Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Imagine Dragons (3) – Week Of August 12, 2017

Hey guys! Late post again, but this time it was because my internet was acting up these past several days. If it weren't for that, this would've come out much earlier. Before we get to this week's Fresh 45, here are the songs we're saying goodbye to this week.


  • The Chainsmokers – Paris (#28) [1 Week At #1]
  • Aaron Carter – Sooner Or Later (#44)
  • Maroon 5 – Don't Wanna Know (#45) [3 Weeks At #1]

Last Week's #1 Song: Imagine Dragons – Believer
The Countdown
45. Steve Aoki/Louis Tomlinson – Just Hold On (#42)
44. Noah Cyrus – Stay Together (#43)
43. Camila Cabello – Crying In The Club (#36)
42. Miley Cyrus – Malibu (#41)
41. Hailee Steinfeld & Grey/Zedd – Starving (#40) [4 Weeks At #1]
40. Harry Styles – Sign Of The Times (#39)
39. Julia Michaels – Issues (#26)
38. The Chainsmokers/Halsey – Closer (#36) [8 Weeks At #1]
37. Train – Play That Song (#33)
36. DJ Khaled/Justin Bieber/Chance The Rapper – I'm The One (#30)
35. Kesha – Praying (DEBUT)
34. Bruno Mars – That's What I Like (#34) [1 Week At #1]
33. Selena Gomez – Bad Liar (#33)
32. Demi Lovato – Sorry Not Sorry (DEBUT)
31. Shawn Mendes – Mercy (#31)
30. The Chainsmokers – Honest (DEBUT)
29. James Arthur – Say You Won't Let Go (#24)
28. Julia Michaels – Uh Huh (#35)
27. Childish Gambino – Redbone (#21)
26. Louis Tomlinson/Bebe Rexha/Digital Farm Animals – Back To You (#22)
25. Linkin Park/Kiiara – Heavy (#27)
24. Bruno Mars/David Guetta – Versace On The Floor (#25)
23. AJR – Weak (#37)
22. Kygo/Selena Gomez – It Ain't Me (#23)
21. MAX/Gnash – Lights Down Low (#29)
20. Lady Gaga – The Cure (#8)
19. Halsey – Now Or Never (#9)
18. Fall Out Boy – Champion (#18)
17. Liam Payne – Strip That Down (#15)
16. Ed Sheeran – Castle On The Hill (#13) [3 Weeks At #1]
15. DJ Khaled/Rihanna/Bryson Tiller – Wild Thoughts (#19)
14. All Time Low – Good Times (#20)
13. Calvin Harris/Pharrell/Katy Perry – Feels (#12)
12. Linkin Park – One More Light (#16)
11. Hailee Steinfeld – Most Girls (#14)
10. Panic! At The Disco – L.A. Devotee (#11)
  9. Charlie Puth – Attention (#10)
  8. Ed Sheeran – Shape Of You (#7) [9 Weeks At #1]
  7. Zedd/Alessia Cara – Stay (#6) [4 Weeks At #1]
  6. Sam Hunt – Body Like A Back Road (#5)
  5. The Chainsmokers/Coldplay – Something Just Like This (#3) [3 Weeks At #1]
  4. Niall Horan – Slow Hands (#4)
  3. Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee/Justin Bieber – Despacito (#17)
  2. Shawn Mendes – There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back (#2) [3 Weeks At #1]
  1. Imagine Dragons – Believer (#1) [3rd Week At #1]

#1 Song This Week One Year Ago: Justin Timberlake – Can't Stop The Feeling

Biggest DROP!!!... Of The Week: Julia Michaels – Issues (–13)

Biggest Jump Of The Week: Tie Between Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee/Justin Bieber – Despacito and AJR – Weak (+14)

New Entrants
~ First up, we have The Chainsmokers debuting with Honest. This song is a lot different than anything we've ever gotten from these guys. I have to say, the vocals are getting better and better. And in this song, we can really hear what Andrew Taggart has to offer with his vocals, which is nice because I do think he's a great singer. I think the production is exceptional. I love the pacing. And the lyrical content is really good as well. Although this may not get as big as Closer, it is definitely one of their best songs in my opinion. I think it's a step up from Paris and it's almost as good as Something Just Like This. Overall, it's a very enjoyable song. I hope it does well.

~ Next we have Demi Lovato debuting with Sorry Not Sorry. I already went on about why I dislike the song in one of my previous countdown posts. It just doesn't sound like her. This sound doesn't fit with her voice very well in my opinion. She sounds quite pitchy in the chorus and the backup vocals are really annoying. I like the build-up though leading to the chorus. But the overall song is just a mess in my opinion. I'm sure a lot of people will disagree, but this is just how I feel. If you like this song, that's great. I just don't think it's a good lead single for her. I thought Heart Attack was a much better lead single. Even Cool For The Summer, which wasn't amazing, but was still good. This song will probably end up staying here for a while, so I'm prepared for the worst.

~ Finally we have the long-awaited return of Ke$ha, coming back as Kesha. She debuts with Praying, a song with a music video that almost got me to tears. As you may or may not know, she's been through a lot these past few years having filed lawsuits against record producer Dr. Luke. You can look up the rest for more details. But if you listen to the lyrics to Praying, you can tell it's Kesha singing to Dr. Luke saying that she hopes he's somewhere praying or asking for forgiveness and that she hopes his soul is changing. It's a beautiful song lyrically and vocally. Kesha really shows off what her voice can do without autotune. I think she sounds fantastic, especially when we get to those big moments in the second verse leading to that awesome second chorus. I have yet to listen to her entire new album yet. I plan on doing that very soon. My guess is that there'll be some songs on there that are similar to the upbeat anthems we used to get from her, while others are slower, more powerful ballads like Praying. Hopefully this song does well because it is fantastic. It's easily the best song on the countdown lyrically.


Blurbs
~ The Chainsmokers – Paris left much sooner than expected. This is likely due to Honest debuting and the fact that Hits 1 has this unofficial "rule" where no artist can have more than three songs on the countdown at one time. This just goes to show that Hits 1 is simply not ready to let go of Closer. It's been here for seemingly forever and I still can't see leaving anytime soon.

~ It looks like Despacito managed to actually jump into the Top 3, which is good considering that it remains as the biggest song in the country. That being said, it should hit #1 sometime soon at least for one week to show that Hits 1 does somewhat keep up with today's biggest hits.

~ Both Now Or Never and The Cure seem to have dropped out of the Top 10 this week. I'm happy about the former. It was never really a good song. The latter does sadden me a little, but I'm thankful for how well it's done here for the past couple months.

~ As far as the remaining exits go, Don't Wanna Know will certainly not be missed. That one was long overdue. Sooner Or Later, however, deserves some final words. I thought it was a great song from first listen. I was so happy when it debuted the countdown. It stayed here for almost three months and never got above #34. So while Hits 1 may not have treated it the way it should've been treated, I still enjoyed it regardless and it is almost guaranteed to appear in my Top 45 songs of 2017 list. Sooner Or Later, you will be greatly missed by me.


Top 20 Review
0 – Crap:
20. Liam Payne – Strip That Down
19. Halsey – Now Or Never

1 – Bad:
18. Imagine Dragons – Believer

2 – Mediocre:
17. Sam Hunt – Body Like A Back Road

3 – Decent:
16. Zedd/Alessia Cara – Stay
15. Ed Sheeran – Shape Of You

4 – Good:
14. All Time Low – Good Times
13. Linkin Park – One More Light

5 – Great:
12. Ed Sheeran – Castle On The Hill
11. Niall Horan – Slow Hands
10. Panic! At The Disco – L.A. Devotee
9. Charlie Puth – Attention
8. Shawn Mendes – There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back
7. Lady Gaga – The Cure
6. Hailee Steinfeld – Most Girls
5. Fall Out Boy – Champion
4. Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee/Justin Bieber – Despacito
3. Calvin Harris/Pharrell/Katy Perry – Feels
2. The Chainsmokers/Coldplay – Something Just Like This

BONUS: 6 – Best Song On The Countdown:
1. DJ Khaled/Rihanna/Bryson Tiller – Wild Thoughts

Total Score: 78/100 = 78% (C+)


Throwback Pick Of The Week: Evanescence – My Immortal

Most Missed Countdown Song: N/A

#1 Recommendation For Hits 1: Wrabel – The Village

Favorite Countdown Song This Week One Year Ago: Mike Posner/SeeB – I Took A Pill In Ibiza (#34)


My Top 5 Picks
1. DJ Khaled/Rihanna/Bryson Tiller – Wild Thoughts
2. Kesha – Praying
3. The Chainsmokers/Coldplay – Something Just Like This
4. Calvin Harris/Pharrell/Katy Perry – Feels
5. The Chainsmokers – Honest

Monday, August 14, 2017

Imagine Dragons (2) – Week Of August 5, 2017

Hey guys. Yes, I skipped another week. My apologies for that. I don't usually like skipping weeks. But I feel like that will help catch up more on my posts. Besides, I don't think too much really happened last week anyway (aside from the new #1 song). Before we get to this week's Fresh 45, here are the songs we said goodbye to LAST week.


  • Jon Bellion – Overwhelming (#34)
  • Erin Bowman – Good Time Good Life (#40)

Now here are the songs we're saying goodbye to this week.

  • Fitz & The Tantrums – HandClap (#35)

Last Week's #1 Song: Imagine Dragons – Believer
The Countdown
45. Maroon 5 – Don't Wanna Know (#43) [3 Weeks At #1]
44. Aaron Carter – Sooner Or Later (#38)
43. Noah Cyrus – Stay Together (#39)
42. Steve Aoki/Louis Tomlinson – Just Hold On (#44)
41. Miley Cyrus – Malibu (#45)
40. Hailee Steinfeld & Grey/Zedd – Starving (#41) [4 Weeks At #1]
39. Harry Styles – Sign Of The Times (#40)
38. Camila Cabello – Crying In The Club (#36)
37. AJR – Weak (#23)
36. The Chainsmokers/Halsey – Closer (#32) [8 Weeks At #1]
35. Julia Michaels – Uh Huh (DEBUT)
34. Bruno Mars – That's What I Like (#20) [1 Week At #1]
33. Selena Gomez – Bad Liar (#15)
32. Train – Play That Song (#33)
31. Shawn Mendes – Mercy (#31)
30. DJ Khaled/Justin Bieber/Chance The Rapper – I'm The One (#42)
29. MAX/Gnash – Lights Down Low (#29)
28. The Chainsmokers – Paris (#24) [1 Week At #1]
27. Linkin Park/Kiiara – Heavy (#17)
26. Julia Michaels – Issues (#27)
25. Bruno Mars/David Guetta – Versace On The Floor (#30)
24. James Arthur – Say You Won't Let Go (#25)
23. Kygo/Selena Gomez – It Ain't Me (#22)
22. Louis Tomlinson/Bebe Rexha/Digital Farm Animals – Back To You (#34)
21. Childish Gambino – Redbone (#26)
20. All Time Low – Good Times (#21)
19. DJ Khaled/Rihanna/Bryson Tiller – Wild Thoughts (#28)
18. Fall Out Boy – Champion (#19)
17. Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee/Justin Bieber – Despacito (#18)
16. Linkin Park – One More Light (#37)
15. Liam Payne – Strip That Down (#12)
14. Hailee Steinfeld – Most Girls (#13)
13. Ed Sheeran – Castle On The Hill (#3) [3 Weeks At #1]
12. Calvin Harris/Pharrell/Katy Perry – Feels (#16)
11. Panic! At The Disco – L.A. Devotee (#14)
10. Charlie Puth – Attention (#7)
  9. Halsey – Now Or Never (#10)
  8. Lady Gaga – The Cure (#9)
  7. Ed Sheeran – Shape Of You (#11) [9 Weeks At #1]
  6. Zedd/Alessia Cara – Stay (#6) [4 Weeks At #1]
  5. Sam Hunt – Body Like A Back Road (#5)
  4. Niall Horan – Slow Hands (#4)
  3. The Chainsmokers/Coldplay – Something Just Like This (#8) [3 Weeks At #1]
  2. Shawn Mendes – There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back (#2) [3 Weeks At #1]
  1. Imagine Dragons – Believer (#1) [2nd Week At #1]

#1 Song This Week One Year Ago: Justin Timberlake – Can't Stop The Feeling

Biggest DROP!!!... Of The Week: Selena Gomez – Bad Liar (–18)

Biggest Jump Of The Week: Linkin Park – One More Light (+21)

New Entrants
~ We have one new entrant this week, as well as the two new entrants I didn't review from last week. Last week, we had Linkin Park debuting with One More Light, most likely due to Chester Bennington's death recently. The song is nothing like their older music. It's a lot more stripped down and we get more of Chester Bennington's vocals, which is nice. While it's nowhere near their best work, it's still a good song. What's strange is that this wasn't actually released as a single. So I'm not really sure how long it will stay. Though with it already in the Top 20, this song could be here a while.

~ Also last week, we had Louis Tomlinson from One Direction bring in his second song, Back To You. I really like this song and I'm glad Louis is producing good music like Harry and Niall and not garbage like Liam. I'm not a huge fan of Bebe Rexha's vocals in this song. But when mixed together with Louis' in the last chorus, it actually really good. Their voices sound great together. I'm a huge fan of Louis Tomlinson, so I'm hoping he can make more good music like Back To You in the future.

~ Now this week, we have Julia Michaels debuting with Uh Huh. I honestly don't understand why she gets so much praise. I've hated Issues since the very beginning solely because her voice sucks (and now also because I've heard it a million times). But in Uh Huh, she shows no improvement. She actually got worse. Her voice is even scratchier than before. The lyrical content got a whole lot worse. The only thing I like about Uh Huh more than Issues is that Uh Huh has a good speed to it. Issues was just slow in a very awkward way. But aside from that, I consider Uh Huh to be a step down. This is not the direction she should be heading in. Hopefully she improves.


Hit-Bound
~ Here is the Hit-Bound list:


  • Bebe Rexha – The Way I Are (Dance With Somebody)
  • Kesha – Praying
  • Ed Sheeran – Galway Girl
  • Harry Styles – Two Ghosts
  • The Chainsmokers – Honest
  • Imagine Dragons – Thunder
  • The All-American Rejects – Sweat
  • Andy Grammer – Give Love
  • Macklemore/Skylar Grey – Glorious
  • Demi Lovato – Sorry Not Sorry
  • Shawn Hook/Vanessa Hudgens – Reminding Me
  • Zedd/Liam Payne – Get Low
  • Rita Ora – Your Song (DEBUT)
  • The Revivalists – Wish I Knew You (DEBUT)

Top 5 Hit-Bound Picks
1. TIE: Kesha – Praying
1. TIE: Shawn Hook/Vanessa Hudgens – Reminding Me
3. Macklemore/Skylar Grey – Glorious
4. Imagine Dragons – Thunder
5. The All-American Rejects – Sweat


Blurbs
~ I have to say, I'm not too thrilled about our #1 song. I guess I can understand why people like it. It just doesn't appeal to me. As someone who was a fan of them before, this just seems like a step down in my opinion. But I finally came around to Thunder, even though it isn't that amazing of a song either. It's catchy though, so I'll give it that.

~ Meanwhile, we also have mediocre country music in the Top 5. I'm not bashing against the country genre as I do like a lot of country songs, just the song itself. I gotta admit though, this song is doing a lot better than I thought it would.

~ I see Shape Of You managed to jump back into the Top 10 (with Castle On The Hill dropping out of the Top 10). This song is really starting to fade on me. I liked the simplicity of it at first, but I've heard it way too much. Though I can't really see myself disliking the song anytime soon, it is starting to grow old on me. So I'd like to see it start to make its way down.

~ We also appear to have Halsey – Now Or Never in the Top 10, which is just slightly aggravating. I feel like this song is only doing well because it's Halsey. It is far from Top 10 material, so I'm hoping it doesn't get any higher.

~ Things are starting to look better this week. We managed to get three pieces of garbage in the form of Weak, Bad Liar, and That's What I Like out of the Top 30. Crying In The Club is continuing to slowly drop as well.

~ Aaron Carter – Sooner Or Later appears to have dropped down to #44. This may be the end of the road for that song. While it didn't do as well as I had hoped, I enjoyed it while it lasted.


Top 20 Review
0 – Crap:
20. Liam Payne – Strip That Down
19. Halsey – Now Or Never

1 – Bad:
18. Imagine Dragons – Believer

2 – Mediocre:
17. Sam Hunt – Body Like A Back Road

3 – Decent:
16. Zedd/Alessia Cara – Stay
15. Ed Sheeran – Shape Of You

4 – Good:
14. All Time Low – Good Times
13. Linkin Park – One More Light

5 – Great:
12. Ed Sheeran – Castle On The Hill
11. Niall Horan – Slow Hands
10. Panic! At The Disco – L.A. Devotee
9. Charlie Puth – Attention
8. Shawn Mendes – There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back
7. Lady Gaga – The Cure
6. Hailee Steinfeld – Most Girls
5. Fall Out Boy – Champion
4. Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee/Justin Bieber – Despacito
3. The Chainsmokers/Coldplay – Something Just Like This

BONUS: 6 – Best Song On The Countdown:
1. TIE: Calvin Harris/Pharrell/Katy Perry – Feels
1. TIE: DJ Khaled/Rihanna/Bryson Tiller – Wild Thoughts

Total Score: 79/100 = 79% (C+)


Throwback Pick Of The Week: CĂ©line Dion – My Heart Will Go On

Most Missed Countdown Song: Zedd/Matthew Koma/Miriam Bryant – Find You

#1 Recommendation For Hits 1: Wrabel – The Village

Favorite Countdown Song This Week One Year Ago: Tie Between Mike Posner/SeeB – I Took A Pill In Ibiza and OneRepublic – Wherever I Go


My Top 5 Picks
1. TIE: DJ Khaled/Rihanna/Bryson Tiller – Wild Thoughts
1. TIE: Calvin Harris/Pharrell/Katy Perry – Feels
3. The Chainsmokers/Coldplay – Something Just Like This
4. Aaron Carter – Sooner Or Later
5. Kygo/Selena Gomez – It Ain't Me

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

America's Got Talent: Judge Cuts Week 2

We are now at Round 2 of the Judge Cuts. 20 more acts will perform and fight for a spot in the live shows, which will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. Of the 20 acts performing, 7 will advance to the live shows, making it a very tough competition. We also have a new guest judge joining the judging panel. They are given one golden buzzer to use on an act they want to send straight to the live shows, giving them one of the 7 spots.


So here is my review for the second week of AGT's Judge Cuts.


Week 2:


This week, record producer and DJ DJ Khaled joined the judging panel. He's most known for all the hit singles he's released such as All I Do Is Win, as well as his latest singles from his most recent album, Grateful.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AbrJXdcvNM
~ Sammulous: Sammulous is a singer. He's definitely good. I've never heard a man with the ability to hit those high notes with such ease. But I wouldn't say he's the best within the singing category. It is the toughest category as we've been getting a lot of singers lately. But he is good and I would be okay with him moving forward to the live shows.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uS_qWFV7XGE
~ Steven Scott: Steven Scott is a comedian. I like his personality and I thought the act was funny for the most part. I have to admit, I wasn't a huge fan of the fast-forwarding sound effects. They were kind of annoying. But I liked the rest of the act. With only 7 spots, I have my doubts about him going through.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2ovZ2RQoGA
~ The Quiddlers: The Quiddlers are a puppeteer group. The first time around, they imitated the Village People while performing Y.M.C.A.. Now they're imitating the four judges with Mel B's song Wannabe playing. I definitely think they stepped it up. I liked this performance more than their first audition. I can see them possibly going through to the live shows. I'd be interested to see what they'd do next.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjAg9n5bPGg (0:12 - 0:27)
~ Str8Jacket: Str8Jacket are a dance group. Their act was very short, but it looked pretty good from the few seconds I actually saw. But I highly doubt they'll be going through.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjAg9n5bPGg (0:52 - 1:30)
~ Solto & T Dot: Solto & T Dot are a dance duo. Their act was similar to Str8Jacket where it was really short. It really wasn't that amazing. It was okay. But with how short it was, they're probably not going through.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqRdpnC5SyM
~ Junior & Emily Alabi: Junior & Emily Alabi are a salsa dance duo. I very much preferred their first audition. This performance felt very short, it was all the same moves, and I wasn't a huge fan of the song choice. They're a salsa dance duo. They should pick music that can be considered salsa. Picking a Chainsmokers song is not going to do it for them. This was definitely a step down, so I'm pretty sure they'll be going home.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh9nTYSqCI4
~ Jokgu & Aichin: Jokgu & Aichin are piano-playing chickens. I remember them because they were the very first audition of the season. Their audition consisted of a chicken playing the piano. I wasn't too blown away by it. This time, however, the chickens just wouldn't cooperate. They were eager to play before the performance. But once it actually started, everything just changed. All four judges buzzed the act, immediately eliminating Jokgu & Aichin from the competition. At least that makes deliberation somewhat easier.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjbodVBt_vY
~ Dakota Striplin: Dakota is a singer and guitarist. His performance was pretty short. But he does have a good voice and he is pretty talented. But I doubt he'll be making it to the live shows.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8121d7pAeM
Link to Judges' Comments: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htoJI1YF85M
~ Chase Goehring: Chase is a singer and guitarist. He's one of those musicians that writes his own music and performs original songs, which I think is pretty cool. He's got a great voice, I like when he raps, and he's a great songwriter. He's like a mini Ed Sheeran. He's a singer-songwriter. He has a similar voice -- singing and rapping. Not to mention that he looks just like him. DJ Khaled, as someone who knows more about the music industry, felt like this show is what will make Chase a superstar and gave him his golden buzzer, sending him straight to the live shows. And you gotta love how they were playing Ed Sheeran in the background. He was really good and he's gonna go places.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hoyqy1gjt-Y (0:00 - 0:42)
~ Azeri Brothers: The Azeri Brothers are a danger act. I'm usually open-minded to danger acts. But this was just awful. There is no way what they do isn't in any way, shape or form painful. It hurts just watching them. I hated the first audition. This one was bad too. Thankfully, it was short. So they're most likely not moving forward.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hoyqy1gjt-Y (0:43 - 1:24)
~ The Godfathers: The Godfathers are an acrobatic group. What they do is pretty cool and looks like something I would not be able to do. But we've seen this before dozens of times and it really didn't stand out. So I'm pretty sure they won't be going through.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hoyqy1gjt-Y (1:25 - 2:49)
~ Tulga: Tulga is a strongman. It may just be me, but I don't necessarily consider being strong a talent. It's not something that would really make a good Vegas show. So this act was really nothing to me. I thought the part towards the end where they included Howie Mandel and Heidi Klum was pretty funny. But aside from that, it's nothing I would want to pay to go see.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCZY87SFwWY
~ Mirror Image: Mirror Image are a vocal/dance duo. They're also twins (hence being a mirror image of each other). I really liked them the first time and this performance is no different. I think they're a whole lot of fun. Sure, they're not the best singers out there. But I've definitely heard worse. I think they can dance. I really like them. Simon Cowell buzzed the act, so not everyone feels the same. I doubt they'll make it through. But it'd be amazing if they did. And with Howie and Mel B both fighting for them, who knows what could happen? Overall, I love them and I hope they go through.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85QGSXY2CYA
~ Evie Clair: Evie is a singer. For her young age, she has a good voice. I think her story is really emotional and that helps me enjoy her performances more because I feel moved after knowing what she's been through. There are definitely better singers in the competition. I doubt she'll go as far as making it to the finals. But she is definitely a good singer and her story is definitely going to help move people. I feel like she's a good contender for the quarterfinals.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyUgIU6QuNM&t=4s (0:00 - 1:30)
~ Kyle Eschen: Kyle is a magician. I definitely liked his act. I have absolutely no idea how he did it. This season has been lacking magicians for the most part, so it'd be nice if he could make it through. But it was reasonably short, so I'm not too sure about it.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyUgIU6QuNM&t=4s (1:32 - 2:02)
~ Xavier Mortimer: Xavier is a digital magician. His performance was good, but it wasn't anything amazing. It didn't really stand out in anyway. And it was very short. So we'll most likely be seeing him get sent home.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMjo--nTu8M
~ Colin Cloud: Colin is a mentalist. He describes himself as the closest thing to a real-life Sherlock Holmes. So he can get certain information out of a person simply by looking at them, which is the kind of thing I really enjoy and think would make a great Vegas show. I have no idea how he does what he does. Just by licking Mel B's hand, he was able to figure out what she recently ate. He even knew one of her deepest, darkest secrets. This guy scares me if I'm being really honest. But I can definitely see him going far. I'm sure we'll be seeing him in the live shows.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5stIM4HAw18
~ Pelican212: These guys are a family band. Their act wasn't anything amazing and it was very short. I think I remember their audition and I think that performance was better. So I doubt they'll be advancing any further.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMgNvhoLRHY
~ Puddles Pity Party: Puddles is a singing clown. He was one of those acts in the auditions that just walked out and you didn't exactly know what he was going to do. He then surprised us with such a great voice. I think he's very talented and one of the most original acts this season. I feel like he's going to go far. He has a great voice and although he's always sad, he manages to make us happy.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IV3eHawDNxw
~ Yoli Mayor: Yoli is a singer. I really enjoyed her first audition. I thought this performance was a huge step up. If I'm being honest, she sang Love On The Brain much better than Rihanna. She actually made it a song worth listening to. With this performance, I feel like she has proved herself to be one of the best singers in the competition, if not the best singer. She may not be on the level of singers from previous seasons like Emily West (season 9) and Brian Justin Crum (season 11). But she's got that extra special something that makes me eager to see her again. I feel like she'll go far because she has a great voice.



Results:

Link to Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWRDhe9ehpg
Link to Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZuJ6BLw9Ww

Acts Moving Forward:


  • Chase Goehring, singer and guitarist (Golden Buzzer)
  • Puddles Pity Party, singing clown
  • Mirror Image, vocal/dance duo
  • Junior & Emily Alabi, salsa dance duo
  • Colin Cloud, mentalist
  • Yoli Mayor, singer
  • Evie Clair, singer

My Top 5 Acts
1. Yoli Mayor
2. Colin Cloud
3. Mirror Image
4. Chase Goehring
5. Puddles Pity Party

Monday, July 31, 2017

Shawn Mendes (3) – Week Of July 22, 2017

Hey guys! Not too much really happened this week. We did say goodbye to some old songs thankfully. We also got three good new songs on here, one of which I'm surprised debuted so quickly, so that's also good. Aside from that, not too much going on. Before we get to this week's Fresh 45, here are the songs we're saying goodbye to this week.


  • Maroon 5 – Cold (#35)
  • Niall Horan – This Town (#40)
  • Machine Gun Kelly/Camila Cabello – Bad Things (#45)

Last Week's #1 Song: Zedd/Alessia Cara – Stay
The Countdown
45. Steve Aoki/Louis Tomlinson – Just Hold On (#43)
44. Maroon 5 – Don't Wanna Know (#44) [3 Weeks At #1]
43. DJ Khaled/Justin Bieber/Chance The Rapper – I'm The One (#30)
42. Hailee Steinfeld & Grey/Zedd – Starving (#42)
41. Harry Styles – Sign Of The Times (#38)
40. Erin Bowman – Good Time Good Life (#29)
39. Fitz & The Tantrums – HandClap (#37)
38. Aaron Carter – Sooner Or Later (#41)
37. All Time Low – Good Times (DEBUT)
36. Camila Cabello – Crying In The Club (#27)
35. Fall Out Boy – Champion (DEBUT)
34. Jon Bellion – Overwhelming (#39)
33. Miley Cyrus – Malibu (#15)
32. DJ Khaled/Rihanna/Bryson Tiller – Wild Thoughts (DEBUT)
31. Shawn Mendes – Mercy (#33)
30. Bruno Mars/David Guetta – Versace On The Floor (#34)
29. Train – Play That Song (#31)
28. Noah Cyrus – Stay Together (#26)
27. The Chainsmokers/Halsey – Closer (#32) [8 Weeks At #1]
26. MAX/Gnash – Lights Down Low (#28)
25. Childish Gambino – Redbone (#36)
24. Julia Michaels – Issues (#24)
23. Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee/Justin Bieber – Despacito (#12)
22. Linkin Park/Kiiara – Heavy (#23)
21. Bruno Mars – That's What I Like (#25) [1 Week At #1]
20. James Arthur – Say You Won't Let Go (#21)
19. Calvin Harris/Pharrell/Katy Perry – Feels (#18)
18. Selena Gomez – Bad Liar (#19)
17. The Chainsmokers – Paris (#16) [1 Week At #1]
16. Hailee Steinfeld – Most Girls (#17)
15. Liam Payne – Strip That Down (#20)
14. AJR – Weak (#22)
13. Halsey – Now Or Never (#14)
12. Ed Sheeran – Shape Of You (#13) [9 Weeks At #1]
11. Charlie Puth – Attention (#10)
10. Sam Hunt – Body Like A Back Road (#11)
  9. Niall Horan – Slow Hands (#8)
  8. Kygo/Selena Gomez – It Ain't Me (#5)
  7. Panic! At The Disco – L.A. Devotee (#9)
  6. Lady Gaga – The Cure (#7)
  5. The Chainsmokers/Coldplay – Something Just Like This (#3) [3 Weeks At #1]
  4. Ed Sheeran – Castle On The Hill (#6) [3 Weeks At #1]
  3. Zedd/Alessia Cara – Stay (#1) [4 Weeks At #1]
  2. Imagine Dragons – Believer (#4)
  1. Shawn Mendes – There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back (#2) [3rd Week At #1]

#1 Song This Week One Year Ago: Mike Posner/SeeB – I Took A Pill In Ibiza

Biggest DROP!!!... Of The Week: Miley Cyrus – Malibu (–18)

Biggest Jump Of The Week: Childish Gambino – Redbone (+11)

New Entrants
~ This week, we have the return of All Time Low as they debut with Good Times. I personally thought Dirty Laundry was a better song. This one's good too, but it's not something that's gonna stick with me. It's pretty close to being in blue right now. Maybe it'll grow on me with more listens. But for now, there isn't that much to it that really stands out.

~ We also have the return of Fall Out Boy with Champion. This is a MASSIVE step up from Young and Menace, which thankfully flopped. That was a mess. Champion was produced a lot better, has great vocals, and has great instrumentals. This feels a little bit more like the old Fall Out Boy that everyone loved and wants again. I think they're going in a good direction if they keep making songs like this one. I'm sure it'll do well here.

~ I'm quite impressed with how quickly Hits 1 picked up on Wild Thoughts. I think this is a reasonable step up from I'm The One. I'm The One had this very weird sound to it and no one sounded good except for Bieber, who actually only sounded okay. Wild Thoughts grabbed my attention right from the start. DJ Khaled really stepped up his game with the production. I love the sampling with the guitar from Santana's Maria Maria. I think it fits well with the rest of song. Rihanna's vocals shine bright like a diamond (see what I did there?) and I think Bryson Tiller has a really solid verse. I think he has a really good voice. All in all, it's a really good song and I hope it does well. It's a lot better than I'm The One, so hopefully it can do better than that song performance-wise.


Hit-Bound
~ Here is the Hit-Bound list:


  • Bebe Rexha – The Way I Are (Dance With Somebody) (DEBUT)
  • The All-American Rejects – Sweat (DEBUT)
  • Andy Grammer – Give Love
  • The Chainsmokers – Honest
  • Paramore – Hard Times
  • Kesha – Praying
  • Louis Tomlinson/Bebe Rexha/Digital Farm Animals – Back To You (DEBUT)
  • Julia Michaels – Uh Huh
  • Harry Styles – Two Ghosts (DEBUT)
  • Shawn Hook/Vanessa Hudgens – Reminding Me
  • Macklemore/Skylar Grey – Glorious
  • Imagine Dragons – Thunder
  • Demi Lovato – Sorry Not Sorry
  • Ed Sheeran – Galway Girl

~ I'll talk about most of the entrants some other time. The only one I'll talk about now is Sweat. I consider myself a fan of The All-American Rejects. They've had a ton of good songs, mainly from their album Move Along. Sweat is a lot different from what they've done before. But it's still something I can get into. I'll admit that it wasn't that great when I first listened to it earlier this month when it was released. But after a few more listens, I've come to realize that it is a good song. The All-American Rejects have done well yet again.

~ I'm sure everyone wants to know why I dislike Sorry Not Sorry. This sound is just not for her. I don't think it fits with her voice at all. The worst part of the song is easily the chorus. She sounds very pitchy and the background voices that say "I'm not sorry" sound awful. And you'd think with that build-up that the chorus would have a little more to offer. Instead it feels very similar to This Is What You Came For, where the build-up is decent, but the drop (in this case the chorus) is just very underwhelming production-wise. The verses are okay, but not something that grabs my attention. Overall, this is not at all what I was expecting from Demi Lovato. She has done MUCH better, especially with Demi, which had some very enjoyable singles. But Sorry Not Sorry is not a good lead single in my opinion. And it's too bad because I really like her. This is probably the first song from her I've legitimately disliked. Oh well. Maybe her next single will be better.

~ It took a while, but I've finally grown into Imagine Dragons – Thunder. I still don't like the little annoying voice that constantly says thunder. But every part of the song isn't that bad. However, it's still nothing compared to the singles off of Night Visions.


Top 5 Hit-Bound Picks
1. Kesha – Praying
2. Shawn Hook/Vanessa Hudgens – Reminding Me
3. Louis Tomlinson/Bebe Rexha/Digital Farm Animals – Back To You
4. Ed Sheeran – Galway Girl
5. The All-American Rejects – Sweat


Wild Blurbs
~ For some reason, AJR – Weak is back in the Top 20. I'm honestly just really tired of this song. It's not good at all and the fact that it's still here is pretty annoying. Please drop soon.

~ While Weak is back in the Top 20, Despacito has dropped out of the Top 20 for some strange reason. This song is the biggest song in the country right now, so I'm not exactly sure why it's not getting treated like that. This should be in the Top 5 right now, not outside of the Top 20.

~ I'm also baffled by the jump to #25 from Redbone. I don't see the appeal and this just isn't the type of song I would expect to hear on Hits 1. But the fact that this is popular at all is already mind-blowing.

~ And of course, Malibu just HAD to drop all the way out of the Top 30. Why? Just why? This is actually a really good song and it still does poorly. I don't get it. Hopefully it can hold out a little while longer.

~ Crying In The Club has dropped out of the Top 30. Hopefully it can stay here and leave soon. It's not good enough to be a hit. Try again, Camila.

~ Due to the debut of Wild Thoughts, I'm The One took quite the drop into the Bottom 5. Although this is one of the biggest songs right now, I really don't care if it leaves. It's not that great of a song. I don't know how, but it actually kind of got worse after listening to Wild Thoughts, which is a big step down. It just shows the mediocre side of DJ Khaled.

~ And of course, Don't Wanna Know is still here. Cold is the better song by just a little bit. And for some reason, that one left first. I was hoping I'd never get annoyed with a Maroon 5 song again after Sugar, and now here we are. Do us all a favor and just leave.

~ With our other exits, This Town and Bad Things both got old and it's about time they left.


Top 20 Review
0 – Crap:
20. Selena Gomez – Bad Liar
19. AJR – Weak
18. Liam Payne – Strip That Down

1 – Bad:
17. Halsey – Now Or Never
16. Imagine Dragons – Believer

2 – Mediocre:
15. Sam Hunt – Body Like A Back Road

3 – Decent:
14. Ed Sheeran – Shape Of You
13. Zedd/Alessia Cara – Stay

4 – Good:
12. James Arthur – Say You Won't Let Go

5 – Great:
11. Ed Sheeran – Castle On The Hill
10. The Chainsmokers – Paris
9. Niall Horan – Slow Hands
8. Charlie Puth – Attention
7. Panic! At The Disco – L.A. Devotee
6. Shawn Mendes – There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back
5. Hailee Steinfeld – Most Girls
4. Lady Gaga – The Cure
3. Kygo/Selena Gomez – It Ain't Me

BONUS: 6 – Best Song On The Countdown:
1. TIE: Calvin Harris/Pharrell/Katy Perry – Feels
1. TIE: The Chainsmokers/Coldplay – Something Just Like This

Total Score: 71/100 = 71% (C–)


Throwback Pick Of The Week: Backstreet Boys – I Want It That Way

Most Missed Countdown Song: Pitbull/John Ryan – Fireball

#1 Recommendation For Hits 1: Kesha – Learn To Let Go (not much good new music out right now)

Favorite Countdown Song This Week One Year Ago: Mike Posner/SeeB – I Took A Pill In Ibiza (#1)


My Top 5 Picks
1. TIE: The Chainsmokers/Coldplay – Something Just Like This
1. TIE: Calvin Harris/Pharrell/Katy Perry – Feels
3. DJ Khaled/Rihanna/Bryson Tiller – Wild Thoughts
4. Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee/Justin Bieber – Despacito
5. Kygo/Selena Gomez – It Ain't Me

Saturday, July 29, 2017

America's Got Talent: Judge Cuts Week 1

Now that the auditions are over, all the acts that advanced have one more performance before it is decided whether or not they'll be advancing to the live shows. There are four weeks of Judge Cuts. Each week, 20 acts perform, but only 7 can advance. Each week, a new guest judge joins the judging panel and they are given one golden buzzer to use on an act they love to send them straight to the live shows, giving them one of the 7 spots.


So here is my review for the first week of AGT's Judge Cuts.


Week 1:


This week, comedian and television host Chris Hardwick joined the judging panel. He's most known for hosting AMC's The Talking Dead and NBC's The Wall.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ-i5mE0G58
Link to Judges' Comments: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YSG71PUxkw
~ Sara & Hero: Sara & Hero are a dog act. They basically just do a bunch of tricks, but they also have a storyline added to the performance. They got a little bit of a mixed reaction for their audition and just barely got three yes'. This time around, I do think they definitely stepped it up. There were better tricks and there was a better storyline. I don't like very many dog acts because they usually get pretty boring. But I definitely enjoyed this performance. However, I don't think it's something that'll necessarily go far. But it was good.



Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtrCnWTVxY0&t=4s (0:09 - 0:30)
~ The Baker Family: The Baker Family are a bluegrass band. Their performance was really short and really wasn't anything amazing. They were okay, but with how short the act was, it's likely they aren't going through.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtrCnWTVxY0&t=4s (0:36 - 0:48)
~ Mariachi Nuevo Santander: These guys are a mariachi group. My review for them is practically as the Baker Family. Their performance was very short and it was only okay. So they're probably not going through.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtrCnWTVxY0&t=4s
Link to Judges' Comments: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JNMbdVuW_Q
~ The Masqueraders: The Masqueraders are a vocal group. Each member is over 70 years old and they've been singing for a good 50 years. They've been trying to make it big, but it just never happened. So now here they are. I really liked their audition and I really like this performance as well. They are very talented singers and I'm glad they decided to come on the show because they have some true talent. My guess is that they'll be going through and they'll probably get pretty far.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qW6ZYK16N2c
~ Eric Jennifer: Eric is a comedian. His act was short and really bad. His jokes weren't that funny, him constantly saying, "Make some NOISE," got old really quick, and his presentation was just really annoying. Simon Cowell and Heidi Klum both buzzed the act. Hopefully, he won't go through.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cngtKAndtTs
~ Harrison Greenbaum: Harrison is a comedian. Right off the bat, he was much better than Eric. His act was good, but I liked his audition better. This one felt pretty short and not every joke hit me as funny when I first heard them. He might go through, but probably not.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sm_Ub29ZxVU
~ Dancing Pumpkin Man: Dancing Pumpkin Man is a dancer. Apparently, this guy had some kind of video that went viral. But I didn't actually know anything about him until his audition. While he's not the best dancer in the world, he is pretty funny. I enjoyed the performance in more of a guilty pleasure kind of way. It's a pretty bad act, but I just enjoy it because it's funny. Heidi Klum buzzed the act, so I have my doubts about him going through.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wu9NTyv7Cc0
~ Tom London: Tom London is a magician. What he does is he combines magic and technology and creates something that's never been done before. I loved his audition and his performance this time around was really good as well. I've never seen this kind of magic before and it's quite amazing. I have no idea how he did it. He's one of my picks to go through to the live shows.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAfmrQfW8OY
~ Eric Jones: Eric Jones is a magician. He does more simple magic with a pack of playing cards. Not exactly anything new, but still good. I'm having a really hard time believing that he changed the back of a card with just the snap of a finger. I've never seen that before and I have no idea how he did that. And somehow, the card with Chris Hardwick's signature magically moved inside of Simon Cowell's buzzer. I honestly have no idea how he did that. I thought it was really good. He might go through, but I'm not too sure.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGahIBbj-wg
Link to Judges' Comments: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iStuYtTcvrI
~ Angelica Hale: Angelica is a singer. She's only nine years old and was able to nail Rise Up by Andra Day for her audition, which is a difficult song to sing. Now she picked even more of a difficult song, Girl On Fire by Alicia Keys, and once again nailed it. It's unbelievable how she can hit such high notes at that young age. I thought she was incredible and one of the best performances of the night. Chris Hardwick obviously agreed as he chose to give her his one golden buzzer for the night, sending her straight through to the live shows giving her one of the 7 spots. I'm happy with this decision and I know she's gonna go far.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJlCkZN9AoM (0:00 - 0:48)
~ Danylo & Oskar: Danylo and Oskar are an acrobatic duo. They're also father and son, which I think is really cool. I really liked their audition and I enjoyed this performance as well. They really changed it up this time around. However, the act was really short. So they may not make it through.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJlCkZN9AoM (0:49 - 1:28)
~ Lera & Nika Tomanova: Lera and Nika are an aerial duo. Their act was similar to Danylo and Oskar where the act was really short. Their wasn't really too much interesting stuff going on anyway. It was okay. But they're most likely not making through.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_cYrRNcsBA
~ Yosein Chi: Yosein is a hand balancer. Out of all the hand balancing acts I've seen, this is probably one of the most dangerous. He even balanced his whole body with just his head on a glass. Then he balanced himself over a bunch of knives. It was pretty terrifying. I'd say he could be a contender for the live shows. But I'm not too sure.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kgki6lHszU
~ Darcy Callus: Darcy is a singer and keyboardist. I remember really enjoying his first audition. His performance this time around was really good as well. He's got a really good voice. And he's pretty cute. But the act was relatively short. So although I want him to go through, he probably won't.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FprPq4Mk5t0
~ Carlos De Antonis: Carlos is an opera singer. Usually I don't have much interest in the opera singers because they all usually sound the same. But I do really like this guy. He's such a likable person and I love his presentation. He may not have the best voice out there, but he puts a smile on my face from the moment he walks out on stage. He could be a contender for the live shows, but I'm not too sure.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWf3KwurWyM
~ Canion Shijirbat: Canion is a multimedia dancer. His act is something that I've seen done before many times and also done better. I liked his audition better. This performance felt pretty boring if you ask me. Heidi Klum and Simon Cowell both buzzed the act. So he's most likely not going through.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbVtR0cDO8U
~ Just Jerk: Just Jerk are a hip-hop dance group. They're probably one of the best dance groups I've ever seen on America's Got Talent. It's incredible how in sync they are and I love how smooth their moves were. Like Simon Cowell said, it was like a machine. Considering that we don't get very many dance acts, I feel like they'll have a spot in the live shows.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yc5eKiM1YHQ
~ Maw Kitty: Maw Kitty is a singer. I'm not entirely sure how she got through the auditions. I thought she was pretty bad. Her voice sucked and she seemed to only be there for Simon. Mel B and Howie Mandel both buzzed the act. So hopefully, she won't be going through.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIJ9S7cL7hQ
~ The Singing Trump: The Singing Trump is an impersonator for Donald Trump. I honestly love this guy because he's just like Trump. And he can entertain. I love how he chose those two Backstreet Boys songs. I also love how he brought his Secret Service as backup dancers. I honestly just loved the whole act. This is originality at its best and I know this guy is going to go far. If he doesn't make it through, it's obviously rigged. I hope he makes it through because he will help make America's Got Talent great again.


Link to Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T53bybf1pU
~ Demian Aditya: Demian is an escape artist. His performance took place outside as he buried himself in chains. His goal was to escape from there before he ran out of air. There was a camera inside so everyone could see what he was doing on this big monitor. Of course the camera went out and everyone was freaking out until one of the guys filling the hole with dirt ended up actually being him. It's really weird and I don't know how he does it. And I think his wife is acting because I'm sure she would've seen the rehearsal. Overall, it is a good act and I think he'll make it through.


Results:

Link to Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1MAZKmnl_g
Link to Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hx_psZgpE8A

Acts Moving Forward:


  • Angelica Hale, singer (Golden Buzzer)
  • The Masqueraders, vocal group
  • Sara & Hero, dog act
  • The Singing Trump, impersonator
  • Just Jerk, hip-hop dance group
  • Demian Aditya, escape artist
  • Eric Jones, magician

My Top 5 Acts
1. The Singing Trump
2. Angelica Hale
3. Just Jerk
4. Dancing Pumpkin Man
5. Darcy Callus