesn't have the trademark gimmick of the former, I think this new totally solo offering is actually much better written and executed pop song. It's a little glossy and mechanical, yes, even by Top 40 standards, but the man can sing. Even if it is Autotuned, it's not rubbed in our faces, and there's real G-D melodies that are all neatly packaged in beautiful verse, pre-chorus, and chorus segments that go down like neon fruit juice. Sickly sweet, but refreshing and tart as all get out. Yummers.

"Imma Be" by Black Eyed Peas: I think Black Eyed Peas are one of those artists that I like to pretend to hate, because I'll say they're awful, degenerates, and worse, all for hours upon hours until kingdom come, but whenever it comes down to a Top 40 Spectrum, they always somehow edge near the top of the list. Quite simply, though, it's basically because when put in a group of other awful degenerates, they end up looking good by comparison. Kinda like the kid in gym class that drives you nuts, but when it comes to be your turn to be team captain and pick players, he'll always be your second or third choice, because hell if you're gonna have any of those other idiot pricks on your team. I mean this song (and long-form video, if you dare click play above to see the Peas "act" and then string two of their songs together to tell a Transformers-esque tale) is positively dreadful by all basic aural accounts, but when compared to most pop music, you can't help but begrudgingly give them props that they a) have culled together enough different trends to make a sound their own, and b) they're a true group that alternates between singers/rappers without a bevy of guests, which is comforting. Even though it sucks.

"Say Aah" by Trey Songz & Fabolous: Speaking of sucking...no, I'm not going to go there. But newcomer Trey Songz and where-the-hell-have-you-been-and-why-are-you-back rapper Fabolous sure are! Their new collaborative hit single is so proud of its overly crass "pour a drink in her mouth" symbolism that they're not afraid to literally paint you a very exact picture of both what they'd like to do with their unnamed object of affection, but also how they plan on achieving said feat with ease (psst, it has to do with copious booze!) and hopefully few lawsuits. After all, subtlety doesn't belong on the commercial airwaves, right? What's most hilariously wretched about this very unfortunately infectious tune is that Songz does bad enough at keeping his big not-so-clandestine message on the down low (I actually do enjoy the Scottie Pippen and Simpsons references), but when F-A-B-O drops in, he takes the thin layer of mystery off the whole shebang and basically grunts that he's gotta "bust a couple off" after he "prescribes" his woman "nothing but cranberry and vodka." Gross and hilarious, but mostly gross.

"Tie Me Down" by New Boyz & Ray J: You can probably guess, if you haven't heard this song, what its message is. But let me point out my favorite/its most disturbing lyric. And I quote - "You know I'm a man and I have no feelings." The seventeen-year-old New Boyz go on to call the woman who are trying to get them to be monogamous hoes, as do they wish aloud that they just would shut up for once. As sad as it may be, I expect this from teenagers. From the 29-year-old Ray J, however? For the love of pop music, Ray J, just because you can sing and your career flamed out after the admittedly catchy "Sexy Can I" and your ridiculous MTV show doesn't mean you should be hopping on board with misguided youth as they decry the female gender while they ride their 15 minutes of fame wave. In a year or so they will look back at their failed career as a Kriss Kross for the current generation, realize they made a hit song with someone twelve years older than them, hunt you down, and yell into your dumb face - "Why did you let us do this? Why didn't you say anything?!" And you will feel even more regret in that singular moment than you have in your entire pathetic existence.

"Need You Now" by Lady Antebellum: YouTube embedding is disabled by request, and you should be thankful about that. If there's one thing worse than Taylor Swift's new single being (as Qualler so eloquently puts it (Editor's note: I must give credit to Amelie Gillette for this term) "a parody of a Taylor Swift song", it's that her twang-tinged pop has influenced popularity of boring trash like this. So listening to it is big enough of a request, I wouldn't dare make you also watch them sing it. But just listen to the chorus to get the point and then turn it off. You call that a hook, Lady Before-The-War (thank you seventh grade etymology class!)? You call THAT a hook? I'll take misogynist faux-hip hop over that anyday! (Kill me now.)

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  1. Blogger qualler | 10:00 AM |  

    That is REALLY weird that Jason Derulo sings that song, because when I heard it on the radio I thought it was Train or something like that. I agree, though -- it's a pretty deece song.

    And like I said via gchat witchya last night -- the New Boyz are the Marlo Stanfield crew to mid-00s hip-hop's Avon Barksdale crew. Nothing like 17-year-olds celebrating violence against women!

  2. Blogger TG | 12:45 PM |  

    I love the voice of jason derulo....So cool..
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