Showing posts with label lana del rey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lana del rey. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - september 28, 2019

These are the album bomb weeks I always tend to find a bit perplexing... because the fuse seems "delayed", for lack of better words. Post Malone may have cut a swathe across the Hot 100, but like with other huge album bombs, many of his songs didn't crash out that hard, which meant that many other songs didn't rebound as big as you'd expect. All of this translates to a relatively mild week for me, and while I'm not complaining, I can't help but feel I'm waiting for the next shoe to drop.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - september 14, 2019 (VIDEO)

Yeah, rough episode... it happens.

Next up, I'm finally going to talk about The Highwomen, then probably Lower Dens - stay tuned!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - september 14, 2019

This week does not matter. Now the natural expansion of that is saying, 'look, the Billboard Hot 100 is a badly constructed fugazi of contradictions and payola, none of it really matters', but let's focus on this week here, because next week Post Malone is going to bulldoze through here with a full Hollywood's Bleeding album bomb, and most of what showed up here will be gone: you've been warned.

Friday, September 6, 2019

video review: 'norman fucking rockwell!' by lana del rey

Okay, so I talked way too much about this album... go figure.

Anyway, next up I'm finally talking about Shura, so stay tuned!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

album review: 'norman fucking rockwell!' by lana del rey

So let me give you all a little bit of insider information when it comes to how albums are usually released in the modern era: presuming the album is done or nearly done, a single is released, maybe tries to spur a bit of traction, and if it sticks the countdown opens up to push the album to the public. The window has shortened considerably in comparison with the predictable radio run, which means that if you start seeing an artist pushing more than a few singles before the album drops, or you see the release date change when the single doesn't catch fire... well, that's not a good sign behind the scenes for the artist and any label support they might have.

And I bring this up because of all the acts for which I expected this wouldn't be an issue, Lana Del Rey was on that list. Yeah, my issues with her have been well-documented - see the reviews of Ultraviolence, Honeymoon, and Lust For Life for the lengthy and contentious details - but she routinely sold a ton of albums, never quite matching her debut but still consistent. And with this album, right from the first singles she was releasing she was getting the sort of widespread critical acclaim she hadn't seen properly in years, even from outlets who never gave her the time of day... and yet she started releasing her first singles nearly a year ago, and the album had already been delayed until the end of summer. Hell, up until last week I wasn't even sure it was going to come out, let alone that it would drop and receive the most critical acclaim she's ever seen in her career! And given that I had purposefully avoided any single had released, the most I really knew going in was how her primary collaborator on production was Jack Antonoff, an intriguing choice if only because whenever he toys with backwards-looking Americana he can hit a decent stride, so I was fascinated how that'd play in the writing. So alright, we probably should have gotten this album a year ago, but what did Lana Del Rey deliver with Norman Fucking Rockwell!?

Sunday, July 30, 2017

video review: 'lust for life' by lana del rey

So this... yeah, not terrible. Not exactly good either, but Lana Del Rey is getting better, I'll give props where due.

And yet for a group that's not getting better... well, stay tuned!

Friday, July 28, 2017

album review: 'lust for life' by lana del rey

I really don't know why I keep giving Lana Del Rey second chances.

Because that is how it feels, at least from my point of view - ever since she won me over early with 'Video Games' I've been willing to listen to her overlong, dreary, melodramatic projects with the vague hope that somewhere she'd manage to recapture some of that magic and emotive presence. I listened through Born To Die's uneven stumbling, I suffered through Ultraviolence's insufferable baby-voiced crooning, I struggled through the more polished gleam of Honeymoon, all with the vague hope that if unable to make anything with dramatic pathos she'd at least make the melodrama compelling. Keep in mind that it's not like I couldn't find other singers in her mold that could pull off this sort of baroque pop - Julia Holter is my go-to example but take just a half-step towards folk or country or indie rock and you'll find dozens of them, many who are more compelling singers and songwriters - but I keep hoping that she'd pull it off, there's always the trace of that potential there.

And believe it or not, I had hopes that Lust For Life would be the record that gets there. The lead-off single 'Love' was by far one of her best singles, and if she could deliver more tracks in that vein that could tap into sentiments that felt more fully realized or borderline populist, she could have something here. Of course, this was also a record where she was bringing many more producers on board - along with guest appearances from A$AP Rocky and Stevie Nicks and The Weeknd, which could make sense, and Playboi Carti, which absolutely did not - and it was also by far her longest record, which considering the pace and tempo would almost certainly lead to things dragging... but hey, the hope was still there, so what did I find on Lust For Life?

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - may 13, 2017 (VIDEO)

I think people who were a lot higher on the Paramore song probably enjoyed this week a lot more than I did... meh, it happens.

But next up, we've got something that's waited FAR too long... stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - may 13, 2017

So I was expecting this week to feel dispiriting. Kendrick falls off the top spot, the aftermath of DAMN. as the chart naturally corrects to a less promising state... but here's the honest truth: despite some absolute trash on the Hot 100 right now, I'm generally pretty pleased with the current state of affairs. Good songs have held enough traction to make a serious shot at the year-end list, I'm seeing promising continuity into the summer, and while there are problems, they feel isolated in comparison with the larger trends. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - march 11, 2017 (VIDEO)

Man, this was a week of surprises - half songs I didn't think I'd like as much as I do, half because there wasn't a single damn Future song that I liked (and believe me, I tried).

Eh, anyway, next up we have something I wanted to talk about that's a little on the weirder side, so stay tuned!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - march 11, 2017

So I didn't have a good feeling about this week going in, mostly because I knew what was coming. I knew that we were getting the first half of Future's 'two albums in two weeks' mistake, and when you follow it with The Chainsmokers working with Coldplay, Linkin Park working with Kiiara, and Lana Del Rey, I was gearing up for a disaster... and that's before I found out about our biggest new arrival, but we'll get to that.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - december 17, 2016 (VIDEO)

Well, this took entirely too long to finish editing... go figure, but man, so many songs that'll be gone in a day or two...

But anyway, next up is, well, it surprised me. Stay tuned!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - december 17, 2016

I called it last week, and now here it is. Folks, this is the week of The Weeknd, because of at this moment, every single song from his album Starboy either entered, re-entered, or rose up the Hot 100 this week. That's a total of eighteen songs - and what's all the more crazy is that he didn't encompass every debut this week, thank you so very much Disney. And what concerns me more than anything is overexposure - that's one of the biggest factors that lies at the roots of how much I turned on Drake throughout this last year... so let's hope this doesn't hit The Weeknd as badly as I might expect.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - december 10, 2016 (VIDEO)

So this video was longer than usual... and actually really great, I dug the hell out of this! Two good weeks in a row... man, if only I had any hope we could keep this up, 2017 has some real potential to be a damn good year.

In the mean time, let's take care of old business next, shall we? Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - december 10, 2016

So this week was a little weird. Not just because we started getting tracks from The Weeknd earlier than expected - I'm imagining next week to be just overloaded - but we got some big surprises all over the place, including a few artists I have not thought about or talked about in years. That, at the very least promised to make things interesting - note that I didn't precisely say good, although there really was some promise here.

Friday, September 18, 2015

video review: 'honeymoon' by lana del rey

Well, this is going over about as well as I expected. Think I'm going to stick with releases that spark less of a crazy reaction for the next few videos, I can only contain so many shitstorms at a time.

So next up, Brett Eldredge, stay tuned!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

album review: 'honeymoon' by lana del rey

I bet there's a slew of you who are wondering why I'm bothering to do this review. I mean, it's not like I haven't made my opinion on this artist pretty damn clear by this point, so why on earth am I bothering to cover her?

Well, believe it or not, I actually do have a certain fascination with Lana Del Rey, at least in terms of her somehow still increasing popularity. I mean, I got it at first: 'Video Games' remains an excellent song, and I can even see it making sense into Born To Die - sure, the writing was melodramatic as hell and I didn't care much for Lana's delivery, but at least the production had a veneer of glamour and bombast that made songs like 'National Anthem' workable. But then Ultraviolence happened with Dan Auerbach behind the production boards and an attempt to emphasize more of a bluesy, reverb-swallowed sound, and the veneer was torn away. It didn't have the grandiose bombast to make compelling melodrama, and the writing rapidly became insufferable as Lana tried without fail to romanticize and glamorize her terrible behaviour, bad situations, and seeming inability to do anything to change them without an ounce of self-awareness. And sure, you can argue that's a character she's playing and that this is what Hollywood has 'made' her, but the writing and especially the framing doesn't really support that insight - and it's not as if it made the music any less tiresome and drab to add any subversive thrill to the regressive cliches and stereotypes. On top of that, she chose to abandon more her more soulful lower range for this high baby-voiced cooing slur that when it wasn't getting overwhelmed by the mix failed to raise any emotional response in me whatsoever. 

And you'd think that more people would have picked up on that, but it seemed like critics and audiences alike were enraptured by it and Lana Del Rey got bigger than ever, even finding her perfect male counterpart with The Weeknd and his shameless brand of hedonistic exploitation - but at least he knew enough to bring some visceral punch to his best melodramas. Whereas with Lana... well, maybe it's just everyone already knowing my preferences, but I've received a lot less requests for Honeymoon than I did for Ultraviolence, and I'll admit I was interested. Sure, singles like 'High By The Beach' annoyed the hell out of me, but I did notice that there were fewer producers than ever behind this album, with Lana handling even more of the production herself. So with more artistic control than ever before, what does Lana Del Rey deliver?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - september 19, 2015 (VIDEO)

I'm fairly certain this might be the longest episode of Billboard BREAKDOWN to date, and that's saying something. Here's betting the next one will be big too as so many of those album tracks from Beauty Behind The Madness drop out.

Next up, let's go metal and talk Iron Maiden - stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - september 19, 2015

You know, there are some weeks where I wonder why I even bother doing my album reviews, instead just focusing on Billboard BREAKDOWN, because in the case of certain records, nearly every song from it is going to land on the charts at some point, so why should I bother? And this week, not only do we have one of those cases, we also have a song from a previous case of it returning high to the charts. And yet, none of those have ended up being the biggest story of this week, mostly we have a new #1, the first of his career and one riding the wave of a tearful VMAs performance to take the very top. And folks, time to dust off those old pitchforks: Justin Bieber is back, and he's bigger than ever.