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Going Steady: New Singles 6-23-23 – 6-29-23 Reviewed

Blackbox Life Recorder 21f – Aphex Twin – the return of the Aphex Twin with some mood oscillations – B

Last Word – Baroness – some what first rate shredding ruined by a blah vocal with essence de prog sprinkled on it – B

Odyssey – Beck, Phoenix – they are currently touring together so why not a song to herald em? This is a disco, dance, indieish vibe with a glockenspiel added and the song wandering between synth dance beats and 00s sounds – B-

El Niño (feat. Lil Wayne & Boyfriend) – Big Freedia – first rate bounce and it gets no better, this is how you manufacture music in 2023, with life, slap, first class rapping and a sense of the thrill of being alive – A-

So Many Summers – Brad Paisley – not unpleasant at all but not the Paisley of 2005 and that very early run of albums, now the guitar break sounds like the self-evident and the rumination on time passing isn’t as sweet as nostalgia needs to be to hit us right – B

BEACH BALL (feat. BIA) – Busta Rhymes – I just saw him joining Janet Jackson at MSG and this is a nasty little sex song ruffing on the ball – B

Shy Boy – Carly Rae Jepsen – straightforward disco – B

New York Transit Queen – Corinne Bailey Rae – Corinne goes punk on this atonal, abrasive, beats oriented, machine longing work of oddness out of synch with her earliest work and while not quite a dog, it isn’t what we want from the English woman after all these years – B

SWINE – Demi Lovato – somewhat on the bizarre side, with a strong metallic vibe and a noisiness where the melody doesn’t rise to the surface and that’s as weird as Demi gets, there seems to be no reason at first but it is protesting the repeal of Roe V Wade a year after and no “Cool For The Summer” – B

Unexpected Love:Chilled Bouts & Clouds – H.E.R. – an 808s and low key vocal from a woman who seemed primed to be the next Beyonce and for 54 seconds you can hear why, she was real good at the Global Citizen in Paris concert as well – B

True Babe – Gwen Stefani – Gwen went from No Doubt to solo artist to reality show performer with country star boyfriend, mostly she hasn’t pulled it off since 2004, though this is pleasant MOR pop – B

Where Do We Go From Here – Icona Pop – nice to have em back with a disco workout – B+

We Are The Party – Kool & The Gang – not prime dance at all from a band who celebrate well and here seem to sink into a beat and not work its way out despite a good bass hook – B-

Car Chase – Public Image Ltd. – has a little bit of poptones in its bass heavy art rock – B

Strange Currencies – Remix – R.E.M. – from their golden age, and it stands up about as well as possible, a little less glammy and more rock than I remember it being but it still sounds great – A-

You Louisiana Man – Rhiannon Giddens – in 2017 I coulda sworn she was on the cusp of greatness, but she wasn’t. Rhiannon was good, and occasionally got her mojo back, but not on this blues Americana – C+

Toxic Trait – Stormzy, Fredo – Stormzy is the Idris Elba of grime, a big, London, testy, dangerous rapper with a storming stage presence and while this isn’t prime, it is more than good enough – B+

Mercy (feat. Jacob Lusk) – The Blessed Madonna, Gabriels – one of our top DJs and producers at the top of her strength on this stomper with the bridge of a lifetime – SINGLE OF THE WEEK – A-

I’m Not Human – XXXtentacion, Lil Uzi Vert – losing XXXtentacion changed the face of hip, along with Lil Peep and Juice WRLD first they upended rap and gave it back to the teens and now this is all that remains. A true waste – B+

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