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Going Steady: New Singles 1-14-22 – 1-20-21 Reviewed

Forget About Me – Aluna, AlunaGeorge, Diplo, Durante – Aluna and George back together and Diplo handling EDM production – B-

Love Will Tear Us Apart – Amythyst Kiah – the “Black Like Me” singer finds the melody and song beneath Ian Curtis’s heart rendered drone – B+

Something on Your Mind – Angel Olsen – part of an upcoming tribute album to the Gerdes folkie from the 1960s Karen Dalton, who lost out because she didn’t write her own material. This is a Chet Powers song and a very lovely take though pales in comparison to the violin haunted Karen take – B+

B61 – Aoife O’Donovan – intensely boring indie folk from you know who – C-

Aphelion – Arab Strap – the Scottish duo with a brooding, Scott Walker-y bore – C+

Love It When You Hate Me (feat. blackbear) -Avril Lavigne – the pop punker Avril seems to be always one step back and two steps sideways, blackbear has face tattoos -at the age of 31, though his raps helps the song tremendously – B

Be Human – Planningtorock’s ‘Planningtobehuman’ Remix – Asbjørn – Planningtorock is one of our best art DJ people, up there with the late Sophie and the current Arca, Asbjørn is the Hamlet of gayness from Denmark, and this is a fine if not precisely adventurous remix – B

Dancing With The Devil – Babyface Ray, Landstrip Chip, Pusha T – The Detroit rapper is excellent on this low key and catchy rap track with an r&b chorus and… Pusha T! – B+

Shut Off The Lights – Bastille – the English electronic Imagine Dragons disciples sound pretty good on this dance track anthem – B

West L.A. Fadeaway – Live – Bob Weir – a cover of Grateful Dead’s 1988 album track, with the clicky clacky blues beat replaced by horns for a smooth jazz take – C+

Remembering Me – Cate Le Bon – Cate claims it’s “a neurotic diary entry that questions notions of legacy and warped sentimentalism in the desperate need to self-mythologise,” and it is a sturdily constructed doubled vocal of warped yet pretty intensity – B

Rapture in Blue – Cautious Clay – the electronic one man band with a pretty dance pop song, the sax is impressive – B

Iffy – Chris Brown – The return of Chris Brown, with a fine slice of pure hip hop, great singing and you can dance to it – B+

Fear of Being Fixed – Cloakroom – they call it stoner-emo and what they mean is that the bass is so heavy the song seems to be falling into a vat of quicksand – B

Yo Me Lo Merezco – Combo Chimbita – trad Mexican goes into the mystic with a strong vocal by Carolina Oliveros and a Caribbean lilt to the track – B+

Big Dreams and Faded Jeans – Dolly Parton – nothing much, quiet rethink of “Me And Bobby McGee”, I love her but this ain’t good – C-

World Impact – Drug Church -call em popcore? Drug Church are hardcore with melodies that peak out here – B

All Eyes On Me – EARTHGANG – it took his duet with Angelique Kidjo to make me an Olu Fann fan, but this would have got me there anyway, a fantastic trap meets soul hybrid (please note the lack of a z on Eyes) – B+

Brother the Cloud – Eddie Vedder – more Pearl Jam-y then the songs we’ve heard which were mainstream Americana, this sound like it coulda been on coulda been on Vs if it wasn’t for the obstreperous bridge – B

Jackie Down The Line – Fontaines D.C. – The Dublin rockers are as good as post-rock gets on this outstanding pseudo political dark track filled with a metallic clang that’s quite addictive. This is the first song they’ve recorded I’ve sincerely admired – A-

The First Dead Body I Ever Saw – Gregor Barnett – a blues bruiser from the Menzingers lead singer – C+

Cannibal Capital – Guerilla Toss – the beats are EDM, the sound is rock pop and the production surrounds it like kiddie industrial – B

Love Is Selfish – Jack White – a knock out little acoustic blues song so good I had decided to pass on his Barclay’s show (mostly because he wants you to hand in your cell. Really? Fuck him) and now I’m looking again – A-

Trouble With A Heartbreak – Jason Aldean – disappointing classic rock take on country – C-

Brighten – Live – Jerry Cantrell – the Alice In Chains guy sounds nearly exactly the same on this generic and old fashioned but well styled rocker – B-

Surround Sound (feat. 21 Savage & Baby Tate) – JID – 21 Savage is all rat-a-tat-tat and JID smooth as silk – B+

THE REV3NGE – Joey Bada$$ – Pro Era comes back for the bread – B+

PIERCED ARROWS – Hurray For The Riff Raff – the back up instruments seem to be rolling forward on waves of contagion on a very strong song – B+

More Pressure – Kae Tempest, Kevin Abstract – I saw Tempest at Governors Ball and was blown away, but her last album was a little too earnest, this single is a huge return and his bar skipping and clever lyrics and not just the obvious “More desire, Less deceit, Less complex, More complete, Less push, More flow, Please, Let me let go” but a sublime “One soul’s epiphany’s, another soul’s madness”. Kevin Abstract is here as well, bye bye Brockhampton – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A

Whiskey Sour – Kane Brown – Kane is recording better songs, it took three to compose this and Kane wasn’t one of them… but he sings it as if he is – B+

UNIFIED – KAMI, Joey Purp, VIC MENSA – Chicago rappers from the 10s return with a three way intersection of raps worth hearing – B

Little Bother (feat. Fousheé) – King Princess – after swerving from indie pop and lesbian rock show, if Todd Hayne’s “Carol” was a song it would be “1950s”, , “Little Bother” finds King Princess not hitting the Mark Ronson catalog of dance production for a much better piece of indie pop – B+

Super Gremlin – Kodak Black – the one before the latest, “Love & War” has just taken off via Tik Tok.”Remember when we were jacking cars” is money for bail – B+

Forgotten – Korn – business as usual, barn burning, industrial metal – B-

Hotline – Lael Neale – this is the lightest, airiest, Americana pop Lael has ever done, a minor masterpiece of popp sculpture – A-

Fingers Crossed – Lauren Spencer-Smith – it starts as the prettiest song of the year but blows itself up on the chorus and bridge. A missed opportunity – C+

I Can’t Shake the Stranger Out of You – Lavender Country – This Patrick Haggerty classic from 1973 is re-recorded by him for a highly anticipated first release in decades, the long player was dubbed by the Country Music Hall of Fame as the first openly gay country album, and this opener is perfect – B+

Anti-Hero (feat. Lil Tecca) – Lil Wayne – art rap with a terrific sample and two voices -Weezy’s you know as well as you know you’re own, scraping up the bottom with a punchline (“oh, you owe me some money”) – B

Pista (Fresh Start) – Los Bitchos – five women from all over the world performing Western instrumentals… go figure – B

Next to Normal – Lucius – catchy track from the indie dance band with prog traits and great harmonies – B

Seabird – Marissa Nadler – straps on its slide guitar and away it goes for pop Americana from a master – B

Skin, It Itches – ME REX – electronic sadboy from London but with an indie group electronic vibe on a good song – B

Someone To Watch Over Me [Feat. Alison Krauss] – Michael Feinstein – it’s hard to go wrong with Gershwin and cabaret stylist (and Gershwin friend and historian) and Alison Krauss don’t come close on this thoroughly gorgeous take – B+

Bethel Woods – Midlake – The Texan Americana folkies first new release since 2013 is both prog and rural – B

Love Me More – Mitski – I can take the indie art woman or leave her on record, even on this big sounding wall of sound, but live she is unbeatable. Sadly (for me) her March performance at Radio City is sold out – B-

Won’t Stand Down – Muse – big, booming, progressive, built for stadiums hard rock… sucks on record but I bet it is great live – D+

Afterglow – Nicky Romero, GATTÜSO, Jared Lee – whatever happened to EDM? Is it Avicii’s fault? Dire EDM MOR – MUST TO AVOID – D+

Trying To Find A World That’s Been And Gone: Part 1 (Demo) – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – I guess it is considered a demo before Noel adds the necessary tweets and whistles. The problem is that, as always, Liam could sing this to a standstill – B+

Cowboys Don’t Cry – Oliver Tree – sounds like 2010s bedroom rock meets home studio – B

Watching Strangers Smile – Parquet Courts – the last LES band standing who take their lead from Lou, with a dog – C-

LLD – Paper Route EMPIRE – his posse’s tribute album for Young Dolph is expected a week on Friday, the first release is a spiritual bummer mourning Dolph – B

Be the Hook – Pavement – an outtake from 1999’s Terror Twilight and a good, business like performance – B

Let England Shake – Demo – PJ Harvey – Not really a demo, but like Noel, it was still waiting on the arrangement to be complete but it is still better than the original as it rides that “take me back to Constantinople” hook -purely instrumental in the original version, for all its worth – A-

Try Better Next Time – Placebo – remember when these guys were the new Bowie? Here, they advise the human race reboots (not a bad idea within reason) and while it’s not Bowie, it’s maybe the new Love Spit Love – B

Real Real Real – Qilla Fang, Beenie Man – first rate rap meets dancehall – B+

C’mon People (We’re Making It Now) [Don’t Stop Now Mix] [feat. Liam Gallagher] – – Richard Ashcroft – The Verve plus Oasis, you gotta think? But Richard under uses Liam, he should given him the lead and not the harmony, plus a bit of an iffy Four Tops steal… -C+

Black Superhero [Feat. Killer Mike, BJ The Chicago Kid & Big K.R.I.T.] – Robert – way typical everything but the kitchen sink, don’t call me DJ Khaled for snobs, the spoken word will make you want to ignore Glasper, even if he’s right – C

All Is Full of Love – Rosie Thomas – this is part of the “Lullabies For Parents” compilation on the horizon and a lovely version of a jewel of a song. Singing backup? Among a cast of dozens Sufjan Stevens, the Shins, Iron & Wine, The Lonely Bellows and The Head And The Heart. The Sub Pop indie folkie Rose is highly credible – B+

Regresé – Sebastian Yatra, Justin Quiles, L-Gante – Yatra, fresh off co-producing Elvis Costello’s latest, with a trap beat and some sparks of Spanish pop – B+

Reproductive – Shamir -lovely indie soul – B+

It’ll Be Okay – Shawn Mendes – his post-Camila single, a brooding little heartbreaker – C+

Crazy – Spiritualized – has Jason Pierce lost his mojo? Could be on this dreary though lovely indie folk UK style – B-

Wild – Spoon – typical indie rocker with a dash of Tom Petty. Jack Antonoff co-produced – C+

You’re Always On Time – Tangerine Dream – prog electronica by past legends – B-

Break The Man – Tears For Fears – no worse than their 80s height, and certainly no better – C-

Angels – Thomas Rhett – an inspired “Cover Me Up” rip off that might have worked if it wasn’t so bathetic – C-

Chariots of Fire – Vangelis, Piano in a Living Room – the birth of digital (aka electronic) instrumentation arranged for piano – B

Buenos Días – Wisin, Camilo, Los Legendarios – Wisin is one of the greats of reggaeton and Camilo is a terrific singer – B+

Sooner Or Later – Years & Years an English version of Troye Sivan only bigger, and with Brockhampton going on indefinite hiatus they might emerge as the greatest boy band in the world! – C+

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