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The top tracks that were released this week.
'The Champion' - Carrie Underwood feat. Ludacris
Carrie Underwood shredded the country in the country-pop genre she’s mostly affiliated with and just stuck with pop for her newest song, “The Champion”. The song follows a serious injury Carrie sustained late last year, which required several stitches. The Jim Jonsin-produced record is a collaboration between Carrie and NBC, which will be used to promote the 52nd Super Bowl (as the opening track) and the PyeongChang 2018 winter Olympic games. The song is simultaneously off-brand and on brand for Carrie, being a notable change from her usual country sound towards a more pop-influenced sound, yet still bears similarly to Carrie’s other confidence induced songs such as “Before He Cheats” and “Blown Away”. The song is an uptempo pop rock/power pop song that features inspirational lyrics about one's own strength and capabilities such as I am Invincible, unbreakable/Unstoppable, unshakable/ They knock me down, I get up again/ I am the champion, you’re gon’know my name. Ludacris’ rap is displayed during the bridge which features a lyrical message of strength by treating the word, champion, as an acronym.
The song is a refreshing change from the slower, low tempo pop music that has been released in the pop stream. The song easily has the potential to be Carrie’s biggest hit as the message of strength is not only applicable to the sporting games that they are featured in, but also in anyone’s day to day life, particularly in the divided political climate. While the song does have its flaws *cough* Ludacris *cough*, it’s still one of Carrie’s best offering to date, and it can easily top the charts due to the cross-genre appeal (County fans, pop fans, and hip-hop fans in particular). If this is any indication of what Carrie’s upcoming album will be like, then we should be expecting some amazing music from Carrie.
'My My My!' - Troye Sivan
Released 2 years after his critically acclaimed debut album, Blue Neighbourhood, Troye reintroduces himself with the debut single “My My My!” of his upcoming album. The song is an electropop song that is easily his most uptempo track to date. The song is welcomed change when compared to Troye’s previous music. The production has a more energetic beat, yet still features laid-back, chill production elements that made Blue Neighbourhood a commercial and critical hit. While Troye’s last album featured lyrics involving heartbreak and the downfalls of romance, “My My My!” features lyrics about lust and love, particularly the infatuation that comes with a new romance, but still contains a glimpse of self-doubt during the bridge.
Troye sings with a new found confidence that was lacking on his previous album and sounds more self-assured on this track than anything else he’s put out. What Blue Neighbourhood had was the feeling of vulnerability, but if this song is any indication, Troye’s Sophomore album will showcase more confidence, hopefully not just in his more uptempo tracks, but also in his ballads.
'She Loves Control' - Camila Cabello
2017 was a rollercoaster year for Camila. She starting the year off with a Billboard Top 5 duet with Machine Gun Kelly after just leaving Fifth Harmony which showed her potential to be successful as a solo act. After the release of “Crying In The Club” and its lack of chart success caused doubt in whether or not she had the potential to be a solo pop star. After releasing the mega-hit Havana and restructuring her album, we’ve come to today, where Camila Cabello released one of the best pop album debuts in years. “She Loves Control” is one of the standout tracks off the album, featuring an uptempo pop beat with subtle tropical beats, proving that Camila has what it takes to be the next big thing. The song talks about the desire for control over one’s owns life.The theme of control that is predominant in the song can be easily related to the formation of Camila’s solo career, as the lack of control and self-expression is what caused Camilla Cabello to leave Fifth Harmony and focus on her own solo music. Furthermore, the title of her debut album, 'Camila', esteems from the idea of control as well. In an Instagram post, she explains that the album is self-titled “ because this is where this chapter in my life ended. It started with somebody else’s story, it ended with me finding my way back to myself”.
The song can easily become a hit, particularly with the heavy beat and the fact that Latin music is becoming more and more popular in mainstream American markets. If this song and album is any indication of Camila Cabello herself, it's clear that we will be seeing a lot of her in not just 2018, but for years to come.