The Hamilton Mixtape © Atlantic

Highlights: Various Artists, ‘The Hamilton Mixtape’

★★★★ Lin-Manual Miranda and a star-studded cast strikes gold with ‘The Hamilton Mixtape,’ a compilation of covers, reinterpretations, and newbies. Hamilton was kind of a big deal…just a little bit.  With the musical continuing to allure America, Lin-Manual Miranda and an all-star cast fittingly assemble a mixtape based upon it. The Hamilton Mixtape is by no means a carbon copy of the soundtrack, but features … Continue reading Highlights: Various Artists, ‘The Hamilton Mixtape’

Selena Gomez, Revival © Interscope

11 Songs Where the Innuendo is Out of Control

uSelena Gomez told the world that she “couldn’t keep her hands to herself.” Isn’t keep your hands and your feet to yourself one of the basic rules taught in every elementary classroom? Regardless, Gomez’s lack of control perfectly captures the sentiment of the 11 songs selected on this playlist that lack control of their sexual appetites. The innuendo is front and center and inescapable, even if the particular song has more transcendent aspirations.  One Direction say it best: “No Control.”

1) Fifth Harmony featuring Ty Dolla $ign, “Work From Home” (7/27, 2016)

Fifth Harmony, 7/27 © Epic

There’s no covering it up in the least; Fifth Harmony’s “Work From Home” is drenched in innuendo from start to finish.  Liken “Work From Home” to mashed potatoes smothered in brown gravy, or gravy of preference. How absurd is this irresistible pop hit? Absurd as your choice of a four-letter word. These girls essentially tell their boyfriends they “don’t gotta go to work” – a source of bread mind you – because they can “work from home.” UGH, really?  It’s further illustrated in the official music video with construction workers and parodied in hilarious fashion in Bart Baker’s twisted interpretation.

Sure, what guy wouldn’t want to oblige Fifth Harmony’s suggestiveness in an ideal, utopian world? Still, no matter how much “work” Fifth Harmony are willing to do with their bodies, is it realistically going to pay the rent, the car payment, the electric bill?  “Bills, Bills, Bills!” Destiny’s Child emphasized that back in 1999 with their The Writings on the Wall  classic! “Can you pay my bills…If you did then maybe we could chill / I don’t think you do / So, you and me are through.”

Get real Fifth Harmony – “tighten up” those harmonies! Lacking in substance or authentic emotion, “Work From Home” is the exemplification of sex on the track, built upon slang and swagger, and ultimately constructed tastefully if ridiculously and unrealistically.  It’s good for flirty, and suggestive fun, but prominent innuendo inhibits it from being transcendent.

2) Rihanna, “Kiss It Better” (Anti, 2016)

Rihanna, Anti © Roc Nation (1)

Simply say the title “Kiss It Better” to yourself.  Then, ask yourself, doesn’t it totally sound like child’s play? Of course it does because as children, many of us can remember mommy saying that she’ll “kiss it better,” referring to a “boo boo!” BUT the all-powerful innuendo gods and/or the pop songwriting/producing gods definitely weren’t writing an innocent pop song. Are there many innocent pop songs anymore? That’s a big, fat, bloated NO. Innocence in modern day pop? NEVER!

“Boy, ya know that you always do it right” definitely isn’t referencing morality but rather the quality of “the act.”  Face it, the double entendre is amplified to the nth degree, causing every lyric to be “read into.” “Do” simply isn’t do anymore, it’s “doing it.” “What are you willing to do? / Oh, tell me what you’re willing to do / (Kiss it, kiss it better, baby).” Translation – that three-letter word, sex.  Yeah, Rihanna’s “Been waitin’ on that sunshine” alright!

3) One Direction, “No Control” (Four, 2014)

One Direction, Four © Columbia

After a while, don’t all boy banders get sick of all the sweet bubblegum mess? Still, every boyband has to save face, particularly if it’s at a transitional point of their career – the great in-between of the tween years and young adulthood.  That young adulthood means that they are just dying to sing about sex, likely something many have already been “doing” beyond closed doors.  To cut to the chase, if “No Control” is supposed to be masking One Direction’s horniness, it does a poor job.

It’s clear lyrically that One Direction mean business.  They aren’t singing about emotions but rather lust and the physical reactions, rather stimulation behind it.  There’s no way that One Direction gets an “innocence” pass on lyric, “Waking up, beside you I’m a loaded gun, I can’t contain this anymore / I’m all yours, I’ve got no control.”  “Loaded gun” hey? Doesn’t seem to be one that shoots bullets…

It gets even more sensual, unsurprisingly.  “Taste, on my tongue / I don’t want to wash away the night before.” What is that taste, pray tell?  Maybe there’s less sexually-oriented activities that can be interpreted from such a line, but does that even seem possible from twentysomethings? Nah! This is Generation Y after all.

Continue reading “11 Songs Where the Innuendo is Out of Control”

Disclosure, Caracal © Island

Disclosure, ‘Caracal’ – Review

Disclosure Nails It on ‘Caracal’ Disclosure • Caracal • Capitol • Release Date: September 25, 2015 In recent times, electronic music has seen its profile greatly elevated. In a time where all genres seem to blend with others, electronic music has fit right in without a hitch. Don’t get it twisted – the music has its skeptics and pitfalls. Sustaining listener’s interests through predominately minimalist … Continue reading Disclosure, ‘Caracal’ – Review

D'Angelo and the Vanguard, Black Messiah © RCA

If the Grammys Were Held In September… [Part 2]

Pop, Rock, Urban & Country Categories  Let’s keep it short and sweet – if the Grammys were held in August, would these be the nominees. Here are some thoughts on specific categories, including pop, rock, R&B, rap, and country. Cheers! Pop Best Pop Solo Performance:  The Weeknd, “Can’t Feel My Face” Taylor Swift, “Blank Space” Andy Grammer, “Honey, I’m Good” Ellie Goulding, “Love Me Like … Continue reading If the Grammys Were Held In September… [Part 2]

Luke Bryan, Kill The Lights © Capitol Nashville (2)

25 Chart Takeaways: Luke Bryan Makes It Two Weeks At The Top

Nobody could stop him – Luke Bryan that is. He got a great fight though from Ed Sheeran of all people, who’s been dominating since 2014. Sigh, that’s the music industry for you. Here are 25 chart takeaways to check out this week! 1) Luke Bryan keeps the #1 spot warm for a second week. Kill The Lights seems to be “killing it,” don’t you … Continue reading 25 Chart Takeaways: Luke Bryan Makes It Two Weeks At The Top

Disney's Descendants © Walt Disney Records

25 Chart Takeaways: Disney’s ‘Descendants’ Soundtrack Tops In Tepid Sales Week

  It was a horrid week for album sales. How bad? The top selling album sold 30,000 copies. Those figures looks only slightly better with streams included – 42,000 copies. Thankfully, the storm only lasts this week. Here are 25 chart takeaways, including a surprise #1 album. 1) Exactly WHO debuted at #1? Disney’s soundtrack for the made for TV film Descendants. Pretty head shakable, … Continue reading 25 Chart Takeaways: Disney’s ‘Descendants’ Soundtrack Tops In Tepid Sales Week

Tyler the Creator, Cherry Bomb © Odd Future

TMI! 14 Songs That Reference ‘Riding Solo’

Before you read any further, this article has a dash of taboo controversy – fair warning! And to dispel any rumors or myths, this is not about the infectious Jason Derulo song where he’s “trying to get his sh*t together.” Just a friendly disclaimer! You could say that today, society is at a much more liberal place than it has been in the past. Sure, … Continue reading TMI! 14 Songs That Reference ‘Riding Solo’

Tyrese, Black Rose © Voltron Recordz

25 Chart Takeaways: Tyrese’s ‘Black Rose’ Takes Top Honors

Finally, “There’s A Bright Side Somewhere”… for R&B. Thanks to Tyrese, delivering one/if not the best album of his career, gave R&B that elusive #1 album after a year of struggles. But that’s not the only takeaway on the latest edition of the Billboard 200 – there are 24 more where that came from! 1) The drought is over – for R&B! Thanks to Tyrese’s … Continue reading 25 Chart Takeaways: Tyrese’s ‘Black Rose’ Takes Top Honors

Meek Mill, Dreams Worth More Than Money © Atlantic

25 Chart Takeaways: Meek Mill Lands First No. 1 Album  

Unsurprisingly, Maybach Music came through – Meek Mill debuted in the top spot with his highly anticipated, delayed sophomore album, Dreams Worth More Than Money. Also unsurprising, Miguel debuted in the top two. Interestingly, within the last week, TWO Billboard 200 charts were released, as the music industry has embraced a new global music release day on Fridays.  Usually this post from yours truly appears … Continue reading 25 Chart Takeaways: Meek Mill Lands First No. 1 Album  

Leon Bridges, Coming Home © Columbia

R&B in 2015, By The Numbers (So Far)  

  R&B is not dead. Yes, the topic of the ‘impact’ of R&B as a major player has been questioned and argued often on – maybe too much. But, R&B is ailing commercially. Part of the fuel for the argument against R&B’s role as a major player is how poorly the genre is performing on the Billboard 200. That doesn’t mean there haven’t been … Continue reading R&B in 2015, By The Numbers (So Far)