Wednesday, February 01, 2012

MIXTAPE: Hot 100 Style with The Wanted, Adele, Rihanna & Florence

THE WANTED - "Glad You Came"
UK five-piece Boy Band The Wanted are already at household name status in their home country and on album numero dos, but "Glad You Came" marks their official entrance into the States and it's doing surprisingly well for a boy band of the most typical sense.

"Glad You Came," originally released as the second single from the group's sophomore disc  Battleground last summer in the UK, opens like it would be a typical swoony boy band ballad, but quickly flips the script with dancey beats and a markedly caribbean-y (new word) feel. I'm guessing that might be part of its real appeal -- as it has a very "party on the beach" kind of sound. Apparently, Americans are in the mood for a summer beach party, as it has officially made a dent in the Hot 100, landing just outside the Top 50 at #64. Not bad for a bunch of lads that Joe American has never even heard of (save for a recent appearance on The Ellen Show and a handful of current live dates in major cities).

"Glad You Came" written and produced by Steve Mac (5ive, Westlife, JLS and The Wanted's other big UK hit "All Time Low"), and debuted at #1 in the UK and in Ireland. Now that the song has charted within the Hot 100, time will only tell whether it will rise or sink...


ADELE - "Set Fire To the Rain" (listen here)
America's love affair with the UK songstress continues. I think we've all agreed that Adele is the real deal -- the breath of fresh air in a commercialized, AutoTuned Society of Pop Music. "Set Fire To the Rain", the latest release Stateside from the beauty that is 21 is just more fuel to add to the "fire". Hopefully, it will also permanently set fire to Rihanna's "Love" chart run -- I think we're already for something new, yes?

Personally, I find all of the songs on 21 difficult to judge on their own, as they are all equally massive and fantastic. More applause and enjoyment courtesy of one of UK's finest. Cheers, Ms. Adkins. Please continue to read all of our minds and remain as incredible as ever. That is all.

RIHANNA - "Drunk On Love" (listen here)
I'm not really sure when Rihanna sleeps, as she somehow managed to release two records in the space of a year. 2010's Loud spawned seven singles officially (while only a handful of them seemed to work in the States), and her most recent release Talk That Talk threatens to do much of the same.

I'm putting aside the ubiquitous "We Found Love (feat. Calvin Harris)" (see above comments), which continues to slay the Hot 100, and is doing battle with "Umbrella" for the biggest hit of her career. While I do love the song (despite it starting to become more than a little overplayed), its sound is a bit of a red herring to her usual style and what appears overall on Talk That Talk. From the minute I heard the record in full, the song that stood out most to me was "Drunk On Love." The song samples The xx's "Intro" and really gives her room to belt it out.

I much prefer the optimistic and honest RiRi to the posing and posturing stance she prone to rocking ("Talk That Talk", "Cockiness (Love It)", "Roc Me Out", "Rude Boy", "Hard"). Fingers crossed for it to appear as an upcoming single.


FLORENCE + THE MACHINE - "No Light, No Light"
"No Light, No Light" is the third official single from Flo's much celebrated sophomore disc Ceremonials, released this past October. While there is no denying Ms. Welch (and her musical machine) is a huge hit with critics and musicians alike (Kelly Clarkson is covering "Heavy In Your Arms" on her current tour to support her fifth album, Stronger; Katy Perry did a parody homage on SNL; etc. etc.), mainstream and chart success seems to be alluding her on the Hot 100, as second single "Shake It Out" still undeservedly flounders in the lower echelons.

"No Light, No Light" is truly anthematic in its own right, complete with etheral falscetto, power (organ) chords, heavy tribal drums you feel in your gut and a resounding chorus hook. It's another stunner in the Florence hit machine -- and either you love it or you're indifferent. In my case, I adore it.


Lilly said...

Awww, I love RiRi :) - btw, you got me hooked on that Neon Hitch song

Mel said...

@ Lilly - :) :) :) HURRAH! Neon Hitch <3!

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