ARIA Awards 2014 Review – Song of the Year Nominees

Sia performing

And the nominees for song of the year are…

  • 5 Seconds of Summer She Looks So Perfect

The best thing about this song is that Ed Sheeran covered it recently for Capital FM in the UK. He made an unbearable teenybopper song into something that I would recommend listening to, once you get past the shock that someone as talent as ES bothered to cover 5 Seconds of (Fame) Summer. My theory is that the only reason it topped any charts at all is because  people between the ages of 10 and 17 years old are typically listening to commercial radio stations. Clearly 5SOS is Australia’s answer to Mcfly (UK) and The Jonas Brothers (US), but not even those two successful boy bands could have made this song memorable.

Pros – Clean production courtesy of Jake Sinclair.

Cons – Shamelessly giving American Apparel a plug, lack of originality.

  • Guy Sebastian Like a Drum

I find it to be a very uninspiring song with no true meaning behind it, which is strange, considering Guy Sebastian so eloquently said “I wanted something that was going to take you back to something that might’ve happened in your life when you were young or something”. All in all this song reminds me of Avicii’s hugely successful song Wake Me Up. Maybe after a few drinks this song becomes appealing when you’re attempting to break out in dance at the club on a Saturday night. Besides that, it misses the mark completely, which is a shame when you have someone like Guy who has such an amazing and unique voice.

Pros – Super catchy, the Chainsmokers remix, and this isn’t the worst song he has released.

Cons – I can’t even hear the drums, uninspired lyrics, where has the afro gone?

★★

  • Havana Brown Warrior

After the success she had in 2011 with We Run the Night, it seemed clear that Havana Brown was on a mission to become the newest pop princess on the scene and for a while there that was the expected outcome. The composition and production of this song is slightly annoying in parts, but the build up to the chorus is infectious. It feels like just another stock standard dance track that will clearly never stack up against competition like Disclosure, AlunaGeorge and Flume.

Pros – Build up to chorus, production is fairly decent, verses are bearable.

Cons – Annoying chorus, lack of originality.

  • Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX Fancy

FINALLY!!! She has arrived! It was a long time coming for miss I.G.G.Y. to be allowed to release a single. The record company had been stalling her introduction to the public for way too long and when they finally gave her the nod for a debut single she didn’t disappoint. This song has helped Iggy Azalea reach unbelievable heights around the world. Charli XCX‘s feature adds a catchy Gwen Stefani-style chorus to Iggy Azalea‘s singular rap style. Overall it is a pretty decent debut track, from a history-making debut album.

Pros – Infectious beat and lyrics (Who that? Who that? I.G.G.Y.), the production by The Invisible Men and The Arcade is very clean and crisp.

Cons – The composition is a little recycled in parts, she doesn’t get the credit she deserves in Australia hence no Album of the Year nomination?

★★★★

  • Joel Fletcher & Savage Swing

Clearly this remix by Joel Fletcher has taken this Savage song to new heights as it charted 34 spots higher on the ARIA charts then the original, which was released in 2005. When you hear this song you just want to dance and “shake your ass”. Many have tried to remix this song, but none have quite hit the mark until now.

Pros – Joel Fletcher remixing it.

Cons – The composition is a little on the typical remix side of things.

★★★★

  • Justice Crew Que Sera

The biggest issue I have with Justice Crew is that all their stuff sounds the same to me and this song fits into that category. Their lyrics don’t really ring true in any way and I don’t relate to what they’re rapping/singing about. And every time I see them on TV I feel like the group gets bigger and bigger, I mean seriously how many guys are in that group? They’re referred to as a hip-hop dance group, but there is nothing hip-hop about this song. To me it fits into the group of another catchy pop/dance track that will get the teenyboppers screeching some more.

Pros – Annoyingly catchy.

Cons – Lame lyrics, lack of originality.

★★

  • Nathaniel You

Definitely one of the better Australian single releases this year. This song is a mixture of r’n’b and pop, it has an Usher, Miguel and Prince feel to it. For a song like this production is key, especially when you have a fairly inexperienced singer singing the whole chorus in falsetto. Lyrically it isn’t a stand out, but it is capable of standing on its own two feet so to speak.

Pros – Nathaniel‘s voice, solid production.

Cons – Composition is lacking a little bit in the build up to the chorus.

★★★

  • Sheppard Geronimo

This song is the definition of catchy, with its repetitive and upbeat chorus. Although I still can’t figure out what curtains are doing at the waterfall. The lyrics are pretty average and unimaginative, they’ve pretty much just rhymed the last word of each sentence with the last word of the next sentence until the chorus.

Pros – The build up of the drums is nice and clean, catchy tune, “say Geronimo” is an annoyingly catchy phrase.

Cons – It’s kind of boring, some of lyrics make no sense.

★★

  • Sia Chandelier

The worst thing about this song is that it ends. I still have this song on repeat because it is so good. Sia‘s ability to take her life experiences and turn them into a memorable pop, reggae and r’n’b style tune says a lot about her talent. I can’t fault this song at all and her unique vocals make this song what it is. It’s good to see her stepping out from behind other artists like Beyoncé, Rihanna and Eminem, whom she has all written for, to let the world experience her style again.

Pros – Everything! The lyrics are relatable, the music compliments Sia’s vocals.

Cons – That it ends.

★★★★★

  • Taylor Henderson Borrow My Heart

I don’t know if it’s just me who thinks this, but this song has a very similar acoustic guitar riff to James Blunt’s Bonfire Heart. Besides that, the lyrics are quite soft with a nice build up to the choruses where backing vocals come in as well as the full band. The timing, composition and production are worth giving a nod to. All in all it is a decent debut single from a contestant of a reality talent show.

Pros – Build up to the choruses, production and timing.

Cons – A bit to similar to other songs, not a lot of originality.

★★★

Conclusion:

It is pretty fair to say that sometimes the Australian music industry likes to duplicate things that are already being done overseas, which results in a lack of originality within the industry and that doesn’t sit well with me.

If I were voting on who gets awarded the single of the year it would definitely go to Sia for Chandelier. Her lyrics speak true, the production is practically flawless and her unique vocals allow her to receive some well-deserved attention. She is a songwriter by trade and it shines through in this song, you can feel the pain she went through having an alcohol addiction. It is a relatable song that is fresh and original. She deserves to win.

Ratings are given out of 5 ★★★★★

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