Well folks, we’ve finally reached the end of the semester. This is the last issue of the Recorder coming out until fall, but as Smash Mouth says, “the hits keep coming and they don’t stop coming.”
If this is your first time checking out “Play the Hits!,” we pick a random week and year and dive into the top five songs of the time. We’ve covered a lot of different genres already, from the folksy tunes of the 1960’s to the age of disco in ’80’s. The charts are taken from the Billboard Hot 100, which is archived at Billboard.com. We won’t be going too far back in time for our last edition, though. Instead, I will be torturing myself with easily the worst grouping of songs I have come across for “Play the Hits!” Without further adieu…let’s dive into the week of May 5, 2012. I am already regretting this.
Number Five: Glad You Came – The Wanted
I am not having a good time. “Glad You Came” checks in at the five spot this week. It comes from a British group who calls themselves the Wanted. First question, who would want this?
I think my favorite part of the song is the verse. They rhyme “on me” with “on me” three times. That’s poetry in motion folks. Outside of rhyming the same words with each other, the lyrics to this one are also just pretty creepy. I get that it’s a song meant to be played in the club, but to me it’s just a story about a guy begging some girl to keep drinking and hook up with him at the club? Maybe I’m wrong. I don’t really care.
The music itself is a blast, too. If you remember a few weeks ago we discussed producer Phil Spector’s “wall of sound,” which drowns out singers through heavy orchestration. This song would be Spector’s dream. The riff is simple, but actually pretty catchy. Then, a million other sounds come into play, further giving you the feeling of a packed club with a bunch of creepy white dudes yelling at girls about how much they bench press.
Number Four: Boyfriend – Justin Bieber
Things just keep getting better as we head into the number four spot this week with the Bieb’s “Boyfriend.” Continuing the theme of really creepy men, Bieber whispers (?) the verses, telling the girl all of the wonderful things he would do if given the chance to be her boyfriend. The great things he offers? Being a gentlemen, keeping her on his arm and never letting her go, among other great things. My favorite lyric was when Bieber described his perfect date. “Chilling by the fire while we eating fondue.” Truly, lyrics from 2012 are our version of Shakespeare.
The music behind Bieber is pretty bare bones during the verses, which I think suits the song pretty well. During the chorus, there’s an acoustic guitar playing with absolutely zero emotion behind it, which rocks.
Number Three: Payphone – Maroon 5 Feat. Wiz Khalifa
Maroon 5 was a factory for hit songs from the early 2000’s on and this one is no different. I normally can get behind that; Levine’s voice is great and he certainly knows how to write a catchy song. However, I am sorry to admit that I absolutely hate this song.
I think that stems from a number of different reasons. For starters, it was one of the first pop songs to really implement a rap verse into it, which is totally wacky and crazy! Wow! I guess Wiz Khalifa’s verse isn’t that bad in it, I just hate that this inspired a lot of other pop bands to do the same.
I will say that I really enjoyed the bridge to this song. It was a little tongue in cheek self own when Levine sang “one more f*cking love song, I’ll be sick,” which I greatly appreciated.
I would be remiss to discuss this song and NOT mention the video. I mean, what was that? I am not the type of person that thinks music videos have to match the song exactly, but I am baffled watching this. It’s like an action movie? Explosions, police chases and…Adam Levine. It’s hilarious in the regard that it makes no sense. I sincerely hope that’s what they were going for.
Number Two: We Are Young – fun Feat. Janelle Monae
Okay, before we get into “We Are Young,” I have a major gripe with the group fun that is completely unrelated. Their song “Some Nights,” which coincided with the release of “We Are Young,” is the most blatant rip off of a song I may have ever heard. Listen to Simon and Garfunkel’s song “Cecilia.” It is quite literally the same exact melody.
Anyways, back to the matter at hand. Anyone who was alive in 2012 will remember this song. You couldn’t turn on the radio without hearing it. EVERYWHERE. When I first heard the song way back when, I thought it was pretty good! It’s one of those cheesy songs every indie group tries to write; a stadium anthem declaring to the world “We are young! We can do anything!” It’s annoying and a trope that is too often overused, but let them have their fun, pun intended.
The instrumentation in the song is crafted pretty well. A heartbeat-sound drum line accompanies some spaced out piano chords during the verses, leading into this grand refrain in the chorus that will be stuck in your head for weeks. The band is fun, this song is fun! What can I say.
Wait, they said they can burn brighter than the sun? The sun?
Number One: Somebody That I Used To Know – Gotye Feat. Kimbra
Continuing the trend of artists we haven’t heard from since 2012, the number one song for our final edition of “Play the Hits!” is “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye. For once, I think the number one song is actually deserving of it!
The song starts off pretty slow, relying mostly on some muted guitar playing behind a xylophone riff. The fact that there is a xylophone riff is enough for me.
Then, Gotye’s vocals shine in the chorus. The music intensifies a bit, and Gotye belts out the song’s title in the voice of a scorn lover. The song discusses the difficulties of breakups, how people go from lovers to complete strangers.
This song certainly got its fair share of spins in 2012, and I certainly did not think I would be happy listening to it for this week’s list, but honestly it’s a great song! It’s catchy, the music is a perfect accompaniment, and the lyrics actually mean something!