Going Steady: New Singles 10-18-19 – 10-24-19 Reviewed

Written by | October 21, 2019 4:30 am | No Comments


Unlove You – Armin van Buuren, Ne-Yo – The Trance giant adds one of the best soul singers for a fast on its feet, disco funk and beats triumph – B+

Hyperlife – Beck – 96 seconds of sound modulations and dreamy vocals – C+

Uneventful Days – Beck – aptly named bore by a man who couldn’t be lower in my estimates after a terrible set at Forest Hills stadium and a number of albums, including Morning Phase and Colors  that bored me to tears, another overthought elitism – C+

Jesus Got a Tight Grip – Blake Shelton – After six years of mediocre product, Blake is back with a raucous get together with Jesus, Christian country at its best – B+

First Class – Blueface, Gunna – If you’re keeping score at home, Blueface is the crips affiliated rapper as the years have brought the gangs and hip hop (both emerging from the projects) closer than ever. Strong hook, not “Thotiana” but not bad  as Blueface (with the terrific Gunna) counts his benjies- B-

Make It Right (feat. Lauv) – BTS, Lauv – Now they’ve proven they can do anything NSYNC could do, what will the Korean boy band phenom do for an encore? The same – B

Look At Me Now – Caroline Polachek – Half of Chairlift lifts the SIXTH song off her new solo album. Very low key and sweet confessional with a gorgeous vocal – B

Death Stranding – CHVRCHES, Death Stranding: Timefall – Lauren Mayberry is the most irritating woman in electronic pop and Death Stranding is a video game. ‘Nuff said – MUST TO AVOID – D

golden thing – Cody Simpson – The only way this dreary soft rock could be worse was if he dedicated it to Miley Cyrus. Oh, wait… after all these years, Miley is finally uncool  – MUST TO AVOID (I know, I doubled down) – D

I Never Cried So Much In My Whole Life – Cub Sport, Darren Hayes – The sort of song that grabs the world’s attention, a vibe blessed, lo fi, indie , acoustic rocker – B+

Que Tire Pa Lante – Daddy Yankee – Daddy Yankee has seen his star fade as Latino Urbano has embraced trap crossover and Anglicised itself for sure (even as Bad Bunny never sings or raps in English). But here Daddy Yankee is so hook-y it is a novelty song, layering beat hook on beat hook – B+

Proofread (feat. Wiz Khalifa) – Famous Dex, Wiz Khalifa – drip star Famous Dex with a catchy one that starts off monotone and then explodes – B

Eternal Light – Free Nationals, Chronixx – The Rastafarian meets Anderson Paak’s backing band, for a lovely piece of reggae soul – B

Bad Name – Gang Starr – nearly ten years after his death at the age of 43, Guru’s raps are still being discovered. Premiere uses it on a first rate, old school, scratchy 90s style rap track – B+

I Don’t Like You – Grace VanderWaal – Talented teen, can sing but her pop is a little meh – C+

Mother (Live at Le Bataclan) – IDLES – Bristol punk rockers visit the (in)famous Paris club, for an alright rocker. Word is the gigs they played here last week were epic – B-

ME – Jadakiss – Great sample, Peabo Bryson’s 1982 single “Give Me Your Love,” great rap and lotsa self-love – B

Try Me – Live From Augusta, GA., 1969 / 2019 Mix – James Brown – For the 50th Anniversary of the live album, here comes a third single. The truth is, somebody should do for Brown what was done for Bruce, the Dead, Phish, etc. Release every extant live show available – A-

Harleys In Hawaii – Katy Perry – Nice one, that “Hawai-e-i-e” is money in the bank – B+

Lover / Clean Getaway (Mashup) – Maria Taylor – Maria sings  Swift’s “Lover” to a stand still, while adding the instrumental sound of her own “Clean Getaway” just under the radar. It, really couldn’t be better – A-

God’s Gonna Cut You Down – Marilyn Manson – Last time I saw Marilyn Manson, he was being taken out a stretcher from Hammerstein Ballroom after jumping on a prop and falling off. Drunk of course, and do you think we got a refund? “God Gonna Cut You Down” as moldy Goth blues –  C

Walking on a String – Matt Berninger, Phoebe Bridgers -Phoebe Bridgers has exactly one great song, “Motion Sickness” and, honestly, ever since she morphed from being super down for Ryan Adams to throwing him under the bus, every time I’ve seen her name I’ve been a little creeped out. The National are such assholes that even the Dessner brothers father couldn’t wangle either a seat at Beacon or a five minute interview. Fortunately, both the classical album and the new album were dogs, so who cares? As for “Walking on a String” -the Matt Berninger and Phoebe Bridgers indie pop single… it’s pretty good, good melody, well sung, lyric a bit iffy. Matt sings lead – B

Walking on a String – Alt Version – Matt Berninger, Phoebe Bridgers – Phoebe takes the lead – B+

whywhywhy – MisterWives – Mandy Lewis voice is a little unpleasant, it has a nasal undertow. Song ain’t bad – C+

Layle – Omar Souleyman – Back in my teens in Beirut, I used to date a girl who worked at a strip club called “Venus” and the houseband played music like this all the time, a merge of Lebanese pop, Syrian pop, and Western bets. Other than them, the only person I know who taps into the same vein of fusion is Souleyman and here he takes six minutes of jamming on the bridges, drums galore and wrought vocals to make a brilliant sound – B+

Rearrange Us – Mt. Joy – Bland out soulfulness, the bass player is a goodie handling the hook  – C

Polly – Rehearsal – Nirvana – The band’s worst song – C+

Motorcade – Peggy Sue – it veers towards chill, but is actually bummer indie under a different flag, a Vivian Girls without the wall of guitars, cut towards the harmonies – B

Pop Song – Perfume Genius – Really? A banjo? Cool – B-

rangerover – Porches – bummer pop from the one man band – C+

I Feel for You – Acoustic Demo – Prince – A real find, an early guitar strummer take – B+

Pluto Projector – Rex Orange County – Bedsitland goodie by the increasingly successful music guy – B

Maggie May (with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra) – Rod Stewart, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – I loved the first two singles but “Maggie May”  finds Rod blowing it with a just awful,overwrought piece of shit – C-

Post Malone (feat. RANI) – Sam Feldt, RANI – one of the top dance tracks of the year, Dutch DJ Feldt is great, Rani sounds fine, and rhyming “all night long” with “party like Post Malone” is money in the bank – A-

This (feat. Shawn Stockman and Omari Hardwick) – Tank, Omari Hardwick, Shawn Stockman – 00s star still sounds 90s on the not fully formed r&b track – C+

Race for the Prize (feat. The Colorado Symphony & André de Ridder) – Live – The Flaming Lips – For the 20th anniversary of The Soft Bulletin, easily their best album, the live take here is overcooked and then some – C+

Losing My Religion – The Wonder Years – Meh, to what end? – C

The Hype – Twenty One Pilots – They’ve got a lotta brownie points with me after a terrific live show at MSG back in 2016 (here), and they used up some here – C+

Against the Day – Wolf Parade – Fifteen years in, the Canadian indie rockers are still average, riding a synth hook for all its worth – C+

Delta 88 Nightmare – X – First released as a bonus track on Los Angeles back in 01, it has been re recorded and a video (directed by Exene’s son and featuring her son and niece), it ranks among their best best songs there, right up there with “Back To The Base” and “See How We Are”. It isn’t that they don’t make songs like this anymore, it is that they don’t think songs that follow in Steinbeck’s footsteps without the bathetic Bruce Tom Joad stuff). Easily one of the best songs of the year -SINGLE OF THE WEEK – A

Pose (feat. Megan Thee Stallion & Lil Uzi Vert) – Yo Gotti, Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Uzi Vert – Uzi is great, Megan (I have to see her live and I keep on missing her) is great and Yo Gotti is fashionista pop hookiness – B


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