Going Steady: New Singles, 5-1-20 – 5-7-20 Reviewed

Written by | May 4, 2020 4:30 am | No Comments

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Blue Ivy, Beyonce, Megan Thee Stallion

 

 

Conflict of Interest – 156/Silence – hardcore scream vocals with a rumbling under the rumbling that peeks in and out of focus – B-

Unbelievable (feat. Kaash Paige) – 24kGoldn, Kaash Paige -autotune college r&b – B-

Dennis Hopper in Easy Rider – 2nd Grade – Peter Gill was with one of my favorite pop punk bands of the past five years, Free Cake For Every Creature, here he channels Liz Phair circa Girlysound – B+

Far Away From Here – Andy Jenkins, Erin Rae – southern singer songwriter gloms onto smooth jazz – C+

Goodbye Blue – BADBADNOTGOOD, Jonah Yano – quiet electronica, hey aren’t they jazz guys? – B-

Glide (Goodbye Blue Pt. 2) – BADBADNOTGOOD – now you can hear the jazz – B-

Qué Maldición – Banda Sinaloense MS de Sergio Lizárraga, Snoop Dogg – add Snoop to Latin pop mariachi and this is what you get, it doesn’t fit but it doesn’t hurt – B-

Baby Mama – Brandy, Chance the Rapper – single mom Brandy wrote for her child, Chance jumped on for the ride because, cmon, he cancelled an Arena tour to spend time with his kid (and I wonder if that was a plus or minus? At least he isn’t worrying about insurance and postponements) – C+

Love in Mine – Big Thief – a fragile and lovely folk track outtake off their last album’s sessions – B+

Duke of Dynamite – Brant Bjork –  fuzzy rocker with an awesome lick – B

Lady – Brett Young – a soppy mess – MUST TO AVOID – D+

HEART ATTACK – BRONSON, ODESZA, Golden Features, lau.ra – house heavy bass pop track – B+

VAULTS – BRONSON, ODESZA, Golden Features – as new as beats get with this super-trio – B+

Forever – Separate But Together – CHVRCHES – The repurposed song off their 2018 album – C+

Julianna Calm Down – Dixie Chicks – not the best piece of advice for a woman after being dumped, but not unpleasant and top harmonies at the outro – B

Say So (feat. Nicki Minaj) – Doja Cat, Nicki Minaj – nice mix of voices but Doja is no Nicki when Nicki is on her game and she is ferocious on this track (and rumor has it there is a Bey dis here somewhere) – B+

A Picture Of A Butt On A Computer – Dominic Angelella – singer songwriter indie division with a great guitar sound on the chorus – B-

ENERGY – EC Twins – old school disco, all textured beats and swirl on synths – B+

Instagram DJ – EC Twins – pure house drop the bass for the first time within 15 seconds – B

Sing to Me, Willie – Edie Brickell, Willie Nelson – sweet little ode to Nelson in celebration of his 87th birthday, something of a triumph for Edie as she summons her father’s funeral and her deepest feelings and yet with an ease that honors Willie’s naturalness – B+

Alles in Allem – Einstürzende Neubauten – Blixa Bargeld’s teutonic Americana is strange because it isn’t very strange – C+

Being Them – Fake Names – blah somethingcore rockers – C+

Together – for KING & COUNTRY, Tori Kelly, Kirk Franklin – by CCM standards not the worst song ever, by human basis not near the not worse – C-

Cold (feat. Tory Lanez) – French Montana, Tory Lanez – kama sutra sex sizzler – C+

Moana – G-Eazy, Jack Harlow – a rhymin’ treat “moana” with “miss Obama” and may well be  G-Eazy’s best moment to date – A-

Deep Set – Greg Puciato – The Dillinger Escape Plan lead singer goes industrial core loud track – B-

I Know Alone – HAIM – pleasant if slight pop rocker, their best since “Summer Girl” – B+

BOOTS – HARDY – a post-modernist bro country from Philly – C+

Let’s Pretend (It’s the 80’s) – Hennessey – Leah Hennessy is David Johansson’s daughter, the video channels 80s synth bands with a wink and a nudge, and the song has a post-rock twist to the guitars – B

Wrong Places (from Songland) – H.E.R. – In what sense is actress Raquel Castro (I mean real actress, she went from Ben Affleck’s daughter in “Jersey Girl” nonstop through to “Empire”) and talent show contestant (“The Voice”) an amateur in show biz? Why is she getting the big songwriting break on “Songland”? It’s a pretty soulful ballad and H.E.R. sings it well, but it is not so great you can’t help but wonder why they didn’t keep to helping unknowns – B-

Just Like Kids (Miau) – Hinds – typical pop punk by the popular girl band from Madrid going nyah nyah to everyone who offered free advice – B

Face – Jessy Lanza – experimental pop weirdness – C+

Twisted – Johanna Warren – new brave new world of Lucy Dadus somewhat harder than folk singer songwriter, topped by a strong vocal that reaches for the sky – B-

PAM – Justin Quiles, Daddy Yankee, El Alfa – state of the art reggaeton with trap breaks not overwhelming and Daddy Yankee not overwhelming a terrific little dance track – B+

Carrying Gravity – Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – deep ambient for dolphins – B-

Take Back The Radio – Katy J Pearson – English singer songwriter with an ear for folk pop rock, and here she nails down an elusive nostalgia with skill and cotton candy to burn – B+

F&MU – Kehlani – it isn’t 2017 and this is plain r&b by Kehlani’s lofty standards – B-

Eleven (feat. Summer Walker) – Khalid, Summer Walker – three years after “Young Dumb And Broke,” Khalid still has a gorgeous voice and yet can’t seem to muster the originality as he digs deeper into soul pop – C+

Time (You and I) – Khruangbin – Texan instrumental r&b band add vocals – C+

Live Forever – Kid Ink – not bad flow at all from the no longer Kid pro hip hop rapper – B-

Houdini (feat. Swarmz & Tion Wayne) – KSI, Swarmz, Tion Wayne – strong swing banger from UK grime stars with a violent edge, listen for Tion stealing it  – B+

After Those Who Mean It – Laura Stevenson – sad song, I believe there is a backstory to the loosie (a single not tethered to an album), but I’ll take it as just a moment here – B

Girasoles – Luis Fonsi – a Bachata dog – C-

Six Feet Apart – Luke Combs – a real COVID-19 song, it is exactly as sad as it should be and hopeful as it should be… but nevertheless, not his best work – B-

Bloody Valentine – Machine Gun Kelly – MGK completes the move to classic rockism and better than most at it – B

Savage Remix (feat. Beyoncé) – Megan Thee Stallion, Beyoncé – ever since that album with her husband, Bey has been in my rearview mirror, it was such a terrible album by her superstar flattening of the curve pop apexes. Enter Megan Thee Stallion, who just hit Tik Tok big time with “Havoc” and signed to Jay Z’s “Roc Nation” for representation, and here the Queen and Princess of Texas hip hop join together and Megan just hands the keys to the beemer to Bey who performs her best verse in years and years – SINGLE OF THE WEEK – A

Hang On – NEEDTOBREATHE – simply the only (potentially) great CCM band, this one is Americana and a miss but not a dire one – C+

Seasons – NEEDTOBREATHE – folkie and clear sounding – B

Cosmic Dancer – Nick Cave – The original was where Mac Bolan stuck an electric guitar on the coda and  through the heart of folk rock, the Cave cover adds a blood soaked red hand – B+

Don’t Stop… – Demo – Oasis – Sure, we want to hear Oasis demos, but Oasis demos circa 1995 not 2009, and not with Noel singing lead as he does on “Don’t Stop… Demo” though it is still pretty good Oasis for all those caveats -B

Goteo – Paloma Mami – “it sounds like you need a Spanish woman in your life…” – B+

On the Floor – Initial Talk Remix – Perfume Genius, Initial Talk – Easily the most accessible song we have heard from Perfume Garden, is an electronic EDM bopper – B+

Alive – Petite Noir, Kingdom – aka Noirwave, electronic soul experimental track – B

Through The Bad Times – Petite Noir, Kingdom – bass oom pah pah – B-

Work – Pop Evil – rocker, nice rhythm and nie effects, but not up to much  – C+

Worm In Heaven – Protomartyr – poetic with an edge of brutality when they hit their stride towards the end  – B

Anaphylaxis – PUP – the title means an extreme alergic reaction from the fast loud punks – B-

Orange and Blue – Sarah Jarosz – a third of I’m With Her, and she can write a song though not this one which will lull you to sleep  – C+

Osho Tapes – Same – like they just came out of the mid-10s, with a Real Estate ambient wall of sound sound – B

Is There Something in the Movies? – Samia – You might remember Samia from last year’s excellent Liz Phair cover on “Never Said ,” -this has a similar, slow folk acoustic eary sad girl vibe but the song isn’t as good – B

Hayastane – Serj Tankian – lyric written by the Prime Minister of country in waiting Armenia, the sound is edgy Armenian folk from the Systems Of A Down leader – B

In This Town – Sleep Eaters – garage rockers from London with a side of psych – C+

We See You (Taking Aim) – Sophia – repetition driven alt rock – B-

Temperature (from Insecure: Music From The HBO Original Series, Season 4) – TeaMarrr, Raedio – blackish MOR r&b modern vibe – B-

Blinding Lights – Major Lazer Remix – The Weeknd, Major Lazer – Major Lazer got it right, they left the song track alone and fucked with the beats and counter beats – B+

Moncler (feat. Tion Wayne) – Tinie Tempah, Tion Wayne – Three years on from his last release, the UK rap  star has a catchy, hooky track though Tion remains the better rapper. Tion is also the best thing abiut KSI’s “Houdini” and it has been years of features and loose joints, time for a mix tape – B

Bate Onna Bo – TisaKorean – Texan dance rapper, dancey first half and full on bizarre for the close – B

Magic Happens – From “The Disneyland Parade, Magic Happens” – Todrick Hall – reached the semi-finals on American Idol Season Ten, he is a great disco performer (and dancer but that doesn’t bother us here) with a terrific party track for that parade I always do my best to miss – B+

Tried to Tell Me Something – Wesley Gonzalez – low key white boy soulfulness – B-

I Don’t Understand Rock and Roll – White Denim – strong little garage rocker via Austin indie guys – B+

Work – White Denim – glam rocker, a little too busy – C+

Laugh Now Kry Later! – YG – still Brazy, still a great rapper with a rough edge – B

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