Going Steady: New Singles 9-18-20 – 9-24-18 Reviewed

Written by | September 21, 2020 4:30 am | No Comments


Meet Me in the City – Adam Doleac – an enormously pleasant country pop romp – B

Avalanche – Aimee Mann – along with her husband Michael Penn, Mann covers Leonard Cohen in a goth chiller theme song for the serial killer documentary “I’ll Be Gone In The Documentary”. It has been three years since her last release, maybe she could have written an original – B-

Me Gusta (with Cardi B & Myke Towers) – Anitta, Myke Towers, Cardi B – it’s not “WAP” but it’s still a hot tilt bi-sexual banger of the first order from the Brazilian superstar and the Puerto Rican giant, and the also PR Towers. Works for me, despite, incredibly, Ryan Tedder being the executive producer of the upcoming album – B

Whenever You Call – ARASHI – I don’t know how you imagined Bruno Mars would return to the world of pop four years after 24K Magic, but producing a single for J-Pop band ARASHI wasn’t my first bet. He does an alright job on a slab of MOR disco – B-

It’s OK If You Forget Me – Astrid S – The Norwegian popstar has a terrific break up singer songwriter  song about not being hurt after three years of romance ends – B+

hooligan – Baby Keem – signed to Kendrick Lamar’s label, which is one reason he was on the Black Panther soundtrack, the other is the way he handles not the piano motif but the “Fah-fah-fah, fah-fah-fah” – B+

sons & critics freestyle – Baby Keem – the nineteen year old Cali rapper has skills, mostly in the flow because his concerns are boiler plate – B

FNY – Barkley – the young woman behind “Fuck New York” rails at us because her girlfriend moved here even as she rolls out on the grass with a different woman. The song is a hook machine as it barely rhymes “Yours” with “York” and still comes out a starstruck song in waiting. By the way, try googling her: all you’ll get its Charles Barkley and Cee Lo. I recommend she adds an initial to her name at least because a scant three songs into her career we are gonna wanna hear more – SINGLE OF THE WEEK – A

ChopBloc Pt. 3 (feat. NLE Choppa) – BlocBoy JB, NLE Choppa – the trap beat adds to the excited rappers blathering about AR47s – B-

Dead Man Walking – Brent Faiyaz – The February album was OK, this is rap-r&b, borderline chill and a little boring – B-

Lost It – Cochise – sweet flow r&B – B

Palos – Chucky73, Ñengo Flow – The Spanish language rapper adds Brooklyn trap to urbano Latino which is still more nyc than PR – B+

Genesis – Deftones – metalcore giants second song off the upcoming ninth album is a sludgy horrorshow for true believers – B+

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – Dolly Parton – from her upcoming Christmas album, a little croaky but better than the first single we received – B-

Cartography – Eddie Vedder – from the soundtrack to the documentary about RFK, a guitar instrumental – B

Cartography – Nick Zinner RFK Remix – Eddie Vedder, Nick Zinner – The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Nick adds RFK after MLK’s assassination speech – B

See Monkey – Elvis Perkins – an eerie singer songwriter indie sound saved by a haunting use of horns – B

Moonlight – Future Islands – Future Islands are the best of the dreamscape performers, the acoustic note and the sparing synths make for an artistic transmogrification of moonlight and sadness into sound  -a perfect song – A

Little Seed Big Tree – Ian Brown – let’s forget all the forcing us to wear mask is an affront to our freedom nonsense and hand a catchy, small scale rocker it’s due – B-

Long Haul – Ian Munsick – long distance love affair, from Wyoming to your house

Take You Dancing – Jason Derulo – dancehall dance track, nicely done – B

Holy (feat. Chance The Rapper) – Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper – Justin equates loving his wife on “Holy” with loving God, a feeling Chance The Rapper absolutely gets on this Gospel-white soul stuff on his clever verse, both of them sound beyond sweet, simple and lovely – B+

First Love – Live – Kari Jobe – nine times out of ten I can’t stand the CCM singer, so here is the tenth – B

Reservations – Lambchop – the most boring cover in the world of the most boring band known to man (Wilco), thirteen minutes of stately blah – MUST  TO AVOID – C-

Statues in the Garden (Arras) – Local Natives – indie rock less than lives but more than snoozes on this guitar based wall of sound track  – B

Perfecta – Luis Fonsi, Farruko – not bad trap pop but Joe Biden won’t be singing it at Town Hall meetings, Farruko steals it  – B

Without You – Luke Combs, Amanda Shires – I’ve been a huge fan of Combs since the get go and for one big reason: he writes great songs, the best in contemporary country at the very least. Another beautiful song with an otherworldly break from Amanda’s gorgeous fiddle – A-

I Will Survive – Lykke Li – how can you survive when you sound like you’re gonna croak any moment? So fragile you’re scared the Swedish singer will crack under the strain – C

Passport – Masego – He calls it “TrapHouseJazz,” and I’ll buy in on this wonderful and weirdly out of sync song – B+

Bridge Over Troubled Water – Matt Bellamy – nice job, just a straight up cover but well felt from the Muse guy with the nose – B

Pop Song 1 – NICE. – catchy indie pop rock like it was 2014 – B

Enough – No Thank You – Post punk sinker, somewhere between grunge and indie – C+

NOW – Olivia O’Brien – mainstream EDM dance track – B

Big Gay Hands – Partner – Canadian guitar duo on the pleasures of picking up members of the same sex on a night out (remember night outs?) – B-

Nothing For Free – Pendulum – New Zealand rockers back after ten years – C+

7 Seconds – Porridge Radio – you can tell when a good, young band have reached the next plateau: they get more tuneful while losing none of their soul. Here the post-punks sound like an 80s synth band but not at all, on a tremendous song – A

I Need A Man – 2020 Remaster – Prince – written for his pre-Vanity 6 band “Hookers,” he offered it to Bonnie Raitt who was insane for not covering the blues jazz jam out. Incidentally, I invested $75 on the superdeluxe Sign O’ The Times -and I think I’m getting my money’s worth – B+

Didn’t I – Regina Bonelli – Ms. Bonelli’s cover of the time  Darondo’s  gave Al Green a serious run for his money, emerges out of the 2020 pandemic holocaust as a moment that doesn’t just go to Memphis, it echoes Philly as well. Regina’s exquisite take on the soul song is far from her blues smackdown version of “Killing Floor”. Aided by her True Groove family, Regina includes a sumptuous vocal which evokes some form of feminism as she is the provider, slipping a sense of her does what for whom, more than smart in a woman who has always dealt in sexual politics. Regina feels as though it is a silky soulfulness to take you away from this terrible moment, but it isn’t that: it just moves the chains on what is being done to whom by whom -something that is an addition to her artistry and has always been there. One more thing about the song itself, Darondo quit the business and became a pimp and once you learn that? Suddenly you can notice a hidden menace in the lyric  – A

Own It – Rico Nasty – She was awful at the XXL Freshman class gig in 2018 and made up for it at the Metlife Loud gig, this is a catchy and strong little rap song and somewhere in the middle – B

Broken Dreams, Inc. – Rise Against – same ol’ same ol’ hard rock – C+

Gates to the Sun (POLLEN Singles) – SahBabii, Joji – the ATL rapper is like no one else out there and this sweet and melodic track proves he can actually write a song – B+

Diamonds – Sam Smith – awful Smith dance pop bummer – C

Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours – Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – I never said I didn’t like Sharon Jones, indeed in 2015 I wrote this: “Sharon is a great old time soul woman who has been known to leave me cold, but any problems I’ve had in the past were put to sleep on this soulful Etta James cover, it was where the band paid off their protean qualities by transferring from rock to soul. They did em both at the same time” (here). I certainly never claimed the late soul singer couldn’t do justice To Stevie Wonder, she clearly did and does – A-

feel away (feat. James Blake & Mount Kimbie) – slowthai, James Blake, Mount Kimbie – slowthai first seemed to be art grime, but here with James Blake singing and the UK electronic Mount Kimbie, it sounds like a soul Britannicana that echoes endlessly from slowthai’s rap – A-

Santos Party House – Smoke DZA, Wiz Khalifa, Curren$y, Big K.R.I.T., Girl Talk – I once interviewed a band in the restroom at Santos, the late, lamented hip hop club in Chinatown, and this is an all star tribute to the hangout that doesn’t sound cluttered – B

Juliefuckingette – Stephen Malkmus – Nobody has been harsher on post-Pavement Malkmus than me,  I have not been a fan of just about any of it (I didn’t even much care for their Summerstage reunion). Having said that, this would fit onto Crooked Rain Crooked Rain, though recorded at the same time as Traditional Techniques earlier this year, on “Juliefuckingette” Malkmus digs into his Pavement catalog that you could swear you heard before. It might not be “Range Life” but it is awful damn good – A-

Sugar – Sufjan Stevens – his eagerly awaited follow up to the instant classic Carrie And Lowell hasn’t given us anything but slow and dreary ambience on all three singles- C

Royalty – Live – Tasha Cobbs Leonard – the lovely voiced Pastor is better when she restrains the urge to belt em during  the first half of the song, then she lets it rip and loses me – C+

Get Famous – The Mountain Goats – The horns are pretty awesome and soulful and the song is a smart rumination on the price of famous – B+

What’s The Deal? – The Nude Party – terrific guitar lick, followed by drum roll, and then a Lou Reed-y singer with a sweet tune to sing and a frat rock persona that is more indie and less punk than their Black Lips connection suggests – B+

All Weekend – The Vaughns – According to Flood Magazine’s Mike LeSuer (here) “The duo of Anna Lies and Ryan Kenter are announcing today the signing of their band The Vaughns to Equal Vision Records, and to christen the deal, we’re getting a refreshingly laid-back single “All Weekend,” wherein Lies’ vocals recall the blasé observations of Phoebe Bridgers without much of the anxiety…” Yeah, it is like indie folk for kids graduating High School next year – B+

Change – Tomas Doncker, Amp Fiddler – Is there a funkier record company than True Groove? When Tomas Doncker is in the zone he lives up to the Funkadelic allegiance: “dey funk, well dey funk, today funk,” and on True Groove’ second allegiance he colorations and switches how to be a black artist -with no barriers but the limits of his imagination, as to what it all really means. On Thursday , True Groove dropped Regina Bonelli’s cover of “Didn’t I” (full review here) a soulful Memphis-y vision of former pimp Darondo’s strangely intimidating pop hit (Grade: A-). Today, Tomas Doncker joins  with Amp Fiddler, the keyboardist who took over from Bernie Worrell for twelve years of P-Funk, and who three years ago dropped an ace solo album.On “Change” the duo find a groove and keep to it from Doncker’s  opening “well… yeah… wait a minute” growl with Amp singing back-up, they lay down the “change is coming” variant – A-

Change – Amplified Soul Remix – Tomas Doncker, Amp Fiddler – makes complete sense of Doncker’s post-modern blues vibe as it follows Amp’s swirling keyboard in a psychedelic intensity on an all out jam that is nearly six minutes in length and should be three times that – A

Money Mouf – Tyga, Saweetie, YG – The always nasal, always sleazy does it, fuck monster Tyga adds Saweetie and YG to the mix – C+

No Stress – WizKid – The Nigerian artist breaking through big in the US after Bey’s interest, continues to break through big on a thrilling rap song with world beats and r&b heat – B+

god save me, but don’t drown me out – YUNGBLUD – will YUNGBLUD ever join 1975? Will he ever need to? – B

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