In my first week of reviewing the Official UK Singles Chart Top 100, One Direction returns with a new Number 1 and electronic music both surprises and disappoints me.
91 – You’re My World by Cilla Black
44 – Anyone Who Had a Heart by Cilla Black
90 – Marvin Gaye by Charlie Puth ft. Meghan Trainor
82 – Back to Back by Drake
80 – Tonight Belongs to U by Jeremih ft. Flo Rida
Jeremih is an artist who confuses me. He doesn’t have the technical skill of someone like Usher or the critical following of Frank Ocean, and yet still manages to create hits. On Tonight Belongs to U, Jeremih actually gives something resembling a decent vocal performance, as it actually seems like he genuinely wants to spend time with the girl in question. But then Flo Rida comes in and ruins it, rapping over some of the worst production that I have listened to this week. It is grating, with a four-note synth line going through the entire track. There are squealing and strange sound effects that really don’t fit the tone of the song. The messy production and poor verse from Flo Rida really leave much to be desired with this song.
79 – Nothing Left by Kygo ft. Will Heard
68 – Why Me by Jess Glynne
To many people (myself included), Jess Glynne came into the spotlight as the vocalist on Clean Bandit’s hit Rather Be in 2014. Glynne’s first major solo hit came this year with Hold My Hand, which went to Number 1. I really liked Hold My Hand and Jess Glynne is an artist that I have high hopes for. Why Me is her follow up single and is much darker than the upbeat previous single. The synths and percussion coupled with Glynne using her lower register more in the verse matches the almost hopeless tone of the song’s lyrics. The organ added at the chorus as well as the multi-tracking of Glynne’s vocals gives the song a gospel feel. Why Me isn’t as good as Hold My Hand but is definitely a suitable follow-up as it shows a different side to Glynne as a vocalist. This song is definitely worth a listen.
66 – Ocean Drive by Duke Dumont
Duke Dumont has always tried to fuse traditional song structures with EDM techniques. As a producer, his production has always been very precise yet lyrically, his music has left me very cold. Ocean Drive is his latest single, and this is a great improvement. The 80’s inspired synths give a summery tone to a song that evokes the titular location. The lyrics and the vocal performance (provided by Chicago-based Robert Owens) contrast with the lighter instrumentation. One criticism I have with the vocals is that I would have liked more variation when the track’s lyrics take a darker tone. Despite this however, this retro-inspired track is definitely worth a listen.
28 – Wanna Do by Joe Weller ft. Emil
17 – The Party (This Is How We Do It) by Joe Stone & Montell Jordan
While EDM and house music are not to my taste, what annoys me even more is lazy electronic music. The Party (This Is How We Do It) clearly falls into this category. The sampling of Montell Jordan’s This is How We Do It takes out any of the fun from the older track. The synth lines feel like a cheap rip off of Lean On by Major Lazor and DJ Snake. I also take issue with the title of the song. It is meant to make me want to party, but if this came on at a party I would definitely leave. Skip this track.
1 – Drag Me Down by One Direction
This is the first single from One Direction since the departure of Zayn Malik. The band has struggled for airplay and relevance since the emergence of similar bands such as 5 Seconds of Summer. Drag Me Down is the single that could potentially make One Direction as a four piece band (similar to Patience by Take That) or send them into obscurity. I am not a 1D fan; I have always found them too polished and I struggled to tell them apart from one another but their music was never marketed at me. On Drag Me Down, the production is a lot edgier than their previous singles with deeper bass lines and more real guitars. The lyrical content is also interesting; it can be viewed as either about a lover who wished to destroy the band, or as a reaction to Zayn leaving. My issue remains with the vocal performance. I still can’t tell apart the four members of the band and I don’t think they have the emotional power to pull off a song like this. They either needed to go more sentimental or angrier, instead of attempting to hover between the two. I think this does have staying power, but they need a better single to establish themselves as a four-piece.
Best of the Week
Why Me by Jess Glynne
Ocean Drive by Duke Dumont
Worth a Listen
You’re My World by Cilla Black
Anyone Who Had a Heart by Cilla Black
Wouldn’t Turn Off
Nothing Left by Kygo ft. Will Heard
Drag Me Down by One Direction
Would Turn Off
Marvin Gaye by Charlie Puth ft. Meghan Trainor
Back to Back by Drake
Tonight Belongs to U by Jeremih ft. Flo Rida
Wanna Do by Joe Weller ft. Emil
Worst of the Week
The Party (This Is How We Do It) by Joe Stone & Montell Jordan