The 90's Billboard #1's Rate (1995-1999): We've come to the end of our road. | Page 117 | The Popjustice Forum

The 90's Billboard #1's Rate (1995-1999): We've come to the end of our road.

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by Ironheade, Mar 3, 2018.

  1. Yes but, to what was I specifically referencing? And was anyone else involved?
    (well, I do)
  2. Me to me
  3. Can we just fall back on the fact that my 11 is either your 11 or one of the songs you'll be treating like an 11?

  4. I have a feeling I know what your 11 is, so let's call a truce for now

  5. Ricky out before al the other boys left?? I'll say it if no-one else will:

    That's homophobic

    I hope we are keeping the Backstreet Boys for last male elimination?
  6. I thought this would hang around a lot longer, but I'm not sad to see it go. Can we lose Bailamos soon as well?
    marie_05 and Phonetics Girl like this.

  7. Great writeup as ever, and this is actually a pretty good point. I'd not thought about it before (and i gave this an 8 and I tanked TMD) but basically, this one is alright because its over the top in the right direction for me, personally but I thought this was interesting, and probably true.
    londonrain and Ironheade like this.
  8. I feel the same way about "Livin' La Vida Loca." Ricky sings the hell out of it and I'm sure the song sounds amazing live, but the production is terrible.
    ohnostalgia and br0dy like this.
  9. londonrain

    londonrain Staff Member

    Have we actually got any LGBT artists left in the countdown now that Darren and Ricky have been also been eliminated?

    (I forget who we have remaining so don’t kill me if it turns out there’s a George Michael song left or something.)
    WowWowWowWow and Sprockrooster like this.
  10. Elton was the only other one in the rate. Interesting to note that neither Ricky nor Darren was out at the time these songs were released.
  11. According to Wikipedia, Queen Pen has identified as bisexual in the past!
    londonrain and Mike like this.
  12. In an ideal world, No Diggity would be the song that stops an all-female top 10, but that's probably asking a bit much.
  13. Ray


    In an ideal world "California Love" would have been top 5, and all puffs & dions removed by now.
    Denemarken, berserkboi and Amnesia like this.
  14. ohnostalgia

    ohnostalgia Staff Member

    Well, it’s better than the phrase @berserkboi was trying to make happen in the Girl Groups Rate.
  15. So, with the MisandryJustice streak out of the way (for now)... who will be the unfortunate lass to be the next victim of our scythes?

    Gotta tell you, I'm glad I could get a quote from The Room into the thread titles, at least. Finally!

    36. Foolish Games - Jewel


    Average: 7.104
    Highest scores: 10 x 10 (@DJHazey , @P Grandson , @Sprockrooster , @əʊæ, @Aester , @CasuallyCrazed , @marie_05 , @Filippa , @soratami , @Remorque )
    Lowest scores: 3 x 3 (@dancingwithmyself , @Rooneyboy , @A$AP Robbie )
    Weeks at #1: 3 consecutive airplay (#2 on the Hot 100)
    Year-End Hot 100: #2 (1997), #87 (1998)

    So, Jewel's second and final entry in the competition falls. And in many ways, “Foolish Games”, a more dramatic and torchy piano ballad rather than the more modest acoustic folk of “You Were Meant For Me”, makes for a study in contrasts with the first Jewel song we lost. The first of these is in the musical arrangement – in particular, for now, I want to focus on the cleaned-up single mix in contrast to its album version. Where “You Were Meant For Me” was made into a poppier and more easily digestible song that plays better on radio, but the album version nevertheless retains some of its charms, the difference between the album and single versions of “Foolish Games” is night and day. The original rendition is shockingly raw, almost too much so, and frankly sounded like a demo, as well as going on about a minute too long. In its trimmed-down single version, it gets a lot more power and potency. The central piano melody is still as pretty as it was originally, but it's beefed up with string stabs and percussion as it mounts up towards the first chorus, and as subtle as those elements are, they really give it a good lift, making the first lines of the chorus all the more striking as they drop out then immediately re-enter. The drums are soft and kept in the back, so as not to overwhelm the delicate melodic instrumentation, yet still retain some punch with their tambourine accents, and are surprisingly propulsive for such a slow and airy ballad as this. The string arrangements, meanwhile, are just lovely, done with a light hand so as not to smother the song, while still roiling away just beneath the piano for much of the song's length, adding to the swooping theatrical quality of it. The best moments come on the second verse, with its tight and tense pizzicato strings and light layer of hand percussion – again, subtle, but it differentiates the second verse well and stops it from becoming montonous while retaining the same general mood, and the strings over the second chorus and the outro are quite beautiful, in a way that can really tug at your heartstrings. Overall, “Foolish Games” is a fantastic example of how to make a song that is simultaneously light-footed, yet still with a bit of an edge and a sense of drama, and has quite a bit of evocative, misty atmosphere to it that is very nice indeed.

    However, there are two major problems with this song that prevent me from whole-heartedly enjoying it, so let's get the first out of the way. Clumsily strummed your guitar, did you, Jewel? Well, it looks as if, as is your wont, you also clumsily wrote some lyrics to go with it. I've said that Jewel's lyrics often sound like teenage poetry, and rarely do I feel that that is more pronounced than on “Foolish Games”. It feels rather naïve as per usual, and most of the imagery is either the stuff of cliché (“outside looking in”, “too cool to care”, “tearing me apart”), or just plain corny (“THIS IS MY HEART BLEEDING BEFORE YOU!”). And while the addition of seemingly mundane detail into a lyric can have its charms, making a scene feel more “real”, here it just feels unnecessary. I do quite like the “guess I've mistaken you for somebody else” part just before the second chorus, it's quite striking, but that's about all I can pick off my hand and say I really appreciated in the lyrics. Moreover, the vocal melodies are a lot more awkward than the simple but effective folk melodies of the rest of the album; the song is absolutely full of lyrics that don't fit the meter, where Jewel loses the tune a bit, and either crams way too many words into a bar to make up for it or drops into an odd sort of sprechgesang delivery (as in the “some comment on the weather” part). These bits tend to sound like she's just making up the lyrics as she goes along, and it's no accident that the most effective and memorable melody on the song is the more streamlined chorus, where it feels like it properly comes together after the meandering of the verses. The second problem is that Jewel's vocals, while still very pretty, are more than a tad overwrought, particularly on the second iteration of the chorus, where we learn how these foolish games are TAYURRIN MIH! TAYURRIN MIH! TAYREHN MIH APAAAAAAAHT! She still has a beautiful tone, but she goes too full-force on the lyrics, wavering all over the place and dressing up the longer notes with a rather cloying vibrato. I mean, it's not a huge problem – the essential sweetness and fragility of her voice still shines through, and it is a genuinely emotionally powerful and resonant performance - but nevertheless, it is a little too much for my tastes, even verging a bit on the melodramatic. Not the worst kind, buuuuuut...

    So, I'm having a little trouble trying to rank this song. The best way to do it, in the end, was to compare it to Jewel's other entry here. “You Were Meant For Me” was consistently enjoyable and pleasant, if a little lacking in ambition. “Foolish Games”, on the other hand, contains the seeds of true greatness, but in its attempt to reach the same, it falls somewhat short. The end result is that the two are pretty much on the same plane of quality, with the first-mentioned song coming out a little ahead for me. Don't get me wrong - "Foolish Games" is still a pretty good song. But I cannot fully warm to it. Which makes me feel like I'm kicking a kitten, honestly, but what ya gonna do.

    Mike (5) - Never really takes off for me. Like most of her stuff, really. (Honestly, I'm gonna have to agree here. And with all too much of this sort of adult-alternative folkie stuff...)

    mung_bean (5) - This is pretty boring.

    Rooneyboy (3) - Doesn't go anywhere ... (I dunno, I think it actually builds up pretty well, if subtly. No need for huge climaxes here... just let it flow.)

    unnameable (6) - I have nearly all of Jewel’s albums, and I can’t bring myself to rate this higher. (Oof. Harsh.)

    Empty Shoebox (4) - I'm usually okay with teary ballads, but this one isn't doing anything for me.

    PushyBakerFriend (5.75) - I really like the piano intro, but her vocals aren't pleasant on the studio version - now her undercover karaoke version is a different (better) story… (Ooh, I'm gonna have to look that up.)

    iheartpoptarts (5) - I’ll forgive the asterisks for Jewel because they brought us some fun ones, too. I’m nice. (The asterisks brought us a bunch of good ones, thinking about it. Including two of my 10's. That have been eliminated. Hmph!)

    ohnoitsnathan (8) - Sweet song, but some cliched lyrics in there. (Yep, sounds like Jewel alrighty. - Ed.) There's a live version on the VH1 Crossroads CD that is faster and better than the single version.

    londonrain (8) - Radio edit >>> album version here. One of my standard performance pieces and what a song it is. (Gonna have to agree here. There's some Jewel songs that didn't really need the extra studio polish, but this one sure did.)

    WowWowWowWow (6) - As with You Were Meant For Me, thank goodness they did a revamp for radio, otherwise it just sounds like a tinny live bootleg. (I do like a bit of lo-fi, sometimes. Just not on this.)

    berserkboi (9.25) - Powerful, just below YWMFM. (YWMFM kind of sounds like it should be some part or other of the USSR's government. I like it.)

    əʊæ (10) - The melodrama! The evocative songwriting! Taylor wishes. (SHADY. I approve.)

    saviodxl (8) - It took me a while to appreciate Jewel's melancholic vocals, but now I adore them!

    bleedingheart80 (9) - This is so good, a bit on the boring side, but the lyrics are excellent. I loved the video for this, too. It's so pretty and Jewel looks so beautiful in it. (We love a blue-filtered queen.)

    Filippa (10) - I love this song. You can literally hear how she hurts. And it goes deep. (Say this for Jewel, she certainly puts her heart into what she does.)

    Sprockrooster (10) - "Guess I've mistaken you for somebody else - Somebody who gave a damn - Somebody more like myself" WELL FUCK! So damn powerful. Such a beautifully structured song with a pure delivery that captivates me with so much ease. I love how the piano riff instantly reminds me you this song is coming up. (Those are some nice arpeggios, aren't they?)

    DJHazey (10) - What a rate discovery. Now I knew every word of this song already but had no idea how I knew it. What a revelation. Everytime she sings "someone who gave a damn" and other examples when she uses abrupt words to get her point across, it gets me right to the core. The spirit of the song reminds me of why I love my 11 so much. (Ooh, now there's a cliffhanger for us!)

    K94 (9.5) - i crye evertim. (liek Irunhed's post if u cri evry tim 2)


    Sorry, Jewel. You may have followed your heeaaaaAAAAART... but sometimes, that's just not enough for us heartless forumites. ​
  16. The best asterisk is, of course, still here.
    berserkboi likes this.
  17. 2014

    2014 Staff Member

    ok but Ricky in the Livin La Vida Loca video was honestly when I knew.
  18. That elimination was so not the tea. Ugh.
  19. Ray


    When I see that thread title I think of strap-ons for some reason.
    WowWowWowWow likes this.
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