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Musical McCool - Week 6 (Feb 5, 2021)

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

So yeah, didn't take me long to be late to one of these. Again, apologies, I had to move house in the middle of a pandemic, which was... about as complicated as it sounds. Either way, now that I've got the initial work out of the way and I have a moment to myself, time to turn to my comfort zone and talk about this week in music. And as luck would have it, looks like the calm I predicted last week actually came true.


The Top 10


Albeit with a couple of surprises, starting in our top 10.


Now, the top 4 are pretty much static at this point, as driver's license by Olivia Rodrigo sits at number 1 entirely unchallenged, only growing on all platforms.


Just below that at number 2, The Business by Tiësto manages to hold onto its spot for another week, although again, I don't know if this will last.


Same case for Paradise by MEDUZA & Dermot Kennedy at number 3, which is now holding its spot based mainly on the fact that the Irish public can't get enough of Dermot Kennedy. I see this following a similar trajectory to Giants, holding on for as long as possible, then being dragged down by ACR kicking and screaming.


On the flip side, Kid Laroi's Without You still seems to have steady momentum and growth, holding on to its spot at number 4.


However, the really big and GREAT news came for Get Out My Head by Shane Codd, which reached a new peak this week by cracking the top 5! Awesome, congrats to Shane Codd for this well-deserved smash!


And yes, that means it actually managed to pass GOOSEBUMPS by HVME, which hasn't quite blown up in the way I predicted last week... not yet anyway.


Now admittedly, it probably helps that Afterglow by Ed Sheeran slid down to number 7, on its way out after a very respectable run.


Which brings us to our brand new Top 10 entry: Money Talks by Fredo featuring Dave, debuting at number 8. Yeah, I saw this coming as soon as I saw this dropped the very same day I talked about Fredo last week. only to later realised he had a new album out. More on all that later, but I think this is here mainly on name recognition and while the initial response has been pretty massive, I'm not sure that momentum will last.


And in MORE big news, we have another new entry to the Top 10 in Streets by Doja Cat, which rose up to number 9 on great streaming and sales. Sure, radio's a bit slow to pick up on R&B, as per usual, but this is still doing way better than expected for a non-pop song.


And in the opposite side of the spectrum is Anyone by Justin Bieber, which despite having all the ingredients in the world to be massive, slid down to number 10. Again, kinda surprised its lifespan got cut so short... guess Olivia's fulfilling the needs of the teen pop market for now.



Top 50: The Punished and the New


Now, with 2 new entries to the top 10, that did mean there had to be some victims... and sadly that means Good Days by SZA dropped out and down to number 11, even though with its numbers vs Anyone's, I wouldn't be surprised if it bounced back next week. Although that wasn't the weirdest story of the week, not by a long way!

Let's start, weirdly enough, with 2 songs that held on to their respective spots from last week: Don't Play by Anne-Marie and KSI, which actually seems to be sticking around somehow, and even more impressively, Giants by Dermot Kennedy, defying ACR's efforts to drag it down by stubbornly standing its ground!

However, even that doesn't come close to my shock at the me-te-o-ric rise of Wellerman by Nathan Evans, 220 Kid & Billen Ted from 44 to 16! Yeah, I know it's massive on TikTok, but it's an EDM sea shanty, how the fuck is this getting this big?! And on the topic of entries I fully expected to simply go away, Back To Basics by Fredo rose up to number 39 off the album release... good for Fredo I guess.

Now, some of my predictions thankfully did come true! Skin by Sabrina Carpenter collapsed as a complete non-starter down to 26, and All I Want by Olivia Rodrigo continued its descent to 34... but why is Lewis Capaldi's Someone You Loved actually rising up to number 46?! It's been 2 years at this point, just let it go! And besides, there are far more interesting returning entries this week:


Martin & Gina by Polo G at 47

Older by Lea Heart at 49

Watermelon Sugar by Harry Styles at 50


That last one in particular makes no sense to me, because I thought I was the only person still listening to it... what, it grew on me!

Now, as I said, I'm very tired from the move, so I'm going to make my analysis of these new cats pretty quick if that's okay. So, we start with:

Title: Money Talks by Fredo (Ft. Dave)

Position: #8

So as I said, Fredo actually dropped an album last week titled Money Can't Buy Happiness... and yet apparently it does talk. And while some of you may think this had the chance to be more conscious, as some of you may have only heard Dave from his 2019 album Psychodrama... nope, this is just your standard song about dealing drugs, fucking women and flexing. I suppose there are a couple of stand-out lines, particularly from Dave bragging about his girlfriend being 5'3" when she's in heels, and how he goes to the airport more than you go to the petrol station, that was pretty funny.

But yeah, otherwise the only thing that stands out is the production, which sounds like a reverb-soaked choir is echoing in the background, overlaid by bass and trap beats. It actually sounds pretty good and mysterious, and it certainly makes the song more interesting to listen to. However, the lyrics are pretty disposable, and it's not like the hook is Griselda-level or anything. All I'm saying is that there's better songs out there with this sort of content, and even if this does stick around, I guarantee I will forget about this in record time.


Title: Jerusalema by Master KG (Ft. Nomcebo Zikode)

Position: #19

About time this crossed over! This is a style of dance music known as Gqom, a South-African brand of techno invented back in the early 2010s, and this song is from Master KG, a producer from the same country. The song has been huge in Belgium and the Netherlands, where it went to number 1, and it was only a matter of time before it cracked the top 50 here.

See, as you might expect from a 2021 dance song, this comes with its very own dance challenge, meaning it went viral on TikTok in many MANY countries with the hashtag #jerusalemachallenge. And I will say, for this brand of dance music, this is a bit more subtle than you might expect. The swell is there, with a distinct disco-house beat, but neither are too loud or overpowering, and I really like the gospel-tinged vocals that Nomcebo, who sounds pretty terrific here. It is a bit odd that the lyrics are quite religious, but it doesn't seem to be anything particularly radical. It just repeats the mantra that there are many believers in Jerusalem. Again though, it's not very detailed or distracting, it just acts as a catchy hook you can grasp onto. And in that sense, the song does work, I can see why this took off. Not really my thing, but if this wants to stick around, sure, more power to it.


Title: Burner On Deck by Fredo (Ft. Pop Smoke & Young Adz)

Position: #33

And for his third and last entry into the top 50 in the past 2 weeks, here's another Fredo song about drugs, guns and the gangbanging life. And the reason it crossed over... well ok, maybe some of the credit should go to the album sales, as Fredo apparently has more clout than I gave him credit for. But let's be real, this is here because of Pop Smoke.

Now, in fairness, he does get a full verse here, and it does sound good... but I have to be honest, I still don't really like this. Unlike with other Pop Smoke songs, I didn't really see any buzz suggesting this was a collab that had been made a while back, which leads me to be cynical and suspect that Fredo and Young Adz heard this snippet of a verse from Pop Smoke and then wrote the rest of the song around it. I mean, it sounds more like a Pop Smoke song than a Fredo song, it feels pretty blatant.

Morals aside though... this is fine. All 3 of them have pretty distinct voices and verses, even if there's more autotune than I'd personally like. The content's disposable, all about gangbanging, drugs and stealing your girl, but the production is actually pretty good, especially when that guitar eventually joins in, adding some ominous swell to the mix. Although like Money Talks, it's a Fredo song that's more interesting for its features, and it's honestly not really built to last; in other words it's fine, but I wouldn't be surprised if this were gone next week.


Title: Friday by Riton & Nightcrawlers (Ft. Mufasa & Hypeman)

Position: #35

Ok, this is a bit more like it... if only a bit. An upbeat dance pop songs which samples Push The Feeling On by early 9às band Nightcrawlers, a song previously sampled by, no joke, Hotel Room Service by Pitbull for its drop... okaaaaaay.

Anyway, as you'd guess from the title, it's a party song about how it's Friday again. Pretty classic setup, and Dj Riton give the original a house beat and upbeat hook to make it market-ready for the modern age, as it then proceeded to blow up on TikTok. And yeah, I like this a fair bit, it's catchy with some nice disco touches and that hook is pretty sticky... but if you want something a tad more unconventional:


Title: Your Love (9PM) by ATB, Topic & A7S

Position: #44

Well, this is... weird. For those not in the know, this is a collaboration between 2 German DJs and Swedish producer/singer A7S, who previously also collaborated with Topic on Breaking Me about a year ago. And...there's just something a bit weird about this combination to me. For one, A7S sounds more like a post-grunge singer in his vocal tones, which is not something I typically expect in EDM outside of... well, Swedish House Mafia. It's just not a vocal tone that typically matches with this style of house music... only neither does this production. Instead it's in a minor key, with touches of electric guitar and a layer of distinct, soft bass. It just sounds weirdly unconventional, and I'm still on the fence whether it works or emphatically doesn't. I dunno, maybe I'm giving it too much credit, but in a week with a fair amount of dance music, this jumped out at me as being very different from the rest, and I'm curious to see how it sits with me moving forwards.



National Treasures


As for the home front, there were some big shifts! Yes, as expected, Róisín O and the cover of N17 are not built to last, as both dropped from their debuts last week (thought the latter only by a couple of spots down to number 4). Meanwhile both Biceps and Too Many Nights gained big to 3 and 2 respectively, good for them.

But let's be real, the big news is that both Paradise and Plugged In Freestyle are gone, completely off the chart! Now, the reason for this is quite simple: to ensure consistent turnover, a song can only chart on the Homegrown charts for 13 weeks, a quarter of a year. So even though both those songs still have a ton of momentum, they're both out after running their courses, which does leave a void at the very top. And while normally, you may expect that to mean the songs beneath it would simply rise up to fill the spot... it's not quite that simple. Because the other rule is that an artist can only have 1 song at a time on this chart, once again to ensure variety. So, with Paradise out, and considering he is the biggest artist in the country right now, AND considering Giants already completed its chart run here, that leaves:


Title: Days Like This by Dermot Kennedy

Position: #1

Gotta say... it's a little weird talking about this song. Not because it's a cover by Van Morrison, where certain people would call sacrilege for even attempting it. But no, it's more because this song has been around for months on the Singles charts, and it feels kinda weird that we're only talking about it on the Homegrown charts now. Anyway, compared to his other songs, how's this one for Dermot Kennedy? Well, as some of you may remember, I actually really like this one. The writing, though simplistic, is effective, and it's obviously more poetic than usual. And I honestly like the slightly hopeful tone Dermot brings to these haggard, tired lyrics. It's a song that hopes for a better future, days where we'll finally treat each other civilly and let everyone else just live their lives.

It's just a very nice song, with a warm piano foundation and a performer who seems optimistic for the future. Much like N17 and New Day, I'm not remotely surprised this caught on with an audience optimistically looking to the future, and while I don't think it's as good at those songs, it is still solid. So yeah, check this out.


Title: Take It (Yuck) by Offica & Dbo Fundz

Position: #7

Okay, hear me out... this is the Irish response to Whoopty by CJ. And who better to bring it to him than Drogheda's Offica, a guy whose style I've been enjoying more and more ever since hearing his KSI collab.

No seriously, with the trilling eastern guitars and faint pipes, contrasted against the heavy bass, the 2 beats are different, but pulling from similar sources. On top of that, they both have titles which contrast with their gangsta content, as Take It (Yuck), is basically the equivalent of having "ew" in your title. They also both have charismatic MCs with very catchy hooks, this one delivered by the deep vocals of Dbo Fundz serving as a great compliment to Offica's more energetic flow.

They each handle one have of the hook, and each has lines that just make me smile for how ridiculous they are. They each make individual Naruto references (fitting for Offica), and for as dumb as it is, I do love the way Offica tries to tell this girl, who he confirms is Latina, "Go-Go low, vámonos, ándale, ándalе man, arriba" which is so ridiculous that I'm not even sure where to begin.

I know it may seem dumb... because it is, but this song's energy, its above-average production, and especially ifs energy were exactly the pick-me-up I needed for this week! So yeah, check this out, it's a great little song.


Title: Gravy by LAOISE

Position: #14

Lastly, we close off the week with some Galway synthpop, just what the doctor ordered. And right off the bat, this sounds like a fusion between Carly Rae Jepsen and Taylor Swift and I am ALL for it! The popping beat, the bass, the reverb on those gorgeous vocals, and the shift into the more upbeat chorus is all really fucking great, reminding me of Fickle Friends or a band like that. Now, that's all production and performance, which is great... so what about the writing? Well, this is where hte song does stumble a bit. For one, saying you feel "like you're sinking the titanic"... I get that you're trying to convey that he's the Jack to your Rose, but that's a horrible analogy for multiple reasons. And then you get the main hook, which falls into the Carly Rae Jepsen trap of trying to rhyme "baby" with things. And honestly, maybe this practice should just be banned, because it rarely ends well. Here, for instance, you rhyme "lazy" with "baby"... thin ice already there. And then comes the clincher: "might sound a little crazy, but I love you like gravy"... ooooh...

Look, I get it, it's cute, she's saying she loves him just as much as meat juice extracted from leftover meats around the holiday season, it's clearly supposed to be romantic. But it's so fucking corny, even for me! In fairness I was wondering how any song called Gravy could work, and this one did come close. But as soon as that chorus ends I have to pause the song to try and recover from the laughing fit it brings on. I'm hoping it was supposed to be funny... even though none of her previous material has really tried to be parodical in any way. And I do still like LAOISE as a performer, based off the multiple other singles I listened to after this... but this ain't it. I'm sure her boyfriend appreciates it, and that's all the really matters, but I'm not gonna be serenading anyone with this anytime soon... not seriously anyway.


So yeah, sorry again for the delay, hope you enjoyed! If you can, please leave a like, as well as some feedback in the comments, I'd love to hear your thoughts on these songs, especially anything new to you. Also, 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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