Diamond Axe Studios Music is a video review show hosted by Sean Fay Wolfe which started in 2017. As the name suggests, he reviews music (mostly of the Pop kind), often mixing comedic lines and actual criticisms or praises in his thoughts.
Sean has four series:
- Top 10 Worst/Best Hit Songs of..., where he covers the turds and diamonds of the biggest songs of a random year, respectively. He also does them annually for the end of the then-current year.
- Billboard Top 20 Hit Songs-Ranked WORST to BEST, a quarterly series where he does Exactly What It Says on the Tin from Billboard's weekly Hot 100 chart. At the end of each video, he also covers three songs that were also charting that week that he finds deserving of more attention. For the Winter and Spring 2021 rankings, Sean instead gave his thoughts on the Top 40 from the weekly Rolling Stone charts.
- Grab Bag Reviews, a series where he covers ten random songs ranked by the most votes from his Patreon subscribers.
- Pop, Flop & Roll, a series where he covers movies starring famous popstars (except for Madonna, because... you know).
As a side note, Sean is also a published author, having written the Elementia Chronicles series of Minecraft fan books.
His videos can be found here.
Man, these tropes sure do exist, don't they?
- 10-Minute Retirement: In the Top 10 Worst Songs of 2017, hearing "Sorry Not Sorry" causes Sean to go deaf leading to him seemingly ending the channel, complete with a clip of him walking away with the text "RIP Diamond Axe Studios Music 2017-2017". He later gets his hearing back through a Deal with the Devil.
- Actually Pretty Funny: Sean's thoughts on two jokes from Lil Dicky's "Earth" (Ariana Grande portraying a black and white zebra and Adam Levine portraying a group of vultures which all have the same voice) is this.
- Analogy Backfire: From the "Imma Be" section of "Every #1 Hit of the 2010s: Ranked Worst to Best" list:will.i.am: I'mma be ya bank, I'll be loaning out semen
Sean: Yeah, girl, just to be clear, I'm actually just loaning my jizz to you. I will be needing it back.
- On the #5 spot for his Worst Songs of 2017 list, Sean makes seem like he's going to put "Believer" by Imagine Dragons on the list, only to reveal that he actually thought the song was mediocre; he instead gives the spot to another Imagine Dragons song, "Thunder".
- On the #4 spot for his Worst Songs of 2013 list, Sean makes seem like he's going to put "That's My Kind of Night" by Luke Bryan on the list, only to reveal that he actually thought the song was decent; he instead gives the spot to another bro-country song, "Boys 'Round Here" by Blake Shelton.
- During the Worst Hit Songs of 2001, Sean declares that he's qutting making videos to train to become a priest and perform an exorcism after hearing "Sexy Sex Obsessive", leading to Ethan to point out that he sold his soul to the devil in the Worst Hit Songs of 2017.
- The Cameo:
- The Fall 2019 Ranking has two: The Mode Reviews appears in the "Someone You Loved" segment, berating and blaming Sean for the song's success stateside, due to one minor joke he made in the previous seasonal ranking, and Fionn of The Social Tune makes an appearance later on when Sean congratulates him on making it on the Hot 100 with an Ariana Grande collaboration, confusing him for Social House.
- Using the website Cameo, Sean has had various artists themselves appear via a Cameo message:
- As listed below, the "Worst Hit Songs of 2019" list features cameos from Drake Bell, Fabo of D4L fame, Afroman and Grandmaster Melle Mel as part of a parody of Lil Dicky's "Earth".
- The "100 Biggest Hit Songs of 2019: Ranked Worst to Best" has Sean ask Mo Bamba (the person) his thoughts on the song named after him, and gets Kyle Hebert (the announcer of Dragon Ball Z) to provide the outro to Part 1.
- The debut episode of Grab Bag Reviews features a cameo from DragonForce guitarist Herman Li discussing the #6 pick, "Through the Fire and Flames".
- "Every #1 Hit of the 2010s: Ranked Worst to Best" has two: Sean Paul appears in the "Cheap Thrills" segment to answer Sean's question on how he was picked to be the guest for that very song, and OMI in the "Cheerleader" segment to explain the song's success and what he has been up to since that song released.
- Wanz appears in the "Thrift Shop" segment on the "Best Hit Songs of 2013" list to answer Sean's question on what was it like how a song with his vocals on the hook blew up as it did.
- The "Worst Hit Songs of 2020" list features in the "FUCK 2020!" segment the above four from the previous year's worst list, in addition to Sir Mix-a-Lot, Egoraptor, Dan Avidan, Rebecca Black, Slim Jxmmi of Rae Sremmurd fame, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Soulja Boy, Tone Lōc, Chris Kirkpatrick of NSYNC fame, Jinxx of Black Veil Brides fame, Ghostface Killah, Insane Clown Posse, 24kGoldn, Richard Marx, Alice Cooper, Grandmaster Caz, Smokey Robinson, Ice-T, Ne-Yo, Meat Loaf and Snoop Dogg.
- The "100 Biggest Hit Songs of 2020: Ranked Worst to Best" features both Carly Pearce and Lee Brice in the "I Hope You're Happy Now" segment, with Sean asking Pearce how the song was conceived and Brice how it was like to jump on a song like this that had already been written.
- The Top 10 Worst/Best Hit Songs of 2014 with Cicabeot1, as well as Worst and Best lists for 2001 with The Double Agent and Worst and Best lists for 1966 with Lyzette G.
- The 2021 Independence Day special, "British #1 Hit Songs that Americans have Never Heard Of" with The Mode Reviews.
- Additionally, he collaborated with Mr. 96 as part of the latter's 2000s CHILDHOOD POP series to review 50 Cent and Olivia's "Candy Shop".
- Deal with the Devil: Sean sells his soul to the Devil to get his hearing back in the Worst Hit Songs of 2017.
- Do Wrong, Right: The reason "Lady Godiva" made it onto the Worst Hit Songs of 1966, not only because it attempts to degrade women with sexist jokes, but also because it's so needlessly confusing that it fails even at being degrading.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Earlier Top 10 rankings (mostly) didn't have bizarre transition music or the recap from 10 to 2 with Europe's "The Final Countdown" (or at least some variation of it) playing in the backgroundnote . The current format would start being effective from the "Worst Hit Songs of 1992" list.
- Glass-Shattering Sound: The infamous "And IIIIIIIIII" bridge of "Someone You Loved" managed to shatter the video.
- Heel: Sean feels he has taken on this role for his opinion that "Blinding Lights" is only good as opposed to excellent or exceptional, with the song thus far being considered by him the 8th-best song of each season it has appeared in. He has since made reference to this placement numerous times along with his fanbase.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: The video "TODD IN THE SHADOWS: Every Wrong Prediction (2009-2019)" features numerous failed predictions from Todd in the Shadows.
- Holiday Episode: "British #1 Hit Songs that Americans have Never Heard Of", for Independence Day 2021.
- I'm Having Soul Pains: Sean adapts this concept into the idea of a Wounded Dog Song, a song that, despite its raw messiness, comes through as a "tortured scream" that shows a great amount of vulnerability from an artist. Modern examples he points to include "Before You Go", "Call Out My Name", and above each of them, "Robbery".
- Joke and Receive: In "British #1 Hit Songs Americans have Never Heard Of", Mode asks Sean if he wants will.i.am to wish him a happy birthday. Sean then accepts this offer. Cue "It's My Birthday".Sean: I WAS JOKING!
- Kill It with Fire:
- The "100 Biggest Hit Songs of 2019" ranking has Sean wondering what threat could Marshmello pose before cutting to a clip of the Stay Puft Marshmellow Man with Marshmello's head superimposed on him. This leads to him buying several bags of marshmellows and setting them on fire.
- The beginning of the "Top 10 Worst Hit Songs of 2020" has Sean using a flamethrower to burn a 2020 sign.
- The "100 Biggest Hit Songs of 2020" ranking has him declaring "Marshmello sucks!" before burning another pile of marshmellows. He later burns them again after saying "Jason Aldean sucks!" note
- The Spring 2021 ranking has Sean burning a pile of Minions and Baby Shark plushies, a basketball, an "innocent desert succulent", a fan pointed at him, a Monopoly board set (which he dubbed "Capitalism") and a LEGO fire house
- Massively Multiplayer Crossover: The ending to part 1 of Worst Songs of 2019 not only features a multitude of various cameos from a variety of fellow music-reviewers on YouTube, but also end with appearences from Drake Bell, Fabo of D4L fame, Afroman, and Grandmaster Melle Mel.
- Sean then one-ups himself for part 1 of Worst Songs of 2020, getting far too many people to list to say something along the lines of "fuck 2020."
- Mondegreen: In the "Imma Be" section of "Every #1 Hit of the 2010s: Ranked Worst to Best" list, Sean mishears Fergie's "I'mma be spreading my wings" line as "I'mma be spreading my wangs".Sean: Also, apparently Fergie has at least two penises.
- Motor Mouth: Both Sean and Dianne when giving "Say Something" by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera honorable mentions in both 2014 lists.Sean: "Say Something" is one of the most boring, bland, tired, insipid, musically barren songs I've ever had the displeasure of having blasted at me over the radio several times a week, often multiple times a day for the past five years straight. It takes a song that wants to be a deeply emotional gut punch, but actually reeks as nothing more than a bunch of sappy clichés, reworded just barely enough to seem fresh and new, while really they're just recycling the same overdone phrases that have been omnipresent in sad songs since the dawn of time. The bland vocals from the guys from A Great Big World, which is a stupid fucking name by the way, still fail to strike any emotional resonance as he spouts off these clichés, backed up by a series of uber-simple piano chords that make "All of Me" sound like "Through the Fire and the Flames" by comparison, and even when it finally starts to build in the final stanza, it's thrown off by Christina Aguilera Christina Aguilera'ing all over it. It all comes together to create one of the most hollow listening experiences of endurance since the turn of the decade, and I completely fail to understand the appeal of this stunningly ineffective piece of musical white noise that was only launched into the public conscience by a reality show which is nothing but the Pepsi to American Idol's Coke!
- N-Word Privileges: The "White People Filter" in the Worst of 2014 collaboration video with Cicabeot1, which is used for two consecutive entries, allows any usage of the word from either Sean or Dianne to be censored and replaced with "TIGGER".
- Narm: In the "Every #1 Hit of the 2010s: Ranked Worst to Best" list, Sean says that "Imma Be" features unintentionally hilarious lyrics.
- Nostalgia Filter: The description of part 1 of his Worst Songs of 2007 list mocks this mentality by being an intentionally badly-written comment."omjee te musc of the 2000s was su mich batter then the crappy crap w hav 2day!!!1!!"A Stupid Person Who is Wrong
- Potty Dance: The "Toosie Slide" dance is described as this.Sean: Can someone please explain to me what's supposed to be engaging or interesting about squirming around like a toddler that has to pee?
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Sean gives a lengthy one in the Summer 2020 Ranking towards Nicki Minaj and her fanbaseSean: Nicki Minaj wants as many eyes as possible on her at all times. She'll do whatever she can to get them and she's made it abundantly evident by her behavior over the past few years and getting high numbers is all that matters to her. Her album debuts at #2 behind one of the biggest albums of the decade? She throws a massive temper tantrum about it and whines that the system is rigged against her. Other female rappers start gaining attention after she'd been the only woman in the game for an entire decade? She does everything in her power to delegitimize them, tear them down and call them "clout-chasers" whose success should be hers, only working with them if when she realizes the tide was turning against her and it was the only way for her career to survive. She never got a #1 hit ever after a full decade of presence of the charts? Well then, she better try any desperate, bottom-feeding tactic who make as much noise as possible by any means possible, even if it evens working with well-known predators and convicted child pornographers multiple times. Oh, and this is slightly off-topic but I have to say, Nicki, that it really ain't a great look for you to say that you love your fans, encourage them in everything they do and taking pride in sending them to attack people. Especially considering that they've been known to, oh, for instance, say homophobia is cool cause gay people deserve it, call people who say anything against her racist, sexist f***s who deserve to die, threaten to doxx people and say that they're coming for you and your entire family and after you say in an unrelated post that you're dealing with extreme anxiety, they say that they're thrilled to see you suffering, that you deserve every bad thing that comes your way, that your life is meaningless and pathetic and that it would, be in fact, be best if you just killed yourself because you dared to speak out against the Queen.
Sean: When I think of people discussing pop music and the Billboard charts now, I no longer think of a bunch of cool people with a mutual interest in the optics and mechanics behind the nuanced data and numbers that make the industry tick; instead, the main thing I now think of is petty drama, obnoxious shitheads trying to overwhelm and cancel anyone with a dissenting opinion, and obsessed hyper-fans who are willing to harass, bully, and threaten anyone who stands in the way of their chosen idols getting to the top of the charts. These hyper-fans, or "stans," as they've become known, don't view the Billboard charts as a simple metric used to record trends in popular music over time; they see them as a leaderboard where the lower your numbers are, the less worthy you are as an artist and as a person, and there is no level they're not willing to sink to to get those numbers as high as possible and to shut down any criticism against the artist in question. I personally have had myself and my family threatened by these people several times over the course of the year, and the same has happened to several of my friends and acquaintances, with some of them even being doxxed. The stans have always been an obnoxious vocal minority of those interested in the Billboard charts, and they still are, but in 2020, with the general public having less mental energy to devote to music because of the pandemic, they saw their opportunity and used it to completely overwhelm the discourse around the Billboard charts, and now they basically control the tides of the conversation. When I think of the worst aspects of popular music this year, I don't think of off-key vocals or hacky forced metaphors or ear-piercing production gimmicks or anything like that. No, the worst aspects of pop music in 2020 were deplorable human beings being rewarded with success and influence, exhausting discourse around artists being unapologetically problematic, and stan wars online hijacking the pop charts for their dick-measuring contests thinking that high numbers are directly indicative of a song's quality while ruthlessly harassing thousands of people to force the artists they've chosen to worship down people's throats. 2020 was the year that getting high numbers at any cost became definitively more important than the music itself, and at the crossroads of all these different flavors of hatred, misery, and tedium was "Say So."
- Sean also makes one in his Worst Hit Songs of 2020 list on the same subject matter, as the Nicki Minaj remix of Doja Cat's "Say So" tops the list, when he describes the song as the poster child for why reviewing pop music stopped being fun for him, as well as many others, in 2020.
- Running Gag:
- "Blinding Lights" showing up at #8 in his seasonal rankings, to the point that in his Fall 2020 and Year-End Rankings, it was still listed as #8 despite technically being at #5 and #34, respectively.
- Songs/acts that are considered So Okay, It's Average tend to be accompanied by the phrase "Man, this X sure does exist, doesn't it?"
- The Scream: The Spring 2020 Ranking starts with Sean screaming while news headlines of major events (most notably those surrounding the COVID-19 Pandemic) are shown.
- Stealth Pun: The transition music for his "Top 10 Best Hit Songs of 1975" is "The Sound", from a band named after a certain year...
- Stunned Silence:
- Take That!:
- The "Top 10 Worst Hit Songs of 2013" has Sean state that complaining about the lyrics and attitude of a will.i.am song is the lamest thing anyone has done "since Ben Shapiro reclaimed his virginity".
- From the "Top 10 Worst Hit Songs of 2013" during the "Feel This Moment" entry:
- From the "Top 10 Best Hit Songs of 2013", taking aim at J. K. Rowling:Sean: There is something to be said about going out on top instead of sticking around long after anyone wants you and tarnishing your legacy with every word out of your mouth, ahem, ahem...
- Top Ten List: The "Top 10 Worst/Best Hit Songs of [year]" videos.
- Values Dissonance: In the Worst Songs of 1975 list, he discussed how back in the '70s were generally seen as innocent, carefree times with little thought being put into potentially Unfortunate Implications and how before the likes of MTV, superstar musicians were just known to the mainstream as people who made music instead of outright celebrities; this, in his opinion, likely explains why his #3 pick, "Morning Side of the Mountain", a Silly Love Song sung by two siblings, was met with no controversy back then.
- We Didn't Start the Billy Joel Parodies: The opening of part 1 of Worst Songs of 2020 includes an entire version of "We Didn't Start the Fire" sung by Sean himself, with the lyrics rewritten to be about the major events from the titular year. This is played while a 2020 sign he lit with a flamethrower is burning in the background.