The worst songs I heard in 2019

Coldplay – Everyday Life

I try not to listen to Coldplay. Despite hating when people divide artists’ discographies into “good old” and “crappy new” stuff, I have to admit that Coldplay should have ended at its peak with Mylo Xyloto and the viral single Paradise. Or maybe even earlier, sometime around “Fix You”, which is the only Coldplay song I ever considered lyrically relevant.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for ballads. I could listen to “In my room” playlist on Apple Music for 365 days straight without complaining even once. Everyday Life is a different kind of story. It’s probably one of the most generic, boring and lyrically dull songs I’ve ever heard in my life. From an incredibly basic “Everyone loves, everyone cries” (no shit) in the chorus, to the random hallelujahs at the end… Highly disappointing.

Lil Nas X – Panini

Old Town Road is currently the longest-running number-one song in US history. Let’s not forget that with big achievements come big expectations. Personally, based on his EP, I don’t think Lil Nas X is going to have any big career whatsoever. Panini is one of the most annoying, underwhelming tracks of the year. With its banal as hell lyricism and amateur finish, it’s definitely one of the worst tracks I heard in a long time. Also, how unoriginal do you have to be to release songs shorter than 2 minutes, having been given such an amazing platform? Lil Nas X stands for an absolute lack of concept and is going to become a one-hit-wonder, for sure, which is a shame.

Selena Gomez – Look At Her Now

Miss Gomez is still trying, bless her. Look At Her Now is one of the two singles off the upcoming album Rare. In my opinion, sad ballads such as Lose You To Love Me are much better for her voice and vibe, despite not being anything original. Look At Her Now is a total mess in terms of production and one of the most ridiculous choruses ever. If TikTok was a country, this would be its national anthem. Next.

Kesha – Rich, White, Straight Men

I’m a massive Kesha fan, and always have been. I remember rocking the fuck out of every track on Animal in my bedroom as a teen. I also supported every official release after that, including mostly wonderful Rainbow. Her upcoming album High Road also seems promising and I can’t wait to hear it in full. This non-album single released in June last year is not really my cup of tea, as I prefer when Kesha drops bangers, not standards.

Recorded in a creepy Cabaret style and produced like a bedroom demo from Garage Band song is one of the lowest points of her career. A bit of social/political commentary is good but it could have been done so much better. “Vroom vroom, fuck you / what if life as we knew it was over?”. Well, mine is, after hearing this song.

Madonna – Bitch I’m Loca

Last year I wrote a favourable review of Madonna’s Madame X. I still stand by my opinion that in comparison to all the other post-Confessions albums Madame X is an interesting improvement. Bitch I’m Loca is definitely the lowest point of that album. The song is a second Maluma collaboration on the record. I absolutely loved the lead single Medellin and charming, yet cheesy concept. Bitch I’m Loca is a perfect example of a filler, something that should be picked up in post-production, erased and forgotten. It’s also a lyrical rock bottom, and defending is as a “fun track” doesn’t help. Bitch I’m Madonna was cringeworthy but at the same time a bit fun, with all the celebrities participating in the music video etc.

Madonna is Madonna, we get it. What this track was meant to prove, I still don’t get.

PS. I didn’t include anything from Liam Payne’s AWFUL debut album, as most singles off that record were released in 2017 and 2018. I didn’t listen to the rest of the album after all the bi-phobic and primitive lyricism that made it to the headlines.

I also didn’t listen to Ed Sheeran’s collaboration project as I did not like the idea. I also read most of the reviews and decided that would be a total waste of time.

Happy New Year!

Madonna “Madame X” – Review

Madame X is a dog’s dinner, but delicious! Annoyingly, Madonna somehow managed to become a joke, at least within my circle of friends. That is not because of her age as many would assume, but her rather desperate efforts to follow the trends and appear “on top of the music world”.

The last few albums from Madge could be described as good pop, but nothing groundbreaking. As mentioned before, Madonna started following the trends (often poorly) instead of setting them. That is not the case with Madame X, her best album in over a decade. To be honest, I felt Madonna would start making deeper material as soon as I heard she relocated to Portugal. She’s a very influence-sensitive artist, with the effective ability to absorb the unknown into the zeitgeist. The album includes elements of Latino, African instruments, acoustic sounds, bits of disco, singing in Portuguese and intentional overuse of vocoder (often annoying).

Medellin is a great lead single and album opener. I’m a fan of the composition, the combination of dreamy verses with catchy Latino Pop hooks.

Bohemian Rhapsody-structured Dark Ballet is a real mess. What starts as a piano ballad later turns into a Daft Punky, vocodery, psychedelic bedtime story. Lyrically starts strong, ends a bit cringeworthy (“Can’t you see outside of your Supreme hoodie?”)

God Control isn’t much different in terms of the structure. Gun control-related lyrics sang monotonously with a choir of monks in the background later transform into a strange Daft Punk extravaganza.

Then we have Future, in my personal opinion the worst track on the album, but it might be the matter of me highly disliking both Quavo and reggae music.

Batuka offers crazy percussion and ends beautifully with a violin outro.

Killers who are partying is yet another story. From my observation, fans love this kind of Madonna – an indie-acoustic pretentious witch. Most critics do hate it though. I will be gay if the gay are burnt, I will be Africa if Africa is shot down – Madge lists everyone she feels sorry for with very interesting instrumentation. A bit of an eyebrow-raising moment but I don’t care, it’s Madonna, after all. She lost the plot ages ago.

Crave could have been great without Swae Lee and his moany vocal efforts. The song itself is an interesting combination of acoustic guitar and a trippy beat, so it’s nothing more but a wasted chance.

Crazy isn’t very interesting either but it’s a good introduction to Come Alive. Acoustic percussion, some sick, melted strings in the background and subtle vocals make a good combination yet again.

If you’ve been blessed with a deluxe edition, you can listen to Extreme Occident which includes a lovely melody with vulnerable vocals and oriental instruments. It’s one of my personal favourites.

Faz Gostoso is a true bop with one of the catchiest hooks on the album. Rapper Anitta is featured on this godly bop and together with Madonna, they created one of the best up-tempo songs in Madonna’s discography.

Bitch, I’m Loca is a second collaboration with Maluma. Must be a nice listen for fans of this type of music, however, its location on the tracklist confuses me as the song doesn’t hold as strong artistic value as the ones behind and after it.

I don’t search I find could easily be played in Studio 54. With an addictive beat, disco era-inspired dance track reminds me a bit of I Feel Love by Donna Summer and something you could hear in London’s Vauxhall at 6 am, high on ****, drinking Stella in the smoking area. And this kind of Madonna I want to listen to.

A few words about Eurovision 2019

We all know what Eurovision is like – sparkly, camp, colourful, over the top competition in which (mostly) European countries compete with each other to win a trophy that gives the winner nothing but fame (by which I understand being remembered in competition’s history).

The extravagant contest is responsible for introducing some really good recording artists to the general public (us!), whether it’s the A class ABBA in the 1970s or artists-phenomenons such as Conchita Wurst, Salvador Sobral or Netta.

I’m not here to tell the history of the contest or any funny anecdotes(15 things you didn’t know about Eurovision Song Contest!) but to mention few things that caught my attention while watching this year’s circuses (with bread).

Netta from Israel won the contest last year. Her success, surrounded by an aura of controversy, resulted in dozens of news publications around the world. She was accused of cultural appropriation, banal composition and lyrics and (that’s actually ridiculous in this day and age) criticised for her weight. The artist herself stated her song “Toy” was inspired by the #MeToo movement. I personally enjoyed it to the fullest and felt incredibly happy when she won. Toy is definitely one of the best songs in Eurovision history, in my opinion.

Israel’s conflict with Palestine is one of the reasons why a lot of (important) people decided to boycott this year’s Eurovision.

Hatari, who represented Iceland this year, held a Palestinian flag in front of the cameras. They got booed by the people in the arena.

Surprise, surprise! It didn’t stop Israel from creating an amazing show, filled with self-promotion, guest performances and… scandals, of course!

This year’s contestants couldn’t get close to last year’s artists in terms of performance and compositions, but the competition was still very interesting and some songs are, without a doubt, worth listening to on streaming platforms.

Young gentleman Mahmood was definitely my favourite performance of the night. Introduced by Graham Norton as an internet sensation, with over 83 million views of his video, the young artist didn’t disappoint. He delivered a magnetic performance of a great, modern, smartly produced song called “Soldi”. He brought sexy back just like Justin Timberlake did in 2006. Australian entry sounded like Kate Bush impersonation and looked like college student’s experiments with green screen, but still managed to sound weirdly interesting.

UK’s Michael Rice came last, which is harsh, but I think anyone who wins a singing competition (Rice won a show called All Together Now) and spends the money on opening a waffle and crepe place in their home town deserves the worst in the music industry after that. And, of course, there is Brexit.

The Spanish Guy was really cute and staging was amazing. He came last, together with Michael Rice, but definitely deserved better.

And of course – there’s Iceland. Holding a Palestinian flag wasn’t the only thing they did that caused controversy that night. There was also their Rammstein inspired, BDSM performance. Thank God no one ended up being penetrated by a dildo. On a serious note, I do think it takes massive balls to do what they did…. (Palestinian flag in Israel, not the performance).

Oh, and there was Madonna. Pop music’s legendary superstar appeared as a special guest to promote her new album Madame X. Wearing her signature (for this era) eyepatch and accompanied by Quavo she performed, in my opinion, the worst single in her career so far, with ridiculous staging and disappointing vocals during “Like a prayer”.

Perhaps, we should just stick to Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands who won this year. I’ve listened to his song at least five times while writing this and I still don’t remember any of it. It sounds a bit like Heal by Tom Odell.

For now – good morning Europe and good night Australia!