Going Steady: New Singles 2-14-20 – 2-20-20 Reviewed

Written by | February 17, 2020 4:30 am | No Comments


I Hate You So Much – Alexander 23 – The post-Rex Orange County world is one of sad boys crying in their bedroom, and this is more – C+

Sucker For Punishment – Alex Lahey – pop punker sucker punch via Australia – B-

Party’s Over – Anna Burch – not as good as the excellent “Not So Bad” from earlier this year, but still a warm and lovely singer songwriter trope – B

They Don’t Want What We Want (And They Don’t Care) – Asking Alexandria -strong intro to the upcoming coming album, a pulsating rock out – B

Ignorantes – Bad Bunny, Sech – Bad Bunny’s first track of the year features Bachatish Sech on a dark, slow, trap song – B+

Contagious – Banoffee – electronic bloopy art pop – B-

No Time To Die – Billie Eilish – A sweet enough but somewhat breathy and boring exercise, though just about what the current 00 deserves… certainly no Adele – B-

Lie To Me – Black Atlass – deep beats r&b – B

Girl Crush – Boys Noize, Rico Nasty – a great mix and match with a sexy EDM banger – A-

Good to Be Alive – Brendan Benson – The Raconteurs guy, no not Jack white. It starts slow but the verse begins a nice percolation – B-

Gotta Get Better – Buzzcocks – if the Buzzcocks have any sort of spiritual in their catalog it nust be this song, strong punk pop perks and Steve Diggles with his hands on the reins after Pete Shelley’s sad death. I have no kick at all except one, surely this early in Buzzcocks Mach 3 they might have some Shelley in the vaults – B

Forever Valentine – Charlie Wilson – Terrific, straight ahead soul like it came via Philly, a strong, bumping piano and a nearly Wonder worthy straight up song of romantic subservience, when we shake off all those Dap-King like bands it is because they can’t so this  – B+

{ The Dreamer’s Hotel } – Enter Shikari – straight forward but powerful rocker from the UK adding some post-punk vocals to a smart slap – B+

The Dying Rays (2020) – Gang Of Four – The original is from the 2015 album What Happens Next, featuring German musician and singer (and actor, come to think of it) Herbert Grönemeyer on vocals, who gave the original a solemn beauty look at the passing of time, the rerecording, approved by Andy Gill just before he died, sounds sharper and darker though Gill Sterry’s lead vocal isn’t as good as the original. At the very least, it does what the Buzzcocks didn’t, it paid a real tribute to its leader – B+

If Love Is Overrated – Gregory Porter – a modern day Nat King Cole with a lovely little piano based Great American songbook type  ballad – B

Delete Forever – Grimes – very unGrimes-y, straight forward folk Americana with strummed guitar and catchy melody – B

I Shall Be Free – Hot Snakes – Former members of two great rock bands, Rockets From The Crypt and Drive Like Jehu, reformed post 90s in 2018 and as terrific a little rocker as you can imagine, especially the instrumental break with chugging licks and a keyboard that sounds like it was sampled and wasn’t  – B+

I’ll Be The Death Of You – I Break Horses – shoegaze via Sweden with a touch of Goth- B-

Meltdown – Jake Shears – Scissor Sisters were yet another band that failed to live up to its potential and neither has Jake’s solo career done it -here he has a not untypical 70s style disco track and what’s not to like? – B

Be Afraid – Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – continuing a tradition of lead off singles punching above their weight, this is Jason’s third in a row and while “24 Frames” and “If We Were Vampires” are difficult to improve upon, the stand for your rights agitprop rock melodiousness actually manages to maintain the quality control – SINGLE OF THE WEEK – A

Allay – Katie Gately – experimental pop artist has worked with both Bjork and serpentwithfeet (I bet she was behind his appearance at The Shed with Bjork last year), here Katie is making beautiful sounds from a one woman chorale strong song structure – B

Ohio – King Princess – off her Friday release of the deluxe Cheap Queen, the song has been around since the first day of our acquaintance and is strong enough and she is in good voice, but she seems to resist her natural inclinations towards pop – B-

Because Of You – Kodak Black – Kodak is a great rapper, both on stage and in the lab, and is currently in the middle of a 46 month prison sentence. A pity Kodak couldn’t take advantage of his serious artistry, songs like this emorap straight up love song are enough to make guns and stuff a bit useless – B+

Fanden ta dette hull! – Kvelertak – not hardcore, hard rocking riffs for sale – B-

Words out of the Haze – Lee Ranaldo, Raül Refree – the former Sonic Youth with spoken word electronic minimalism – B

Born Here Live Here Die Here – Luke Bryan – a moving landscape of a world I don’t know on the steadfast Red State “Born Here Live Here Die Here,” where he makes a strong case for a small town that works like a daydream of consistency: “Ride the same roads, work the same dirt, go to the same church and drink the same beer”. It makes sense of what I can not understand -B+

Fifteen – Mandy Moore – you’ve heard of MOR dreck, well, this is Moore dreck  – MUST TO AVOID – C-

was it not – Marian Hill – more minimal beats and quiet background – B-

Give No Fxk – Migos, Travis Scott, Young Thug – nose on your face Migos, with major featured acts on their verses and in their lanes – C+

Greatest Of All Time – New Found Glory – the third strong rocker of the week, power punk beauty – B+

Oh Canada – Nadia Reid – gorgeous guitar song from a first rate songwriter via New Zealand, this song is so clever it makes you think it’s her best but really her consistency of execution is a calling card – B+

Captain – Nicole Atkins, Britt Daniel – Nicole’s voice sounds a lot like Kat Edmonson, and the song sounds like late period John Lennon, a reworking of “Real Love” which was hurt by McCartney’s over production and could do with a scraping off of the muck  – B-

Pius in Tacet – Pantha Du Prince – techno stuff – C+

You And Me (Were Meant To Be Together) – Paul Heaton, Jacqui Abbott – It isn’t bad, Paul can write a song no doubt, but it isn’t great and he hasn’t been great in a long time, since The Beautiful South in fact – B-

Anj – Ratboys – pretty good pop rock, though maybe they should change their band name… – B

Tattoo – Rauw Alejandro – catchy reggaeton melodiousness with trap beats backing – B

Blonde – Roger Eno, Brian Eno – The brothers Eno with a simple piano instrumental – B

Cars in Space – Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – melodic guitars and stuff pop rock – C+

One Of A Kind – Ronan Keating, Emeli Sandé – seriously blah ballad – C

Shot Again – Roy Woods – trap rap by a master of the form – B

Love You Like I Used To – Russell Dickerson – nothing country rocker – C

Honeymoon Fades – Sabrina Carpenter – The Alan Walker “On My Way” was a great feature for the pop singer, this is pop constructed EDM pop r&b – C+

No Pressure – Sam Huber – Huber enters the 2020s with a distant and minimalist dance track built around ironclad beats shoving and paddling the track into a funky resolves upended by a Son Of Bazerk’s rap, the duo’s shout and response,  and tangent horns, all adding to a promised cathartic rush that Huber resists providing. It’s like a funk with binoculars and the resistance to pressure wishful thinking – A-

Roses – Imanbek Remix – SAINt JHN, Imanbek – strong dank beats and electronic mindfuck for a man with a quote: “I was dirt poor in Brooklyn, some version of rich in Guyana”  -yup folks… – B

Hold Out – Sam Fender – the last rockstar needs much better material – C

To Die For – Sam Smith – His best work in five years, certainly since the great Bond theme song: a sad and longing filled sadcore about dying alone and wanting to die for love – B+

Nothing Compares 2 U – Single Version / 2020 Remaster – Sinéad O’Connor – As sublime as always, did you read Alyson Camus’s live review (here) – A+

Nothing Compares 2 U – Live in Europe, 1990 / 2020 Remaster – Sinéad O’Connor – a live singalong around the time the song was released. As covers go, is possibly one of the finest meeting of singer and song, the vision of the clearly mentally ill O’Connor is the vision of a woman locked in her room, crying, fending off pain as best you can and failing. Wonderful singing here, deeply felt beauty – A

IDIOTA – Sofia Reyes –  bouncy reggaeton dance track – B

Whoa (feat. Pharrell Williams) – Remix – Snoh Aalegra, Pharrell Williams – chill r&b with Pharrell adding beat effects – C+

The Story Of Rhea – Stephen Fry, Debbie Wiseman, National Symphony Orchestra – “… he found his sister Rhea waiting for him. The sight of her darkly handsome brother with a sickle dripping blood on his hand thrilled her to the point of eternal explosion…” Fry, reading from his book “The Mythos,” and Wiseman composing the music while the Orchestra adds the strings. You know it isn’t going to end well – B+

I’ve Just Seen A Face – Steve Harley – Harley once did a strong cover of “Here Comes The Sun” and here he changes the country word twister to a folkie Americana hard pressed danger of romance – B

Can’t Go Home – The Jacka, Freddie Gibbs – love the soulful sample, and both rappers know this stuff backwards – B

At The Door – The Strokes – so it finally happened, The Strokes became Julian’s second best band – C

Empathy For The Devil – Tim Burgess – The Charlatans lead singers adds “wooh woohs” to a straightforward pop rocker, and is the better for it – B

Elastic – Too Free – post-punk mood music – C+

Ticket – T-Wayne – it sure ain’t “Nasty Freestyle” but it gets the pop rap jones cleared – B

Anybody – Ultraísta – Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich’s band, opening for Thom at Radio City next month, use strings and Laura Bettinson’s voice to haunting and lovely effect – B

Picture Perfect – UMI – she calls it bedroom r&b, and it has a late night sensuality that veers on the other side of chill – B

4 American Dollars – U.S. Girls – 70s sounding rock with a side of dance while on the verses a nifty nick of Cyndi Lauper’s “The History Of Bad Choices”  hot and constant drumming and  synth sounds – B+

White Rooms and People – Working Men’s Club – more post-punk, like Postcard Records or Pop:Aural – B-

False Teeth – Worst Party Ever – emo rock old school – C+

Midnight To Six – Wrekmeister Harmonies – haunting goth classical, piano based mood music interrupted by disquietening whispered vocals – B

Everything Sounds Like A Love Song – X Ambassadors –  a straightforward rocker ballad and broken  love track that peaks too high, the falsetto is overkill  – B+

Konclusions – YG, Kehlani – a nice meeting of minds, YG is under complete Jay-Z style flow in romance mode and Kehlani sounds lovely – B

Our House (The Mess We Made) – You Me At Six – the bass lock is tasty, the song meh – C+

Knocked Off – YoungBoy Never Broke Again – OG beauty – B+

Fine By Time – YoungBoy Never Broke Again – autotune absolute beauty -can’t wait for the new album next week – B+


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