Going Steady: New Singles 3-20-20 – 3-26-20 Reviewed

Written by | March 22, 2020 4:30 am | No Comments

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Think About You – Alana Springsteen, Filmore – young country balladeer, well overplayed and Filmore is worse – C-

Vanishing Twin – Blake Mills – I’m not a fan ever since he sucked all the life out of Fiona Apple’s Beacon show in 2013 (here) and having said that, here he has a lovely lo fi wall of murmur – B

Foolish Believer – Broadside – the young will always dye their hair pink and perform intensely felt bad songs like this pop punker – C+

No Front – Comethazine – very strong, bangs through the bars with rhyme and speed as it details a life of less excess and more as lived (though still some excess) – B

Hectic – DREGG – Epitaphs latest signing mixes hardcore with rap to make an engaging smack around the head, and, surprise, they do both equally well – B

Wrong About You – DVBBS – old school house, if you love it you’ll love it – B

Between Us (feat. Snoh Aalegra) – dvsn, Snoh Aalegra -OVO guys, aka slow and boring chill r&b – C

March 13 – Ellis – according to her press release, “I acted badly and put someone I cared about in an unnecessary and uncomfortable situation, but refused to admit at the time that I was out of line.” So what did she do? – B

Roses/Lotus/Violet/Iris – Hayley Williams – playing Neil Young to boygenius’s Crosby, Stills, And Nash (my bet? Phoebe is Nash), but she forgot her fucking songs SUCK – MUST TO AVOID – D+

Neon Lights – I Break Horses – That keyboard intro? Sounds like the Who – B-

Actions – John Legend – I’ve never ever cared for John (except once: performing Beatle songs at Summerstage), but “actions speak louder than love songs” is a great hook and the song, with beats, and synths, finds him more than capable of tricking out an 808 – B+

Intentions – Acoustic – Justin Bieber – It misses Quavo’s great rap break but still a lovely song, and well performed, his falsetto at the end is knockout – B+

The Blessing – Live – Kari Jobe, Cody Carnes, Elevation Worship – I’ve always found the nuns married to Jesus thing creepy, and while not a nun Kari has always seemed to have a sexual component to her love of Jesus: a handsome, bearded, self employed god in human form, what’s not to like? Her 2014 “My Beloved” for one thing, and this dreadful song for another – D+

Black Men Don’t Cheat (feat. Ari Lennox, 6LACK & Tink) – K CAMP, Ari Lennox, 6LACK, Tink – a supergroup of features, when you see 6lack it means everybody is serious – B

Keep It Rollin Pt. 2 – Kid Ink  – awful generic from a man who has been doing the same autotune pop rap singing since 2010 and hasn’t moved an inch forward – C

Memento Mori – Lamb of God – The second song off Randy and the boys eagerly anticipated new album is five minutes of hardcore hammering over Randy worrying about the effects of tech on people (sounds a little quaint, right?), and despite the bands best attempts to depress us, it sounds uplifting as the environment is everything – B+

Time Bandits – Laura Stevenson – she records for Don Giovanni Records, which possibly gives Laura the most completely independent of all indie labels and, though this is something we’ve been writing about for years, her Grandpa composed “The Little Drummer Boy” and “Do You Hear What I Hear?”. Which puts music directly in her DNA, even if as a songwriter herself Laura doesn’t always hit the sweet spot. “Time Bandits” was written after Trump won the election and it conflates the end of days (no not this one, but talk about good timing) with her recent at the time marriage. Here she plucks her acoustic album with the slightest of overdubs and harmonizing as she consoles and advises her husband…. dust in the dark for the one and one is couple – B+

Set Me Free – Lecrae, YK Osiris – It isn’t Christianity I have a problem with, it is Christian Contemporary Music.  Lecrae is an excellent Christian rapper (I don’t think YT is Christian at all), and with a wonderful sample of Mary Mary’s “Shackles (Praise Him)” leading the way, both Lecrae and YT study the skill set of freedom… it works completely – A-

Outwards Crying – Marlin’s Dreaming -hazy, fuzzed out dreamscape pop -you know the drill – B

Who I Am – Melanie C – Sporty Spice with old school disco synth track that doesn’t work really – C+

As You Move Through The World – MGMT – seven minutes of saying get on with it – C-

Acrobats – Mt. Joy – folkie Americana with strong guitar lick  – B

Walk Em Down (feat. Roddy Ricch) – NLE Choppa, Roddy Ricch – rap r&b relation to trap and mumble – B

I Got So High That I Saw Jesus – Noah Cyrus – nice Americana folk stuff, a slow and smooth song that seems to update the world of the Carter Family while remaining a little shallow (in a good way, she doesn’t overplay it)  – B

I Miss One Week Ago – Oh Land – piano ballad as social distancing takes its effect on Nanna – C+

Uusi teknokratia – Oranssi Pazuzu –  grandiose, slug paced, ritualistic doom metal metal it says here, Finnish psychedelic black metal it says there, and the song is a ten minute, head banging, ineluctable roar that travels in concentric circles that come and go in nightmare trance blackness – B

On the Floor – Perfume Genius – Mike Hadreas has always had a way of traveling between an alt art aesthetic and a modern pop dreamscape, this is the latter: a poetic sheen of arranged low key instruments and sharp tunefulness – B

peacefall – Purity Ring – they are so 2010, very low key and very melodic plus instruments on a tuneful release about… dying? – B

pink lightning – Purity Ring – weird, moody, very very doctored – B

Lightning – Rico Nasty – From XXL Freshman gig to Rolling Loud, Nasty figured out how, precisely, to keep herself vital on stage without letting her MC take over, on record she has gone from one goodie to another and while I am not crazy about the hook here once she starts to rapping proper her flow is excellent – B

Pray 4 Love – Rod Wave – more Jesus rap, not bad, Wave can absolutely flow and his thoughts are not the Gospel stuff you might expect (ergo: (Explicit) – B

The Buzz – Pretenders – Chrissie still has that voice and she uses it much better with the Pretenders than alone, “The Buzz” (off their upcoming Hate For Sale) and on a gorgeous new wave, ringing guitar band sound she drives through the past forty years in a Delorean of pop – B+

Miracle – Sparta – very strong rocker from the long term, often absent band – B

Crazy Kind of Love – From “True to the Game 2” – Tamar Braxton – terrific channelling of Whitney Houston on one of Whitney’s classics, very well sung – B+

Solace and Serenity – The Acacia Strain – bowels of hell, sludge – B-

The Lucid Dream (feat. Jess Nyx) – The Acacia Strain, Jess Nyx – Damn, that guy is scary: the return of hell just to remind you it is there, Jess is a cool counterpoint – B+

You Fear the Wrong Thing Baby – The Radio Dept. – They’ve just cancelled their North AMerican tour so maybe they aren’t the only ones – B-

Fair Chance – Thundercat, Ty Dolla $ign, Lil B – a sad, slow and jazz sadness song in memory of Mac Miller – B

OK – Wallows – power pop youthfulness – B

Can’t Do Much – Waxahatchee – The third song off Katie Crutchfield’s upcoming album is the third goodie in a row, and while it isn’t “Lilacs”, what is? Her last single “Lilacs” is close to the head of the best songs of the year, and the earnest and well tempered “Can’t Do Much” may not be up to that standards (for one thing, the lilac metaphor is hard to beat), it is clearly another triumph – B+

2 Seater (feat. G-Eazy & Offset) – YBN Nahmir, G-Eazy, Offset – Very 2018, but still a goodie, all strong rapping over beats in a world more given to sunken samples and speaking BEHIND the teardrops – B-

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