There is nothing more frustrating than a song that is almost good. When you are listening to a brand new song and it is going quite well. Then suddenly the singer or songwriter does something inexplicable that brings the whole affair crashing down onto its knees. This can be very annoying when there is a good chunk of the song that you actually get along with. You want to listen to that small piece of music, but you know that you have to put up with a lot of rubbish to get to that specific moment in the song. Do you listen to it and skip to the next one when your part’s over? Surely that kills the relaxing mood that music should be able to create. Below are three songs I have this internal dilemma with.
3 – EMINEM – BERSERK
I am one of those people who adore Eminem to pieces. Perhaps it is something to do with being proud that one of us white people can actually rap, but I like to think that it is because there is something emotionally-fuelled and intelligent about his raps. Sure, he can be unhinged outside of his songs, but we could argue without that, his music wouldn’t have its impact on the listener. When Berserk opens up, it is no different. Eminem opens with a pitch perfect rap, attacking the audience with lyrics. They are precise, effective and, after a break in between albums, a worthy return from Marshall Mathers.
Then the bridge comes in. Oh, I hate that bridge. It feels like someone has jumped in front of a DJ deck when the DJ wasn’t looking and began playing with the equipment. It speeds up only to immediately slow down. It sounds like the noise a song makes when your headphones are only barely connected to your laptop. It only lasts a brief moment, so it is hard to complain when the rest of the song is so well-made. However, it always breaks me out of the moment. I feel like I am listening to a song that I know skips on this certain CD. It ruins what could have been a great comeback song from Eminem.
2 – WYCLEF JEAN FT SHAKIRA – KING AND QUEEN
When the song above starts, you will hate it. Hate it with a burning passion. Wyclef Jean throws an up and down beat into the mix that just rubs you up the wrong way. The beat isn’t the real problem here; it just becomes the annoying thing that reminds you of the song. It could have been good, if Wyclef Jean even tried to work with it. His lyrics are awful. He isn’t singing, just shouting at a camera and auto-tuning it afterwards. Wyclef Jean has been known to come out with some pretty decent music, but this definitely isn’t one of those songs. You are just about to turn it off, when the chorus kicks in. And wow!
Shakira saves the song. The chorus is amazing. Even by Shakira’s standards, it is great. The lyrics are well-written and her vocals are perfectly suited to the music. It helps that she doesn’t ever need to over-sing. Just by turning up, she has brought this song from music hell into something vaguely decent. The only problem is that to get to those few lines of music, you have to drift through Wyclef’s murdering of music. I keep coming back to this song and every time I am wondering if there is any way I could extrapolate that chorus and stick it into a better song. Someone cut Wyclef out of this song and remake this piece of music.
1 – KATY PERRY – THIS IS HOW WE DO
This is the most modern of the songs I have on offer here, which inspired this article. The other two I have been meaning to talk about for a while now, but this is the one that gave me an excuse to start moaning about songs, like a grumpy pensioner.
Katy Perry is one of those singers that is always a few songs away from crashing into nothing. Right now, she is one of the main attractions when it comes to mainstream music and, as a result, she needs to always be delivering songs to the public. Katy Perry hasn’t had a break in quite a long time, spewing album after album. As a result, some of her latest efforts have been, not bad in fairness, but a little similar. Katy Perry kind of became that singer whose songs all rolled into one lump. I guess for her fans that made everything she brought out a winner, but I remember the days when she used to make quite interesting music, so it is a shame that she has been the music equivalent of fast food.
This Is How We Do looked set to change that. It isn’t a fantastic piece of music, no, but it was fresh and fun enough to demand recognition. As an occasional DJ, I saw potential in it to be one of those club tunes I will be pulling out of the hat for the next few years. Yes, listening to the lyrics makes you feel like you are getting stupider by the second and it is pop music at its very worst, but it does the job. Well, almost. This is a song that starts off well, but begins tripping up on its own feet continuously. The first moment is the bridge where Katy Perry stops singing and talks into the microphone: “This is no big deal! This is. No. Big. Deal.” It is a little annoying, but bearable. It is clear that she is trying to make this one for the karaoke machines and that is her target audience, so you put up with it.
Then she ends the song by addressing the audience. This is my pet hate in music. Sure, it works for live music and has its own thrills. It gives the audience an excuse to jump and down screaming, building a dialogue between them and the singer. It’s a nice thought and I appreciate the gesture from Katy Perry. But, I loathe it when it is shoe-horned into a recorded song, especially when Katy Perry did the same with, to a lesser extent, Birthday. I don’t need to hear that every single time I listen to this song. They don’t even make any sense. “This is to all you kids that still have their cars in the club valet!” No. No one goes to nightclubs with valet service. That is not a thing for anyone who isn’t making millions of dollars every time you mention Chanel in your songs. The one good thing here is that out of all of the three songs listed, this one you can just turn off early. Not ideal, but easier than listening to Wyclef Jean again.