Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by savilizabeths, Jan 27, 2020.
Well, at least you eliminated a song in the same score range!
And we return to the Christmas cuts.
☁️ TRUE LOVE ☁️
After six days in your arms
I got that tattoo on my heart
Cause I'm your moonlight, you're my star
And nothin's shining more than you, boy
High: 10x9 (@junkos @BreatheBox @Vitamin @elektroxx @Sanctuary @138Prince @reputation. @superultra @Butterfly) 9.25x1 (@Music Is Life) 9x7 (@ysev @RUNAWAY @TwistedInnocence @happiestgirl @myblood @savilizabeths @chrismoyer) 8.5x6 (@Dijah. @lemonsqueezyy @aaronhansome @Crisp X @sapnu puas @Blond)
Low: 3x3 (@Sail On @Hurricane Drunk @daninternational) 3.75x1 (@andrewdarwitan) 4x6 (@Laurence @Ana Raquel @VitaminBee @aux @Dangerous Maknae @GimmeWork) 4.5x1 (@2014)
Total Points: 501.75
My Score: 9/10
The order in which we have eliminated the Christmas tracks in the rate has actually been pretty spectacular. The songs we have reminaing are some of my favourite Ariana festive moments. Today we send off 'True Love' to join the already fallen holiday bops. And what a cute song this is! A sweet, fresh take on the '12 Days of Christmas' with an R&B/trap soundscape. The song also foreshadows the track 'Moonlight' in it's lyrics. Both songs are about Ricky Alvarez, her former backup dancers and ex-boyfriend. Remember the donut video?
I don't know what it is, but this has always been a favourite of mine. Christmas & Chill is a masterful holiday release, and this just stood out. Perhaps it's because it somehow feels a little more fleshed out than the rest? This was the track she teased the most prior to the surprise release of the EP as well, so a lot of the lyrics feel very special. It's basically a sister to 'Moonlight'. Both detail the early days of her relationship with Ricky. They're basically the honeymoon phase in song form, partically 'Moonlight', which we will discuss at a (hopefully much) later date. This song is just such a sweet moment that you can tell was very personal to Ariana at the time and I love it for that.
I want to talk about the production first. This is the one thing I'm in mixed minds about. Aside from a couple of details, it's actually not my favourite. Honestly, it just sounds like a bit of a mess in places. Particularly the chorus. Things just sound too busy. I can hear things I like but there's just a muddy sound about it that I can't get past. Just some odd choices in the mix, like that shouting (yelping?) vocal sample that doesn't need to be there at all. I don't know, it all mixes together into such a mess that I'm not a fan of. The verses are nice, even though the backing Christmas bells sound more like someone relentlessly shaking a tamborine. And I LOVE the reversed piano on the pre-chorus. Honestly, my favourite part is the music box-esque opening. It's so cute and sets the song up so well. The talk box in the end is also pretty awesome! Essentially, I love that the sonic feel melds so well with the rest of the EP but I find the production to be the weakest point of this song. But let's be real...I'm just being nitpicky.
But the lyrics and themes! I love! Christmas love songs warm my heart so much. There is so much hope and lovestruck sweetness to this song. She sounds so happy, like she's smiling through her words. The '12 Days of Christmas' interpolation is really cool! Let's be real, nobody wants to hear an actual cover of that song so I love that she used the concept to create something special to capture her newly blossoming love with someone. It makes this song unique and special. My absolute favourite lyrics are highlighted at the top of this post. I feel like they perfectly capture the songs essence and the essence of (at least the early days) of that relationship. In those lyrics are both a callback to Yours Truly and a hint towards Dangerous Woman. It helps that the two songs referenced are two of my all time favourite songs from her. Of course I mean 'Tattooed Heart' and 'Moonlight'. Self referencing? We love that for her!
This post is a little messy (when aren't they) so I'm going to pass the mic to our commentary panel. I want to start with fave, @Music Is Life (9.25) because we don't get comments from him that frequently: "A mid-tempo catchy BOP. Hello great production once again." Well, I've already spoken too much on my production opinions. On the flip side, @Milotic (5) is NOT here for it: "Honestly, it's not Ariana that's keeping me from liking these songs, it's the godawful production." I suppose I can see where you're coming from, but this song is still amazing so shh. @RUNAWAY (9) finds this interesting: "That 12 days interpolation is so interesting. And the foreshadowing of Moonlight was probably unintentional, but it’s really nice." I'm sure it was intentional. But mostly I just think she genuinely called Ricky 'moonlight' so it makes sense.
Unlike me, @Crisp X (8.5) seems to be a fan of the chorus production: "This feels more like a fully fledged song than most of its parent album. The chorus particularly pops off with those orchestra hits." I completely agree with that first sentence though! @BreatheBox (10) has high praise: "This EP is fucking crazy, she did that! My favourite Chriistmas album next to Merry Christmas II You." You have excellent taste then! @reputation. (10) notes that this doesn't really sound like a Christmas track: "Amazing Christmas song, albeit it doesn’t really sound like one. Definitely a highlight." It's a sultry Christmas bop! @superultra (10) makes sure to clarify: "If Kehlani made a Christmas song, this would be the result. That’s a compliment, by the way." Oh my god, you're right!
We'll end with @chrismoyer (9) who says this is his personal favourite: "Honestly my personal favorite Christmas song by her, and 3rd best overall. Love the production on this one, and that ending makes me always dance, very festive! seeing this live with the candy canes and everyone yelling aye in between the haunting (I would call it) yet mysterious beat was fire! A pretty good song!" I really am jealous at the number of these songs you've seen live!
So we're done. Only a few Christmas songs are still in the running. What order would you like to see them leave in? Watch this space because tomorrow we're cutting a big one right before the Top 60! I love you all, stay safe and have a great weekend!
Yessss another 5 gone. I love to see it.
Both Santa Tell Me and December are great so the only lacking Christmas song left for me it Wit It This Christmas, both it and this were/are overdue.
Some of those low scores for R.E.M.....I am disgusted.
Haha, I do stan sweetener, it true! I don't hate R.E.M, it just a song that comes off confused to me. It kinda feels like a dreamy moodpiece, but also feels like it wants to slap or go off at times (possibly even in a 'big single' way), but kind of never really does either. At over 4 minutes long, it needed to make a choice for me!
Now, I find the album such a work a genius, I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt that tension was exactly what she wanted (since such push/pulls & search for balance are really themes of the whole album) . As it came out though, it's not a song a seek out on its own from the album. It does play nice when listening to it as part of the whole, though. (especially in my reworked track list)
The way y’all hate when Ariana does R&B even though that’s the genre where she shines the most... Worms.
I would've given R.E.M a higher score if it wasn't for Pharell hyperventilating in the background.
I don't think that that's the case, tbh. We just hate when Ariana does R&B when Pharrell is involved.
Apologies for the random vanishing. We're back and eliminating a big one! Some of you will be happy.
I can hear some of you cheering from here.
☁️ BREAK UP WITH YOUR BOYFRIEND, I'M BORED ☁️
This shit always happens to me (Yeah)
Why can't we just play for keeps? (Mmm-mmm)
Practically on my knees (Yeah, yeah)
But I know I shouldn't think about it
High: 10x8 (@soratami @WhatKindOfKylie? @Dangerous Maknae @TwistedInnocence @138Prince @Vixen @SlowGinFizzzz @Laurence) 9.5x1 (@Serg.) 9x9 (@GimmeWork @DJHazey @stoicist @Laura Vanderbooben @slaybellz @SophiaSophia @reputation. @Remorque @Mirwais Ahmadzaï) 8.5x2 (@Milotic @daninternational)
Low: 0x4 (@Sprockrooster @Robsolete @Ana Raquel @Music Is Life ) 2x2 (@fatyoshi @Slice of Life) 3x1 (@Aester) 4x4 (@AllGagaLike @Mushroom @CorgiCorgiCorgi @Cutlery) 4.5x1 (@Hurricane Drunk)
Total Points: 502
My Score: 7/10
It's time has come. I can already see the mixed responses in the thread as today we eliminate 'Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored'. Damn, the thank u, next era really had it's controversial moments, didn't it? This song is a pretty standard pop/R&B moment with lyrics talking about wanting a guy who's taken and wishing he would just break up with the object of his affections for her. It also comes complete with a mess of a video. Let's discuss!
I want to talk about the song before we get to the video, because that's why we're here. First of all, I gave this a 7. I'm not even sure why not. Yes, it definitely bops a bit but it definitely gets stale very quickly. At first I remember feeling incredibly lukewarm about it. Then as I listened more I began appreciating the basic boppery. And now as I am listening to it for the first time in awhile...I'm just a little bored. It sounds like a standard pop hit with very little to offer other than a quirky title and controversial message. '7 Rings' may have been a shitshow but at least it was more interesting. I definitely wouldn't call this song faceless. It has the classic Ari 'yuh' interjections and some pretty background harmonies in places but it really gives me nothing to return to, which is a shame. Like...thank u, next is a bop fest but the singles run was ridiculously mishandled.
I keep relistening to the song in an attempt to figure out specific things I like. Let's see. The melodies are cute and definitely earworm-y. Though I'm a little lukewarm on the chorus in general. The bridge is my favourite as far as melodies go. I just love the way it flows. As far as instrumentation, it's nice enough. I like how moody it feels. Definitely makes me think of a darkened party atmosphere. A little sexy. The best part? That pre-chorus production. It's fuzzy and, as someone points out in the commentary, very video game musical aesthetic. Honestly, it's the most interesting part of the song for me. Look, I like this song well enough. If it comes on in a store, I quietly sing along but I just don't care enough about it anymore.
I feel as if I've discussed the negatives just by the lack of positives and stating that it hasn't stood the test of time. It's basic, which isn't bad but isn't interesting either. The lyrical content, however, is a different story. Ariana is lusting over a boy who has a girlfriend. She thinks he should drop the girl and be with her instead. I can't even figure out how to unpack these lyrics. The song begins with her talking about first noticing the guy and how she can't stop thinking about him even though she knows she should. That's fine, all well and good. Then she notices his girlfriend is there and isn't happy about it, saying it "ain't fair". Life isn't fair, I suppose. We then jump into the chorus where she tells her crush to break up with his girlfriend....because she's bored? And she wants to fuck him in the morning. Okaaaaaay. She says she knows it's wrong but really couldn't care less. I'm just...okay? All sorts of yikes. Ariana really is playing that bitchy mean girl who just does what she wants and steals your boyfriend because he's hot and she can, isn't she?
The second verse sees her pouting and begging a little before an odd line about him singing her songs in the streets. All I can picture is them stumbling home after a night out and him drunkenly belting 'Side to Side' or something. Whatever gets you going I guess. She says he's acting innocent but she knows he's thinking about her too. But then he realises his girlfriend is right there and Ariana is sure he's thinking that the other girl couldn't compare to Ariana herself. This is all just such a mess of shitty behaviour. As is the bridge in which Ari excuses her hating on this girl by saying that she's only doing it because of her crush on the boy. Just...like...that doesn't make it okay. As women we're not supposed to tear each other down over boys. In fact, Ariana is usually about empowerment of women. So what is this mess? Then she confuses the fuck out of me by saying that she's never actually met this man? Wait...what? Can someone give me an explanation that makes sense for this. Because I feel like most lyrics here point to them being in the same place. Especially that line about singing her songs in the streets. What did he do, send her a video? Also..."you without me ain't nice" is a weak lyric, especially to end a verse on. But that's just me being nitpicky.
Isn't all of this me being nitpicky? Maybe it is. You could say that I'm being overly critical of a simple pop song, and you'd probably be right. I'm actually all for songs that explore morally complicated subject matters. Not every song can be a positive message of hope and happiness. Songs with an actual narrative are fantastic. I love plenty of songs from the prospective of someone doing fucked up shit. Perhaps this one bothers me because of how dismissive it is about another girls feelings. It feels like a song focussed on tearing another woman down and it just irks me. It's in the same spirit as 'Girlfriend' by Avril but that song is played more for fun and laughs whereas the delivery here is sultry and sexy. At least it's interesting I suppose. Gives me something to write here.
We haven't even talked about the queerbait in the music video. This video was so clearly designed to get attention. By making something like this, you are fully aware that there will be discussion and headlines. It will get views, which contributes to the chart success of a song in this music era. To get those numbers, the creative team decided to bait and switch the audience and give us a huge twist ending. Ariana isn't interesting in the boy at all, it's the girl she wants. All of the sexual tension builds up to the final moment of the video where the two girls go in for a kiss...and then it cuts to black. There has been plenty of discussion around this video, especially from bisexual women. I am apart of that community. This video uses bisexuality for shock value. That's all there is to it. It's used as a twist to garner YouTube clicks, headlines and Twitter discussions. A genius marketing ploy but one that hurts those who identify as Bi. Of course this would be differnet if Ariana herself was bisexual. In that case it would be a way to represent herself. However, to our knowledge she isn't. And the songs lyrics are extremely heterosexual. So, it's not okay. Using bisexuality as a trend isn't cute. It means profiting off something that a certain group gets hate and is attacked for. I also feel like the fade to black before the kiss cheapens it even more. Like, you couldn't even fully commit to the queerbaiting trend. The video also banks on us queer folks tendency to jump at any kind of representation. My automatic thought whenever I see anything like this is "YES! GAY! GIVE ME THE GAY!" Then I stop and assess the situation only to realise that it's exactly that reaction that those who queerbait count on. Ugh, it's so complicated.
I'm well aware that this was not the most articulate argument and critique of the video. If you wouuld like then I urge you to dig back through Ariana's thread and read the words of others who have discussed this in more depth. I would also like to remind you that it is not a non LGBTQ+ persons place to say whether this behaviour is acceptable or not. Each of us in the community have the right to feel however we feel about queer representation in the media. If you're not offended by this video and you are queer, that's completely okay. If you aren't offended and you aren't queer, you don't get to tell any queer person how to react. Though, of course, I doubt any of you lovely humans are like that at all.
Oof...that was a lot. I suppose we should move along to you guys! @Crisp X (6.5) makes a good point: "This… doesn't feel like a closer and sounds out of place." I completely agree with this. It feels tacked onto the end. Perhaps would have been better off as a one-off single. Or not released? @pop3blow2 (5) can barely muster up a sentence: "Meh. I don't care for this one." I am literally kicking my past self for scoring this above a five. What was I thinking? @superultra (4) has mixed feelings: "Listen, this song slaps, but it serves no purpose in the context of the album. It’s the definition of nonsense and filler. And DON’T get me started on the issues surrounding bisexuality and the male gaze in the video." Feel free to get started in the thread. I'm totally okay with you all sharing feelings relating to the issues and controversy of both the song and video. Give me the thinkpieces! Poor @Slice of Life (2) unnie put his faith in the wrong hands: "Max Martin, I trusted you sis. No." With so many song credits to his name, there has to be some duds, right? @RUNAWAY (7.5) can't understand the hype: "I don’t understand what everyone is jizzing their pants about this song for. It’s nothing new, and it’s not even particularly good. Whatever." Whatever indeed.
@chrismoyer (6) won't be mourning this song: "It’s a good song but it’s just so bland. It’s just basic compared to her other hits, and I’ve heard it so much where it’s just ok now. I like the beginning the most (That’s in the video, and on tour) that I wish was in the normal song." Oh my god, literally mood! I forgot that part wasn't on the album. Dammit! @Milotic (8.5) is a self proclaimed hoe: "Again, controversy aside, I just love this. The classic structure of the song mixed with the modern production is a delight for me. Also, another hoe anthem." I'm genuinely glad you like this! @daninternational (8.5) was drawn in by the title: "I loved the title and the vibe, but it doesn't hold up against her best work." That title had me perched tbh. @reputation. (9) parrots Ari: "A problematic bop. I stan. Yuh, Yuh." Am I the only Ari fan who finds the her 'yuh's' kinda annoying now? @DJHazey (9) loves it but his enthusiasm has dulled over time: "There was a time when it was unquestioned as part of my trinity on the album, but I'd say the status has recently slipped. Nothing to do with anything about the video and the problems people have with that, just simply a "maybe heard it one too many times" kind of thing." You stan this but not Yours Truly? I can't with you xo.
It seems @Cutlery (4) likes the same part I do: "The only part that might spark a bit of joy in me is the videogame tea on the pre-choruses. Elsewhere: dull, the samples melody: pointless, the whole ordeal: hindered even more by the video." Yes. To all of this. Now we just have our lowest scorers to go. Let's start with my fave, @Music Is Life (0): "I gave this a 7 in the BPG rate, mostly cause I bopped a little, but I had also completely blocked the video from my mind. Now, if this was just a random one-off or album track, this wouldn’t be that bad. It’s not the worst song out there. But that video creates a mess surrounding the song, because it adds a level of female bisexuality for the male gaze, and creates an aura of biphobia surrounding that. So fuck the video and fuck this song." Whenever you give 0s it kinda gives me life! @Sprockrooster (0) keeps it simple: "Trash message. Honestly disgusting." I cannot think of a single reason to argue with this. This song almost ruined Ariana for @Robsolete (0): "I could bop to this mean spirited nonsense if the song wasn't garbage. And let's not start on the video. The 1-2 punch of 7 Shits and this was almost enough to kill off my enjoyment of her." Oof. And finally, @Ana Raquel (0) who actually did lose interest: "This is the song that made me lose interest in basically everything Ariana released after. I hate the melody, I hate the lyrics, I hate the way she sings the chorus. But what hurts the most is that video. I don't even remember the last time I felt so uncomfortable when I watched a pop music mv. Mess mess mess." I'm with you on that uncomfortable train.
So we're done. This was a long one. If you read all of that then I love you to the moon and back. Goodbye 'Break Up' and may Ariana's next singles run be better. Our next elimination is a disappointment for me, but far less dramatic of a cut than this one was. See you then! Stay safe!
☁️ MEET YOUR TOP 60! ☁️
YOURS TRULY (9/12)
Right There (ft. Big Sean)
The Way (ft. Mac Miller)
You'll Never Know
CHRISTMAS KISSES (1/5)
Santa Tell Me
MY EVERYTHING (12/17)
Problem (ft. Iggy Azalea)
One Last Time
Break Free (ft. Zedd)
Best Mistake (ft. Big Sean)
Be My Baby (ft. Cashmere Cat)
Break Your Heart Right Back (ft. Childish Gambino)
Love Me Harder (ft. The Weeknd)
Hands on Me (ft. ASAP Ferg)
CHRISTMAS & CHILL (2/6)
Wit it This Christmas
DANGEROUS WOMAN (13/18)
Side to Side (featuring Nicki Minaj)
Let Me Love You (featuring Lil Wayne)
Everyday (featuring Future)
Knew Better / Forever Boy
Thinking Bout You
Raindrops (An Angel Cried)
God is a Woman
No Tears Left to Cry
Goodnight n Go
Get Well Soon
THANK U, NEXT (9/13)
In My Head
Thank U, Next
Adore (with Cashmere Cat)
All My Love
Dance to This (with Troye Sivan)
Get on Your Knees (with Nicki Minaj)
Knew Better (Part Two)
Quit (with Cashmere Cat)
Ya'll make no goddamn sense.
Agreed. This should have gone much sooner.
The song itself is a bit of a mindless bop but oh my god that video was heinous. Such a weird final single choice on an album with a fair amount of potential hits.
CONFIRMED: Popjustice hates bops!
I actually really enjoy Break Up, the production goes OFF, but I also recognise the issues with it. I'm torn.
Too great of a bop to be out now.
I used to enjoy Break Up but I don’t return to it much anymore, I understand why they made it a single since it’s kinda catchy but there’s better songs on the album to be honest.
Thank you for explaining the controversy surrounding the song/video combo so eloquently @savilizabeths, now I understand. I had only watched the video like once or twice and never read any of the discussions in her thread or anything, so I was bopping blissfully unaware.
I used to stupidly try to argue for enjoyment of controversial songs around here (one big one was "I Kissed a Girl" a long time ago in some rate) -- but as stated not being a part of the LGBTQ+ community myself, I don't have the right to try to change the perspective of someone who is and I can't fully understand what they're feeling. I didn't do it coming from a place of wanting to hurt anyone or anything, completely the opposite: I wanted to give the artists the benefit of the doubt or create a less controversial setting somehow, out of stupidity and ignorance for sure. I've realized where I was wrong with all that I don't do that anymore. It's not my place to comment on the subjects. I can enjoy the songs on my own, but I don't need to try to make that a reality for anyone else. Just let it be.
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