Rapidfire Review: The 1 to 5 Edition

Recently, there have been many songs that I’ve been wanting to review. Unfortunately, finding the time to do them all has been difficult as of lately. For that reason, I’ve decided to try something new. Introducing the Rapidfire Review! Here, I will post brief reviews of songs that are cluttering up my to-do list.

I’ll try to connect each group of songs with a common theme. This week’s theme…well, there really isn’t a theme. But! I have chose a sad song with a one star rating, one with a two star rating, and so on and so forth until I found an awesome song with a five star rating. That’s kind of a theme, right?

And so, without further ado…my first Rapidfire Review!

Toby Keith – Red Solo Cup

 I’m not a huge fan of Country music, and songs like this are the reason why. I get it…rednecks like beer, aren’t very intelligent, and are completely devoid of any class. Is that really any excuse for a song quite as bad as this? Toby simply speaks his way through the song…and the lyrics are some of the dumbest I’ve ever seen. The plucky banjo is the irritating type of country music that makes me want to beat my wife and cheat on her with my cousin. The next time I hear this song at a wedding….I’m punching the bride.

Pitbull – International Love (featuring Chris Brown)
Pitbull has made some great club hits. International Love tries so hard to be one of those, but at this point, its nothing we haven’t seen or heard before. In fact, when compared to the likes of Give Me Everything, this song is actually quite lame. Pitbull’s rapping is great as always, but the dance beat is just tired at this point, and Chris Brown isn’t doing the song any favors. He makes the chorus sound whiny and annoying. Overall, the song just isn’t as catchy as anything he’s done before, but that probably won’t stop tipsy club goers from dancing the night away.

Usher – Climax
I really do look at Usher as one of the pioneers of the current “club pop” trend thats been plaguing RnB music. Back in 2004, he released a track called Yeah! that combined a techno beat with RnB soul that was nothing short of amazing. Ever since, I’ve been waiting for him to return to his smooth RnB ways. Climax is that much awaited return, and it is refreshing to see. Usher croons his way through this touching breakup ballad with pure heart and emotion. Unfortunately, I feel like the song holds him back quite a bit. It rarely builds enough to really allow him to use the full strength of his voice, which is ironic since…you know, the song is called Climax. While its clear that there were some missed opportunities here, it does make me anticipate his upcoming album. 

David Guetta – Turn Me On (featuring Nicki Minaj)
I’ve been a fan of David Getta even before Sexy Bitch put his name on the map. However, even I can admit that his past few songs have been lacking. However, this song is nothing but pure techno bliss. This song features a pounding electronic beat that simply hypnotizes in the verses, only to cut out suddenly as Nicki emerges from the shadows, belting out a few notes with shocking strength. People might say that Nicki’s voice is a little too fine tuned to be real, and they might be right. While she may never be able to replicate the song’s strngth live, she has come within kissing distance. In the end, the chorus is infectious, with brilliant hooks, an excellent beat, and genius production. The song builds and falls in all of the right places, making it one of the best dancefloor songs around. 

Gotye – Somebody that I Used to Know (featuring Kimbre)
Every now and then, a song that’s truly original comes around and reminds the music industry what its supposed to be about. This year, that track comes from Belgian-Australian singer songwriter, Gotye. This song is noted for its use of some surprising instrumentals. The song begins with a soft bass and a delicate xylophone melody. The real gem here is the vocal paring of Gotye and Kimbre. Gotye begins the song at almost a whisper, singing about his feelings post-breakup. He channels his raw emotion during the song’s chorus, turning it up a notch. Kimbre then answers in a soft purr how she felt during the relationship, and how she was “screwed over” time and time again. She ends her verse on a powerful note, which then launches into a dramatic chorus in which the two seem to battle while harmonizing beautifully. Tracks that are this well crafted are rare today, and Somebody that I Used to Know is quite simply one of the best tracks to breakthrough to the mainstream in awhile. 

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