The Grammy-award winning band has been steering from their #rockroots since last album (2012’s ‘Overexposed’), but their latest is more foreign than I could ever imagine. On their fifth set, Adam Levine & Co craft some of the most annoying pop songs that even Meghan Trainor or Jason Derulo probably passed on. Just when I thought “Payphone” couldn’t get any worse, songs like “Maps” and “Animals” proves it could be much more severe. As a huge fan of their early works, ‘V’ is the most disappointed I’ve ever been in an artist.
Trey Songz is undoubtedly the worst vocalist in R&B today. While half of the world lusts over him, the other half have forgotten most of his songs while shaming his constant misuse of his vibrato. His sixth studio album ‘Trigga’ doesn’t fare too far from his previous material – forgettable, trashy R&B with no substance or growth (see “Na Na”). Trey’s debut featured two of the most meaningful songs form R&B (“I Gotta Make It” and “Gotta Go”), but what happened on ‘Trigga’? Two solutions – either 1) he’s feeling major label pressure to compete with the Ushers and Chris Browns, or 2) he still thinks he’s running from Leatherface in ‘Texas Chainsaw 3D’. My guess is the latter.
The title of Mariah’s latest is just too nonsensical, so I usually just shorten it to ‘Me. I Am A Moose’…but not (entirely) because of her weight. Typically peaceful until pushed or drunk, Mariah’s moose-like personality makes her fourteenth album come across more onerous than elusive. As a renowned vocalist, Mariah shouldn’t be taking the payola route to get a hit, but maybe that’s what Def Jam desired of her. All the collaborations and ghostwriting shows just the kind of artist she’s become. Hit-Boy, The-Dream, Miguel, and even Q-Tip attempt to regain interest in the moose, but I found myself much more interested in butterflies instead.
Jessie J’s plight is in the same category as Trigga’s – the irrestible need to conform to the mainstream. Her third album ‘Sweet Talker’ features a hodgepodge of urban and pop artists with the sole purpose of making her stateside success match how she’s revered in the UK. To make matters even worse, Jessie barely songwrites on the ‘Talker’ album. Instead, Diplo, Elle Varner, Sevyn Streeter, and The-Dream all receive writing and production credits. After only two songs into ‘Talker’, it’s clear that the 2014 (Americanized) Jessie J isn’t the same who wrote favorites like “Do It Like A Dude” and “Price Tag”. For now, she’s become a copycat Demi Lovato.
With regards to hip-hop, Igloo Australia’s talent and rise to fame doesn’t match the material presented on her debut album ‘The New Classic’. After three floppy singles, Igloo had to rely on the #payolamethod to gain some relevancy in the music industry “Fancy” paid off well, but where’s her credibility? The rapper spits “put my name in bold” (bowl) and sounds like so much of a joke, you’d think she was rapping beside a ‘South Park’ character. The only people that honestly believe in Igloo’s ‘Classic’ as a defining #rap album in 2014 are either 1) too simple enough to understand real lyricists such as J.Cole or Azealia Banks, or 2) part of a group of people who desperately want to be Black. Horribly appropriated songs like “Goddess” and “Just Askin” prove just that.