We here at Idolator are obsessed with charts: Sales charts, best-of charts, even charts that chart other charts. In an attempt to keep track of all the rankings and reports that are compiled on a daily basis, we’ve asked Jackin’ Pop editor Michaelangelo Matos to break down charts from every genre imaginable. After the click-through, he lords over the ringtone rankings.
Project X, Pt. 2: Top 10 MP3 Ringtones from Ringophone.com
Movies invite analysis. But movie trailers don’t–they exist to sell the main event. Something similar could be said to apply to the relationship between songs and ringtones, with a significant difference: A two-minute trailer is made to entice you into seeing a two-hour movie. A 30-second ringtone, on the other hand, can sometimes be all you need to hear of a four-minute song–less an appetizer than a condensation, even if technically speaking it’s an excerpt. Also, with movies, you don’t pay $9.25 to watch the trailers; they just come with the package. Ringtones, on the other hand, often (not always, but frequently enough) cost about four times as much to download as songs do.
Below are the Top 10 RealTone MP3s from Ringophone.com as of this past Friday, February 16:
1. “Final Fantasy VII – Victory Fanfare”
2. Hinder, “Lips of an Angel”
3. “Kingdom Hearts – Final Fantasy VII – One Winged Angel (Sephiroth Final Battle)”
4. Akon ft. Snoop Dogg, “I Wanna Love You”
5. Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Sweet Home Alabama”
6. Guns N’ Roses, “Sweet Child O’ Mine”
7. Sacha Baron Cohen (Ali G), “I Like to Move It (From Madagascar Movie)”
8. “24 – CTU Phone”
9. “Theme – Mission Impossible (v3)”
10. Akon ft. Eminem, “Smack That (Intro)”
I chose Ringophone for the most expedient reason of all: It came up near the top when I Googled “ringtones,” second after MTV’s site. The words “Free Ringtones (almost)” in the link header appealed to me as well–(almost) free stuff, mmm-mmm good.
Ringophone has a somewhat limited catalog; it has only three of the Top 10 from Billboard‘s most recent Hot Ringtone chart (50 Cent ft. Olivia’s “Candy Shop,” No. 5; Black Eyed Peas’ “My Humps,” No. 7; Beyoncé’s “Irreplaceable,” No. 8). But decreased options can make for more interesting results–or, as in this case, a list that’s frankly bonkers.
As you’d figure with snippets that loop till you pick up the damn line, repetition is a theme: Two from classic rock songs with “Sweet” in the title, two from Akon featuring [guest rapper], and two from the video game Final Fantasy VII. The top pick, Fantasy‘s “Victory Fanfare,” evokes the runty cousin of the theme for the giant enclosed-seating Pole Position game I played at Chuck E. Cheese in my youth. “One Winged Angel (Sephiroth Final Battle)” begins like epic trance before turning into bubblegum Wagner–even more bubblegum-Wagner than epic trance usually is, I mean. You can practically see the Viking helmets bob in time to the voices. Oddly, what stands out isn’t the choir, the kettledrum, or the massed strings. Heard two rooms away from my computer, the track’s harmonica cut through everything, including the washer and dryer adjacent to the kitchen in which I was standing.
Speaking of cutting through clutter–ah, Hinder. They just keep finding ways to enrich our lives. Imagine a confused young man near the end of a first date, on the verge of a lover’s clinch, who suddenly gets a call. Out blasts: “My girl’s in/The next room/Sometimes I wish she was you.” (And I mean “blasts”: Austin Winkler’s voice is mixed gargantuanly high up; you could hear it on a tarmac on Christmas Eve.) If this doesn’t quite reach the pitch of “Secret Lovers” in that T-Mobile commercial, it’s still pretty awkward. In the interest of science, I asked a handful of female friends about the scenario and got a split response; half of the answers ranged from “Who cares about an ill-timed ringtone?” to “I think I would just crack up,” while the less forgiving were typified by my sister Brittany: “You know, buddy, your extra baggage is . . . you need a little you time, I think.”
The two Akons are a mixed bag. “Smack That” is unobtrusive, while “I Wanna Love You”–which, like Hinder. begins right on the chorus–is instantly arresting. (Maybe “Smack That” appeals to folks who want their purchased ringtones to resemble an especially loud vibration rather than an actual ring, per se.) The two “Sweet”s open with iconic guitar figures and are therefore kind of perfect; ditto “Mission Impossible,” only it uses flutes. So is “I Like to Move It,” though I will always prefer the Reel 2 Real original–once a Strictly Rhythm nerd, always a Strictly Rhythm nerd. My favorite here, though, is No. 8. It lasts about two seconds. Value for dollar ahoy!
Maybe next critics’ poll, we’ll have a ringtones ballot. But don’t count on it.
Project X takes a critical look at a different Top 10 list biweekly. Suggestions should be sent to email@example.com.