Chizzie’s Jukebox (Episode 5)

Chizzie’s Jukebox (Episode 5)

Given up on love? Tired of breaking your walls down only to build them up again and reinforce them with barbed wires and metal bars? Convinced that love sucks? Here are 5 “Love Sucks” songs that’ll have you rolling your eyes whenever he drops the L word.

CJ amy-winehouse-back-to-blackLove is a Losing Game

Artist: Amy Winehouse

Genre: Blue Eyed Soul

Year: 2006

If there’s one person that has one or two things to say about love, it’s Amy. Back to Black was a stellar album on the underbelly of love, much like Adele’s 21.

The magic of this song is its profound lyrics, which feel like poetry. Each part feels like a stanza, and there isn’t really a chorus or a hook. Amy appears lost in her thoughts and filled with regret as she soliloquizes over the Pandora’s Box that is love. Also, delicate jazzy instrumentations and a ‘60s vibe accentuate her vocals and the listener is convinced that love is indeed a losing game.

Love Sucks line: “Love is a fate resigned over futile odds and laughed at by the gods…”

CJ Song for ZulaSong For Zula

Artist: Phosphorescent

Genre: Alternative

Year: 2013

Whoever broke this guy’s heart really did him over. In a slurry and sometimes indistinguishable voice, Phosphorescent’s sole member, Matthew Houck, truly sounds pained, and like a defeated drunk, he spills gut-wrenching and miserable lyrics recounting the damage love has done to him.  There’s such a genuine sincerity to his words that one is left with the impression that this is indeed a man whose heart has been shattered beyond repair, and the listener is compelled to comfort him and tell him all will be alright. Plus there’s also a homicidal reference where he sings to whom or what that “…I could kill you with my bare hands if I was free”, proving that some murderers were once victims of love too.

Love Sucks line:  “… I know love as a caging thing, just a killer come to call from some awful dream…”

CJ Kacey StupidStupid

Artist: Kacey Musgraves

Genre: Country

Year: 2013

Kacey does her best to sound angry in this foot-stomping angst country song, but doesn’t do so convincingly, and she only ends up sounding like her cute All-American-girl-from-the-south self. The trick however is in the lyrics of the song. Kacey, who writes all her songs, is an amazing songwriter and her lyrics are always relatable. She joins in the love-sucks debate and gives concrete reasons on just how much love in her own words is stupid.

Love Sucks line: “I drink to feel, I smoke to breathe. Just look what love has done to me…”

CJ js_fearless1-500x500Lions, Tigers and Bears

Artist: Jazmine Sullivan

Genre: R n B

Year: 2008

Jazmine sings from the standpoint of someone scorned by love and got so hardened by it that she’d rather face a carnivorous animal and sing for the Queen than give in to it again. Her coarse-like vocals, which are reminiscent of Toni Braxton’s from the 90s and Kim Carnnes from the 80s,  soar over dramatic strings as she tries to convince whoever is soliciting her love that she is too frightened to give in. It’s basically a melodramatic way of saying no to a love interest.

Love Sucks line:  “Why do we love ‘Love’, when ‘Love’ seems to hate us?”

CJ MelanieFiona-TheBridgeSad Songs

Artist: Melanie Fiona

Genre: R n B, Calypso

Year: 2009

The ironic thing about this song is that it doesn’t sound like a sad song as the name implies. Melanie sings over a cheerful calypso beat, but her voice remains that of a bitter lover and the listener is torn between wanting to dance and sympathizing with her. In this song, she relates the pain of heartbreak and reminisces on her ex and their failed relationship. She also goes back and forth on giving up completely on love and perhaps giving it a chance again, expertly conveying how love can leave one a double-minded mess filled with second guesses and regrets.

Love Sucks line: “What did I do Love, to deserve to be alone?”

Next week’s theme: Love Rules!

You Should Probably Download This Song:

CJ White skyWhite Sky

Artist: Vampire Weekend

Genre: Electronic

Year: 2010

There’s a retro African vibe to this song and the entire Contra album; I am instantly reminded of Onyeka Onwenu’s Iyogogo and old school central African highlife songs. Vampire Weekend admitted drawing influences from Africa while producing Contra, and did a good job in making a solid modern-electronic-meets-retro-African album. This song is a clear stand-out and it is unique sounding. Lead singer Ezra Koenig’s vocals are high pitched and could give Alvin and the Chipmunks a run for their money; and with a lively beat and nonsensical lyrics, it is a thoroughly entertaining song with a perfect blend of nostalgia and ultra modernism.

‘25’ TRACK BY TRACK REVIEWCJ Adele

So it’s finally here and I’ll go straight to it, as we have a long way to go. I’ll be reviewing each track and rating it over 10. Was ‘25’ really worth the wait? Let’s see.

1) Hello

We all know how I feel about this one, a power ballad that showcases her vocal prowess, but follows the general format with most ballads and comes off as safe.

Score: 6/10

2) Send My Love (To Your New Lover)

This is as playful as Adele ever gets on 25; it sounds like the makings of a decent and appropriate pop song, produced by hitmaker and Ke$ha-accused rapist, Max Martin. It is a catchy tune and there are slight elements of Katy Perry in it, but it wears thin after several listens.

Score: 7/10

3) I Miss You

It has a dark and eerie feel and is accompanied by haunting eldritch background vocals. The background vocalists are the icing on the cake in this song and steal the spotlight from Adele, possibly saving the song from sounding typical, especially on the second verse where Adele comes across as bored. Definitely one of the standouts, and it’s bound to get stuck in your head.

Score: 8/10

4) When We Were Young

I had such high hopes for this song when I heard the live cover but I was surprisingly disappointed after I heard the album version. The album version lacks a few instrumentations that made its live predecessor such a tear jerker, and half way into the second verse, you have to resist the urge to skip the track. I strongly recommended listening to the live version

Score: 5/10

5) Remedy

Things quickly start falling apart here. Adele tries to channel the same emotions as she did in 21‘s Turning Tables in this piano ballad, but she clearly lacks either the inspiration or the aching heart of a broken lover. And so the song comes across as an over-flogged recitation with the piano chords sometimes outracing her vocals.

Score: 4/10

6) Water Under The Bridge

Things start off promising here with Adele’s voice sounding sultry, accompanied by soothing background vocals.  But soon it appears as though the song is heading in no direction and feels more like freestyle. The hook sounds jumbled and convoluted, and for once, it seems like Adele is trying too hard. When the song ends, you are glad it has.

Score: 5/10

7) River Lea

This song requires patience, as it doesn’t exactly kick off with gusto and Adele begins with a lower register.  However it progresses to a grand chorus reminiscent of Rolling In The Deep, and the listener is captivated. But Adele does tend to sound whinny when she keeps singing “River Lea” over and over again.

Score: 7/10

8) Love In The Dark

It really was a struggle listening to this song. Why? It was boring. Adele commits the ultimate crime here which was to bore her listeners to a near coma.  It’s the only Adele song I cannot listen to from start to finish, and anyone who does deserves several medals.

Score: 3/10

9) Million Years Ago

Adele follows a coma-inducing track with another one, although this one has slight elements of greatness. It’s an acoustic ballad, this time with what sounds like a Spanish guitar. It will definitely leave you yawning and requires such great perseverance to resist the urge to skip to the next track, as Adele sounds completely uninspired.

Score: 4/10

10) All I Ask

Just when you think it surely can’t get any worse, Adele follows with this track, which really is just a cheesy piano ballad with an ‘80s old school vibe that sounds like it belongs to a melodramatic heartbreak scene in Dallas. Adele sounds uninspired, bored and singing out of routine.  It is, dare I say, her worst song.

Score: 2/10

11) Sweetest Devotion

And right when you have given up on the album, this track comes on and you are reminded why you fell in love with Adele. Finally Adele truly sounds inspired and passionate and has something to sing about. The song is about her son and you feel the love exuding from her as she sings and means every word. Its lyrics are beautiful and powerful and it is Adele at her true form.

Score: 9/10

Target Exclusive Tracks

12) Can’t Let Go

Adele shows here that she can still make us cry, in this poignant and beautiful ballad akin to 21‘s Take It All. It will give you goose-bumps and leave you teary-eyed; even Adele sounds like she’s about to break down in tears. It was foolish of her not to include this in the standard version of the album as this would’ve been a clear stand out.

Score: 10/10

13) Lay Me Down

With this song, you begin to wonder why Adele left all the good stuff for Target. It sounds like a 60s Motown song and has elements of Rolling In The Deep. In Lay Me Down, Adele pleads with passion and the listener is instantly taken to church. You lift your handkerchief up and begin to speak in tongues as tears roll down your cheeks.

Score: 9/10

14) Why Do You Love Me?

Well, this song sounds like a typical bonus track. In essence, it’s just subpar filler and sounds more like a demo, but it’s still better than some of the tracks on the standard version.

Score: 4/10

Is 25 a good album? Well yes, it’s definitely not bad, but it clearly lacks the raw emotion that was evident in both 19 and 21, and it is Adele’s weakest effort. Adele’s greatness is unleashed when she sings about what she really wants to, not what she has to, and 25 feels like an album made out of actual routine than a real desire to create.

Verdict: 3 stars.

Written by Chizzie

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26 Comments

  1. Max
    November 25, 07:03 Reply

    @Chizzie, your Adele’s songs with the low scores are actually the ones I happen to like, a lot.

  2. Dick Advocate
    November 25, 07:13 Reply

    And I should give a fuck about your ratings on Adeles album because?
    How dare you talk about the Queen in such manner. In an ideal world, I would have sent you to death already by beheading before you even say Jack Robinson in defense of yourself.

    I mean! Queen Adele till i die. stuanch Adeliever! She does no wrong.

    • Mandy
      November 25, 08:24 Reply

      Since when did Adele’s fans become such rabid animals biko? 🙂

    • Duke
      November 25, 09:47 Reply

      Someone is feeling butthurt today…

  3. Sinnex
    November 25, 08:35 Reply

    *yawns* Wake me up when November ends.

  4. Mandy
    November 25, 09:00 Reply

    I haven’t listened to the entire Adele’s album, but I have to say, so far, none that I’ve heard has come close to wowing me like ‘Hello’ did.

  5. Duke
    November 25, 09:49 Reply

    Thanks for the review Chizzie, I was not sure if I should get the album. I guess I’ll get it off other means ?. Oh… Do you know she is about to do a remix with Drake for hotline bling? I heard yesterday, I wonder what it is gonna sound like.

    • Chizzie
      November 25, 09:57 Reply

      Well she did say she’s ‘open’ to doing one, if that happens then it will be great as they are both acts I really like.

      Fingers crossed

    • Ueze
      November 25, 11:49 Reply

      Check out other reviews, will you?

  6. Peak
    November 25, 10:49 Reply

    So hurricane Adele is sweeping throughout the world, slaying live and taking hostages.
    People are hopping on the bandwagon left right and center.
    Before I go any further, I’d like to say…Adele is Adele. She is not the most talented singer right now, but everybody and their mother seems to love her. It is because of this mad love, that “forced” me to download the album, listen and still listening, just to get/ understand the hype. At the end of the day, she is just Adele. Nothing special, nothing to lose sleep over. And before the fake ass stans who bootlegged the album like the rest of us, start yapping and shouting that she shouldn’t be compared to her peers. Remember that she doesn’t sing or entertain in abstract.

    I’d like to start with the good stuff.
    The song writing: chai! Everyone that wrote on the album are just beyond talented. I love how the lyrics were not cheesy. They are simple but some how managed not to come across as generic.

    Production : the album is basically devoid of big/heavy production. I am sorry, but Adele doesn’t bost of a “distinctive-clear-rich tone” that most powerhouse are know to have. All I see when I listen to her are the colour bown or mud, as opoosed to rainbows, clear and dark clouds/sky, thunder and lightening, fire works etc that I have come to expect from “real” powerhouse vocalists. So the production were mostly stripped down to avoid having her voice being overshadowed or getting lost in them. So all the folks who produced on the album, know their stuff.

    Theme: the album has a theme. Unlike most albums these days, Adele has created a reputation for herself, by creating themed albums. The album has an almost “reconciling ur feelings post breakup/heartbreak” feel to.

    My problem with the album?
    It’s is so predictablely depressing
    Like I anticipated, she underperformed vocally except in “can’t let go and all I ask” where she showed some vocal strength.
    After a couple of listens everything starts sounding the same and u need to leave it and comeback later.

    Let me take a break and drink water 1st, then Chizzie we will debate on the rating of those songs, cos I dont agree with some of them. Can’t let go is the gem of that album no doubt. It was perfectly crafted for her. I can’t imagine anyone else singing that song like she did. Wish the same can be said for most of the songs on the album.

    Yes @3/5

    • Chizzie
      November 25, 11:06 Reply

      Which songs don’t you agree with the ratings?

    • Peak
      November 25, 11:06 Reply

      Thank you for reminding me the power and control that is Jazmine this morning.
      Amy Winehouse is baby love. #SuckerForRebels

    • Mandy
      November 25, 11:37 Reply

      Jeezuz Peak, you sound like one heck of a music aficionado

    • Max
      November 25, 14:17 Reply

      Once a hater, always a hater. Give it a rest Peak, we know u don’t like Adele and we’ve forgiven you for that, now run along before the hurricane sweeps you off the ground.

  7. Peak
    November 25, 16:27 Reply

    Hello: this is by far the strongest and catchiest cut from the album. The vocals seemed easy until u hit the chorus. Sorry, but I would go with 8/10

    Send my love: this song gladdened my heart, because it was a pleasant surprise to see adele soumding so playful. Was playing it this morning and was thing selena gomez, katy perry, then it all made sense when yoy pointed out the Max martin produced it. He is the go to guy for a catchy pop song. I say 9/10. I see myself doing Saturday cleaning to this song.

    I miss you: ogbanje/ exorcism snake slow dance comes to mind when I listen to this song. Very dark and earthy. I totally agree with ur description of it. It it has this indie/folklore feel to it. Weirdly interesting, but not interesting to score a 4/10

    When we were young: like you, I have heard the live version of this song and water under the bridge, so I’d say 5 for but of them. The live versions sounds way
    better

    Remedy? : biko this song resonated with me a 1st listen. Her vcals were clear and she didn’t attempt to do too mjch. She just sand the damn song, delivered the message and called it a day. I say 6/10

    River lea: once again I agree with ur assessments. The chorus is the only thing distinctively interesting about the song. The verse we bland and uneventful so I wonder why you score it so high. Then it crossed my mind that maybe you have a thing for songs with earthy sounds. I mean look what you did with I miss you I say 4/10

    Love in the dark: dude I don’t know what you listen do, but this song is a really really good song. She its one of the songs that sounded more believable to me. 7/10

    Million years ago: I loved that she went acoustic on this one. Everything was starting to blend and sound alike. I was expecting her to soar vocally. I mean, that’s aim of acoustic singing. I was anticipating some vocal climax at this point but it never came. 2/10

    All I ask: this is one of the likeable songs on the album, but I can’t help but imagine what it would sound like if Mariah Carey sang the damn song. She would have nailed it with her raspy- breezy falsettos and clear head voice. She finally rewarded me with some vocal movement in the end. It wasn’t much, but I was happy with that than nothing 7/10 ( I sincerely wished she pushed herself on this song)

    Sweet devotion: sorry, but this mess left me confused. It felt out of place. I find it exhausting. I cant even focus on they lyrics. It was that bad.2/10

    Lay me down: home girl was trying to sound 70’s/80’s blues singer and failed miserable. I was like “where Jhud @” . Jhud would have taken us to church and have us repenting and shouting hallelujah midway into the song. 2/10

    Why do you love me: this is pure trash. Trying to take it back to the 80s. It was bad. I hate this song. Its the weakest on the album.

    Can’t let go: this song was customs make. Everything fitted like a gloved. I wanted more vocally, but I was happy with what I got cos it all flowed. Strongest vocally. She emoted effortlessly. This is the only song on the album that gave me some goosebumps. It was that good. You literally feel everything. Its an amazing song. I don’t know if it would become a song cos it’s not built for the radio. But the song slayed! 9/10

    Songs I see gettung a singles treatment
    Send my love (this song is built for radio and would float easilyto #1)
    Water under the bridge
    When we were young
    Love in the dark

    • Peak
      November 25, 17:03 Reply

      OMG!

      Sorry 4 the headaches the typos above would cause

    • Chizzie
      November 25, 19:10 Reply

      Yeah you’ve guessed I like dark satanic sounding songs, hence my ratings for I Miss You.

      How you lot can listen to Love in the Dark amazes me o. Maybe il give it a listen again.

  8. Brian Collins
    November 25, 16:36 Reply

    Lemme just say thank you for bringing back Lion, Tigers and Bears to my heart. That song was a favorite for like two years. Going off to download it now. And I absolutely love Melanie Fiona’s ‘It kills me’.
    About Adele, abeg go and sit down. I will listen to the songs and then decide for myself.

  9. Terra
    November 25, 16:46 Reply

    But, aren’t music reviews usually completely relative?

    • Chizzie
      November 25, 19:07 Reply

      Well yeah to an extent but if a song is good you have to look at it from a critical stand point and admit to it being good, regardless of whether its your kind of music or not. But a general consensus determines if a song or an album is good, not just one review.

      And vice versa if the song is rubbish

  10. Ewedu
    November 25, 20:55 Reply

    To be honest, I am not that wowed about this album, the album is definitely a good follow up to 21. As for me the songs I only care for are All I Ask, but I felt she could have done more with this song. Adele should start to push herself vocally, it’s time to stop playing safe. Water Under The Bridge is another fave of mine. Loved from the first listen, but the song demanded more vocals but Adele just wasn’t ready to give it. I also love Million Years too and sometimes Hello and Send My Love. I haven’t heard the deluxe tracks yet. I could do without the rest of the songs on the deluxe. Adele may not have the vocal range and technical prowess of Beyonce, Xtina, Whitney, Mariah but she could definitely try to push herself more and do better. Cute only lasts for a while

  11. Temi Cole
    November 25, 21:06 Reply

    Errr… I would stick to the review on the Rolling Stone… definitely a more credible source… yours just comes off as someone trying to be an oversabinus! Besides the babe just broke Nsync’s record in 3 Days! There has to be something beyond mere hype and a thirst for Adele considering the fact that the album leaked 2 days before its release date….

  12. Somebody
    November 26, 00:16 Reply

    So chizzie finally has a segment (albeit boring)..No offense but it is. It just seems like ur trying so hard to be Deola 2.0 and BTW what’s with the obsession with Adele??

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