A View From The Top #30

by Srinandini Mukherjee

Sunday 1st May 2016

As an unashamed fan of pop music, I often find myself defending my music tastes to others, arguing that even chart music can provide us with good lyrical content, and tunes that aren’t just catchy, but also original. Then, I find a song like Drake’s One Dance topping the charts for the third week in a row, and wonder what went wrong.

This track doesn’t deserve one, let alone three columns dedicated to it, but to briefly sum up my opinion, much like the past two writers I was beyond disappointed with the bland beat, the futile lyrics, and the overused auto-tune. Usually, when a chart-topping song is so unimpressive on every level, its saving grace is a catchy tune. Sadly, this doesn’t apply to One Dance either. Despite using a sample line from Kyla’s Do You Mind, and including Wizkid in the collaboration, the repetitive, uninspired chorus sounds as worn-out as can be expected from yet another song about being out at a club. The steady beat (which was by no means notable to begin with) fades out near the end of the song, to give way to a disjointed kind of mixing, which just worsens the overall impression of the track. Apparently, One Dance was released as quickly as possible without any attempt to improve or re-record the track, due to some issues with tunes being leaked online. Unfortunately, the result makes it look like it was created with as little effort as possible, almost as if it were a last-minute filler track for an album, rather than a single.

Finding such a tasteless track at the top of the charts just goes to show how little talent is required to succeed in the current music industry. Instruments are no longer appreciated, and neither is a truly good voice. It seems that auto-tune and some editing software is all some artists need. It astounds me that this track has received this level of appreciation: I have tried to figure out why, and the only explanation I have been able to come up with is, as Jessikah pointed out in her A View From The Top column, that perhaps some listeners enjoy the chilled, summer kind of vibe the song pathetically attempts to create.

In other news, I was pleased to see Sia’s Cheap Thrills in the second place. With her wonderfully unique voice, the addictive beat, and catchy tune, this is a song I’d be proud to call chart music. Posner’s In Ibiza is still hanging around the third spot while Cake By The Ocean from the band DNCE (which has Joe Jonas as a member) and Fifth Harmony’s Work From Home are further examples of how unoriginal and disappointing the Top 40 can be. Seeing Prince’s Purple Rain in the top 10 was expected, but pleasing nevertheless.

I still enjoy chart music, and I still intend to passionately defend pop as a genre to anyone who questions me. But, if Drake is still at the top next week, I might have a little trouble finding good evidence for my arguments.