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4X4: Havana vs. Thunder vs. Feel it Still vs. What Lovers DoSpark_Of_Life It's that time again.
I'm not going to bore you with details about why I haven't been back so much despite declaring I was back. Let's just say I was in a play and that schedule clashed with my time spent on this site. But you're not here to read about my life, you're here to read about some new songs. Let's jump right in.
Seeing Camilla so high on the chart with is somewhat surprising. After her first two singles flopped in America ("Crying in the Club" wasn't a hit but we let "Shape of You" remain in the top ten for almost half a year?), I just assumed she worked well with others (or at least could make music with them), hence her hits with Fifth Harmony and that one song she did with MGK that no one remembers. It's certainly booming, and since "Rockstar" has been at #1 for about five weeks now, I think it's safe to assume that it will reach the top soon ("...Ready for It?"'s upcoming boost from TS's new album, Ed Sheeran's soccer mom pop "Perfect", and the unfortunate overnight success of "Gucci Gang" notwithstanding). So what of the song itself? It's just...okay. It's certainly not bad. The instrumentals are good, and Camilia delivers a rare vocal performance that doesn't make me question the sanity of music buyers. However, it's certainly not great. Young Thug's verse is boring, the song doesn't justify it's overlong music video, and it just seems to be missing something that would give it that extra push. It's not missing the "wow" factor, but it's certainly lacking in it enough to warrant a 6/10. "Crying in the Club", an easy 10, should have been the hit.
Spoiler alert: "Believer" is better. Who would have thought the guys behind that, "Demons", and "Radioactive" would be making a synthpop song? And not a particularly interesting one at that? I can't deny it has energy, and a slightly above average vocal from Dan Reynolds, but those high-pitched voices saying "thunder" behind him during the chorus are annoying and slightly creepy. Something about this song just doesn't sit right with me. And at #5, I see it going higher, perhaps maybe up to #4 or #3. But with this 5/10 just-sort-of-okay fest? No higher than that.
Throwback hits are the best kind of hits. Just look at Bruno Mars' The Police-esque "Locked Out of Heaven" or Mark Ronson's irresistible "Uptown Funk"? Or the newest hit in this genre, Portugal. The Man's breakthrough commercial smash "Feel it Still", to be featured in every commercial until the end of time? A slightly off-key high-pitched vocal is my only complaint here. Other than that, it's a catchy, retro, "Please Mr. Postman"-sampling masterpiece. That guitar breakdown right before the final chorus? Perhaps the best eight seconds of pop this year. Overplay may kill it slightly for me after a while, but as of now, I'm more than happy to give this a 9/10.
Oh, Maroon 5. How you have fallen from grace in critic's eyes. Never before has a band managed to have so many hit singles without a single person being able to legitimately say that you're their favorite band. "Don't Wanna Know" was a tropical house snoozefest, "Cold" was an unsuccessful attempt to sound edgy. And with "What Lovers Do"? You've finally done it. You've made a sellout song that everyone likes, including almost everyone on this site. And I have to say, it's better than I expected. It's fun, catchy, and features a rising star that deserves more recognition, SZA. While I may not be able to see completely past the blatant sellout tones that hang over this, I can see past them enough to give it a 6/10. Terrible music video, though.
Until next time.
Maroon 5 is my favorite band... sorta - ProPanda