One Direction Leads This Week's Top Pop Album Releases
One Direction – Midnight Memories (Columbia/Syco)" Like their predatory best song, "What Makes You Beautiful," they swipe their best line, "I spend her love until she's broke" from Madonna's "Spend your love on me" and Gaga's "When you give me kisses, that's money honey." Not that it matters, because "Everything is new to me" Coldplays one of them on the airy ballad that, I swear, I correctly guessed was written by Ryan Tedder. No word on how much involvement Sting or Don Henley had on "Diana" though. Unlike Justin Timberlake, they really wish they were a rock band, so they hire some studio hands to make a real electric guitar squeal with feedback between palm mutes on a "Little Black Dress" with no lyrical evidence of a human inside it. But the power-pop chorus has no harmonies, kind of weird for a five-piece that could use them, which goes "I wanna see the way you move for me baby." You'd think with 19 milli sold in a dead industry they could afford eye doctors. Damn…the healthcare system again.
Death Grips – Government Plates (self-released): In an awful release week, you'd think an incoherent, out-of-nowhere Death Grips albatross would take on added dissonance. Instead they throw everything they lack into a blender and delete ideas like "songs" and "rapping" altogether, railing against Yeezus by leading with a riff with no notes—try and co-opt this, Mr. Kim Kardashian. The only reason they quote Bob Dylan is because they love martyrdom, the only reason they employ the timbres from a beheaded bounce track on "Two Heavens" is to proudly display how it no longer bounces. But at least "Two Heavens" adheres to some kind of Tibetan bowl clang. Too often we're supposed to marvel at how they abruptly switch from one random programming sequence to the next, without making too much of the surrounding audio field, sticking to hyperquantized hyperactiveness like playing a badly scratched El-P CD. They aspire to be the Liars of rap, earning praise no matter how much they self-sabotage; The Money Store probably sounds like pop now compared to the randomness of "Birds." See who else made the list.
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