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Going Steady: New Singles 3-3-23 – 3-9-23 Reviewed

Since I Have A Lover – 6LACK – though the alternative r&b stalwart hasn’t released an album since 2018, this is the first track off the upcoming album and it is as great as anything he has ever written, just a straightforward soul song except the drums are too loud and I coulda lived without the coda – B+

Bye Bye Love – Ann-Margret, Pete Townshend, T.G. Sheppard – I have had little opportunity to cover one of my faves, Ann-Margret, except for a “Viva Las Vegas” review I seldom mention her and so the news that she has a covers album arriving soon and that Pete Townshend joined her on a cover of the Everly Brothers “Bye Bye Love” is good news – B

Mas Rica Que Ayer – Anuel AA, DJ Luian, Mambo Kingz – Latin trap with reggaeton vibes, as though Bad Bunny never happened – B-

Aylesbury Boy – Baxter Dury, JGrrey – Ian’s little boy, with Ian’s grandson getting a writing credit, this is a not untypically mediocre effort – B-

Not Strong Enough – boygenius – always an angel, never a god… – A-

Metallic 5’s – Conway the Machine, Jae Skeese -industrial strength art-rap -B

Still Alive – From the Original Motion Picture Scream VI – Demi Lovato – full on power ballad rock that brings down the house on the bridge – B

Myopic – Drug Church – hard rock meets screamo – B-

Line In The Sand – Hot Chip, Brian Eno, goddess – In the 2010s, a decade reknowned for EDM pop bands, Hot Chip were top performers, in 2023 they are a little out of date and Brian Eno adds nothing to nothing – C-

Cinderella Snapped – Jax – The singer songwriter disco popster apparently never heard of “Bad Cinderella” and here she imagines ‘rella fighting back against the happy ever slave to a prince as written – B-

As It Was – J Hacha de Zola – The one man cover band puts his hand to Harry’s greatest moments and does an excellent job of quieting the synths so it can be heard even clearer – B+

The Bend – King Princess – I haven’t been convinced of King Princess since “The 1950s” (sic) but this new track with Aaron Dessner is as sweet and strong as soulful indie r&b gets – A-

In Verona – Lael Neale – Lael was great as an early indie performer ten years ago and her first Sub Pop album was its equal, this haunting piece of weirdness about taphophilia though not thanatology and promises she will go three for three on her next album – SINGLE OF THE WEEK – A-

Designer – Major Lazer, Joeboy, Major League Djz – Latin pop meets ay caramba beats – B-

If Darkness Had a Son – Metallica – six minutes plus of Metallica blueprint – B

Flowers (Demo) – Miley Cyrus – I misread the original, I still don’t like it but thematically it is catnip for women – C+

Red Ruby Da Sleeze – Nicki Minaj – she may have waited too long for the follow up to second act breakthrough “Super Freaky Girl” and while the self portrait might not be the follow up we wanted it is strong enough to maintain the momentum and Nicki’s rap is world class – B

Dummy – Portugal. The Man – it looks like they will never replicate “Feel It Still” but even so, “Dummy” has a hook’s hook and the band is consistently surprising in pleasant ways – B+

Down in the Willow Garden (feat. Brandi Carlile) – Rufus Wainwright – one of the great fall from graces, ever since his Mom passed he has lost his mojo and is now completely incapable of anything as great as day “Vibrate” or “Poses”, his last great album was 2010’s “All Days For Nights” and that is a long drought out of greatness. This folk song is terrible – D

Dreams of the Working Class – Ryan Adams & The Cardinals – it’s with the Cardinals that Ryan wrote one of his classics, “Crossed Out Name” and opened for Oasis back in 2008 (was I there? you betcha), this isn’t one of his classics but it ain’t bad and the band is playing King’s Theatre in August – B

The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte – Sparks – give em a thumbs up for longevity, pursuing their glam mets J-Pop Kimono vibe and sounding just as good – B+

Imagine A Man – Live At Wembley, UK / 2019 – The Who, Isobel Griffiths Orchestra – Pete and Roger’s last work was the hugely underestimated WHO from 2019, that album taught us a lesson: for musicians, age matters so much that even when a Townshend manages a late career masterwork (he was in his early seventies when it dropped) he can’t move the needle. Here, the 2019 gig at Wembley that will be released at the end of March gets a By Numbers taster with a great vocal – B

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