Saying Nickelback puts out solid, enjoyable rock music isn’t going to win you any friends. Music can be as divisive a topic as politics. Everyone holds some sort of polarizing opinion on either a popular or highly despised artist. However, not everyone is comfortable owning up to their feelings. Jump on the right bandwagon and you’re accepted by society; speak your mind and it has the opposite effect. Imagine that a popular mainstream musician has just released new music. All your friends are quick flock to it, and you find yourself agreeing with them. But deep down, you hate it. Even the thought of speaking your mind sends quivers down your throat and risks you being shunned. Instead, you resort to the backbenches of the internet where you look for people just like you to fill you with brash confidence.
The band has experienced a bumpy love-hate relationship with the masses. It was once ‘cool’ to hate on Coldplay and now I feel the tide has turned and people dismiss critics of the band due to the fact that it is too easy to hate them. I hope I don’t land myself in troubled waters by admitting that I find the group’s music to be bland and unoriginal. I like some of their songs, especially from their earlier albums. But they continue to churn out the way too many fillers with the same music progression and vocal arpeggios. Chris Martin and co. broke onto the scene as the nice guys and not much has changed since. I don’t find their lyrics appealing either. In an interview with Howard Stern, Martin said that it took him ten minutes to come up with the words for Yellow. That’s not a glowing endorsement for the band. I’ve seen people get teary while listening to their songs but who hasn’t compared a loved one to a star before. It’s just not that spectacular. In their defense, they do have plenty of good songs with more than four simple chords. Unfortunately, they’re mostly known for their cheesy-pop ones.
There’s no denying Mars is talented, suave, a great performer, and fashionable. The man has everything one needs to be a superstar; a great voice and charisma. From an early point in his career, he has been billed as the next James Brown. His songs were always catchy enough to get stuck in my head and displayed a variety of emotions and tempo. So much so that he managed to never sound the same. Unfortunately, everything Bruno Mars has done since “Uptown Funk” is disappointing and repetitive to me. His collaboration with Mark Ronson in 2014 proved to be his biggest hit ever and has sadly compelled him to replicate that same funk flow in “24K Magic” which is essentially “Uptown Funk 2.0.” Mars is trying really hard to follow the Mark Ronson track that the two songs share almost similar instrumentation and verse themes. I always saw Bruno Mars as cool with a laid-back demeanor, but now he’s playing that image too close to heart. He has lost that ingenuity and fallen prey to making safe, catchy, but predictable music. The “Lazy Song” would be an accurate description of where he is headed.
I respect the Beatles. I just don’t rate Paul’s solo career highly. McCartney is a lot like Joey from Friends; great in a group but doesn’t sit well on his own. Although I must give credit where its deserved. Paul is still touring and selling out huge crowds, working with trendy artists such as Kanye West and Foo Fighters and making rather well received records. He must clearly be doing something right, and not just riding past fame. But truth be told, I find most of his work hit or miss. While new single “Get Enough” and album “Egypt Station” (2018) bring a breath of fresh air with undertones of past beloved Beatles themes, his previous “New” (2013) was disappointing at best. Paul has nearly forty post-Beatles albums to his name—an accomplishment in itself. However, he would fare much better if he hadn’t released some of them. I think Paul’s biggest issue is that he has no one to tell him “nah that’s not good enough.” He comes out with so many songs and is compelled to release them all. Result being, we have a “Mary Had a Little Lamb” for every “Maybe I’m Amazed.”
“ASTROWORLD” is arguably 2018’s most popular album, so this might be my most unpopular opinion so far. I’ve listened to it three or four times by now, but I only like three of the songs. I enjoyed the Tame Impala inspired psychedelics but the long wait for the release and overhyped demand has let me down. “Sicko Mode” had a one minute long intro with a four key instrumentation on repeat and a Drake feature which was not needed. Waiting three years for a sequel to Rodeo that was claimed to be ‘spectacular’ did not live up to expectations. I’m not afraid to say Travis Scott exudes a vibe that I don’t buy into.