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Going Steady: New Singles 2-15-19 – 2-21-19 Reviewed

Familiar Drugs – Alexisonfire – Neat trick, the melodicism you expect from emocore bubbles underneath while the drums and screamoing screaming handle the front – B+

Raise A Man – Alicia Keys – Alicia Keys: the poster child for changing sweet guys to misogynists and this is creepy (particularly when you figure in Swiss Beatz) but the song construction is very song  and I would love to have heard Aretha sing “is it ok if I’m not independent”, it took a few spins but it kicked in – B-

Roses – Arin Ray – X Factor alumni with an MOR r&b that lacks a kick – C+

Lonely For you – Armin Buuren, Bonnie McKee – Sure, Bonnie and Armin are pros, but what they are pros at is this slackening of trance till it is a mutation away from MOR pop and drained of just about everything -tailor made for the UK… – C

Last Hurrah – Bebe Rexha – The Long Island singer songwriter EDM voice who broke big with Florida Georgia Line’s “Meant To Be”  last year won a lot of brownie parts for personably and hard nosed live show, and lost it with the lousy “rah aah ahh” hook here – C

1 SIDED LOVE – blackbear – His Cybersex album in 2017 was a nice piece of pop moodiness and here he is like a junior varsity James Blake moodwise, always a rhyme away from a clipboard – B

That’s How Strong Our Love Is – Bryan Adams, Jennifer Lopez – Wow, whatever you want to say about Ryan at least he never wrote a song this terrible – MUST TO AVOID –  C-

Please Me – Cardi B, Bruno Mars – A terrific meeting of Cardi’s edgy pop rap and Bruno’s disco dream Uptown funkiness, it will be HUGE – B+

Fluctuate – As boring a riff laden classic rocker as you’ll find – C

Pretend – CNCO- Latin pop boy band, no, no no – C-

Swing – Danny Ocean – EDM Latin pop – C+

On The Lines – Foals – I used to mistake these guys for Elbow, but they are actually a UK jam band with art leanings and this is another dog – C-

Every Little Honky Tonk Bar – George Strait – “whiskey is the gasoline that lights the fire that burns the bridge…,” the third terrific new Strait single in a row, just a string singalong country rock – B+

When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings – Gillian Welch, David Rawlings – Sure, everyone loves this duo, they’re excellent live as well, but this is a little lax -sad and sweet but slow and meh – B-

Speed It Up – Gunna – Gunna may only have his clothes and attitude on his mind, but he really makes em sound deep – B+

Heads Gonna Roll – Jenny Lewis – If Ryan Adam’s crash and burn is gonna affect Jenny Lewis excellent new single (which he produced) (and I don’t think it shall). it would be a horrorshow, whatever you think of Ryan, Jenny’s recherchez de amour perdu is a well felt snapshot of how memory works, and how it comes to us, and her best in years… its sadness belies its story, it just hurts – SINGLE OF THE WEEK –  A-

Adore You – Jessie Ware – There’s a whole cottage industry of UK white chick soul singers, Jessie Glynn never leaves the charts, Jessie has the voice but the production is too obvious EDM for her skills – C+

Preach – John Legend – Legend is a boring but charming live performer, on record he is simply boring, but after dismissing this song out of hand on Friday, a couple more spins finds a clever story song with some life to it  – C+

Robbery – Juice WRLD – As song goes it’s not great, but as sounds go that piano lick is magical – B

Rainbow – Kacey Musgraves – A piano country bore by the overrated grammy winner – C

kiss u better – Katzù Oso – DJ goes pop with a breathy lead singer and an earworm classicism – B+

Butterfly – Kehlani – The tattooed, weirdo, r&b singer has been circling the upper rings since the KYLE song, but only gets there when he, or a Cardi B, feature her in… this doesn’t do it – C+

Cuz I Love You – Lizzo – This is a dramatic song which an orchestra rush till the hardcore singing, lungs out there vocals,  just a really good song (it will KILL live), if John Barry covered Calvin Harris – B+

Million Miles – Molly Tuttle – Couchsurfing taken to another level from the singer songwriter – B-

I Don’t Even Know You Anymore (feat. Bazzi & Lil Wayne) – Netsky, Bazzi, Lil Wayne – Great beat, nice hook, Bazzi handles vocals well but Weezy? Not so much on the rap – B-

Racks In The Middle (feat. Roddy Ricch and Hit-Boy) – Nipsey Hussle, Roddy Ricch, Hit-Boy – That’s Nipsey on YG’s “FDT,” a song filled with prescience and enough to leave me admiring the rapper without liking him very much – B-

Red Room – Offset – Not just his best work since Culture, but also his best work maybe period, a dead aim, 0 – 90, look back at his youth and the move from childhood and his loving Mom to adulthood and hoodluming… Metro Boomin’ produced – A-

Forever Alone – Paulo Londra – Electronic goes Latin trap – B-

Say So (feat. JoJo) – PJ Morton, JoJo – Creamy, gorgeous, R&B 90s style – A-

Time is the Killer – Rain Phoenix, Michael Stipe – Low impact folk stuff, Mike is in strong voice  – B-

KARMA – Raja Kumari – Indian meets American rap, not bad – B

Find My Love – Salaam Remi, Nas, Amy Winehouse – Nas and AMy: together again on a fine vibed chill hip hop song – B

Everytime – Social Club Misfits – Great sample track, nice skittish beat, good hook, great lyric… the rapping is missing something – B

Friday on My Mind – The Weeklings, Peter Noone – The Easybeats classic call to the weekend has been covered by David Bowie to great effect, but better than the Weeklings? The Easybeats is all teen angst and Bowie is screaming queen daymare, the Weeklings actual instrumentation is better than both: a powerful and sturdy, tight as hell take that makes it the essence of working class hope.   Peter Noone is the icing on the cake – A-

For Real – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Maybe there is a reason he didn’t release these songs in his own time? – C

The Best Of Everything – Alternate Version / Extra Verse – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – The Southern Accents closer, a great song and this is even more Jackson Browne than the original – B+

All I Want (feat. Flipp Dinero) – T-Pain, Flipp Dinero – T-Pain at his poppiest since “Five O’Clock” and Flip is an excellent foil, plus T rhymes “Go and cop that new Ferrari” with “Ooh, I need your love I can’t do nothing without it” – B+

11 Minutes (with Halsey feat. Travis Barker) – YUNGBLUD, Halsey, Travis Barker – UK teen badass pop guy meets up with Halsey and a Blinker to good effect – B

365 – Zedd, Katy Perry – Better than my original opinion, a strong EDM pop track that does its House sound and world music vibe great credit – B-

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