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Going Steady: New Singles, 5-22-20 – 5-28-20 Reviewed

 

Time – Arca – Arty ambient sound manipulation that works from a sturdy hook – B

Pursuit of Liberty – Bad Cop, Bad Cop – very powerful, somewhat too proggy but…  written by the bassist whose parents escaped from Saigon just to find themselves being treated like refugees – A-

I’m Not Sure What It Is – Badly Drawn Boy – never a big fan but listening to this melodic beauty with gorgeous horns Burt Bacharach coulda drawn up, maybe I was wrong – B+

No Chorus Pt. 12 – BlocBoy JB, Tay Keith – Heavy duty rap banger – B

Pomegranate – deadmau5, The Neptunes – funk meets EDM mood enhancer sounds – B

It Was Me – Deradoorian – mood music, heavy on the bass with a post punk nervousness  – B-

Scenescof – Devendra Banhart – Devendra turns to 1967 for his T Rex cover off the forthcoming Scenester In A Top Hat, Marc was trippier, Devandra folkier – B

Can’t Start Over Again – Dion, Jeff Beck – His second goodie, I’m feeling a lot better about this – B+

Power – Ellie Goulding -overblown EDM anthem-ballad – C

Big Decision – Live at Umbra Penumbra – September 17th, 1994 – Elliott Smith – early live, bluesy workout – B+

Rollin’ and Tumblin’ – Eric Clapton, B.B. King – so are you ready for the country? Kinda excellent, you know – B+

Eachother [Feat. Jackson Browne, Marcus King, & Lucius] – Grace Potter, Jackson Browne, Marcus King – I am rooting for Covid 19 if only to eradicate moldy crap like this – MUST TO AVOID – D

Don’t Wanna – HAIM – The sixth single off the album and there hasn’t been a doggy so far though none quite match the second, “Summer Girl” – B

Falling In – Inhaler – young, four piece young men rock band via Dublin, signed to UMAS -what year is it again? – B-

Flood the Club – International Teachers Of Pop – UK experimental collective with plenty of bongos -their last song featured a Sleaford Mod  – C+

Temptation Reduced – James Krivchenia – Big Thief’s drummer goes ambient – C

Shadow Answers the Wall – Jason Molina – the late singer songwriter, he died from alcoholism at the age of 39, recorded a final album… this is the first single and so much for drunks being jolly (I almost didn’t write that joke) – C+

Rise Up – Performance Version – Just Sam – Andra Day cover that won Sam the American Idol 2020 – B-

Angels & Demons – jxdn – up and coming emo rapper signed to Travis Barker’s label – B

Options Open – Kathleen Edwards – does anybody mention time as much as Kathleen does? 39 years, we got it, 39 years. After breaking as an artist in the US, helped by her romantic entanglement with Justin Vernon, she killed it on record and stage back in 2012 (here) and by 2014 was out of  the biz and running a coffee shop in Ottawa. Now she is back, and she has lost nothing: this is sterling civil Kathleen still studying her emotional tea leaves and we are the better for it – B+

Rain On Me (with Ariana Grande) – Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande – Lady Gaga has also held up her new album, releases her second single off the Chromatica but was interviewed by Zane Lowe on his Apple Music show last Thursday. Life,  even during a pandemic, is way too short to listen to Gaga pontificating… so I didn’t. That doesn’t mean this second single featuring last year’s model,  Ariana Grande isn’t a rock solid dance track with two great pop performers working very well together. Between this and the Justin Bieber single, Ariana is having a pretty good 2020 as well… so maybe not LAST YEAR  – B+

Thinking About You – Lee Fields & The Expressions old school soul by an old school souler – B-

Sucker – Madeline Kenney – terrific singer songwriter trope produced by Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak though the vibe is downcast SoCal more than Americana goes confessional – B

Serpentine Prison – Matt Berninger – low key Matt without the National large arrangement but otherwise the same deal – B

Need It – Migos, YoungBoy Never Broke Again – good featured guy, bouncy vibe and catchy though no “Taco Tuesday” – B

New Best Friend – Neon Trees – eight years since “Everybody Talks” and four years since we last heard from the indie rock band (and ten years since their best song, “Animal”) and they haven’t lost a thing on this cool little rocker – B+

Milk Breath – Orlando Weeks – The Maccabees lead singer sounds like the Maccabees lead singer – B-

I See You – Phoebe Bridgers – the third single and the third good one, apparently she was right to take her time – B+

Die! Die! Die – Residents Featuring Black Francis – if all you know is Meet The Residents you’ve missed two albums a year since 1974, and here it is nastiness plus plustial strength Iggy Pop scream black rock – B-

Ode to Joy 2 – Remo Drive – cool name that this classic rockism doesn’t live up to – C+

And I Still – Rod Wave – After dropping Pray 4 Love, as good as Christian rap gets, here is a a very good single – B

Too Much – Ro James, Miguel – pretty good, straight up neo r&b by two strong practitioners – B

Stuck in a Summer Love – Sébastien Tellier – the French pop star with a synth tech track too slow for EDM – C+

Quarantine Queen – Sinead Harnett – nice soul singer via  the UK, on a melodic bummer – B

Together – Sia – a hand clapping, singalong Jessie Reyez soundalike, catchy pop beauty for children – B+

Off My Chest (feat. Lil Pump) – Smokepurpp, Lil Pump – soundcloud still goes  mainstream with two top performers – B-

ALL MY BEST SHIT – SPICE – garage psychedelia with well fuzzed guitar attack – B-

Cornelia Street – Live From Paris – Taylor Swift – I watched half of the Life From Paris movie on Hulu before giving up, but this is terrific and I may have to give it another chance – B+

In Your Eyes (with Doja Cat) – Remix – The Weeknd, Doja Cat – good song and good verse by Doja, but not great – B

Something Wicked – Trash Talk, Kenny Beats – we haven’t heard from the hardcore guys in a coupla years but nothing harms their full on brain melt thrasher vibe – B+

Open Up – UMI – chill r&b newbie – B

Color Esperanza 2020 –  Various Artists: Diego Torres, Nicky Jam, Reik, Camilo, Pedro Capó, Manuel Turizo, Kany Garcia – from Sony Music Latin, together with Global Citizen, to support Pan AMerican Health and especially Covid-19 sufferers, this is far and away the best benefit single I’ve heard since “Sun City,” a cover of a twenty year old feel hopeful single that jumps with the best of best vibes, and a list of Latinx and Latin American superstars including the likes of Camila Cabello, Rubén Blades, Carlos Vives and more – SINGLE OF THE WEEK – A-

The End of Dormancy (Metal Section) – Voivod – prog asf plus horns – C

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