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Musical McCool Season 3, Week 12 (Eat Your Young, How I'm Feeling Now, Song To Myself, & more)

Hey guys, welcome back to Musical McCool!

You know, when I made the decision to review the entire Hot 100 each week, I knew I would be talking about a lot more music week on week... but my GOD, it just doesn't let up! For our 3rd week in a row, we had over 10 new debuts...

The Top 10

... and this week we had 2 in the Top 10!

1. Flowers - Miley Cyrus [LW: #1 / WOC: 10]

2. Miracle - Calvin Harris (Ft. Ellie Goulding) [LW: #3 / WOC: 2]

3. Boy's A Liar Pt. 2 - PinkPantheress (Ft. Ice Spice) [LW: #2 / WOC: 13]

4. ceilings - Lizzy McAlpine [LW: #4 / WOC: 12]

5. Calm Down (Remix) - Rema (Ft. Selena Gomez) [LW: #6 / WOC: 30]

6. Die For You (Remix) - The Weeknd (Ft. Ariana Grande) [LW: #5 / WOC: 19]

7. Eat Your Young - Hozier [LW: - / WOC: 1]

8. Heaven - Niall Horan [LW: #7 / WOC: 5]

9. All Of The Girls You Loved Before - Taylor Swift [LW: - / WOC: 1]

10. People (Check On Me) - Libianca [LW: #18 / WOC: 11]

Yep, Hozier's back! And not only did Eat Your Young debut in the Top 10, but it beat out Taylor's All Of The Girls You Loved Before, take THAT, Swifties! As to which is better... well, we'll get to that a bit later. For now though, they weren't the only new arrivals to the Top 10, as after a LONG struggle with dips and stumbles along the way, People by Libianca officially cracked the Top 10. Gotta say, I'm delighted by this, the song was a real grower for me throughout January!

It's also worth noting the activity further up the Top 10. I mean sure, Flowers is still number 1 for now, but Miracle appears to be making a push for the top, rising to number 2 this week! Good, it's clearly the better song! Shame Die For You wasn't able to do it first, but it's still having a respectable run! Also, can we just talk about how fucking great this Top 10 is looking right now, DAMN! Still hate Calm Down though.

The Punished and the New

On the topic of multiple busy weeks in a row, ACR claimed a few more notable victims this week:

Players by Coi Leray - #8 -> #21

Sure Thing by Miguel - #9 -> #27

10:35 by Tiesto (Ft. Tate McRae) - #10 -> #29

Yep, all 3 were in the Top 10 just a week ago! Which means I'm not upset by this, after all, they all clearly had solid runs if they got to that level. THIS is why the Irish ACR system works, guys!

I'm less happy with Mother by Meghan Trainor rising up to 23 though... at least Nicki's Red Ruby Da Sleeze immediately collapsed down to 47 after its initial surge last week, that's a relief. Same story for Rhyme Dust by MK & Dom Dolla down at 53 and Bzrp Music Sessions Vol. 53 down to 73, but I have nothing against those songs. Also yay, brief resurgence for Lavender Haze back up to 67, however brief that may be.

But now, our many, MANY new arrivals, starting with the big one:

Title: Eat Your Young by Hozier

Position: #7

I don't know if I've ever mentioned this, but Hozier's self-titled debut album was actually the first physical CD I can ever remember buying. It's definitely one of the best of the 2010s, and it's meant that I've kept up with every single, soundtrack cut, and project he's been involved in since. But this... this might be the quickest I've loved a Hozier song in nearly a decade!

The mesmerising melody, the surprisingly incredible falsetto, one of the stickiest hooks of his career, along with a return to his gothic alt-rock roots with touches of gospel and soul that MADE that debut album! But it's really the vocal production that takes the cake, with the multitracking and the layering working so goddamn effectively! And then there's the lyrics, which are a capitalist wet dream, detailing all the ways you can make more profit at the expense of your own children, leaving them in a broken economy with no real hope of stability. Topical!

It's a timely yet also timeless subject, contains several references to Dante's motherfucking Inferno, and again, has one of his catchiest hooks EVER! In other words, it's the kind of song that feels like it was designed to appeal to me, and sure enough, it sets off all the lights in my brain that made me feel joy and happiness. This song is awesome, one of the best I've seen hit the charts this year!

Title: All Of The Girls You Loved Before by Taylor Swift

Position: #9

So unsurprisingly, the Taylor Swift machine isn't about to slow down just because Anti-Hero is still dominating the airwaves worldwide. And because of this, once again, we're getting more unreleased bonus tracks, this time from Taylor's most forgettable album, Lover. The title track and Paper Rings slap, The Archer is overrated, and the rest range from mediocre to awful, deal with it!

But all that being said, how's the new song? Well, it's pretty enough, I suppose, with the dreamy keys, cavernous reverb, and the slow, almost waltzing pace. And it's about all the ways that this guy's former relationships made him the man he is today, the man she loves more than any of those other girls ever did. And... I don't know, it's cute, but also weirdly defensive with that final line on the hook. It almost sounded like you were praising those women for a moment, Taylor, would have been nice to finish that train of thought!

But for what it is, this is fine. It's been done better by other artists and frankly, she could have taken the idea to more interesting places. But it was unreleased for a reason, and it's sweet enough now it's here. I just wish it was more memorable, that's all.

Title: How I'm Feeling Now by Lewis Capaldi

Position: #24

I wasn't sure how to feel about this song at first. Capaldi seems to be taking his sound in a better direction, bringing in different production elements for a song like Forget Me, along with self-aware writing and real hooks, whereas this seemed like a tread back in the direction of his older material, kind of the way Pointless was.

The writing is still pretty great - I mean the fact that the opening lines of this song include the word "obtuse" and use it correctly is deserving of props all on its own - but the message is really good too. He's riddled with insecurity and stuck overthinking his life, which may seem perfect to some, but leaves him feeling unsatisfied. He has this feeling that he should be happier than he is, but he's stuck living in the past. Relatable, but I wasn't sure how well the hook would stick, and the acoustic production felt like a half-step back.

And yet, as I sat down to write about this properly, I ended up throwing away half of my material. Because not only does that hook really stick with you, not only is the production a fair bit more layered than I thought at first - particularly in the subtle multitracking - but I've come to LOVE the writing! Because despite the admission that he's a complete mess of a human being, the bridge and final hook show him trying to move forwards and learn to develop his own sense of self. It's hopeful, inspiring, and has a surprising amount of resonance. Nice job man, this might grow to become my new favourite from your discography!

Title: All Things End by Hozier

Position: #30

All things end, Dante, even us. ... Sorry, had to throw that in there somewhere!

The second song on this new Hozier EP, this one about a relationship that is not working out for all the right reasons, and the common sense in giving up and walking away, and how that's kind of okay. It's owning the fact that they got into this with the best of intentions, but sometimes things change, and that's okay. But of course, this is Hozier, so by the end of the hook, they get back together to start the whole messy cycle from the start!

See, the song isn't just about handling love and relationships maturely, it's about how we fall in love DESPITE the fact that things may end. After all, if you go through life without getting your heart broken, chances are you're not really living. And just because all things end, doesn't mean new beginnings don't come up just as frequently. Of course, the writing's incredibly nuanced and clever, the low-key production is utterly gorgeous, and that falsetto works almost as well as it did on Eat Your Young! Also, that key change after that flurry of strings on the bridge, SO fucking potent!

Of course, his kind of song has been done before, but the writing and overall presentation are so good that I can't help but get sucked in by this. I may personally prefer the title track, but if somebody told me that this was their favorite off the EP, I would understand, it's pretty damn great!

Title: Song To Myself by Picture This

Position: #31

Okay, keeping up the streak of Irish artists on the Irish charts, nice! Next up we have the newest single from Kildare stars Picture This, and this one definitely showcases a different sound, while still clearly relying on their 80s influences. Compared to their last hit, this is more low-key and atmospheric, with its low, warbling synth line and quiet guitars that you might play in your car on a long drive home at night, when you're left with your own thoughts and thinking about all the mistakes you've ever made.

And that's kind of what this song is. It's all about how, as you grow older, you come to learn about your own insecurities and shortcomings. And while it may be hard, terrifying even, this song is an encouragement not to get in your own way, to become someone your younger self would be proud of. It may seem basic, but anyone around my age or a bit younger can easily connect with this, and I like that frontman Ryan Hennesy wrote this in a way that can sound pretty corny, but shows that he's clearly singing this from a genuine place. After all, he really is singing this more for himself than for any of us.

As someone who has been (and occasionally still is) on that emotional journey of self-acceptance, I really support this type of song, and I do like it. At the very least, it's more dignified and inspiring than Get On My Love.

Title: Through Me (The Flood) by Hozier

Position: #40

The last song on the EP, and from what I can tell, the only one that isn't likely to make that future album. It's a song Hozier wrote during the pandemic, seeing the strength of the world coming together in a time of crisis and how it in turn gave him the strength to endure those difficult years.

Again, it's a song that would feel a bit gimmicky if it weren't so fucking colourful. Hozier is such a masterful lyricist, and the grandiose instrumentation builds to this gospel-backed final climax that calls back to his last album. It's arguably the most typically Hozier song here, and arguably the worst of the bunch, but that's only by default, it's still damn sweet!

I honestly can't wait for this upcoming album, because if these songs are an accurate taster of what we're in for, it's going to be fucking SICK!

Title: 5 Leaf Clover by Luke Combs

Position: #43

Yup, Luke Combs just keeps coming back, and I'm not about to complain. Because his output in 2023 has been pretty damn consistent, to the point where his new album is far and away his best. That being said, this song is probably one of the more basic and straightforward ones he released in the lead-up to it.

But that's kind of the point; it's more personal to his own experience, a self-aware speculation on his own life and success up to this point, where he reflects on all the blessings he has that make him feel so damn lucky. And what I like about it is that he kind of questions that luck, wondering why he, of all people, someone who would have been happy with some happiness, is blessed with so much. And sure, I can definitely see that pissing off a certain crowd of bitter people who are jealous of his success, but unlike when, say, someone like Justin Bieber does this, it feels like it's coming from a place of honesty and humility. And I think a lot of that comes from his warm and experienced voice; he sounds like someone who's worked hard to get to where he is today, which is backed up by his overall sound and appearance.

There are better songs on the album, but the personal details and warm production, especially in that fiddle on the tail end of the chorus, really elevated this in my eyes. Another winner, happy to see it here!

Title: Baby again.. by Fred Again.., Skrillex & Four Tet

Position: #44

Okay, on a week that has been remarkably great so far, this is the first song that I don't hate, but leaves me with some questions.

For one thing, of all the songs to sample, why this one?! Why the collaboration between Lil Baby and DaBaby, which at best should be forgotten as a bad marketing idea, and at worst serves as a spotlight for that asshole DaBaby. But apart from that song just not being any good, this remix also isn't particularly creative. Sure, it's dynamic enough, it evolves over the course of its runtime, but there's nothing that keeps me hooked, that unique Fred again.. factor just feels like it's missing.

Not bad, I wouldn't even say that, by the standards of this type music, I'd call this boring. It just feels anonymous, I expected better.

Title: Christmas Kids by Roar

Position: #45

What the fuck, TikTok? Don't get me wrong. There have been some strange, downright odd TikTok sounds that charted this year, but this one is just SO out of left field that I'm honestly kind of stunned.

For those who don't know (which I'm guessing is all of you), Roar is an art pop project from the United States that last released an album in 2021. As far as I can tell, they're still going strong, but there was nothing to specifically indicate that they were going to make a comeback of any sort. And yet, this song from their 2010 EP went viral on TikTok, a commentary on Phil fucking Spector's repeated abuse of Ronnie Bennett during and after their divorce, from the perspective of the convicted felon. It's a really ominous, threatening song, with multiple passages that feel like they were strung together by a madman in his prison cell... fitting! And yet, it also kind of works?

It sounds like if Picture This were handed production by Kyle Croft, and the glam rock elements are incorporated remarkably well with the modern alternative rock... "modern" by 2010 standards, of course. Again, a bizarre little track, but of the songs in this vein that have charted thanks to TikTok, this is probably the one I've liked the most. Another critic bait-y song, just not one I think was ever intended to cross over.

Title: Set Me Free Pt.2 by Jimin

Position: #46

Okay, so BTS is on hiatus. I honestly didn't realize that till today, but that's apparently the reason why so many of their solo members are releasing music on their own now, since one of their members was drafted to the military. Probably one of the better reasons I've heard for a band hiatus, fair enough. Now, I don't pretend that I'm an expert in all things BTS, but I believe Jimin is supposed to be the hottest one? ... I'm very out-of-touch when it comes to modern boy bands, you guys. But what shocked me about this wasn't its huge popularity, but that it's kind of awful.

No, really, the melodramatic production is way too fucking up itself, as those swampy horns and throbbing bass completely drown out Jimin's nasal, whinging vocals that make him sound like a mumble rapper from the late 2010s. And yes, I'm well aware that he's speaking in a mix of English and Korean, but he seems to be mumbling both, his falsetto is grating, and the whole theme of being a butterfly that is now set free feels weirdly out of place in a mix that feels this leaden. I know it's supposed to be epic and evoke this grandiose feeling of freedom, but not a single part of me feels liberated by this, it just feels like I'm being held hostage for over three minutes.

So yeah, this is the first song this week that I've actually kind of hated. And I'm aware that puts my life in danger. Help?

Title: DEATH by Melanie Martinez

Position: #66

I'm not a Melanie Martinez fan... like, AT ALL! When she started making waves and growing in popularity, I immediately got turned off by her sound and overall aesthetic. And my dislike for her frequent collaborator and ex, Oliver Tree, didn't help either.

That being said, she's grown since then, as have I. And so, I can admit that there's something pretty potent about this song. The transition from those classical strings to that lockstep, bass-heavy beat with blasts of fuzzy distortion would have had me running for the hills once upon a time. Now though, I find it genuinely well-executed, a comeback mirrored by those lyrics about being back from the dead. So yeah, I was prepared to like this... then I found out about Timothy Heller. Look, I haven't been paying attention to Melanie since 2015, I REALLY didn't like Cry Baby. So turns out there's a sexual assault accusation from a former best friend of hers who alleged that she assaulted her without consent... to which the fanbase promptly responded by bullying her into silence... and that really adds unfortunate colour to lyrics like "I don't wanna be carrying the weight on my shoulders" ... Oh, for fuck's sake!

Look, since nothing has been confirmed, I can't say the song makes me feel angry at Melanie Martinez, but it does make it a LOT harder to listen to. Not a bad song, but I can't see myself going back to it.

Title: Dirty Old Town by The Pogues

Position: #83

Happy Paddy's Day guys, albeit a week late!

And that's how Irish staples The Pogues got their charting song in YEARS onto the Hot 100 -with the obvious exception of Fairytale Of New York - nearly 40 years after its initial release! And yeah, it's pretty special!

The gorgeous harmonica that opens it up, the wonderful folk melody, the pipes that come in and DOMINATE after the second refrain, and the lyrics about the day-to-day life of a man living in the grimy dirty city, with all the imagery you'd expect. Funny thing though, this song was originally written in ENGLAND, back in 1949, for a transition scene during some old play in Lancashire.

That being said, with a couple of subtle lyrical changes, the versions of this song people tend to remember were recorded by Irish acts like The Pogues and The Dubliners, so if that's the revisionist history we're going ahead with, so be it. I mean let's be honest, it's not like the English aren't guilty of stealing and appropriating Irish culture, so fair's fair.

Title: Look At Us Now (Honeycomb) by Daisy Jones & The Six

Position: #89

Okay, so you're gonna have to follow me on this... Daisy Jones & The Six is a novel that was apparently inspired by the rise, fall and eventual breakup of Fleetwood Mac in the late 70s. This best-selling book was then turned into a drama series that is set to release on Amazon Prime, the trailer of which just dropped, in tandem with a full soundtrack album AURORA, that was recorded by the cast and co-written by a bunch of different people, including Phoebe Bridgers and Marcus Mumford! As you might expect, the sound of this album is heavily inspired by Fleetwood Mac, with the 2 main cast members recording most of the vocals and most of the instrumentation mirroring a lot of what you might expect from Rumors, Fleetwood's best album.

Got all that? Right, this song is a pretty obvious breakup track where these two tried to make it work for ages, but it's just falling apart no matter what they try. And... it's okay? The instrumentation is genuinely pretty great, with moments that remind me of the band they're trying to emulate. But it's still a fictional band in a fictional series, and the stakes just aren't there. The writing is shockingly sparse, and despite the 5+ minutes it takes to wrap up, remarkably little is actually said.

It's not bad, I wouldn't even say it sounds soulless or empty like you might expect. It just feels like a rather pale facsimile that doesn't have the talent or especially the production instincts to achieve what it wants to. Maybe the rest of the album is better, but this doesn't leave much of an impression on me. Fleetwood Mac's Dreams returned at 97 this week for the same reasons, just listen to that instead.

Title: Giving Me by Jazzy

Position: #100

So I was gearing up to review this on Instagram... but it's probably easier to just cover it here instead, less of a headache. Most of my readers will recognize Jazzy from Make Me Feel Good with Belters Only, the biggest and worst song of last year, along with Don't Stop Just Yet, their collaboration hit which wasn't much better. And look, I don't know how much Jazzy knows about the blatant theft behind Make Me Feel Good... but considering her partner and Bisset are apparently close friends, I have to imagine she's somewhat aware and complicit.

That being said, this is her first foray into solo music... and wow, did Beters Only produce this too? Because this sounds JUST like what she was making last year. What's the point of going solo if you're not going to try something new, carve out a new identity? By those lowered standards though, this is just forgettable. Jazzy's voice isn't that interesting, she sounds checked-out on the chorus, and the entire song is so repetitive and generic in a boring, modern club way, that it comes and goes without leaving much of an impression.

In other words, it's bad... but I'm sorry, Worst of the week is still going to Set Me Free Pt.2 by Jimin, please don't come after me! As for the Best, this was a great week with a lot of competition, but I have to give it to Eat Your Young by Hozier, it's far too awesome for me to deny!

National Treasures

By some small miracle, this week was a pretty quiet one for the Homegrown charts!

1. Eat Your Young - Hozier [LW: - / WOC: 1]

2. Heaven - Niall Horan [LW: #1 / WOC: 5]

3. Song To Myself - Picture This [LW: - / WOC: 1]

4. Giving Me - Jazzy [LW: #4 / WOC: 2]

5. My Mind - Belters Only [LW: #2 / WOC: 3]

6. Innocence And Sadness - Dermot Kennedy [LW: #3 / WOC: 3]

7. Walk On (Ukraine) - U2 [LW: - / WOC: 1]

8. YOU - LYRA [LW: #6 / WOC: 2]

9. Full of The Blade - Marty Mone [LW: #5 / WOC: 3]

10. I Left My Heart - Lucy Blue [LW: #7 / WOC: 2]

In fairness, the main reason this week is so easy for me is that I've already covered 2 of the 3 new entries. Also, as much as I love Niall, Eat Your Young is SO much better of a number 1!

Anyway, for my thoughts on the one remaining song here and much more, check out my video series National Treasures over on Instagram, go follow me there @thesocialtune to hear my full thoughts. And if you want a sneak peek at what hit the chart this week:

Title: Walk On (Ukraine) by U2

Position: #7

Again, for my thoughts on these songs and more, simply head over to my Instagram @thesocialtune, where I will be reviewing EVERY SONG that hits the Homegrown Top 20 over the course of 2023! I'm hoping to get caught up by the midyear, fingers crossed!

As always, let me know in the Comments what you thought of the songs covered this week, and leave a Like if you enjoyed! Please make sure to follow me everywhere so you don't miss a thing, and Subscribe to the blog to keep up with my weekly chart reflections. Stay safe and happy everyone and until the next time, I'm Fionn and this is The Social Tune signing off!


Nice commentary, as always. although I will say the referencing the pandemic in past tense does bug me, considering its ongoing, but otherwise, great stuff


Mar 29, 2023

About the #100 song, turns out that is exactly correct:

The Social Tune
The Social Tune
Mar 29, 2023
Replying to

God fucking dammit...


Jeremy U's ReevU
Jeremy U's ReevU
Mar 28, 2023

Yeah, I agree with you on Set Me Free Pt 2. It does not work at all.

Also, I don't hate Melanie Martinez as much as you do, but JESUS I did not know about that sexual assault accusation. Wow!

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