Weekly Fiver #7

Welcome to the Weekly Fiver, where I’ll pick five recently released songs of varying degrees of quality and thoroughly break them down for you. No two songs will be on the same tier, and they’ll be listed from best to worst. The top song will be an excellent must-hear tune, while the bottom song will be one you ought to stay away from or else you will make your ears sad. It’s all very scientific.

Excellent Song of the Week

Truth is a Beautiful Thing- London Grammar

I’m trying to think of a way to qualify this selection by means of “if Adele joined _________”, just to retain some sort of credibility. But the truth is that this could very well be an Adele song. It’s not even particularly more “artsy” than anything on the pop songstress’ albums. A solemn, bleak piano ballad, it swells during the choruses just like Adele’s “Hello”. The one area it excels in though, is the lyrics: They’re both vague and specific at the same time, like trying to recall a half-remembered dream. And they’re what really sets this song apart.

Pretty Decent Song of the Week

All of the Feels- Prozzåk

Here’s the thing: the song itself isn’t really that great. It’s not something I would recommend as “must-listen”. But it is a strong case of a band not only knowing what their strengths are and creating a coolly calculated product based on those strengths. It’s exactly what a Prozzak song in 2017 should sound like. The (knowingly) borderline cringeworthy lyrics, the sunshine-infused melody, the perpetually teenage subject matter- it’s all wrapped up in some modern production tricks and does “exactly what it says on the tin”.

Meh Song of the Week

Stardust- Zeds Dead feat. Twin Shadow

Twin Shadow’s done quite a few features in his career- a lot of them with Zeds Dead. Yet none of them have taken advantage of his croon, and this one only barely does. Too many production tricks wipe out any individuality; the featured vocalist could be anybody. To its credit, the song is appropriately moody and uses the same kind of chugging guitar chords Twin Shadow would use on his own material. It takes a little long to launch into a middling chorus, but overall it’s an acceptable offering from the Canadian duo.

Below Average Song of the Week

The Cure- Lady Gaga

Ah, the repentance single, the modern way of artists trying to make up for lackluster albums. No hit singles? Release something new quick! Imagine Dragons spent a year and about 3 extra songs trying to make up for the fact that their 2015 effort didn’t have another “Radioactive” on it. Lady Gaga’s scattershot Joanne didn’t produce anything even close to the level of her biggest hits either, so she’s dropping this song to remind people of her dance-pop roots. The problem with her album wasn’t genre though, it was stale songwriting, and it continues here. “The Cure” doesn’t reach the dizzying heights of “Bad Romance” or “Poker Face”. It doesn’t even match up with the self-congratulatory electro-vamp anthem “Applause”. It’s just a generic second-tier throwaway that makes very little impression in any respect.

Disappointing Song of the Week

Bad Guys Win- Matthew Good

Now that radio play is no longer a major goal for acts, they can do whatever the heck they want with their first singles. There’s no need to hook people in any more! So Matt Good went and threw out this poorly produced, poorly structured rumination on *CORRUPT POLITICIANS* WOW MATT GOOD I DUNNO IF THAT WILL FLY THAT IS SO EDGY AND RISKY.

Here’s how the song goes: minute long intro. verse. slow, quiet instrumental jam bridge. second verse. loud outro. How is this enjoyable? It’s not, it’s just a self-indulgent mess from a man who once knew how to write concise, hard-hitting rock anthems. Now he’s Matthew Bad.