Pop music allows for about five genuine weirdos to get meaningful play at any given time, and usually three of those spots are taken by rappers. Florence Welch may not have had a song take off like 2010's "Dog Days Are Over," but she's proven to be good for more than just Eat Pray Love trailers, and has since become a perennial figure in the Starbucks CD rack scene (which may not be the coolest niche to find yourself in, but is worth something; Mom Rock is of course important because moms still buy physical music discs), as well as the soundtracks to just about any young-adult film or TV show released in the last two years. All of these career highlights are very helpful in making you forget that Welch is still really weird and, as such, a potentially powerful pop weapon.
Welcome to the Overplayed Song of the Week. Every week, Hollywood Prospectus editor and masochistically devoted mainstream radio listener Emily Yoshida will pick an aging Top 40 hit that she has heard enough times to render the song meaningless, and thus likely to inspire otherwise inaccessible epiphanies.
The thing really ought to be done, preferably in an expedient manner.
Hey, I can get onboard with that message. This song is made for two things: running on a treadmill, and flailing around at a club or house party once everyone quits pretending and trades out Grimes for Britney and Ne-Yo. Its flimsiness becomes apparent in any situation when you can't distract yourself with physical movement. If I'm being cynical, I'd say this song was also made for a third thing: Ad licensing. There are no swears. It could be about virtually anything, like drinking Pepsi or playing World of Warcraft. Unlike that other inescapable club jam featuring Ne-Yo, Pitbull's "Tonight," there's no exhortation to let someone take advantage of you, though if you wanted to make it about that, you certainly could.
It was inevitable that the embarrassing parts of the actual '90s (heroin chic, Woodstock '94, Seinfeld haircuts) would bob up to the surface during this whole '90s thing that's been happening of late. So here come Sam & the Womp with a bafflingly popular end-of-summer novelty hit to kick off the dreaded ska revival, revival, revival. With a new No Doubt album on the way, it's time we collectively face our '90s ska past — Madness pin, checkerboard belt, skanking, and all. Sam & the Womp's Twitter page describes them as "ska/dub step/brass 'n' bass/good vibes!!" The bouncy Balkan horn section stirs up corny memories of the Swingers era. As you might imagine, ska and dubstep make for a particularly unholy union. The Womp is the name of a dance invented by the group. They are on Stiff Records ("If it ain't STIFF it ain't worth a fuck") and while there may be some trajectory from The Damned to this repetitive bullshit, it pains the High Fidelity record clerk music snob in me to think about it too much. To be fully fair, Madness's debut album One Step Beyond was released by Stiff Records, and there's nothing inherently wrong with ska. But man, did this song give me douchechills. Dutch vocalist Bloem de Ligny looks like Paz de la Huerta playing Lady Miss Kier in a biopic and sounds like Björk choking on herring. Hopefully this will at least lead to people accidentally Googling Bomp! Records.
Best YouTube Comment: "I'm not gonna lie, when I saw this in an advert I thought it was just taking the piss out of modern music" — Inf3rnoCat
1. Professor Green feat. Emeli Sande, "Read All About It"
Ever wish somebody would combine the elevator-hip-hop of B.O.B.'s "Airplanes" with the angry-dad-yelling-at-you-to-clean-your-room lyrical stylings of Eminem's "Love The Way You Lie" and melt down any hard edges until it sounds somefing loike the Black Eyed Mushy Peas? Yeah, me neither. Hackney-born rapper Professor Green tosses in Scottish R&B chanteuse Emeli Sandé and caramelizes it all down into an inspirational lite-rap melange that makes Drake sound like Scarface in comparison. Best YouTube Comment: "Makes want to start BAWLING this EPIC TUNE don't you dare compare him to someone aCOMPLETELEY different" —dandamankevin Grade: C-