Tag Archives: Pop music

Robbie Z Revs Up Some Hooks & Beats In Hot Wheelz

20 Apr

With Hip Hop & Rap musicians rapidly fusing original beats, collaborating with crossover genre artists, and evolving in sub genres, Bulgarian Hip-Hop/Pop artist Robbie Z hops into the world at a perfect and opportune time. Robbie Z will remind listeners of Kreayshawn when she became popular after her release of Gucci Gucci in 2011, both in sound and artistry. His music has a perfect blend of unique beats, EDM influences, and cohesiveness in the overall sound. The single Hot Wheelz talks about automobiles, bills, and deals. The song mixes a balance of venting, unique cultural references, and references to auto. Since his debut single Copy-Paste which came out in February 2018, he has experienced unplanned success which has fueled him to take on filming his own music videos. With his creative vibes at an all time-high its no surprise that he will continue making music and increasing the creative mastermind behind his music and image. His debut full-length mixtape will be released in late Spring 2019, titled REBELLIOUZ, with Hot Wheelz being a preview track from the mixtape.

For more listening:

 

Worst Music of the Week – “Roar” by Katy Perry

1 Sep
Turn it of. Turn it off!

Turn it of. Turn it off!

The content on this website focuses almost entirely on melodious music. We are melody freaks at the Music Court. It makes sense, doesn’t it? We are a music blog? Why would you all want to read about terrible tunes? Well…for all of those who are self-deprecating or interested in a few cheap laughs, welcome to the brand new Music Court category – Worst Music of the Week. And what’s the best way to introduce this category? With Katy Perry’s new single, of course!

Yes, this gem is #2 on the charts right now, and it is barking on the door of Billboard Top Hit. Why? Well, an obsessively devoted fan base can do that for you. But, still, popularity is by no means a metric of a “good song.” While my judgments are inherently subjective, I can safely say that “Roar” is a cruddy song. I will look beyond the claims that “Roar” is particularly similar to “Brave” by Sara Bareilles because, let’s be honest, most songs today sound alike.

Here is my issue with the song. It immediately gives off the feel of a cheesy reproduction of a OneRepublic song. Not to mention, at around 0:30, Perry’s vocal sounds conspicuously like “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers. The constant percussion and keyboard stroke is just so conventional and easy. Look, I understand it makes money, but, come on, put a little bit of effort into the verse. The culmination of electronic instruments at the chorus is simply lazy and overdone. If not for Perry’s changing vocal inflection when she sings roar in the chorus,  the chorus sounds like, I don’t know, just about most other Katy Perry songs. Do songwriters think the mainstream public will just eat up everything it vomits out like a confused dog? Well…yeah, because it does. It’s not difficult to pass a successful song through the Billboard charts today. Catchy, consistent beat. Choral climax. A ridiculous repetitive bridge with rising moans, and a final diapason of choral repetition – numerous overlaid tracks of the singer repeating the chorus. It’s pop music 101. Does that mean it’s bad? Not necessarily. It’s just that this particular Katy Perry single is such reproduced garbage that it needs to be knocked down a peg. The single is catchy and simple, though, and it comes to no surprise that when packaged with Perry it is a huge hit and the new flavor of the week among the tween population.

And the lyrics…

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter,
dancing through the fire
Cause I am a champion and
You’re gonna hear me ROAR

I will say that they are at least positive and motivational. Gosh, though, the lyric is impressively corny. Like scribbled down while watching a 80’s Rocky sequel corny. Heck, it could be worse. It could be Miley Cyrus twerking.

 

The Substance of Pop Music

2 Feb

I have always wondered why, when there is so much powerful and artistically driven music in the world, are we left with the pop music we have? No one I talk to listens to top 40, but there continues to be over-saturated music that is shoved down listener’s throats. I am by no means denouncing all popular music or trying to attack certain genres of music. Everything under the sun can be held up to a particular light and shine with some merit . I have just always found it strange that while everyone I know listens to music, no one listens to the top 40. Do children have that much say in what becomes “popular music?” Are the big wigs that poor at learning the demographics of their industry, or am I the crazy one?

Well an interesting development happened to me the other day. I stumbled upon some pretty spectacular music (which isn’t really out of the ordinary at all) and the funny thing was that these were all cover songs by “top 40” artists. The kind of music that just has no connection to the real artistic community of music and is more of what I like to call “corporate-pop/hop” than actual pop music. When I listened to these covers, it brought a whole new light to the melody and the lyrics. It got me wondering: are these artists really not artistic or have we just lost the ability to produce music now that we can do it so cheaply with computers? Was the real magic behind the artists that controlled the charts 25-40 years ago the fact that real musicians had to come into the studios and lay down tracks for the album? Were the producers just that much more vital to the process? Is Quincy Jones just that good? Probably.

Check out a couple videos that I found that completely redefined their originals.

There is just something about the way this music is recaptured with an honest sound instead of a couple poor synth riffs and a drum machine. Maybe there is some hope for the music community, even if the world of popular music is continuing to head in the wrong direction.

Gaining Transmission – The Creative Pop of Jon Samuel

3 Jan
Jon Samuel

Jon Samuel

Jon Samuel understands the key to creating mellifluous pop music. It doesn’t involve overused synthesizers, vocal effects, or complex sound. That would be too easy. Da Vinci wrote, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” and this quotation accurately describes Samuel’s ability as a singer/songwriter. Don’t get me wrong, some bands are able to find an electronic balance and create elegant music, but stripped-down pop music requires a certain level of simplicity that is, well, sophisticated. Such artists are handed the arduous task of creating easy, inventive pop that is not pablum. Artists must be subtle in a completely unsubtle way. The greatest artists/writers (like Da Vinci and Shakespeare – who wrote “Brevity is the soul of wit”) will stand by the belief that conciseness and guilelessness is difficult to achieve but ultimately effective. Clearly, Samuel agrees, and his debut solo release First Transmission plays to that sentiment.

Some may know Samuel as one of the musicians in the 2008 Juno Award-winning band Wintersleep. Samuel acted as a composer for Wintersleep’s new album Hello Hum, which was released in June of 2012. Samuel’s solo album followed two months later. The album was recorded in the Spring/Summer of 2011 with Wintersleep bandmates Tim D’Eon and Loel Campbell. Rah Rah’s Erin Passmore provides vocals to two tracks.

“First Transmission,” the album’s title track, is an effervescent ode to SETI scientists who search for signs of intelligent life in space. First off, awesome concept for a song. I just want to get that important note out of the way before I discuss the music. Samuel’s clean and composed vocal is a delight. His voice is soothing, and, to stick with the space theme, is equatable to an astronaut experiencing a weak gravitational force; it floats, but with composure. Underneath Samuel’s airy vocal is an elementary drum beat and few chords. The song, though, does not come off as jejune despite its absence of complication. It is aided by its bubbly simplicity. Some well-placed harmony and call-and-response parts help carry the song even further.

“To Love” similarly starts with an easy riff. Samuel’s vocal follows the chords in rhythm. It’s a pleasure to listen to. Like in “First Transmission,” Samuel’s effortless vocal shines. The song also features atmospherical strings and creative harmonies that add to its cherubic effect.

The entire album is worth a listen, and I urge you to check it out.

You can learn more about Jon Samuel and buy his album at his website. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter

Three in Three: The Indie Pop Stylings of The Royal Bear

24 Apr

Today was an uplifting day in New York. My Dad and I took advantage of a perfect Sunday sunny afternoon and went to a New York Mets game. We sat in incredible seats and, while we were both scorched by the unexpected sun, we enjoyed a Mets victory. A beautiful day results in some brand spankin’ new pop music, and part two of The Music Court’s “Three in Three” section. The band is an Indie Pop foursome named The Royal Bear from Seattle that recorded their debut full-length album Attack at Bear Creek Studios, the well-known farm studio that housed Fleet Foxes. The Royal Bear actually entered Bear Creek right after Fleet Foxes left, so they recorded their debut album when the vibes were flowing in the studio.

What came of their 10-day session? A fresh take on indie pop that moves skillfully with head-bopping rhythms, punky guitar tablature and light melodies. The Royal Bear wants their music to be fun and because of the bubbly and driving rhythm it maintains it’s fluffy pop characteristics even with its post-punk sentiments. And, this results in exciting music that is enjoyable and catchy. Listen to “Keeping Secrets” on the band’s website.

http://sarathanonlineservices.com/theroyalbear/

The song fulfills its pop test in the first few notes. Some of looked at the band as 80’s because of its focus on “heavy pop,” but the rhythm suggests indie pop with a hint of punk. This genre combination allows The Royal Bear to effortlessly mix the airy simplicity of pop with easy-going punk elements. The result is fun music which is the exact intention of The Royal Bear.

%d bloggers like this: