Monday, February 15, 2016

#384, in which normalcy of a sort is restored

I missed writing to you last week, but let it be known that I still listened to my album. I'll do my best to write two for you today as a penance.

This week's album is Now! 53, which means it was released just about a year ago. This is pop horror that is still fresh in our minds. The compilation kicks off with "Uptown Funk," which I'll admit is nothing if not catchy and danceable. It's also omnipresent and, to put it charitably, possessive toward women, so it's just about the perfect pick for an album like this. We get Meghan Trainor's "Lips are Movin" after that, which is an apt answer. It's catchy, danceable, and omnipresent, but instead of celebrating womanizing, it decries it. So everything's turned out a wash so far!

And then, you know, the rest of the album begins.

We get Ariana Grande, One Direction, Selena Gomez, Iggy Azalea, and Charli XCX in the span of eight tracks. These acts are pretty much the quintessence of these compilations, and are also pretty much why I dreaded having to listen to them in the first place. I was not disappointed, in that I was completely disappointed by their schlockiness. (Autocorrect suggests "cockiness" instead.)

The B-side of these albums usually transitions to a quieter, mellower sound, which I typically enjoy more. There was a Coldplay track ("A Sky Full of Stars") on there, which I was looking forward to a bit. I'm no great fan of Coldplay, but I recognize that they have talent and can, at the very least, create songs that are unobjectionable, something that the rest of these acts have trouble with. Those of you who have heard this song are probably laughing to yourself right now, but Coldplay managed to completely let me down in this regard. "A Sky Full of Stars" sounds like a typical Coldplay song that a producer decided to infuse with a drum machine and club beats. It doesn't work. It's somehow much worse than a typical club song in that you know what it could have been. I was very, very disappointed.

In summary, do not listen to this album if you have the means not to. If you want to get the sense of the sound of the album, listen to "Uptown Funk," then listen to "Lips are Movin," then smash your stereo, computer, or iPod with hammers.

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