THIS WEEK IN MUSIC: TSWIZZLE, NICKI, GERARD, AND HAIM

What a week it was in the world of pop music. Quite a few new singles dropped; records were announced, and people besides Taylor Swift did things too. There were at least a dozen notable artists who each gave us another three-minute reason to stay on YouTube, so we’ve chosen a few to review as objectively as we can. Let’s get started.

[via The Wannabes]  
 

TAYLOR SWIFT, “SHAKE IT OFF”

The Story: Tay doesn’t fit into any stereotype. She’s a dork! She just likes to have fun and remind everybody that it doesn’t matter how much you hate her, she’s laughing all the way to the bank.
Execution: Perfect. The audience gets the point and sides with her in the first few seconds.
Cons: It’s insanely obnoxious, and she’s shown how much she doesn’t fit in before. And yes, many people (myself included) have expressed their disdain for her music, but it doesn’t change the fact that the most popular girl at the party is complaining that she’s so out of place.
Pros: She has never looked better than she does in that black outfit. Mad props to her stylist. Girl looks FLY. Also, this is an official, long-overdue break with Country music. She’s finally admitted herself to the world of Pop.
Overall Score: 6/10
 
 

NICKI MINAJ, “ANACONDA”

The Story: Nicki Minaj wants you to see her butt. For it is large. And she is quite capable of moving it rapidly.
Execution: Very well done. I have done what she’s told me to and stared at her ass for three minutes.
Cons: I don’t really understand the necessity of kitchen scene. It’s a simple message; there’s no need for excess props. Just shake it.
Pros: THAT DRAKE SCENE. If you can watch that scene without laughing, you possess no sense of humor. She’s all up on him, which is funny enough, but after throwing her legs around him and grinding, she gets annoyed when he tries to touch.
Overall Score: 7/10
 
 

GERARD WAY, “NO SHOWS”

The Story: Gerard Way is a singer who’s making his intergalactic debut on a space late-night talk show. This is not explained further.
Execution: Fine I guess? It’s so difficult, because he was the frontman for My Chemical Romance, one of the most dramatic bands of the generation, but this is just dull. I don’t know if he’s trying to go as far from MCR as he possible, but man. It’s just so mediocre. It looks like a pre-“Thriller” music video.
Cons: Mostly everything. The song isn’t even that great. And it would be so much better if he’d just upped the vocals a bit. Also, the fashion looks like a mix of Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century and a bad ’70s lookbook. I wanted to love this so much.
Pros: He’s making music! And this is announcing an album, so hopefully the whole thing won’t be as beige.
Overall Score: 2/10
 
 

HAIM FT. A$AP FERG, “MY SONG 5″

The Story: It’s an episode of the fictional “Dallas Murphy Show,” an imitation Jerry Springer-type show hosted by Vanessa Bayer.
Execution: Spot on. The sisters were able to pull in a few famous friends, and the added A$AP Ferg verse fits better than I could’ve dreamed.
Cons: I am not a Haim sister. That is a major con.
Pros: It’s hilarious. It’s not the best HAIM video, but it’s almost impossible to beat “Forever” and “The Wire,” so you can’t hold those against them.
Overall Score: 9/10

RECAP: HAIM PLAYS THE RED BULL SOUND STAGE AT KROQ

Haim - Performance

There’s no other way to put it—Haim is cool.

Este Haim started the show by patting KROQ DJ Ted Stryker’s butt and said, “I’ve always wanted to give you a little love pat. And I got it. It’s been my Christmas wish since I was maybe 12 years old, since I heard you play ‘Pretty Fly for a White Guy’ on KROQ.” That moment, the audience knew they were in for an afternoon of entertainment. 

Haim, which also includes Este’s sisters Danielle and Alana (along with drummer Dash Hutton), spent the next hour proving that they’ve got the talent, sense of humor, and the support necessary to make it in the industry. The win-your-way-in event began with Stryker moderating a Q&A session that proved to be so much more than expected. The girls freaked out after being told that Mark Hoppus, singer and bassist of blink-182, not only knew who they are, but also asked them a question via Twitter. Asking “What’s your favorite blink-182 song” ended with the girls singing three-part harmony to a few bars of “Josie,” which the crowd seemed to love just as much.

Haim - Performance

After answering a few questions from the audience, the real show began. The band played selections from their debut album “Days Are Gone,” including “Forever,” “Honey & I,” and of course, “The Wire.” All three have vocal chops, and they harmonize and play their respective instruments perfectly. Throughout the show, the audience learned more about the band than any Q&A could produce. The most apparent thing about Haim is their sisterly bond. After referencing “Arrested Development” to each other and pausing between songs to discuss Danielle’s Canadian-beer shirt, the connection that only sisters can have was on full display. And much too soon, after an extended version of “Let Me Go,” the sisters closed their performance with all three pounding it out on their own drums. 

The entire event is streaming until midday on Thursday, so watch it on repeat until then.