A View From The Top #97

by Srinandini Mukherjee

Given that I had already begun sketching out a paragraph or two about his overused falsettos and repetitive themes, when I looked up the top song for the charts this week, I couldn’t help but rejoice – it wasn’t Sam Smith! Two artists, Post Malone and 21 Savage, none of whom I had heard of before this moment have (finally) overtaken the whiney Too Good At Goodbyes with a hip-hop track titled Rockstar. It’s new, it’s exciting, it could be amazing! I couldn’t wait to listen to it.

My rejoicing was short-lived. The monotony of the tune and lyrics, despite the drastic difference in genre seemed almost no better to me than Sam Smith, and whatever basic elements seemed catchy for the first thirty seconds soon wore off. To be honest, this track just isn’t in the genre of music I listen to in any way - maybe I’m in the wrong if I can’t appreciate it enough? Then again, I can’t imagine any situation in which listening to 3 minutes and 38 seconds of the almost identical, unimpressive, 24-second melody repeated over and over again would be highly enjoyable. In this case, to add salt to my wounds, apparently people found it enjoyable enough to send it to the top of the charts. I have to be grateful that Savage 21 also contributed to the track though; at least that caused the melody to be repeated in two different octaves.

Looking up the lyrics didn’t do much to improve my opinion: While I do generally appreciate songs which critically describe the artist’s climb to fame and the struggles of being famous, Post Malone and 21 Savage take the I Took A Pill In Ibiza approach, woefully describing the struggles of being a celebrity, such as being asked why you only have six cars in a twelve-car garage. More than anything, the crude lyrics which repeat the phrase “fuckin’ hoes and poppin’ pills” several times, coupled with the shallow themes distanced me from the song even further, and made it even more cringeworthy to my ears.

As for the rest of the Top 10, Havana in the 3rd spot is pretty decent and fun to listen to, while Rita Ora and Avicii’s Lonely Together is… peak Avicii, but nothing more standout than most of his previous tracks. Further down, CNCO and Little Mix’s Reggaetón Lento seems like a catchy but weak attempt to follow the route of Despacito’s success.

Overall, I’m not too impressed with Rockstar. But it’s new, and it’s a little different from all the pop that has been leading the charts for the past few weeks, and let’s face it - given the quality of majority of the songs that have been at the top since this column began, haven’t we all lowered our standards enough to just be happy about that?