Written by Greg Kennelty
If you didn’t eat the corpses of the slain basted in their own blood on Thanksgiving then I really have no interest in talking to you.
I’m Greg Kennelty, senior news writer for MetalInjection.net. I pitched the idea to Pop Break about having a lifelong metal fan such as myself review popular songs outside the realm of “that damn devil music” every week. Obviously it went over well and here we are! The stipulation is while I get to choose the ten songs I review, all my choices must come from a pool of tunes chosen by the Pop Break staff.
The goal of the article is for me to voice my honest opinion on the chosen songs every week from the perspective of a metal head that isn’t really familiar with these artists and their work. Ready?
“It’s Thanksgiving” by Nicole Westbrook
Have you ever heard a song so bad that you’re not even mad it exists? A song so heinous that you simply forgo anger and go straight to regretting the artist and producer of the song were ever born in the first place? I’m at that point right now, or close to it.
I had to look it up and I found out Nicole Westbrook is actually innocent in the creation of this slap in the face to God and instead, we all have to blame Ark Music Factory. Y’know, the people who birthed “Friday” and orchestrated 9/11 (probably). This song is so terrible I don’t even have words for how terrible it is. You just need to hit play and experience the steady stream of audible, vapid misery for yourself.
I mean come on, what else did you really think I’d have to say about this? I’m all about my catchy pop jams and everything, but this is just a solid loogie straight into the eye of any and every muse who gave us music. This is the audible equivalent of chugging syrup of ipecac on purpose.
“Trumpets” by Jason DeRulo
The reason why I love this song is because it’s absolutely ridiculous. Jason DeRulo could have written some sleazy rap about his Godzilla-sized sausage and how he’s have approximately all of the sex, all of the time. Except he didn’t and replaced all that with what sounds like the theme song to a kids’ movie and hilarious lyrics about boning.
Right from the get go, DeRulo’s girlfriend or whatever walks into the room and he immediately starts talking about how he hears symphonies when she gets naked. Dude, isn’t that the kind of stuff you say when you’re sitting on a bench overlooking Manhattan or something and you’re talking about her face eyes?
Yes. Face eyes as opposed to chest eyes.
I had to listen to this song twice because I kept laughing the first time. This is like The Wiggles tried to write a song about how much they get laid but kept their usual goofy-ass instrumentation.
“Happy Idiot” by TV On the Radio
Nine Inch Nails had that one song “Everything” on their 2013 release Hesitation Marks that took everyone by surprise. It was a major key summer jam kind of song that got misinterpreted as a positive song, which naturally pissed off Trent Reznor. TV On the Radio has that same sort of vibe going with “Happy Idiot” in that the lyrics tell one story but the music is pulling the mood in a different direction.
The thing that surprised me about this song is the chorus. I was expecting something explosive or typical of a pop song, but it remained consistent and driving throughout. I think it works better that way- it’s like a toned down Perturbator song with all the bloops and bleeps of the 1980’s replaced with this modern Daft Punk kind of band. “Happy Idiot” is a cool take on that retro revivalist sound.
“Something From Nothing” by Foo Fighters
I’ve never really heard much in the way of Foo Fighters’ music outside their radio stuff, so I was hoping this would be a solid entrance into the band for me. Instead, “Something From Nothing” is a mid-paced jog that takes turns here and there but ultimately ends up going nowhere good. Think of it like waking up in the mood for an adventure but you just can’t find a good one. The song just felt like Dave Grohl walked in to practice one day and didn’t really know what the hell to do with a bunch of riffs lying around, so he broke out the proverbial glue stick and went to town.
Well, a bunch of riffs and half of “Holy Diver” by Dio.
I made a similar complaint to a friend recently about some of Taylor Swift’s new songs, where I said I felt like the song focused too much on the vocal melody and let the rest of the music fall by the wayside into being repetitive and boring.
Here’s hoping Grohl can shake that one off.
“I’m Not The Only One” by Sam Smith
In college we used to go this one bar down the street that had an out-of-tune piano in the corner. I’d say about 80-percent of the time we went in there it was around 5 p.m., which was the same time the piano player used to come in and warm up a little before busting out tunes to the drunk masses later on. Now when I say “warm up,” I really mean “play the same annoying blues riff over and over again for about a half an hour.” The first few times it was kind of charming, like a familiar blanket being draped over your shoulders. Granted that could have been the alcohol, but for the sake of this story we’ll go with the piano. Then, as time wore on, it was just grating (the piano. Not the beer). That’s where I’m at with this Sam Smith song.
Smith, listen. If I came up with that little riff I’d be excited too because it’s catchy… but it’s more of a transition progression rather than an entire song. With a voice like that and capabilities to conjure several fitting melodies in the span of about four minutes, I refuse to believe Smith has trouble coming up with more than one piano riff.
“Black Widow” by Iggy Azalea ft. Rita Ora
If half as much effort went into this song as it did for the video, this song would be a jam and a half. I’d buy the story of this whole process being done in reverse, honestly.
“Hey, we came up with this great little short film about this dickhead producer coming into a diner and, ready for this twist? He totally bones the cook! I know! Crazy! The real problem here is that the network keeps turning it down and Old Spice doesn’t want it as a commercial because we won’t let them turn the cook into a sentient potato sandwich, so there’s that. Does Iggy Azalea need anything for her upcoming song?”
…and so it was. The rest of the video was just Wintersun-looking graphics and colors from their Time I album cover transposed onto Kill Bill and the song was a boring afterthought.
“No Type” by Rae Sremmurd
Some people believe in trans-dimensional lizard people. Others believe in conspiracy theories. I believe in something a little more reasonable and evident- there is a rap council somewhere making terrible decisions.
Maybe a few months back, the ever-illusive rap council passed an ordinance at one of their meetings regarding rappers and hip hop artists to use the highest, most annoying voice they can and then autotune it for extra irritation. The ordinance passed on second reading at their meeting without much in the way of public comment. We’ve seen it before with “Lifestyle” by Rich Gang ft. Young Thug, Rich Homie Quan and now we’re got Rae Sremmurd abiding by the law. The thing that separates this and “Lifestyle” is sounds like the dudes on the latter just have naturally annoying voices while rapping. Sremmurd seems to be trying to hit the highest pitches he can, because dogs need music too.
Also, Sremmurd looks like Jaden Smith. How can this song be real if my eyes aren’t real.
“Lunch Money” by Pusha-T
If you’ve ever been to Disney World, chances are you’ve been on the ride Test Track in Epcot. When you walk into the main lobby of the ride, the soundtrack playing in the background consist of a few sine-wave synth patches a whole lot of car factory sounds synchronized rhythmically. It’s clever and it has a definitive beat to it.
Now go back and cut out that first sentence. Did I just describe Test Track’s waiting room theme song or Pusha-T’s “Lunch Money.” The beat isn’t bad credit definitely goes to the writer for being creative with it, but it just struck me as funny that there’s a similarity between two seemingly disparate things… or that’s what Pusha-T wants you to think.
As far as lyrics go, Pusha-T gets pretty Lil Wayne on this track in terms of a certain obscenity. You couldn’t come up with literally anything else to say? That’s like an uncreative drummer constantly throwing in the same fill because it fills the space where actual thought and diversity could have been involved.
“Don’t Tell ‘Em” by Jeremih ft. YG
So are the “hey” chants in this song samples from the Bill Nye theme song? If they’re not, please don’t tell me. I want to live in a world where rap songs are sampling Bill Nye.
Pretty much all of Jeremih’s have a really good bounce to them. The initial introduction to the song with the keyboards and hook don’t let the listener in on that right off the bat, but once Jeremih gets to the “don’t tell ‘em” bit it’ll hit you like a ton of bouncy bricks. Dude just has a good flow to his lines and he knows when to turn on that bounce and when to stay a little more on top of the rigidity of the beat.
YG’s part is pretty standard and nothing really worth noting. Maybe that’s why he doesn’t even a full name. His parents knew he was going to be a boring person and figured they wouldn’t waste a perfectly good name on the human version of vanilla.
“7/11” by Beyoncé
I have a few questions. First of all, why is this song called 7/11 if there’s not one line about Slurpees? I think that’s a pretty valid criticism and I don’t appreciate Beyoncé’s false advertising here. Don’t you dare make me think I’m about to hear a song about morning coffee and a counter full of e-cigs when I will not be hearing such majesty. My next question is why am I smacking whatever I’m smacking so many times? Even if it’s a sex thing, I feel like that’s going to start to hurt eventually. There are only so many places you can smack someone before it gets weird or painful.
This song sounds like Beyoncé got behind the microphone in the booth and realized she didn’t have any lyrics, so she’d come up with a phrase she likes and then keep repeating it until she got bored. Sometimes she’d say something and not like it initially, but in post-production she changed her mind so they cut the audio up and then looped it.
She tried and that’s what really counts.