Audio: Ed Sheeran – “Perfect” (Duet with Beyoncé)
After eight weeks in the top spot of Billboard’s Hot 100, Post Malone’s terrible song “Rockstar” (ft. 21 Savage) has finally been dethroned by gnomey little Ed Sheeran and her royal highness Beyonce.
“Perfect” sold 181,000 downloads and 34.9 million streams in the week ending Dec. 7, with 102 million all-format radio audience impressions in the week ending Dec. 10.
It’s a pleasant enough ditty. Pretty acoustic guitar with Sheeran’s doughy vocals coming through so earnestly. When Queen Bey comes in, you wonder what she’s doing hanging out with a wimp like that. But what can you do? It’s pretty. A silly love song. You’d think that people would have had enough of them, but apparently it isn’t so.
This is guaranteed to be played at countless weddings for the foreseeable future. And why not? It’s completely inoffensive and expresses a very nice, loving sentiment in a format designed to appeal to as many human beings as possible. As much as I want to hate Ed Sheeran’s saccharine corn, I can’t. You’d have to be a real grouch to come up with the energy to actively hate this.
For insightful commentary on why this song is No. 1, read Chris Molanphy’s column in Slate.
Continue reading Number One Records: Perfect
Video: Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.”
Ladies and gentlemen of the United States, I am pleased to announce we have a new number one record. After sitting at the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart for 12 of the year’s 18 weeks, that doughy English dweeb Ed Sheeran is finally knocked out. And who better to do the deed than righteous rapper Kendrick Lamar?
Lamar’s “HUMBLE.” is only the fifth number one record of 2017. Back in February I was telling Johnny Loftus about how I’m never exposed to the Top 40 anymore unless I make a conscious effort to seek it out. And when I do, I’m often surprised by how freaky and interesting popular music has gotten. Many big hits are more “experimental” sounding than a lot of stuff being released on our beloved indie labels. We thought we should at least cover the singles that reached the top of the chart, or as Johnny called it: “the most main of mainstreams.” But then dopey old Sheeran just stayed at No. 1, week after week after week. And come on. “Shape of You” is nothing to write home about. It’s so flaccid and predictable it makes John Mayer’s “Your Body Is A Wonderland” sound substantial. So good riddance. Finally.
And “HUMBLE.” is a jam! A sparse one-finger piano riff drives the beat and Lamar’s rhyming is effortless as always. It’s great that an artist as cool as Kendrick Lamar can reach number one on the pop singles chart. Lots of grumpy old dudes dismiss current music entirely, myself included. That’s a mistake. There’s always good new stuff being released and sometimes the most popular song is also the best song. “Sit down, lil bitch. Be humble.” That’s solid advice that we should all be listening to these days. Reminds me of the great Rookie essay by Charles Aaron where he shares some tips for how not to be a jerk; it boils down to: Fall back…listen…question. That’s an important lesson that can take a lifetime to master. I’m still working on it.
Continue reading Cool Still Rules: Kendrick Kicks Ed in the Teeth to Take No. 1