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411 Music Buy or Sell 02.14.13: Daylight Ain't My Effin' Problem
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 02.14.2013




Greetings and salutations, Music Zone readers! Welcome to your top choice in music single opinion columns, 411 Music Buy or Sell! I'm your host Jeremy Thomas, and each week we'll look at some of the hottest new and hit singles and a couple of our esteemed writers will decide if they want to keep the song (Buy) or drop it like it's hot (Sell). Our listeners this week are the distinguished editor of the Movie Zone, Chad Webb, taking on his Music Zone counterpart in me, Jeremy Thomas!

All right, enough of the introductions and rules…let's hop to it!



1) A$AP Rocky (ft. Drake, 2 Chainz & Kendrick Lamar) - "F**kin Problems"
From Long.Live.ASAP (Polo Grounds/RCA)
Released November 27, 2012
Chad Webb: SELL.

I listened to A$AP Rocky's album, and there are a handful of choice tracks on there, but also an equal amount I don't care for. This falls into the latter category. For every song in which he shakes up the expected genre routine and captures something different, he unloads one like this that sounds like a million other rap numbers. Yes, this includes a lot of talent that is hot right now, such as Kendrick Lamar, 2 Chainz, and Drake, but the amount of guests you have on a track is not always indicative of higher quality. In this case I thought the verses from each of the guests were merely ok, while the chorus and overall point of the song of "fu**ing bad bic**es" gets old because the majority of rap artists around submit to clichés. The beat would have to be off the charts brilliant for me to think of buying another song of these dudes spouting "fu**ing bad bic**es." This one isn't terrible, but nowhere near good enough for me to purchase. A@AP Rocky's "1 Train" does have a boatload of talent with him and I dug that along "Hell," "Ghetto Symphony," and "I Come Apart," but this is average at best.

Jeremy Thomas: SELL.

I mostly dug Long.Live.ASAP, but this was not one of the ones that I liked. Kendrick Lamar is always great and Rocky has a solid flow, but the song is incredibly repetitive and the chorus is beyond irritating. I will say that it's probably one of the better contributions that Drake has made to a song in a long while and Lil Wayne is used in very tiny doses here, but the lack of quality in the lyrics digs these guys a hole that they just can't pull themselves out of. There are several other tracks that Rocky would have been better-served to choose as singles over this one.

ANALYSIS: SELL




2) Jukebox the Ghost - "Don't Let Me Fall Behind"
From Safe Travels (Yep Roc Records)
Released May 14, 2012
Chad Webb: BUY.

I have to admit, this was my introduction to Jukebox the Ghost, but I am interested in checking out their previous albums after hearing this track. This is not an outstanding song, but I liked it and would recommend it to others because a lot of people I know also enjoy this sort of indie rock with Coldplay vocals and harmonies. I came across a review of the album "Don't Let Me Fall Behind" is on (Safe Travels) from PopMatters and the reviewer stated that the band feels like they are on the verge of something great, but are not quite there yet. I agree with sentiment. In some ways this song is generic for the genre, but I thought it was catchy, passionate, and well structured to the point that I would buy it for the iPod.

Jeremy Thomas: SELL.

I really wanted to like this song more because there are glimmers of some real potential here, but the beat seems distracting and somehow out of synch with the rest of the song and there are a few moments of awkwardness in the lyric rhythm that just jarred me out of my potential appreciation. I am definitely interested in learning more about this group because they have a good, catchy sort of pop-rock sound and lead vocalist Ben Thornewill has a solid voice, but this particular song just didn't quite do it for me despite showing some solid potential.

ANALYSIS: SPLIT




3) Depeche Mode - "Heaven"
From Delta Machine (Columbia)
Released January 31, 2013
Chad Webb: BUY.

I've never been an avid follower or enormous fan of Depeche Mode, but I have loved certain songs and a couple albums they released throughout their careers. To me they are a mixed bag of a group, yet they have and can achieve bursts of greatness. This track I love and it makes me highly anticipate the album (Delta Machine) hitting stores in March, whereas before I would have only listened to it if the circumstances presented themselves. This arrangement really accentuates Dave Gahan's haunting vocals and range, but Martin Gore also supplies increasingly memorable guitar playing here, not to mention background vocals that compliment the lead singer. I hope the rest of the album mirrors the emotion and accessibility of this track. The music video is strange, yet alluring. Apparently it was inspired by Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life. Either way, I think this is a terrific single with moving lyrics.

Jeremy Thomas: BUY.

I've always been a big Depeche Mode fan; I really think that Violator is a landmark album and they've always delivered quality. This is a fantastic first track from them; there are definite elements of a newer pop sound in it but it is also quintessential Depeche Mode. The song is slower than what you might expect for a song hoping to hit the charts but that's not a detriment; it gives the song something special that distinguishes it from most of what's on the radio these days. Gahan and company have me hooked in again and I can't wait to hear what else Delta Machine has to offer.

ANALYSIS: BUY




4) Lil Wayne (ft. Drake & Future) - "Love Me"
From I Am Not a Human Being II (Young Money/Cash Money)
Released January 18, 2013
Chad Webb: SELL.

Once again we have a solid beat, even a very good one, combined with lyrics that are just hackneyed and idiotic. I guess rappers have certain templates they all draw from when composing songs, and despite how crude, unsophisticated, and dull they are, they continue to pump out the same tired crap. I have heard most of Lil Wayne's efforts, even his mixtapes, and I don't think it is harsh to say that if "Carter" is not in the title, the album should be approached with caution. That doesn't mean they should dismissed outright, but more often than not they will be either mediocre or just plain bad. "Love Me," or "Bit**es Love Me" as it was titled on the YouTube link, should not give fans, casuals fans, or anyone else high hopes for I Am Not a Human Being II. "As long as my bit**es love me..." goes the chorus and you could probably assume how the rest of the rhyming/auto-tune nonsense goes. Suffice to say, this is a song that could have been better, but the content is not exactly deep, fresh, or enjoyable.

Jeremy Thomas: SELL.

Allow me to apologize to Chad (and myself); I did not realize I sent out two songs featuring Drake and Lil Wayne this week. I'm gonna burn in hell for that one. Anyway, remember how I said that two of the good parts of "F**kin' Problems" were how Drake sounded good for once and Lil Wayne was used in very small doses? Yeah, this is like that song without those two pluses, not to mention no Lamar or Rocky. The one thing I can say positive is that it's the most energetic that Wayne has sounded in a while. Unfortunately when the rest of a song sucks as hard as this one does, Wayne couldn't lift it if he was at the top of his game. This is lyrically inane in the extreme and while it's not the worst thing that Weezy has done by a long shot, it's definitely not something that's going to find its way into my iPod.

ANALYSIS: SELL




5) Three Doors Down - "One Light"
From The Next Day (ISO/Columbia)
Released January 8, 2013
Chad Webb: BUY.

I know that 3 Doors Down's best days are likely behind them and many have probably written them off at this stage of their lifespan, but I still like them. This track is one of three new ones from their Greatest Hits album. None of them attain the level of excellence from their earlier releases, but this particular one shows the band rocking a bit harder than usual and I think it works. It's also pretty short even for them, so it doesn't go on too long. It lacks an incredibly lingering chorus that helped propel 3 Doors Down to stardom in the first place, but this is straight ahead typical rock and that's what they do best. I remember hearing "Kryptonite" when it hit radio as a single and no one had heard of this group yet. I spread the word as much as I could and have been a fan ever since. I wouldn't pick up the entire Greatest Hits album just for these tracks, but I already did buy and download the three new tracks (including this one) from iTunes on their own. I would even say this is average, but I dig it anyway.

Jeremy Thomas: BUY.

Wow, Three Doors Down remembers how to rock! I'm not saying that as a slam against their back catalog, mind; I think that the group has carved out a solid niche for themselves as "Nickelback, only a lot better." Here they decided to get a little more kick back into their sound and it works wonders for them. Is it the hardest rocking track we've heard recently? Far from it, but it is still a good, solid song with decent lyrics and an enjoyable sound. I may just buy their Greatest Hits album after all.

ANALYSIS: BUY




6) Maroon 5 - "Daylight"
From Overexposed (A&M/Octone)
Released December 11, 2012
Chad Webb: SELL.

I'm pretty sure I've made my feelings about Maroon 5 clear on one of the Music-Zone columns before, but I'll just reiterate that I liked Maroon 5's debut a great deal. They mixed rock and pop in a smooth manner that produced cool, fun songs. Ever since then however, they have backed away from churning out a cohesive album and concentrated more on quick hits. That's fine, but unfortunately for them their songs not only suffer from being overplayed, but have become increasingly run of the mill. Here we have your standard pop chorus where the singer belts "Whoa oh oh oh..." as if begging the audience to sing along. I know plenty of people who still like Maroon 5 (my wife among them), but I think they peaked early with Songs About Jane and now they're too desperate to stay afloat with desperate attempts at Top 40 singles. In the long run I don't see their material aging well, but who knows, maybe they'll change directions. All in all this is not the worst track ever, but it is far from unique and is not distinctive enough for me to care 2 minutes after having heard it.

Jeremy Thomas: SELL.

I spoke volumes about Overexposed as an album previously and didn't give it high marks. The whole LP is too focused on hit-making hooks and digital manipulation to let Adam Levine's voice shine. This is a perfect example of that. It won't surprise anyone knowledgeable with the music business to know that hitmaker extraordinaire Max Martin produced this song; it has his fingerprints all over it and I don't mean that in a good way. Maroon 5 is a band that I want to root for so hard and you see elements of great work still capable within them, but they rode the "Moves Like Jagger" train too hard and have detoured into mediocrity for the sake of sales success.

ANALYSIS: SELL


So Depeche Mode and Three Doors Down get Buys this week while Lil Wayne, Drake, A&AP Rocky, Kendrick Lamar and Maroon 5 all get sells for their efforts! Thanks to Chad for his participation this week; that will do it us! What do you think of the singles we covered? Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments!





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