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Going Steady: New Singles 4-10-20 – 4-16-20 Reviewed


I realize it looks like business as usual, but I’ve reviewed upwards of 80 songs a week and slowly but surely new single releases have dwindled…

Midnight (feat. Liam Payne) – Alesso, Liam Payne –  a disciple of Avicii with a 1D on a mix and match country ballad plus drop the bass – B-

Happiness In Liquid Form – Alfie Templeman –  bedroom pop with a spritely disco backbeat via the UK – B

Hunnid (feat. Joyce Wrice) – Asher Roth, Joyce Wrice – Over ten years after his college days, he sounds less like Eminem and more like a guy watching life passing him as he pursues bucks, kudos to Joyce for her great chorus – B

Y U Gotta B Like That (feat. KYLE) – Audrey Mika, KYLE – Audrey sounds like Jessie Reyez as  teenage siren, and the song is the purest of r&b pop confection – A-

MAMACITA – Black Eyed Peas, Ozuna, J. Rey Soul – The biggest mistake Will-I-Am made was letting Fergie slip out of his grasp, though he was definitely ahead of the cover with reggaeton and this includes  a terrific vocal from newcomer, the winner of the Philippines The Voice J. Rey Soul who is first rate. Everything about this track is catchy and strong, a mix of house beats and pop reggaeton, so good I didn’t even point out that Ozuna is on it – A-

Barquillero – Calibre 50 – gorgeous, regional Mexicana with horns to spare plus, is that a tuba I see before me? – B+

forever – Charli XCX – she has only ever done it over a single for me since  her feature on Icona Pop’s “I Love It” seven years ago, so take the raves with a pinch of salt except for the Phil Spector wall of sound arrangement of electronic pop that is the gorgeous “forever” and suggests something I missed: her pop artistry can cut very deep – B+

Colombiana – Chucky73, Fetti031 – Bronx Latin trap, with a side of drill  – B

Vendetta – Cousin Stizz – brooding, dank beat quietly menacing – B

Go – E-40 – In 2016,  E-40 released 80 songs and since then the West Coast art rapper has been less prolific, and this year, as anybody who is performing anything but trap hails his influence, he has been quite quiet with “Go” low key and strong pure rap flow and flowing right over beats to the chorus which is clipped and crushed and backing harmonies which are mostly completely unique, his first release of the year  – B+

Running Away – Genevieve Stokes – lovely piano ballad by an 18 year old wunderkind – B

Nowhere To Hide Now – Ghostpoet -rumbling bass plus spoken word spikiness and post-punk guitar – B

Darling – GIRL SKIN – strummy plus piano low key folk pop – B

Aries (feat. Peter Hook and Georgia) – Gorillaz, Peter Hook, Georgia – Joy Division with beats FYI – C+

My Friend – Hayley Williams – a quietly  song about the seriousness of friendship and love, but it doesn’t sound like it  – MUST TO AVOID – C-

Proud Of Me – J.I the Prince of N.Y – autotuned ballad – C+

Murder Most Foul – Kenneth Pattengale – One half of the Milk Carton Kids and what the hell was he thinking of? Ken has a beautiful voice, so he took Dylan’s nascent masterpiece, took out the piano and added acoustic guitar. Nicely done, then instead of singing he used a voice synthesizer like Stephen Hawkins… man, he must be bored – C

Knowing You – Kenny Chesney -godawful ballad – C

Wish I Was Better – Kina, yaeow – Kina has a strong baritone dream voice as a popstar in waiting – B-

Held Down – Laura Marling – This is the new Laura? All that guff about it being for her daughter -which she doesn’t gave, about what it means to be a girl? Sounds like the same meh, Americana meets classic Joni-ish melodic stuff before Joni went jazz. The vocals are beautiful, multi-layered glory but the sentiments (about not holding a love down) are bland, her language isn’t what it was -did she really write “Goodbye England (When It Snows”)?-  and while the sophistication is clear, the sensibility is bland though the song isn’t bad. Just look at her mealy mouthed press release: “I’m old enough to have a daughter now…” As she was  ten years ago – B-

Thank You – Gregory Porter – Jazz swing plus Gospel backing for an Easter tribute to, well, guess who he is thanking – B+

Hold You Tonight (with Chris Lane) – Gryffin, Chris Lane – EDM meets country… again – C

We Wait – Other Lives –  Jesse Tabish: “When I was 15, I formed the All American Rejects. This was my high school band. Always there in our everyday life were Tommy and Jennifer, a member’s older sister and brother-in-law. Tommy was the older brother I never had. Kind and wise, he was my mentor and family to me. Tommy was shot and killed at the age of 25, on the morning of 30th November. Jennifer, his wife, had hired his murderer. This event completely devastated and shattered my reality. I quit the Rejects and was very lost. I soon found the piano and started moving towards a deeper place inside, artistically, which has shaped me to this day. For many years, I had avoided this trauma and couldn’t touch the subject. I pushed it out, only for it to haunt me more recently. Writing this song is the way for me to heal and remember my old pal, Tommy.” A western Americana sound about Tommy being long gone – B

One Of Them Girls – Lee Brice – country stalwart who can write a strong groove with a good lyric – B

Inside Friend (feat. John Mayer) – Leon Bridges, John Mayer – typical Leon soul stuff, featuring Mayer in pop singer mode and the guitar solo is nothing special – C+

Fear Of Being Alone – Lennon Stella – remember her from the TV show Nashville? She adds an r&b vibe to her country pop – C+

My Vibe – Mt. Joy – quirky post-punk indie folk artiness – B-

Let Me Down – Oliver Tree – an emo pop track – C+

Kyoto – Phoebe Bridgers –  all I’ve ever heard from her that has blown me away is “Motion Sickness”, so with its strange Asian feel in its DNA and a lovely horn solo by Bright Eyes’ Nathaniel Walcott, this is better than we had any right to expect – B

Ride with Me – Pink Sweat$ – chill r&b – C+

DND – Polo G – sung and rapped, nice lyrical hook: “once we start a riot we can’t keep quiet” – B-

death bed (coffee for your head) (feat. beabadoobee) – Powfu, beabadoobee – beabadoobee completely kills the hook, and Powfu’s paranoid might be deserved – A-

Bali (with Guapdad 4000) – Rich Brian, Guapdad 4000 – The former Rich Chigga is about as harmless as his name on this nice flow bore -B-

Popstar – Rico Nasty – earworm hook repeated come on by one of the hottest new rappers autotuned and playing with rhymes for the wounded in love from a popstar popstar popstar – B

RASCAL – RMR – Interlopes Rascal Flatts on a sheer boredom though quite successful basis – C

Boys Ain’t Shit (feat. Tate McRae & Audrey Mika) – SAYGRACE, Tate McRae, Audrey Mika – Australian SAYGRACE has been compared to Amy Winehouse, but vocally she isn’t there so perhaps they mean lyrically, which is pretty darn sharp here – B+

Pretty Lady – Tash Sultana – soulful singer songwriting based on a bass lick with strings coming in halfway through to underline the point – B-

Brooklyn Bridge To Chorus – The Strokes – easily the best of the three we’ve heard, a terrific pop rock per Strokes song and a great joke, when he sings “break” he waits a beat and the band go into it – B+

Do It – Toni Braxton – overwrought soul from a past master – C+

Dogshit – Travis Barker, Jasiah, nascar aloe – obstreperous rapcore – C+

Level of Concern – Twenty One Pilots – nice and playful new love story with a more than apt chorus – B+

SexBeat – Usher, Lil Jon, Ludacris – so, you think you’re getting a banger? Nope, you’re getting a sex song with delusions of grandeur saved by Lil Jon (not Ludacris) – C+

TED – Village of the Sun, Moses Boyd, Binker Golding, Simon Ratcliffe – cool jazz instrumental with some middle eastern flavored horns – B

Too Late – Washed Out – Ambient mood music track – B-

We’ll Meet Again – Vera Lynn, Sailors, Soldiers & Airmen of Her Majesty’s Forces, Roland Shaw & His Orchestra – I was ragging on the current pop scenes inability to produce a song like this, mentioned in Elizabeth Rex II’s speech to her nation. But how could they? Who could? Written by Ross Parker and Hughie Charles  (they also wrote “There’ll Always Be An England). Nice singalong by you can read who in the title – A+

Headlocc – Yella Beezy, Young Thug – Love that  piano, love both rappers, and Yella, who has yet to make an impression is on top of his flow and then some – B


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