A View From The Top #39

by Srinandini Mukherjee

Sunday 3rd July 2016

Back in January, when Bieber’s Love Yourself had a six-week streak at the top of the charts, I remember a phrase written in this very column by Ruby Dyce in one of the numerous reviews of the track: “When I signed up to this column just over a month ago, I deliberately put my name down for a date way into January assuming that by then surely JB would finally have stopped dominating the top spot.” Now, I deeply empathise with that line. I chose to review the first number one single of July, foolishly convinced that the reign of Drake’s One Dance would be over by now. And yet, for the 12th week in a row, here we are.

I also reviewed One Dance nine weeks ago, in its third week at the top, when I wrote, “This track doesn’t deserve one, let alone three columns dedicated to it.”  It’s almost laughable that Drake, out of all the talented artists in the world, now holds the most undeserving record for the longest-lasting number one single of the century.

The thing about many initially-annoying-sounding pop songs is, they tend to grow on you, if you listen to it enough times. I am both unsurprised and slightly relieved to say that this hasn’t occurred with One Dance. In the past nine weeks, I have had to encounter this song a painful number of times, and the only opinion which has changed is regarding Wizkid’s minor contribution to the song, which, over this past month, has gone from ‘awful’ to ‘bordering on bearable’. And I believe that change only occurred due to my eternal optimism, which led to me trying to find one plus point about this song.

Do I have some kind of bias against Drake? I did enjoy Hold On, We’re Going Home, and his collaboration with Rihanna on Take Care, but my opinion on his music declined drastically with the ridiculous Hotline Bling and One Dance just supported it. Coming to think of it, my least favourite (or rather, most disliked) aspect of this track is Drake’s voice: the auto-tune seems to get more overused with every listen. I’d go far enough to say that if another artist, say Justin Bieber or Enrique Iglesias had been the singer, it would have been much more enjoyable to listen to, and maybe even worthy of two or three weeks at the top (the lyrics and unoriginality would still make it impossible for me to approve of twelve weeks). I’m also willing to bet that Sorry would have been nowhere nearly as addictive if Drake’s bland vocals were involved.

This Girl by Kungs vs Cookin’ on 3 Burners is in the second spot on the charts, a fun-to-listen-to, but slightly repetitive song. Drake and Rihanna’s Too Good, in the third spot sounds boring and uninspired, as expected (I sincerely hope it doesn’t hit number one next). In contrast, X Factor winner Louisa Johnson’s collaboration with Clean Bandit on Tears, Cheap Thrills by Sia, and Send My Love by Adele showcase the slightly brighter side of pop music in the top 10.

I must admit though, that over the past few weeks, I have been voluntarily listening to Posner’s I Took a Pill in Ibiza quite a few times, a track I previously considered weak and unimpressive. Maybe by September, I’ll be dancing along to Drake?

….I highly doubt it.