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Musical McCool - Week 14 (April 2, 2021)

Hi guys, welcome back to The Social Tune! My name is Fionn, and welcome back to a brand new edition of Musical McCool!

I can't catch a break, can I...? After 2 weeks of new number 1s in a row, now we have a third one, and it's arguably the biggest one yet! And while there were several surprises this week, including a particularly noteworthy one on the Homegrown front, we still have to address the elephant in the room first.

The Top 10

Yup, the big story this week is the triumphant return of Lil Nas X!

That's right, MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name) by Lil Nas X topped the charts by debuting at number 1. And as I said, compared to other recent conquerors, I can see this lasting a good while, considering nothing is coming close to it in streaming or sales, and even the radio has started to pick up earlier than usual here! And based on the quality of the song in question... well, we'll get to it.

Unsurprisingly, it blew right past Peaches by Justin Bieber, Daniel Caesar and Giveon. dropping down to number 2 even sooner than I predicted.

It'll be interesting to see how well it fairs against the monster that is Bed by Joel Carry, RAYE and David Guetta, which held on to its spot at number 3 and is currently being beaten out in streaming, but only barely, and its radio is more than enough to make it a strong contender.

All of this is more evidence that The Business by Tiësto finally seems to be reaching the end of its tether, as it exits the top 3 for the first time since December of last year, down to number 4.

Surprisingly, the same is true of Friday by Riton, Nightcrawlers and Mufasa, falling back to number 5. Yes, it's still big, but just not as big as the songs above it right now.

This brings us to Heat Waves by Glass Animals, reaching a new peak at number 6 as it continues to grow. Still on the fence about how much I really like this, but as of now I'm still not complaining.

Which brings us to the surprising drop-off for Save Your Tears by The Weeknd, which fell to number 7. Keep an eye on this one over the next week or 2, it's in a surprisingly precarious position all of a sudden with the recent radio competition.

Next is Your Love (9 PM) by ATB, Topic & A7S, recovering to number 8 as expected.

And Wellerman Remix by Nathan Evans, 220 Kid & Billen Ted falling back to number 9 is no surprise either. Honestly kinda shocked it's still in the top 10.

Lastly, we have the inevitable breakthrough of Up by Cardi B. She may not be the force of nature that she is in the US, but this song bided its time and finally gained just enough traction to crack the top 10.

Top 50: The Punished and the New

For the second week in a row, we don't appear to have any movers to ACR! In fact, this was kind of a quiet week in general, movement-wise.

For the notable losers, we saw the long-awaited exit of GOOSEBUMPS by HVME from the top 10, as it's now at number 12, as well as Calling My Phone by Lil Tjay and 6LACK from the top 20 at number 22. We also marked the welcome exit of As I Am by Bieber and Khalid NOT catching traction and instead falling to 24, as well as the continued losses for Patience by KSI, YUNGBLUD and Polo G (number 29), Giants by Dermot Kennedy (number 37) and What's Next by Drake at 43. Sadly this also marks the end(?) of Things Are Different by Picture this, dropping to 38, but it still had a better run than I think anyone predicted, I'm happy about that!

And we also had some interesting winners this week too: Little Bit of Love by Tom Grennan rose to 33, which... maybe "interesting" wasn't the right word there. But hey, we also saw Giveon's Heartbreak Anniversary rise to 40, so I'd call that a net positive.

Other than that, all minor shifts, along with the return of Tate McRae's You Broke Me First at 50... so there was that, as well as Best Friend by Saweetie and Doja at 45; better. Plus a bunch of FAR more interesting new entries And believe it or not, this first one isn't even the one I'm most excited for:

Title: MONTERO (Call Me By Your name) by Lil Nas X

Position: #1

Oh this is exactly what I was hoping for! I've said before that Lil Nas X didn't convince me of his longevity till Panini dropped and blew me away. Great use of vocal effects, excellent production instincts and a hook just as infectious as Old Town Road, if not even more so! However, since then, I will admit I've been waiting for the next big spark. Sure, there was the infectious Holiday, but it was more really good than spectacular... and then came this!

Make no mistakes, this is AWESOME! Even aside from the seamless blending of trap elements with Latin pop and flamenco, what really struck me and most of the world were the much more aggressive delivery and lyrics. Essentially, it's steamy love song directed as a guy who's blown him off his feet, a bad boy steeped in drugs and darkness, which only makes him more attractive. Fairly straightforward, but it's delivered with the confidence and swagger of the best of them, paired with fantastic vocal layering, subtle violin touches, and a ton of quotable lyrics! It remind me of The Box or WAP from last year, a song with a simple enough premise, but with so much goddamn personality to it that it becomes an instant staple. And yeah, I haven' been able to stop playing it since it dropped. This is it, the final proof I needed to get completely sold on Lil Nas X. The Christmas song came close, but this shows him willing to push his sound in all new directions, carving out his own niche in music and extending his career beyond its 1-hit-wonder phase. And as someone who was all but certain he was going to go away after that first big one 2 years ago, I am delighted to be proved wrong!

Title: Good Without by Mimi Webb

Position: #17

There's a part of me that was initially just ready to dismiss this at just another TikTok star that got lucky out of nowhere. However, that's not quite the story here. For one, Mimi Webb actually blew up on TikTok LAST year when her song Before I Go appeared in 2 Charli D’Amelio, and previously to that had already signed a deal with Sony Music. So no, she isn't quite as "organic", but I still don't think that diminishes her luck in getting this to chart so high.

And this is the type of song I expect to see more and more this year, following the success of drivers license. An above average post-breakup song by a young female singer, reflecting on a previous lover who found someone new and yet she still feels a certain way and my GOD is it teenage! Maybe it's just because I'm a bit older now, but this type of song just screams high-school to me, and after seeing so many of them in similar veins with similar echoing production, I guess I'm just kinda over it. Even though this isn't bad by any means, far from it!

Mimi Webb is a good singer, whose voice may need a bit of time to mature, but still works well for the subject at hand. And I'll also say the writing's pretty good, with descriptive and vivid imagery and even a slightly different message: she's analysed how love makes her feel, and she decides that she's good without. Ok, it's by no means the first song to come to this conclusion, but at least she doesn't just act catty or stew in vindictiveness. She simply acknowledges, albeit melodramatically, that one of them was much more invested from the start than the other; that happens.

Again, pretty good for what it is, it just doesn't particularly grab me at this point. Just a case where I can instantly point to a number of much more interesting examples that I've covered in previous weeks... speaking of which:

Title: Body by Russ Millions & Tion Wayne

Position: #20

Oh man... I wanted to like this more than I do. Ok, Russ Millions may be known for 2018's Gun Lean and not much else, but that song still marked the first time a UK drill song cracked the Top 10! And I genuinely like Tion Wayne, he's got a good voice and flow which has lead him to collaborate with KSI, Stormzy, and yes, Russ again on Keisha & Becky back in 2019. No to ways about it though, this is pretty bland.

I find that what makes a good drill song is at least one fun production quirk to the beat, some fun flows from some charismatic performers, ideally with some great bars as a bonus, and at that point I don't even care about the lyrics. Here, they get some of that right: Tion and Russ have some good trade-off bars, even if I do think Tion outshines him on the whole on pure delivery, but the production just doesn't evolve much beyond occasionally adding in a single guitar pluck here and there, which makes the entire song feel a bit flat. on top of that, I just don't care for the hook; I mean am i supposed to assume these girls are shaped like Cola bottles... that sounds unhealthy.

So yeah, not to interesting, not too much to really say... which suits me just fine, because now we finally get to:

Title: I Don't Really Care For You by CMAT

Position: #34

Wow... I certainly wasn't expecting this! I'm going to abbreviate this a little, because I actually already covered this song a few weeks ago during the National Treasures segment (Week 10 - March 5, 2021), and while I praised it highly at the time, I had no idea it would ever get big enough to crack the Singles chart!

Dublin native Ciara Mary-Alice Thompson is exactly the type of pop singer I love to prop up on this series, a woman who takes the piss out of long-established social hierarchies through a parodical blend of pop and Americana, with a knack for great, sly hooks that will stick in your head for days! And this song is a perfect example of that.

For a full breakdown, just go back to the blog from a couple of weeks ago, but essentially , it's a kiss-off to someone who lets you down, frankly telling them that you hate- I mean that you don't really care for them. It's catty and borderline nihilistic, but it does feel oddly justified, especially with how incredible that chorus and this writing are!

More importantly though, this song broke a huge record this week, and one we'll be getting to a bit later on, so keep reading. But in the meantime... yeah, if you want to hear some incredible local talent getting some well-deserved exposure and success, check out this song, as well as that new EP, because trust me, they're worth it!

Title: You All Over Me (Taylor's Version) by Taylor Swift (Ft. Maren Morris)

Position: #35

This is the latest single from Taylor's re-recorded version of Fearless, which as a reminder, she is doing to take back her music in order to circumvent legal bullshit. And to be honest, I initially thought this was just one of those Fearless tracks I don't go back to... which was confusing considering how much better the writing seemed. However, it turns out the original 2008 version of this song was never officially released, so yay I'm not going off the rails... not from this anyway.

So this is sort of a new Taylor Swift song, with Maren Morris providing backing vocals. And part of me feels this is almost too mature for Fearless. If anything, this reminds me of a filler track off of Speak Now; not as good as Back To December, but maybe somewhere around Mine. The thing is, a lot of Fearless is still quite immature, speaking more to the fantasies of young teenagers who are just discovering life, but are still holding on to an ideal portrait they've painted throughout their childhoods. Whereas this is a break-up song, one where Taylor uses various cleaning metaphors to describe how his presence still lingers long after he's gone.

Ok, obvious tasteless jokes aside, this is a good song. I like the detail which is so typical pf Taylor, especially that line about June being the best and worst month, the one they met. Honestly, I'd almost be tempted to say they might have changed the lyrics slightly from the original, this feels more like her later writing style... but I'll give her the benefit of the doubt. Either way, very pretty song, with great country production and yet another example as to how much Taylor's grown this past decade. But on the flip side:

Title: Beautiful Mistakes by Maroon 5 (Ft. Megan Thee Stallion)

Position: #47

*sigh* Can I just say "it's another Marron 5 song" and be done with it? The guitar pattern is one you've heard a million times, the production feels extremely satinised, and Adam Levine is singing through his nose as usual. The only good thing that I can say about it is that it's perfectly inoffensive. There's no terrible lines or particularly egregious vocal performances, it's a perfectly "meh" song which I will forget about in record time.

The only part that somewhat stands out is Megan, who does actually keep her trademark energy and personality here, but even she only barely makes such a tepid song mildly more tolerable. I'll say it fits better here than Cardi did on Girls Like You, it's better woven in, but even that's a low bar to clear. And that's it. I have nothing more to say about new Maroon 5 music at this point, and how much I will tolerate this depends entirely on just how quickly it goes away. Moving on!

National Treasures

So, here's why CMAT's success is such a big deal: with I Don't Really Care For You getting its massive boost, it actually managed to top the Homegrown Top 20. This marks the first time a solo female artist has topped this chart since its inception in May 2019! Irish Women in Harmony topped it as a group, sure, but other than that the only soloists who came close were Tolu McKay or Lea Heart! In other words, this is a historical achievement, and one she deserves a ton of credit for, congratulations and also sorry it took so long!

On top of that, there were quite a few pieces of good news! For one, both I Have a Love by For Those I Love and More Like You by Orla Gartland, 2 of my favourite songs of the year so far, both re-entered the chart at 7 and 18 respectively. Sure, Lea Heart's IDK Why and Inhaler's Cheer Up Baby dropping back is a shame, but only to number 4 and 8, I'm optimistic about their longevity! Especially as Babyproof by Versatile and Offica continues to lose down to 9, good riddance!

And now, let's talk about our 2 new arrivals and wrap things up for this week:

Title: Daisy by Emer Dunne

Position: #12

Oh my, this is such a personal way to get to my heart that it's not even funny! Emer Dunne is a woman from county Laois, who is due to release her highly anticipated folk album Hourglass later this year. This is the first single, and Emer decided to donate all the profits from it to The Irish Cancer Society, so yeah, go buy this legitimately!

And if it helps, the song is GORGEOUS! A slice of Irish folk with beautiful strings and harmonica, a wonderful vocal performance from Emer herself, whose willowy vocals just bring a smile to my face, and on top of that, it's a really pleasant and tender song that still deals with a real subject. Here, she reminds the titular "Daisy’ that all people don’t view the world in the same way, stating "they don’t think like you do and some don’t think at all.” While the writing credits have to go to Scottish songwriter Karine Polwart, Emer was immediately taken by it and immediately recorded it along with a couple of covers to release in time for Daffodil Day.

So yeah, it's a great little song for a great cause! Go check this out, it's absolutely gorgeous! And to continue the streak of great music from local acts:

Title: I Don't Recognise You by NewDad

Position: #20

See, what I really love about reviewing the Homegrown charts is that you get all sorts of music! For instance, here's a slice of New Wave and Indie Rock that will appeal to many of you Metric fans out there!

Galway act NewDad just dropped their latest EP Waves just over a week ago, and promptly had all their digital copies bought out within a couple of days pof its release. This is an act with a dedicated Bandcamp following and you can easily see why. The production is dreamy and relaxing without being lethargic, with strong guitars to drive home a really nice groove! I especially like the backing guitars, with give this an almost War On Drugs-esque 80s feel to the mix and just gives it a lot of great character on the verses. Not to mention the drums, which punch up strongly on the prechorus, which only make the main hook burst forth all the stronger when it finally does hit!

It's a slice of excellent, laid-back new wave that I only expect to grow on me with repeated listens! If you've been looking for a new rock band to get on board with, especially a girl-fronted one IN the vein of Metric, I can't recommend NewDad enough. Check out this song, along with that new project, link above.

And that's our week, hope you all enjoyed! Kind of a crazy week, between the ground-breaking record-breakers and the quality music, only slightly marred by the boring stuff, but overall a net positive! Also, sorry for the delay, but Happy Easter everyone! Feel free to leave a like, as well as some feedback in the comments, let me know what you thought. Make sure you subscribe to the blog and follow me on Twitter to keep up with these releases! Take care everyone, and until the next time, I'm Fionn and this is The Social Tune, signing off!

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1 Comment

Jeremy U's ReevU
Jeremy U's ReevU
Apr 04, 2021

Good list! A couple things:

  1. I agree with you about Call Me By Your Name. That song is awesome.

  2. While I don't like The Box or WAP, I do agree that both songs have a lot of personality

  3. I am so pumped for AJR to get on the charts. I'm so glad they're finally getting the recognition they deserve.

  4. I look forward to your worst songs of 2010 list.

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