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 411mania » Music » Columns

411 Music Fact or Fiction 04.26.13: Like The Ceiling Can't Hold Us
Posted by Joseph Lee on 04.26.2013

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Welcome to another edition of Fact or Fiction: Music. I'm your host, Joseph Lee.

This week we have myself against Mark Radulich

Round 1
1) You did not enjoy Lana Del Rey's new song "Young & Beautiful".
Joseph Lee: FACT.

Yeah Lana Del Rey is just not my thing at all. I do like some pop but she's one of the ones I don't enjoy, and if this is the kind of thing that is featured on the soundtrack for The Great Gatsby then I have another reason to not see the film. I'd rather the Gotye song get released early than this.

Mark Radulich: FICTION.

Other than metal, this kind of music is my bag. I've always been into the dark, brooding yet strong, female singer-songwriter types like Tori Amos and Aimee Mann. Everything was great about this song. I loved the piano, the drums, the slow build to a crescendo and finally the lyrics. This is one of those songs the just screams pretty to me. The chorus, "Will you still love me when I'm not young and beautiful?" is so powerful it drew emotion from me; and that is all I ask of music. This is my kind of love song..

Score Card: 0 for 1

Round 2
2) Beyonce doesn't do justice to Amy Winehouse's song "Back to Black".
Joseph Lee: FACT.

It's just not a very good cover. I like Andre 3000 but he adds nothing and Beyonce's version isn't as good as the original. If she wanted to try and match Amy's vocals, she could give her a run for her money. But she doesn't, she relies on tricks and a rap verse and it doesn't work.

Mark Radulich FACT.

Well let me be clear, Beyonce sounds just fine. I like her part of the song. However, I think Andre 3000's part completely ruins it. Also the backing synthesizer is a distraction that also takes away from how good the song could be. Beyonce has a very strong voice and I think, despite popular opinion, there is room to interpret the work of the late Amy Winehouse (check out Ministry's cover of Rehab for an example). I'm all for that sort of thing. However, Adding Andre 3000's rap part was unnecessary and didn't make the song any better in my opinion.

Score Card: 1 for 2

Round 3
3) Black Sabbath's "God is Dead" is a great return for them.
Joseph Lee: FACT.

It doesn't sound as good as classic Sabbath, but was anyone expecting it too? I like the slower, more melodic pace, Ozzy's vocals are still as good as can be and it's a decent track. Sure, it's a little repetitive, but it sounds a lot better than most current rock acts so I'll give it a pass.
Mark Radulich: FACT.

It is fine. It feels like a return to the early Sabbath days and reminds me a lot of the song Black Sabbath. I like both Sabbath and Ozzy but I'm not the biggest fan of doom metal, which this is a good example of. I think fans who like bands such as Opeth and are clamoring for new Sabbath that sounds like old Sabbath will be satisfied with this track.
Score Card: 2 for 3


Round 4
4) Rihanna's photos of pot-smoking are nothing more than a cry for attention.
Mark Radulich: FACT.

Well, she is a celebrity after all and without attention, her career is dust. I feel like the implication here is that via these pictures we are to assume Rihanna is on some sort of downward spiral but I would have to know more about her than I do vis a vis this particular subject. She may be perfectly functional and still smoke pot. The only reason I didn't go FICTION on this is because the statement was phrased using the word attention and not help. All celebrity's want attention, especially the young ones and this was a cheap and easy way to get some. Meh.

Joseph Lee: FACT.

While Mark has a good point, it is so completely obvious with Rihanna. "I don't care what anyone thinks of me, but I'll continue post on Twitter about how much I smoke weed and date guys who beat me. I'm cool right? Please pay attention to me!" You're breaking records with your music, how about you let that be your calling card. No one cares that you smoke weed. Not a single person. For someone that doesn't care what is thought about her, you sure do like to tell people what you're doing all the time.

Score Card: 3 for 4

Round 5
5) "Can't Hold Us" is a good follow-up to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Thrift Shop".
Mark Radulich: FACT.

Sure, I guess it's fine. It's hard for me to judge this sort of thing because I really hate this kind of music. Neither song is bad per se, and I can see them both appealing to the majority so I guess that's good.

Joseph Lee: FICTION.

I think it's actually better than "Thrift Shop", but that's just personal opinion. Either way, these two guys are making some really catchy, really fun hip-hop that makes them stand out against the Lil Waynes of the world.
Score Card: 5 for 5

Round 6
6) Reebok made the right decision in dropping Rick Ross from an endorsement deal over the lyrics to U.O.E.N.O.
Mark Radulich FACT.

My default answer to any question like this is always going to be FACT. Reebok is a private company, not a public/government institution and if they want to can somebody for any reason, they can do it, therefore they were right to. Now, here's what they thought was so offensive:

"Put Molly all in her champagne, she ain't even know it
I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain't even know it"

They interpreted this as rape and as such wanted to distance themselves from Rick Ross. Fine, though I think you could interpret this line in a couple of ways and I seriously doubt either rapper was advocating for date rape in real life. Either way, it doesn't matter. They think it's about rape and now he's out a sponsorship deal. Thems the breaks.
Joseph Lee: FACT.

It sounds rapey to me, but that's not the point. If Reebok doesn't want to be associated with a man who signs about it, whether he advocates it or not, then they're definitely in the right to drop him. He should know he's the public face of a company and he has to act a certain way if he wants to keep his job. And to those who bring up "oh, but rapping about murder is okay"? Um, no one's saying that. But if you offend someone with your lyrics, and those people threaten to boycott the product you're sponsoring, then you should get dropped from your deal. Ross was in the wrong just by going against what I'm sure is company policy.

Score Card: 5 for 6

Anything you agree with? Disagree with? Sound off in the comment section.


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