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Opinion: Why Noel Gallagher Might Be Onto Something

Pop, Rock, Singer/Songwriter

9th November 2015

Noel Gallagher, Britain’s favourite I-Used-To-Be-Massive-Now-I-Just-Say-Shit-That-Makes-People-Angry washed up rock star (I’m a Blur fan), is Esquire’s December cover star, locked and loaded with a bunch of semi-offensive ranting that got some people from the NME and twitter really going.

Like I said, I’m a Blur fan, but aside from the fact that picking one over the other is a twenty year old phenomenon and therefore about as dead as rivalling bands themselves, I can’t deny Oasis’ major impact on the bands that followed them. I also admire the Gallagher brothers’, and particularly Noel’s, ability to truly act like real “rockstars” and take full advantage of all the sex, drugs and rock n roll that came with it, without ending up in rehab or selling their souls to the perfume-selling money-making career-crushing capitalist devil that so many wannabe rockstars do today. And this issue is where Gallagher really grabs me – I’ve not listened to his solo tries, and to be honest I’ve not gone too deep into Oasis’ albums, although I’ve loved the stuff I’ve heard on throwback-90s nights* – it’s not the first time he’s attacked modern musicians, but in his Esquire interview, he so accurately articulates what is wrong with the current musical climate.

What’s wrong is that everyone is a bit of a wimp. Gallagher hilariously told Esquire “I fucking hate whingeing rock stars…“Oh, yeah, my last selfie got 47-thousand-million likes on Instagram.” Yeah, why don’t you go fuck off and get a drug habit, you penis?’” What’s bottled up in this shameless sentence of spite from a 48 year old man with no filter is a feeling that’s been prevalent in the music industry for a while now – boredom. He continues with “fame is fucking wasted on these people. The new generation of rock stars, when have they ever said anything that made you laugh? When have they ever said anything you remember?… what I want, genuinely, is somebody with a fucking drug habit.” While drug habits are nothing to make light of, and while having one is not usually on anyone’s list for a good musician, you can see where Gallagher’s coming from. Think about your favourite current bands. Think about the last time they actually said anything truly interesting that wasn’t tweeted before being checked by their PR people to make sure it wouldn’t offend anyone. The modern musician – I hasten to call them rockstars – depend on their Instagram captions for any humorous insights, and if they say anything remotely controversial, something that you think a rockstar would be able to do, they get branded by everyone on the internet as ‘problematic’. I’m never one for the whole social-media-is-ruining-our-lives scare stories, but when it comes to bands, the internet age we live in really does make it all a bit… dead.

Take Alex Turner, who doesn’t even have a twitter. Remember the Arctic Monkeys’ 2014 Brit Awards acceptance speech when Turner dropped the microphone? The whole ‘invoice me for the microphone if you need to’ fiasco? That’s the last time I really remember a rockstar challenging the music industry and its followers, in a way that seems so beautifully unnecessary, so arrogant, so damn rock n roll. Still, Gallagher has something to say about Turner; “Alex Turner, Miles Kane, the guys from Royal Blood. They’ve got the fucking skinny jeans and the boots, and all that eyeliner. I’ve got a cat that’s more rock’n’roll than all of them put together.” I’m pretty sure none of those mentioned actually wear eyeliner, but again, Gallagher hits the nail on the head. Alex Turner isn’t actually that interesting, no matter how many leather jackets and sunglasses he has. Sure, the leather and the quiffed hair bring some sense of danger, but what’s really missing from the charts these days isn’t really anything to do with the songs, it’s the artists that are selling them. It’s true when Gallagher says “Record companies now can sell a billion Ed Sheeran downloads tomorrow morning. They don’t want someone like Ian Brown in their offices, or Liam, or Bobby Gillespie, or Richard Ashcroft, or me. They want professionals. That’s what it’s become now.” I’m not saying I want Alex Turner to get back with model Alexa Chung, develop a drug habit, and take to the streets of London at 3am scouring the floor for used needles. But, you have to admit, the Richards, the Dohertys, the Gallaghers of this world – they’re all a bit more interesting to the normal citizen; precisely because they act like real rockstars. We’re all a bit bored with Harry Styles.

Read Esquire’s article here

Photograph by

Article by Amy Eskenazi

*Oasis fans, I’m joking

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RyanAdams

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Sorry, The 1989 Cover Album Sucked.

Pop, Rock, Singer/Songwriter

30th September 2015

Sorry, actually not sorry. Ryan Adams’ 1989 cover album pretty much sucked. Now, I know everyone and their grandma have been talking about this album and everyone and their grandma seems to be in love with it, but really people?

While I enjoy Adams’ clear ode to Swift for what was an insanely amazing album on Taylor’s part, what I don’t understand is people’s obsession with Ryan’s album. I don’t see anything within it “revealing the sadness” of 1989 and I don’t hear what’s so amazing; all in all I just do not get it.

If I wasn’t already being honest, I don’t think this album makes any sense. Practically every cover on this album feels dragged out and showy. Not that I don’t agree with creative license but this is too much. On tracks like This Love and Out Of The Woods he sounds almost like he’s just talking his way through the song. On other tracks like; Welcome To New York and Style he becomes overbearing and makes it sound like he’s singing over the music and not with it. Also once we get to How You Get the Girl he sounds like Bob Dylan?

Listening to the album in its entirety made me feel like I was watching someone try to make the pieces of three different puzzles into one, it just doesn’t really work. The sound of this album had me confused to say the least.

This isn’t to say that Ryan Adams’ didn’t do anything right with this album either. Tracks like; Wildest Dreams, Blank Space, Shake It Off and All You Had To Do Was Stay he actually created something that I can say I liked and that I can say I expected from him. I think that if he made this entire album consistent with the sound he had on these tracks then I might have enjoyed it a great deal more, but he didn’t so here I am.

Although this was a cover album, I didn’t look at it that way. I tried to look at it as if it was it own separate musical entity because obviously the creative differences between Ryan Adams’ and Taylor Swift are vastly deviating. Also, in that respect I think it is fair that if you are going to listen to it don’t look at it as a Taylor Swift cover album and proceed to be upset that it doesn’t sound like her, I don’t at all think that is what Ryan Adams’ was going for in the first place.

So just to make sure everyone understands where my frustration is placed with this album, it is NOT placed in the fact that it doesn’t sound like Taylor. It is placed in the fact that even through I looked at it as a Ryan Adams’ album and tried really hard to like it, I just couldn’t do it.

To me this album felt scattered and unpolished and at some point while listening to it even a little bit anxious. Like I said at the beginning of this article sorry, not sorry to everyone and their grandma, I really didn’t enjoy this album.

Article by Emily D’Orazio

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Ariel_Pinks_Haunted_Graffiti_20101022-002

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Opinion: Gig etiquette? WTF?

Events, News

11th August 2015

A sweaty, crammed, beer-stained punk show where the average age is twenty-one is the last place that any of the sweaty, crammed, beer-stained twenty-one year olds want there to be a set of rules, so why must we impose list after list of so called “gig etiquette” on these poor souls whose main aim is making sure they don’t puke on the person standing in front of them? If a rock gig is a place for rebellion, why is there even an “etiquette”at all?

If you type anything along the lines of “gig etiquette” into Google, you’ll get the same thing. Don’t constantly take pictures, don’t take pictures at all if you’re at the front, don’t make out with someone in the middle of a pit, don’t get so drunk you wet yourself on someone’s shoulders (I’ve seen this happen). Basically the same thing that would come up if you typed in “how to not be an asshole at a gig”, or, why not just, “how not to be an asshole.”

If you’re going to a gig and you need someone to tell you not to take a camera the size of a semi-detached house and stick it above everyone’s heads when you’re not even a professional photographer – you don’t need to learn about gig etiquette. Get off the website you’re on. Close the internet. Shut down your laptop. Take a step back and realise that no “10 things you shouldn’t do at a concert” list is going to help you. You are just an asshole.

This is why these lists are so ridiculous – the people who make out with their significant other for fifty minutes and then take two million selfies are the same people who cut in line at the supermarket or drive through red lights. They’re just assholes. Or, more realistically, they just don’t care about the people around them. And why should they? Perhaps if you’re at a small acoustic gig in the middle of the day then screaming out lyrics so loud you can’t hear the singer probably isn’t the best idea. But if you’re at a rock concert, why the hell would anyone expect your main concern to be for someone else? Yes, these people can be annoying, but if you start seriously imposing all these rules on them, you diverge so far from the original concept of a rock or punk show that the very point of one becomes obsolete. Just let people do what they want and shut up about it.

Do not fear, conservative gig goers, as this not-caring attitude (or should I say etiquette?) works both ways. Recently I was at a FIDLAR gig where people jumped on stage and tried to take selfies with the singer, who proceeded to bat the phones out of their hands. The band later tweeted “i have no problem breaking your iPhone 6 if you jump on stage and take a selfie while we are playing. please, give me something to break.” Obviously, their opinion is that it is bad gig etiquette to take selfies on stage, while the selfie takers were probably just a bit drunk and trying to have fun. Both had a right to do what they did – the selfie takers wanted to take selfies even though it would obviously annoy the band and it is obviously an assholic thing to do, so they did. The band didn’t like them doing it, so they swatted their phones away. No gig etiquette guide would have stopped the selfie takers from doing what they wanted to do – it’s an asshole thing to do, but they did it away, because they’re assholes. No guide on how to be nice to your fans’ possessions would have stopped FIDLAR from breaking the selfie takers’ phones.

Please, disagree with me. That’s the point. Do what you want to do at a gig, but accept that no list is going to help anyone whose first and foremost priority is having a good time, and the notion of imposing rules on a situation that was made to not have any is absurd. One thing I think we can all agree on is the etiquette of not groping girls (or guys) who crowdsurf. But then again, if you seriously need me to tell you that, you’re just an asshole.

Article by Amy Eskenazi

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LIZ-–-When-I-Rule-The-World-Video

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This Might Be The Worst Song of The Summer

Pop, Singer/Songwriter, Videos

5th August 2015

Well, I think it has finally been done. The most annoying song of the summer is here. No I’m not talking about OMI’s “Cheerleader” and I’m not talking about “Want To Want Me” by Jason Derulo. I’m talking about LIZ’s “When I Rule The World”.

For a song that is being regarded as “one of the summers most off-the-wall anthems”, I am baffled. To start the beat of the song sounds like something that came from a club scene in the first season of Jersey Shore. I’m also not sure if she is singing or rapping, whatever is going on there, LIZ has me incredibly confused and quite annoyed with whatever it is.

The lyrics are another thing that get to me with this song. I can support the female empowerment tone that I think LIZ was trying to capture but using a ‘dog collar round your neck’ and being ‘on your knees’ to ‘go scrub the deck’ was just a little too much for me and in the grand scheme of things, maybe even too much for the radio? I get where LIZ is coming from with these lyrics but man-oh-man I just cannot get on board with them. Also they become repetitive and when they’re in that strange rapping/singing voice, it makes it so much worse.

Although the song sends me into a small furry, I do have to give LIZ credit for the “When I Ruled The World” music video. It is a pretty funny homage to the 2000’s and as someone who’s childhood took place during those years I understand everything that is going on in this video. Everything from the Care Bears to the Y2K JLO-esque headband makes me want to give her a big high-five for doing the 2000’s their justice in this video, not to mention LIZ pulls off one hell of a Hillary Duff impression in this video as well.

This song is guilty of some serious fetish undertones, a confusing vocal style, and a beat worthy of only the Jersey Shore soundtrack, like I stated before it might just be the most annoying song to be released this summer. But, it does have a pretty great music video, now in true 2000’s style I would like to drop a Video On Trial verdict on this track. LIZ I sentence you please pick a vocal style, wear that insane blue jumpsuit in public for the rest of forever and keep on living in the 2000’s girl, you keep doing you.

Article by Emily D’Orazio

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pilots

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Concert Review: Twenty One Pilots Live in Singapore // ‘Blurryface Tour 2015′

Editors Choice, Pop, R&B/Hip-Hop, Rock

21st July 2015

I recently attended a Twenty One Pilots concert here in Singapore and below is my review.

But first, if you do not know who Twenty One Pilots are, here’s some background information. The band was formed in 2009 consisting of 2 members, Tyler Joseph and Joshua Dun. Before getting signed with Fueled By Ramen, they released 2 albums called ‘Twenty One Pilots’ and ‘Regional at Best’ in 2011. They then released their signed debut album ‘Vessel’ and most recently this year, ‘BlurryFace’. You can check out our review of ‘Blurryface’ here : ‘Blurryface’ Album review

A short while ago, Twenty One Pilots had their first show in Singapore and it was mind blowing. It consists of amazing lighting in conjunction with Tyler’s strong vocals and Josh drumming with all his might. Considering the fact that Tyler recently had a throat infection which caused them to cancel their show in Taiwan, they put on an amazing performance in Singapore.

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They started off the show with ‘Heavy Dirty Soul’ during which both Tyler and Josh were wearing masks. Once Tyler started rapping and Josh started drumming, the crowd went wild singing along to every word. They then moved on to ‘Stressed out’ followed by ‘Gun For Hands’ , ‘Migraine’ and ‘House Of Gold’.

Tyler came out in his trademark Kimono, Sunglasses, and his ukulele, and did a cover of ‘Bugatti’ by Ace Hood  and ‘All I Do Is Win’ by DJ Khaled before transitioning to ‘We don’t believe what’s on TV ‘, bringing us to the chorus of the song where Josh took out his trumpet accompanying Tyler with the lines ‘I don’t care what’s in your hair/ I just want to know what’s on your mind/I used to say, I want to die before I’m old / But because of you I might think twice.’  before returning back to his drums.

They moved on to ‘ The Judge’ and ‘Lane Boy’. I felt that ‘Lane Boy’ was one of the highlights of the show as, they had us all bend down before having us jump to the crazy lightings and fast beat of the music. It is a song that you would have to experience live yourself to understand. It was one of the craziest moments in the show where you could feel the ground shake.

Photo source : https://twitter.com/twentyonepilots

Photo source : https://twitter.com/twentyonepilots

Following after was ‘Fairly Local’ and ‘ Holding On To You’, which consists of Tyler climbing into the crowd singing the first part of the song. However, due to dangerous circumstances, Tyler went back onto the stage early as someone got hurt. But, even though all that happened, Tyler and Josh did a great job.

This brings us to the next song which made many fans in the crowd scream louder. ‘Fall Away’ is one of the songs from their very first album, ‘ Twenty One Pilots’. Many did not know the lyrics but they still brought energy and sang along to the parts where Tyler would go ‘ I don’t wanna fall, fall away / I don’t wanna fall, fall away / I’ll keep the lights on in this place / Cause I don’t wanna fall, fall away ‘ .

Tyler and Josh started on the next song which was a cover of Bob Marley’s ‘ No Woman, No Cry’ and transitioned to ‘Ride’ before continuing on with ‘ The Run And Go’, which were by the way, all amazing live. They then brought a fan up on stage to do their signature handshake, with her hands and neck painted in black ink, decked out with a red beanie and black from her neck down, she was dressed exactly how Tyler was in their ‘Tear In My Heart’ video. It was amazing to see such dedicated fans at their first ever show in Singapore.

They ended the set with ‘Tear in My Heart’ and ‘Car Radio’ before coming back on stage for an Encore, ending the concert with a bang, performing ‘Trees’. The song ‘Trees’ was absolutely spectacular live. Even though they were meant to play the drums on the crowd, Yes, on the crowd, they did not due to what happened during the song ‘Holding On To You’ earlier in the set. Instead, they placed both drums onto the piano and both Tyler and Josh got up to the piano to hit the drums.

Photo Source : https://twitter.com/twentyonepilots

Photo Source : https://twitter.com/twentyonepilots

Overall, the show was hands down one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. If you’re ever lucky enough to have Twenty One Pilots heading over to your country for a show, do not miss it. If I had another chance, I would for sure do it all over again.

Check out the tour dates here : BlurryFace Tour 

Article By : Cristal Faith Lim

 

 

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Photo from Diffuser.FM

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Opinion : Hippo Campus // Bashful Creatures

Editors Choice, Emerging Artists, Pop

11th June 2015

Hippo Campus, a band made out of four from Woodbury, Minnesota. The band started 2013 and has an EP released called ‘Bashful Creatures’

The EP consists of six songs:

  1. Sophie So
  2. Little Grace
  3. Souls
  4. Suicide Saturday
  5. Opportunistic
  6. Bashful Creatures

This EP might just have the perfect songs to be added into your summer playlists. All the songs have an upbeat tempo and really catchy tunes overall. Because I live in a country that is sunny all year round, every single playlist that I create has their music in it.

If you could, definitely check them out on their tour that is currently happening. You can check their tour dates out here : http://hippocampusband.com/shows Also, watch their live performance on Conan here! http://teamcoco.com/video/hippo-campus-03-24-15

My favorite song on this EP would definitely have to be ‘ Suicide Saturday ‘ and coincidentally , i actually play this song the most on Saturdays. I would have this EP on repeat for hours because the songs on it are just that addictive.

Keep a look out for them and their upcoming music, they are for sure one to watch.

Article By Cristal Faith Lim

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Haim - Glastonbury Festival 2013

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A Love Letter to Girl Bands: Making a Comeback In a Time of Fierce Feminism

Editors Choice, News, Rock, Videos

9th June 2015

Why is it that boy bands are always relevant, and always oh-so ever pervasively present?

Sure, in the 90’s there were the ultimate power girl groups with the likes of Destiny’s Child, TLC, and the Spice Girls. Today, we have groups like Little Mix and 5th Harmony being the female counterparts to the likes of One Direction and The Wanted (that is if they ever come off their hiatus, but that’s a whole other story). So despite not being on the same level as the original golden groups, it’s nice to see that these girl groups of the moment are using their musical fame for good. 5th Harmony is empowering women and girls with their outspoken feminism, and Little Mix’s Leigh-Anne has stated: “Girl power is what we’re about. It’s what we stand for as a group. We want to do everything we can to make women feel better about themselves.”

5th Harmony worked with Dosomething.org to create the #ImABoss campaign that encouraged fans to share with their friends what made them amazing, unique, or strong.

While I’m happy to see my fellow fab females asserting themselves in an attempt to shatter the gender gap that continues to barrage the music industry, I still have one burning question on my mind:

What about girl bands?

Firstly one must make the distinction between a ‘group’ and a band. Girl groups and boy bands are groups, and girl bands are actual bands. Allow me to clarify.

A ‘group’ is several artists that are all able to harmonize with one another. A band is when individuals come together to play instruments. So The Backstreet Boys, One Direction, (yes, I know they can play intruments but they’ve established themselves as a boy band) and The Supremes are all groups, because they rely primarily on their vocal abilities and are often backed by other people playing instruments. So for example, although 5 Seconds of Summer look like a boy band, they use their instruments not for show, but to produce music. In other words, they are simply – a band. Make sense?

My point is, while females as a whole in the music industry have had to overcome a myriad of struggles and still find themselves facing sexism and double standards, girl bands are particularly under-appreciated in terms of recognition.

Historically, there are not as many girl bands that have achieved the same level of success as girl groups, and in turn girl groups presently, do not make nearly as much as their boy band equivalents.

The point of this article is not to pit women against one another. It’s not girl groups versus girl bands. All females in the industry should be on the same side; making music and breaking the glass ceiling. While I respect girl groups, I think it’s time to share the love for girl bands and what they stand for too now that they’re making a comeback.

Thanks to the primarily to bands like Haim (as mentioned down below), a re-emergence of the girl-band is edging it’s way into music once again. Now that girl bands are on the rise, we can look forward to seeing more equality take shape within the world of music.

So here are some names to watch out for to remind us all: girls rock. These are some kick-ass all-female bands making waves. You should add them to your playlist immediately if you have yet to do so already:

Haim– In an interview with The Daily Beast, Este Haim rejected the girl band label explaining, “I just never understood, like, you would never call a band like The Killers a boy band. So why are we a girl band? You know? We’re a band.” This is eerily similar to singers like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood who refuse to call themselves feminists without actually understanding the meaning of the word.

But I’m awarding them the girl band label anyway. If anyone asked me who Haim was, I would tell them, “a band.” If asked to specify further, then I would add, “a pop-rock girl band.”

Why? Because girl band only refers to the fact that there are more females playing instruments. It’s intended to draw attention to the fact that they’re females, which is exactly why they should be proud to wear it. Being female does not negate their musical abilities in any way. If anything, it shows that they’ve had to overcome far more to get where they are. 

Girlpool– A punk-rock band from L.A. who released their debut album, Before the World Was Big, on June 2nd, 2015.

Dum Dum Girls– Probably my favourite on this list. They constantly toe the line between indie dream pop and rock with their hazy guitar melodies and it’s pretty great.

Sleater-Kinney– Stereogum said: “Sleater-Kinney’s self-titled debut turns 20 this year, and they are, without question, the best rock band to come along in the past two decades.” That’s all I have to say.

BOY- There’s nothing that this Swiss/German duo can’t do in my opinion. Their sophomore album drops later this year, and if it’s anywhere near as good as their stunning debut, ‘Mutual Friends’ then we are all in for a treat.

The days from The Bangles are long gone – and perhaps that’s a good thing; I never really did like their music.

But the type of girl power sparked from girl bands like The Runaways continues to live on in these female musicians. As music writer Evelyn McDonnell said when of writing a book about the band, “They did help pave the way for many bands up until this day, and they continue to inspire many women to pick up microphones, guitars, drumsticks, samplers or keyboards. I hope that they get taken more seriously and are given more attention.”

It’s safe to say girl bands are finally getting the attention they deserve.

Article by Natalie Harmsen

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Photo From : http://www.ducklights.com/spotlight-halsey/

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Opinion : HALSEY // Hold Me Down

Editors Choice, Emerging Artists, Singer/Songwriter

6th June 2015

Ashley Nicolette Frangipane, also known as Halsey recently released the studio version of ‘Hold Me Down’ on Youtube. The track is from her upcoming album ‘BADLANDS’ which she recently announced on her Twitter. ‘Hold Me Down’ has been a song that she has been performing live on her tours and a song that her fans including me have been loving and obsessed with.

Halsey sampled the song ‘Easy’ by Son Lux and built a new song on it called ‘Hold Me Down’. You can preorder Badlands on iTunes here if you are from the US  http://iamhalsey.com/badlands

The song features strong beats and with Halsey’s unique voice adding to the mix makes this song even more incredible than what it already is. I have this song on repeat every single day since it was released. If you have not heard the song, you need to check it out. This song might not be for everyone but Halsey has also released other songs before this on her ‘Room 93‘ EP, which you can listen to.

I can’t wait to hear more from her upcoming album, and to see more videos from her, featuring her luscious blue hair, and amazing voice.

Article By Cristal Faith Lim

 

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m5

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Opinion: Maroon 5’s Newest Single Is Just Plain Bad

Dance/Electronic, News, Pop, Rock, Videos

5th June 2015

Maroon 5 are back (and unfortunately not better than ever) with their newest single ‘This Summer’s Gonna Hurt Like a Motherf****r’.

All I can say is this summer really is gonna hurt like a motherf****r if I have to hear this song on the radio every single day:

 

As a band that’s made the leap from rock, to pop, to a machine that spews out top 40 bubblegum hits, it’s inevitable that this dance-y track will be everywhere in no time.

Where do I even begin with this song? First of all the title. You just know it’s going to be bad. The lyrics are hardly any better:”Her body’s hot / Her body’s like the summer”. I mean really? That’s the best simile you could come up with? Adam Levine, shame on you. This is a song coming from the same guy who wrote Grammy-winning hits like ‘Make Me Wonder’ that actually deserve the critical praise. I’m shaking my head with disappointment right now.

The song doesn’t even sound anything close to the Maroon 5 many have come to know. Is it even the same band that wrote ‘Songs About Jane’ and ‘Hands all Over’? Many fans who have loved them from the start (myself included) were less than thrilled when they became more and more pop influenced. I still listen to all their albums, and I didn’t dislike ‘V’ at all. Yes, it’s catchy and upbeat, and some of the songs like ‘Feelings’ and ‘It Was Always You’ are really retro and funky in the best way possible. I’m all for growth and progression, and I admire Maroon 5 for experimenting outside their pop-rock confines. However, just the same, it’s an easily forgettable record. Re-issuing ‘V’ with this song may help it become more memorable… only the memories will be a tad painful.

But that’s besides the point. I understand that the band needs a huge song to ride on the wave of success of ‘Sugar’. But did it really have to be this one?

Can you go to the Grammy awards and perform a song like this? Absolutely not.

Here’s hoping the band takes a step back and re-evaluates things. I love a good synth-pop song as much as the next person, but this single is less than stellar.

Article by Natalie Harmsen

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