Let's get it on.
#95: "Hey Mama" by Black Eyed Peas
I don't dislike Black Eyed Peas. They have a couple of good tracks, and this was around the time of those good tracks. Let's see if this is a good track.
This is not a good track. The song's beat is not all that spectacular, only standing out by taking a more reggae influence. And that reggae influence is felt beyond simply the backing track, as a guest artist on here is none other than Tippa Irie, a reggae artist. The lyrics...are pretty bad, though. Basically, will.i.am and Tippa Irie are eying women on the dance floor, watching that booty shake, while talking about how awesome they are. That's bad enough, but the actual lyrics are even worse. Here is a sample: "We never cease (NOOO), we never die. No, we never decease (NOOO), we multiply like we mathamatice." Will...I know it can be hard to make rhymes that work. That's why I don't write songs, or anything done in meter. But that doesn't give you free reign to make up words. Oh, and Fergie gets a verse. She is as inept on hitting on men as the men are hitting on women.
The singing is decent, especially on Tippa's part, who tries his best with what the lyrics give him to do. But the song just doesn't work. If you want to hear rock with reggae influences, pop in "Reggatta de Blanc" by The Police, and pass up this song.
#94: "Happy People" by R. Kelly
I like R. Kelly. He has a strong voice, especially for R&B, and he still has that voice, judging by his performance on "X Factor" last year.
This song, sadly, does not work all that well. I like the message, which is basically singing about how "happy people" are the ones out there dancing, and how other happy people are making the music that makes them dance. It's a nice message, even if it can be seen as a bit of a backhand to all the angry artists like Eminem. The beat is also nice, being reminiscent of Marvin Gaye, and the singing is great, showing R. Kelly can still sing well. So what's the problem? The song's pacing just feels off.
The song is nearly 5 minutes long, and is done in this slow R&B style. It's not bad, it just drags on for a while. I kept waiting for a big moment to bring it all together, and it just didn't happen. Just as great lyrics can save a mediocre song, bad pacing can sink a potentially great song, as happens here.
#93: "You'll Think of Me" by Keith Urban
I'm not a huge Keith Urban fan. As far as country singers go, he's pretty good, but he hasn't really done anything spectacular, or even great, to me.
Oh, this song! I actually like this song quite a bit, but I'm not sure why. The music is generic slow country song stuff, but the lyrics do something different. The general reason for the song is generic, being about a girl leaving the singer. However, rather than whine and moan about how much he'll miss her, and how much he screwed up, the reaction of this guy is, basically, "You want out? There's the door, get your stuff. I'm sure you'll be more sorry you left than I am." That might be why the song works for me, or it might just be that everything works together really well in this song, between the music, the singing voice, and the lyrics. Overall, a much more cynical country song than you might expect, especially given the subject matter, but still a nice song to listen to.
#92: "Don't Tell Me" by Avril Lavigne
Yeesh, I'm switching genres so fast, I'm getting whiplash. As for Avril, here's hoping it's a better song than her hit last year was.
It's a slow song. Basically, Avril is tearing down her ex, who she misses, but at the same time, blames for their split. Basically, she said stop, he wanted her to go. Yeah, basically, she wouldn't put out, and it's his fault for wanting her to. I agree with her, but I would like to hear his side, since this is just screaming "mixed signals". The music is pretty good, and Avril Lavigne does a good job singing as the girlfriend scorned. I'm just tired of hearing these songs tearing down the ex, without any hint of showing that ex's side. Because believe me, I've been that ex, and it hurts, knowing that you are responsible for the breakdown of a relationship because of your immaturity. And hearing songs like this just make me feel even worse about it. The song is decent, though, just a bit generic.
#91: "Change Clothes" by Jay-Z
Hey, a rapper! And a good one, at that!
This song is basically Jay-Z rapping that he's back. The message is pretty simple, but Jay-Z does a better job than Eminem on this subject. The beat is different, being slower-tempoed than most rap songs. The lyrics are also different, basically talking about how he can change styles and be a hit, along with bragging about how big of a fanbase he has. Jay-Z actually does a pretty good job of rapping about how awesome he is without sounding like a douchebag, no easy feat. Overall, the song is pretty good. It doesn't really have any stand-out moments, but for a song about his return, it serves its purpose well, and that's all you can ask of a song.
Well, that's that set done. Honestly, while it started out rough, the list was actually pretty good. Let's see if the trend continues.