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411 Music Buy or Sell 11.28.12: Don’t Stop Screaming and Shouting

November 29, 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 the woman who used to preside over 411’s Music Versus column and is making her return to the zone, Gina Bortolussi, taking on our resident Movie Zone editor, Chad Webb!

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

1) Pitbull (ft. TJR) – “Don’t Stop The Party”
From Global Warming (Mr. 305/Polo Grounds/RCA)
Released September 25, 2012
Gina Bortolussi: SELL.

On the very rare occasion that I actually like a Pitbull song, it’s only because of the song he samples to make his chorus however, this song’s chorus adds nothing special to the song. The song itself is lazy and boring and sounds like it could have been three other Pitbull songs. It doesn’t stand out in any way. “Don’t Stop the Party” doesn’t make me want to get up and dance, it makes me want to cover my ears. But hey, at least Pitbull doesn’t incessantly remind us that he’s “Mr. Worldwide” in this one.

Chad Webb: SELL.

Wow, medieval torture methods have nothing on songs like this. I’m not Pitbull expert, but I’ve heard enough of his material, not to mention his guest spots, to know that I’m not a fan. Just glancing at the title of this will tell you all you need to know. I truly despise tasteless, generic, bland club tunes such as this. So many artists today are so desperate for a quick hit and this is what the result usually is. The lyrics are inane, the beat is dull, and Pitbull has no charisma. The video shows him grinding on various women. Yeah, moving on.


2) Linkin Park – “Powerless”
From Living Things (Warner Bros./Machine Shop Recordings)
Released October 31, 2012
Gina Bortolussi: BUY.

This song doesn’t really stand out to me in any way, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. It’s a nice ballad, which is a bit different from their usual rock vibe, while still sounding like Linkin Park, which I’m sure fans can appreciate. While I’m not totally in love with this song, I give them a lot of points for continuing to write honest and heartfelt lyrics.

Chad Webb: BUY.

I guess I have to say “Buy” for this one because I already own the album. I have enjoyed Linkin Park’s music since the debut and their recent album, Living Things, was a good return to form after the dismal A Thousand Suns. Having said that, “Powerless” is not the best track from Living Things (not the worst either). It’s a slower, piano-based tune with the type of harmonies and synthesizer usage that has helped the band maintain their mainstream appeal. The anthemic lyrics are catchy, yet profound enough to remember. Its average overall if you ask me, best heard within the context of the album. Apparently Timur Bekmambetov directed the music video for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. I’ll have to check that out.


3) Steps – “Light Up The World”
From Light Up The World (Steps Recordings/Warner Music)
Released November 12, 2012
Gina Bortolussi: SELL.

This sounds like a very bad attempt at an ABBA song. It’s not the 90’s anymore, time to update your sound. I’m all for bands and artists hanging on to their signature sound, while evolving with each record, but this song is taking that concept to the extreme. I hate it. There’s nothing modern or fresh about it.

Chad Webb: SELL.

There are some 90’s style pop songs I like, but this is not one of them. I suppose that’s what Steps specializes in, at least from what I’ve read. I will say that this tune could have been much worse, but it is still annoying. I have the urge to go listen to some death metal at the moment. Like most 90’s pop groups, the lyrics come across as moronically positive and artificial, the beat sounds like a zillion others, and the vocal talent of the members is, to put it nicely, poor. Their new album is Christmas-themed and this is the type of holiday music I would expect to hear if I ever ventured into a teen girl clothing store. On a side note, how can a group have two greatest hits albums after only three albums? Shouldn’t there be a law or something?


4) Juicy J (ft. Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz) – “Bandz A Make Her Dance”
From Stay Trippy (Hypnotize Minds)
Released September 23, 2012
Gina Bortolussi: BUY.

I was excited to hear this one because I have a really weird love for dirty, explicit rap songs, and this song didn’t disappoint on that level. And I love Lil’ Wayne, I just do. I love to hear him rap, I love the sound of his voice, I love everything about him. I think Lil Wayne makes this song and saves it from being totally boring and redundant. I have no idea what “bandz a make her dance means,” but this song is oddly catchy.

Chad Webb: SELL.

Here we are again with a rap artist that is clearly in love with himself, yet has not accomplished anything of note for us to care about. I don’t like the music video to play into my answer, but in this case, I can’t help it. Set in a strip club, Juicy J and company wear bling, throw cash around, and talk about the fine derrieres of various strippers. Seriously, try something new. Putting the video aside, the lyrics reek of desperation and mediocrity. The repeated title, which becomes irritating to the point of insanity, wants so badly to be catchy that it’s sad. This might sound like a broken record, but the fact is, the majority of talent in the rap all sound the same, lack inventiveness, and only care about their appearance. Even the verses from Lil Wayne and 2 & 3/4 Chainz seems tired and forced. One day maybe I’ll get a genuinely solid rap track. That will not be today.


5) Aerosmith – “What Could Have Been Love”
From Music from Another Dimension! (Columbia/Sony Music)
Released October 19, 2012
Gina Bortolussi: BUY.

Say what you will about Steven Tyler, but his voice still sounds as cool and unique as ever on this song. You can hear the raw emotion in it as he sings this gut wrenching love song, which makes it painfully relatable. I love his sound. “What Could Have Been Love” is Aerosmith’s best since “Dream On.”

Chad Webb: BUY.

I have to admit that I’m biased here because Aerosmith is my favorite band, so unless their new material was panned by everyone, it would be difficult for me to say “Sell.” Their new album ANALYSIS: BUY

6) Britney Spears & – “Scream and Shout”
From #willpower (Interscope)
Released November 19, 2012
Gina Bortolussi: BUY.

Well, I don’t hate it. They could both do better. And is Britney Spears speaking in a British accent in this song? Because that’s kind of amazing, given her love of talking in different accents to the paparazzi. I’m not sure if I would play it in my car or on my computer just for the hell of it, but I can see the appeal of it on a Saturday night in a club, I would definitely dance around to it, and I think that’s the song’s true intention. Besides, at the end of the day it’s Britney, bitch, and I bow down to the original Queen of Pop.

Chad Webb: SELL.

You know, parts of this song memorable and hard to forget, but the auto-tune is unnecessary and makes it a dumb, dime a dozen track. The chorus is nothing special, but combined with the beat, I can see how this would be easy to dance to. The problem is, the song also becomes monotonous and obnoxiously repetitive. What’s also frustrating is that the song is supposed to be from Britney Spears &, but Britney is hardly on it. She has a small contribution, but the production needed more of her not only because it would have sounded better without her being faded into the background, but also because the track would have been balanced. She has also a funny one-liner. Ultimately though, this is an ordinary dance hall anthem, and yes, it’s ok in spots, but not praiseworthy enough to spend money on.


Pretty even week this time around as Aerosmith and Linkin Park get Buys, Pitbull and Steps get Sells and our panelists split on the other two! Thanks to Gina and Chad 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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