That performance from Billboard right? Everybody knows about that performance from Billboard...
Click here to listen to the official audio of Treasure!
So let's talk about the third single off of Bruno Mars's highly successful second album, Unorthodox Jukebox. It you're a Bruno Mars fan, you shouldn't even worry. This single was destined to arrive after Young Girls and Moonshine were done to be nothing more than promotional singles, and probably the only contesting single after that was Natalie. That song was great, but Treasure's vibes just spins you out of control. Now if Bruno Mars's career is glittering enough, it's only going to be more infused after adding accolade to accolade to accolade.
Just when I had reviewed When I Was Your Man, the song only had reached around 50 of the Billboard Hot 100. Yes, the shelf-life may be tossed and turned, soon to be hung out and dried, but let's not forget that it came off a very superb start with Locked Out Of Heaven. According to history (and a little personal ingenuity), Treasure will top the Hot 100 again based off a few reasons. Number one; it's the summer season. Treasure's reggae/mid-tempo and high classical rock will more than just spring you to higher steps. Number two, Bruno Mars's fame had more than his fans checked, and they are one of the most loyal fans ever in this industry. You wanna' know why?
Treasure was, to be exact (and blunt), a rip-off. In 2010, Breakbot released a song called Baby I'm Yours featuring Irfane. Upon hearing that, Bruno Mars liked the song. And that, for starters, Bruno Mars hadn't even written a single line yet for Unorthodox Jukebox. While he had wanted to do a cover of the song for Jukebox, Breakbot declined. This sparked Bruno to begin production for Treasure, offering a similar hook but almost a diverse range of instrumentals on the verses. When Bruno Mars finally released the album, Breakbot was actually "flattered" that Bruno Mars had actually been interested and made a song almost similar to it. And both set of fans were calm, not wanting to dispose argument about any copyright infringement and so on, making the situation very appropriate. Especially when Bruno is such a big artiste, not many would want to get into trouble with his label despite him being the first one to take the music for his own usage.
And so we get underway into Treasure! First thing that you hear? "Baby Squirrel is a sexy motherfu**er." Not sure what that means, but what is a redundant but yet slightly provocative line instantly sets up the groove that follows in it's footsteps. The bass and the drums, clear, and the contemporary classical arrangement is what is the heaviest on the track. Pretty much dosed with a little Michael Jackson water, or a sprinkling of any other 80's music (say Hall And Oates); whatever, this is such an enjoyable song to hear. The extreme positives with this song instantly soothes all tempo, making sure it was the right choice for single number 3.
With that, you can be sure that the Billboard peak will once again not elude Bruno Mars as he continues his assault back to the top. What better way with Treasure?
ORIGINALITY: 7/10 - This scales pretty badly, but it doesn't drop off due to the fact that only the hook remains slightly visible to contrast. Otherwise, the diverse range of instruments might set it apart from Baby I'm Yours.
SOUND: 9/10 - 80's, fun, exciting music is what gets me thrilled. This sir, Bruno Mars, has done well and sets up the right atmosphere as we dive head-on into the summer state.
LYRICS: 8/10 - Iffy, yes, but what Bruno lacks, he certainly packs on the other side of the weighing scale and Treasure is a fit practice, even though it isn't the best of work.
OVERALL: 24/30 - Bruno Mars is back with a radioactive hit. Treasure is the domination of radio in soon to come months, and the world will once again tap their feet to this track in which the invincible pop superstar has made. Play it for days human beings.
Let's toast to Avril's latest single!
Music video for Here's to Never Growing Up!
And so, we always knew Avril was coming back after the hit success of her singles What The Hell, Smile and Wish You Were Here. Though Goodbye Lullaby wasn't a mainstream album to be taken lightly, the reviews were still mainly average to positive. That was a winning point, and slowly paved the way for her fifth single after 13 years in the industry. Yep, she was only 14 when she made records (didn't Rihanna break that record? Who cares) and skyrocketed to fame with her first single, Complicated. Well, things have been less complicated after she's engaged to Nickelback front-man Chad Kroeger last August 2012. Nickelback jokes aside, I personally like the band and also was a big fan of Here And Now (mainly songs like Lullaby and When We Stand Together being the standout tracks) and their host of albums. Chad was a favourite writer that artists pursued for, so you're dumb jokes better start improving kids! Chavril might become more of a headline than anything else. A little point to note, Chad also helped in the writing of this song.
Anyways, as said, this is already 13 years in the industry and like the jokes about her age (27 while Adele is 22), she doesn't seem to be calling it quits any time soon. While her fifth album is still under production without a name yet, we will be expecting more from the singer, possibly even two more albums in the span of the next four years. This can be seen from Here's To Never Growing Up, showing no signs of stopping.
This is definitely home to all music fans; the summer music. The out pour of foot-stomping and hand-clapping music has begun to usher in the summer heat, all the good times also dancing their way through. The song starts off with the usual anthemic track that Avril's music has always been. All of it reminds me of the tune of Complicated, as she rewinds the clock, especially when she hits her first note in the verse. The catchy opening chorus lays out the song and you can hear Avril having a blast behind that microphone. All of these along with the guitar just makes it sound classic Avril Lavigne. The lyrics are also poppy enough for an Avril record.
Singing radiohead at the top of our lungs
Avril knows what her fans want, and she does it with remarkable enthusiasm. All of these wouldn't be possible without all Avril fans, and this is what makes artists with a career spanning 13 years should be like. With or without Rihanna in this industry, it matters not. Avril's here to take back her place. I'm guessing give this song 2 months. You know what? Let's give it 2 weeks to replace the top song on the Billboard Hot 100. That is because old fans never die.
ORIGINALITY: 9/10 - A little reference from her past hits never hurts anyone, especially die hard fans!
SOUND: 9/10 - Catchy and easy to fall in love with; this single is one of the best this summer.
LYRICS: 9/10 - Cheesy, classy Avril lines that we all adore.
OVERALL: 27/30 - This song easily tops my favourites for awhile. I'll be playing it for days alright, and watch this space as the song explodes onto your radio centers. Let's raise a toast cause' we're never growing up. Cheers!
When Thrift Shop came out, people thought it was a joke. Now, they can't hold them in place.
Click here to listen to Can't Hold Us!
If you aren't aware, the song had just hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100, knocking off the successful collaboration of P!nk and Nate Ruess's Just Give Me A Reason. I still remember a few months ago, the song didn't even enter the charts, bubbling under it. But now, Macklemore is more than just an artist well-known for cheap clothes or velcros, instead, becoming more relevant and giving back to the community and a re-release of Can't Hold Us did just that.
And if you didn't know by now, Macklemore is a rapper (I wouldn't want to call 'pop' when you've actually grown up to Wu Tang), supported behind by Ryan Lewis's production. The duo gained mainstream recognition after their single Thrift Shop climbed to number one, eventually charting worldwide in the top 10. This was already a story in the offing, that their famous stature would only grow increasingly. It was definitely wise to re-release Can't Hold Us as the song was solely appreciated by fans across the world. By the history books, it seems Can't Hold Us could secure the top spot for another week, keeping 2nd and 3rd off the hooks. But, that's just an interpretation anyway. It seemed inevitable as the summer's slow start was going to be ignited by this soul-searching and yet amazing song.
The Heist was also equally impressive, clocking in 78,000 sales, and only 2nd to Babel by Mumford And Sons. The reception was mainly positive, and this attracted many fans to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis's work, only proving to move them up the ladder further. As of May 8 2013, The Heist sold a total of 600,000 copies! A complete listen would be best if you have the time as I recommend it.
Onto the song, the drum trembles your ears and the piano makes for sole enrichment. Hand-clapping and foot-stomping imagery pictures the song to more of an anthem than a real record. Accompanied with Macklemore's visual, sensing and at time beast lyrics, the song leaves you almost astounded when you compare it to their previous hit. Yes, Ryan Lewis's production was simply effective, and the sentiments of the song only grows in pleasure. Not to forget, the soulful performance from Ray Dalton during the chorus is magically impressive, hitting the notes and wants you to sing it along with him.
Can we go back? This is the moment
Nah, can I kick it? Thank you
Can't Hold Us instantly revives the dying and stale rap solution of the music industry after the latest effort from Drake (Started From The Bottom) is hardly impressive than his previous hits. As fans of hip-hop await Eminem's 7th studio album, we have Macklemore to contend with at the moment. And he is doing a darn good job of managing it I would say.
ORIGINALITY: 9/10 - Once again, the anthem is just resounding and epic.
SOUND: 9/10 - The piano, the bass, the synths, the vocals, the layering; all of these makes up for the superb song.
LYRICS: 9/10 - If they make no meaning, I suggest the lyrics. Macklemore's talent is thrust in your face, removing all doubts people have had on Thrift Shop.
OVERALL: 27/30 - An amazing performance for every human being who had done a part of the song. This is a summer hit and an emotional anthem that will leave you breathless and wanting more. Let's play it for days!
This song's hit the internet months ago. But it's made famous recently due to a Glee-covered version with Jessica Sanchez. Clarity is just a word, but who knew?
Music video for Clarity, click here!
I have to be honest. The only platform where I heard either artist (well, basically just Foxes) was through Fall Out Boy's Just One Yesterday duet with the English singer. And Zedd? Who knew Zedd?
Searching through, it seems Zedd is a German electronic music producer and DJ. His birth name is Anton Zaslavski. Zedd had great taste in music, and by the age of 4, he had started picking up piano and drums. Not recent enough? Zedd also produced Lady Gaga's two new songs off her new album ARTPOP, while working alongside Max Martin for Justin Bieber's hit single with Nicki Minaj, Beauty And A Beat. Zedd also released the title track of this single, Clarity, with the same titled album last October, eventually charting at 38 on the Billboard 200. Collaborations on the album included Ellie Goulding, Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic and Bright Lights. So, is he considered an underdog in music? Well, I'm not really sure.
For Foxes, a different story emerged. Almost unknown to the industry, Foxes released her EP entitled Warrior last year. A total of three singles, with Youth being the most famous (remixes, a million hits on SoundCloud), and Beauty Queen being the most recent one. Already praised for having a voice that is haunting and unique, she instantly becomes a gem unearthed by surprise from the industry. What will probably notch her status higher could be the feature in Fall Out Boy's recent post-hiatus album on the song Just One Yesterday and the now made popular Clarity. Both unknown, yet these treacherous waters seems much more clearer after knowing their potential in the music industry.
Clarity has an amazing piano skippering throughout the song as layers of synths and bass are mastered upon it. Followed by Foxes's vocals, the tremendous effort lasts long enough for you to sink in and appreciate the lyrics. With enormous heart-wrenching lines such as 'Cause' you are the piece of me; I wish I didn't need,' Zedd's lyric-writing composition is top-notch, while receiving help from Skylar Grey turning this into another high-quality work.
If our love is tragedy, why are you my remedy?
All in all, Clarity is another rapid transition and showcases the current state of music. Through the mixing and the catchy yet emotional piece, Zedd's state and Foxes's talent in music can only go upwards. Not to mention Foxes's demand as an artist will certainly go a long way in establishing her as a main artist, with her eventual album coming out soon.
ORIGINALITY: 9/10 - Zedd's piece of work is one my favourites off the album and this emotional piece transits into something we've never heard before, albeit unique and amazing at the same time.
SOUND: 9/10 - Foxes's vocals followed by the mastering from Zedd are the reasons why you'll fall in this track flawlessly and seamlessly.
LYRICS: 9/10 - Emotionally astute, this song will leave you recalling the memories of the past.
OVERALL: 27/30 - Clarity is not a cave-in of just a desire, but a healthy welcome from an industry already filled with a widespread of topics and genres. Clarity leaves you closed with emotional trepidation, and keeps you singing along with great exception. Play it for days.
So, they're successful with It's Time. They're lauded with Radioactive through the motion picture, The Host. Now, they face their Demons.
Music video for Demons, click here!
So Imagine Dragons are not a new name, but rather a fresh face since the start of 2012's August, releasing their most famous song It's Time. With such success, it plowed through the trailer for the motion picture The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (Emma Watson - duhh), and eventually ending up around the top 20 of Billboard's Hot 100. What happened next was an already predicted success, with Radioactive reaching number 7. Their potentially title-clincher Demons could give Night Visions the sending off they needed after what has been an amazing start already.
What you might not know about Imagine Dragons is that, while they released their studio album Night Visions last year (and to great positive reception), they released 6 EPs in the course of 4 years. I have to tell you straight up that this is a band that you definitely have to look out for, as their slowly moving up my list of all-time favorites now. Currently, Demons sit atop the Hot 100 at 89, soon to be going forward after their recent release of the music video.
So first off, Demons aren't remotely close to what Radioactive and It's Time have to offer. In fact, it is less explosive and more heart-tinging than the first two singles, albeit Demons being a promotional single. The song starts off with Dan Reynold's vocals as he sings to us about the days, the dreams and the human soul. The impressive voice is back-lined with an even more impressive host of instruments. The tone was expressed with the guitars sliding in during the pre-chorus, with the big drums splashing during the chorus of the song. All while this is happening, the impressive elements still keeps the song as a monster track of raw emotions and the dark tone hovering over it.
Don't get too close, it's dark inside; It's where my demons hide; It's where my demons hide - Dan Reynolds
The sheer tremendous effort is probably one of my favourites off the album so far, even on par with my all-time favouite It's Time. Demons delivers insane vocals and lyrics that are unimaginable, which is a totally different establishment from their name. This is another fine work coming from the beast producer Alex Da Kid.
ORIGINALITY: 9/10 - The monster track lays out the finish on a plate.
SOUND: 9/10 - The amazing bass drops are one of the key highlights in the song.
LYRICS: 9/10 - Heartfelt and dark. The emotional piece conjures much.
OVERALL: 27/30 - Demons is pure inner food for the soul and delivers an amazing performance from the band as a whole. Imagine Dragons is staying for good, and so will I as I will be playing it for days to come.
Benny Ong: Just your regular guy who likes soccer more than most people, and also a little downtime is pretty nice.