Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 Review

Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 Review: October 2018

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Welcome back to another Top 40 Review where we look at some of the most popular songs in the US Top 40. Fall is here and Halloween is just around the corner. Just when I was hoping to avoid another album bomb, I run into two of them this week, which means this is going to be another long post. Yay. Let’s get started.

LINK TO BILLBOARD HOT 100 OF OCTOBER 20, 2018

#39. Broken-lovelytheband:¬†We start off with indie pop band lovelytheband and their single Broken. While I am glad to see more alternative/indie songs on the charts to break up the monotony every now and then, I have a hard time liking this song. It has a good idea behind it: finding someone who’s as emotionally damaged as you are and working together to be better. But I’m not feeling the vocal performances and the production sounds too similar to a lot of indie pop songs. I’m not saying the song is bad, but it doesn’t really hit the mark and I’ve heard better. I give it a low C.

#36. I’ll Never Love Again-Lady Gaga: Well, here’s one of the more recent album bombs courtesy of the soundtrack to the A Star Is Born remake, directed by Bradley Cooper, who stars in the film alongside Lady Gaga. I have not seen this movie yet, but I’ve heard good things about it. So I’m going into these songs knowing nothing about what happens in the movie. First, I’ll Never Love Again. It’s a heartfelt piano ballad dedicated to someone close to you who passed away. It’s no One Sweet Day, but it’s a fine enough song and Gaga really carries the emotional weight of the song. I give this song a B.

#35. High Hopes-Panic! At The Disco: Never would I thought I would see Panic! At The Disco in the Top 40 again. So how is High Hopes? Well, my thoughts on it are complicated. On the one hand, I like the production for the most part, especially with the way it uses those strings and horns and Brendon Urie’s vocal performance wasn’t half-bad. On the other hand, I’m not a fan of that chorus, especially with the percussion that they chose and the writing feels a bit undercooked, but Urie kinda makes up for it. I don’t know. I think I like the song, but I still have issues with it. It’s getting a low B from me.

#31. Taki Taki-DJ Snake ft Selena Gomez, Ozuna, & Cardi B: A collaboration that I didn’t see coming, but kinda makes sense. This is Taki Taki, a reggaeton collaboration between DJ Snake, Ozuna, Selena Gomez, and Cardi B. God, this is mediocre. First of all, this is some awful production, with a stiff reggaeton beat and a shrill melody. Who thought this was a good idea? Also, Ozuna takes the first verse and handles the hook. I don’t listen to reggaeton that much, but I did not like what Ozuna had to offer. Cardi B provides an underwhelming verse and Selena Gomez pretty much steals the show. Both of them go from English to Spanish, which I’m cool with. Embrace your Hispanic roots. Just give me a good song, which they failed to do with Taki Taki. It’s a D for me.

#29. Uproar-Lil Wayne: For six long years, Lil Wayne fans have been waiting for him to release Tha Carter V ever since he first announced it. Now, free from Cash Money Records, Wayne is able to release the album and the fans ate it up. How is it? Well, for me, it’s an okay album. He definitely sounds more energized than before and some of the more personal tracks cut deep, but it’s still not a cohesive body of work and since it’s 23 tracks long, there is a bunch of filler that could’ve been cut out. Anyways, here’s Uproar. Swizz Beatz handles the production, which lifts from G-Dep’s Special Delivery. It’s still a dope beat and Lil Wayne brought the bars needed to pump the song up even more. It’s nothing special, but this is a good enough song that shows the talent Lil Wayne has. I don’t even mind the Swizz Beatz ad-libs, which would normally annoy me in a lesser song. I give Uproar overall a B.

#28. Close Friends-Lil Baby: Now for the other album bomb, or should I say mixtape bomb. Drip Harder by Lil Baby & Gunna. Well, as someone who had the misfortune of listening to the whole mixtape, I can safely say that it’s not worth the time. It exemplifies my issues with most mixtapes and most of trap, a lot of these songs sound the same. Anyways, Close Friends. A song where Lil Baby fucks up a relationship with his woman by being an ass and wants to get back with her. This combined with Auto-Tuned crooning and a boring beat? Issa no for me. I’m giving it an F.

#25. STOOPID-6ix9ine ft Bobby Schmurda: Really? Are we still doing this? Giving this clown a charting single every month? This ain’t it, chief. And of course, this has a dance challenge because that’s not one of the laziest way to gain streaming numbers. This is STOOPID by 6ix9ine, which is a fitting title for the song because it’s fucking stupid. A weak trap beat along with 6ix9ine screaming in your ears and a Bobby Schmurda verse that’s literally phoned in because he’s currently in prison right now. This is an easy F.

#24. Mo Bamba-Sheck Wes: And now for the latest bland trap song to become a hit for some unholy reason, Mo Bamba from Sheck Wes. This is a joke, right? What is up with this dude’s performance? It sounds like he’s singing badly on purpose and half the time, he’s just stretching words in order to fill up space. when he does finally rap, it’s a short shitty verse that might as well be thrown away. It’s not like the beat is helping matters as it sounds incredibly cheap and dated. This is a terrible song and I’m giving it an F.

#23. Mona Lisa-Lil Wayne ft Kendrick Lamar: Now to talk about what everyone considers to be the best song off Tha Carter V, Mona Lisa. Unsurprisingly, I agree with those people because Mona Lisa is fire. The gothic production lifts the song to epic levels. It tells a complex story of a guy who was set up by his girlfriend to get robbed and it’s told from two perspectives, Wayne as the guy behind the robbery and Kendrick as the jealous boyfriend. Bruh, both of these dudes kill it lyrically. They lit the speakers on fire. I had to wait for my laptop to cool down after hearing that song. The definite highlight from Tha Carter V and it could have been the number one song in the US if it wasn’t cockblocked by Girls Like You. Unsurprisingly, it’s getting an A.

#18. Without Me-Halsey: Hello, Halsey. Didn’t expect to see you again. Well, she’s got a new song out called Without Me. It ain’t bad, but it ain’t good, either. Drowsy beat, an average-at-best performance, and writing based on a relationship gone bad. It sounds like a lot of generic pop songs that are out right now and I don’t plan on listening to it again. I’m giving it a D.

#17. I Love It-Kanye West & Lil Pump: I’m gonna go ahead and say it: I’m done with Kanye West. No more anticipation of his music from me. I’ve been low-key done with Kanye for a while, but this year pretty much solidified it. He’s got a new album coming out next month called Yandi because people forgot about ye (which honestly hasn’t held up well). Anyways, here’s I Love It, a song that premiered alongside its music video at the Pornhub Awards. I wish I was kidding. Anyways, this is the emptiest song to ever become a hit since Nonstop. There is nothing to it. It’s just Kanye and Lil Pump talking about wanting to fuck women over a limp barebones beat. And as much as the music video tries to compensate for the song, it’s kinda boring, too. Rap Critic did a great analysis on them both, so check it out. I got nothing more to say. Despite what the title says, I hate it. It’s getting an F.

#15. Never Recover-Lil Baby & Gunna ft Drake: Of course, one of the higher charting songs would feature Drake. Of fucking course. Never Recover is another by-the-numbers song with a generic beat and more flexing, this time with Drake just rubbing it in people’s faces like he didn’t hold a monopoly on the charts. This is more forgettable trap and I hope to never hear it again. I’m giving it an F.

#8. Happier-Marshmello & Bastille: Anyone remember Bastille? The band behind Pompeii, a hit from 2014 that holds up better than I thought. Well, they’re back in the Top 10 with Happier, a team-up with Marshmello. I think the song is okay. It’s a break-up song where Dan Smith is trying to end things on a positive note and it’s somewhat admirable. As for the production? It’s not bad, but it’s not anything great either, using the same basic synths that Marshmello uses in a lot of his songs. Overall, it’s pretty inoffensive and I don’t mind it being here. I give it a high C.

#5. Shallow-Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper: The big hit from A Star Is Born, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper team up for Shallow, an obvious Oscar bait song, but it’s still pretty good. Obviously, Lady Gaga sounds great, especially when she’s belting it out, but Bradley Cooper doesn’t sound that bad. Dude is a good singer. Both of them have great chemistry with one another nailing this type of love song and the instrumentation fits well. I’m glad to see this on the charts and I might check out the movie. I give it an A.

#4. Drip Too Hard-Lil Baby & Gunna: And we finally conclude this post with… Lil Baby and Gunna with Drip Too Hard. Ugh. And it’s another generic trap song that brings nothing new to the table with a basic trap beat, Auto-Tune, and shitty lyrics to behold. Here are some highlights.

I gave ’em the drip, they sucked it up, I got ’em on it

I know they hatin’ on me, but I don’t read comments

I feel like a child, I got boogers in the face

Designer to the ground, I can barely spell the names

This is in the Top 5 and they let them get away with this. Shit’s wack. It’s getting an F from me.

BEST

Mona Lisa

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Shallow, Uproar

WORST

Mo Bamba

DISHONORABLE MENTIONS

STOOPID, I Love It

And that was another Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 Review. Stay tuned next month when I do another. This week, I do a Target Practice on I’m A Mess.

Peace!!

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6 thoughts on “Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 Review: October 2018

  1. Apparently, Mo Bamba was written about the basketball player of the same name, and the guy was actually a friend of Sheck Wes. He plays for the Magic, and as a guy that lives close to the Orlando area, I should like this song, but I don’t. It’s intolerable. When even Shaq makes better music and has better bars than you, you know you suck and made a shit song. Also, I feel like Mo hasn’t earned enough clout to have a trap song named after him, he only got that song because of his connections to his. He’s just now starting to play in the NBA. If his career turns out to be a bust and he ends up flaming out after a few years in the league, this song will look embarrassing in hindsight. I’d also say dated, but it’ll already be dated in a year or two, as well as forgotten like most other trap songs out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t commented on one these top 40 reviews in a while, so here are my thoughts. I saw A Star Is Born and I enjoyed it. Gaga’s character and acting was probably the best thing about it, and the music was great. All the songs discussed here were really good and displayed Gaga’s singing chops and proves that she’s more than the weird, outlandish pop star that makes “generic” top 40 songs. Shallow was obviously the standout track, and Bradley Cooper can sing as well. Broken pretty much broke the streak of alternative groups that break out and have a hit one year that I enjoy (I’m talking about acts that break out in the year, not established acts like Imagine Dragons) because I got nothing out of that song. It’s innofensive, but it’s pretty generic and leaves no impact. Plus it sounds like yet another commercial jingle and at this points, it’s starting to get annoying. It seems like Panic! At The Disco has taken the same career trajectory Fall Out Boy did. A band that was big in the mid to late 00’s, then disappeared for a while and then return in the mid to latter part of the following decade. The difference is that Panic! At The Disco pretty much dropped all its members and it’s just Brandon Urie now while keeping the name because of brand recognition. However, unlike Fall Out Boy which had several songs I enjoyed from them, I only legimitely enjoyed one song from PAD (their breakout hit “I Write Sins, Not Tragedies”) while everything else is simply okay. High Hopes once again falls into the okay category. But at least I’ll give Brandon and Panic! At The Disco for being one of the few rock acts to still have any traction on the Hot 100, even if he had to go full on pop to do (It’s at least not anywhere near as bad as Maroon 5). DJ Snake’s finally back on the charts, and man, am I disappointed. This is basically a really below average reggaeton song with a few EDM elements and it doesn’t hit me. He’s probably not going to make another song as hard-hitting as Turn Down For What, but at least he could’ve done better than this. Not terrible, but certainly not something I’d go back to. Both Uproar and Mona Lisa are dope songs, but not songs that blew me away. Still, WAY better than most other mainstream rap songs out right now. It seems like the appeal of Lil’ Baby is that he’s just another Young Thug. Except, while Young Thug is at least interestingly bad (and he has a few good songs in there), Lil’ Baby is just bad. He’s not interesting or compelling nor does he has a distinct personality, the only thing interesting about him is that he sounds like his name implies, like if a one-year old infant picked up the mike for the first time. I really wish 6ix9ine would just go away already. He’s been charting almost non-stop this year and every song he’s released is complete trash, and he doesn’t deserve his popularity. At least Drake released a few good songs despite his frustrating overexposure. Stoopid pretty much speaks to itself. You’re not going to get any quality with a song with that title. Mo Bamba made my “Worst Songs Of 2018” list, so that right there tells you my thoughts about it. Clearly no amount of talent, effort or charm went into that song. When Mark talked about it on Billboard Breakdown and put it on his worst list, people got upset for whatever reason. People really enjoy that song, and I was shocked to see that. Then I realized that we live in a very dumbed down society. No offense, but there’s no way you’re gonna tell me that a song like that is of high quality. It’s not even a “so-bad-it’s-good” type of song, it’s the “so-bad-it’s-awful” kind. I really don’t get Halsey’s appeal, none of her songs have grabbed me and this one is no different. It’s not awful, but it’s forgettable like all of her other songs. I Love It is Kanye’s highest charting hit since Heartless and it’s one of his worst. I get that is a meme song and it shouldn’t take it seriously, but it’s still not good. It made my dishonorable mentions on my “Worst Of 2018” list, so that once again tells you my thoughts on it. And I’m also done with Kanye, his support for Trump and his actions have really turned me off from seeking out new music from the guy. It’s awesome to see Bastille back on the charts and in the top 10 with a song even if it’s not theirs. Happier is a good EDM song. Marshmello really had a big year in 2018. Pompeii still holds up to this day, by the way. Drip Too Hard is yet another generic, run-of-the-mill trap song, but it’s more mediocre than outright bad. I can tolerate a bit more than Yes, Indeed. Overall, 2018 will end up being the worst year of the 2010’s decade for the charts regardless of what happens the rest of the way, and I hope 2019 can bring out better songs on the charts because it’s been a mess this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sad will be on the year end. It didn’t make my worst list, nor did any of X’s other songs. I didn’t get anything out of those songs, they didn’t really ellicit any response from me one way or the other and I feel like people are only on the hate train for Sad! and his music in general simply because he was a terrible person and because Sad! hit #1 after his death. I personally never cared much for his music even when he was alive to have that angry of a reaction and other than “Look At Me!” and songs that sound like that one, I never thought the songs went beyond just plain bad. 6ix9ine on the other hand, I could’ve put all of his songs on my worst list if I wanted to, but I went with the obvious big hits (Gummo, Fefe). Now he gets an angry reaction out of me whenever his music charts because his music is literally and genuinely trash.

      Like

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