New music from Jay Sean, Surfer Blood, and Tate Stevens
"Where You Are"
Jay Sean, "Neon"
Jay Sean, known for his chart-topping hit “Down,” continues to not innovate with his latest single “Where You Are.” With repetitive lyrics, the standard sugary pop chord progression (see Axis of Awesome’s “4 Chords”), and “woo-hoos” reminiscent of Maroon 5’s “One More Night,” the song has a remarkable tendency to flee one’s memory. This is not to say that Jay Sean doesn’t have another hit on his hands, as the aforementioned traits actually align very well with current Top 40s trends. Maybe his overproduced voice and the word “baby” will put Jay Sean on top again. Hey, it worked once.
Surfer Blood, "Pythons"
The admittedly Weezer-influenced Surfer Blood does indeed sound a bit like Weezer on their latest track “Demon Dance.” Luckily, this turns out to be a good thing. A healthy amount of feedback on the guitars along with lyrics that seamlessly reference both hellhounds and Pentecostalism make for a song that is bizarrely fun. Though an entire album of songs in this vein has the potential to become tiresome, the track works amazingly as a single, and the high quality of its composition is matched only by its catchiness.
"Power of a Love Song"
Tate Stevens, "Tate Stevens"
Winning “The X Factor” means that you have a passable voice and some sort of stage presence. Unfortunately for Mr. Stevens, it doesn’t mean that you will produce quality music—like, at all. Though “Power of a Love Song,” which is a song about songs, may qualify as “meta,” its coolness stops there. Stevens manages to cover most of the clichés of country music in four minutes. With mention of a “first dance,” noticeably accented vocals, and self-obsessed melodrama, this song is one pickup truck short of being a perfect microcosm of a Toby Keith album.