Reviews for Normal People

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MUSIC NEWS-IC: Timber Just Might Be the Worst Song Possible — January 28, 2014

MUSIC NEWS-IC: Timber Just Might Be the Worst Song Possible

Pitbull has been specializing in bad music since his 2009 breakthrough hit “I Know You Want Me.” That’s right, Pitbull’s been in the business for less than five years. Feels like an eternity, doesn’t it? Of course, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Pitbull had some minor hits as early as 2004. Either way, you hadn’t heard about him until 2009, unless you wax nostalgic for “Culo” featuring Lil Jon.

Since then, Pitbull has had a string of hits, including “Drop it to the Floor,” “Give Me Everything,” “Rain Over Me,” “International Love,” “Back In Time,” “Don’t Stop the Party,” “Feel This Moment,” “Timber,” and… that’s it. That’s every hit he’s had. Once again, it feels like there’s more. In fact, if you don’t count his guest verse on J. Lo’s “On the Floor,” “Timber” is by far his most popular single to date. Now, I don’t want to say “Timber” is the worst song in Pitbull’s terrible, terrible career, but it is. It’s the worst song of his career.

Pitbull is usually pretty harmless, which makes it pretty easy to ignore him, but this song is impossible to ignore. The very thought of Pitbull and Ke$ha coming together for anything other than a SeltzerBerg movie (I’ll get to those guys later) is something only the hive mind of Dr. Luke, Cirkut, and Sermstyle could come up with (seriously, I think these guys might all be the same person in different wigs). And while this might not be the worst song in Ke$ha’s career (“Blah Blah Blah”), that’s not exactly saying much. Looking at the lyrics for this song doesn’t seem like enough. So let’s look at the Rap Genius annotations of the lyrics as well!

We begin with the first line, “It’s going down, I’m yelling timber,” and, I shit you not, there is an actual ARGUMENT about whether these lyrics are about a dick, a party, a party and a dick, a dick party…

…or Ke$ha’s childhood, not to mention one comment that simply reads, “Look out below!” Thanks, savanna132. That was vital information.

You might be saying, “Maybe it’s a double entendre.” If so, you are clearly overestimating the writing skills of the ELEVEN PEOPLE WHO WROTE THIS SONG. That’s right, this piece of shit was written by eleven people, including Ke$ha, Pitbull, Dr. Luke, Priscilla Renea (“California King Bed,” “My Last”), Sermstyle, Cirkut, Ke$ha’s mom, and the drummer from Sly and the Family Stone. I didn’t make any of those up.

Getting back to my point, the notion that this could be a double entendre is shattered by the next line, “You better move, you better dance.” The annotator indicates that this is a double entendre about a falling tree vs. a party, two things that have absolutely nothing in common aside from that “going down” thing. He argues that the first part, “You better move,” is about a tree falling, while the second part, “you better dance,” twists it to be about a party. Which would be all well and good, if it weren’t for the rest of the chorus:

“Let’s make a night you won’t remember; I’ll be the one you won’t forget.” Unless this is referring to the amnesia one could possibly get when being hit by a falling tree, which I highly doubt, considering the vapidity of these lyrics, this line clearly proves that what the fine folks at Rap Genius thought might possibly be a double entendre is actually just a pointless chorus about a party, and the “timber” line is worthless except to create a catchy title.

Also, you may not have noticed, but Ke$ha just rhymed “dance” with “forget.” Really, guys? You couldn’t think of a line that ended in “chance,” or “glance,” or “pants,” or even “plans?” Nothing? I mean, Macklemore stretches his rhymes quite a bit, but at least he tries to make it sound like they rhyme. This is just another example of how little effort was put into this song.

Alright, I’m going to print out the first two lines Pitbull has in this song, followed by the Rap Genius annotation, and you tell me which one makes less sense.

“The bigger they are, the harder they fall

The biggity boy’s a diggity dog”

“The bigger the trees are, says Pitbull, the harder they fall, and he’s calling himself a diggity dog yo. Which probably means he’s getting down in a major way, like a dawg.”

What the fuck? We’ve already proven beyond a reasonable doubt that this song isn’t actually about a tree, unless this is one of those Pitbull songs where they only use a metaphor when it’s convenient. The worst part is, it’s really inconvenient at this point, because he’s forced to fill the next line with even utter-er nonsense, i.e. the biggity boy’s a diggity dog. The guy explaining this is clearly desperately trying to find any semblance of meaning in this garbage. This sounds like a party song someone would make up for a throwaway scene in a movie, when they didn’t want to pay for the rights to a real song for this one inconsequential scene so they just slapped something together.

Speaking of slapping things together, the next part of the verse is about twerking. He starts by saying that he has some women he never mentioned before, never mentions again, and never has any sort of backstory for who they are and how he met them, twerking in their underwear. Where? Are they doing it for him? As foreplay? As a dance? Explain, Pitbull, explain! In the meantime, he also manages to rhyme “off” with “thongs,” “up” with “what,” and “timber” with “timber” with “timber” with “timber.” There’s not even any reason for him to be saying timber. Nothing resembling a falling tree is brought up or even implied by these lines. He’s just saying it because… it’s the name of the song.

This is followed by the bridge, in which Pit rhymes “round” with “down” FOUR TIMES OVER. And mind you, he’s not saying the same two lines over and over again, he is saying different things. They just all end with the same line OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN. In this bridge, Pitbull basically reminds everyone that this is a song you should be dancing to at a club, and not playing on the organ at a funeral.

After another chorus comes verse two, which starts up with one of the most disappointing annotations I’ve ever seen on Rap Genius. The line is “Look up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane,” which seems like a straightforward, nonsensical Pitbull lyric. However, the annotation begins with “A reference to not one, not two, but three things…” Oh, this looks promising. Is there some sort of triple entendre here I was missing? Here’s the rest of the annotation:

“1. What bystanders would say when they saw Superman flying about

2. A line from the hook of “How High” by Method Man and Redman

3. A line from a previous Pitbull verse

Oh, it’s not a reference to three things. It’s a reference to one thing that’s weirdly overused in the rap game. So Pitbull didn’t have any lyrical integrity after all! Silly me!

The rest is just another generic Pitbull verse about being a rich, alcoholic party animal and being very #blessed. He also mentions that tree thing one more time, just to really sell the illusion that there’s anything of substance in this song. As usual, the annotations make even less sense than the actual lyrics, and everything about this song is AWFUL.

Remember how Ke$ha said she was going to stop relying on vocal enhancements and electronica in her music? Wasn’t that funny?

I can’t think of anything that would make this song worse. If they made the exact same song, but they replaced all the lyrics with n-words and fart noises, that would be an improvement. This song has absolutely no redeeming qualities, and hopefully now you can see why it made number one on last year’s worst list. I really hoped this song would be gone by the end of January, but I guess the American public is into this shit.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @BreakingPOORLY. I’ll have a LEGO Movie review out on February 9th. I don’t know what I’ll do after that, but trust me, it’ll tickle your insides. Tell me in the comments what you think I should review next, be it a movie, TV show, song, or album. And as always…

Like dis if u cry everytim.

MUSIC NEWS-IC: “Team” is Terrible — January 22, 2014

MUSIC NEWS-IC: “Team” is Terrible

I’m not a huge fan of Lorde. This is for a few reasons. First of all, all of her songs are about the same thing: she’s poor; she doesn’t care; all songs are about people being rich; she’s not particularly fond of that, but in a sort of nonchalant way where she “doesn’t care” and she’s “kinda over it.” Also, she’s not particularly poor. Her mother is a world-renowned poet, and she’s been signed to Universal since she was 13. Also, she’s only 17. She probably still lives with her parents. And if not, it’s not like she’s in some broken-down apartment in New York trying to hit the big time. She lives in New Zealand. In New Zealand, you can get a 90,000 (you heard me) square foot beachfront manor for less than a million bucks. Her voice is kind of annoying, too. And from what I can tell from the two songs of hers I’ve heard, she just kinda got lucky with “Royals.”

Yes, I am of course talking about “Team,” her less successful follow-up to “Royals.” Look, I like “Royals.” Everyone does. But everything about this song pisses me off. The beat is totally half-assed; it’s just “Girl on Fire” with some 80s synth added in for show. The song was co-produced and -written by Joel Little and Lorde herself, so they were clearly at least trying somewhat with the beat and lyrics. I guess they’re just not all that talented.

This brings me back to my original point: Why are all of Lorde’s songs about this? Most people are cool with it now, but two or three songs from now, people are going to start to get annoyed. Just watch. It’ll happen. Also going back to an earlier point, I don’t like Lorde’s voice on this song. On “Royals,” it was passable, but on “Team,” it gets pretty grating. It’s almost like they took everything I don’t like about “Royals” and amplified it, while simultaneously getting rid of all the good stuff.

Which brings me to my biggest point: This song is INSANELY BORING. The beat reminds me of “Demons” by Imagine Dragons in that it sounds more like a lullaby than a pop/rock song. Lorde puts no emotion into her vocals, and quite frankly, even the lyrics are pretty boring. In fact, let’s take a look at some of those lyrics:

The intro is a session of make-believe that involves her being a queen who will send in the hounds if you cross her. It ends with her saying the line “Send the call out” sixteen times. Later on in the same song, she chastises pop for using the same lyrics over and over again (“I’m kinda over getting old to put my hands up in the air, so there”). A bit hypocritical, dontcha think, Lorde?

But let’s keep talking about the “so there” line. Who are you, Taylor Swift? You’re supposed to tell a story when you sing, not have a casual conversation with the audience. In fact, most of this song sounds like someone relating a dream they had to a friend, while interspersing it with random lines about being a hipster dreamgirl.

The verses appear to be about teenagers having a fancy party. They’re wearing jewelry, they have braces and zits, they’re forgetting their troubles and dancing the night away, they’re coming up with excuses for the broken glass on the floor. But then the chorus, for some reason, is about her and her friends being poor again. Who are these friends of yours? Why don’t they ever get to tell their story? The second line of the chorus is “Not very pretty but we sure know how to run things.” Here is the city Lorde is describing as “not very pretty.”

Holy shit that’s the prettiest body of water I’ve ever seen

The mayor of that city, Auckland, is Len Brown, and he is currently under fire for an extramarital affair. NZ as a nation is a major consumer of amphetamines, and has an 18% unemployment rate. Since Auckland is far and away the largest and most populous city in New Zealand, it’s safe to assume that Auckland is very pretty, but they do not know how to run things.

In the bridge, she goes on another tangent, this time to talk once again about how popular music is dull and repetitive and all about rich people. In the second bridge, she also talks about how she has matured since she was thirteen. Um, yeah. Once again, everything about this song is utterly pointless and dull. It really annoys me. And then there’s the outro, which goes:

We’re on each other’s team

And you know

We’re on each other’s team

We’re on each other’s team

And you know and you know and you know

Wow. That is the most vapid outro I’ve heard in a long time. Nothing of value whatsoever. It didn’t need to be there for any reason at all. They could have just let the beat die away after the last chorus without singing anything else. But nope. She had to make sure that everyone knew that they are on each other’s team. And that they already know that. You know, in case you were unaware of the fact that you already knew that. God, I hate this song.

Overall, I give this song a D. Do you want me to do more song reviews? Leave me a comment down below telling me what you think. I’m probably not going to have another movie review up for a few weeks. I’ll post some other stuff to keep you satisfied. Follow me on Twitter @BreakingPOORLY, and until next time…

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American Hustle is Funny, Fast, and F… fffffff… football? — January 12, 2014

American Hustle is Funny, Fast, and F… fffffff… football?

Have you ever seen an actor in a movie and thought, “Oh, wow, they’re in this movie?” That happened to me a lot during American Hustle. From Louis CK to Michael Peña to Robert Fucking De Niro, it seemed like just about everyone was in this movie. And everyone was fantastic.

Christian Bale was often unrecognizable as Irving Rosenfeld, except for one scene where he takes off his glasses and leans back so you can’t quite see his hair. Other than that though, unrecognizable. Bale is one of those actors that’s just so good at acting that you don’t even care how much of a douchebag they are in person, like Robert Downey Jr, or Bruce Willis, or Tom Cruise sometimes, or Sean Penn, or Alec Baldwin kind of, or Jane Fonda, or Russell Crowe, or Brad Pitt, or…

In fact, a lot of the actors were pretty unrecognizable. Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams; everyone just seemed to be doing their best to make this movie really enjoyable. One problem…

The plot. While certainly not terrible, the plot does seem to be very twisted and hard to follow at times. You’ll think you have the movie figured out, realize something you didn’t realize before, and the cycle continues. When you think about it, it’s actually a pretty thin plot, with a bunch of added subplots and love triangles to pad the running time.

But seriously, this movie is really good. It’s funny, it’s fun, and it keeps you engaged the whole time. I give it an A. See it if you haven’t already. I may review Walter Mitty this Wednesday. If not, I’ll review it on Sunday. Stay tuned for more reviews, fan theories, a few rankings here and there… you know, the usual stuff. Follow me on Twitter @BreakingPOORLY, and as always…

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A Moment Of Your Time — January 11, 2014