411 Fact or Fiction Music 02.08.13: Race You To The Bottom
Posted by Joseph Lee on 02.08.2013
Did we like the newest track from Drake? Was Beyonce's halftime show at the Super Bowl entertaining? Are we interested in Green Day's documentary? 411's Robert Cooper and Chad Webb debate these topics and more in this week's Fact or Fiction: Music!
Welcome to another edition of Fact or Fiction: Music. I'm your host, Joseph Lee.
This week we have Chad Webb taking on Robert Cooper.
It was very entertaining, not to me, but I know for most that it was. I've always respected Beyonce's singing skills and the fact that she is a pretty good dancer. I think that she is a pretty nice lady, though I find her music to be pretty uninspired at times, and that she is sometimes over-exposed, but perhaps it's not my place to judge either, I'm not a fan of her music in the first place. The halftime show was more dancing than singing in my opinion, but I think that is what a lot of people wanted, so that is what they got. It was nice to see Destiny's Child back for one-night only (maybe, I know "once in a lifetime" can happen again). I listened to them quite a bit in the days of my youth (I loved me some pop back them), and hearing them all together again was something I was interested in. This year was much better than last year's, Madonna needs to go to the retirement home, I've never found her to be anything special, though I maintain that she will survive a nuclear holocaust.
Chad Webb: FICTION.
Because of the wording of the question, I have to say "Fiction." It was ok for what it was I suppose, but I didn't watch it live. I only checked in for the last half of the Super Bowl. Honestly, I wasn't that interested this year. Look, Beyonce is incredibly hot and I would watch her shake it with the mute button on any time, but I don't enjoy her music. It sounds pretty weak live in concert and the dancing did nothing for me. The crew certainly outdid themselves in terms of stage design, pyrotechnics, and effects, but that's to be expected for this event. Certain pop acts have done well, but I have always felt that the Super Bowl should be more a rock-themed halftime show. Springsteen and U2 were great when they were in the spotlight. I guess Destiny's Child reuniting was cool for some, but I didn't really care for them either when they were around. You can dress up the stage and the band all you want, but it all comes down to the music and Beyonce is a mediocre pop artist in my opinion. I found my attention waning as it went on. It could have been worse, but I say "meh."
Fact, for being as big of a cynical metalhead as I am, I've never hated Fall Out Boy as much as I have a lot of the pop rock bands. This song doesn't do much to endear them any more to me. I can respect them taking a different direction, because the music scene has changed quite a bit since their last album came out in 2008, and in my opinion, a lot of mainstream music has gotten worse since then. If this is any indication of the sound of their new album, I will say that they are another casualty of the ever-changing music scene. Overall, not a terrible song, catchy and different from their usual sound, but it sounds like a lot of things of the radio today, so it's skippable.
Chad Webb: FACT.
You know, if you seek out the first two albums from Fall Out Boy (Take This to Your Grave, Evening Out With Your Girlfriend), the ones that are hard to find, you'll hear a group with an edge and plenty of energy. Once they scored a mainstream hit though, every one of their songs sounded the same, watered down emo pop, reeking of desperation. I was never a big fan of this band, but at one point I did listen to their albums so I could form an opinion on them. They never waver from their standard shtick, similar to an unchanging boy band. This new track is no different; generic, corny, and hopelessly anthemic. They're always trying too hard to get a Top 40 single. Plus, they suffer from NOFX syndrome, constantly using long titles in an attempt to be clever or perhaps funny. Because Pete Wentz's side project floundered, the group needs money again so now we have them back. Yay.
I almost went with my theme of the day of being a cynical ass, but after doing some reading on this, I'm actually a little interested. There was a time around when 'American Idiot' came out that I really enjoyed it, and was interested in hearing everything from it. That ship has already gotten a nice viking funeral, but still, it was a good album. When I heard that there would be a broadway show about it, I was pretty lukewarm to the idea. It was a good album, but not that good. After reading about it, I'm intrigued, I'm a little bit interested in seeing how it was for Billy Joel Armstrong to go from his pop-punk self to Broadway was something that does sound pretty interesting. I might have been more entertained with it if it had come out before Mr.Armstrong came across like a whiny bitch at a shitty concert, but oh well, I might still watch it.
Chad Webb: FICTION.
This obviously depends on how much you like Green Day. They're among my favorite bands from back when I first started buying CDs, so I'm definitely interested in this. And since I never had the chance to catch the Broadway musical American Idiot (based on the album), this is the next best thing. It supposedly covers Billy Joe Armstrong as he ventures from a concert to the Broadway stage, shows rehearsal footage, and more. At only 80 minutes long, it should be neat. Doug Hamilton is directing, don't know much about him. I don't expect anything mind blowing, but even casual followers should appreciate a glimpse at what became of an iconic album/story.
I remember working at Circuit City and a couple people came up to me, praising this new rapper named 50 cent, who at the time only had a mixtape out. Even then I wasn't overly impressed. Personally I think he is one of the most overrated rap artists in history (also a jerk from what I've read), but then again that's his solo career. I can't say as I give a hoot about the fate of G-Unit. They released two albums, but did either produce any memorable, popular, or even semi-great tracks? Not that I recall. Who could possibly be pining for a reunion? As a matter of fact, who is even waiting for another album from 50 Cent himself? I don't think any members of G-Unit are especially talented. 50 cent has a drab, monotone voice and his rhymes are poor. Until I saw this question, I had forgotten that this was even news. That shows you how important it is.
Robert Cooper: FACT.
I was on the fence about then, I've not been up on what they have been up to lately, but I remember G-Unit as being 50 Cent and the people he brought along with him. I remember most of them, Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo, Young Buck, and The Game. But the only one that I remember getting to the level of 50 Cent was....none of them. This being said, I was kind of looking forwards to them (I think all that are left are 50, Yayo, and Banks) coming with something good and maybe getting the other 2 more exposure, not like they need it that much, but maybe they can get a boost from 50 Cent. If only I were Tony Acero, and knew what was up with the hip and the hop.
I was torn here. It's not a great song, but I thought it was satisfactory. The plan has been to release a song or two gradually through their website, with a total of 18. They emanate from the I'm With You tour. I guess you could call them B-sides, who knows? So far they have been a mixed bag, as everything with the Chili Peppers sans-John Frusciante is. This is a bit repetitive and sounds a lot like past numbers, but it is an uncharacteristically long track at over 8 minutes, and it shows the band cutting loose a bit. I got more comfortable with it as it rolled along. It has a chill vibe that I enjoy. Granted, it is far from perfect, but it is somewhat catchy. I'm not sure what I would write if this were "Buy or Sell," but I give it a marginal thumbs up.
Robert Cooper: FACT.
I really hate to be negative here, because there are some things I liked in this song, but the things I don't outweigh them. I really dig the vibe that this song has, it has a nice, smooth feel, and it seems like nice music to wind down to. The reason why I find the song to be, "not very good" is that the vocals are not that great. Sure, we have Anthony Kiedis doing his typical thing, but I sense a bit of false Jamaican twang to them to maybe fit the sound of the song, but they really don't fit my ears and they get annoying after a while. Another thing that is against this song is that it is a pretty long song, coming in at over 8 minutes. Now if this song were released as an instrumental, I could see myself listening to it a second time, but with the vocals, I'm going to say that it's a no. Though I'm surprised I liked the song as much as I did, I've never been huge on them to begin with.
I generally dig Drake, but this track was a bit too repetitious (almost annoyingly so) for me, not to mention the fact that it's extremely short. It's not the crooning style from him that we're used to, and it's fine that this is a bit darker and subdued, but it feels like it is trying to go somewhere and never arrives. There is a verse towards the end that sounds like normal Drake, but other than that, this is a strange, occasionally unsettling song for him to release as he gears up for his third album. I don't see it becoming a single. Having said that, the title line is sung so many times, I can bet this will get stuck in my head whether I want it to or not.
Robert Cooper: FICTION.
I tried to like this, I did, but I can't will myself to like this. I've never been a fan of Drake, I didn't dislike him, I've not heard enough of him to dislike him, but by what I had heard, I wasn't huge on him. This song did not a single thing to help his case, this was a repetitive, paper thin song, based around the the n-word. I think if I were to run a counter of how many times the word is said, per minute, I think it'd make Quentin Tarantino blush. Better luck next time Drake.
Score Card: 3 for 6
Anything you agree with? Disagree with? Sound off in the comment section.