RIP, Love Songs

Interesting article by Terry Teachout (Commentary’s critic-at-large and the drama critic of the Wall Street Journal) of how changing American cultural norms about love and marriage have resulted in significant changes in how love is represented in today’s popular music, especially rap. He also reviews a recent book on this subject by Ted Gioia called Love Songs: The Hidden History.

Source: Article Love Songs Rip

Top 10 for Week of August 30-September 5


1. DREAMS – Beck
2. EX’S AND OH’S – Elle King
3. FIRST – Cold War Kids
4. CAN’T FEEL MY FACE – The Weeknd
5. RENEGADES – X Ambassadors
6. BLAME IT ON ME – George Ezra
7. SHIP TO WRECK – Florence + the Machine
8. ELECTRIC LOVE – BORNS
9. TEAR IN MY HEART – twenty one pilots
10. COULD HAVE BEEN ME – The Struts

Top 50 Songs of 2011

2011 saw the release of two incredible albums by two of my favorite artists, Adele’s epic masterpiece “21” and Foster the People’s debut album “Torches.” The best song of the year is without doubt “Rolling in the Deep,” Adele’s triumphant song of betrayal, heartbreak and ultimate survival. Foster the People have three songs in my top 10, beginning with “Pumped Up Kicks,” with it’s dark message sharply contrasting with a peppy upbeat melody.

Here are my Top 50 favorite songs of 2011:

1. ROLLING IN THE DEEP – Adele

2. MOVES LIKE JAGGER – Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera
3. PUMPED UP KICKS – Foster the People
4. STEREO HEARTS – Gym Class Heroes featuring Adam Levine
5. READY TO GO – Panic! At the Disco
6. HOUDINI – Foster the People
7. RAISE YOUR GLASS – P!nk
8. HELENA BEAT – Foster the People
9. SOMEONE LIKE YOU – Adele
10. FIREWORK – Katy Perry
11. PERFECT – P!nk
12. EVERY TEARDROP IS A WATERFALL – Coldplay
13. ADOLESCENTS – Incubus
14. PARTY ROCK ANTHEM – LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett & GoonRock
15. CALL IT WHAT YOU WANT – Foster the People
16. HOWLIN’ FOR YOU – The Black Keys
17. GOOD LIFE – OneRepublic
18. SHAKE ME DOWN – Cage the Elephant
19. MONEYGRABBER – Fitz & the Tantrums
20. ONLY GIRL IN THE WORLD – Rihanna
21. JUST THE WAY YOU ARE – Bruno Mars
22. JUST CAN’T GET ENOUGH – The Black-Eyed Peas
23. FOR THE FIRST TIME – The Script
24. BORN THIS WAY – Lady Gaga
25. MY BODY – Young the Giant
26. THE LAZY SONG – Bruno Mars
27. GIVE ME EVERYTHING – Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo, Afro jack & Nayer
28. GRENADE – Bruno Mars
29. WHAT’S MY NAME? – Rihanna featuring Drake
30. TONIGHT, TONIGHT – Hot Chelle Rae
31. THE CAVE – Mumford & Sons
32. KEEP YOUR HEAD UP – Andy Grammer
33. WALK – Foo Fighters
34. WAITING FOR THE END – Linkin Park
35. RHYTHM OF LOVE – Plain White T’s
36. DON’T YOU WANNA STAY – Jason Aldean with Kelly Clarkson
37. DON’T GOTTA WORK IT OUT – Fitz & the Tantrums
38. THE ADVENTURES OF RAIN DANCE MAGGIE – Red Hot Chili Peppers
39. DOG DAYS ARE OVER – Florence + the Machine
40. THE SOUND OF WINTER – Bush
41. THE EDGE OF GLORY – Lady Gaga
42. YOU AND I – Lady Gaga
43. LAST FRIDAY NIGHT (T.G.I.F.) – Katy Perry
44. UNDISCLOSED DESIRES – Muse
45. YOU ARE A TOURIST – Death Cab for Cutie
46. IF I DIE YOUNG – The Band Perry
47. NOTHING – The Script
48. WITHOUT YOU – David Guetta featuring Usher
49. JUST A KISS – Lady Antebellum
50. NEVER GONNA LEAVE THIS BED – Maroon 5

“Ricki and the Flash” is thoroughly satisfying.

Well, Meryl Streep hits another one out of the ballpark with her latest performance in “Ricki and the Flash,” directed by Jonathan Demme. Streep plays an aging rock musician, named Ricki Rendazzo, who never quite made it big, but continues to perform in a small club at night while working at a grocery store by day to make ends meet. Her real name is Linda, but years earlier she abandoned that persona, along with her husband Pete, played by Kevin Kline, and three young children, to pursue her dream of being a rock star in California. When ex-husband Pete calls to inform her that their daughter Julie, played by Streep’s real-life daughter Mamie Gummer in a convincing performance, has had a nervous breakdown after her husband leaves her for another woman, Linda flies to Indianapolis to try and help her estranged daughter. Julie doesn’t exactly welcome her mother with open arms, nor do Linda’s two sons Joshua and Daniel. There’s a cringeworthy scene when Linda, Pete, their three children and Joshua’s fiance Emily gather for an extremely awkward dinner at an upscale restaurant. In due course, Linda has a confrontation with Pete’s current wife Maureen, beautifully played by the talented broadway star Audra McDonald. The film has a somewhat predictible but totally satisfying ending at the marriage of Joshua and Emily.

Throughout the film are several scenes of Ricki and her band The Flash performing in a small nightclub, mostly singing covers of other bands’ songs. Streep does all her own singing and even plays guitar, and singer Rick Springfield turns in a rather good and authentic performance as her bandmate and sometime love interest Greg. There is real chemistry between them, onstage and off. There are a few moments when the film could have become bogged down by cliche, but the strong acting performances by the entire cast keep it credible. Streep’s and Springfield’s musical performances are pretty enjoyable to watch too.

Top 10 for Week of August 23-29

1. DREAMS – Beck
2. CAN’T FEEL MY FACE – The Weeknd
3. EX’S AND OH’S – Elle King
4. FIRST – Cold War Kids
5. RENEGADES – X Ambassadors
6. BLAME IT ON ME – George Ezra
7. TEAR IN MY HEART – twenty one pilots
8. SHIP TO WRECK – Florence + the Machine
9. COULD HAVE BEEN ME – The Struts
10. ELECTRIC LOVE – BORNS

Top 50 Songs of 2012

2012 was an exciting year for music, with more great songs from Adele, The Black Keys, Maroon 5, Kelly Clarkson, P!nk and Coldplay. A number of new artists, including fun., Ed Sheeran and Walk the Moon emerged on the music scene with songs that became instant classics. Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know,” was a huge crossover hit, and ended up being the #1 Song of the Year on Billboard’s Hot 100, Rock, Adult Pop and Alternative Charts. It also was awarded a Grammy for Record of the Year, and is my favorite song of 2012. Here are my 50 favorite songs of 2012.

1. SOMEBODY THAT I USED TO KNOW – Gotye featuring Kimbra

2. TONGUE TIED – Grouplove
3. WE ARE YOUNG – fun. Featuring Janelle Monae
4. LONELY BOY – The Black Keys
5. SET FIRE TO THE RAIN – Adele
6. SOME NIGHTS – fun.
7. ONE MORE NIGHT – Maroon 5
8. STRONGER (WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU) – Kelly Clarkson
9. PARADISE – Coldplay
10. BLOW ME (ONE LAST KISS) – P!nk
11. CALL ME MAYBE – Carly Rae Jepsen
12. BURN IT DOWN – Linkin Park
13. COUGH SYRUP – Young the Giant
14. PAYPHONE – Maroon 5
15. THE A TEAM – Ed Sheeran
16. PRINCESS OF CHINA – Coldplay featuring Rihanna
17. WE FOUND LOVE – Calvin Harris featuring Rihanna
18. GLAD YOU CAME – The Wanted
19. DON’T STOP (COLOR ON THE WALLS) – Foster the People
20. HOME – Phillip Phillips
21. EVERYBODY TALKS – Neon Trees
22. GOLD ON THE CEILING – The Black Keys
23. TAKE A WALK – Passion Pit
24. RUMOUR HAS IT – Adele
25. LIGHTS – Ellie Goulding
26. WIDE AWAKE – Katy Perry
27. IT WILL RAIN – Bruno Mars
28. MIDNIGHT CITY – M83
29. TITANIUM – David Guetta featuring Sia
30. GOOD FEELING – Flo Rida
31. ANNA SUN – Walk the Moon
32. GIVE YOUR HEART A BREAK – Demi Lovato
33. WHAT MAKES YOU BEAUTIFUL – One Direction
34. TOO CLOSE – Alex Clare
35. DRIVE BY – Train
36. LITTLE BLACK SUBMARINES – The Black Keys
37. RUNAWAYS – The Killers
38. THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY – Katy Perry
39. LET ME LOVE YOU – Ne-Yo
40. HALL OF FAME – The Script featuring will.i.am
41. THESE DAYS – Foo Fighters
42. FINE BY ME – Andy Grammer
43. I WON’T GIVE UP – Jason Mraz
44. WILD ONES – Flo Rida featuring Sia
45. CHARLIE BROWN – Coldplay
46. HOLD ON – Alabama Shakes
47. NOT OVER YOU – Gavin DeGraw
48. NOT YOUR FAULT – Awolnation
49. DAYS GO BY – The Offspring
50. MR. KNOW IT ALL – Kelly Clarkson

“Booty” is one of the worst songs of 2014.

The song – if it could even be referred to as such – “Booty” by Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea is hands down one of the worst singles of 2014, and the accompanying video is unbelievably repulsive. The song is a stupid repetitive piece of crap, and the video is nothing more than soft-core porn. Jennifer Lopez at 46 still has a great body and desperately wants to remain relevant to Millenials, but this is embarrassingly bad, and Iggy Azalea is a no-talent twit.  

Top 10 for Week of August 16-22

1. DREAMS – Beck
2. CAN’T FEEL MY FACE – The Weeknd
3. EX’S AND OH’S – Elle King
4. RENEGADES – X Ambassadors
5. TEAR IN MY HEART – twenty one pilots
6. FIRST – Cold War Kids
7. THE WOLF – Mumford & Sons
8. BLAME IT ON ME – George Ezra
9. SHIP TO WRECK – Florence + the Machine
10. COULD HAVE BEEN ME – The Struts