Weekly Roundup of ListenOnRepeat New Reviews for Nov. 23 – Nov. 29, 2020

weekly roundup of listenonrepeat music reviews

Music is the soundtrack of your life and the wine that fills the cup of silence. Optimist or pessimist, everyone looks upon music when they are down. Music leads your path through joy or pain, celebration, or suffering in every step of your life. May the Music be with you!

Meanwhile, check out the latest hits from last week and their exclusive reviews below:

TWICE “I CAN’T STOP ME” M/V

twice i cant stop meFans of K-pop are armies to be mobilized. Indeed, on every new release, there are generals in comments sections that push people to watch and share, imploring the viewers to reach certain goals. Here is an example from “I Can’t Stop Me” by Twice: “let’s gain more than 2M every day we can do it once again.”

It all comes down to a competition between K-pop groups, and the fans are strongly aligned, like sports fans, to their chosen team. Indeed, many comments cite the gaps between the view-counts groups are experiencing, demonstrating the state of play. It is pretty unheard of in Western pop culture.

Much of this is down to the Inkigayo Triple Crown award. It is essentially a record chart by the Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS), which rates new releases on a weekly basis. But we aren’t just talking about downloads – the prize goes to the track that wins across many different fronts: Korean online music services (55%), Youtube views (30%), album sales (10%), network air time (10%), and advanced viewer votes (5%), the latter being probably some kind of panel, like the Academy or the Hollywood Foreign Press for film awards, shows.

So how are Twice faring? Well, in just over two weeks they have over 120 million views. That’s insane. It proves just how massive the industry has become. Numbers like that are unheard-of for almost anyone else (Justin Bieber’s latest official release was five weeks ago, and it has around 50 million views).

“I Can’t Stop Me” is about the electricity felt when two people develop an unspoken passion for one another. In these situations, as the song recounts, holding back simply isn’t an option. English comes in on the chorus for the central hook and the visuals and choreography, as expected, are about as shiny and impressive as it gets.

Watch Twice – I Can’t Stop Me

 

Alexander Jean – Highs and Lows Lyric Video

Alexander Jean - highs and lowsThe new lyric video for “Highs and Lows” by Alexander Jean isn’t really a lyric video at all. Instead, it is a beautifully simple, intimate performance of the new track, with the lyrics edited into the frame. Indeed, the idea of a lyric video only sprouted in the last few years, and since then it has gone through several changes, with visualizers and animations coming in and out of fashion. This is a great new iteration, however, and fans would love it if all artists began offering this kind of performance systematically alongside official music videos.

Yet, for Alexander Jean, the country music duo, this kind of post is pretty routine. They have built a Youtube channel on these kinds of performances, and their audience is used to clean, straightforward shows with impeccable vocal performances. Some of their fans have been there since the beginning, charting their rise and cheering them on. It does feel like they are on the cusp of much bigger things, as explained by one top comment: “Sooner or later, if you keep writing songs like this that people love instantly, there’s going to be one that just goes huge. The chorus in this is soooo smooth.”

“Highs and Lows” is a sweet song about a relationship and the various small annoyances that come along the way. These range from sleeping with the AC on to telling jokes in the wrong way. But it is the harmony that viewers will remember, both vocally, and in terms of the duo’s chemistry on screen. They married back in 2016 and we can assume the lyrics tell their story. A fantastic slice of personal storytelling for fans that just can’t get enough. These two are too talented to stay medium-sized for very much longer.

Watch Alexander Jean – Highs and Lows Lyric Video

Thundercat (feat. Ariana Grande, JD Beck, and DOMi) “Them Changes” | Adult Swim Festival

“When the super talented weird kids get matched with the popular girl for the school project” … this is the kind of comment being left on a new video from Adult Swim (as part of their festival). Why? Because it is a collaboration nobody saw coming: Thundercat, Ariana Grande, DOMi, and JD Beck. Though Ariana and Thundercat are forever linked by the life and death of Mac Miller, and Grande has covered “Them Changes” before, the two of them combining with DOMi and JD Beck has really got viewers excited. The proof is in the view count – over half a million in four days (at the time of writing) … unheard of for a jazz cover, even if it is a Thundercat song.
It could be the star power of Ariana Grande that is making the video blow up, but it is true that it has struck gold with a substantial online community of jazz fans and musicians. DOMi and JD Beck are a keyboard/ drum duo with talent that is way beyond their years. Both considered prodigies, their intricate, instinctive virtuosity has seen them tour the world and capture the attention of big artists like, well, Thundercat (and possibly Ariana also). The fact that they are in this kind of video is a boost for the jazz community and Adam Neely, a popular influencer in that community, came in to show his surprise in the comments section: “WHAT.”
 Together, the four unlikely musicians combine over Thundercat’s “Them Changes.” Generally speaking, the arrangement stays the same, but Thundercat is more adventurous than normal, and Ariana’s voice adds a new and exciting element. She has often been considered a secret jazz singer in the past, and her musical fanbase attests to that (Quincy Jones rates her highly). Releases like this are always interesting.
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