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Going Steady: New Singles, 6-12-20 – 6-18-20 Reviewed


Avion – Afel Bocoum – remember that Damon Albarn Mali Music album from 2002? Afel was an anchor of the sound and Damon returns to him on this French language, African meets Indian without sitar relation by Afel (who has only one other album available on Spotify, 2009’s must hear Tabital Pulaaku, that proves is what producer Damon adds to the new single  is essentially exposure)  – B+

Warrior – Aluna, AlunaGeorge, SG Lewis – THe EDM modern pop duo with an outdated electronic sound plus reverberating  beats  and synth zoom snooze – C+

Prayer for Lonely People – Anika Pyle – composed after the sudden death of her father, low key, ethereal and sad – B

Black Madonna – Azealia Banks, Lex Luger – based around a kick drum that keeps thumping, though not the way Lex used to, and Banks spits some hard, self-portraying badassness and her Birkin bag, a week after Dave Chappelle ‘fessed to having an adulterous  affair with Banks and she is still riding us – A-

Strange Fruit – Bettye LaVette –  the song, sadly, never grows old, but that notwithstanding, Bettye isn’t Billie and thehorror seeps through without becoming great art – B-

Roots Of Blue  – Blu & Exile, Blu, Exile, Jacinto Rhines – a song of blues list from the rap and EDM duo – C+

Stars – MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund – Bootsy Collins – not terrible little charity track with an odd line-up of featured performers including Dr. Cornel West, drummer Steve Jordan, banjo icon Béla Fleck, 15-year-old Country star  EmiSunshine and Cuban singer Olvido Ruiz. – B-

Black 2 – Buddy – “everybody wanna be black…” Buddy claims with kicker “nobody wanna be a n—- ” on the sing speak sequel – B+

Blessed – Buju Banton – the missed opportunity for Buju was not the early dancehall but  came when he couldn’t follow up Inna Heights, he went from crossover to rastaman and “Blessed” is rasta vibes with a limited appeal from a man who should have been the first Bob Marley apostle to actually pick up the mantle – B-

ROCKSTAR (feat. Roddy Ricch) – BLM REMIX – DaBaby, Roddy Ricch – a terrific song but DaBaby’s Black Lives Matter verse (“Throw up my middle finger, police can’t catch me”) isn’t a call to arms but just another push up the charts – B+

Nili – Chucky73, Fivio Foreign – state of the art, Latin Trap meets Drill – B+

Clean Kill – Coriky – Fugazi refugees straight up pop punk rocker that sounds like New Wave circa 1978  – B

Alien – Dennis Lloyd – singer songwriter seriousness via Tel Aviv – C

MENTE (with Tainy & Mau y Ricky) – Dylan Fuentes, Tainy, Mau y Ricky – more Latin Trap beats – B-

Sweet Little Baby Rock N Roller – Eric Hutchinson – never as clever as he thinks he is, Eric has been knocking on that rock and roll mainstream door and nobody is answer and here is why, within a handful of spins it becomes a major irritant with a chorus like a rash – MUST TO AVOID – C-

SUPREMACY – FEVER 333 – rock meets rap just like the sample of Blondie’s game changer “Rapture” – C+

I Don’t Belong – Fontaines D.C. – Dublin rockers go post-punk and astringent – C+

Birds On A Feeder – Kathleen Edwards – the follow up to the hugely disappointing “Options Open” is the folk quietude beauty ode to Spring’s return and total freedom… maybe Edwards return to music will, indeed, pay off  – SINGLE OF THE WEEK – A-

Cold Comfort – Glen Hansard – doesn’t the intro sound like “Je T’Aime Moi Non Plus”? Which is the most exciting thing about the slow Americana pretty and yet hard to concentrate on – B-

Friday 13th (feat. Octavian) – Gorillaz, Octavian – The French-UK rapper has some patois to his delivery and Gorillaz do the impulse for them, they don’t ruin it and it emerges as their best song since 2010’s Plastic Beach  – B+

I Remember Everything – John Prine –  his final recording which seems prescient but we are talking about man who wrote about partying in heaven so maybe not that much – B+

Back Down South – Larkin Poe, Tyler Bryant – garage rock duo can’t pull off the song – C+

Sweeter (feat. Terrace Martin) – Leon Bridges, Terrace Martin – Terrace dropped the agitprop greatness that is “Pig’s Feet” and is back adding soft soul behind Leon, a man whose old school soul is way overrated – B

The Bigger Picture – Lil Baby – “I fear no man except god, if it’s not him they will never break me” Lil Baby raps as he protests in LA, and it is stronger than anything on his current album, “we’ve got to start somewhere” – A-

Build Me A Daddy – Luke Bryan – terrible tribute for the annual reminder that no woman ever loved me enough to have my child – C

Letting Me Down – Margo Price -straight up country rocker with a thudding drummer – B

If I Was a Bar – Matt Stell – wow, an original metaphor! – B

No Time For Love Like Now – Michael Stipe, Big Red Machine – sounds more like R.E.M. than Mike has for years, but not a great or even good R.E.M. – C+

Vacancy – Neil Young – from the lost album between Harvest and Comes A Time, is an acoustic folk rocker that would have been the perfect CSN&Y song – B

Shotta Flow 5 – NLE Choppa – if all the eighteen year old has right now is variants on “Shotta Flow,” so be it – B

Make It Rain – Pop Smoke, Rowdy Rebel – Rowdy is Bobby Shmurda’s pal, Pop Smoke was everything icy on an explosive posthumous drop – B+

On My Own – Shamir – it is just about impossible  dislike the sweet voiced Shamir, not here either, a lovely little rocker – B+

Party Girl – StaySolidRocky – one long hook, completely addictive chorus repeated over a piano motif – B+

Learn To Fly – Surfaces, Elton John -the purest of pop vibes as the LA duo add Elton to the mix for a song that is a pure pleasure, feel good vengeance of vibes – B+

ily (i love you baby) (feat. Emilee) – Surf Mesa, Emilee – hot LA remix of Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes OFf” -just the hook but completely the hook – B

Wake Up Love – Teyana Taylor, Iman Nunez – composed for her husband, Iman Sumpter, it is an r&b beauty though not as good as her best – B+

EARTH WILL BECOME DEATH – The Acacia Strain -powerful and not inaccurate deathcore – B

One Thousand Painful Stings (feat. Courtney LaPlante) – The Acacia Strain, Courtney LaPlante – just as strong mind melt, the drumming is  real good – B

GO (feat. Juice WRLD) – The Kid LAROI, Juice WRLD -emo rap triumph with Juice WRLD adding a well crafted verse on this bad romance goodie  – B+

Dogtown Days – The Jayhawks – aren’t these guys a touch to old for Alt-country, this is more classic rock pop grooviness – B

I Dunno (feat. Dutchavelli & Stormzy) – Tion Wayne, dutchavelli, Stormzy – Stormzy is really something, he kills his verse dead and the hook is Grime as classic pose:  rap a word, rap a bar, and rap the word again – B

Got To Be Tough – Toots & The Maytals – Toots Hibbert is a living legend and here he adds his voice to a skaish reggae track – B

Breaking Me – Topic, A7S – DJ plus straight up r&b – B-

Fall Please – Tricky – last man standing from that sound of Bristol – B

Tommy Lee (feat. Post Malone) – Tyla Yaweh, Post Malone – wild and raging hard Tyla claims, and he manages a good hip hop track with Post Malone on board – B

Pretty Girl hi! – UMI – part of the neo-R&B scene that brought us H.E.R. and SZA, with a businesslike but well executed pop jones – B+

Gridlock – Vintage Crop – Australian garage rockers, rocking with a post-punk guitar – B

Pale Yellow – Woodkid – dreary gothlike singer songwriter – C

Leave Me On Read – YK Osiris – dank yet tuneful rap sing song – B-

The Man Who Loves You The Most – Zac Brown Band – just awful, unspeakable “Forever Young” rip off sentiment – MUST TO AVOID – D+

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