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Michael Bolton Song Reviews


Michael Bolton (1983)

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Michael Bolton

Fool's Game 7.5/10

Yeah ... this was apparently the album's hit. And ... for generic 80's pop, it's not REALLY that bad. Eighties pop isn't hard to get into, and this song is no exception. It's kind of personified by a synth piano-like thing scaling in the background and light electric guitars going off ... and you know ... it's completely inoffensive pop. Average radio fare.

She Did the Same Thing 6.5/10

More of the same. This one doesn't quite have the same flair the last song did and it wanders a bit more into boring-old, average 80's territory. It's another inoffensive hardish rocker. It is saved from Hell because there are some nice bits in here. But it's overall quite boooo-tay.

Hometown Hero 7/10

I don't like this song, but you cannot deny that the chorus has a little something that rocks my world. So, I feel perfectly safe awarding this track a cool 7.

Can't Hold on Can't Let Go 5.5/10

I don't hate the song, but I don't like it either. It's very standard 80's pop that probably wasn't played on the radio at all in favor of some of these other songs.

Fighting for My Life 7.5/10

It's not too bad here! Joe Cocker-I mean Michael Bolton-sings this one rather well and it doesn't have a terrible melody. So. Yeah! This is even the album's first example of well-done instrument playing.

Paradise 8.5/10

Um... slap me silly, but is this song dang catchy or what? I mean ... it's not catchy ABBA-style or anything, but it's DARN catchy. CRAP! By far, it's the best track of the album. Also, it's really the only song on the album that I would actually like to hear on the radio. (I'm not sure if it made it on the radio or not.) But this is a very good song!

Back in My Arms Again 7/10

This is a rather dull cover of a Supremes song. And the original song wasn't actually too good, either, so one wouldn't expect too much from a cover of it (...much less, an 80's-fied cover of it). Bolton's version is more boring. But it's not awful or anything. Though, I never would have guessed that this was originally an old 60's Motown song. Bolton at least does a good job of giving it then-modern treatment.

Carrie 7.5/10

Boy... there's absolutely no reason for me to hate this track, either. The instrumentation here was actually very well conceived. It's yet another pleasant/generic 80's pop number. It should have ended a good thirty seconds before it does, but it's certainly above average. (It's no relation to the 1987 Europe hit.)

I Almost Believed You 4.5/10

Oh this is boo-tay! Michael Bolton turns on his blue eyes and gives us some of this crap white-person soul. These types of songs NOBODY should attempt unless they're actually talented at it. (Marvin Gaye, etc.) But when somebody sucks at it, like Michael Bolton, poor listeners like me are left to do absolutely nothing but clutch our stomachs and groan. And ... BLOODY CRAP ... Bolton would eventually adapt this style as his bleeding forte. (That crap song "When a Man Loves a Woman" is in the same category as this. *#&#*$) That said, I don't feel this song deserves anything below a 4.5 because *gulp* it could have been much, much worse, and I'm just trying to be fair. (I'm also trying not to vomit.)

The Hunger (1987)

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The Hunger

Hot Love 9/10

Well, if there ever was a good reason for late 80s pop to exist, then "Hot Love" encapsulates it. It has all of the characteristics of late 80s pop. There are the loud drums and the wussy-metal electric guitar. The melody, however, is actually quite good. And, we all know that Michael Bolton-love 'im or hate 'im-is a top notch Joe Crocker imitator. So you know the singing has got to be good. The recording studio manager also did a great job picking up the most talented session musicians that money could buy. This is an entertaining song. So, yes, "Hot Love" is decent.

Wait on Love 8/10

This one falters a little bit on the melody. The chorus isn't really any good ... but it was well glued together, I'd say, and it was polished like Uncle Jerry's most prized golf trophy. Nevertheless, the adult contemporary feel of this one is a little bit too much overbearing for me. So. Yawn.

(Sittin' On) the Dock of the Bay 8/10

Well ... Michael Bolton could never hold a candle to Otis Redding. So, it doesn't really have to be mentioned that this cover is merely passable! Although, the melody is good, the song doesn't exactly give me a great feeling. A little bit disappointing this. I'm not sure making this song Bolton-style dramatic was the world's most innovative idea. (The instrumentation really could have been more exhilarating, except for that nice blistering electric guitar solo in the middle of this ... and I think the tempo also ought to have been sped up just a little bit.) Nevertheless, this track is amusing.

Gina 7/10

Ewwwwww! Okay, this is where the Michael Bolton honorary vomiting ceremonies can officially begin. The quality of the song is just low enough for me to exclaim: OH CRAP! WHAT AM I LISTENING TO MICHAEL BOLTON FOR?!?!?! It's just dull throughout. The merits of the melody cannot carry it one bit, and the overlush, adult contemporary instrumentation gets too overbearing this time. The chorus is quite a bit annoying. Although, I cannot say that I fully hate this track.

That's What Love is All About 5/10

This is officially where the Michael Bolton honorary stabbing ceremonies can begin. (And, when we stab him, sap would start oozing out.) This sappy sappy sappy ballad is crappy crappy crappy! If you have taste in music, any taste at all, then I strongly advise against entering. Run! It's too late for me! But you can still save yourself! Didn't you hear me?!

The Hunger 5/10

Holy cow! If the mediocre-artists burying principle* holds true, then Michael Bolton must have known that these songs are sappy! Sappy and crappy! Heck! That must mean that he knew that he sucked when he sang "When a Man Loves a Woman." He must have known!

*THE MEDIOCRE-ARTIST BURYING PRINCIPLE - When a rock artist (esp. commercial rock artist) is mediocre, he or she puts all the good songs at the front of the album, and puts all of the crap songs in the middle and end. Some mediocre artists, however, would put a good song at the end of the album in order to trick teenagers into thinking that the album should win a Grammy.

You're All I Need 6/10

Okay ... would someone tell me why all of the good wussy-metal songs were at the beginning of this album? Those were the best! Really! They were! ... For Michael Bolton, anyway, they were CLASSIC! Now, this song is almost wussy metal, but there's too much dramatic love-song adult contemporary sap. In fact, if it wasn't for the better rhythm section, I would be vomiting. In fact, I vomit so frequently now, whilst listening to Michael Bolton, that I can almost projectile it. Very efficiently too, I might add.

Take a Look At My Face (And Try Not To Vomit On It) 6/10

(I'm sorry ... I just couldn't resist adding that thing in parenthesis ... it's funny though, innit?)

This song is very feeble! Argggh! It almost brings Michael Bolton back to the wussy-metal glory that he gave us at the beginning of this album ... but this is just blah blah blah average late 80s pop with a melody that'll have you going blah blah blah even more. I blah a lot. Blah! Michael Bolton's face is blah! And his haircut sucks, too. And I shall blah once more: blah.

Walk Away 4/10

This album is now officially OVERRRRRRRRRRRR! Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay! Michael Bolton does the smart thing, though, and waits for the very end of the album to tack this detestable, sappy ballad, so that we can just turn it off and not think that Michael Bolton sucks anymore than we do already.

Soul Provider (1989)

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Soul Provider

Soul Provider (Foul Vomiter) 6.5/10

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh ... WHATEVER! Just so that I don't get labeled an overly biased Web reviewer or anything, I'm hereby rewarding "Soul Provider" with a 6.5, because ... um ... I'm not vomiting very violently. This is an utterly corny sap-fest that's ... just really bloody awful, but I suppose for ever how much that it's worth the melody isn't totally awful and the arranging, though corny, was professionally done. But no one can ignore the simple fact that this is a sap-fest.

Georgia On My Mind (Pimples on My Bum) 7/10

And Michael Bolton dons a sexy red sparkly dress and sings "Georgia On My Mind" in a 30s-style nightclub full of easily-excitable men! (I knew he had it in him!) Apart from a well-played saxophone (or whatever) here and a very heavy drum, this song is utterly worthless! I'm serious! I realize that whoever wrote this originally didn't think that Michael Bolton would be singing it, but he gives it one of the most insane vocal performances that I've ever heard ... ever. He thought he was being serious! But if anyone has Georgia on their mind so pseudo-seriously, (not to mention the sparkly red dress) he seriously ought to consider checking himself into some kind of facility. That all said, for this perverse reason, I enjoy this song. (It also helps that Michael Bolton had nothing to do with the songwriting credits.) Therefore, I give "Georgia On My Mind" a 7.

It's Only My Heart (So, Please Remove It So That I Can Die) 7.5/10

Well, this song succeeds ... very narrowly ... because the melody and arranging has enough merits to fully carry this one until its conclusion. That said, it's still sappy in an annoying way that only Michael Bolton could ever muster up like this! I can't listen to this more than one, though ... If I listen to it again, I'm sure that I would be forced to lower this score even more ... *gurgle*

How Am I Supposed to Live Without You (Easy: You're Not) 5.5/10

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh ... hobbittsses makes me wants to vomitssessssss ... precioussssss ... Er ... sorry ... one of my other personalities briefly had control over my bodysssesss. It won't happen again. This is a sappy sappy sappy song that was authentically signed by Michael Bolton. An authentic Michael Bolton sap song? ARGGGH! And to this song I say: Ooooooooh brothersssessss. However, just to prove that the music industry adored Michael Bolton's signature sappiness, they gave him a Grammy for this one ... those idiots ...

How Can We Be Lovers (If I Am a 14-Inch Chihuahua) 7.5/10

I am REALLY having an awful time listening to all of this dreck. What's more, I'm having a *really really* difficult time actually finding out that I see *something* in all of these songs and I have to account for these *somethings* and not trash these songs like they fully deserve! Argh! This is so *frustrating*! At any rate, "How Can We Be Lovers (If I Am a 14-Inch Chihuahua)" has a melody, but it suffers most completely by Michael Bolton's inane insistence to make all of his songs as cheesy as possible. What a dork.

You Wouldn't Know Love (And Neither Would Michael Bolton Know Songs) 5.5/10

Oh ... overproduced ... slick ... garbage ... This song is the *very essence* of Michael Bolton. This one is also rather poorly written. See ... it's buried. Although, it has some *very meager* hooks, so I cayn't trash it so entirely ... grrrr ... I'm only trying to be fair ... reluctantly ...

When I'm Back On My Feet Again (I Still Wonder Whatever Happened to My Brain) 2/10

Oh *MAN* ... Now, this *is* awful! This is just another one of those idiotic, sentimental Michael Bolton songs where he *totally* oversings! The only difference between this song and the ones that precede it is that it has absolutely NO melody (that's worth identifying)! There's no redeeming qualities with this one, baby. So I traysh!

From Now On (I Shall Maketh All the Men of This World Vomiteth) 5/10

It's slightly more melodic than that last piece of utter dribble, but it still sucks. (Oh man! This one also sounds uncomfortably like Joe Cocker's crappy "Up Where We Belong (On the Receiving End of a Firing Squad)."

Love Cuts Deep (Just Like I'm About to Cut Michael Bolton) 4/10

I seriously wouldn't have minded if Michael Bolton would have just lopped off the end of this album. That way, I could do something more constructive than review stupid Michael Bolton songs! This one isn't only poorly-written and nauseous, it's utterly BORING.

Stand Up For Love (On Michael Bolton's Face) 5/10

Can you believe that this song is nearly five minutes? I can't believe that I didn't commit suicide, either. This is just another one of those songs that Bolton sings pseudo-dramatically in a way that's supposed to *inspire* me ... I'm happy to say, however, that Bolton *does* inspire me! ... to lose my cookies ...

Time, Love and Tenderness (1991)

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Time, Love and Tenderness

Love is a Wonderful Thing 8.5/10

This song is uncomfortable for me as a Peter Gabriel fan, because this reminds me so much of Gabriel's Us, which isn't too far away from a masterpiece. So I'll suck it up and fess up that Michael Bolton has a good song here. The melody is catchy, the production is generally constructive to such a song, and I like Bolton's vocal performance. The faux-gospel singers are even tolerable. (Gospel in pop music is one thing I have a really *difficult* time enduring.) So, kudos, Michael Bolton. You are victorious ... this time ... (But he ripped off the Isley Brothers for this? Say it ain't so!)

Time, Love and Tenderness 6/10

Oh, here's where it starts. "Love is a Wonderful Thing" was a fluke ... the moment when Michael Bolton restrained himself and came up with a decent song. Here's a song that's so obviously dated that you can pinpoint the exact year it was released. I'm already having second grade flashbacks!! The melody has its moments especially in the chorus, but the flow gets interrupted by those awful chantings of "Time, Love and Tenderness." This song is bland and poorly conceived. All that said, this is one of the finest songs on the album.

Missing You Now 3/10

It's like Michael Bolton meets Kenny G ... the opening six notes of that soprano saxophone managed to generate the exact sequence required to get my stomach to contract and shoot up its contents through my esophagus to generate a mighty display of projectile vomiting. This is the worst song ever made. OK, there's probably worse ones, but I can't think of them right now. (OK I'm on allmusic.com, and apparently that is Kenny G. I win; give me $1,000,000.)

Forever Isn't Long Enough 4/10

All I can say is that twenty seconds was too long for this song. Forever is how long it takes for that soulless gospel choir to finally shut up (after a too-long fade-out sequence). Bolton's vocal performance is completely over-the-top ... Oh, if only the guy wasn't dead-serious.

Now That I Found You 2/10

This guy makes Phil Collins look like a genius. Michael Bolton has a good voice, but he doesn't know how to use it. Hear how he's straining his voice in the "uplifting" chorus? IS HE KIDDING??? That reminds me of the music playing during the romantic beach sequence in Airplane except he's serious. The production is more sparse this time, which I usually consider to be a good idea, but ... anything to drown out that vocal performance would have benefitted this track greatly.

When a Man Loves a Woman 3/10

Surprisingly, this isn't the worst song of the album. ... The middle of this song features what has got to be the worst key-change in the history of music. I don't say that with certainly, but ... it's pretty bad. Don't just throw key-changes around like they don't mean anything.

We're Not Making Love Anymore 1/10

...That's probably because of your haircut. Or maybe the fact that you sing crappy songs. Either one. This is a duet with some female singer that I can't seem to locate the identity of. It makes "When a Man Loves a Woman" sound like "Penny Lane." 'Nuff said.

New Love 3.5/10

More adult contemporary garbage. This it's so offensive to the ears as much as it's boring. Whoever that is playing the electric guitar wanted to get *paid*. I can tell that eagerness by witnessing the energy and passion in those bland licks.

Save Me 7/10

..........Well, if you can't stand your songs while you're singing them, what makes you think you should put them on a mass-produced album? Save me from those drums and orchestral hits!!! What do you think this is, 1991?!!! ... Oh, yeah. 1991 sucked. The drums distract me from Michael Bolton's vocal performance, so that's a big plus. The little section around the 2:50 mark isn't bad and it wasn't milked out enough. These guys have no clue!!! ... Actually, this is a good song all around. I just like to complain. I should retitle my Web site "Don Ignacio Complains A Lot."

Steel Bars 7.5/10

True, this is an adult contemporary song that's overproduced and SOOO 1991, but it has a good chorus. A very good chorus. If Michael Bolton had personality in his voice, it would have sounded better. ... OK, according to my sources, Bob Dylan co-wrote this song. Now, I can say without a moment's hesitation: I don't understand what Bob Dylan does most of the time.

The One Thing (1993)

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The One Thing

Said I Loved You...But I Lied 3/10

I wonder if the reason this song production is more or less tolerable is because the album was released in 1993, four comfortable years away from the nadir of pop music production 1989. The production is more "minimal" ... the drum machines aren't very loud and there isn't a whole lot of reverb. Well that's good. This song is absolutely stale, though. No melody. You'd think they'd worry about melody, but I guess Bolton has enough name-power to sell albums, so you don't need to bother with that. The instrumentation still manages to be cliched. It's just a testacle-less Michael Bolton singing to some horrible music.

I'm Not Made Of Steel 4/10

You're made out of POOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This song is better this time. Bolton's chalky pseudo-soul voice tries to deliver some pseudo-passion here. I bet he wished he could sing like Bob Seger! ... Well, that wouldn't make this song much more interesting. (I should review Bob Seger one day .......... I would really be hated!!!) This is another example of adult contemporary sludge, but it's better than the last one. It's more upbeat. The melody isn't too interesting. People who in any way respect the electric guitar will want to smash something after hearing this. Stick to your freaking cheesy synths!

The One Thing 1/10

You know, this "thing" makes "When a Man Loves a Woman" look pretty good. Bolton's voice really sounds weak here. What did he get that Grammy for? ... Oh yeah, the haircut. This song is boring and toneless. He should run for political office!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Gospel singers??? I don't hate Mariah Carey's pseudo-gospel songs anymore!!! ... What the hell is this???????????????????????)

Soul of My Soul 7/10

Are you getting these song titles? Are you sure I haven't stumbled upon a lost Weird Al Yankovic album? I actually find this tolerable. Well, anything after "The One Thing" is like The Beatles, anyway. It's really horrid, but at least there's a little bit of *something* in the melody. My brain is completely scrambled, so I'm not sure what I'm doing anymore. The soulless gospel singers are even tolerable (...well they're not pretending to be gospel singers this time, thank goodness). You know that fade out lasts about 30 seconds... that's usually not a good sign, o whoever composed this. But this is the best song of the album by a miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiile. Also not a good sign.

Completely 5/10

He sings: "I want to give my love completely." How can I believe you if you aren't willing to give your songs "completely?" I mean, you're singing at the top of your lungs and ... it makes me want to "completely" empty the contents of my stomach. But you've got to do more than sing ... you need substance!!!!!!!! (Oh wait, they gave Jennifer Hudson an Academy Award for her unrestrained singing and not being a very good actress. Hey! Let's give Michael Bolton a Grammy!)

Lean on Me 2/10

I'm not going to lean on you. I might *vomit* on you. I'd rather not, though. That means I'd have to be pretty close to you. It might take a few months for the nightmares to stop. This is another pretty embarrassing attempt at gospel-pop. It's bad enough when Mariah Carey tries this nonsense, but this is positively bad. (Isn't stale, emotionless gospel music a contradiction?????? Am I the only person in the world who thinks this?????) The melody couldn't be more stale. Even the chord progression is bad....... seriously, just sit down at the piano for a couple of minutes and hit random chords. There--you have a better chord progression.

Ain't Got Nothing If You Ain't Got Love 5.5/10

Oh, look at those bouncy electric guitars!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You'd might as well pee on that instrument and then do a happy dance on the grave of Jimi Hendrix for all the good you're doing!!!!!!! ........ Crap, I'm enjoying this song. What's wrong with me? ... The whole vibe runs out of steam terribly after the first minute (which makes the last four minutes of it positively boring). The bounciness is rather fun even though Bolton's typically weak vocal performance sounds like a poor man's Robin McAuley. Bolton's singing is getting really lazy if that was even possible.

A Time For Letting Go (Of My Chosen Career Path) 0/10

This is another cheesy love ballad designed for soap-opera addict housewives who have no dignity. Go vacuum the living room, o embarrassment to the women's lib movement!! ... I am *not* listening to these lyrics. I am not. No. No No No No No. Crap, I'm listening to the lyrics. This song just replaced "women" as the worst thing that ever happened to me.

Never Get Enough of Your Love 1.5/10

I miss Duran Duran. They would at least made the chorus fun. And sing it better. I miss Madonna. That's it. I'm at the end of my rope. I had a good life until now.

In the Arms of Love 2/10

In the Arms of Sweet Death. Wishful thinking.

All That Matters (1997)

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All That Matters

Safe Place From the Storm 8.5/10

It starts with some rain sound-effects, but it isn't long before a boring adult contemporary beat starts up! OK, it's not that boring I guess. The melody, co-written, by Bolton actually manages to convince me. That's no surprise, because he had a few decent songs in his career. The production is pretty nice although it probably could have done with a little more crass creativity. Although considering the person who's singing this, I'm surprised this song is as creative as it is!

The Best of Love 5/10

Michael Bolton will always be Michael Bolton. This is a real piece of crap! The melody is so simple that it's stupid. The lite-rock instrumentation is so corny that if I listen to this any longer, the police might have grounds to charging it for second-degree murder. Bolton's returning to his smug singing --- every time he tries to sing "sexy" or "passionately" he ends up sucking at it. This is the most overrated singer on the planet!!!!! OK, maybe not. Clay Aiken's much worse.

Let's Make a Long Story Longer 6.5/10

This is a little nicer though it's sterile. Well, I've heard worse. At least it's more of a straight-ahead pop rock track instead of a stupid ballad. The melody is OK although the hooks are enormously weak. Bolton's vocal performance is fine here. He's playing it straight --- that usually sounds better.

A Heart Can Be So Strong 5.5/10

This is a smarmy adult contemporary "power ballad" that's often sung by the likes of Celiene Dion and other hacks (like this guy)! The melody is stale and the arrangements are even worse. I do like some of the chord progressions although it was spoiled by the horrible production. The songwriter, Diane Warren, always writes such boring music.

Fallin' 9/10

Actually, this is a pretty decent song. The writer Tony Rich seems to have a better idea about songwriting! The melody is catchy, and I like his lite R&B groove. Bolton seemed like he wanted to give this track a decent vocal performance, and his range suits it beautifully. Very nice. This is one of Bolton's best. That's not really saying much, but --- well, this is pretty good.

Forever's Just a Matter of Time 5/10

Ah, now the boringness sets in. This is a dull ballad with overproduction that's so horrible that it rings too closely to his early '90s work! The melody is bland along with Bolton's vocal performance. I'm trying to be nice. Anyone who likes this song doesn't like soul. Come to think of it, I don't care much for soul --- but I hate this.

Whenever I Remember Loving You 6.5/10

This has some strange instrumentation at its beginning --- it's the same sort of thing you'd hear on a Britney Spears album. That whistle synth they use annoys the hell out of me --- why is that a popular instrument? I like the fact that this is upbeat --- mediocre songwriting always comes off better if it has a danceable beat whereas ballads have to rely too much on a hooky melody. The melody really is feeble --- you only have to listen to Peter Gabriel's adult comtemporary masterpiece "Digging in the Dirt" to know that's true.

Show Her the Way 5/10

The melody is basically meaningless. These songwriters seem to treat their art like a mechanic treats his/her art. Unfortunately, songwriting is such a creative process. But pop songs like this seem so mechanical. OK, you have a chord progression, tons of production and a soulful singer...... 'scuse me. Where's the heart, spirit and melody? A mile away.

Why Me 4/10

A bit of a mess. The production wants to be a late '90s R&B song (you know, the kind of R&B that displaces old guys like B.B. King who used to make great music called R&B). The groove doesn't quite fit Michael Bolton although I don't like listening to music that does fit him. The melody is blander than water, except it's as refreshing as salt!

Can't Get Close Enough to You 3.5/10

This isn't annoying -- it's just so bland and stupid that it can't pass as music. Again, songwriting isn't supposed to be a mechanical process. There's nothing in this 'soulful' song that hints at life. The faux gospel background singers couldn't be worse --- I thought gospel was supposed to be lively and spiritual. (Oh man, I complain about gospel singers whenever they crop up in pop music ... and I plan to keep on doing that.) This track is worthless. Again.

Let There Be Love 4/10

Just like the previous track except the melody is a bit better. Again, there's no reason to write these pseudo gospel numbers if there isn't any soul to them --- or a melody that's worth much of anything. Why do they keep trying to pass this stuff off?

Pleasure or Pain 6/10

I think Bolton prefers pain, or maybe inflicting pain? This track isn't the worst. The melody is more stupidity. The instrumentation tried to do something a little unusual with more of that R&B posturing that doesn't seem to fit. But at the same time those added percussions are a good enough distraction from that non-melody.

Go the Distance 7.5/10

This is the only song that sounds familiar to me on the album! Why? Because it was featured in Disney's Hercules, a movie that I remember seeing when it was released. (Maybe I was a little too old for it --- 14 --- but I have yet to grow out of cartoons.) Anyway, this track was nominated for an Academy Award, which probably means they didn't have much standards that year. (Celine Dion won that year --- remember?) Anyway, this really isn't a bad tune. It's a little simple for me, and the hooks are rather dull. The instrumentation is fine as tracks like these go. It's overproduced to the point of hell, but I guess that's what the kids like listening to.

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