New Music: September 2013

Summer has come and gone, and we’ve all gone back to school. It’s not all bad though…September was a huge month for music! With huge singles from the likes of Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, as well as stellar albums from Janelle Monae and The Weeknd, I’d call this month a “win” for my music collection.

Of course, there many songs that I haven’t gotten around to reviewing. Here are the best (and worst) of the September’s releases!

Gavin Degraw – Best I Ever Had

Gavin Degraw Best I Ever Had

Gavin’s biggest hit remains his worst song to date, the so-sad-its-downright-pathetic Not Over You. Thankfully, Gavin has stayed away from the generic pop beats and sappy lyrics. Best I Ever Had  instead focuses on a more lively, guitar driven folk-pop sound. With an energetic, foot stomping beat, a flurry of banjos and a triumphant chorus, this is easily one of Gavin’s best! The focus on instrumentals showcases him at his best, and allows the folky quality of his voice to really flourish as he delivers witty, culturally relevant lyrics. If Phillip Phillips can have a massive hit with this formula, hopefully pop radio will jump on this as well.

Final Score: 4/5

Jordin Sparks – Skiping a Beat

Jordin Sparks Skipping a Beat

Its such a shame to see Jordin in the state that she’s in. Due to troubles at the record label, her music career is in a constant state of “maybe.” She’s matured from the 17 year old that won American Idol, and stands before us with everything that a megastar needs; killer voice, killer looks, and a lovable personality. Even better…the pop-rnb style is making a huge comeback! Skips a Beat is a smooth RnB jam with a light and airy beat…something in the same vein as Miriah’s Beautiful and Ariana’s The Way. Unfortunately, this song is trumped by the former two. With an awkward arrangement, jarring cuts between the chorus and the verses, and a weak hook…this just isn’t going to be the song that delivers on Jordin’s pop star potential. Go back to the Battlefield, Jordin! You need a hit!

Final Score: 2/5

Coldplay – Atlas

Coldplay Atlas

The release of Catching Fire is edging closer and closer, and to tease Hunger Games fans (like myself), they have released the film’s theme song! No…it isn’t Girl on Fire. Despite how fitting that would be, the new theme is brought to us by Coldplay. Atlas is indeed, very, very, very Coldplay. Its downtempo, atmospheric sound is very reminiscent of the band’s earlier material such as Clocks, and The Scientist…perhaps with little bits of Paradise thrown in. Chris Martin’s ethereal vocals are gently wrapped up in the dreamy piano melody before coming to a full blossom at the song’s lush ending. Its all quite beautiful, but perhaps its a bit too…I dunno…sleepy? I don’t sense any of the drama or danger that I associate with the Hunger Games series. This might be a great song to play as you read the books…but its just not as exciting as the band’s best material.

Final Score: 2/5

Motion City Soundtrack – Inside Out

Motion City Soundtrack Inside Out

The Minneapolis punk outfits last album was a bit….dark. However, their latest release is much livelier, more energetic, and infinitely more fun! With pounding drums, a pulse racing beat, and a flurry of guitars, this song ups the energy level to “off the scale.” The song’s rousing chorus is designed for fist pumping and head banging as you south along to calls of “Get inside! Get inside out!” Its a full blast of gritty punk rock fun, designed to be a definite crowd mover!

Final Score: 4/5

Daughtry – Waiting for Superman

Daughtry Waiting for Superman

After releasing their lowest charting album to date, Chris Daughtry and friends are back with a new single. Perhaps a few months late, Waiting for Superman would have been a perfect tie in with the Superman movie. Its full of references; “Wearing his cape,” “Waiting for Superman to pick her up”…it even mentions Lois Lane and Metropolis. This song pretty much needs the movie tie in, because on its own…it just feels…awkward. They’ve definitely “popped” up their sound in hopes of making it on top 40 stations, but the electronic synths and hollow pop beats just don’t sound convincing. Seriously, this song is one dubstep beat away from being flat out desperate. At least Chris’s vocals are just as strong as ever.

Final Score: 2/5

Jason Derulo – Marry Me

Jason Derulo Marry Me

Jordin Sparks must feel like the luckiest girl in the world….Jason’s latest single is a smooth dose of pop-rnb with lyrics that will make every woman’s heart just melt like a Reese’s cup left in your car on a sunny day. For once, his often whiny, high pitched vocals sound decent on the song, and the smooth instrumentals are quite refreshing as well. The problem? Well…maybe its because I’m not a lady, but I find the lyrics to be sooooo overly sappy that the song is practically unlistinable. Seriously…its like it was written by a high school freshmen for his first girlfriend. Its just so…gushy.

Final Score: 2/5

Britney Spears – Work Bitch

Britney Spears Work Bitch

Ugh…what just happened? Listening to “It’s Britney Bitch”s latest single is a bit like being unexpectedly groped by a drunken stereo system. Look, I’m no Britney hater. Even I can admit that the Blackout album was great, and even Circus had its redeeming qualities. But this? This is just a generic piece of EDM-pop that tries to be edgy, and winds up looking desperate in the process. Not only is the beat incredibly weak and simple, but the awkward sing-talking sounds juvenile, and the with no real hook to hold on to…this song just fails.

Final Score: 1/5

Natalia Kills – Problem

Natalia Kills Problem

Natalia dropped her sophomore album this month, with Problem being the current single. Maybe we should get Miss Kills to educate Brittney. This is how edgy electro-pop is done! This song is full of dirty, hard rocking guitars that hit you right in the gut. Natalia commands presence with her alluring vocals and hooks that are bound to infect like the zombie apocalypse. Best blasted at ear damaging volumes, this rebellious piece of grime-pop will instantly have you singing “That girl is a god damn problem!” No problems here, except for the fact that this song isn’t a massive radio hit. Yet.

Final Score: 4/5

Ylvis – The Fox

ylvis-the-fox

How could we possibly talk about September’s new music without mentioning the viral smash hit…The Fox. Viral smash hits seem to be the new “thing.” We now have the Norwegian phenomena of The Fox, which has gone viral because…well, its foreign, weird, and has a catchy beat. Is it as entertaining as Gangnam Style? No. Is it as catchy as Harlem Shake? Also no. Does it have the pop appeal of Call Me Maybe? Oh, hell no! While it definitely isn’t as strong as the aforementioned songs, it isn’t really supposed to be. Created by a comedy duo, it definitely succeeds in delivering laughs with its so-dumb-its-cool lyrics. After all…what the fuck does the fox say? What can I say…it is funny. That has to count for…something, right?

Final Score: 3/5

P.S. – A quick google search will reveal that a fox makes a high pitched “bark” like noise….but, whatever…

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