Welcome back to another Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 Review where I look at some of the latest songs to hit the Hot 100’s Top 40. Let’s get started.
#38. Over Now-Calvin Harris & The Weeknd: When I saw that The Weeknd has a song with Calvin Harris, I was curious about it because both artists have shown their love of retro sounds through their music. So how is Over Now? Well, it definitely sounds like a song that missed the cut from After Hours, but I really like this. The slick 80s R&B production, The Weeknd’s velvety voice, him realizing that a relationship wasn’t working out and that it’s best to break it off. I give this song a 4.5/5.
#37. Midnight Sky-Miley Cyrus: In her ongoing journey to find a musical identity, Miley Cyrus put out Midnight Sky. This time around, she’s hopping on the 80s synthpop bandwagon and I will say that this production is good. A shame that the vocal moving sounds like complete ass and writing-wise, it’s your typical post-breakup song that you’ve heard a bunch of times. As for the song overall? It’s okay, not anything great. At least it doesn’t make me want to press the skip button or change the channel. I give it a 3/5.
#33. One Of Them Girls-Lee Brice: It’s crazy to see the progress of Lee Brice, going from an artist I disliked to someone who can make some really solid songs. One Of Them Girls continues that motion with some solid production and Lee Brice flirting with “one of them girls” and getting turned down while bringing in enough charm to make it endearing. I got nothing else to say, I give this a 4/5.
#32. Rags2Riches-Rod Wave ft ATR Son Son: A pretty underwhelming song that sounds like Rod Wave wasn’t even trying. 2/5.
#31. Got What I Got-Jason Aldean: Sweet buttery Jesus, I’m getting major Burnin’ It Down vibes from this. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it’s not as bad as that turgid slog, but the dour drum-machine-backed production, Jason Aldean’s flat performance, and him trying to convince this girl to stay with him. No, this isn’t good. 1/5 for me.
#27. If The World Was Ending-JP Saxe ft Julia Michaels: Considering everything that’s going on with the world, thanks to a pandemic, wildfires, and a shitshow presidential election, apt title. So this is If The World Was Ending, a piano ballad where JP Saxe and Julia Michaels portray themselves as two exes meeting up with one another as the world comes to an end. The music is super-basic and both singers have the chemistry of water and oil. How is it possible to make a song about the literal end of the world sound boring? It makes you wish for that meteor to come quick. This song took what could have been an interesting premise and turned it into coffee shop background noise. Easy skip for me. I give it a 1/5.
#26. Lovin’ On You-Luke Combs: It’s alright. A bit standard, but it’s listenable. 3/5.
#22. Be Like That-Kane Brown ft Khalid & Swae Lee: Seems like Kane Brown has decided to go full-on pop music with his latest singles. This time, he’s teamed up with Khalid and Swae Lee for Be Like That. For a sellout track, this is actually alright. Both Kane Brown and Khalid sound pretty good here on this guitar-driven relationship song, even if the drums don’t really fit the rest of the music. The weakest part of the song is Swae Lee, who can’t measure up with the other two and sounds out of place. Otherwise, I can tolerate this song overall. I’m giving it a 3/5.
#21. Tap In-Saweetie: So this is gonna be Saweetie’s formula for hits now, huh? Sampling well-known hip-hop staples from the 2000s. First, she samples Freek-A-Leek for My Type, and now with Tap In, she’s sampling Blow The Whistle by Too Short. And, yeah, this isn’t doing it for me. The production barely does anything with the Too Short sample and while Saweetie isn’t a bad rapper, she doesn’t really elevate this song with her usual bragging. Also not helping is that this track is produced by a certain POS who produced Doja Cat’s breakout hit and abused Kesha. Yeah, this is a “no” for me. This is getting a 1.5/5.
#13. Ice Cream-BLACKPINK & Selena Gomez: This is the perfect opportunity for me to talk about K-pop, the South Korean genre that’s taken the world by storm in recent years. K-pop stans have taken over social media with fancams at an honestly scary level. So what do I think of this genre? Ehh, it’s not my thing. Don’t get me wrong, there are some good K-pop songs out there and I can see the appeal and why people would gravitate towards it, but a lot of K-pop doesn’t have much replay value for me. Anyways, one of the big names of the genre BLACKPINK have released Ice Cream and man, is this underwhelming. This is basically another version of that Sour Candy song as they both use food metaphors for
sex love. The only difference is the production, which is that generic pop trap sound and instead of Lady Gaga, there’s Selena Gomez, who blends in to the dull vocal performances here. I didn’t even like the rapping from BLACKPINK member Lisa. Yeah, not a fan of this song, folks. It’s a 2/5 for me. Sorry.
#8. Mood-24kGoldn ft iann dior: So I saw a bunch of people like this song, so I was curious to see what the hype was about. And it’s alright, I guess. I see the appeal, that guitar riff does stick to the head alongside a standard trap beat and the hook is catchy. But that’s about it. The rest of the song is your basic “relationship going down the toilet” song where our performers are having girl problems and I’m not exactly wowed by the performances. This song is just okay overall, IMO. I’m giving it a 3/5.
#3. Laugh Now Cry Later-Drake ft Lil Durk: Well, Drake. I am doing a lot of laughing now because you chose to name your next album Certified Lover Boy. Crying later? Not happening. So this is Laugh Now Cry Later, the first single for that upcoming album and it’s more of the same shit. A flat beat and Drake droning on and on with the most noteworthy thing being that he’s still not over the whole Pusha T beef. Bro, you lost. Move on. As for Lil Durk, I am not a fan of this dude. I didn’t like him on that Nas album and I sure don’t like him here. Overall, this song is more forgettably mediocre than outright bad and it’s only here because of brand-name recognition. It’s getting a 2/5 from me.
#2. WAP-Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion: I’ve waited too long to talk about this one. WAP was pretty much a cultural phenomenon that caught people by storm. Sex-positive women were empowered by it, others were split in the middle about it, and conservative commentators (who shall remain unnamed) were pearl-clutching over the content and were rightfully mocked for it. So what is WAP? Well, it’s short for “wet ass pussy” and it’s from Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion. While this song isn’t for me as I’m not too big on explicit sex songs, what makes this song stand above others is the over-the-top, hyperbolic nature of the lyrics with a minimal rumble of a beat that gives room for these lines to shine. Megan Thee Stallion pretty much stole the show with her verse, but Cardi B did her thing as well. You’re not gonna find this on one of my playlists, but it’s a fun song for any girls’ get-together and it would kill at the clubs (if there was no pandemic). I give this song a 4/5.
#1. Dynamite-BTS: And now for the first song by an international group to debut at number one on the Hot 100, courtesy of K-pop giants BTS. And unlike other K-pop songs, this has staying power since it’s at its second week at number one. So how is Dynamite? Okay, so I’ve gone through some of the other BTS songs and I did enjoy a good chunk of what they had. I say this because Dynamite isn’t exactly their best, though it’s fine. The bright production and vocals, plus a really catchy hook and an effective key change, makes for a perfect crossover single, though it’s not particularly unique for BTS compared to their best material. Plus, the song is entirely in English, which makes me think that they made this song for English-speaking audiences. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, just putting that out there. Overall, I give Dynamite a 3.5/5.
Got What I Got
If The World Was Ending
And that was another Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 Review. Stay tuned next month when I do another one. This week, I’ll release my Modern Rock Tracks Review for 2004.