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Going Steady: New Singles 11-19-21 – 11-25-21 Reviewed

Sara Jo – Alex Cameron – The Brandon Flowers friend might solve some Killers problems with his understated dadrock, which comes together on a catchy track about misinformation – A-

Queer – Arca, Planningtorock – Arca is having a major breakthrough year, they have one of the best albums of the year with another two albums circling, and this gorgeous post-modern hyperpop tracks among its best releases. Planningtorock helps – A-

So Slowly – Beirut – the art rock arrangers lead by Zach Condon with an outtake that will eventually show on their odds and sods album – B

Empty Bottles (feat. MOD SUN) – Bryce Vine – pleasant enough pop-punk – B

lonely christmas (feat. Justin Bieber & Poo Bear) – Bryson Tiller – Bryson is a top soul singer and when Bieber and the songwriter and partner on a ton of songs with Bieber, Poo Bear joins in, it is always gonna be a winner – B+

Mommy – Burning Spear – The top Rastaman from the 70s first release in over a decade, and it is exactly the rub-a-dub old school reggae you hoped for in an ode to women who raise their children: “the woman that holds a family together and prevents her children from fall…” – A-

Moderation – Cate Le Bon – a lowkey lo fi, rock dreamscape, goth track – B

A Drug From God – Chris Lake, NPC – deep house from the UK DJ – B

Somos Nada – Christina Aguilera – way overblown Spanish ballad, though she has great pipes – C

Can’t Help Thinking About Me – David Bowie – The 1966 classic Brit rock track from David Jones – B

Can’t Help Thinking About Me – Live Mark Radcliffe Show BBC Radio 1 Session – David Bowie – and from 1999, from another upcoming box set – B-

The Haves – Eddie Vedder, David Campbell – tedious Americana – C

2010 – Earl Sweatshirt – Earl can get too arty for his own good (live he is deadly) but this is a straight ahead rap flow over bars and works – B+

Measure of a Man (feat. Central Cee) – FKA twigs – John Barryish 007 style wannabe – B+

Sunlight (feat. Lady Blackbird) – Goldie, James Davidson, Subjective -the 90s drum n bass pioneer with a dreamy track of beats as a wall of sound beneath a pop veneer – B+

Billy – Horsegirl – impressive indie rocker band’s debut for Matador is exactly what the label hoped they were buying, fuzzed out wall of sound guitars and deep harmonies – A-

Made of Gold – Ibeyi, Pa Salieu – The Afro-Cuban sisters with a world music drag – C

On My Way (Marry Me) – Jennifer Lopez – she has had a bad twenty odd years with only that Vegas show (here) making a difference, her movies, even that stripper one, aren’t all that, and the new single, a lowkey piano ballad building to anthem though pleasant enough is nothing special however, the movie it comes from, a sort of reimagined “Notting Hill” with Owen Wilson, looks great , the single is on Sony Latin -go figure – B

Happy Holidays, You Bastard – jxdn – before it hit as big as it eventually would with Olivia Rodriguez, jxdn dropped a great cover, though he is on steadier ground with this seasonal, 43 second, Blink 182 cover – B

MMM MMM (The Remix) [feat. ATL Jacob, Latto & Moneybagg Yo] – Kali – catchy almost hit remixed – B

OFF – Maxwell – Maxwell at his most straightforward, a late night, smooth r&b return…. a little vanilla – B-

S.Y.K. – Merlyn Wood, CONNIE – The Brockhampton rapper adds EDM beats to his clipped rap – B

Everywhere (BBC Children In Need) – Niall Horan, Anne-Marie – Christine McVie doesn’t have the fan base of Stevie or the production skills of Lindsey but she had the best songs and sung em best on top, “Don’t Stop,” “You Make Loving Fun” and this magnificent song off Tango In The Night to name only three. Shockingly, on a first time ever sort of deal, it is a perfect track for charity this season. Anne-Marie can always sing well (she is the rudimental of choice) and Niall nails a perfectly persuasive take. Sure, it’s hard to go wrong given the song. That was hard, not impossible – A-

Outlawz (feat. Jazmine Sullivan & 21 Savage) – Rick Ross – Rick’s big problem was his heart attack back in the day derailed Maybach Music and he hasn’t gotten back, 21 Savage is in good voice and Jazmine is a good featured performer, but it is endlessly old fashioned – C+

Money (feat. Flo Milli) – Rico Nasty – beat heavy anthem to best things that aren’t free with two strong raps lacing their shoes and a first rate EDM production from the great German DJ Boys Noize (Grade: B+)

Icy Chain – Saweetie – Saweetie’s best song, a minor pop masterpiece with a hook to die for, “twerk that ass for an icy chain”, and Dr. Luke is one of the producers, and does stellar work even if he is an asshole – SINGLE OF THE WEEK – A

Christmas Time (Is Here Again) – Spoon – The Beatles seasonal number, probably their worst one, and Spoon add what they usually add: nothing – MUST TO AVOID – D+

Easy – Sun June – an outtake from their excellent album at the top of this year, this is a beautiful, late summer afternoon sounding beauty – A-

Coming for You (feat. A1 x J1) – SwitchOTR – The hook is really great, it reminds me of how Lil Uzi Vert used Oh Wonder. Already a hit IN THE uk, the hip hop track has every reason to break in the US – B+

All Too Well (Sad Girl Autumn Version) – Recorded at Long Pond Studios – Taylor Swift – recorded at the folklore studio and really we get it TayTay, Jake fucked you up a decade ago, we got it once, twice, three times including the SNL version but enough already -the Americana here is once too often – B-

Mi Engañaste Bien – The Fleshtones – Peter Zaremba channelling Mexican garage pop ala The Kingsmen – B+

SO DONE – The Kid LAROI – the eighteen year old singer has real skills as a miniature Bieber wannabe still working it out as he hits the charts. But this one isn’t all that – C+

A.M. RADIO – The Lumineers – the folkies are alright when they are good and an insufferable bore when they aren’t – D+

AA – Walker Hayes – Hayes has managed a real difficult trick, he has a winner follow-up to “Fancy Like,” as he tries to stay out of “AA” on a country pop winner that is clearly an earworm of great strength – A-

I Have Loved the Story of My Life – Zander Schloss – the Circle Jerks -surely one of the most fun early L.A. punk bands, grew old and here the bass player plods through the usual switch to Americana – C+

Look Who’s Dancing – Ziggy Marley, Yemi Alade – Ziggy has a rastaman dancehall track and the add of the top Nigerian singer and purveyor of African pop Yemi on a thrilling song – A-

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