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411 Music Buy or Sell 07.03.13: Can't Stop Counting Stars
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 07.04.2013

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 taking place in a battle of the Seans as Games Top 5 organizer Sean Garmer battles Music's 3Rs man Sean Comer!

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

1) Miley Cyrus - "We Can't Stop"
From TBA (RCA)
Released June 3, 2013
Sean Garmer: SELL

Oh lord Jeremy why? Why did you make me listen to this. Unlike Party in the USA, which was admittedly catchy. This though, is mainly annoying especially with her adding the low rapping under part of the track. I can see this becoming a modest hit because its Miley. However, I think it's too slow for the subject matter and really kind of bland honestly. Now, I hope that I don't have to listen to this ever again.

Sean Comer: SELL.

So….the hell did I just watch? People are welcome to dig on whatever music they choose. I'm a bit long in the tooth to play the hipster douche who takes exaggerated personal offense at someone else's tastes. That doesn't suggest that I don't reflect upon even the more inconsequential pop that was so prevalent a decade or longer ago and conclude that standards have plunged to nab this 49 million YouTube views. This strikes me as something Ke$ha wouldn't waste breath singing; that pox on radio may demonstrate the IQ of vanilla pudding and hygiene that would make Pigpen wretch in his mouth a little, but at least there's an attempt at a personality that makes even the stupidest lyrics memorable. There's no interesting hook to this, there's nothing resembling even an attempt at dance-baiting production, and the lyrics only succeed at proving that the flung-together "WOOO PARTYYYY BITCHZZZZ!1!! LOLZ" tweets of a 20-year-old stoner with hilarious lipstick don't begin to make a party jam fun.

Want a better good-time pop jam? Turn back the clock and rock Pink's "Get The Party Started". At least she displays some impressive pipes and doesn't sound like a sizzurp-addled Chipette.


2) Tech N9ne (ft. B.o.B & Wiz Khalifa) - "See Me"
From Something Else (Strange Music)
Released June 26, 2013
Sean Garmer: BUY.

I thought this wasn't half bad. I like the beat and the chorus isn't something stupid. It helps a lot that I enjoy most of what B.O.B. and Wiz Khalifa put out on their own, so it all comes together as a nice cohesive piece of hip-hop. I see this going upward on the rap charts rather soon.

Sean Comer: BUY.

Sorry, Babies. I can't be counted on to so much as feign partiality on this one. The boy has left Kansas City, but a little piece of Desert Fortress of Seanitude is still a territory of Cow Town. It's hard not to dig Tech N9ne. Even when he's a bit more measured and a little less combustible as he is here on "See Me", he still wields a flow several times more charismatic than guest star Wiz Khalifa's finest hours. Truth be told, while Tech may not have quite the wit of Ludacris, he rides a beat every bit as smoothly. B.o.B.'s cho is definitely a nice, smooth touch. He keeps it cool, laid-back and coasting, whereas Tech brings rhythms to the verses that kept me just a little bit more on my toes. It's perhaps not the best introduction to Tech, but you could certainly get a lot less for your money elsewhere.


3) Five Finger Death Punch (ft. Rob Halford) - "Lift Me Up"
From The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell Volume 1 (Prospect Park)
Released May 2, 2013
Sean Garmer: BUY.

I like it when rock can have a pseudo positive message. I swear this is like the third time I've done Five Finger Death Punch on here lol. The opening gets you rocking from the start, I love the solo, and the vocals along with the instrumentation help make this a good song. This is one of those songs that I'm sure metal heads hate, but even though it is nothing too special, the lyrics make it work.

Sean Comer: BUY.

I can admit that I'm not exactly metal-connoisseur enough to make too many detailed assessments toward Five Finger Death Punch. That's more perhaps of a Mark Radulich/Robert Cooper endeavor. However, if I'm to take an "I don't know metal, but I know what I like," I dig this. I do dig Judas Priest and hearing the iconic Rob Halford on this defiantly pounding track is a great fit. It's metal, not brain surgery, and I dig this – maybe even enough to sample a few more full albums.


4) OneRepublic - "Counting Stars"
From Native (Mosley/Interscope)
Released June 14, 2013
Sean Garmer: BUY.

I swear the last time I was on here, I had this song before the album came out. So, I'm going to say the same thing again. I have liked everything One Republic has ever come out with, and this is going to the biggest hit of this album. The beat is terrific, Ryan Tedder once again is spot on, and I love the rhythm section on this track too. Not to mention, those parts where he goes into almost a chanting with no instruments playing really add to the song. The song has an exotic yet poppy feel to it that just works.

Sean Comer: SELL.

Consider me ambivalent toward this one. There's far, far worse synth-tinged pop than this, but is it really that honorable a distinction to be an inferior Maroon 5 knockoff? It's not offensively bad, but there's really nothing especially interesting. To be perfectly honest, if I caught myself listening to this, I'd eventually ask myself why I wasn't just listening to Muse instead. The best thing I can say is that it could be a nice gateway band to Muse, Radiohead or Travis, but then again, why not just skip directly to the good stuff and bypass this in the first place? You can do better for your money.


5) Big Sean (ft. Lil Wayne & Jhené Aiko) - "Beware"
From Hall Of Fame (GOOD Music/Def Jam)
Released June 25, 2013
Sean Garmer: BUY.

This seems like Big Sean trying to replicate Kendrick Lamar and talking about a very real aspect of relationships that happens to certain people. Where you are really affected by a breakup and the other person takes it to a whole other level blaming you for stuff that happened to them later on in life. I could have really done without the Lil Wayne part. He adds absolutely nothing to the song and seems just to be there to get the track listens because his name is attached to it. a rather decent outing from Big Sean here.

Sean Comer: BUY.

It's exceptionally rare that I find Big Sean or Lil Wayne even remotely living up to their respective hype trails, but even a blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut and manages not to shit on it. A few clunky instances in the first verse of ending three out of five lines with the same word aside, the word play is actually pretty amusing and the beat is fairly chill throughout, never growing intrusive and just letting the flows take the spotlight. Surprisingly, this is worth a listen.


6) Sick Puppies - "There's No Going Back"
From Connect (Virgin)
Released May 20, 2013
Sean Garmer: SELL.

I'm selling this mainly because this is probably not something I would find myself actually buying. The track is decent and not offensive. I've never heard of Sick Puppies before this and they sound like Switchfoot or one of those just generic rock bands. The song just doesn't do much for me. I feel like I've heard something like Sick Puppies a thousand times over.

Sean Comer: SELL.

This was just barely interesting enough to make me backtrack to OneRepublic. There's failure, then there's clearly barely trying.


So outside of the atrocious Miley song it's not a bad week as only Sick Puppies joins Miley as a Sell, OneRepublic gets a Split and everything else is a Buy!Thanks to Sean and Sean for their 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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