Welcome to the DJNL 10/ONE30, a recurring run down and review of the current top ten iTunes Hot Tracks. Each week I will listen to the 1:30 preview of the first ten Hot Track songs and tell you what I think. All singles are available for purchase on iTunes and links are provided in the titles.
1. TerraForm – Sam Roberts Band
The second single off Sam Roberts Band forthcoming album (of the same name) is an ethereal opener. The country twang beats in the background (Twin Peaks vibes) as Sam Roberts breathes through the lyrics. The single is a moody, modern rock piece that relaxes us into a state of easy listening. Terraform, the album, is expected to be released on October 28.
Would I buy it? Maybe. The song is a little sleepy but what we’ve heard from the rest of the album, it gains momentum quickly.
2. Bang Bang – Green Day
With all the weepy, synth-driven, longing-after-my-baby bullshit music filling our airwaves and subscription services, it’s so refreshing to hear a little Green Day. Not showing a single sign of slowing down, the single is a classic punk banger from the band’s forthcoming album, Revolution Radio. Billie Joe Armstrong spoke to Rolling Stone about the song stating “it’s about the culture of mass shootings mixed with narcissistic social media.” These guys are a little older now but it’s clear the still have a lot to scream about.
Would I buy it? No. This one is for the hard-core fans of Green Day and not the casual listener. I wouldn’t buy it based on 1:30.
3. Trois heures vingt – Celine Dion
With almost two weeks of sold-out live shows here in Montreal, Celine Dion is living a bit of a pop renaissance. She is expected to release her new French album, Encore un soir on August 26th and this is the second single. Trois heures vingt closes out the album quietly leading to a subtle punctuation. Reminiscent of her work on D’elles, the song is for the Celine fan who has stuck with her throughout the years. If you love her, you’ll love this.
Would I buy it? No. The song is a little too slow and a little too safe. It would be great to see Celine Dion try something that pushes her outside the love ballad comfort zone she seems to like so much.
4. In Case You Don’t Remember – Jason Aldean
There’s something about listening to country music that feels like pulling on a comfortable sweater. Jason Aldean’s new album, They Don’t Know drops on September 9th and a splattering of singles have already been released. Country music lovers probably listen to this guy and know all the words to all his songs. In Case You Don’t Remember is a country ballad that hits all the right emotional highs and lows.
Would I buy it? No. I am not familiar with the work of Jason Aldean but having listened to 1:30 of this song is enough to convince me that I’ve heard enough. I’m a fan of country music but so much of what’s being pumped out now all sounds the same, including this. I feel that for the most part, Country Music hasn’t evolved past the 90’s when New Country was at its best.
5. Island – Florida Georgia Line
Having roared onto the Country Music scene a few years back with their mega hit, Cruise, Florida Georgia Line is back with their new album, Dig Your Roots. Island is a good song that has strong moments that feel as much R&B as it does Country. From a lyrics stand point, the guys behind FGL seem to have matured and grown a little romantic since their days of singing about dusty Daisy Dukes and pick-up trucks.
Would I buy it? Maybe. I was a fan of Cruise when it debuted as a summer anthem a few years back. Though I haven’t bought anything since, having listened to the 1:30 a few times to get a feel for the song, it started to grow on me.
6. Healing Suns – Groenland
The wobbly first single from Groenland’s forthcoming album, A Wider Space, has its moments but not enough to really stand out. Despite a couple of wonderful moments supported by trombones and violins, the song doesn’t take off. Listening to the 1:30 it didn’t connect or make me want to hear more. Maybe the rest of the album will be better. We can all listen when it’s released on September 16th.
Would I buy it? No. This song doesn’t inspire or require further listening. If you’re a fan of the band, this could be your cup of tea though.
7. This House Is Not For Sale – Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi has a sound that has evolved from 80’s hairband hard rock to something a little more modern. Though their sound hasn’t changed much since the release of albums like Crush, Bounce or Have A Nice Day, the band has at least maintained a stability that keeps them coming back for more. This House Is Not For Sale is for the Bon Jovi fans who’ve grown older (and maybe even wiser) with the band.
Would I buy it? No. I was a huge fan of Bon Jovi during the 90’s. Albums like Keep The Faith, These Days and Cross Road were part of the soundtrack of my teenage years. I’ve grown out of Bon Jovi but it’s nice to know that they’re still making music after more than 30 years in the business.
8. Black Man In A White World – Michael Kiwanuka
The Get Down is the latest television series to hit the streaming juggernaut, Netflix. Set in New York in the 1970’s, the series, through the music of that generation, details the struggles of the black community in the Bronx. Black Man In A White World is a funk infused rap song that is as relevant to our generation as it could have been in the 1970’s. The Get Down is streaming now and multiple soundtracks are available on iTunes.
Would I buy it? Yes. This song is as soulful as it poignant. Michael Kiwanuka has several songs on the soundtrack but this is by far one of the best.
9. Trust Issues – Olivia O’Brien
We first heard from Olivia O’Brien earlier this year when she appeared on the gnash track, i hate u, i love u. On her first single O’Brien’s soulful truth speaks honestly as she sings about the worries of getting her heart broken.
Would I buy it? No. The song drones on as we listen to yet another beige track about either being broken hearted or being afraid of getting your heart broken. She has a lovely voice but the song is repetitive and dull, much like her effort on i hate u, i love u. The latter however, was little more catchy.
10. Kids – OneRepublic
The latest single from OneRepublic seems taylor-made for easy listening radio. Though it does have a contemporary beat, and it is rather catchy, the song doesn’t grab you the way many of their singles have in the past.
Would I buy it? No. The 1:30 that I listened to was enough. OneRepublic has had a string of singles of the years that I’ve bought after one listen. Kids isn’t strong enough a track to get my $1.29 today but I’m still curious to hear what they come up with next.
Copyrights of all photography used belong to the artists represented. Songs are in no particular order and are listed on iTunes under Hot Tracks at the time of publication. Support your favourite artists by seeing them live and by buying their music.