Showing posts with label camila cabello. Show all posts
Showing posts with label camila cabello. Show all posts

Sunday, December 8, 2019

video review: 'romance' by camila cabello

Yeah, before I get to Fen I might as well talk about this - stay tuned!

album review: 'romance' by camila cabello

The popularity of Camila Cabello seems to have to do with everything except the music itself.

And that's a loaded statement, but let's run through it: the widely-publicized split from Fifth Harmony, a well-managed Instagram glam presence when a lot of mainstream pop acts don't really play that game conventionally, and the increasingly cringe-worthy back-and-forth she has with Shawn Mendes with seems to be trying a little too hard to be believable or likable. And in the 2019 mainstream pop market, that might be enough to stand out... even as I can't help but see a faint whiff of similar marketing that Jennifer Lopez used over fifteen years ago in the early 2000s.

And like that era of J.Lo, Camila Cabello's music is bad and riding way more on a faint approximation of style than vocal talent or quality. By far the worst vocalist from Fifth Harmony thanks to her breathy, chewy delivery and weak shrillness, her debut Camila was an exercise in amateurish production that provided more texture than her by-the-numbers forgettable material deserved. And like J.Lo ahead of her, her popularity translating to success lives and dies on the hits, and when you look at her solo output that's not a sterling record. Yes, 'Senorita' was massive, but let's be real: swap out Camila for Becky G or Karol G and doesn't the song get immediately better, maybe because the song is more reliant on brand and marketing? Because when Camila has been required to carry hits by herself, 'Shameless' was a flop because it was a flagrant attempt to co-opt the darker pop edge, and even with the benefit of the crossover Latin market 'Liar' has underperformed. So to hear that her label was dumping this album in early December - I mean, it's not January like last time, but to me that screams like Epic and Syco - the latter of which, I should remind you, is run by Simon Cowell - dumping a turd that doesn't even have a 'Havana' for crossover, especially given the messy recording process that was Camila in 2018. So yeah, this likely wasn't any good - what did we get?

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - september 21, 2019

So I'll be honest: when I created my album bomb rules, there inevitably were going to be projects that just skirt around them - it hasn't been a perfect process, and one that I'll probably revisit for the next Billboard year, just taking the data I have into account. Normally it has been the albums that have a full six or seven songs released - just under my eight song cut-off - and in those cases it's normally the full swathe of other releases that leads to a lengthy episode. Of course, the other factor comes when the artist is so big that the vast majority of his new entries hit in the top 40, and given this happened with Post Malone... yeah, album bomb rules are in effect, but I'm still going to wind up covering the majority of the album anyway, so mission accomplished, I guess?

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - july 27, 2019 (VIDEO)

Man, this was an interesting week - I think next week is going to be wild, but we'll have to see...

In the mean time, looks like I'll have the Flaming Lips next, but I've also got Rock Coliseum tonight, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - july 27, 2019

Let's be honest: there's one primary narrative going into this week. I could talk about the mini-album bomb unleashed by Ed Sheeran, or the other scattered arrivals, but the reason anyone is paying attention to the Billboard Hot 100 right now, be you in the music industry or outside of it, is the race at the very top, where a record is being tested as we speak and barring any unforeseen circumstances could be broken next week... and all from a track that I thought would flame out in a week or less, goes to show how much I know!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - july 6, 2019 (VIDEO)

Honestly, I've been tinkering with the past few episodes in the audio mixing and thus far it's turning out well - generally nice.

Next up, though... Gibbs is coming, folks. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - july 6, 2019

So remember when I said last week that it looked like things were about to be changing? It's hard not to look at the Hot 100 right now and think that the disruptions are starting to come en masse - not the album bomb I expected from Lil Nas X, sure, but we still got four new songs in the top quarter of the charts, as well as a few shifts I definitely did not predict - we could be in for an interesting summer, just putting it out there.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - november 17, 2018 (VIDEO)

Okay, just one last week of the Billboard year, we're nearly there folks!

Next up... honestly, not sure, it's a many horse race on my schedule right now, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - november 17, 2018

Okay, so I've been predicting that the top ten and the Hot 100 would likely face one more disruption before the end of the Billboard year - but man, I can't quite say I was expecting this! Sure, the success of a small Metro Boomin album bomb might make sense - and given that I didn't review it, I'll be covering all the tracks in full, no worries here - but the song that seized the #1 spot, even running up against a weak track on top, that did catch me by surprise.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - august 18, 2018 (VIDEO)

Okay, a Travis Scott episode... but honestly, not a terrible one to put together, it just went a little long to put together.

Next up... ugh, let's deal with Nicki Minaj, stay tuned!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - august 18, 2018

...look, it's the week of Travis Scott. Yes, there were other debuts and we'll be giving them a little bit more time, but this is the week Astroworld rolled over the Hot 100 thanks to much of the same sort of juicy Spotify payola - I mean I promotion that Drake got. But while this means that all seventeen songs from the album charted - pray for my soul - it's at least a better record than Scorpion was, arguably one of the better album bombs this year, and at the very least I don't expect it to last, especially given that next week Nicki Minaj will likely net some sort of chart success right behind him, and then Ariana Grande behind them!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - june 2, 2018

This was a weird week. A pretty busy one, to be sure, and some things did turn out as I had predicted, but overall... it's not often you can say that our new arrivals span between k-pop, Lil Baby, Kevin Gates, and the Backstreet Boys - yeah, we'll be getting to that one, I did not see that coming at all! And that's very telling of the Hot 100 right now: there doesn't seem to be any one musical movement that's driving the pop culture conversation with any sustainability, and we're ripe to see everything blow apart.

Monday, January 15, 2018

video review: 'camila' by camila cabello

Well, this was inconsistent... and disappointing. But really, I'm not all that surprised...

Beyond that, next up is Billboard BREAKDOWN, Anderson East, and hopefully Paddington 2 soon, so stay tuned!

album review: 'camila' by camila cabello

So there's an unspoken and kind of uncomfortable truth about a lot of pop music: while it helps to have talent, if you're in the right place at the right time with the right people, it doesn't matter if you do or not, you're going to find success. Hell, on average you'll probably get even more famous than folks who have talent but are lacking in either the place, timing, or people department - and thus on that note, Camila Cabello.

Okay, that's really mean, I admit it - but there's also always been some truth to it and not just about her - hell, more than I think a lot of people want to admit. I remember both of my Fifth Harmony reviews when Camila was with the group and she was always the weakest link, both as a singer and an interesting pop personality, and when she left I thought Fifth Harmony got better on their self-titled release - and yeah, I realize I'm pretty much the only one who thought that, but I stand by it. And when Camila Cabello started releasing singles and collaborations, I was fully expecting her to flame out like other girl group acts going solo - I'm not too young to forget Nicole Scherzinger and what happened to the Pussycat Dolls. 

But then 'Havana' happened - and I remember what I said when I reviewed the song on Billboard BREAKDOWN, it was the first time I actually had a hope that Camila could release something worthwhile... but when you have nine cowriters including Pharrell, you can almost hear the pop machinery muscling this into becoming a hit - as much as people don't want to admit it, the system can still do that. And thus it was only a matter of time before we got a new album - short enough that it probably didn't cost too much, even though it's not like Syco spends money on producers anyway, but also released in mid-January when there's literally no competition and if it flops they could cut their losses. Now if you can't tell, I was not expecting to like this, especially coming with the forgettable follow-up single 'Never Be The Same' - but hey, 'Havana' was a good surprise, this could be too, right?

Monday, December 25, 2017

the top ten worst hit songs of 2017 (VIDEO)

It's here, it's already controversial, and apparently the damn video malfunctioned because after rendering the damn thing three times I can't catch a break. Ah well, best hits of 2017 is coming in a day or two, stay tuned!

the top ten worst hit songs of 2017

There have been years where writing this list is easy. Sometimes it's like 2015 or 2012, where the bad songs can't diminish otherwise diminish a strong or interesting year - or on the flip side we get years like 2016, where the avalanche of awful is so pronounced I almost have too much material, and while that list might be painful to revisit, sheer rage makes it all surge out.

2017 has not been that year, and it's a little tough to explain why. You could make a comparison to 2014 in how so much of this year defaulted towards average instead of a more pronounced brand of awful - I'm certainly not as angry towards this list as I've been in previous years - but the truly excellent hits were much stronger in 2017. What I think has befuddled some critics is how pop was effectively overtaken by the hip-hop and R&B aesthetic on the Hot 100 - it might have become more pronounced in 2013 but in 2017 the takeover was complete, and if you weren't paying more attention to streaming instead of radio, you were going to be left behind. And thus in 2017 the truly bad songs are a bit of a mix of the pop songs tumbling towards the monogenre and the lazy, bargain-barrel dumpster fire that is the dregs of trap. And again, to establish the rules the songs had to debut on the year-end Hot 100 list for 2017, and purely boring doesn't just cut it for me. Given how much of this I've covered on Billboard BREAKDOWN, I've long been numbed to the endless swirl of interchangeable trap bangers and their brand of disposable mediocrity. If you want to land on this list, you need to really irritate me or piss me off, so let's get going with some Dishonourable Mentions!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - december 30, 2017 (VIDEO)

And this week was pretty damn rough too... goddamn it, 2018 is not looking good going forward...

But okay, we've got some better hip-hop coming, so stay tuned!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - december 30, 2017

So as I've been predicting, the charts are heading into the lull around the holiday season - and I mean that more than most, because I don't think I've seen the Hot 100 this static in months, with only a pretty sparse crop of new arrivals to bring any real disruption. Hopefully that means I can keep this episode short and get to work on my last few reviews before year-end lists, but hey, you never know, right?