Best Of 2018: Singles Through January 31st
1 – Never Be The Same – Camila Cabello – Well, well, it didn’t take long for Cabello to show her true colors, that “I didn’t put the Ed Sheeran collaboration on the new album because it didn’t fit” certainly lifted the veil with ease. She sounded so arrogant that it made her just a girl in the world pose sound beyond suspect. This single, from late 2017, leads off her debut album where she changed her, admittedly stupid, album title to meet the market, is so great though her diva in waiting act doesn’t much matter. The smart metaphor, love as addiction, chirps on the song as it delves itself into electronic desire. The performance on Fallon was epic, and I am frankly surprised it isn’t bigger.
2 – Alive (with Offset & 2 Chainz) – Lil Jon – What “Turn Down For What” taught us was that pop music is best when Lil Jon growls, and even if this isn’t crunk, even if it only really pinches hard when Lil Jon takes over, when Lil Jon takes off the excitement explodes in way trap doesn’t.
3 – Walk in Circles – Grant-Lee Phillips – “St. Augustine said the wicked walk in circles and I thought, I have no problem with that. Sign me up with the witches then, if that means moving in step with nature – but let’s not go backwards.” This is the best slice of clangy folk meets classic rock, it’s like Byrdsy with a different type of singer.
4 – All The Stars (with SZA) – Kendrick Lamar – An echoey r&b track that finally finds a use for SZA where she isn’t emoting in a coma. The Kendrick verse is best for being a little calmer. Kendrick reminds me of Chris Stapleton, they both need a valium…
5 – God’s Plan – Drake – Drake is one of those guys that takes me time to warm to, I dismissed this Drake by the numbers at first, but after being unable to escape it for a week, it clicked. That “bad things…” hook is huge.
6 – Spotlight – Marshmello, Lil Peep – With every passing day the loss of Lil Peep looms larger than ever, Marshmello gives Lil Peep a simple place to sing the mainstream pop moment love thing “loving you is like a fairytale, I just can’t pick up the phone again…” mixes his message perfectly on this break up song.
7 – God Save Our Young Blood (with Lana Del Rey) – BØRNS – It is bizarre how the lo fi down beat Lana can go on to Borns song and steal it with such ease, this is a high concept, loud soft work, than a coupla minutes in Lana arrives for a verse and it flies.
8 – Everybody’s Coming To My House – David Byrne – Nobody doubts David Byrne was the brains behind Talking Heads but that doesn’t change him dismissing his former band mates as bad manners when he only completely takes off when he taps into his Talking Heads sound.
9 – My My My! – Troye Sivan – Troye is like The Drums with an ear for the chart, and this is a gay moment which finds the attractive guy in complete seduction mode and with a chorus that ranks high “my,my,my, spend every night with you…” exactly.