Fun. I talked about it a lot in my last album review. Listening to that album rekindled a spark in me. I thought about Sirens of Decay and it’s current menu. There’s tracks and album reviews, all standard fare. Shorthanded Goals is very popular. Also, though it is rare, there is the occasional interview. I’ve long thought about what new features I could add to this blog. I’ve had some good ideas and never ran with them. I’ve also had a lot of blank space and did nothing with it.
That changes today.
We’re gonna try out a new feature tentatively titled “Double Take” to bring some more fun to both your experience reading here on Sirens, as well as my own experience producing the content. Double Take has three simple objectives: 1) Get me out of my comfort zone, and maybe you out of yours. 2) Incite your response. 3) Inject a little humor into a music blogosphere that is normally quite restrained and canned.
With those objectives in mind I deliver the prestige; “Double Take” will pull one track from the top 10 on the Hype Machine and one track from the top 10 singles on iTunes each week for me to review and, ultimately, love or hate. These tracks will be artists or genres that I’ve never encountered or know little about. Basically, the two questions “Double Take” seeks to answer are: What am I missing? or, am I really missing anything?
The contenders for our Beta Test:
Lovelife – “Your New Beloved” from The Fourth Floor EP ranked #6 on the Hype Machine.
Little known fact about bloggers. We don’t know jack. Actually that’s probably well known.
I received a free MP3 of this track from Popgun over 2 months ago. Don’t point too many fingers at me though – if you look, it was included in Shorthanded Goals: Volume III. That means a lot of you folks missed it too…or at least none of you e-mailed me and told me there was something good there.
What did I miss? Some pretty chill synth pop, it appears. There’s a bit of the robotic autotune going on at times, which can be grating, but I can overlook it for the interesting thump of the beat and the wavelike wash of the keys or synth or whatever is carrying the melody there. Like I said, genres I know little about, right? “Your New Beloved” is quite catchy when Lovelife drops the gimmick and steps to a purer R&B vocal delivery.
My lack of knowledge about “electronic” music stems from my (right or wrong) prejudice that most electronic tracks never go anywhere. It’s a lot of buildup and only the rare track really pays off. I can’t say that there is a lot different going on in this Lovelife cut, sadly. The production is well above par, though, and I find myself digging it regardless of my complaints.
I believe I’ll have to this track a passing grade. Good job Hype Machine.
Bauuer – “Harlem Shake” from Harlem Shake – Single ranked #1 on iTunes singles chart
I see those eyes rolling, but could it have been anything else for the first time? Everyone else has spouted their opinions on Twitter, Facebook, and to their friends. Why can’t I have my own moment in Bauuer’s 15 minutes of fame? Full disclosure: I’ve honestly never even heard the track so this should be fun.
You’ve all seen the videos right? You haven’t?! Ah, me either. Let’s go watch.
How about 28 million views for the Norwegian army doing the shake? Do you like your shake done at the Haarlem railway station in The Netherlands? Or the University of Guelph going batshit insane while being half-naked in the snow? Maybe you’d rather stay true to your indie roots and watch Matt and Kim do the “Harlem Shake” with a pretty rowdy crowd and Matt wearing what appears to be something similar to the head of a Creeper from Minecraft. (Editors note: yes I know it’s just a plain old box, but Minecraft is EVERYWHERE!) There’s even a freaking dryer, yes, a freaking clothes dryer, doing the “Harlem Shake”. KSLA news also got into the act.
Well, after searching Youtube and finding all those videos…I have to say, this stomps all over “Gangnam Style”. There were some good videos for that, but these videos feel like the end of a three day bender. That one where you’ve got more red bull and vodka in your veins than blood and your heart is doing the Harlem arrhythmia.
I don’t know if I would call the song itself quality, mainly because it’s just a bunch of electronic bells and whistles and a dude yelling out something about terrorists in Spanish…but I’ve definitely seen worse topping the charts on iTunes.
On this track, I’ll give a passing grade to the thirty second videos and a fail to the song itself. The videos were pretty enjoyable. Flash mobs are great, one day I hope to experience one in person. Good try iTunes. You’re doing better, I guess.