Going Steady: New Singles Reviewed 8-10-18 – 8-16-18

Written by | August 12, 2018 12:35 pm | No Comments


Dance Away My Broken Heart – Abby Anderson -New country, which means the beats are a bit meatier than you’d expect, and the vibe is somewhere closer to Selena Gomez than Loretta Lynn,  on this bubblegum sweet nothing – B+

cradle – Adrianne Lenker – The biggest Big Thief is even more intimate solo than usual, a lullaby about the neutrality of life – B

Wham! Bang! Pow! Let’s Rock Out! – Art Brut – Five years after their last release, Art Brut are the same tricksters, declarative vocals and angular punk rock – C+

Never Fade – Alice In Chains – Business as usual rocker – C

T69 collapse – Aphex Twin – The skittish, beats-counter beats, make it – B-

Deep Green – Big Red Machine – the National’s  brother act Aaron and  Bryce Dessner collaboration with Justin Vernon sounds like the moody National plus the more astutely electronic progressiveness of Bon Iver – B-

One More Red Light – Cassadee Pope – Trounced by Abby, this is also new country pop, with a rockier sound but a weaker song – C+

Only Jesus – Casting Crowns – CCM giants, they’ve been doing it awhile and they use an overly dramatic rock anthem sound even when they are being quiet; every time I read that the lead singer of a CCM band is a youth pastor, like the big voiced Mark Hall here, it really hits home that this is propaganda – C+

Better – Chantel Jeffries, BlocBoy JB, Vory – Chantal is a fashionista DJ, Blocboy JB was atrocious at T5 last month though the rapping here is good enough helped because the song itself is very good – B

Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) – Cher – Sure I hated “Fernando” (though less so in the movie), but Cher knows disco and this is an ancestor of “Believe” – B-

Know Nothing – Childish Major – Atlanta trap by a clever fellow on this high hat heavy goodie – B

Freak Me (feat. Tekno) – Ciara, Tekno –  Tropical, afrobeat beauty – B+

On My Way to You – Cody Johnson – Old school country strummer about the road to love; overplays the chorus  – C+

Big Chop – Cuban Doll, YBN Nahmir – hot as hell hip hop, Cuban Doll has presence to burn – B-

Epa Wei – Danny Ocean – Venezuelan DJ goes bi-lingual on this beat crazy pop track – B-

All Washed Out – DREAMERS – Plodding rocker that  uses quiet-loud,  without grunge’s metal urges – C-

Shame – Elle King – I’ve had nothing but time for Elle ever since her epic performance at Governors Ball a coupla years ago, this is a blues beauty rocker – B+

In the Room: Doesn’t Matter (feat. A$AP Ferg and VanJess) – Gallant, A$AP Ferg, VanJess – All about Ferg’s great sung rapped verses, and when soul singer Gallant takes it over, the song improves – A-

Ready To Go – Garren – Another good soul singer, this out Chris Brown’s itself with clap traps and gorgeous on the beat vocals – B+

dear insecurity (feat. Ben Abraham) – gnash, Ben Abraham – Jack Johnsonish surfboard folk – C+

Kept Back (feat. Lil Pump) – Gucci Mane, Lil Pump – Is Guc moving to the rearview mirror? Great rap and an amazing rhythm track, don’t know what the sound on the backing track is… a doctored flute? Lil Pimp holds his own. But not a major event – B

Lost (feat. Chelsea Jade) – Jai Wolf, Chelsea Jade – Sweet, dreamscape sound with a catchy tune and a fine vocal by Chelsea Jade (an art school dropout from Auckland, New Zealand is her entire bio…) – B+

Album of the Year – Freestyle – J. Cole – Two minutes of freestyle, “flow out of this world and so is the bars” he claims, as for that Scottish doctored bagpipes (I think)… wow… – B-

Camel Swallowed Whole – JEFF The Brotherhood – Did these guys grow up? Gorgeous classic rock song, druggy and dreamy – B

Sola – Jessie Reyez – This woman can do no wrong, Gilberto Gil, guitar plucked absolute joy, and maybe her best singing to date – A-

Back In Your Heart – Junior J – A remix of The Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back” -works for me complete. Have you ever heard Taylor Swift’s take…? you can’t go wrong with this song  – B+

Kansas City Star – Kacey Musgraves – Part of the Roger Miller  tribute coming up soon -on the road fun song, Kacey does no harm – B

Weekend – Kane Brown – The horns are interesting, the song nothing much and the r&b flourishes  are original – C+

Still Rolling Stones – Lauren Daigle – Blues stomper Christian blues belter Gospel – B+

Half a Mind – Loretta Lynn –  Third single off the Roger Miller Tribute album is the best by a length, Loretta in great voice and with a song better than anything Jack White could present her with if he lived to be a hundred, it is a thing of absolute wonder and joy, 50 ways not to leave your lover – SINGLE OF THE WEEK – A

Body – Loud Luxury, Brando – Already a hit in the UK, this is a very catchy kitchen sink EDM pop song with a whiff of Calvin Harris – B+

My Story – Loren Gray – Sixteen year old youtube phenom offers a nursery rhyme chorus that adds up to a a triumph about not doing what Mama tells you – B+

Dear Sense (with MAX) – Louis The Child, MAX –  EDM pop duo sound like a boy band, a good one – B

Mala Mía – Maluma – The Colombian reggaeton singer gets laid… a lot – B-

Grand Prix – Method Man – This is old school rap, fine stuff, flow as it should be, bars clever – B

Two Slow Dancers – Mitski – I never quite got Mitski, and this dreary song doesn’t change my mind until the break, which is soaring strings and makes sense of what came before – B

Mango – Moors, Tune-Yards – Fresh off “Sorry To Bother You” Lakeith Stanfield and Tune-Yards go elsewhere on this beat heavy, percussive effort – B

Loyal to Me – Nina Nesbitt – A great little pop dance confessional, she knows her ABBA, and her Robyn… – B+

One Man’s Ceiling Is Another Man’s Floor – Paul Simon – The beginning is dramatic, and no one was hurt in the recording of, but the original was much better… I will say that I wish Allen Toussaint was alive to add his piano  – C+

Country Love Song – Peter More, Amy Helm – Levon Helm’s daughter meets Oh Whitney’s singer, on this Donald Fagen produced country romp… not crazy about the bridge… – B

Before You Get a Boyfriend. – Phony Ppl – Sing rap trio sing rap a lovely song  about falling in love – B

B U B B L E G U M – Quavo – Autotuned new song before Migos head out with Drake – B

L A M B T A L K – Quavo – As in Lamborghini, I wonder if he would be rapping about Cardi B if Offset had slept late that night? The rapping is much better than the song deserves – B

W O R K I N M E – Quavo – Single # 3, and more of the same, trap beats, strong flow, a little meh thematically – B

Excuse Me – Ro James – r&b singer, 90s vibe – B-

Right Here – R.LUM.R – neo-r&B here, which means the beats are really , really strong, and the song would work well with a more classical arrangement – B-

Underwater – RÜFÜS DU SOL – Electronic moodiness – C+

Just Joking Around – Say Sue Me –  SK indie pop ala the Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, proving teen angst knows no borders – B+

Ya No Tiene Novio – Sebastian Yatra, Mau y Ricky – Latin teen pop as the boys fight over a girl – B-

Thunderclouds with Sia, Diplo & Labrinth – Sia, Diplo, Labrinth, LSD – The second release from the supergroup, much better than the first, and much better when Sia is singing lead – B+

Fairytale – Skye, Chris Brown – I dunno, Skye, I know business is business but dating Chris? AIn’t that looking for trouble? “Am I the only one?” she asks Chris. Dunno. What do you think?  – B

Pretty Girl – Stefflon Don, Tiggs Da Author – Terrific dancehall – B

Rabbit’s Revenge (feat. Bassnectar, Big Boi, and Killer Mike) – Tom Morello, Bassnectar, Big Boi, Killer Mike – Bassnectar is the EDM DJ that other EDM producers turn to, Killer Mike and Big Boi are both big time, and when Tom let’s loose , well, he actually doesn’t really, and it still sounds like Prophets Of Rage with a worse rapper and a Gil Scott Heron cliche reversal  – B

Animal – Troye Sivan – Post his “My My My” mammoth breakthrough, this is a straight up love and sex ballad – B

Levitate – Twenty One Pilots – The third single is the best of three, snappy bars spat is a little less busy than the other two – B

I’m on It – Walker McGuire – Country duo, Dan + Shay ain’t scared – C

California English Pt. 2 – Vampire Weekend – The first post-Rustom release finds em exactly where they were before, quirky, literate, indie pop… – B+

8 Letters – Why Don’t We – Dance pop boy band, the singers blend very nice;y – B-

Car Confessions – Young M.A – One of our top new rappers, she is all flow and here she is just so smart as she tells the story and rides the beat and the soaring and dark backing track and includes the most tender line I’ve heard all week: ” If you wanna picture, take a picture, don’t get shy on me, I’m here to inspire, I admire that you admire me- B+


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