Monday, March 26, 2012

Similar Interests

Yes, yes, I know-- I haven't been doing this work for a while. Occasionally, I look at the Billboard charts, listen to a few songs, and groan... which is not to say I'll never tackle this stuff again, but right now I'm not loving the bad, bad music.

On the other hand, I found this:
...which does a fantastic job of crystallizing my feelings on one of the worst contributors to this site: Chris Brown.

It is also worth noting that the content provider, Todd in the Shadows, has been doing the job I've been neglecting for as long as I've been neglecting it (and still am.  Ha!) and, unbeknownst to me at the time, started a few months before I did.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Error!

Wow... that just keeps happening, eh?

Another computer failure breaking my rhythm.  I'm not sure when I can get that thing replaced and get back to this project, but a hiatus is no bad thing-- the pop charts are sluggish and still propping up songs I've already covered, so it's not like there's new content I'm scrambling to keep up with.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bruno Mars - Just the Way You Are

Fairly important: the formatting on this post goes to hell in most feeds, and it will be best read at ericonthecharts.blogspot.com

How they managed to cram five writers into the credits is anyone's guess
(but I'll bet they went through a lot of Crayons)


Bruno Mars
Just the Way You Are
Ass Kissing
#33 (HiMid)
Peter Hernandez
Philip Lawrence
Ari Levine
Khalil Walton
Khari Cain
The Smeezingtons
Needlz
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This whole project was conceived because I was going to rectify my ignorance of popular music, not for me to be a hateful dick, but the last song to cross my desk that wasn't a shriekingly awful piece of cynical fluff was Ke$ha. In February. And that was cynical commercial fluff, too; it just wasn't awful.

I never thought I'd be nostalgic for Ke$ha.

Bruno Mars still kind of bugs me, and this song is still a Run!, but it has three things going for it: it's not as bad as “Marry You (Just Say YeahYeah Yeah Yeah Yeah),” it doesn't feature Chris Brown, and it's not a cover of a Billy Joel song.

I can't even begin to communicate how glad I am that this isn't Bruno Mars covering a Billy Joel's 80s hit “Just the Way You Are.” He looks the type, archly glancing from behind his piano with his little hat... I'm sure he's played "Only the Good Die Young" at a piano bar at least once. But this is not that. It's only a small reprieve, though, as this is the next in the seemingly unbreakable string of Run!s that are dominating this blog.

Oh her eyes, her eyes
Make the stars look
like they're not shining
Her hair, her hair
Falls perfectly
without her trying
She's so beautiful
and I tell her every day
The problem I have with Mars is most likely what makes him popular in the first place: mawkishly sap in the lyrics over simple pop chords. “Just the Way You Are” has the kind of childish lack of romance that could have been recorded by New Kids on the Block. This is what a little kid thinks of love when their first kiss is still years away. It's the kind of thing that should be sequestered on the Disney Channel until it reaches the legal drinking age, but High School Musical broke the gates open and these songs are allowed to wander around unchaperoned.

I'm willing to bet the only reason this song doesn't have the same fan base as The Ready Set is the picture on the poster. I wonder if that hampers its sales. “Bruno! Great song! Um, Bob from marketing here-- can we make you look like a fourteen year old boy with a girl's haircut? We could really sell this to the tweens.”

Since this is Bruno's second appearance here, I've got a limited set of songs to draw from... but since I'd heard the previous song, I somehow felt like I'd already heard this one: I heard that falsetto coming at 2:38 before he hit it. It's basically the same part as the “Just say I do” falsetto bridge in “Marry You.” I was never going to call Bruno Mars original, but it seems like he's written one song, has a producer modify it slightly, and is releasing it as a handful of singles.

Stay with the song, walk away, or run like hell:


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Christina Perri - Jar of Hearts

Fairly important: the formatting on this post goes to hell in most feeds, and it will be best read at ericonthecharts.blogspot.com

Christina Perri will survive (after moping around for a while)


Christina Perri
Jar of Hearts
Sad Bastard
#33 (HiMid)
Christina Perri
Drew Lawrence
Barrett Yeretsian
B.Yeretsian
C. Perri
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First, a quick wager that this song was originally titled “Who Do You Think You Are?” but someone decided that “Jar of Hearts” was more unique (and therefore more memorable.) What they seem to have overlooked is the inanity of the new title: pulled from the abysmal lyric “Who do you think you are, running round leaving scars, collecting your Jar of Hearts, and tearing love apart,” Jar of Hearts is the kind of phrase only turned by children who protest (too much) their individuality by dressing anachronistically and writing terrible poetry that includes phrases like "jar of hearts."

Far from the Taio Cruz total rhyme failure, “Jar of Hearts” lives in the poetic playground of cheap, easy rhymes (with a few cheating near-rhymes thrown in for good measure). It's a sunny place, this playground; in the center, there's a statue of Lenny Kravitz, and the revelers all want to fly so high in the sky like a butterfly. Most days, Christina Perri sadly dances here by herself, wishing she'd missed the first time you kissed, afraid you'll catch a cold from the ice inside your soul (and hoping you'll notice). Maybe she should bring him some hot soup (how over her Lothario can Perri be, anyway, if she's still concerned he'll catch cold?)

The whole affair seems awfully naive to me, anyway (see also: “Of Course I Don't Listen to the Radio. I'm Not a 15-Year-Old Girl.”) I can't balance all the time it's taken her to get the light back in her eyes after losing the love she loved most with the icy-souled guy running around collecting hearts for his heart jar and tearing love apart... Not to overload my cynic circuits, but this story makes more sense if it's using the Unreliable Narrator device, and Perri has blown a two day mini-relationship with a guy out of proportion to near psychotic levels (“But we kissed! Twice!”)
This song was done with more passion back when it was called “I Will Survive,” and Christina Perri doesn't offer a single thought that isn't borrowed from a vastly superior Gloria Gaynor... and Gaynor sounds like she lived with the guy. If I wanted to listen to someone de-disco Gaynor's anthem, I'd listen to Cake.

Musically, this song is a turgid mope through remedial piano and syrupy, Hallmark strings... and while I appreciate producers trusting a sad song to captivate an audience without a dance beat, but there has to be something here to do the captivating.  A set of lyrics Perri will be embarrassed by in a few years married to clunking piano won't get it done... and it can be done.  Take Nellie McKay, for example: there's a girl (younger than Perri at the time of the taping) at a piano venting some disappointment, frustration, and rage with some real cleverness in the words and some talent with the keys... and doing it live, without all the vocal overdubs and sappy production on Perri's track (Christina Perri can be heard live here, and, on an unrelated note, did I mention Nellie McKay can actually sing?  Dunno why that just popped into my head.)


Stay with the song, walk away, or run like hell:


Saturday, April 16, 2011

T-Pain - Best Love Song

Fairly important: the formatting on this post goes to hell in most feeds, and it will be best read at ericonthecharts.blogspot.com

A Tune By Two Guys Who Think the Best Love Song Ever Should Be "The Crunkest"
(Luckily, neither of them know what that means)


T-Pain
Best Love Song
Prom Song
#33 (HiMid)
Faheem Najm
Chris Brown
Young Fyre
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There's a little bit of ironic fun to be had with T-Pain. I hate autotune as much as the next snarky critic, but there's something about the egregious, inhuman, completely over-the-top way that T-Pain does it. If all the R&B vocals on the radio have been autotuned into an almost comical stereotype, T-Pain usually sounds like he's recording a caricature of everyone else. If Homer Simpson were to set up his own recording studio, his output would sound like T-Pain.

That said, I'm starting to feel self-conscious about logging this many Run!s in a row-- seriously? Another awful, awful song? I knew it was going to be bad as soon as I saw Chris Brown's name attached (why can't I shake that guy?), but this continuous flow of thuddingly bad is making me nostalgic for Ke$ha...

“Best Love Song” isn't lacking in self-awareness as much as it's lacking in awareness altogether. I was focused on the self-aware part initially: lines like “And if I'm gonna take her home, it's got to be better than what they play on the radio” while the song isn't just like what they play on the radio, it actually is what they play on the radio... that kind of writing is so ignorant of itself, of what the song is, that it probably ought to appear in the next Tommy Wiseau picture.

Similarly, if the song is to work, “It's gotta be the crunkest, gotta be the loudest. It's gotta be the best love song she ever heard in her life.” Again, the song doesn't seem to understand that not only is it not the crunkest, it's not crunky in the least (there is a significant lack of crunk here. It is crunkless), and it won't be the loudest because stereo systems and club PAs have volume knobs which can make any one song louder than another. Finally, the song doesn't seem to realize that it's not the best love song anyone's ever heard.

Blinded by how the song isn't aware of what it is in the first place, I almost missed the fact that these guys just don't get it. If they're trying to write the best love song anyone's ever heard, why would they want it to be the crunkest? Even if their crunk-failure levels are epic, did they start writing with Crunchy Black in mind, assuming that was the key to the greatest love song ever? Or loudness? Did they believe that in order for their love song to be the best, it would have to be deafeningly loud, because nothing says romance like jet engine volume levels?

The more I think about it, the more I'm sure T-Pain and Chris Brown don't even know what these words mean. The lyrics could be “It's gotta be the most grindcore, gotta be the most klezmer” and they wouldn't make any less sense. It's not like loudness and crunk have anything to do with the junior prom slow dance number they're actually singing.

Turn on the lights (lights! lights!)
give me a mic (give me a mic)
I'm about to sing
and do it just as she likes (la-likes)
Jump off the stage
crowd surfin all the way (cowabunga)
T-Pain's lyrics are generally about the song he's singing, which doesn't seem to have much to do with a love song. Chris Brown, of course, spends his verse preening; it's annoying that he spends so much time reminding us he's god's gift to womankind when there's so much contrary evidence out there. Amidst all the autotuned non-singing, there's a computerized background chorus backing up everything Brown has to say (including “Cowabunga,” which stands alone as the stupidest lyric in a song filled with stupid lyrics). He does promise to sing to you just how you like, and provides some instructions as to what you have to do if you want to get with him. Such a wonderful guy-- you should do what he says.

Musicially, this is just a Prom song. It's too wimpy and lifeless for clubs, and I can't imagine it flourishing anywhere but teenage dances and pop radio... which wouldn't be the case if it were actually the crunkest (or most klezmer) song someone's ever heard.

For unintentional comedic value, the actual song is a cross between Tenacious D's "Tribute" (a song about the best song in the world that isn't actually the best song in the world) and "I Just Had Sex" (a slightly less subtle parody of Prom songs than "Best Love Song," but not by much).  On its own merits, this song is pretty ridiculous, but viewed through the lens of all the comedy that came before it, you could view a pathetic slow-dance prom song demanding it be The Loudest and The Crunkest as the height of satire.

If anyone has information about T-Pain being a comic genius instead of a happenstance pop star, please let me know.

Stay with the song, walk away, or run like hell:


Genre: Prom


Oh, the Prom song. These things are as sappy as Hallmark tunes, but they're walking a fine line between true love and getting naked as quickly as possible (usually promising one to get to the other). Generally set up as slow dance fodder, Prom songs are mawkishly sentimental to the point that they probably shouldn't work on anyone who's ever been in an adult relationship... but, hey, that's not their audience.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Black Eyed Peas - The Time (Dirty Bit)

Fairly important: the formatting on this post goes to hell in most feeds, and it will be best read at ericonthecharts.blogspot.com

Um... what's hot right now?  Do those wacky kids still like 80's retro?

Black Eyed Peas
The Time (Dirty Bit)
Club Anthem
#66 (LoMid)
William Adams
Allan Pineda
Damien LeRoy
Franke Previte
John DeNicola
Donald Markowitz
Will.i.am
DJ Ammo
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I've heard Black Eyed Peas used as a punchline more than I've heard their music: I know the names Fergie (from random publicity) and Will.i.am (from appearing in a godawful comic book adaptation).  No one talks about Black Eyed Peas without calling them out for being tin eared, cheesy, and possibly aiming for “so bad its good” guilty pleasure music and missing the mark.  From what I've read, they're regarded in the same way as Two & a Half Men: everyone knows it sucks, but it is wildly popular and profitable.

Comparatively, I actually kinda like the only Black Eyed Peas song I know-- “Let's Get It Started” isn't a great song or anything, but I think it's a fun Party Anthem, and it's good at what it does.  I never could marry the one song I know by them to the pervasive hate for the group.  From where I was standing, they were one for one.

And then I heard “The Time (Dirty Bit)” and every snippit of internet snark ever launched in the Black Eyed Peas' direction came flooding back into my brain.  Suddenly, it makes sense that there's a collective groan every time these guys drop a single, that each new song is treated like it deserves a human rights tribunal.  If “The Time (Dirty Bit)” is any indication of their other output, I'd rather not hear it.

While the production is sharp and shiny (the bass punches, the synths swirl), the music itself is the worst of amateur half-assedness.  My first instinct is to compare it to the songs made with the BuzzTracker freeware in the early 90s, but it would be too disrespectful to tracker musicians as a whole-- even the bedroom keyboard junkies aren't obsessed with sample retriggers and trance-gates to the point of butchering this song's last chorus into stuttery, choppy word salad.

The nonsensical and ill-timed cuts are predicted by the lead in to the first verse: after the intro, the word “you” is clipped and repeated in traditional rave-up form.  I have nothing against that (I've used it myself), but it's just so badly implemented here-- instead of building excitement and anticipation of the next beat dropping, it's overlong and annoying.  These are symptoms of somebody toying with their very first sampler... how does this kind of tin-eared obnoxiousness show up in the product of megastars and hit makers?

All of this reflects how annoying the song is without addressing the quality of the songwriting or the lyrics. We could end now, call this a Run!, and still wouldn't have addressed the fact that about a quarter of the run time of the song is actually a cover of The Time of My Life from Dirty Dancing... but where's the fun in that?  Seriously, if you want to hear someone autotune their way through the chorus of a soundtrack tie-in hit from the mid 80's, this is your song.

(I just re-read that last paragraph.  It gets more ridiculous the longer I think about it.)

No one's going to be surprised to discover that the lyrics are pretty stupid.  I find it baffling that people tried to make a laughingstock of Rebecca Black for the awful lyrics in Friday, but somehow the Black Eyed Peas can toss out gems like “I was born to get wild, that's my style.  If you didn't know that, well, baby, now you know now” with impunity.  There's an implied rhyme between “style” and “now,” too-- if you want to mock idiots singing a bad song, leave the thirteen year old girl alone and turn your attention to the Black Eyed Peas: these are adults, and they weren't handed these words by some mercenary company. They actually wrote these lyrics.

Stay with the song, walk away, or run like hell:


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Britney Spears - Hold It Against Me

Fairly important: the formatting on this post goes to hell in most feeds, and it will be best read at ericonthecharts.blogspot.com

Britney's next single: "Did It Hurt (When You Fell from Heaven)?"

Britney Spears
Hold it Against Me
Club Anthem
#11 (High)
Feb 24, 2011
Max Martin
Lukasz Gottwald
Bonnie McKee
Mathieu Jomphe
Dr. Luke
Max Martin
Billoard
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I suppose it was inevitable. I didn't know it when I started this, but Britney Spears has yet to go away... so, of course, she still shows up on the charts. I consider her the archetypal Pop Tart: the Prime Pop Tart from which all the teen girl pop stars have been generated for over ten years now. I'm not entirely sure why, but Brittney's a legend, in her own way: not even my media blackout could miss her legacy. She's been more headline than music for a long, long time, but with Lindsey Lohan (and more recently, Charlie Sheen) occupying the Celebrity Flame Out division of watercooler gossip, I'd foolishly assumed there was no more Britney Spears.

Seeing as this is coming after the gratingly talentless Taio Cruz, it actually sounds pretty good-- the complaints I have against Cruz's generic, limp backing tracks are thrown into sharp contrast by a grinding, propulsive rhythm and a lot of energy... which makes plenty of sense: the Spears product has always been backed by world-class pop producers and writers. It'd be more surprising if the song didn't sound pretty good. Pop stars of this pedigree usually have their singles arrive platinum dipped and diamond sparkling, and “Hold It Against Me” is custom tooled for maximum wow factor.

Until the chorus.

Oh... that chorus. Let's sidestep the obvious for a second and concentrate on the music: after building a driving track that demands attention, the chorus makes all of that interest disappear in a puff of smoke... energyless, bland smoke. In club music, this kind of sound (washes of spacey synths, pulling back the beat) is done for a short breath before the rhythm hits again-- it's usually dramatic and makes a dancefloor explode. Here, it stays too quiet too long; the whole chorus is a really ho-hum affair, which is even worse in a pop song where this part was supposed to be the hook.

If I said my heart was beating loud
If we could escape the crowd somehow
If I said I want your body now
Would you hold it against me

Cause you feel like paradise
And I need a vacation tonight
So if I said I want your body now
Would you hold it against me
The chorus, unfortunately is “If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?” No, really. That is the song, essentially-- she has to make a rhyme of it, so the actual chorus is “If I said I want your body now, would you hold it against me,” but she actually recites the joke, direct from 101 Cheesy Pick-Up Lines, in the middle break, doing her best breathy sex-kitten voice.

Besides being one of the stupidest lyrics ever written, it's just... so... childish. There's nothing actually sexy about the stock pop “I want your body.” Britney's image has become more than a little trashy: now that the tabloids and the internet have made headlines of her being a dirty, dirty girl, her lyrics (no matter how hard they try not to be) sound like awkward come-ons from the fumbling and inexperienced. The irony here is that she was catapulted to stardom as a virginal Disney princess, preaching purity while wearing an outfit that had more in common with  an adult costume store than a Catholic school.

The whole thing just sort of crumbles under its own weight: the music shoots itself in the foot every time the chorus comes up, and the lyrics achieve a level of stupidity few bad songs ever approach. And, seriously, after so many years, who would have thought Britney Spears, the Prime Pop Tart, would be so bad at being sexy?

Stay with the song, walk away, or run like hell:


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Taio Cruz - Higher

Fairly important: the formatting on this post goes to hell in most feeds, and it will be best read at ericonthecharts.blogspot.com

Really?  People listen to Taio Cruz?  At least his rhyming's slightly better this time

Taio Cruz
Higher
Club Anthem
#33 (HiMid)
Feb 24, 2011
Taio Cruz
Sandy Vee
Sandy Vee
Taio Cruz
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Taio Cruz is a fantastic example of my finger not being on the pulse of tastes in popular music. “Dynamite” has been my example of moronic writing combined with music that represents the least possible effort since it originally popped up on this site-- my first taste of Cruz begged the question “How is this song on the radio?” Having him pop up again is a little shocking, and has me asking “How does this guy have a career?”

To be fair, “Higher” isn't nearly as bad as “Dynamite.” It's a bad song, sure, but it's not going to be my standard reference point for terrible writing. Hell, it even name-drops Breakin' characters in the first verse (technically Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo, but the characters are the same), which flirts with actual cleverness... but it's also the contribution of Travie McCoy, not the kind of lyrics Cruz can take credit for.

I do this just for kicks just for the thrill
I got this high without taking a pill
This groove has got me way over the sun
I'm dancin like I am the only one
Taio Cruz is still one of the worst lyricists this side of Creed, but in a shocking improvement over “Dynamite,” the words actually rhyme. Sure, they sound like they were written by a twelve-year-old, and for some reason he dramatically repeats the last word of every line (“I got this high without taking a pill. Pill!”), but “thrill” and “pill” actually do rhyme. It's awful, but it's still a measurable improvement.


Musically... what could I expect? It's another stock backing track that sounds like it was taken directly from those “Everything you need to start making techno! Now!” CDs from the early 90's, and the song itself actually feels more dated than that... there's a distinctly 80's bubblegum feel to it. I know, I know... there was no house influence in 80's pop, but it still conjures that vibe.

Taio Cruz is still an amalgamation of dance track clich├ęs, bad lyrics, and generic-sounding backing tracks: all things I've derided ad nauseum (and derided him specifically for them), so there's almost nothing more to write. I'm still baffled by his success and annoyed when I have to hear him.

It is nice that he's not still trying to rhyme “dance” with “plans,” though.

Stay with the song, walk away, or run like hell:


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fabolous - You Be Killin Em

Fairly important: the formatting on this post goes to hell in most feeds, and it will be best read at ericonthecharts.blogspot.com

Don't you dummies ever understand anything?

Fabolous
You Be Killin Em
Ass Kissing
#66 (LoMid)
Feb 24, 2011
John Jackson
Ryan Leslie
Ryan Leslie
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Music like this makes me break out my Old Man Voice. “That stuff ain't a bit of good. Don't you dummies ever understand anything?” I feel like the outtakes on a DRI album.

Unlike the blast I just leveled at Jessie J for laziness and hypocrisy, Fabolous is just sort of bad. You know, in a general way. Maybe this song's going for a retro-feel, but every piece of this song feels like it has between 10 and 30 years of dust on it. Synth bass from the 80s, break loop from the 90s... it doesn't really inspire any kind of retro nostalgia in me (if that's even the point), it just sounds tired.

Or, more accurately, this song sounds like a C lister from years back-- this song could have been a minor hit when I was a kid (when that crazy rap music on the mTv was still kind of novel). I remember those videos well-- the companies didn't know their new find was a bad rapper, they just thought he had a look they could sell, and so this goofily awful song is shoehorned into a video. This is the kind of song that sounds like it was pulled out of a cut out bin. On a cassingle.

Just watching my cutiepie get beautified
Make me want better jewels, a newer ride
Louis Vuitton shoes, she got too much pride
Her feet are killing her, I call it shoe-icide
I can handle repetitive or uninteresting music if the vocal is awesome... but, as you can guess by the spelling of his name, Fabolous is not a great wordsmith. His flow is kind of sluggish and lags behind the beat (I hate that) and he “sings” the chorus (there is a kind of melody there) so painfully flat I can't believe he thought it was a good idea. Then again, he just coined the term “shoe-icide,” so what Fabolous considers a good idea will always be a mystery.

He might be a foot fetishist, too, because his worship of the shoes as backed up by a mention of “well trimmed toes,” which must mean the girl's pedicure... otherwise... well... is amputation becoming fashionable? Trimming a toe or two for sandal season?

Singing the chorus is almost as annoying as the words in the chorus themselves. I know colloquialism and slang are the norm in hiphop, but there is no way to make the phrase “you be killin em” not sound moronic... and saying it over and over (and over and over) just draws attention to the fact that your average 8-year-old can communicate more intelligently than this guy.

Stay with the song, walk away, or run like hell:

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Jessie J - Price Tag

Fairly important: the formatting on this post goes to hell in most feeds, and it will be best read at ericonthecharts.blogspot.com

Jessie J produces the world's lamest Flaming Lips cover

Jessie J
Price Tag
Feel Good
#99 (Low)
Feb 24, 2011
Jessica Cornish
Lukasz Gottwald
Claude Kelly
Bobby Ray Simmons Jr
Dr. Luke
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It starts like an eye-roller, the kind of tepid radio pop designed for stuffy offices and commutes to grocery stores, but half way through the first verse, something stuck me and wouldn't let me go. As I started to sing along with “Her name is Yoshimi...” I realized that, hey-- this is actually a Flaming Lips song.

I've got a pretty good ear for that sort of thing, and “Price Tag” isn't just using the same chords as “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots,” but the same rhythm feel and beat, too. “Price Tag” even borrows the tape slow-down effect.

I never do this, but to prove a point, I've mashed up these two songs (mashed these two songs up?) here. Actually, calling it a mash-up is disrespectful to everyone who makes interesting music this way: I just played the two songs together, because Jessie J is borrowing tracks from 2002.

Well, sort of-- I'm not a huge Flaming Lips fan (Yoshimi is the only record I have of theirs), but they are awfully creative, sonically. Jessie J is not (or, her songwriters and producer aren't): I'm sure she's never heard the song she's ripping off; I'm sure the production team thought no one would notice. It's a borrowed track, but it's also as flat and lifeless as any radio fluff you'll find. It's a couple snatches of guitar put into a sampler and looped endlessly, a tepid sounding beat (yes, Jessie, the original version of the beat you're using is crunchier and actually has more stomp. You've been out-funked by The Flaming Lips), and Standard Pop Bass Sound #3.

And then there's the message: while I'm down with anti-consumerist themes, it's a little hard to stomach a pop star's declaration that “It's not all about the money” when her concert tickets sell for well over $100 (do the conversion from pounds to dollars if you want more context)... and that's middle-of-the-pack between general admission in front of the stage and nosebleed (cheap seats start at £49.50).  Jessie J's idea of not being money obsessed is deriding people who wear sunglasses and high heels in clubs. Wow. Preach it.

Why is everybody so obsessed
Money can't buy us happiness
Can we all slow down and enjoy right now
Guarantee we'll be feeling all right.

It's not about the money
We don't need your money
We just wanna make the world dance
Forget about the Price Tag
Ain't about the cha-ching cha-ching
Aint about the ba-bling ba-bling
Wanna make the world dance
Forget about the Price Tag
Ian McKaye and Ani DiFranco can sing about not obsessing over money (and their lyrics will invariably trump “It's not about the ba-bling, ba-bling”) because they're the musical equivalent of sustainable growers. If we want to keep the farming metaphor, Jessie J (a Universal product) is subsidized by the corn industry, selling high-fructose infused junk food that (lucky you!) has a coupon for more of the same on the wrapper.

I wouldn't even mind that so much if the song really was about what it pretended to be about... it has designs on an “All You Need Is Love” kind of sentiment, but ends up more like a sales pitch: sure, tickets to her show are expensive, but don't worry about the price tag, because once you're in the door it'll be worth it (with all the love and camaraderie and whatnot in the room).  What's a couple hundred bucks for a starlet who's first record has yet to be released? Don't worry about the price tag, give your money to the singer who sings about not needing your money.

Well, keep the price tag
and take the cash back
Just give me six strings
and a half stack.
And you can keep the cars
Leave me the garage
Yes all I need
are keys and guitars
The less said about a mainstream rapper telling us all he needs in life is a half stack and a guitar, the better. Has B.O.B. heard his own music? Has he heard this song? It's like listening to The Sneaker Pimps compare an uninspiring life to playing with a click track in a song that was obviously played to a click track. Some pop songs are effective, some are fun, some are entertaining, and some are genuinely good... very seldom do they sound like a guy making time with his Les Paul through a JCM.

Especially in such a lazy song... so, we'll loop the chorus and then have the singer just sort of "solo" over it (the vocal over the pre-recorded chorus is also noticeably auto-tuned) and just call it done.  Kay?  Cool.  We don't need to do any more work on this one. Remember, though we took the music from elsewhere (shhh... don't tell Wayne Coyne), produced the laziest sounding backing track possible, and made something indistinguishable from every other stamped-out pop product, it's totally not about the money. Pick up your paycheck at the front desk and we'll mail you royalty statements quarterly.

Stay with the song, walk away, or run like hell:

Genre: Feel Good

This one is pretty simple: we all know a Feel Good song when we hear it.  These are generally songs written to make the listener forget the world, turn off their brain, and have a good time.