20GAYTeen the Rate: WINNER!! | Page 82 | The Popjustice Forum

20GAYTeen the Rate: WINNER!!

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by Trouble in Paradise, Dec 8, 2018.


What's your favorite album from the main artists of the rate?

  1. Expectations by Hayley Kiyoko

    15 vote(s)
  2. Bloom by Troye Sivan

    13 vote(s)
  3. Palo Santo by Years & Years

    16 vote(s)
  4. Language by MNEK

    10 vote(s)
  5. O by Ssion

    5 vote(s)
  6. Dirty Computer by Janelle Monae

    60 vote(s)
  7. Chris by Christine & the Queens

    15 vote(s)
  8. Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides

    15 vote(s)
  1. Bloom deserved better, but at least it was the first song to have an 8+ average.

    Can we have a top 20 recap please?
  2. ohnostalgia

    ohnostalgia Staff Member

    That was my lowest score left, so yay.
  3. Whatever Years & Years songs are still left, this deserved to outlast.
  4. Yes that's true! Thanks for pointing this out.
    Okay, you know I love you but right now I hate you.
    They're songs have really grown on me even though I liked them already, but yes this.
  5. Catching up now - I'm so proud of Holland for making it to the top 25 because I'd be sure people would dismiss him just for being a k-pop act. He's an artist to watch.

    Now, Now by SGL continues to be amazing. I'm surprised I didn't give it 10! (But then again I think there are many songs of theirs that are better.)
  6. londonrain

    londonrain Staff Member

    Isn't there a Ssion song still here? That should have gone first.
  7. [​IMG]
  8. Also yes.
  9. Hello those of you with taste and those of you who seemed to have lost it (@anyone calling for Ssion),

    Wanted to give a quick update! I did not plan it this way but we have one more guest elimination on the way! After that I'm planning on a doing a quick cull down to 15 ideally happening in quick succession. Would y'all want an update at 19 or 15? I can also do both if that's desired, those don't take a lot of time or work for me!
  10. Introducing our next cut is me!... but also Kele Okereke, English musician best known as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the indie rock band Bloc Party. He's the first gay POC musician to find both critical and commercial success in a musical genre usually reserved for straight white men. The single "I Still Remember" and the whole Intimacy album contain references to his past lovers. He also injected a good dose of electro-pop in his band's music, making the indie crowd lowkey mad. Icon.


    20. "Lower The Tone"
    By Rae Morris

    Highest Scores: 11 x 1 (@Verandi (ME!)); 10 x 7 (@ufint @constantino @Reboot @Riiiiiiiii @Music Is Life @kalonite @LE0Night)
    Lowest Scores: 4.5 x 1(@Sanctuary); 5 x 1 (@londonrain)​

    Lower the tone so I can love you more
    The lower you go, the more I am yours
    'Cause your dark side is beautiful
    Yeah, your dark side is beautiful to me


    What can I say? I'm fucking glad this little masterpiece reached the 8 mark AND the top20 despite some horrifying taste being displayed during this rate (I mean, look at those two lowest scores. Sad!). I could say I'm mad this didn't reach the top10, but being totally honest this went much further than I thought it could, lost in the sea of the extras.


    British singer Rae Morris has released two very solid albums so far. We love her. We also love her because she's pretty open about sexuality and gender fluidity. Here are the most interesting lines about her 2017 Gay Times interview

    Well put, Rae, well put.

    Lower The Tone appears on Rae's second album and was co-written and co-produced with Benjamin Garrett, better known by his stage name Fryars, an English art pop musician from London. He was previously featured on Cold, from her debut album Unguarded.

    Let's see what Miss Morris had to say about the song:

    Translation: she was really fancying a shag. But she's an artist, so she made poetry out of it.

    Now I'm sure I've read/saw her talking about what happened after the *ahem* event narrated in the song, but I cannot for the life of me find anything about it. In short, she joked about how you should not fall in love with your co-writers (and also made it clear that yes, they actually had some tender sex and they were in a relationship for a bitsy. Aw. Get that d Rae.)


    As you all know by this point, I'm very hard to please when it comes to music. In fact, I don't even consider Someone Out There a modern classic as some members and publications do. But Miss Morris really wanted to shut me up a bit and so she made two songs that slapped me so hard I still have scars on my butt cheeks. These two songs are Rose Garden and Lower The Tone. Two modern electro-indie-pop masterpieces. Yes they are. Those of you who follow me on Instagram (taste!) know that Rose Garden was my #1 song of 2018. But Miss Morris was not happy enough, so she slapped me harder, till I included Lower The Tone at #4. She did that. Not the slapping. That was a metaphor.

    But let's analyse together why this lil song is my an 11 shall we.

    The music

    At first glance this is a low-key affair, a sweet vocoder-aided vocal that makes you feel like Rae is a robot talking to you ear. Mind you last time somebody did this we got Hide And Seek, an alt-gay staple. But, but, what is happening? Something is moving under the surface. The tone is not getting lower, we hear this tiny percussions growing louder, a wild robotic whistle appears. Oh my GOD WHAT IS THA...


    At the 2:23 mark, the song explodes. It's the sound of a little dark room being blown up to reveal the landscape once hiding behind those window-less walls. How can anybody dislike this? We just don't know. From this point on, there's a symphony of bleep blops, multi-tracked vocals and my wig heading to Mars. It's all a bit Enya-on-steroids. I do love Enya.

    Please appreciate my extremely technical music vocabulary thank you.

    The lyrics

    I usually don't care that much about lyrics. Yeah_I_Said_It.mp3. But Miss Rae wanted to punch me in the stomach with those lyrics, so she did. As you may have noticed, the song is basically two songs rolled in one. The first half is about intimacy <3. The second half about wild sex. Let me be honest with you all for a hot minute: I'm in a phase of my life when I desperately need both. *Hides in a corner and cries*

    Before we reach the commentary, let me highlight a couple of lyrics from each section.

    Shower me with kisses
    The way your breath against my skin makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand tall
    Feel like I've not felt before now

    OMG <3

    Lower the tone so I can love you more (To me, you are an animal)
    The lower you go, the more I am yours (Sensitive and wonderful)


    This song is my 11 even if I cannot relate to it in the slightest. Imagine when I will be able to. Imagine. 12/10.


    But let's see what you, the voters, had to say about this little masterpiece. Maybe it's a good thing those devoid of taste didn't comment on this, as I would have dragged them a bitsy.

    @pop3blow2: One of the best on Somewhere Out There. Yes, precisely the second best of the album.

    @constantino: I’m still shook at mousey little Rae Morris pulling a Jewel and straight-up SNAPPING like this. What a brilliant slice of sapphic pop this is. I admit my knowledge of Jewel doesn't go beyond that pop album and Hands, but if she put out songs like this please make me a playlist and call me a Little Diamond (Marina has officially disowned me).

    @ufint: First time I heard this was four or five months ago, 3:30 in the morning coming home after a few glasses of wine too many. I was unfamiliar with the work of lady Morris, and thought it seemed good. HOWEVER, 2 and a half minutes in to the song, this is ORGASMICALLY BEAUTIFUL. I was so blown away I sobered up almost immediately and listened to it ten times in a row. I can’t remember the last time that happened. This made me emotional. The taste on display, far too much.

    @CorgiCorgiCorgi: I prefer Do It or Reborn, but this is still a solid tune. Looks like we found a plink plonk music lover uh.

    @The Hot Rock: This felt like it was picking up for me but then it stopped and ended. I liked it a bit. If you didn't feel anything at the pure explosion at the 2.23 mark, do you even enjoy living music?

    @KingBruno: This reminds me of Bon Iver’s work; genuine passion with just a vocoder and sporadic electronic components. I know zero songs by Mr. Iver but he sounds like an alt-gay icon so I might try it.

    @kalonite: Underappreciated gem from an underappreciated album. Louder for the people down the back.

    @Reboot: Very good. This song sounds like the soundtrack to a faraway place. That ending gives me goosebumps every time. That faraway place is actually the location of my wig as I'm listening to the song while I'm writing the commentary.


    My job here is done, ladies and gents and queers. This was my first ever elimination post. The site deleted the draft twice. I'm exhausted already. Now go listen to this song and Rose Garden and make me happy. Also Rose Garden. Please
  11. I think it says a lot about my own sexuality that Lower The Tone genuinely never struck me as a song about sexual intimacy before. I know that one of the lyrics literally is "Shower me with kisses" etc, but the production is so good and otherworldly that the song becomes about something else, to me.

    I love your stanning of the song @Verandi
  12. Ugh I feel like a proud mom reading these guest eliminations (but also a little bit like a stage mom who's living her dream life through her children cause the quality!).

    Since no one had strong feelings either way and I have a day to myself, I'm gonna knock out 19 to 16 in quick succession and follow up with a Top 15 Recap.
  13. Aw I love the Kele/Bloc Party shoutout. Still one of the best concerts i've ever been to.

    I gave Lower The Tone an 8.5 but I still don't feel like it's top 20 material.
  14. Here's Thomas Beatie who challenged the gender binary in big ways by becoming "the first pregnant man." Beatie has been the focus of short films, documentaries, Oprah episodes and more. His divorce set precedents as he was in a heterosexual marriage with a woman but was the person who gave birth to their children.

    19. “5 Dollars/5 Dols”
    By Christine & the Queens

    Highest Scores: 10 x 7 (@pop3blow2 @constantino @slaybellz @Remyky22 @Music Is Life @kalonite @LE0Night)
    9.75 x 1(@ohnostalgia) 9.5 x 1 (@Riiiiiiiii)
    Lowest Scores: 4 x 1 (@KingBruno ) 5 x 4 (@yuuurei @happiestgirl @evilsin @Empty Shoebox) 5.5 x 1 (@Hurricane Drunk)
    My Score: 9.25

    Some of us just had to fight
    For even being looked at right

    Probably the song in the rate that I had the most 180 turn with. I originally hated this song and all those 5 dollars babyyy blues but I’ve slowly moved from liking to loving it. If I had gotten my shit together for the amazing Christine and the Queens Rate it would’ve been my 11! The quoted lyrics above always hit me like a ton of bricks. Now let’s see what she had to say to NPR about the production and writing of the song:

    Ah, de rien, no problem. It sounds so tremendous, and I think it's really important to talk about that a little bit at first. Can you tell me a little bit about your recording process for the song "5 Dollars"?

    Sure, and thank you for asking — it's a pleasure to talk about production. I remember writing "5 Dollars" out of intense listening sessions of Bruce Springsteen. I don't know if it's obvious, but I was obsessed with how limpid Bruce Springsteen's melodies are: It's such a great way to do storytelling and to still be melodic and catchy. I tried to address sparseness as a way to be badass.

    I wanted to ask you about the lyric that goes, "Then you get five dollars, baby blues." I have a friend who used to live in Paris and he said that "baby blues" is a French expression for the feeling of sorrow you have when something that you've put a lot of work or heart into is over. Is that what it was for you?

    Yes — when you finish a record and you feel worn out, you could say, "It's the baby blues." There is a French singer called Alain Souchon, and he used that expression to talk about melancholy as a delightful and weird concept.​

    And now onto what you all had to say!

    Pop3blow2 So great on so many levels. An 11 contender, for me. Her vocal reminds be a bit of Marina in this. Love the different levels in which you can read the lyric. Gives me goosebumps, a bit.

    Music is Life Not entirely sure what this song is about, but it's a great song anyway. I love her vocals on this, as well as the keyboard that comes in.

    Untitled there's a certain clarity to her voice that just endears me to it. i do like the little flourishes that sound like droplets of water too.

    Yuuurei I couldn't really get into it because hearing the words "5 dollar" so often just made me think of those old Subway commercials.

    The Hot Rock Absolutely love the vocal delivery on this one.

    KingBruno I tend to find the production rather trivial, which is a vibe I usually don’t get from her. The choice of subject matter is great, but I feel like M.I.A. had a much more captivating take on it on the similarly titled “10 Dollars”.

    Kalonite What a song. What a video. What sexually confusing androgyny. Ten.

    Constantino ‘Cinq Dols’ outsold tbh. The hook is such an earworm, the kind that makes you wanna shout ‘FIVE DOOOOO-HO-HOOO-LAAAARRRRSS!’ on a busy night bus.

  15. I saw Ben Folds in concert once, so this tracks.
  16. I want you to know that I had put a like after the first paragraph. Then you had to ruin it dddd
  17. Introducing our next cut is Larry Kramer writer and AIDS activist known for works like The Normal Heart and helping to found ACT UP! He has been challenged for his portrayal of gay men being stereotypical as dancing, drugging, and fucking as the "disco burns around them."

    18. “Up in Flames”
    By Years & Years

    Highest Scores: 11 x 1 (@Sanctuary) 10 x 7 (@CorgiCorgiCorgi @GimmeWork @londonrain @happiestgirl @inevitable @Music Is Life @Untouchable Ace )
    9.5 x 2(@Ana Raquel @yuuurei)

    Lowest Scores: 4.5 x 1 (@LE0Night ) 5 x 1 (@dylanaber)
    My Score: 9

    I dreamed of a life so big and tall
    An escape from who I was
    And our past is going up in flames
    And the future can be rearranged

    Olly and co. lose an absolute fan favorite which for some godforsaken reason was a bonus cut! While I don’t stan this one as hard as some of y’all, there is no denying the boppability and lyrical meaning on display here. Why the would include “Preacher” on the standard edition and relegate this to a bonus track is beyond me. In their album breakdown for iHeartRadio this is what Olly had to say about “Up in Flames:”

    Olly: "Up in Flames" was made with Greg Kurstin, and it was one of the first songs that actually got made. We weren't gonna put it on the album and then we got lost a bit and we came back to it. We were, like, "Oh, we like this song." I remember being in the studio and thinking I wanna write something that sounds a bit like something in between Chaka Khan and Britney Spears, and it kind of came together and made "Up In Flames."​

    Now onto you all:

    Pop3blow2 This is really good. I like that Greg Kurstin. The pre-chorus here is fantastic.

    Yuuurei An excellent dramatic 90s-revival-ish track.

    Ufint Up until know I was so sure Olly sang “I dreamed of a lasso, big and tall” and I was like…. Well, that don’t make no kind of sense, but it sure is funny. In my mind I call this song ‘Lasso’, ‘Up in Flames’ don’t ring no bells.

    CorgiCorgiCorgi How was this not a single? How was this just a bonus track? This is probably my favorite chorus in the whole rate, and this song was the runner-up for my 11

    The Hot Rock A pretty big improvement compared to the other Y&Y tracks so far. This is more like it.

    Untouchable Ace The main album needed more 80's. This was so good but I guess that they sacrificed this other 11 contender of mine for album consistency.

    Music is Life Love the opening. And the production in general. And his voice. Need more of this.

    Untitled makes me weep over my own toxic masculinity ridden childhood

  18. I can't imagine listening to Christine in English, 5 Dollars sounds so awkward.
  19. Up In Flames should've been the last Years & Years track remaining, if you ask me! Greg Kurstin's such a great producer, and Olly's vocals on the chorus are perfection.
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