Musical McCool Season 3, Week 19 (Curtains, Area Codes, Satellite, and more)
Hey guys, welcome back to Musical McCool!
Sorry about the delay on this one; I've been caught up between editing a new video and life suddenly imploding on me. Don't worry, I sorted things out, but things were a little crazy last week, thank you for your patience! Thankfully, the charts this week were significantly calmer, with Ed Sheeran's new album - (Subtract) not having nearly the same meteoric impact as = (equals) did a couple of years ago.
The Top 10
For one, the new songs didn't even impact the Top 10.
1. Miracle - Calvin Harris (Ft. Ellie Goulding) [LW: #1 / WOC: 9]
2. Giving Me - Jazzy [LW: #2 / WOC: 8]
3. Daylight - David Kushner [LW: #3 / WOC: 4]
4. Eyes Closed - Ed Sheeran [LW: #9 / WOC: 7]
5. People (Check On Me) - Libianca [LW: #5 / WOC: 18]
6. Wish You The Best - Lewis Capaldi [LW: #4 / WOC: 4]
7. Kill Bill (Remix) - SZA (Ft. Doja Cat) [LW: #6 / WOC: 22]
8. Last Night - Morgan Wallen [LW: #8 / WOC: 14]
9. Heaven - Niall Horan [LW: #7 / WOC: 12]
10. Flowers - Miley Cyrus [LW: #11 / WOC: 17]
Yep, all that happened was Eyes Closed rising back up to number 4, dashing all my hopes that it could possibly hold Giving Me at bay from the number 1. By some mirac- by sheer chance though, Miracle by Clavin Harris & Ellie Goulding is still holding strong at number 1, although how much longer is anybody's guess. And near the bottom of the charts, Flowers shouldered its way back into the Top 10 again... what else is new?
The Punished and the New
FOr our one and only ACR victim this week, this one may surprise you... because I guarantee most of you forgot it existed:
Red Flags by Mimi Webb - #24 -> #92
So yes, big surprise, the big Mimi Webb hit of the year hasn't left the Top 30 all year, sticking around the #20 mark for weeks. I will admit it's grown on me a bit since I first reviewed it, but I'm not going to pretend I'll miss its perpetual radio play around here.
Thankfully for my sanity, there's not much to cover on the rest of the Hot 100... well, apart from Bruce Springsteen touring. This enabled Dancing In The Dark, I'm On Fire and Born To Run to return to the charts for a week... can't say I'd call any but the last one an all-time favourite for me (where's Glory Days or Born In the USA?!), but I'm still glad to see all of these here. Oh, and also Eurovision's initial impact, which is why Loreen's Tattoo returned at 45... more on that NEXT week.
And with that, let's dive straight into our new arrivals, starting things off with a bang:
Title: Curtains by Ed Sheeran
You all know that I'm an equals apologist, even going on record to proclaim my love of Bad Habits and Shivers, and naming Overpass Grafitti, Visiting Hours and 2step some of the best songs in his catalog! So while Subtract is definitely a more acquired taste, which took me a few listens to get into, I know that I think it's his best album since x (Multiply), and that currently, this song is my personal favourite on the album.
I'm not kidding, I fucking LOVE this song! The rougher guitar, the frenetic lyrics, and one of the best pre-chorus build-ups and hooks that Ed has EVER had! Compared to the other 2 singles currently on the charts, this one is so far above them it's a little comical, especially when it comes to the songwriting. You all know I love some existential dread, especially through Ed's dorky but very human lens, but when it's juxtaposed with a defiantly positive hook, that hope is going to pull me back every time!
It's not just blind optimism either, he's very clear that it takes effort, work, and help from his loved ones to see that sunshine. But he knows that it's ultimately the best path he can take, both for himself and his family. And on an album that feels SO conflicted, where even the positive ending feels pretty half-hearted, this song is the apex of the project, the moment where the clouds clear for just a moment, and Ed Sheeran soars. Great fucking song, easily his best since Overpass Grafitti in my opinion.
Title: Area Codes by Kali
So despite multiple people calling her an Ice Spice rip-off on Twitter, I've actually been aware of Kali for a while, an Atlanta rapper who blew up last year and ended up on the Double XL Freshmen List. And while I haven't been particularly impressed with anything I've heard from her, she has more charisma than Ice Spice, certainly has a more interesting delivery!
Which brings us to this new song, which interpolates Ludacris' 2001 song of the same name, only switching the genders and making it less sexual. Instead, the hos she's hitting up are various sugar daddies funding her day-to-day wants and needs... and it's actually pretty good. The flows are really solid, I like the punchlines, and even the attitude seems less dismissive and more grateful to each and every one of her boy-toys. What I don't like is the production, which is incredibly minimalist at best, and practically nonexistent at worst.
If this had more melody to it, Hell, any kind of instrumental, maybe it would be a bit better... but then again, maybe just adding elements would ruin the obvious TikTok appeal. So I guess it's achieving what it's setting out to do, and quite well at that; I just wish it were a bit more ambitious.
Title: Satellite by Harry Styles
Look, I can somewhat see the appeal of this as a single. It's quite catchy, the synth definitely give the song that spacey feeling you want, as do the reverberating backing vocals, ensuring that orbiting feeling, while Harry's voice and lyrics ground the mix in the reality, that being that this is likely about a relationship he can't move on from.
And I'll admit, when the percussion kicks in on the hook after the slow "round and round, satellite", it's a great moment on Harry's House, and the way the song then builds up to this huge climax, while it's messy and a little shrill in spots, it is fittingly overwhelming and huge-sounding... but why did he have to add those weird pitched vocals throughout the song?!
They show up once -pitched down - after the first chorus, then again throughout the climax - pitched up to the point where they sound like dog whistles - and those couple of seconds kind of ruin the whole song for me.
I don't know why those little touches annoy me so much, but it was one of the main reasons I found Harry's House so hard to revisit outside of a few great songs. So yeah, while this is the obvious choice of single, I'd have much preferred Matilda or Little Freak, just saying.
Title: MATHEMATICAL DISRESPECT by Lil Mabu
So I'd never heard of this kid, and I like to think I keep up with indie rap pretty well. Turns out there's a pretty good reason for that; because Lil Mabu is an independent rapper the same way Elon Musk is a self-made man. Apparently, he's a rich kid who likes to rap like he's an independent street rapper, which is insulting on a number levels. It also doesn't help that he sounds more like your average YouTube rapper, with some of the cringiest lines I've heard all year!
Not only does he call out the police, followed by a plea to leave him alone because he's an innocent tweep who cuddles a teddy bear (... what the actual fuck?), but he then proceeds to brag about how much better he is than all the other indie rappers - you know, the ones that are ACTUALLY struggling - then talks about the various girls he's sleeping with, in the most dehumanising and ugly way possible... and keep in mind, I covered Calendar by Nines last week! He says she and her friend are both 5s, which doesn't make a 10, then says she's shaped like a hen (whatever the Hell that means), insults her fucking make-up, and finally compares her bad head game to "Virgil, cause the way she be blowing shit got me dead"... and that's about when I paused the song to stare at a wall for a solid minute. Because if this kid is not only successful, but can get away with saying disrespectful shit like that, what the fuck are we even doing as a society?
It continues after that though... he makes a stupid joke about how she likes purple, so he "blue" her back out when he left her on "red"... which he then STOPS THE FUCKING SONG TO EXPLAIN TO YOU!!! I fucking can't with this clown, FUCK this guy! This is everything I was expecting from Twust a couple of weeks back, yet somehow SO much worse! And while it goes without saying that I never want to hear this idiot on the charts ever again, I'm also somewhat worried that Virgil line is going to get him shot... I'm not kidding kid, maybe lie low for a while.
Title: Keep Dat by iCandy
In case t wasn't clear, I'm not on TikTok. But I've learned not to dismiss or make fun of it, especially with how much successful music has come out of it... not I didn't say "good" music, though there's a bit of that too. Anyway, this new iCandy song was released back in November of last year, becoming the Florida rapper's break-out hit, as it's recently gone viral on the aforementioned platform.
And look, I can see the appeal of this song; the KC and the Sunshine Band sample is bright and inviting, iCandy has a really animated and fun delivery, and the theme of "fuck my ex, keep him" is relatable to many MANY people. Like the OTHER rap song this week that interpolates a well-known song though, it kind of leaves me wanting more. The song is barely over 2 minutes long, and while there are 2 verses, they fly by so quickly and flow into the chorus so well that it makes the song feel even shorter than it should... which sounds like a compliment (and it is), but I do think it could have been fleshed out more. It also doesn't help that the sample is quite distracting - lending to my previous point that Kali's minimalism was likely inteional - and especially when the last 30 seconds of the song are JUST the instrumental. In other words, not a bad song at all, and there's a lot of talent on display, but I ultimately do think I prefer Area Codes by Kali to this.
Not that it matters much though, because Best of the week is easily going to Curtains by Ed Sheeran, I really hope this sticks around and becomes a full-fledged hit! And Worst of the week is obviously MATHEMATICAL DISRESPECT by Lil Mabu, a song that lives up to its title and then just keeps going WAY too far, FUCK this kid!
And unfortunately, with how busy I've been, the Homegrown charts decided to remind me that they still exist and need to be covered!
1. Giving Me - Jazzy [LW: #1 / WOC: 9]
2. Heaven - Niall Horan [LW: #2 / WOC: 12]
3. Eat Your Young - Hozier [LW: #3 / WOC: 8]
4. Part Of Me - Cian Ducrot [LW: #4 / WOC: 6]
5. My Mind - Belters Only [LW: #5 / WOC: 10]
6. Innocence And Sadness - Dermot Kennedy [LW: #6 / WOC: 10]
7. Song To Myself - Picture This [LW: #7 / WOC: 8]
8. Fairlies - Grian Chatten [LW: - / WOC: 1]
9. Hurt Like Hell - Aimée [LW: #13 / WOC: 12]
10. Full of The Blade - Marty Mone [LW: #10 / WOC: 10]
That's right, the frontman of Fontaines DC has his first Top 10 debut on the Homegrown Charts... what this spells for the band's future should be interesting to witness.
For more of my thoughts on this and the other new songs, 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:
Title: Fairlies by Grian Chatten
Title: Ruin by Moncrieff
Title: Crash And Burn by 49th & Main
Again, 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! As soon as I finish the new long-form vdeo, I'm going to film and produce a bunch of these, I swear!
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!