Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Chart Toppers

The funny thing about my music listening is, despite hours of free time spent paroozing music stores (both online and off), I always end up with more of a leg up on the underground or less-mainstream airwaves. To some, this would come across as what the kids call "hipster" or "scenester", and let me say, if you've met me - you know I am certainly neither of these stereotypes. It just so happens that the kind of music I've always liked - alt-rock, folk, electro-dance and acoustic - isn't always the most requested at the hot radio station in town. But, that doesn't mean I don't have a vast appreciation for the sound of any good song, regardless of where it plays from - and like clockwork, immediately purchase it upon first listen. It's all music, baby - and it's all good.

I also will use this very true defense - I don't really have a place to listen to these popular tunes. I don't have a car, my favourite estate sale radio recently conked out, and I generally don't hang out at great lengths (aside from shops, which I'm in quite a bit...) in places where popular jams are pumped enough for me to catch on. I can, however, count on a few of my friends - bartenders, bloggers, people with cars - to let me know what the mainstream hits are. Whether they're begging me to make them a "road mix" for their hours spent commuting or traveling for work, blabbing over a glass of wine or snatching my laptop off my knee to proactively show me - I have a handful of girlfriends who know exactly the songs I'm going to scoff at but then upload at once. And, this right here is an ode to those ladies - classy, quite eclectic but with an ear for what will hit #1 on the billboards. What would I do without you?!

Exhibit A: the newest Drake and Rihanna collaboration. Two artists you can't take a stride without hearing  and two artists who have proved to deliver exactly what the youth of the world want played. There isn't much to say or analyze about this fashionably steamy duo and tune which samples Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie XX, except for the fact that its shiny-sounding dynamic, Rapture-reminiscent keyboard loop and surface sweet lyrics are the perfect companion to strut with through the bright city streets on chilly fall nights. If you live in a city, learn to embrace a song like this. Pop your collar (in a 'stay warm' sense) and press play - it's meant for a city and it's meant for the night. If life was a pulsing dance floor with a swirling disco ball hanging above it, this song would be on repeat. It's flashy, captivating and like everything else someone insists I listen to ...undeniably catchy. Thanks again to my helpers for pointing these things out.


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