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Going Steady: New Singles 10-2-20 – 10-8-20 Reviewed

Someone Special – Anna of the North – the Norwegian singer songwriter with an anemic piano ballad, pretty but austere – B-

Amantes y Amigos – Arcangel, Sech – reggaeton giant meets neo-urbano standout with a catchy pop confection – B

Chocolate Pomegranate – Ari Lennox – chill-r&b master as sweet as the confection of the title tastes with clear electronic background and a steady and lovely vocal – B

How Was Your Day? – beabadoobee – The problem is that the Filipina woman sounds completely like herself that everything she does seems in stasis and here it catches up with her – B

Blackness of the Night (feat. AZITA) – Bill Callahan, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, AZITA – lo fi, indie Americana folk track winner – B+

Still Have Me – Demi Lovato – Demi, the former third of the Disney Princesses, remains all backstory. During the opening round of the pandemic, she fell for an actor, got engage, broke up on social media, and here she licks her wounds anew – B

This is Our Life – Des Rocs – Queens based rocker one man band uses his spatula guitar to flip over riffarama on an exciting but slight song – B-

Levitating (feat. DaBaby) – Dua Lipa, DaBaby – Dua continues to cement her position as the queen of the dance remix, here she adds a fine verse by the hottest rapper of the year – B

Dream On Me – Ella Henderson, Roger Sanchez – ella was born to add the chorus to e a remix, and on her own material has an incomplete quality to her EDM – B-

Not Another Love Song – Ella Mai – not “Boo’ed Up” but not the one hit wonder her debut album suggested, this is a sweet chill r&b – B

Hell Of A View – Eric Church – a rare misfire balladish thing – C+

Bop It (feat. Polo G) – Fivio Foreign, Polo G, Kenny Beats – straight up banger with thudding drums and sassy syllabic pop rap from the king of drill – B

The Pink Phantom (feat. Elton John and 6LACK) – Gorillaz, Elton John, 6LACK – Only Damon’s bunch of cut and paste, art damaged, dickheads could get Elton and 6lack and still blow it. A huge, missed opportunity – MUST TO AVOID – D

Elita (feat. Michael Bublé & Sebastián Yatra) – Gary Barlow, Michael Bublé, Sebastian Yatra – The other Take That guy with a lovely, swinging, salsa MOR track – B

Lemonade (Feat. Roddy Ricch & Don Toliver) [Remix] – Internet Money, Don Toliver, Roddy Ricch – Internet Money is the rap producer’s supergroup who aren’t as great as their parts… except on this, one of the best remixes you will hear this week as featured singers walk into and out of their bass hook – A-

Day After Day – Joni Mitchell – Recorded on a demo from August 24th, 1965 for Jac Holzman, co-founder of Elektra records, Joni Mitchell has released the first song she ever composed, “Day After Day,” and it is a brilliant folk track with just a finger picked acoustic guitar and Joni, who claims she didn’t know if it was any good, using her 22 year old mezzo-soprano to great effect and traversing the smallest of poetic conceits (day after day, night after night) on a now typical sounding song about the passing of time, to a stunning effect. It feels finished, it feels like an old folkie pro and not a newcomer. She was already ready – B+

Lie Like This – Julia Michaels – There is no doubt that Julia is one of the great songwriters of the 21st century, she is a walking hit making machine. But this is just too generic pop dance to matter – C

La Luz – Kali Uchis, Jhay Cortez – There is a secondary market in dance pop-Urbano pop crossover and Kali nails it on this strong vibe electronica – B

Making Do – Lake Street Dive – The street legal Americana-r&b cover band grew into their own in 2014, and cemented it in 2016. Since then not so much and while this is a finely constructed pop soul track, with something of power pop song construction, it doesn’t reach their former heights – B

More Beer – Lee Brice – a fun country rocker which does no more than that but has a simple aesthetic: party people partying – B+

Don’t Worry Be Happy (feat. T.I.) – Lil Duval, T.I. – the comedian who releases songs from time to time, with a remarkably sweet cover of a song I never much liked at all till now – B

Apologetic – Lupe Fiasco, Soundtrakk – a terrific rap track with an indestructible beat and a verbal hook (“born for this”) worth admiring – B

Oh Yes – Lupe Fiasco, Soundtrakk – kudos to Soundtrakk for giving Lupe his most melodic and populist sound to date, I’d love to her it break pop – A-

Don’t Stop (feat. Young Thug) – Megan Thee Stallion, Young Thug – when Tory isn’t shooting her, Megan has had a terrific year including a featured role in maybe the year’s best song, and this cool, whipe smart, snap track – B+

Heart Of Glass (Live from the iHeart Music Festival) – Miley Cyrus – rocknyc’s occasional scribe, sixteen year old Kathryn Mullen (here) recommended  this one too me. Funny how life goes round, I well remember the original Debbie Harry’s cool as glass ice queen take and recommend Miley’s wail on it as a first rate update where whatever remains of the disco triumph becomes electronic crossover – SINGLE OF THE WEEK  A-

say it over (feat. Cautious Clay) – Ruel, Cautious Clay – electronic singer songwriter without the song – C

Which Side Are You On? – S.G. Goodman – straight up 1930s Union song, perfectly executed a capella  – A-

Wonder – Shawn Mendes – as pop dreamboats go, Shawn does a pretty good job of having something everywhere. But he isn’t always working with the best material. Like here here for instance – C

How About I Be Me – Sinéad O’Connor – Beautifully sung dancehall – B+

Trouble Of The World – Sinéad O’Connor –  Sinead does Mahalia Jackson proud with a lovely version – B+

Trouble Of The World – a cappella – Sinéad O’Connor – amazing she has lived the life she has and still has such a perfect instrument, here there is just a touch of echo added and some background voices to her take – A-

Gun Smoke – Stunna 4 Vegas – southern trap rinky dink, aggressive rhymin’ – B

you broke me first – Tate McRae – sad girl breaking pop – B

Buy Another Gun – Thelonious Monster – old school alt rockers in post-punk mode with a killer bridge – B+

Leave Virginia Alone – Tom Petty – since his death none of the new songs have felt like a loss for not hearing earlier, this one is a beauty that would have improved Wildflowers – B+

Think I’m Crazy – Two Feet – bedroom land pop dance track – B-

Fallin’ – Why Don’t We – BTS may well be the boy band after One Direction abdicated, but hey don’t feel like the white bread noys where Why Don’t We do, who aren’t amd uey look the like the NAMBLA dream boats, but are missing something, here a memorable song – C+



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