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Going Steady: New Singles 10-28-21 – 11-4-21 Reviewed

Charmander- Aminé – four years after his breakthrough, here the rapper meets the middle ground between rap and hyperpop with a twinkling and acute sample track and a clipped flow – B

Dictadura – Anuel AA – he has never sounded more like Bad Bunny, that braying vocal is a facsimile, but his Latin Trap isn’t far reaching and settles for average – B

Green Juice (feat. Pharrell Williams) – A$AP Ferg, The Neptunes – he had that Logic remix earlier this year, but for two years it has been all features, so on the week where Rocky returns Ferg makes the definition of a pop move in that he gets the Neptunes to produce, and so it is, in fact catchy, without being very good – C+

Sandman – A$AP Rocky – the re-release of his mixtape from ten years ago onto streaming platforms, is given an added plus with this current tribute to the late A$AP Yams and it reminds you why Rocky is so well loved and not just by Rihanna – A-

The Night You Left – Ashley Kutcher – say what you will about the sadgirl, anybody whose bio reads “Busy pouring my heart out for your entertainment” sure works for me – B+

Oxygen – Beach Bunny – first rate indie pop like a variant on Best Coast, Lili Trifilio is a strong pop-punk songwriter and the band ring their guitar jungle behind her… from Chicago while I coulda sworn she was from L.A. – A-

New York State of Mind – Live at the Great American Music Hall – 1975 – Billy Joel – he sings better today, there is something too shallow about his vocal that shades the emotional depth of the classic… like fine wine, he took awhile to grow into it – B

Cartier Lens – Bobby Shmurda – Brooklyn drill guy who missed his time when he was sent to prison for SIX YEARS, this is his return and it is better than his unexceptional performance at MSG a coupla weeks ago, the beats are heavy and Shmurda lands hard on everything -if they gave Bobby six years for what amounts to possession, Fetty Wap is toast – B+

Badlands – Live at Madison Square Garden, New York, NY – 09/22/79 – Bruce Springsteen – the No Nukes show and a muscular power drive through one of the Bosses greatest songs – A

Let’s Go Brandon – Bryson Gray, Chandler Crump, Tyson James – Trump is a South American style Tin-Pot dictator and while I am all for free speech that isn’t what this represents. Still, it is better than it deserves to be – C+

Oh Na Na – Camila Cabello, Myke Towers, Tainy – hooky as hell (actually, hooky as its song name) Latin pop, in Spanish as well. It almost makes me forgive Camila for Cinderella – B+

Tekepath – Conan Gray – synth pop sugar high from the bedroom poppers – B-

Hyperlandia – Vocal Mix – deadmau5, Foster The People – that mice mask has to go now, this is more electronica than EDM and up to nothing much – C+

Six Words – Elbow – another outtake from The Seldom Seen Kid, and it is a beautiful slice of mood music – B+

Magnificent Hurt – Elvis Costello, The Imposters – he has recovered from being a genius on Spanish Model, and is back to sucking on the Attractions without the melody sounding “Magnificent Hurt” – C+

Private Phones – FBG GOAT, Young Thug – The Memphis rapper has the rapper of the moment on the track, the flow ain’t bad but its push for ignition is stalling – B

Ice Baby – Flo Milli – this woman can rap, I prefer her flow to just about anybody right now, I prefer her to Megan Thee Stallion for one. This is a catchy track but not Flo’s best though she should feel free to spit in my face whenever she would like – B+

I Don’t Really Care – French Montana – a dog with a lame hook – D+

Sleigh Ride – Gary Barlow – shockingly credible, straight up no snowball, from the former Take That guy who wasn’t Robbie Williams – B+

One – Hanson – the last boys 2 men band standing have maintained a career by growing up and feeding their cult pretty good rockers like this – B

Taken For Granted – J.I the Prince of N.Y – autotuned, r&b hip hop – B-

I Wish (feat. Mabel) – Joel Corry – Mabel’s “Let Them Know” is one of the better pop slices of the year and DJ Joel Corry has had five hit singles (in the UK) in succession, “I Wish” is another winner and should make it six – A-

Last Train Home – Ballad Version – John Mayer – just awful, the version on Sob Rock wasn’t special but it was vastly better than this lugubrious slog – MUST TO AVOID – D+

ALYGATYR – Kasabian – if you have missed out on this English rockers who add electronics to hard rock so much better than Bastille for one, it isn’t even funny. “Never back down” is an anthem line, and the band have a Bobby Gillespie vibe money can’t buy. I’d love to see em live, this is the rock anthem we’ve been waiting for – SINGLE OF THE WEEK – A

Kiss of Life – Kylie Minogue, Jessie Ware – Jessie is to EDM what Kylie is to disco, the one voice you always want to hear. It’s a pity they didn’t pick a better song – B+

Demon High – Lil Uzi Vert – a real good Halloween track, let’s hope it’s a perennial – B+

Next Year (feat. Windser) – Macklemore – with the possible exception of Iggy Azalea, there is no rapper with less credibility than Macklemore, nobody has forgiven him for that preposterous rap grammy. The difference is…? Iggy ain’t bad – D+

Madness – Maddie & Tae – I guess “Girl In A Country Song” was a fluke – C

Get Back (feat. Chris Brown) – Mario – mainstream r&b – B-

Chameleon (feat. Salt Cathedral) – Matisyahu – the Jewish rapper returns after four years and adds EDM beats to his reggae meets rap… it works pretty well – B

Amor Fati (feat. James Valentine & Jacob Scesney) – Mike Posner – Posner hitting a funky vibe – B

Heading West – Neil Young, Crazy Horse – 1) in a world with a new The War On Drugs album, a quick reminder of where it comes from and 2) if Neil wants to bring back Crazy Horse use Never Sleeps and not Way Down In The as your template – B

Signals – Regard, Kwabs – The Kosovan DJ (Dua Lipa’s ground zero) with a dreadful, full blown EDM ballad – C

The Blower’s Daughter – Ronan Keating, Cian Boylan, Storm Keating – The Boyzone with completely typical mainstream pop circa 1975, it is the epitome of what the UK does worst – D+

Cleo – Shygirl – a sort of London, EDM Cupcakke though less extreme – C+

The Hardest Cut – Spoon – indie rocker – C+

DÁKITI – Spotify Singles – The Marías – I usually don’t do Spotify singles, but this Bad Bunny cover is so good, sweet, and seriously rethought, it is worth searching out – A-

Sign Language – YG – skips through the verses with complete assurance – B

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