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.
Last week’s top song had Grace Mitchell trapped in a demonic California afterparty. Here she’s a lot happier, but no less potent. The Lorde-esque themes remain; she’s still singing about the perils of fame and how it’s not really all that great. It’s a more positive outlook this time though, and focuses on lighter aspects of life. Verses no doubt informed by Portugal. The Man‘s “Feel it Still” flow nicely into a double serving of post-punk via electro-pop choruses.
Pretty Decent Song of the Week
It’s likely that Death From Above will never truly go back to their roots, even with their original name returned to them. When they recorded their breakthrough You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine they were playing music that sounded like nothing else. Now they’re playing music that sounds like Death From Above. Even so, Jesse Keeler knows how to write an indelible bass hook. While “Freeze Me”‘s fretwork doesn’t match the raw squelch of the early singles, it is a lot more unreserved than anything off 2014’s The Physical World and a good omen of the upcoming record.
Meh Song of the Week
Everything about this song screams hit single. The structure, the rhythm, the cadence, the bright and punchy production- all the elements are present for a chart topper. All the elements, that is, except for melody. Even though the song instantly strikes the ear as something meant to be “catchy”, there’s something eerily flat about every single part of this song. The whoa-ohs, the chorus, the hook- they’re all so boring and restrained, as if boxed into a certain register. It’s not unlistenable, but it could have been so much more.
Below Average Song of the Week
One of Canada’s biggest bands are back…and they desperately need funds. After 2014’s disastrous one-off jangle-pop single the alternative rock legends lost their longtime drummer Jeremy Taggart and promptly stepped out of the spotlight. Here they’ve returned to a semblance of their classic sound, but it seems like they couldn’t afford a proper producer because everything about this song is weak. Remember on Gravity when every song had one of those big, crunchy choruses? Those days are long gone and when the chorus comes in here there’s nothing but a faint, muddy blur in the background.
Terrible Song of the Week
This year’s been moderately wacky regarding major music releases. A lot of formerly terrible artists have put out surprisingly decent tunes; a lot of former hitmakers lost their Midas touch. Everything’s gone upside down! So in a way it’s kind of reassuring that Rihanna can still deliver something reliably bad. Remember how annoying “Shine BRIGHT like a DIAmond!” was? How about last year’s “werk werk werk werk werk”? Good news, “Wild wild wild thoughts” is even worse. Enjoy “Wah wah wah. Wah wah wah.” This is dreck, plain and simple.