2012 Billboard Top 100: #10-6

Top 10!

#10: "What Makes You Beautiful" by One Direction

Wow...off to a great start.

Music is actually not that bad. Reminds me a bit of The Kinks. At least the guitar does. The drums are very generic boy band stuff. The singing, on the other hand...it is clear why they did not win on The X Factor. Very generic singing.

As for the lyrics, the singer is basically complimenting a girl, saying that she is beautiful because she doesn't know that she is beautiful.

I can understand what One Direction were going for, but they did not succeed. The singing is just not that good. On top of that, the lyrics are just so generic. I mean, this is basically "She Will Be Loved", but without the talent of Maroon 5, and without the sincerity of Adam Levine. The whole "boy band" feel just does not work for this kind of song. Then again, One Direction is not a good boy band, either, so I guess they'd fail at any kind of song. And that's what makes them pitiful.

#9: "Starships" by Nicki Minaj

This is the fourth song on the list with Nicki Minaj. However, unlike Adele, only two of those songs were solo songs. I liked her other solo song this year, so lets see how this goes.

Well, the music is actually pretty good, with a surprisingly strong guitar line for a rap song. After the chorus, the music does devolve into a more standard hip hop beat, but it comes back before long. Nicki Minaj's rapping at the beginning is a bit annoying, but she does pretty good during the rest of the song.

As for the lyrics...I have no idea what this song is about. I think it is about partying, describing the feeling of the lifestyle as being like a starship. High, get it?

I should not like this song as much as I do. However, the music is pretty solid, and even when it "breaks down" after the chorus, it sounds more like "Gagnam Style" than anything, another guilty pleasure this year. The lyrics are a bit on the weak side, but still pretty well thought out for Nicki Minaj, and her rapping is as good as it has ever been. If you don't hate Nicki Minaj, you'll probably like this song. Unless you are Todd in the Shadows.

#8: "We Found Love" by Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris

Third time on this list for Calvin Harris, and sixth(!) time for Rihanna.

Music is all right, but it is pretty repetitive. Rihanna's singing is not too bad, though.

The lyrics are pretty much what the title says. She is celebrating finding love, in a place she didn't think she would find it.

I liked this song last year. However, I just can't find much about it this year. Maybe I'm suffering from Rihanna overload, but despite the fact that she takes a different take on this song than she usually does, it still ends up pretty boring. The music is too repetitive, with a few keys being hit over and over for the verse, and generic R&B stuff for the chorus. The lyrics are even worse, though. I mean, I expect the chorus to be repetitive, but the verses in this song are all also the same. That's one verse and one chorus repeated to make this song a full song. I heard that this song was performed on Glee, and it sounds like it was written to be a talent show song, where you could cut it down to 30 seconds and still get the full experience.


#7: "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" by Kelly Clarkson

First time reviewing Kelly Clarkson for these lists, actually.

Music is fairly repetitive piano, with a generic drum beat for the verses. Chorus kicks in a weak attempt at a "badass" guitar line. Kelly Clarkson always has a pretty strong singing voice, and here is no exception.

The lyric are standard for Kelly Clarkson. She is singing defiantly about how much better off she is without the guy, and that he won't break her, because the title.

This is...not a bad song. However, it is a very generic Kelly Clarkson song. She sings pretty well, but the lyrics are just "Mr. Know It All" or "Since U Been Gone", and the music is about as generic and forgettable as it can get. Actually, this entire song is rather forgettable, which is a shame. Kelly Clarkson has a good deal of talent, but she wastes it on songs she knows will be hits. Can't we get the same Kelly Clarkson who gave us songs that at least had different subject matter, like "Breakaway"?

#6: "Glad You Came" by The Wanted

I have heard this song.

Music for the first verse is slow piano, but then kicks in with a more standard party beat, with synthesizer. As for the singing, it is pretty standard, but it is nice to hear a band with more than one singer.

This is a standard party song, picking up a girl and saying the title verse to her, which is about as delightfully cheesy as a double entendre as you can get.

I should dislike this song for being so generic, but I really don't dislike it. It is pretty standard party stuff, but the music is upbeat enough to fit the part atmosphere, and it is obvious that The Wanted are not taking themselves seriously. I mean, how can you say lines like "My universe will never be the same, I'm glad you came" with a straight face? Lyrics are bad in that cheesy way, but that just makes things more fun. This is not "so bad it's good". It's just a fun little song, and it is obvious that the band didn't intend it to be anything more.

That list had a couple of fun songs on it, at least. What topped the list, though?

Previously: #15-11

Next: #5-1

Woo an Aussie in Number 1.. GO US! :D even if i wasnt really that keen on the song.. but as for this 5... One Direction is the same bland teenie boy band bs that gets done EVERY decade, Starships unfortunately got stuck in my mind for a time last year as being catchy but now im just completely tired of it and bored.. and Nicki Minaj's voice just grates after a while! We Found Love is ok i guess for Rihanna but again... i cant stand either of the 2 artists singing it and i tended to prefer the glee version oddly! Can i just say ive heard that KC song about 5000 times.. so needless to say im sick of even mentioning it now! .. as for the Wanted... i never really liked the song i found it pretty boring and bland also.. but im curious to get my paws on the last 5!

#10: "What Makes You Beautiful" by One Direction

Lifting your guitar riff from Pat Benatar is a bit an odd choice for a band of teenage(twentiesh?) boys in 2012, but whatever. I always get the odd impression they wanted to sound like The Cars on this (some of the stuttery bits), but failed abjectly at it in every way. It may be the best One Direction song by virtue of all its 80s nostalgia parasiting, but that's not exactly a high bar.

Wow...off to a great start.

#9: "Starships" by Nicki Minaj

Flying involves aerodynamics, which involves airs, which isn't in space. Even if I were inclined to like Nicki Minaj (I"m really not, and trying to be charitable), this flips all over the place with no real direction, obvious incomplete or substitute lyrics left in the song, and its pitching factor seems to be trying to squeeze that distorted "Higher then a motherfucker" bit onto the radio.

#8: "We Found Love" by Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris

Rihanna's been hammered into stale boredom so much that I've run out of clever ways to say she's boring me. Take a vacation or something.

#7: "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" by Kelly Clarkson

More angsty breakup songs from Clarkson. I don't even like Pink, nevermind everyone else trying to crowd into her little niche.

#6: "Glad You Came" by The Wanted

Other then admiring that some effort went into making the silly segue rhyming thing, this falls flat on me, like most club songs, especially when it hits the generic high auto-tune chorus in the middle and loses its momentum.

I know of two of these! Hurray.

Um, I don't mind "Starships" that much, although the Pitch Perfect cover is so much better. ;)

I also know of "Stronger" because I like Kelly Clarkson. Enjoy that song.

Just looked at the entire "Critics Choice Top 25". I have heard one of the 25. I'm proud of myself.

EDIT: Looked at the Top 100 songs, and I've listened to (and not turned off) 6 of them, one of them is a song from the Mid-90's (Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You"). That's kind of depressing.

Oh man... these are bad. Baaaad. Or just so mediocre and bland that it's depressing that they even exist.

I'm happy that you have the same opinion as me on Gangnam Style and Glad You Came. They're cheesy and silly but also catchy and fun, and there's nothing wrong with that. I feel validated, yaaaaaay!

(I have to say, though, that I just support Gangnam Style on principle. By pop standards, especially K-pop, Psy is old, overweight, and unattractive, and yet he is popular. Also, the music, lyrics, and choreography are all his own, which is admirable in this day and age. And on top of everything, it's a pretty clear parody of that type of lifestyle. So that's cool too. Good for him, overall.)

Seth Carter:
Flying involves aerodynamics, which involves airs, which isn't in space.

Oh, you're just being petty now. :P

Also,

Rihanna's been hammered into stale boredom so much that I've run out of clever ways to say she's boring me. Take a vacation or something.

She can't. Her managers won't let her. I'm getting a bit worried, really.

OT: Starships is one of my absolute favorite songs of the year. I knew that Todd was just being a sourpuss. :P

 

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