Mixtape 15: Summer Hits
Summer Hits, eh? Don’t let the title fool you. It ain’t that great. I’m not sure if the Coldplaying mixtape exchange has had that many negative reviews, but there’s one thing for sure. This one’s going to be negative! I’m gonna go Pitchfork.com on this mixtape’s butt! I sort of saw this coming, actually. Being a very anti-1980s person, when I looked at the artwork and title, I said to myself, “Oh no”. To be fairly honest, I was expecting some pretty terrible stuff like late-1980s synth-pop and disco, but thankfully to the mercy of the mixtape creator, I wasn’t subjected to that!
However, I was given something unusual: songs that really aren’t summer hits. Half of the mixtape is really down in the dumps and un-interesting. There’s some that are somewhat terrible, and one or two that are actually pretty cool tracks! But, overall, it’s another case of the good, the bad and the really ugly.
The first track starts off with a synth like I’ve been transported to the 1980s. That’s nice! I partially don’t like this song, because it really throws itself off the balance all the way through. I’m going to go ahead and assume you’ve mixed three or four songs together on one track. Sigh. The song’s don’t even match one another! The first “song” sounds like something that came out of a session with A Flock of Seagulls and Duran Duran. It’s got a good vibe, but extremely boring after two minutes.
Then it transitions into another “song” that starts off with a catchy drum beat then explodes into an awesome alt rock spectacle. Probably the best point on this mixtape! It sounds like something Birds of Tokyo or Mew would do. It probably is a Birds of Tokyo or Mew song, since I’m only a fan of both their latest works, so I wouldn’t know their earlier works. Sounds very much like Mid-2000s rock, so this is where I place my bet. It’s either a Birds of Tokyo or Mew song!
The third “song” throws me into early-2010s “rock”, with what sounds like yet another European-sounding singer on top of generalized, indistinguishable noise. It’s good for me that I keep the volume to a minimum. Didn’t Shoegazing die a decade ago? This type of music shouldn’t even be played anymore, yet nearly everything that comes out of northern Europe, which is where I assume this act is from, is just another artist attempting to bring Shoegazing back. I’ve got news for ya’ people: the great Sigur Rós had a Shoegazing debut. It was called Von, and it was terrible. What did they do? They tried to do something else, and made one of the greatest music discographies ever made. To those people I say: try something else. We don’t want the same Shoegazing rubbish over and over again. Please! Okay, next track:
Who brought in country to a Summer Hits album? The track starts off with a wild-west vibe, and then brings in the voice of a very calm and relaxed man. One of many contradictions to the Summer Hits title! Just like the first song on the first track, if that makes sense, it’s just another 3-4 minutes that goes on at the same level, without any climax or emptiness. Another bore-fest I presume. Next track, please!
Sounds like someone’s been experimenting too hard! Sounds like Birdy on Acid. But I don’t like Birdy that much anyway, so it makes the track even less of a standout than what it seems to me; yet another bore-fest. Moving on:
What. WHAT. What is this? What... I don’t even...
I can see where you got the Summer Hits title at least, because somebody forgot to remove the artwork off this track! Foute Zomer Hits the album is called; probably another one of those rip-off compilation albums wanna-be “record companies” put out from time to time. The song, is... I don’t know how to describe it. Definitely sounds like the stuff that they play on summer afternoons endlessly in the 1980s. It’s garbage. The United Nations has a international protocol of banned types of torture. Sticking bamboo sticks under a prisoner’s fingernails is one; Waterboarding and Lynching is another. Making them listen to this song has to be another one. It’s probably the song the Jamaicans blast endlessly on their quest to invade the United States, where they ultimately fail, because the U.S. Army has endless pairs of Noise-cancelling headphones, but hey, that’s just my opinion! Next. Track. Now.
Another mixed track; this time two instead of three!
The first “song” is Calming. Very calming, considering my rage from the last track! Sounds like a very cool traditional song from the Pacific or somewhere. It’s got a haunting, yet, attractive vibe against a backdrop of very radiant emptiness. This track has really good production! For the first time in this mixtape, I have a smile on my face! This track is absolute brilliance! Tell me who made this and what it’s called! It’s so cool! It’s the absolute best on this mixtape!
Second “song”; meh. After the first “song”, I was so pumped up, but now I’ve been let down again. Florence Welch impersonator? It’s definitely not Florence, because I know all of Florence and the Machine’s songs off Lungs and Ceremonials. It’s a song that confuses itself. Is it trying to be a passionate and uplifting song, or just another dance beat? Don’t know. Neither does the artist apparently. What’s next?
Somebody forgot to remove the artwork from this one as well, and it’s an artwork I could recognize straight away! But I don’t mind, I would’ve got this one anyway! Finally, a song I know! It’s “The Line” by Mood Rings off the ambitious VPI Harmony album that was released not too long ago, actually! “The Line” is a very calm and moody song that really makes you fly high. It’s got a great atmosphere, and it’s a good song to have on repeat if you’re bored. Their music is nothing short of interesting. They’ve definitely got the sound they need – slow and smooth, and nobody has come close to what Mood Rings had made in a very long time. It’s sort of a Parachutes debut: safe and not too out-there, which is a type of debut that works. It worked with Coldplay and with Muse (Showbiz), it could easily work with these guys, and I wish them well in the future! Next track!
Kanye West production much? It’s another bore-fest, with autotune! Yay.... I think? It’s not too exciting, much like half this mixtape so far. Gees, these songs are making me run out of things to say..... Next track....
This one’s got violins, and a billion other instruments, and even sounds like something Enya would do. Wouldn’t say it’s on the same level as Enya, though. It’s not another bore-fest, definitely not, but it just doesn’t really, go anywhere. It presents itself as a very mystical and fantasial song, but doesn’t meet up to expectations. It wants to be a hymn, but isn’t really. Next Track.
Well, that escalated quickly! This one has an actual drumbeat! Something I haven’t actually heard before for the last half-hour listening to this mixtape! It’s got a rocking vibe, and it doesn’t sound half bad! I don’t have anything much to say about this track other than it’s pretty cool, but not brilliant; although, I can’t help but complain about the abrupt cut at the end of the track. I would assume that the album this track was originally off was a gapless mix, and this song was meant to segue into the next track, but thanks to great production skills, it just cuts off, and the next track just plays. At least put a fade out on this track! Anyway, final track!
Yet another bore-fest! Perfect way to end this mixtape, don’t ya think! But, hey, at least it’s got a drumbeat, I guess; so much for Summer Hits, eh? The song has this annoying corrupt electronic noise in the background that I assume is the guitar, but why would you use a guitar like that? I honestly don’t know. I’m assuming whoever made this track is attempting Post-rock, but this isn’t Post-rock, silly! Mogwai and Sigur Ros are good examples of Post-rock. They actually do use the guitar for timbre and texture, unlike these guys who literally take the guitar for granted. The song lobs off on a dying synth, thus ends the mixtape.
For an entire 50 minutes, I was subjected to the worst, the best and the downright dull and uninteresting. I have to give the mixtape creator some credit: This was a very unique experience, just not, a very good experience. It was like I was on a scary LSD trip. Sometimes there was some amazing moments, sometimes there was pretty scary stuff, and sometimes there was just pitch black. For an album that calls itself Summer Hits, i honestly don’t think any of these songs could be played on the radio, let alone be summer hits. I’m sorry, but I was expecting much more with that title. Instead, I got some really disappointing tunes. Even Mood Rings couldn’t resurrect this I’m afraid.
Unless you were parodying the 1980s, I would rate this a 10/10. But you weren’t actually, were you? Summer Hits isn’t an ultimate mix of the big radio gainers of the summer, but, to simply put it, just another mixtape.