Single Review | ‘Mood Ring (By Demand)’

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It’s been four years since the one and only Britney Spears graced us with a single. The last single we got was “Slumber Party,” a collaboration with Tinashe from Britney’s ninth album “Glory.” It is only fitting that her first single in 2020 would be the Japanese bonus track from “Glory.” Yep, you read that right. A track that was recorded five years ago is now released as a single.

Click here to read the review for Britney’s “Glory”

I’ve turned some hearts into stone
And I can’t hide it no more

“Mood Ring” was released as a gift to Britney’s fan after the campaign #JusticeForGlory successfully got Britney’s ninth to the number one spot on the iTunes pop album charts. Britney also gave the standard edition of “Glory” a new album cover, which was frankly much need. The release of the song as a shock to all as Britney posted about to her Instagram less than 12 hours prior to its midnight release.

New cover for “Glory”

The song was produced by DJ Mustard. “Mood Ring” was also now dubbed “Mood Ring (By Demand).” The song is a sultry and sex dance-pop number with a touch of EDM. Melanie Fontana and Jon Asher wrote the song with Britney in mind. Melanie and Jon channeled the energy that Britney’s 2001 classic and iconic song “I’m A Slave 4 U.”

“We consistently asked ourselves, “What would ‘I’m a Slave 4 U’ Britney do in 2016?” Melanie said to Billboard.com, “That’s where our heads were at. And that shines through on the track.”  During an Instagram Live, Melanie showed off the demo that originally pitched to The Chainsmokers. The Chainsmokers sinned and turned it down due to it being “too girly.”

The vocals on the song are some of the best vocals that we have gotten from Britney in years. They were reminiscent of her early work. “Baby One more More time” and “Oops!… I Did It Again” was more vocal-heavy in comparison to what she released after.

“Producing her vocals, I went for the natural, nostalgic sound of Britney with a modern edge to it,” Jon said, “I was referencing “Oops!… I Did It Again” with the phone-like filter I put on her adlibs, some of her runs and the bridge.” “Mood Ring” is actually Britney’s favorite song off of “Glory.

“This is incredible! ‘Mood Ring’ is one of my favorite songs on Glory, it’s so vibey and sexy,” Britney told Billboard.com exclusively.

Thoughts on the song

I was hoping for a new song that we haven’t heard before and kicked off a new album, but I’ve come to expect things like this as a Britney stan. I’ve had this song part of my Britney catalog for years and it’s always one of those songs where I’ll listen to it but it’s not one I will seek out. I’m not big on this track. I do think it’s a perfect track vocally. I’m not a fan of the production. It feels like it should drop that beat and pick up but it doesn’t. It’s just a slow burn and it works for the feel. The lyrics are extremely catchy. Especially the chorus.

I do hope that Britney and her team actually give Mood Ring the full single treatment as “Glory” is one of the most underrated album in her discography. People slept on the singles and while “Glory” made it number three on the Billboard Hot 200, it’s often overlooked. “Mood Ring (By Demand)” made it to the number one spot on the iTunes chart on release date.

Verdict

“Mood Ring (By Demand)” is a decent song. I love the vocals and the catchy lyrics from it. The production on it isn’t bad. I get it’s a slow burn sex bop but I just wish it would have a little more bark to its bite. The song does perfectly sum up the overall feel of “Glory” and I’m glad that it’s getting the light of day. I just hope that RCA Records, Britney’s label, actually gives the full single treatment to it and it’s just not something to keep Britney’s fans happy. I do recommend the song just for how catchy it is.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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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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Lindsay Lohan released new single ‘Back to Me’

Do you remember our Social Justice Warrior Lindsay Lohan? Besides still wanting to be the Ariel that we are yearning for, our queen has released a new single. That’s right, LiLo is back into the world of music. Sure, “Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club” is an underrated reality show that left us too soon, but she came back into music to save 2020. Let’s chat about her new single “Back to Me.”

Click here for Lindsay Lohan’s Top 5ive

“Back to Me” is Lindsay’s first new single since her underrated 2008 pop “Bossy.” It’s a pop song that utilizes the same genre that she was in, which is pretty much club music. Yes, it’s ironic but we stan and iconic, ironic queen. The song itself is a breezy and simple song with a rather good beat. It’s not an in your face dance song but it lets you jam out to it if you feel like it.

Lyrically, the song is about being able to go back to how you were. Reclaiming oneself after a bad event has happened.

“The song is about rediscovering and accepting oneself, shutting out the noise and moving forward and letting the past go,” Lindsay said in a tweet promoting the first single off of her third album. It’s an anthem about moving on and growth. We stan.

Honestly, the song is a bop. It’s a catchy and fun song to just listen to and enjoy. I just wish it had more of a kick to it. Like a little bit more of a beat. I kind of feels like it’s stuck in first gear and never makes it to the second or third gear. It needs something to become a banger, which it really should be. The song has the potential to do that. While I hate remixes, I’d listen to the radio versions of those remixes

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The Battle of Demi Lovato’s discography

Back in the day, I would place two artists in the Pop Project Arena for a little column that I like to call Pop Project Versus. The problem with this comes when an artist is still releasing music and those numbers are constantly changing because they were based in sales. I do not have the time to literally update every single article. So I had this little idea: why not take an artist put their albums ratings up against each other to see which album will reign supreme.

So how this will work: I’m taking the album ratings from Metacritic, a site that takes all the reviews and gives an average based on the scores. This is a test run of it so please kind to this idea. To give this a test run, I thought we would start with the rankings of Demi Lovato’s albums. Now the only thing going against this is that her first album “Don’t Forget” doesn’t have a Metacritic score. I decided to make my own based on the reviews. So let’s dive into Demi’s discography and rate her albums.

Last Place

“Unbroken”

Click here for our positive review of “Unbroken”

Demi’s third studio album, “Unbroken,” is her lowest placing album in the rating. Released in September 2011, “Unbroken” scored a 59 overall. Surprisingly, it got decent reviews. If you have listened to the album, you understand why this album got the score. It was her best work. In fact, it’s probably her most meh work. “Skyscraper” and “Give Your Heart a Break” were the singles for the album and where frankly the best songs off the album.

Fifth Place

“Demi”

Click here for our Review of “Demi”

Demi’s last album solely on Hollywood Records, “Demi,” comes in at a fifth place. Released in May 2013, the overall reviews for this album were mixed but favorable, which is shocking because it wasn’t a bad album. “Demi” scored at 64 overall. It wasn’t her best work, but it definitely better than “Unbroken.” Everything is better than “Unbroken.” Besides the singles “Heart Attack,” “Made in the USA,” “Neon Lights,” and her sad collab with Cheryl Loyd, “Really Don’t Care,” “Nightingale” is one you need to listen to it.

Fourth Place

“Here We Go Again”

This one is frankly shocking, but Demi’s second album “Here We Go Again” isn’t in the top two. In came very close to being in there. It had favorable reviews with a 65 score when it was released in July 2009. One of my favorite albums from Miss Lovato. The singles, “Here We Go Again” and “Remember December,” are bops, and most of the songs are there are great. “For the Love of a Daughter” was suppose to be on this album but ended up being on “Unbroken.” It was such a shame. This version is the better version. 

Third Place

“Don’t Forget”

Produced by her former Disney pals, the Jonas Brothers, and their producer, “Don’t Forget” is her debut album. It was Demi’s way of introducing herself to the world when it came out in September 2008. It also set up her two-album rock sound. Sure, it sounds like the Jonas’ third album “A Little Bit Longer,” which came out one month prior, but it still rocked hard. “Get Back, “La La Land,” and “Don’t Forget” are the singles and the songs to rock out to. “The Middle” and “Worlds Collide” also bops, and you need them in your life.

Second Place

“Tell Me You Love Me”

Released in September 2017, almost ten years after “Don’t Forget,” this is the latest album from Miss Lovato. “Tell Me You Love Me” ended with a rating of 72 and received favorable reviews. The vocals on this album are straight fire. It’s probably her best album for that. I would literally sit here and list all the songs that you should check out, but just check out the entire album. Seriously this album is everything. Such a good album.

First Album

“Confident”

Click here to read the review of “Confident”

Now it’s time where we got what the critics have reviewed as Demi’s best album. “Confident” was released in October 2015. It received a 74 score and great reviews. This album is just filled with pop bangers and is just a great album to listen to if you need a boost in mood. “Cool for the Summer” and “Confident” are usually the standouts that most people think of, and can you really blame them for that? But all the songs are great and something you need in your life. While I don’t consider it personally her best work, that would be “Tell Me You Love Me,” this was definitely a precursor for that album.

HONORABLE MENTION

“Moves Me”

You know the bop. Don’t lie.

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