Fifth Harmony has returned with their first single as a foursome after former member Camila Cabello departed the group late last year. Before I get into my review I want to say that I like Fifth Harmony and am rooting for them. There are currently no other girl group acts like them in the US which makes them unique. As a fan of girl groups, I would like them to thrive. Though things seemed messy for a little while with Cabello’s departure it seems, in the end, both parties involved are in a happier place. All good things. Which leads to Fifth Harmony, with the help of Gucci Mane, releasing “Down.” Like said it’s their first song as a new configuration and it’s catchy, but it is not fresh.
A common tale for many popstars, and in many ways a common curse, is rehashing a formula that worked previously on a hit song. “Work From Home” was one of the biggest songs released last year. It received certifications worldwide and the music video garnered over 1.5 billion views on youtube. From a business perspective I understand why “Down” seemed like a good and safe idea. It includes a rapper growing in popularity, like “Work From Home” had Ty Dolla Sign, it has a repetitive though catchy chorus, and it has cheeky lyrics. It has the formula that worked really well before. In fact, they even brought back the same writers. If “Down” can achieve even half of what “Work From Home” did then it’s a huge win. The problem for me is the song is just white noise in today’s market which is already over saturated with the same old sound. Fifth Harmony may be starting fresh with one less member, but their music isn’t. Hopefully their album will contain new and more innovative sounds than this as I truly believe they can do better and deserve better. And while I didn’t mind the rap verse, it was odd that Gucci Mane took up a large portion of the song that could have been dedicated to members who were not heard much.
As for the video, all the girls looked gorgeous. The tacky outfits I believe are meant to fit the motel theme. Lauren Jauregui’s vocals shined throughout along with her presence. Normani Kordei knows how to work a camera and always has. Dinah Jane’s natural hair looked phenomenal. But for me, it was Ally Brooke who especially sparkled. The lighting of her room made her appear angelic and her dancing has greatly improved. I wish the pool scene had been more than mere close ups. There is some replay value here, but I can’t say the video made me enjoy the song much more. All in all “Down” is just alright for me. Not terrible. Not great. I’m waiting for better.
DAY6, a South Korean five piece rock band under JYP Entertainment, has an ongoing project in 2017. The project is called Every Day6. Every month, since January, they are releasing a new song and music video until the end of the year. April’s contribution to this project is entitled “I’m Serious” a song, like the ones that came before it, that DAY6 wrote lyrics for and helped write music for. The moment the song starts playing you get that feeling of finally being able to open your windows after a long winter. Warmer weather has arrived! It’s time to go outside! This is a fitting shift for them whose previous Every Day6 releases have been heavier, sadder, and filmed in dark studios. This time around the boys are running around on a beach, cruising in a jeep, and singing an infectious bit of a capella in front of a summery looking hut. The music video is simplistic and fits the song perfectly. No frills. No thrills. Just laidback fun. It’s feel good. It’s joyous. It belongs on many variations of summer playlists. Truly an instant mood changer. Go here to check out the previous Every Day6 music videos!
Conflicting feelings are alive and well with Lady Gaga’s latest release “The Cure.” On the one hand there’s excitement. Gaga has returned with a pure pop song! Finally! On the other hand there’s disappointment. Gaga’s pop music of the past was so distinct, so catchy, so Gaga. “The Cure” sounds like it could have come from any top 40 act on current radio. Yes it is catchy, but there is something incredibly sad about a pop great being like everyone else. Is it because of her waning commercial success that she feels she has to do this? I am all for Gaga returning to pop music full time. It is what she does best. If that’s the case for her, I hope she can deliver more than “The Cure” did.
Arguably the biggest star to come out of One Direction, Harry Styles, has finally released solo material. His debut single is entitled “Sign of the Times” and it is exactly what a world drowning in overused beat drops needed.
It would have been easy for Harry to release a trendsetting song. A tropical beat tied to his star-powered name would have made for a surefire hit. Instead, he didn’t go for something easy and typical. He went for something refreshing. Something that would make the likes of David Bowie and Elton John tip their hats. It’s true that Continue reading
South Korean singer Taeyeon’s latest single “Make Me Love You” comes from the deluxe version of her first album entitled My Voice.
The music video for “Make Me Love You” is all about light. The way light moves across a window, or filters in from above, or bursts from a bulb. Light, aside from Taeyeon, is the main character in this video. Plentiful camera zooms and editing tricks are also in play. The flower floor/ceiling and Taeyeon looking down at herself are the most notable moments. That said, and despite some beautiful visuals, it’s a video I would watch again only for the audio. Isn’t it frustrating when a great song gets a boring video? So lets move onto the great song! My heart swelled from a beat and vocals that would make Kelly Clarkson tip her hat. The chorus is anthemic and subtly builds in power each time it is heard. Not to mention it’s completely in English. “Make Me Love You” is the most satisfying song Taeyeon has released this year.