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Brianne Chantal

The Sounds of Our Lives (formerly General Music Discussion)

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I have to slightly revisit my opinion about Billie Eilish. Well, partly. I’m not sold on her yet, but I think I get it a little. I just listened to “bad guy” and, I kinda feel like that’s pop perfection. Like, I really think that song is going to be around in ten years, even if she’s a has been by that point. And by the way, pop perfection isn’t necessarily saying the song is great on its own. It’s saying it works as a piece of product. I can see that song in commercials, movie trailers, TV shows, trendy clothing stores, clubs...everywhere. Pop music is supposed to have a ubiquity and a bigness and that’s been missing. 

Her vibe is like Fiona Apple Gone Trap. I’m not convinced that there’s a lot of talent there, I get the feeling her brother is the maestro and she just hits her marks — mostly due to age and inexperience rather than having a vision, since she’s really just Lana del Rey by way of Lorde — but I can respect it because it’s working. 

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19 minutes ago, 27bored said:

I can see that song in commercials, movie trailers, TV shows, trendy clothing stores, clubs...everywhere.

Yep; CBS played a snippet of it as they headed to commercial during NFL coverage today.  I agree that beat is something that will be ubiquitous for a while.  It doesn't make me want to seek out anything more from her, but I do leave the song on every time I hear it while going through my radio station presets in the car - it's catchy and interesting, and I'm not sick of it yet.

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Yeah it’s a good song. I just watched her do it on SNL and...yeah. That was ass, but to be fair it’s not a performance record. It might work in stark settings, but that’s not a big enough song to work with a big crowd.

I heard someone say that they think it’s a bit unfair that the only reason people take her seriously is because she wears baggy clothes and isn’t trying to be sexy. Well, I think that’s part of her appeal. 
 

I think the 2010s will go down in history as the decade of the death of the sexpot pop star, starting with Lady Gaga. I’ve thought Gaga was several things — smart, weird, funny, ridiculous, crazy — but never sexy. Camille Paglia wrote a scathing article about her years ago and it’s more true now than it was then.

Billie Eilish is kind of that come full circle. 
 

Even though I do think if she sticks around another four years and remains a pop star I think she’s going to tart it up a la Halsey, for now her whole South Florida Chic look works. It works to play up her vague Euro vibe as well. Brits don’t require their pop stars to be sex kittens the way we do, which is nice. 

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I love many of Abel's songs but this one is just more of the same, not particularly great. And that single cover is just ugly, what was his team thinking. Anyway, I am sure the album will have a couple of great tunes on it.

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I’ve said before that I’d like Abel a lot more if he were gay. As weird as that sounds, this song kind of illustrates that. 
 

He sounds, well, gay. And I don’t say that as an insult, but he just does. He sounds like a gay guy doing an approximation of modern day R&B. When he says, “I been running through the pussy/need a dog pound”, my first thought, “suuuure you have. Please stop saying pussy.” The gauche lyrics are why I can’t just say he sounds fey. 
 

That said, I do like the song. Sounds like an album cut more than a single, but I like it. There’s a deep groove to it that gives me an 80s vibe, and his voice seems less indebted to MJ than it does to El DeBarge, which I think is more his speed anyway. I do kinda wonder if he’s able (...heh) to do this song live. It’s so fast and I don’t know if he’s a nimble enough vocalist to pull it off in a live setting. 

 

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This is slight off-topic, but it needs to be said. Toddintheshadows is a Youtuber who does music reviews. He’s been mentioned here several times. He just did a video reviewing Lewis Capaldi’s “Someone You Loved” and he not only hates it but seems to dislike Capaldi as well. 
 

First of all, I’ll say I’m not crazy about the song. It’s okay, but I see how it works as product more than being moved by it, if that makes sense. It’s not unlike my opinion of bad guy by Billie Eilish del Rey. I get why it works. It’s the kind of song that works for the soccer mom crowd that still listens to the radio with their kid in the car. I also think Capaldi sounds eerily like James Arthur, someone I am a fan of, who also had a big hit with “Say You Won’t Let Go”, which also worked for the same crowd.

Anyway. His video got suggested to me so I watched it and he wastes no time bashing this guy. It made me realize Todd has a pattern. Here’s a partial list of songs over the last decade that he hasn’t liked:

John a Legend - All of You

Ed Sheehan - Thinking Out Loud (and you can add in most his catalogue apart from “Don’t” and “Sing” from that one year)

Passenger - Let Her Go

Hunter Hayes - Wanted

Lukas Graham - 7 Years

Maroon 5 - Girls Like You

Virtually anything by Shawn Mendes

Virtually anything by One Direction

I could do some digging and find a few more, but that’s enough to make my point. What do those songs have common? They’re songs for women performed by men who have either a sensitive singer-songwriter image or just a good-guy image. 
 

Todd has said before that he had a lot of female friends in high school and he seems like it. Dudes who hang out with a lot of girls get this weird kind of resentment to other nice guys. Like, “no, only I can be the nice guy who wants to hold women’s hands and not make out with them. All other guys are pretending!” It’s such a beta male trait. It’s like a heavy set woman calling thin women stuck up and skinny you-know-whats without even knowing them.

What seals it is if you watch his best songs of 2018 video, he puts “Nice for What” by Drake fairly high. The pro-black-woman anthem he came out with right before it was exposed that Drake had a love child by a white porn actress who has used some racially charged language on Twitter and called him a deadbeat dad and had to hire an attorney to get Drake to accept paternity. That song.

Not only does Todd put that song on his list, but he features this lengthy sequence of him walking to a karaoke party and doing that song for a room full of women who seem to be into it. It’s gross just typing that out. I’m getting douche chills. 
 

Todd’s a “nice guy” who hates nice guys, in other words, he’s a hater. He’s the kind of guy who pillow talks about other men to women. 

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I love Todd and I always will, sorry not sorry. And yes, I'm a woman. 😄 (Also, the song by John Legend is called "All of Me", and while yes, "Nice for What"'s music video does have a majority of black women in it, Olivia Wilde is in it, too, just saying. But yes, Todd had it at #2 on his Best List last year.)

And just to clarify: If Drake was trying to specifically have a black woman anthem with "Nice for What", that's awesome! But I don't know if Olivia Wilde would have been in the video if that were his explicit intent. It DOES stand out that she is the only white woman in the video though (that I remember, anyway), if that WAS his intent. Mileage varies, I guess, but OW's presence in the video seems to suggest a more general theme of women's empowerment, at least to me. I could always be wrong, though. 

I actually was going to post his review of "Someone You Loved", which he, indeed, called the worst number one hit of the decade. ("I will not be taking questions at this time.") For what it's worth, here's the complete list, with the caveat that we may still have one or even a few more before this month is over. 

The list of number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 from 2010-2019:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Billboard_Hot_100_number-one_singles_of_the_2010s

And here's Todd's review of "Someone You Loved", which I personally thought was a righteous, hilarious thing of beauty. To each their own, I guess. (ETA: Damn it! I originally typed "Someone Like You", the similarly named but FAR better song by Adele! Sigh.)

Edited by UYI

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7 hours ago, UYI said:

I love Todd and I always will, sorry not sorry. And yes, I'm a woman. 😄 (Also, the song by John Legend is called "All of Me", and while yes, "Nice for What"'s music video does have a majority of black women in it, Olivia Wilde is in it, too, just saying. But yes, Todd had it at #2 on his Best List last year.)

And just to clarify: If Drake was trying to specifically have a black woman anthem with "Nice for What", that's awesome! But I don't know if Olivia Wilde would have been in the video if that were his explicit intent. It DOES stand out that she is the only white woman in the video though (that I remember, anyway), if that WAS his intent. Mileage varies, I guess, but OW's presence in the video seems to suggest a more general theme of women's empowerment, at least to me. I could always be wrong, though. 

I actually was going to post his review of "Someone You Loved", which he, indeed, called the worst number one hit of the decade. ("I will not be taking questions at this time.") For what it's worth, here's the complete list, with the caveat that we may still have one or even a few more before this month is over. 

The list of number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 from 2010-2019:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Billboard_Hot_100_number-one_singles_of_the_2010s

And here's Todd's review of "Someone You Loved", which I personally thought was a righteous, hilarious thing of beauty. To each their own, I guess. (ETA: Damn it! I originally typed "Someone Like You", the similarly named but FAR better song by Adele! Sigh.)

Eh, I’m not fooled by Drake. There are several indicators: the Big Freedia feature, the Lauryn Hill sample (that particular one), struggle lyrics about bills, Hittin’ angles like Fabo (millennial dance reference), confronting women who don’t act the same way in person as they do online, nice for what to these ___. It just seems like a pitch right up the middle. I understand he had more than just black women in the video, but that’s just for the video. I don’t think it had anything to do with the song. That’s partially evidenced by the fact that he did a whole reunion with his DeGrassi cast mates for the “I’m Upset” video (after he got thoroughly trashed by Pusha T).
 

There’s nothing wrong with the song in theory, or even in execution. It’s just really manipulative, so of course Todd liked it.

Edited by 27bored

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If there are any SiriusXM subscribers and U2 fans (like myself!) here, back in 2018 during the summer, U2 had a limited channel on SiriusXM with rare songs, concerts, and hit songs, etc. Well, it must have been well received, because I just got an e-mail stating that in 2020, U2 will have their own dedicated permanent channel like The Beatles, Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Presley, Garth Brooks, and Phish do.

Here are the details.

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As most of you now by now, I love both Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp, but I'm in the minority in that I love John a little bit more (forgive me, lol). So seeing them perform together again after all these years makes me so happy. (They also performed together at John's stop in Irvine, CA on the tour for his album the Lonesome Jubliee in 1988, but for some reason that performance has never been uploaded to YouTube. But at least we finally have this.) 🙂

Edited by UYI
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I really loved Roxette back in the day when they were popular and continued to be a fan after that. I was sad to read that the female part of that duo Marie Fredriksson died from what sounds like a recurrence  of a brain tumor she had dealt with previously. 
 

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And here's Bruce and John singing "Glory Days" together. Seriously, seeing them together just warms my heart so much. ❤️ 

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5 hours ago, Jaded said:

I really loved Roxette back in the day when they were popular and continued to be a fan after that. I was sad to read that the female part of that duo Marie Fredriksson died from what sounds like a recurrence  of a brain tumor she had dealt with previously. 
 

I just read this on Rolling Stone. Never knew their American success happened because an American student was in Sweden on an exchange program, heard "The Look" there, bought the CD, and gave it to a DJ he/she knew, and started the ball rolling.

I loved "It Must Have Been Love", too.

May Ms. Fredriksson rest in peace. At least her suffering is now over.

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I actually DID know the story about how Roxette became famous stateside--when I was 12, I got the Billboard Book of Number One Hits for Christmas, and it's featured in the blurb written about "The Look", which was their first number one hit in America in 1989 (the year I was born!).

And of course, "It Must Have Been Love" was originally a Christmas song--the version in Pretty Woman removed the original version's holiday-related lyrics and sleigh bells.

Personally, I've always loved their last big hit, "Fading Like a Flower."

RIP, Marie. 😢

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5 minutes ago, UYI said:

Personally, I've always loved their last big hit, "Fading Like a Flower."

That's my favorite Roxette song.

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Linda Ronstadt was one of this year's Kennedy Center Honorees, and Carrie Underwood performed "Blue Bayou" and "When Will I Be Loved" for her at the ceremony.

Linda herself, sadly, can no longer sing due to the effects of Parkinson's Disease. 😢

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Meanwhile, Trisha Yearwood--who has long said that Linda was/is her biggest influence as a singer, along with Patsy Cline--got to perform Linda's duet "Don't Know Much" with Aaron Neville.

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2 hours ago, UYI said:

Carrie Underwood performed "Blue Bayou" and "When Will I Be Loved" for her at the ceremony.

I didn't like her rendition of "Blue Bayou," but good job on "When Will I Be Loved".

2 hours ago, UYI said:

Meanwhile, Trisha Yearwood--who has long said that Linda was/is her biggest influence as a singer, along with Patsy Cline--got to perform Linda's duet "Don't Know Much" with Aaron Neville.

I can't stand that song, no matter who sings it.

2 hours ago, UYI said:

And here's Trisha performing Linda's "You're No Good."

Wow; that reminded me just how much I love Linda's version, and why hers is the most popular, because as great as Trisha sounded, it still paled in comparison to Linda's performances. 

(And, ugh, to the shot of Trisha's toad of a husband - at least there was just the one.)

It had to be a bittersweet night for Ronstadt; an incredible honor, and beautiful tributes, but to watch others performing your songs when you know you can't do it yourself anymore has to hurt, too.

Edited by Bastet
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The mariachi band Flor De Toloache also paid tribute to Linda by performing the song "La Cigarra" from her album Canciones de Mi Padre, which honors her Mexican roots.

And finally, some words from her friends Emmylou Harris and Don Henley.

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Apparently Mariah Carey’s modern Christmas classic, “All I Want For Christmas” is back at the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. It’s cool that song managed to hit the top spot over 20+ years after it was released. Good for Mariah. I like that she was gracious to Lil Nas X when he broke her record earlier this year. Mariah now has nineteen #1 hits and if this song keeps the record in 2020, she’ll be one of the only artists in history (if not the only one) to have a number one in the 90s, 00s, 10s, and 20s. 
 

I’m not a chart watcher, but credit where credit is due. 

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10 minutes ago, 27bored said:

Apparently Mariah Carey’s modern Christmas classic, “All I Want For Christmas” is back at the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. It’s cool that song managed to hit the top spot over 20+ years after it was released. Good for Mariah. I like that she was gracious to Lil Nas X when he broke her record earlier this year. Mariah now has nineteen #1 hits and if this song keeps the record in 2020, she’ll be one of the only artists in history (if not the only one) to have a number one in the 90s, 00s, 10s, and 20s. 
 

I’m not a chart watcher, but credit where credit is due. 

Not back, there for the FIRST TIME EVER. Despite its iconic status, this song has never been number one until now. I posted about this in the Holiday Music thread earlier today. 😉 

And yes, she would be the only artist to have a number one hit in four consecutive decades if this streak goes into the first week of 2020.

This is also the first Christmas themed song to hit number one since "The Chipmunk Song" ("Christmas, Christmas time is here") in 1958-1959. So, there's that, too. 🙂 
 

More info can be found here:

https://www.vox.com/culture/2019/12/16/21024823/all-i-want-for-christmas-is-you-mariah-carey-stream-billboard-top-100

Brenda Lee--who just turned 75 last week--also reached a new peak this week with her classic song "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree", which now stands at #3. 

Edited by UYI
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11 hours ago, 27bored said:

I’m not a chart watcher, but credit where credit is due. 

I AM a chart watcher (and an all around trivia nerd in general, hee!), and I think it's only fitting that a year with as varied and interesting and historic (in OTR's case, specifically) as this one has been could end with a number one song that originally came out 25 years ago, when I was five years old.

And of course, the hilarity that this is the last number one hit of the decade. 😄 

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Yeah it is neat that that song hit #1 at the end of this decade. Not sure why I figured it was a hit when it came out. I guess it’s because out of all the Christmas pop songs that have been released that seems to be one of the few original ones that has legs. 

Anywhoodle, I came here to talk about “The Middle”.

I kinda feel like we need more pop songs like that. Maybe not in that same vein, but songs that encourage large groups of people to sing at the top of their lungs.

I listened to it today and I realized that I kind of wish they had kept looking for a singer. Quick backstory: they went through over a dozen vocalists and no one could sing it like Sarah Aarons, one of the co-writers, who did the demo. NYT did short film about the song:


Go to 1:20 to hear her do the first take of the chorus. It’s so...good. Affecting. Emotional. I wind up going back to listen to that part from time to time. There’s a mixture of anger, frustration, and sadness. They really wanted to find a singer who could conjure that up. They settled on Maren Morris whose tone sounds like Sarah’s, but Maren’s not emotional enough. She’s way too into being hot. IJS. Every time I’ve seen her perform I’ve thought she put more effort into dressing snazzy than how she performed.

Anyway. I find myself listening around her during that song, if that makes any sense. It’s a good pop song. Close to “pop perfection”, a concept I’ve talked about before. Just wish the vocals gave me more life than they do. 

I’ve often thought that some songs would work well if the singer learned the song then sang it in like 1-2 takes. This is one of them. 

Edited by 27bored

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3 hours ago, 27bored said:

Yeah it is neat that that song hit #1 at the end of this decade. Not sure why I figured it was a hit when it came out. I guess it’s because out of all the Christmas pop songs that have been released that seems to be one of the few original ones that has legs. 

 

Sorry, it WAS a hit when it first came out, I thought you had said it was a number one hit before this week. There apparently was a rule at one point about holiday singles being ineligible for the charts, although that obviously was reversed before now. That was me just reading something the wrong way, I need to be more careful about that. 🙂 

I do like Maren Morris a lot, and while it's clear that she is perfectly fine with crossover success (not just "The Middle", her song "The Bones"--the second single off her sophomore album GIRL--is being pushed to pop as well as country radio), her work with the Highwomen makes me think she is more committed to country than many give her credit for. I guess we'll have to wait and see. 

Edited by UYI
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4 hours ago, UYI said:

Sorry, it WAS a hit when it first came out, I thought you had said it was a number one hit before this week. There apparently was a rule at one point about holiday singles being ineligible for the charts, although that obviously was reversed before now. That was me just reading something the wrong way, I need to be more careful about that. 🙂 

I do like Maren Morris a lot, and while it's clear that she is perfectly fine with crossover success (not just "The Middle", her song "The Bones"--the second single off her sophomore album GIRL--is being pushed to pop as well as country radio), her work with the Highwomen makes me think she is more committed to country than many give her credit for. I guess we'll have to wait and see. 

Okay, you were right both times, though I misstated my point. Originally I meant to say it was back on the charts after all these years. I didn’t necessarily assume it was a #1 hit, even though that’s what I wrote, though I figured it must have charted pretty high for the song to be an enduring classic the way it is. I corrected myself in my follow-up post and still wound being confusing. Sorry!

As for Maren Morris, yeah, the vibe I get from her is that she wants to be a star more than anything. And I feel bad for nitpicking her fashion sense because maybe she just likes looking cute, so who am I to judge? But she just gives me Halsey vibes. Like, early on Halsey seemed more into playing the role of pop star even when she didn’t quite have the hits yet. Maren Morris was three singles in to her solo career before she featured on The Middle. 

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Continuing his trend of having his top 10 worst list out early since...well, last year only, really, here are Todd in the Shadows' Top 10 Worst Hit Songs of 2019!

 

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The final top two hit songs on the Billboard Hot 100 of the year 2019 and the decade of the 2010s are two old Christmas songs. Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You" stays at number one for a second week. If it stays at the top for one more week, it will not only be the first number one song of 2020 AND the decade of the 2020s, Mariah will be the first artist in history to have a number one hit in four consecutive decades (the 1990's, 2000's, 2010's, and now the 2020's). 

At number two: Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree", which puts it only behind her two number one hits--"I'm Sorry" and "I Want to be Wanted", both from 1960--as her biggest hit ever. Oh, and did I mention that she just turned 75 YEARS OLD two weeks ago?

Seriously, I hate seeing her so overshadowed by Mariah. She and Wanda Jackson both are still living legends of rockabilly! 

Nevertheless, I'm happy for them both. What an achievement. 

Edited because I thought the first Billboard chart of 2020 began this week, due to the week of each chart technically holding a future date. As a chart watcher, I should know this. -_-

 

Edited by UYI
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On 12/16/2019 at 9:41 PM, UYI said:

And yes, she would be the only artist to have a number one hit in four consecutive decades if this streak goes into the first week of 2020.

 

Cher already did that back in the 90s and did her two decades better if you include #1s from the Billboard Dance/Club chart

1960s - "I Got You Babe" (1965)

1970s - "Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves" (1971), "Half-Breed" (1973) and "Dark Lady" (1974)

1980s - "After All" and "If I Could Turn Back Time" (1989)

1990s - "Believe" (1999)

https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/473595/cher-shines-with-no-1-in-sixth-consecutive-decade

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That's true and I'm overall a much bigger fan of Cher's music, but in terms of the Billboard Hot 100 alone and number ones without a duet partner, Mariah's number is higher.

And with her third official week at number one with AIWFCIY, Mariah Carey is the first artist to top the charts in the 2020's.

In fact, the top four songs are all decades old Christmas songs! They'll all be seeing a STEEP drop after this week, though.

And one more Christmas song at number seven:

 

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3 hours ago, Silver Raven said:

Oh, my God, Bieber's "Yummy" is the worst piece of drek I've heard in eons.

 

You know what? I'm just going to believe you without actually listening to it to see if I agree. I'll just agree. 🙂

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What's really interesting is that he's the first big pop star to release a single this year--usually, January is NOT the time that people begin to release singles, and if an album comes out in January, it's usually because the label doesn't see the act as a high priority--it's a dumping ground month, as is December before it (which is why I'm kind of sad Little Big Town's new album is coming out next week--it's pretty clear their star power isn't what it used to be; otherwise their lead single "Over Drinking"--which was released in September--wouldn't have JUST hit the top 50-60 on the country charts in the past month). You have to have a LOT of star power behind your name to get away with something like this, which Bieber has, although given the near-universal bad response it's gotten, we'll see if name recognition alone will help him on the Billboard Hot 100 next week, when it's set to debut. Ariana Grande released "7 Rings" in January of last year, and it spent multiple weeks at number one, but it was polarizing rather than reviled, which this song seems to be. On the other hand, it could easily debut high due to his name, only to plummet the following week due to the bad buzz surrounding it.

...Sorry, the music nerd in me jumped out there again. It happens. 🙂 

 

Edited by UYI

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19 hours ago, WendyCR72 said:

This one stunned me: Rest in peace to Rush drummer Neil Peart, dead at 67 of brain cancer. He is considered to be one of rock's premiere drummers.

Not to mention an incredible lyricist 

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On 1/10/2020 at 7:49 AM, UYI said:

What's really interesting is that he's the first big pop star to release a single this year--usually, January is NOT the time that people begin to release singles, and if an album comes out in January, it's usually because the label doesn't see the act as a high priority--it's a dumping ground month, as is December before it (which is why I'm kind of sad Little Big Town's new album is coming out next week--it's pretty clear their star power isn't what it used to be; otherwise their lead single "Over Drinking"--which was released in September--wouldn't have JUST hit the top 50-60 on the country charts in the past month). You have to have a LOT of star power behind your name to get away with something like this, which Bieber has, although given the near-universal bad response it's gotten, we'll see if name recognition alone will help him on the Billboard Hot 100 next week, when it's set to debut. Ariana Grande released "7 Rings" in January of last year, and it spent multiple weeks at number one, but it was polarizing rather than reviled, which this song seems to be. On the other hand, it could easily debut high due to his name, only to plummet the following week due to the bad buzz surrounding it.

...Sorry, the music nerd in me jumped out there again. It happens. 🙂 

 

Selena Gomez's album is coming out this week, I think.

 

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4 hours ago, Silver Raven said:

Selena Gomez's album is coming out this week, I think.

 

It came out yesterday. (It's called Rare.)

Her last album, Revival, was released in 2015, so this could either be a "comeback" where her name alone is enough to carry it despite it coming out in January, or the time lag could hurt her, combined with the January release date. Judging by the mostly positive reviews, though, it looks like it's going to be fine.

None of that solves the problem of her lack of vocal range, though. There's a reason YouTube personality Shallon Lester calls her the "Whisper Goose", LMAO. 😄 

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I'm currently watching the music video for Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas by Kenny G, and noticed that it has clips from the original 1947 version of Miracle On 34th Street.

Was this version of the song made for the 1994 remake, or was it just an album cut from his Christmas album that just happened to have scenes from the movie for its video?

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As usual, Todd's Best list is a month late. 🙂

 

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What's even funnier is if you watch Mark Grondin of Spectrum Pulse's Worst and Best lists, and notice the more obvious..um..differences between his and Todd's lists. 😄

 

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1 hour ago, MikaelaArsenault said:

I don't get why the Grammy's this year are in January instead of February.

It's because the Oscars were moved to the second Sunday in February this year, right around the time the Grammys are usually held, and they both wanted to prevent any overlap (I'm sure Super Bowl Sunday played a factor in this, too).

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