10 Things I Love About Pop: Week 7

26 Nov

Do you remember when I promised a review of Talk That Talk earlier this week? Well, do you remember when I promised a review of 4 earlier this summer? The point is, I can be forgetful. So to strike while the pop-iron is hot, I’ve decided to dedicate this week’s column to the two hottest things in pop music at the moment. That’s five highlights from Rihanna’s new album, and three from Drake’s. As a side note, I won’t be featuring previously reviewed tracks, We Found Love or Where Have You Been. Jonah, who is a much more accomplished Drake source than me has already reviewed Make Me Proud, Crew Love, Shot For Me and Underground Kings (hence why I’m reviewing fewer Drake tracks). So check that out. If Barbadian pop stars or Canadian rappers aren’t your thing, I apologise. Better luck next week?

1. Farewell

I mentioned on our Tumblr that this feels like a fan favourite, if not a stand-out single. Having listened to Talk That Talk a few times now, it’s definitely my favourite track. That it’s got a killer, Halo-esque trick and is her most expressive song on the record makes this the most exciting one for me. Bonus points for what sounds like a I Will Always Love You influence on the chorus? Dolly’s version, natch.

2. Do Ya Thang

Man, this hook’s been in my head all week. The chorus is undeniably Rihanna and sometimes, you just have to let that sink in. Not that submission is painful with this playful little track. It sounds like the sound that Cher was going for with her (really quite solid) debut album. Of course, Rihanna’s had more experience on the airwaves. Time will tell, young Lloyd.

3. Drunk On Love

This was my single of the week over on Mikey’s column and I maintain its brilliance (a day is a long time in teenager terms). Your take on it will depend on your opinion of slow, The xx-inspired build up. Incidentally, it’s definitely the most Drake sounding of songs on the album (Jamie xx wrote Take Care). Let the gossip-mongers feed on what the lyrics tell us about their life! Literary theorists have been doing it forever, so get on it Popdust. Are RiRi and Drake the new Plath and Hughes? In which case, I do not like where things are going.

4. Cockiness

‘Suck my cockiness, lick my persuasion,’ likely means this will never end up on commercial radio without a complete overhaul. Which is a shame, because it’s Rihanna at her best. Cheeky, a bit daring but traditional stompy, stompy pop. This is to Talk That Talk what Peacock was to Teenage Dream.

5. Talk That Talk

The eponymous track is another stomper and, barring a questionable Jay Z introduction, is a neat one. Honestly, I far prefer a bonus track called Red Lipstick but that’s a bit unfair to review as you have to have the deluxe edition- and I don’t want to ward off casual fans. It’s not all about the Rihanna Navy.

6. Take Care

I really, really love this. Of course, it’s going to fuel Drake-Rihanna relationship rumours but it’s also a stunning track. It’s for tracks like this that Drake is criticised for being mopey. So I guess your tolerance towards him depends on tender, sensitive tracks. Florence just did a cover of this which is really lovely. But I don’t know, too soon?

7. The Real Her

The big collab- in quantity anyway. This is more of the same for Take Care. I feel that casual listeners will be disappointed with a few of these tracks as standalone singles. Like 4, this really is an album album. Set a few hours aside, poor a glass of wine (milk) and bathe in Drake’s soothing tones. This is probably my favourite track of the album, if we are separating them in a way I just told you not to. Hypocrisy, eh. Welcome to the column!

8. Marvin’s Room- Buried Alive (Interlude)

It’s interesting, but not altogether surprising that both Drake and Rihanna use the ‘n’ word on their albums (Rihanna is less blasé, sure). I don’t really agree with it but that’s just my addition to the ‘it’s okay to be racist because I’m that race’ argument. Regardless, this track is beautiful and exciting for rap music. That’s a pretty big claim, isn’t it? Anyway, it will continue those Drake-Rihanna rumours.

9. And that’s it for the reviews. Here are two little treats to finish off. They’re good’uns. Here’s the complete list for the Bob Dylan tribute album. It’s rare that I actually laugh out loud on the internet, but I seriously giggled at a few of these. Not because they’re bad, just because they’re unexpected. Still, I’m really excited for some of them. Let’s hope Maroon 5 keep up their recent ride. Also: Queens of the Stone Age! Exciting. Expect a full review next week.

10. Do you notice anything different in the air, world? Well we’re living in a universe where Katy Perry has re-entered the Top 10 with TOTGA. Truly, truly exciting for us all. Fun fact: In research for this post, I took another listen to Rated R, which if you stalk me (Hey, people are stalking Jonah!) you will know is my favourite Rihanna album and heard something on Stupid In love that warmed my unashamedly pop music heart. On the decision of whether to give her Lowe another chance, Rihanna sings: ‘Gave you a chance to make it right/ So I made it even though Katy told me it was a waste of time.’ OMFGLOLZ, you guys. We all know that’s a reference to her BFF, hen-party planning, colleague Katy Perry! I will make friends with famous people. It’s an inevitability. Well, whatever comes first. My Facebook add or their restraining order.

Have a great weekend, guys!

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