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Going Steady: New Singles 4-24-20 – 4-30-24 Reviewed


Dangerookipawaa Freestyle – Ab-Soul – The Black Hippy member is terrific solo, pretty good on stage as well and the proof is this first rate freestyle – B

Diagnosis – Alanis Morissette – reminds me of all the things I never liked about the whiny woman, a dreary piano ballad – C

Good Job – Alicia Keys – I usually hate Alicia piano ballads more than I hate Alanis, but she gets the tune on the money and it has a resistant to dislike chorus, all that “good job” stuff is both sad and life infirmed – B

Santa Barbara – Angelo De Augustine – remorselessly beautiful soft focussed acoustic song, like Sufjan Stevens five years ago – B+

Way More Fun (feat. Lil Yachty) – Asher Roth, Lil Yachty – Asher’s horn rimmed percolating salsa dance track aided by Lil Yachty’s persuasive have it allness in counterclock to Asher’s advice to up and coming rappers with actually good advise, not everybody can be Lebron, or Lil Yachty for that matter, but it is more fun trying than not – B+

Ideas – Au/Ra – electronic pop track – C+

We Are Warriors – Avril Lavigne – Remember when she was gonna be the next Joan Jett? Neither does she on this rethink of the last track from her last album   – D

That’s What I Said – Bhad Bhabie – she can really rap, not great but  the hook for sure works  and we have known that for years so now what? – B-

For What It’s Worth – Billy Porter – Kinky Boot’s “Lola” has a great voice, Broadway yes, but tinged with soul. Here he covers Buffalo Springfield as a lead up to the November election – B

Summer All Over – Blake Mills – Of course Blake dropped a new single, Fiona Apple just released an album so why wouldn’t he, it is a slow and tedious piano ballad – C-

Forced Convalescence – Bright Eyes – after the actively lousy “Persona Non Grata” (less than a million streams by the way), this begins very prettily and it leads effortlessly to the chorus where a full choir doesn’t hurt it, no, what hurts it is the as always too busy for his own good Nate Walcott with a way too busy bridge… still, a huge relief – B

I Dig Your Dog – Caleb Landry Jones – off center faux chamber pop rocker from the Friday Night Lights guy – C+

Cheesin’ (with Cautious Clay, Remi Wolf, Still Woozy, Sophie Meiers, Claud, Melanie Faye, & HXNS) – cheerful r&b soul song for that happy feeling – B

Bounce – Cazzu – if you haven’t listened to Spotify’s “Trap Land” playlist of up to the moment Latin Trap I can’t recommend it highly enough, an absolute joy and at the top of the list is Cazzu, the 26 year old Argentinian rapper and songwriter and she has the most addictive earworm of the week, a rhyming, rhythm based track to a metronomic trap beat – A-

Channel Orange In Your Living Room – Charlie Burg – a gorgeous little pop song with the description of a lifetime for a birthing new love and how we glom on another person – B+

claws – Charli XCX – how can such an unusual, experimental art popstar be so typical? – C+

Falling for You – Charlotte OC – bass driven, r&b pop song – B

Ghost Adventure Spirit Orb – chloe moriondo – a modern day Lily Allen, smart lyric about sexual love and teenagerdom that works as a poppy pleasure – B+

“Farewell” Symphony – Deerhoof – about things that capitalism killed… – B-

Monk’s Robes – Deradoorian – indie folk mood music – C+

WHOLE WORLD (feat. Maxo) – Earl Sweatshirt, Maxo – an outtake from Earl’s last album is the typical, disturbed drawl bummer rap – B-

Eat It Up – Flo Milli – The “My Attitude” rapper has a simultaneously nursery rhyme and kind hearted coolness here, she’s made a believer out of me – B+

Lucky – Ganser – Simultaneously post-punk and punk with obstreperous guitar noise and sing speak vocals – B

Dial It In – Harkin – punk journeywoman who has performed with everyone from Wild Flag to Sleater Kinney (OK, not that everyone, true), and on her own has a well crafted rocker with a nice riff to take her home – B

Why Worry – Isaiah Rashad – The Black Hippie with a little Danny Brown in his timbre and a good flow that tumbles through bar after bar, great background sample – B

Downhill From Everywhere – Jackson Browne – Jackson’s earth day rocker about how all our waste reaches the sea – B-

Saviours of the City – Jake Bugg – finger picked acoustic folkie DOA – C

You’re Too Precious – James Blake – lovely mix of computer generated everything and a lovely smaller song following it – B+

Dreamsicle – Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – a moving on, dysfunctional family edition song, and the second goodie out of four – B+

Lonely Hearts – JoJo – typical EDM pop track singer songwriter division – C+

Exhale – Jónsi – ambient lo fi  via Sigur Ros – C+

Righteous – Juice WRLD – his first posthumous release was ready before he died and it shows with nothing of the tentative adds you tend to find in even the most respectful found tracks from friends songs, a Lil Peep style mumble rapper about drugs and Juice’s white Gucci suit  while a  beautiful, slow, drug dreamy lucidity has an anxiety attack as we expected from the late great  teen star – A-

Oh, What a World 2.0 – Earth Day Edition – Kacey Musgraves – not much of a new version  – C+

the other girl (with Halsey) – Kelsea Ballerini – it’s no “la” but a not bad mix of pop and country – B-

Cool Again – Kane Brown – average country track – C+

Polaroid – Keith Urban – catchy country, one of his best since he went pop – B

Fake Friends (feat. Joan Jett) – L7, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts – The classic track isn’t improved upon but hey, if it finds a new audience why not? Dig the snarled “beat it” at the end – B+

Witchy Burn – L7 – not untypical L7 rocker from the return to burn girl rockers restructuring a song off their last album  – B

All In – Lil Baby – I like him a whole lot but this is trap by the numbers – C+

Illuminati – Lil Pump, Anuel AA – Lil Pump is a king of repetition, and it is the DNA he uses on “Illuminato” and he’s good, though not Anuel AA good – B+

Fidget – Lil Skies – mumble rap dark skills – B-

Sasuke – Lil Uzi Vert – I love the new album but it didn’t do much -it needed that song and it didn’t have it and this ain’t it either, though I love it – B+

Times Like These – BBC Radio 1 Stay Home Live Lounge – Live Lounge Allstars – I should have known the Foo Fighters (or at least Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins) were involved in this piece of dribble, a singalong to a terrible Foo track featuring Chris Martin, Biffy Clyro, Royal Blood, Hailee Steinfeld, Dua Lipa, Paloma Faith, YUNGBLUD, Sean Paul, Celeste, 5 Seconds Of Summer, Zara Larsson, Rita Ora and Ellie Goulding, for the worst of these charity tracks since “Imagine” (not that long ago but you grasp the concept) – MUST TO AVOID – F

ADMV – Maluma – Bachata ballad – C

On the Mend – Man Man – an old indie pop rock psychedelic track, better when quieter – B-

Veg Out (Wasting Thyme) – Masego – Great pun – B

You’ll Never Walk Alone – Michael Ball, Captain Tom Moore, The NHS Voices of Care Choir – Captain Moore will be 100 years old on April 30th, and he is the man who walked around his garden to raise money for the NHS, and ended up raising $35M. The abysmal Michael Ball had Captain Moore croak on a cover of “You’ll Never Walk ALone” -unlistenable, of course, but that isn’t the story: the story is how life is not over until life is over. Even knocking on a century and Ball is still in the midst of it, and where there is life there is hope and there is change… the song is unspeakable – D+

Alert Level (Quarantined Mix) – Ministry – industrial strength with that teenage UN speaker added because that’s what everybody does – C+

Cool Off – Missy Elliott – cool, not off, rhythmic gaming dance genius stuff – A-

Harvest – Modern Nature, Itasca – indie folk artinest harvests some – B

lessons – mxmtoon – the nineteen year old kid has a taste for melody and beats and a lush sound on this one – B

House Party – New Kids On The Block, Boyz II Men, Big Freedia, Naughty By Nature, Jordin Sparks – 80s boy band meets friends for a fun dance track – B+

CRUMPY – Nick Hakim – whimsical because that’s Mac DeMarco on guitar, but soulful singer songwriter so it makes sense in its own way – B-

Selfish – Ro James – softcore r&b song – C+

Alone Time – Rufus Wainwright – lonely and lovely with  has an operatic vocal on a quiet piano ballad plus choir and chamber pop vibes – B

I Didn’t Mean To – Sarah Barrios – her bio reads “don’t mind me. ill just be over here spilling my guts”, yes and she is very charming in a sad song sort of way – B

ANIMAL CROSSING – Shawn Wasabi, Sophia Black -where video games meets indie EDM, catchy stuff – B

I Am America – Shea Diamond – Justin Trainer co-wrote this joyful, horn driven, self portrait of a country- B+

Tempo – Smino – The Chicago rapper returns after a coupla years with an addictive hook and the skill of not flow but repetition – B

Wake Up Dead – T-Pain, Chris Brown – not bad autotune r&b hook machine – B

You’re Not Sorry – CSI Remix – Taylor Swift – somewhat useless remix of the old Fearless track,  hmmm: smells like Big Machine business – C+

If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know) – The 1975 – The five songs we had heard from The 1975’s epic seeming new album has no center of gravity and single # 6  is a guitar rocker more exactly like their sound than any of the others –  B

Lost Angeles – The Aces – alt pop all girl band are sick of the West Coast – B-

Fire In Bone – The Killers – The last song wasn’t terrible, this song is terrible – D+

No-One – The Psychedelic Furs – best of the three singles, but still the catchy factor is gone – B-

Living In A Ghost Town – The Rolling Stones – We haven’t had an album of new material from the Rolling Stones since the godawaful a bigger bang in 2005, but in 2012 we got a coupla mediocre songs on the GRRR! greatest hits, and in 2016 one of the Stones best albums of all time, the blues covers Blue And Lonesome dropped. Following their performance on the One World: Live Stream At Home Together, they’ve given us a new song: a dubby reggae lilt added to a New York Blues Stonesiness, “Living In A Ghost Town”. It was demoed a year ago in LA for an upcoming album probably waiting till their 60th anniversary in 2022, Jagger repurposed the story of a left love for the age of isolation and gives a fine vocal performance and an even better harp solo, Ronnie sounds good with an add of a squiggle hear and there, and, it’s essentially reggae so Keith’s area of complete expertise, the rhythm section takes an excellent bedrock and lays the song on top. Minor Stones but Stones nevertheless – B

THE SCOTTS – THE SCOTTS, Travis Scott, Kid Cudi – Now, this is a supergroup, two top stars with tastes in sound that dovetail apart (with Kanye West the divner between the two), walls of sound, dank vibes, half beats, slurred and articulated vocals and that “Fortnite” outro, those weirdly fucked with horns… plus Rolling Stone don’t like it so… – SINGLE OF THE WEEK – A-

Mother – UMI – she calls it bedroom r&b, and there is a lot of it going around, which is fine by me. Lovely low key soul, the Japanese-Black-American woman said: “I wrote this song as a letter of gratitude to Mother Earth and to my own mother for this existence” – B+

Reason to Run – Varsity – pleasant enough pop rocker, good singer – B-

Dive – Victoria Monét – Ariana Grande with better sound but less attitude and the voice missing – B-

Lurchers – Western Addiction – excellent little rocker, bounces hard and the vocal just proves he could so do screamo but isn’t – B+

Your Hero Is Not Dead – Westerman – indie, piano singer songwriter with a laid back coil to it – B-

Sunshine – Young Dolph – back on his feet after nearly getting shot to death, here Young Dolph actually deals with the quarantine realistically (in his green lamborghini) – B+

Weird! – YUNGBLUD – remember when the glam English id was sleeping with Halsey and about to be the next big thing… this won’t help if you don’t – C+


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