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411 Music Buy or Sell 10.17.12: Diamonds on a White Dress

October 18, 2012 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas

Greetings and salutations, Music Zone readers! Welcome to your top choice in music single opinion columns, 411 Music Buy or Sell! I’m your host Jeremy Thomas, and each week we’ll look at some of the hottest new and hit singles and a couple of our esteemed writers will decide if they want to keep the song (Buy) or drop it like it’s hot (Sell). This week’s listeners are a member of the 5 & 1 Illuminati from the MMA Zone, Stewart Lange, taking on our resident master of metal with the Hammer of Doom News Report, Robert Cooper!

All right, enough of the introductions and rules…let’s hop to it!

1) Kanye West – “White Dress”
From The Man With The Iron Fists Soundtrack (Soul Temple)
Released October 12, 2012
Stewart Lange: SELL.

First off, I’m not sure what relevance this song will have to the film it’s on the soundtrack to. I haven’t enjoyed a Kanye album since his second, but this is pretty poor anyway. A good start, but I don’t think I’ve ever “Bought” a Kanye track during my time here.

Robert Cooper: BUY.

I can say that while I’ve always respected Kanye West’s skills as an artist as well as a lyricist, I’ve never really listened to much of him, and after this song, I can say that I might go out and listen to some more or his music. As for this song, I really liked it, Kanye’s flow (I think that’s what the kids call it) is great and I like the fact that he goes for much of the song with just one long verse, and there is not a huge use of the hook here, which I tend to like, because I think that if they use the hook too much, it makes a song repetitive.


2) Soundgarden – “Been Away Too Long”
From King Animal (Seven Four Entertainment/Republic)
Released September 27, 2012
Stewart Lange: BUY.

Yes, Soundgarden. You have been away for too long, but what have you done with the OLD Soundgarden? I still like this, it’s definitely better than the horrible track from the Avengers soundtrack but let’s be honest with ourselves. It’s no Rusty Cage, is it?

Robert Cooper: SELL.

It really pains me to say that too, because I was REALLY looking forwards to hearing this, but honestly, this song is good, but I won’t say that it is much more than that. The opening riff isn’t all THAT memorable, it’s not bad but it doesn’t feel like a classic Soundgarden riff. I like Cornell’s vocals here to a point, and the drums are good. But my main problem is that this song is kind of repetitive and simple, but not exactly in an AC/DC way. AC/DC are simple and can repeat themselves on occasion, but that is what they do, there is a charm to it, and dammit they make it work. Soundgarden, I expect more from, I know that the single is not always the best song on the album, but I expected this song to be pretty damn good, and while I’m probably being a bit harsh here, I feel like this is a decent song that is cleanly produced and inoffensive, this is not quite up to the standards I had for the band.


3) Rita Ora (ft. Tinie Tempah) – “R.I.P.”
From ORA (Roc Nation/Columbia)
Released August 28, 2012
Stewart Lange: BUY.

Yeah, this isn’t one I should like but boy, is it catchy. I’m actually a pretty big Tinie Tempah fan, he’s astounding live but it’s all about Rita Ora here with a hugely impressive pop track.

Robert Cooper: SELL.

I didn’t expect much from this, and I didn’t get much personally, I got bored by the song personally (which probably is not much of a surprise), but I will say that Rita Ora has a very good voice, I like her voice a lot, and apparently that is really what she sounds like live as well. I just felt that the Tinie Tempah cameo added little to the song, and it didn’t do much to add anything beyond his name to the song, and he rhymed me with me at the end of 3 straight verses, which is just lazy. The song is repetitive (I say that word a lot with music, don’t I) and quite frankly, I think that Rita Ora’s talents were wasted on this song, because I feel like she could do better.


4) Alicia Keys – “Girl on Fire”
From Girl on Fire (RCA)
Released September 4, 2012
Stewart Lange: SELL.

I think Alicia Keys is amazingly talented and all, but this track doesn’t do much to remind me of that. I will admit, I was worried at first it would be her moving into some sort of upbeat, or dance kinda territory, but in actual fact when it wasn’t I was almost disappointed.

Robert Cooper: SELL.

But only by a razor thin margin, the only reason I sell this is because I don’t think Alicia Keys did enough to save the song. Don’t get me wrong, her voice is tremendous as always and I think that while this song is lyrically lacking, it isn’t because of Alicia. OH NO!, this is because one of the few artists I can say that I truly despise is in this song, Ms. Nicki Minaj, perhaps I am again being unfair to a song to sell it for just her alone, but I’ve never liked a song she has done, and while I don’t know her personally and can’t comment on her as a person very much, she does seem very diva like. But I don’t feel she adds very much to this song, and her lyrics are straight up doo-doo (and not even the Outkast doo-doo where it’s roses) here and don’t do a thing to reverse my feelings on her. I really was about to buy this song, but Nicki pushes the needle to the sell for me.


5) Aerosmith – “Lover Alot”
From Music from Another Dimension! (Columbia/Sony Music)
Released August 22, 2012
Stewart Lange: BUY.

Yes, yes, yes. Just, yes. I’m not going to type any more since it’s drowning out the music.

Robert Cooper: BUY.

You know, I actually sold this song the first listen, I thought the whole repetition of the chorus kinda killed the song. But I listened to it again, and you know what?, ever though the chorus is highly repetitive, I think that this song does plenty of right, the fast of the song really gets me energized, and even the repetitive chorus is catchy enough to make up for the fact that it ends every line with the same word. I also thought that the guitar solo broke up the monotony of the song at the right time. I feel weird for bitching at Soundgarden over being repetitive, and not Aerosmith, but I think that perhaps Aerosmith were just a bit more entertaining in their repetition and that won me over, because I had fun listening to the song.


6) Rihanna – “Diamonds”
From Unapologetic (Def Jam)
Released September 27, 2012
Stewart Lange: SELL.

Let it be known I actually don’t like Rihanna anyway, but boy do I hate this. It seems to be on the radio every time I get into my car and I’m sick of it. Forget buying it, I’ll pay money to never hear it again.

Robert Cooper: BUY.
I feel wrong, I don’t like Rihanna very much, I really don’t, but for some reason I didn’t mind this song. I will give it a buy because it exceeded my expectations, and Rihanna’s voice was pretty good throughout the song and I felt that this song was inoffensive. It’s not a song that I’d go out and find to listen to, but it seems like though the song did start to lag towards the end, Rihanna managed to make me not hate this song. The only thing that I disliked about this song was the “Shine bright like a diamond” that kept going in the background, I didn’t think that it fitted and I the way it was sung also kind of got on my nerves.

Damn, I feel ashamed because I sold the Soundgarden and bought the Rihanna, but something about the Soundgarden song (perhaps the sterile production, the no guitar solos, and the fact that the song was kind of boring has something to do with it) made me sell it. I think that almost all of these songs had the same problem of over repetition though, but that just might be me or pop music in general.


It’s a rather contentious week as our panelists can only agree on two things: sell Alicia Keys and buy Aerosmith! Thanks to Stewart and Robert for their participation this week; that will do it us! What do you think of the singles we covered? Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments!


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Jeremy Thomas
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