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June 28, 2015 / bloggenstatt

Dope or Nope: The Triumphant Return

I abandoned the Dope or Nope conceit, becaue there simply wasn’t enough turnover in contemporary music charts to sustain a weekly review of the Billboard Top 40. Also, subjecting myself to week after week of radio hits resulted in a deep dread of each installation, which made it incredibly easy to give in to apathy. After all, it’s much easier to not write than to write,  However, I’m incapable of learning my lesson, so I’m giving it another go, and I’ll just deal with redundancies when they happen, As it was, and always shall be, I’ll assign a rating of dope or nope depending on quality.

This week, I’m simply going to do a rundown of the Billboard Mainstream Top 40’s top 3 songs.

1. “Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift Feat. Kendrick Lamar

These two headliners don’t pair particularly well, which is odd. Of course, the match doesn’t seem obvious on paper: Kendrick’s lyrics frequently meditate on racial identity and the stark realities of an impoverished childhood, while Taylor sings about troubled relationships, but the two are both pros, and I expected more cohesion. K Dot and T. Swift are a pair of manufactured superstars. Both arrived heavily hyped by major labels as authentic auteurs. While both are clearly talented performers of their respective music genres, neither artist spent much time slogging before being anointed a star and have worked with odd industry-approved collaborators in the past. There’s just uninspired Kendirck Lamar verses interjected into an average Taylor Swift unit shifter. Disappointing chemistry aside, the song is more or less fine. It’s catchy, but not particularly great. The music video generated a lot of hype when it came out, but sort of like the song that plays over it, it’s an overproduced amalgamation of disparate parts which come together to form a sum lesser than its parts.

NOPE

2. “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon

I guess this was the hit missing from Passion Pit’s last record. I’m actually glad I watched the music video for this, because it appears Walk the Moon is a little more in on the joke than I assumed. This is basically doing for ’80s dance-rock what The Darkness did for hair-metal.It sounds like a song I would be begrudgingly non-disgusted by while working a retail shift. As long as the retro-genre pastiche is a one-off, I give this a lukewarm endorsement.

DOPE

3. “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth

How can we not talk about how bad this song is, when bad is all its got.

NOPE

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