Double Take features a top ten track from the Hype Machine and a top ten track from the iTunes singles charts – both unknown and unheard by myself. I review them, grade them, and determine if they pass muster. Did I mention these tracks are selected specifically because they encompass genres that I am ignorant of, or generally avoid? Well, there’s that too.
Double Take is meant to be a fun interlude in the seriousness of music blogging…if blogging can be called serious. I tackle songs I would never otherwise give a second thought, or delve into genres where I’d be better off sticking my own foot in my mouth than try to talk intelligently about them. Read and listen responsibly. Enjoy!
Crywolf & Ianborg – “Oceans” from Ghosts EP (due out in April) – ranked #6 on the Hype Machine
Never heard of Crywolf. Apparently he’s had a notable track or two. Also never encountered the producer Ianborg, but I give them both props on a name. A well established and longstanding rule of Sirens of Decay is bands with animals in their names are often worth the listen. I’d give them a >52% ratio of success based on the tracks I’ve received. That’s pretty good odds…more than 1 out of every 2 bands have something great. I think most teenage dreamers in garage bands would take those odds for releasing something big.
“Oceans” is an electronic smorgasbord. Combining some sounds from dubstep, some other electronic bells and whistles and wobbles I am not qualified to identify, a nice synth-laden intro, and engaging vocals…this is actually a pretty nice track. I can see why it’s gotten so far up the Hype Machine. The Hype crowd has always leaned heavily towards the electronic/synth/dubstep heavy influences (as well as being all over remixes), and you can readily find new and great electro-goodies in comparison to say a good garage jam in the top 50.
The vocals here are as good, and as memorable as any mainstream pop track that has stuck in your head over the years. That’s meant as a complete compliment. It sounds great, and Justin Phillips’ voice blends amazingly with the Crywolf+Ianborg production.
I still don’t know much about Crywolf. Apparently he’s from Raleigh, NC, which I am familiar with. Not much else I’ve found in my cursory look, however, I will check out the Ghosts EP in April based on this song.
Good job, Hype Machine. You picked a winner. Let me give you a <3.
Justin Timberlake – “Suit & Tie (feat. Jay-Z)” from The 20/20 Experience – #7 on iTunes Singles Chart
As per the usual, I’m fashionably late to the party for another “big” track. Justin Timberlake’s latest single. I thought he was an actor now? I could’ve sworn he created Napster and helped out with Facebook. That was 2010 though, I guess. Nowadays, “JT” is touring with Jay-Z and apparently staying snazzily dressed at all times.
If this track were snazzily dressed, someone stained it with mustard. It gets started with a decent, if not repetitive, intro and kicks into some brass and Justin Timberlake’s well known vocals. Unfortunately, those are most of the draws on this track for me. I don’t find it bad, necessarily, so much as underwhelming. For someone that hasn’t put out an album since 2006, and who had fans clamoring for music for six years now, you’d figure the first single on the new album would be…better.
All said, if this track had a hook that had delivered, it might’ve changed my outlook. As it stands, there’s nothing notable in the chorus. Timberlake keeps saying he’ll show us a few things, but it won’t be on this track. The inclusion of Jay-Z is almost always a good thing. “Suit & Tie” benefits from his inclusion as well, but his verse is nothing memorable either. The whole affair is forgettable…I imagine this is why a JT + Jay-Z single only made it to #4 on the Billboard even with that kind of starpower backing it.
Nice try, iTunes. Next time, let’s pick a song with a real hook so that I can at least enjoy the listen.