Musical McCool - Week 24 (June 11, 2021)
Hi guys, welcome back to The Social Tune! My name is Fionn, and welcome back to a brand new edition of Musical McCool!
Ah nice to get back to normal. Sure, that Polo G album is on the horizon, which could potentially shake things up next week, but I honestly don't see it unseating Sour.
The Top 10
Even there though, its position did weaken slightly this week.
I mean sure, good 4 u held onto the number 1 spot, due to still-massive streaming, radio and sales.
And yes, deja vu is still at number 2, for most of the same reasons, even if the radio isn't quite as strong.
BUT the first crack in Sour's façade rears its head here, as Kiss Me More by Doja Cat and SZA rose up to number 3 this week. I've seen this coming for a while, it's definitely good 4 u's biggest competitor on the radio.
This means that traitor dropped back down to number 4. I know it's leading the rest of the songs on Sour by a fair margin, but I do wonder if this could mean we'll be swapping it out with a different Olivia Rodrigo song soon.
Also, in the wake of a certain loss, Friday by Riton, Nightcrawlers & Mufasa took its chance to vault back up to number 5. Like I said, this song's legs are ridiculous!
A more likely competitor is Little Bit Of Love by Tom Grennan rising up to number 6. Its radio momentum and sales are only growing, and its streaming ain't bad either.
Speaking of momentum, Our Song by Anne-Marie & Niall Horan rose up to number 7, because songs with the word "radio" in the hook are always going to have a leg up on the competition in terms of airplay.
Then at number 8, it's The Business by Tiësto, holding strong. At this rate the songs will last till next year.
And now for our big new arrival of this week, it's Lost Cause by Billie Eilish at number 9. Like most of her singles for this album cycle, I don't see this lasting all that long, but it's still nice to see her follow up Your Power so soon; hopefully this bodes well for Happier Than Ever.
Finally, to round out our top with another new entry, it's Heartbreak Anthem by Galantis, David Guetta & Little Mix! I know that Galantis is a proven hitmaker, but the main reason this is good news is that it marks the first real big hit for Little Mix since Jesy left.
Top 50: The Punished and the New
Our top 50 this week was mostly populated by drops of various shapes and sizes. The only rises of note that we saw outside of the top 10 were Levitating by Dua Lipa & DaBaby back up to 15 again, and Confetti by Little Mix & Saweetie reached a new peak at number 21.
Outside of that, we got many drops, but only 1 big mover to ACR:
Body by Tion Wayne & Russ Millions - number 5 to 19
This lasted way longer than I initially predicted when it first arrived, but nobody can take away its title as the first drill song to ever go to number 1 in Ireland. Also, while Without You by Kid Laroi has already been on ACR for weeks now, it saw an unprecedented 20-spot drop this week, from 20 to 40, because its significant radio absolutely vanished overnight!
Otherwise... whew ok, here we go: Butter by BTS continued its natural descent to number 17, Zitti e Buoni by Måneskin tragically collapsed to number 25 (sidenote: the far inferior I Wanna Be Your Slave held on at number 16 because people have no taste), Your Power by Billie Eilish maintained its gentle course down the charts to number 34, and What A Time by Julia Michaels & Niall Horan fell to 39. In better news, Beautiful Mistakes by Maroon 5 & Megan Thee Stallion dropped down to 41, and if by some grace of God that new album tanks, it will not rise any higher. Sadly, this also saw the loss of Summer 91 (Looking Back) by Noizu to 43, Little More Love by AJ Tracey to 48, and p r i d e . i s . t h e . d e v i l by J. Cole & Lil Baby all the way to 50. So overall, not exactly a net positive this week.
And now, since we have no returning entries this week, time for our surprisingly long list of new arrivals, starting with:
Title: Lost Cause by Billie Eilish
Well, this is different... and no, I'm not talking about the music video. If Billie has decided to change her look and wants to embrace that, more power to her, and shaming her for losing some weight is still body-shaming, you assholes!
Anyway, that particular corner of the internet aside, this is also a very different sound for her sonically. It's essentially Billie's version of No Scrubs, where she's blowing off a guy she once had feeling for because she's discovered he's kind of a mess. He hasn't got a job, he's too self-involved, and thus she's kicking him to the curb as a lost cause. And maybe it's the smooth bassline or the much looser singing style that Billie adopts here, even incorporating some nice backing vocals, but I really dig this.
Ok sure, it's not among her best or most emotional singles, and I will admit to being a bit blind-sided by it the first time I heard it, but she certainly has the presence to pull this off. It also manages to tap into a certain sound of R&B that reminds me a little bit of that Arlo Parks project from earlier this year, and that is HIGH praise! The guitar is clipped, but lush, and plays off the percussion really nicely, with enough detail in the writing to still feel like she gave him a fair chance before making this decision.
So yeah, it's another win for Billie, and yet another sign that Happier Than Ever's going to show some real development in her sounds. And I, just like many of you, can't fucking wait!
Title: Oliver Twist by ArrDee
Okayyyy... So, this young man from Brighton has been bubbling under based on a few freestyles and more recently came to prominence because of the Body remix with Russ Millions & Tion Wayne.
And this new drill hit from the kid is... well, it's your typical luxury rap about money, cash, drink and living that bling life, except he wants more. In fact, he just wants some more, Oliver Twist... Get it? Cause of the line in the musical? ... Maybe I've just heard dumber and I'm just numb at this point, but I don't think this is that bad. Sure, it's dumb as Hell, but ArrDee's flow is nice and elastic, the wordplay is decent, and even the hook is somewhat entertaining thanks to his over-the-top delivery.
I dunno, between the string and bass interplay and ArrDee's commitment here, I can't say I have much of an issue with this. Sure, there's been way better drill this year, but there's also been way worse. At least this is fun to listen to... unlike:
Title: By Your Side by Calvin Harris (Ft. Tom Grennan)
Remember how Calvin Harris started out as the most basic and boring EDM artist on the block, with terrible hits like I Need Your Love and Summer? Then remember how happy we all were when he abandoned all of that in 2017 and started making legitimately great music with the likes of Migos and Pharrell? Well, apparently he's been feeling nostalgic, because this is a return to the flavourless old bullshit he used to shovel out! And to add insult to injury, he had to bring in one of my least favourite breakout talents of 2021 to help him!
Look, I don't typically like this style of bargain-bin EDM that was popularised in 2013, but even I can acknowledge that there's a way to do it well, typically by roping in a strong singer who can still project a ton of personality and ideally having a drop that really feels like a release after all the build-up! Well, I haven't liked Tom Grennan's voice since his inexplicably massive duet with Ella Henderson earlier this year, and the drop sounds like a choking seal getting repeatedly slammed into a wall... except autotuned! It doesn't pack any sort of punch, and the muted gummy drums aren't helping at all!
In other words, this is a throwback in the worst possible sense, and in a year where I've almost been praying for more bad music, this served itself on the chopping black right on cue! I take back what I said, take this away!
Title: t r a n s p a r e n t s o u l by WILLOW (Ft. Travis Barker)
Hehe... remember Whip My Hair by Willow Smith? You know, that collective fever dream we all had over a decade ago? Well, apparently she never abandoned her dream to make music, and has in fact continually been releasing albums since 2015. Once in a while, a song would catch some minor attention for a short times, but this song's the closest thing she's had to a hit in years. And it's also a pop punk song with percussion from Travis Barker... makes sense?
Well, however this happened, does it work? Well... yes and no. On the one hand, no surprise, it sounds amazing. Travis Barker is a legend, producer Tyler Cole clearly knows how to produce this style of music, and Willow has matured into a really great vocalist! Heck, I personally think this is the best I've heard her sound over any type of production, there's almost a touch of Metric to it and that is only a good thing!
On the other hand, the writing is just a tad clumsy. Not to the point of being distracting like on Oliver Twist, but there is that Flash reference or the question of "are they treating me like royalty or is it kissing ass"... I mean unless you've lived that life, you know that's basically the same thing, right? But overall, I can't fault this, and several listens later, I think it works for the same reasons as good 4 u, only even grimier! So if that sounds like something you want in your life, give this a chance. Trust me, it may surprise you.
Title: Late At Night by Roddy Ricch
I have been looking forward to the follow-up from Roddy Ricch for a while now! The Box is one of the best rap songs to hit the charts in the past few years, that demonstrated a level of creativity I never expected to hear go to number 1. So I was very surprised when I saw that this new song and debuted with little to no buzz, especially considering his last few collaborations with Mustard. And after hearing it... I can kind of see why...
Look, this song is fine. It's a "thugs need love too" anthem which pulls heavily from the slow sing-rap fusion that Calling My Phone did earlier this year. And Mustard does a fine job producing it with the smooth piano, especially on the lush bridge. But... I'm sorry, this feels like a B-side that Drake would write in his sleep... and yes, you'd better believe he'd charge his fans full price to buy it!
I dunno Roddy, this isn't bad, but I don't think it's the direction you want to take your music in. It's not Ballin' and it's not High Fashion, and while I know those are high, unfair bars, I still think you can do better than this. Better luck with the next one, cause there's a reason this is slipping under the radar.
Title: Wow by Tion Wayne
You know, when this song started with the ghostly wail of "bo-o-o-o-dy-y-y-y", I did think it was a bit on the nose, but when it blended into the trap beat, I honestly have to say it became a lot less distracting... I can't be the only person who thought that, right? That aside, after the success of Body, a lot of people were wondering what the 2 rappers would follow it up with, and thus it makes sense that Tion Wayne's single debuted so high. And that's the only reason this is here, because otherwise this is entirely forgettable.
Say what you will about ArrDee's Oliver Twist, but at least he followed up that song with an interesting song. Tion Wayne may have an engaging voice and good energy, but his adlibs feel pulled from a bunch of other successful drill rappers and his stop-start flow just isn't engaging at all to me. He has a habit of delivering each verse with the exact same cadence, which makes all of his words blur together. I've heard this song about 5 times at the time of writing this, and other than the "Simon Cowell" and "suck your mother" lines on the hook, I can't tell you a single thing about what this is.
So yeah, maybe I need to give Roddy Ricch and ArrDee more credit, because at least one is pretty and the other's memorable. This is neither, and while I can't call it bad, I also can't call it much of anything at all... and that's almost worse.
Well, much like last week, this week was a welcome calm on the home front. Our Song by Anne-Marie & Niall is leading the pack by a mile, and after last week's Picture This single was thoroughly mediocre, LA House Party is back at number 2... never thought I'd say this, but thank God for that.
No real rises this week... so let's focus on the losses and drops. Sadly The Academic didn't stick around because God doesn't love me, but... no, the bad news keeps on coming: Terminal 1, the best hit by Versatile, fell to number 7, Break My Heart by JC Steward fell to 9 and Town's Dead by Kojaque fell to 20! Oh, and this marks the last week for the fantastic Robert Grace song The Hurt You Gave Me... so much great music, so much sad departure. Hey, I could almost say the same for All That I Do by Michael Moloney falling to 14, though that's definitely a song i respect more than I like.
Lastly before our new arrivals, we had the returning entries of Cheer Up Baby by Inhaler to 18 and Sarah Jane by Nathan Carter to 19. Considering that new Inhaler music video just dropped, we'll see how much longer that momentum lasts. Anyway, I'm already a day late, so let's wrap this up:
Title: Every Single Time by Bissett
Huh... well, hello old frie-... hello familiar face. This is a remix of a song that was actually released back in 2019, which has been remixed a good half-dozen times at this point. Originally by Bissett , a young electronic artist who's been active in the Irish club scene since the age of 14, this remix now features the young MC Silky, in what I can only describe as one of the laziest remixes I've heard in ages.
There's really not much to say here; the original is pulling from the same stale well of electronica as NAVOS' Believe Me, a bargain-bin beat which you heave heard dozens of times, and this remix barely switches up the formula. Instead it does the Girls Like You trick of forcibly injecting the rapper into the middle of it, leaving the rest of the song to go on for WAYYY too long. Maybe this would feel more justified if his verse was longer or if he had more than one, but after the first 50 seconds, he is gone, after a verse where he rhymed "like that" with itself 8 times!
Seriously, the balance of this remix is terrible, and the drop is exactly the same as the verses, which completely robs the drop of any power! It's not even 3 minutes long and it honestly feel like it goes over 5! In other words it's not good, next!
Title: High Fidelity by The Zen Arcade
Oh wow... okay then, that's more like it! So this is The Zen Arcade, formerly an R&B band known has The Strypes, who split off into this new garage rock band from Cavan under the music label Dental Records, which was apparently formed by a dentist... yes, really! They broke through last year with their debut single Don't Say A Word, which promptly put them on the map for a lot of critics. And with this as the follow-up, it's not hard to see why, because this is awesome!
The fantastic grimy guitars that still feel so colourful and melodic, the excellent percussion, and a terrific vocal performance from Pete O’ Halnon, with backing vocals and a pre-chorus pulled right out of the late 80s! Not only that, but the songwriting is awesome! It's self-indulgent and overwritten as Hell like the best of this style of rock, yet it all works, because they're also smart enough to make it interesting. In fact the whole thing is chock-full of technical movie references, calling back to classic filming techniques to creating the ultimate ode to hipsters that still manages to feel fun and not the least bit pretentious.
And the fact that it all builds to a fantastic chorus that will instantly get stuck in your head, with so much passion and energy that you can't help but get swept up in... yeah, this is hands-down one of the best songs I have heard this year! If you've been looking for some new rock music to sink your teeth into this year, The Zen Arcade are an absolute MUST, because this, right here, it's an instant classic! Fucking phenomenal!
And that's our week, hope you all enjoyed! I know I'm a bit late, this past weekend was crazy! Anyway, I hope you'll take the time to check out anything here that catches your interest. Please feel free to like the post and share any feedback in the comments, let me know what you thought. Make sure you and your friends 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!