Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande save 2020 with ‘Rain on Me’

During these troubling times filled with economic uncertainty and unbridled social woes, there are two things America needs right now: Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande. On Friday, May 21, Lady Gaga and Ariana released their collaboration from Lady Gaga’s upcoming sixth album “Chromatica” to light into the world.

I’d rather be dry, but at least I’m alive

“Rain on Me” is a dance-pop song that was written by Lady Gaga and Ariana along with a lot of other people. There’s a lot of writers on this song, like a lot of pop songs. The song came about after Gaga and Ariana had a conversation. This is also probably due to “Rain on Me” sampling the Gwen McCrae song “All This Love That I’m Giving.”

The single cover

“I sat with her and we talked about our lives. It’s two women having a conversation about how to keep going and how to be grateful for what you do.” Gaga told Paper magazine. She also hinted that she collaborated with Ariana by telling the magazine that she “collaborate with a fellow female pop star, who has similarly experienced immense trauma while in the public eye.” Everyone saw past that hint because the internet happened. It wasn’t confirmed until May 15th when Ariana and Gaga posted about “Rain on Me” on their social media.

“Rain on Me” could be considered to be the sister song to Ariana’s 2018 single “No Tears Left to Cry.” The song is about letting go of pain and just embracing it. Gaga said during her May 21 interview with Zane Lowe that the lyric “I’d rather be dry, but at least I’m alive, rain on me” was a metaphor for the tears and alcohol that she was using to numb her pain. Yep, this song is super deep, like all good pop songs.

Thoughts on the song

Honestly, I’m not huge on the song. “Rain on me” starting to warm up on me, but I still not a big fan. It reminds me of a song that you would hear at the end of the anime as the credits roll. I kind of wish they would let the beat drop more and let the little anime creature loose. That would make the song stand out more.

I can still admit that the song is a banger. “Rain on Me” is going to be the song of the summer. I also see this song becoming an LGBTQ+ anthem, especially with Ariana and Gaga’s popularity and support of LGBTQ+. Besides the 90s anime feel to the song, it also reminded me of something that we would have heard on Gaga’s first two albums, “Fame Monster” and “Born This Way.” Especially with the spoken words on in the bridge. It’s the Gaga that we’ve been waiting to have back

The vocals on the song are what you would expect from Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande. It feels like Ariana is holding back. There are parts, especially after the bridge, where you know that Ari would normally belt it but, the belting isn’t there. There a start of it, but it just never takes off. You could say the same for Gaga as well. It’s like they are trying to let each other shine and not overshadow.

The Music Video

The video for “Rain On Me” takes place in Gaga’s “Chromatica” universe, which got set up in the video for her first single “Stupid Love.” Taking place in the future, factions have dance battles to reign supreme and bring love into the world. There’s no tie into the video for “Stupid Love,” at least that I could tell.

Gaga and Ariana are dancing in the rain and looking iconic with their gangs. Gaga has a knife in her leg for reasons. She also cosplays as Ariana in the end. Spoiler: She nails it. The video is simple and just visually appealing. It works for the video, especially during this time of quarantine. I just wish I understood what is going on.

Verdict

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

While I’m not a massive fan of the song, I cannot deny that Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande’s “Rain on Me” is a bop. The lyrics are deep and meaningful with an excellent dance beat that will let you keep on dancing until the world stops ending. I do wish that the beat was bigger for the song as well as the vocals didn’t sound like both singers were holding back. The video is also very well done and is visually stunning. I do recommend checking out the video and the song. It’s worth the listen, especially for your summer playlist.

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Album review | Selena Gomez ‘Rare (Deluxe Edition)’

While 2020 has sucked a big one, at least the music of 2020 has been outstanding. It also gave us our first full-fledge Selena Gomez album since 2015. It’s been five years since the former Disney star blessed the world with a full-length release. Up until this point, we were just served singles. Some were good, and some were meh. None were bad. So let’s talk about her third album, “Rare.”

Click here to check out reviews for Target bonus tracks:

Bad Liar“|”Fetish“|”Back to You“|”It Ain’t Me

Of course, she was sad
But now she’s glad she dodged a bullet 

Originally released on January 10, 2020 “Rare” is the third solo album, from Selena Gomez. The original release contained 13 songs, which her previous singles being bonus tracks from Target. She re-released the album with four new tracks: “Feel Me,” “Boyfriend,” “She,” and Souvenir” on April 9th.

Before new tracks

“Rare” is probably Selena’s strongest album to date, besides “Stars Dance.” It takes the best parts of her last album, “Revival,” and focuses more on that. The album was produced by the way too many people.

According to the Wikipedia pages, this album had about 26 producers credits. It kind of shows as there’s no one set genre and its kind of all over the place with its sound. It’s not a bad thing, nor it’s not a good thing. It’s a step in the right direction on refining her sound. The tracks are more mature, like her and her sound. Positive news: This is the first album where I can honestly say, I don’t think Justin Beiber had anything refers in the lyrics besides “Look at Her Now.”

While “Bad Liar” and “Fetish” are available for the Target bonus tracks, I think it was a step in the wrong direction not to include them on this album as regular tracks. They do fit this album with the overall feel of the album. “Back to You” slightly provides it, but the fact that “Wolves” and “It Ain’t Me” as a bonus just doesn’t make any sense. They are more Stars Dance era and just don’t help to end the album right. It might be a Pop/Dance album, but it’s not an EDM influenced Pop/Dance album.

Speaking of the bonus tracks, just adding them to the end is just lazy. Like at least mix them in actual tracklist. You could have quickly figure out how to include them. It would help the flow better than just randomly ending on “Wolves.”

After new tracks

With the edition of the new tracks, Selena changed up the tracklisting. This lead to some questionable choices in the flow of the album. The deluxe version starts with “Boyfriend” and then goes into “Lose You to Love Me.” At first, I was like, “this is random but okay.” When you listen to the two songs together, it’s a mood. They do make the album better and the fact they rearranged besides the bonus tracks.

Did “Rare” need these tracks? Nope, honestly, adding these tracks was more of just fan service that wasn’t needed. These tracks were songs that the fans wanted and were probably meant to boost sales. But they didn’t do anything to help back the album besides flow. I’m glad that these songs got put out into the world, but they easily could have been put as an EP.

Verdict

“Rare” is the best album from Selena so far. The album is more mature and takes the best of her previous albums and just makes it better. There’s not any replay value to it. It’s not going to say that the songs are catchy. But this isn’t a dance album, nor is it something that’s you are going to want to listen to on repeat. I’ve only listened to the album a handful of times, and I’m okay with that. I do recommend this album as it’s a great pop album.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Ready to feel old? Album ‘Oops!… I Did it Again’ turns 20 years old

On this day, May 16th, in the year 2000, Britney Spears gave the world the most iconic and probably influential albums in the decade in pop music – “Oops!… I Did It Again.” I talked about the first single of the same name back when it turned 20th in March. Like with that article, this isn’t going to be a review because I’d rate this album five stars, no questions asked. But slightly more a nostalgia trip because this album is a representation of my childhood.

“Oops!… I Did it Again” is a pop masterpiece like most of the second albums released by the big three, Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, and *NSYNC, at this time. You can fight me on the big three because we all know that Britney trumps Christina. The album after Backstreet Boys “Millennium” and *NSYNC’s “No String Attached” but that’s beside the point. The Swedish pop god Max Martin worked on the album as well as other well known Britney collaborators like Darkchild. He gave us “Overprotected (Darkchild Remix) and Britney’s slightly underrated cover of “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.”

Released at the peak of what would be my life long love for the queen, the legendary Ms. Britney Spears, this album was also the start of her peak years. This album was just a fun album. While there are some songs to pass over *cough*Dear Diary*cough*, a lot of the songs catchy pop songs, it’s just the perfect pop album, for that time. Top songs were obviously the singles (“Oops!,” “Stronger,” “Lucky, and “Don’t Let Me Be the Last to Know.”) as well as “Don’t Go Knockin’ On My Door, “What U See (Is What U Get),” and “Can’t Make You Love Me.” There’s also a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction) that isn’t bad but it’s kind there.

When most people think of Britney Spears’ early career, this is the album and the singles that they think of. Britney’s first album “Baby One More Time” brought her to the party and “Oops!… I Did It Again” was what made her a household name. I remember listening to this album on repeat to the point where my parents wanted to kill me figuratively. As I said, this album is representation of my childhood. I’m glad that this album is still considered a classic and fondly remembered. If you haven’t listened to this album, then I highly recommended taking a look. You won’t be disappointed until the end, “When Your Eyes Say It” and “Dear Diary” isn’t good. Just skip them like the rest of us.

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Review | Quibi: the not so good streaming service

There are way too many streaming services in our world. That’s a good thing as well as a bad thing. From YouTube to Netflix, it’s kind of like there’s a buffet of content. Sometimes you leave full and other times; you are just overwhelmed. In April 2020, people started to get a little bit more overwhelmed with the launch of Quibi, the newest streaming service to enter the game.

The streaming service without a slogan

Quibi is a mobile-only streaming service. The idea with the streaming service is present under 10 minutes of content so that its users can enjoy it while working, on break, in the car, or even if you are in the bathroom. The platform also got big names like Chrissy Teigen, Keke Palmer, and Liam Hemsworth to start in some programming.

The programming on the platform is just okay. There isn’t any standout programming on there at the moment. Because all of the shows are under 10 minutes long, a lot of the programming feels rushed and honestly, thrown together. There’s also pacing problems because of it trying to fit so much into one quick bite. It’s like trying to cram for a test the night before.

Not even Chrissy can make this service good

One example of this is on Quibi’s reboot of the popular MTV dating show from the 90s “Singled Out.” While they are all people that the contestant knows, the speed of the eliminations is quick until they get to the final few constants, and that slows down abruptly. Keke Palmer and Joel Kim Booster do an excellent job in their roles on the show; this can lead to things feeling a little off when. One positive about the “Singled Out” reboot is that it’s faithful to the source material.

One of the significant flaws with Quibi is that it’s only available for mobile devices. There were many times that I would want to watch something on there but didn’t want to watch it on my iPhone. I even tried downloading it on my iPad, but the app made for the iPad. I honestly forgot about the app due to this. 

Another flaw was the release schedule of the programming. A lot of the shows were released every day with three episodes a day. This kind of contradicts the premise of the app. Releasing a new episode every day isn’t bad, but rather having three new episodes a day. The app is trying to provide entertainment in quick burst but three episodes are the length of an episode of a sitcom.

Since it’s launch in April, Quibi hasn’t been the picture of success. According to The New York Times, Quibi was in the top 50 free iPhone apps when it launched. It’s now ranked at number 125 with only 3.5 million customers. Only 1.3 million of those customers are active. Founder Jeffery Katzenberg says that COVID-19 has a lot to do with the rough launch of this app.

“I attribute everything that has gone wrong to coronavirus,” Katzenberg said, “Everything. But we own it.

Verdict

Frankly, I don’t think Quibi was well researched and tested before the launch. There’s a lot of good with the service. That will get overlooked because there’s just so much wrong. While you get the first 90 days free, it’s not worth it an actual subscription. COVID-19 isn’t causing the service to suck. It just not a pleasant experience. There was an article published by Qizmodo calling out Quibi’s issue being its Ego and its spot on.

“As the Times noted, the company has shifted its marketing strategy to advertise individual shows rather than a new service that no one understands,” the article stated, “And that’s a start. A service is only as good as the content on its platform, and Quibi’s signature “Turnstyle” tech is neat but was never enough to carry the service on its own—regardless of whatever Whitman and Katzenberg were able to spin to their investors.” This statement perfectly sums up what the platform needs to do to compete. They also need to take responsibility for their mistakes and not push blame on things. Unless something changes, I would save your money and not get this app.

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