Feb 20, 2012

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Y’all I have a music dilemma.

Most of the time, I can pick a good song of the radio after hearing it for exactly 2 seconds.  The only exceptions would be the strange outliers like Madonna’s new single “Give Me All Your Luvin’” which sounded good when I first heard the snippet at the “give me all your luvin'” part in the chorus, and later at Nicki Minaj’s part.  But after one full run-through, I found it to be completely terrible everywhere else.  Do we really need a chant of “L-U-V MADONNA Y-O-U YOU WANNA” in a 2012 pop song?  Especially by the Queen of Pop Music?

But the terrible Madonna song aside, my magic voodoo powers/good song pop-o-meter are all out of sync when it comes to “Glad You Came” by The Wanted.

Q: Is it a good song?

A: I have no idea.  I sure did spend all Wednesday night dying to listen to it for an hour while my computer’s speakers were all out of wack.


Okay, so let’s discuss this.  It sounds like a mix between “Stereo Love” by Edward Maya featuring Vika Jigulina and “You Make Me Feel…” by Cobra Starship featuring Sabi.  The latter makes sense because they were both co-written and produced by Steve Mac.  Now is this a good thing or a bad thing?  Maybe a little of both?

Now, it’s bad because when I first heard it, I thought it was a new song by Cobra Starship, which would be not only disappointing and bad if I decided to first check out the band on YouTube before I Googled the song lyrics I could remember.  It’s just not cool when a song sounds like some other artist.  I mean, it’s great for trying to describe the sound to someone else, but not when you’re constantly reminded of the other artist while listening to it.  And also, what if I went to iTunes and wanted to download the song, only to fall in love with the actual new Cobra Starship single and choose to spend my $0.99 on that?  I also am a little upset that yet another song is using the combination of a dance beat with a repeated sample by an accordion.  Trend hopper.  Lastly, I have a problem with the vocals in that they are a little “thin” or “talky” at places, which is okay, but slightly grating at times.  It’s like, “Just SING to me sexy boy-band boy.  I don’t need to be talk-sung to.”

But on the other side, the “talky” vocals are British, y’all.  A British accent always positively improves overall song delivery.  And hopping on the trend works well on the radio because it sounds like a mix of the two.  (More airplay!  Yay!)  The song also sounds like 2011/2012 (it was released in Britain in 2011).  It’s not  a Max Martin clone and it has some unexpected parts about partying, such as “Give you another drink / Drink it if you can” and “I decided you look well on me / Well on me/Let’s go somewhere  where no one else can see / You and me.”  While it sounds like what we’ve heard, it’s not exact.  It feels like home, yet slightly unfamiliar.

However, the biggest plus of all about the song is that it’s titled “GLAD YOU CAME”(!!).  Now, this can be read as sweet, “My universe will never be the same / I’m glad you came.”  Or dirty.  (You don’t really need an explanation for this, do you?)  What is good about innocent-pop-songs-that-sound-dirty-at-the-same-time is that if executed well, is that when they work, they really work.  Not only does it allow for an artist to get more plays, since the innocent will hear it as innocent and the dirty will smirk at the dirty bits.  It allows for that two kinds of reads of pop lyrics-the dirty and the innocent theme-wise.  (For example: “I’ve got a house with windows and doors / I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” from B*Witched’s song “C’est La Vie.”)  But the lyrics are a little sweet too in that they’re saying in a way, “I’m glad you came to the party with me.  That we got to spend this time together.”

When it’s done right, it makes the listener feel smarter because they’ve noticed something.  When it’s done wrong, it ends up like Britney Spears’ “If You Seek Amy,” where the verses make no sense, but “oh my gosh, y’all it sounds like she’s saying something naughty in the chorus.”  Fortunately “Glad You Came” avoids this problem.  The combination of sounding like “Cobra Starship Meets Stereo Love” and a sexual innuendo works for this song, which makes me “Glad I LISTENED to it.”  Just kidding!

I think “Glad You Came” could potentially be in the running for “Song of The Summer 2012.”  If you remember that last year, LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” was released on almost the exact same date on January 25, 2011 (“Glad You Came” was officially released to mainstream US radio on January 24, 2012) and became inescapable over Summer 2011.  The only thing the song has against it is that it was released in the UK in July 2011, so it kind of sounds like Summer 2011, instead of what Summer 2012 should/would be.  Although that’s never stopped a song’s chart performance before.  I’m still out on if I’ll end up hating it after it’s overplayed in six months, but good or bad, I think it’s a pretty good song.  And I don’t feel that bad for liking listening to it.

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