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Going Steady; New Singles 7-24-20 – 7-30-20 Reviewed

Guilty Conscience – Tame Impala Remix – 070 Shake, Tame Impala – a touch oil and water, but the addition of psyche rocker to the stars gives it an interesting vibe – B-

NIGHTRIDER – Arizona Zervas – Will this really, really follow “Roxanne”?-I don’t fancy the DJs chances though it is a beautiful piece of tempo fucking electronic dance – B

Entanglements – August Alsina, Rick Ross – Not to be a sentimentalist, but it was a pleasure hearing Rick again on this hip hop r&b hybrid – B

No Distraction – Khruangbin Remix – Beck, Khruangbin – Tomas Doncker is a huge fan of both so I am sure he is enjoying this dreadful electronic mash-up from the Texan instrumentalists and the Scientologist – MUST TO AVOID – D+

Black Eyed Dog – Ben Harper, Rhiannon Giddens – there was no way for Giddens to maintain the standards of Tomorrow Is My Turn and the star making Freedom’s Highway, and she hasn’t come close… working with the dreaded Ben Harper doesn’t help – C+

Happy Anywhere (feat. Gwen Stefani) – Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani – A huge return to form for both Blake and Gwen, a gorgeous little country pop earworm – A-

Do What You Can – Bon Jovi – is there anyone more constitutionally incapable of writing protest music that captures the mood of a nation than Jon? Yes, the Donald – D+

Bright Star Cast (feat. Jamila Woods and Vernon Reid) – Bruce Hornsby, Jamila Woods, Vernon Reid – A cast of thousands, or at least four if you include Justin Vernon who produced, this twisty r&b Americana that doesn’t quite make it, it’s a little like the neo-soul near beer late lamented Sharon Jones used to peddle, it sounds right but it doesn’t sound right enough – C+

Don’t Cry – Charley Crockett – Charley makes a song between soul and country, and it is is a lovely thing  with a sticky tune and an old fashioned sentiment – B

PS (Pants Sag) – Chief Keef, Zaytoven – I have no kick against rapper Chief Keef or DJ Zay, what I hate is that pants sag look and hooks that go “pants down” – C+

Patience – Chris Cornell – I don’t mind if people want to kill themselves as long as their plate is cleared before they do so, leaving three teen children is not clearing your plate at all. It is repugnant and cowardly in ways suicide as such is not. This is a nothing cover of a Guns N Roses ballad. If you think I’m being unfair, take a look at his family and tell me whether he had the right to leave them with that horror over their heads for the rest of their lives – C


COOL AS THE BREEZE/FRIDAY – Chronixx – The rastaman can be awful heavy, and we all know Buju has beaten him to the reggae album of the year, but this is a breezy pop dancehall groove, sunshiny and very pleasant – B+

Who Do You Think You’re Talking To? – Dawes – These guys are good for a song every three years, the last single, “I Will Run” was a dog and this one is pretty good SoCal Americana, so… see you in 2023 – B

The Half Life – Elvis Perkins – a sad plodder, like Hank Williams in lonesome ballad mode if Hank had no talent – C

I Love You, You’re The Worst – Emily Burns – a super same sexer explanation of infatuation – B

Couped Out (feat. Fivio Foreign) – Famous Dex, Fivio Foreign – With Pop Smoke dead, Fivio is the standard bearer for New York Drill, Famous Dex is a Chicago rapper with limited skills but great taste in cars and big booty women, together this is a bland money song – C+

La Tóxica – Farruko – reggaeton meets Bachata ballad with a touch of dance hall in the beat by the reggaeton Puerto Rican with the worst haircut in pop  – B-

Berlin – Fenne Lily – That’s Lucy Dacus singing back up on a lo fi, high intensity and immensely viable singer songwriter dreamscape track – B+

Pac-Man (feat. ScHoolboy Q) – Gorillaz, ScHoolboy Q – Not unpleasant mix and match a la Gorillaz as usual, the best so far helped by Schoolboy Q who arrives half way through and is exactly what we are waiting for – B-

Sigo Inédito – Gustavo Palafox, Brray – fusing urbano with flamenco guitar seems like one winning proposition – B

Just A Phase – Hannah Georgas – not bad, the National backup singer’s new work has  Aaron Dessner producing and I am happy it is so good, maybe Aaron’s Taylor collaboration wasn’t a fluke – B

Only You Freestyle – Headie One, Drake – better than both DJ Khaled songs last week, UK Drill guy sounds awesome on the last half, Drake is even better on the first half, rapping in Arabic! Drake’s best release of a the year, he is completely excellent at any genre of rap he puts his hand to – SINGLE OF THE WEEK – A

Final Bow – H.C. McEntire – I am new to this lovely voiced country Americana woman, but she isn’t new to country clearly, on a magnificent and bluesy country song – B+

Dat Ass – Jacob Latimore, Eric Bellinger – great r&b production with a clapboard and two great voices wrapped around the beat, horrible title though – B

Take You Dancing – Jason Derulo – Derulo is a pop machine, his Jawsh 685 steal has already spent some time at the top of the UK charts just two weeks ago, and this is catchy bubblegum EDM with a soul singer and should follow it all the way – B

UN DIA (ONE DAY) (Feat. Tainy) – J Balvin, Tainy, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny – a bilingual urbano dance pop, with Dua in the lead and J adding another hit to his list – B

The Climb Back – J. Cole – Cole has lost quite a bit of his lustre since the tussle with Noname, and this his first single since “Snow On Tha Bluff” -which is better than either this or the other new single, but is too closeted and got what it deserved. Here Cole asses how he changed his life around and became a star (again)  though nothing can change his skill and flow – B-

Lion King On Ice – J. Cole – Great name, but that hook is really annoying – C-

supercuts – Jeremy Zucker – rhyming “supercuts” with “hates my guts,” Zucker has a sweet, uptempo singer songwriter to go with his eight line chorus – B

Fix Me Up – Katy J Pearson – UK indie folkiness goes pop – B-

Difficult – Kevin Gates – dark and hubristic gangstaism – B-

Pray – Koryn Hawthorne – The “The Voice” singer has a gorgeous voice and she lifts humdrum neo-r&b up a notch – B

Say Something – Kylie Minogue – well over her country period from 2018, the Aussie-UK O.B.E. has a disco banger on her hands and Ellie Goulding should be so lucky – B

Holiday – Little Mix – I saw Spice Girls at MSG in 1998 and Little Mix in 2018, sorry Little Mix, you won’t do – C+

The One That You Love – LP – The first time I even heard of LP, she was opening for Bryan Ferry at the Beacon. A great, very pop baroque balladeer, very capable, just not on this one – C+

Love Is Not Enough – Lydia Loveless – her best since “Boy Crazy” is still no “Boy Crazy” – B

Picture of You – Madeline Kenney – singer songwriter as indie Americana plus beautiful guitar sound   which I didn’t really expect – B

Nobody’s Love – Maroon 5 – When Adam Levine is in pop ballad mode he tends to deliver the goods, think last year’s smash “Memories,” and think this one with the same DNA and just about as good – B

A Boat to Drown In – Metz – where punk meets post punk in a spiky guitar turmoil – B

Heaven Down Here – Mickey Guyton – country girl, ordinary song – C+

been thinking – mike. – hmmm, smells like sad boy but maybe not, the arrangement is trickier – B-

Ruff Rydas – From Road To Fast 9 Mixtape – NLE Choppa –  the seventeen year old rapper has a great flow, tongue twisting with excellent skills, not crazy about the song – B-

Dunno – Noah Cyrus – Mac Miller cover, nicely done – B

The Dropouts – Old 97’s – nearly as good as “Turn Off The TV” -by which I mean more Rhett in pop mode, but not as good so by reduction not nearly as good – B

Gistro Amarillo – Ozuna, Wisin – reggaeton with a splash of dancehall by two masters – B

Let’s All Pray For This World – UNKLE Reconstruction – Perry Farrell, UNKLE – Perry is Wayne Coyne if Wayne substituted coke for acid, UNKLE are the progenitors of Gorillaz, and together it is immersive electronic pop stuff – B+

Pack Lite – Queen Naija – Queen sends Tyrone packing or at least threatens to, why is she giving him one more chance? I don’t get it  – B

Big Wheel – Samia – Samia is ready for her close up, she is thisclose to breaking big and while this won’t do it, the album might – B+

Stellate – Samia – a big day for lesbians, right? Another great song by the indie songwriter who slaughtered on a cover of  Liz Phair’s “Never Said” last year – B

Burn The Hoods – Ski Mask The Slump God – His best song ever, the rhymes are crazy, the concept clearly agitprop with a finger up your nose, “America sucks, U.S.A. to me mean us and don’t touch ” is one thing, “It’s up like ice in a cup
Said, “Fuck, my president, Donald Trump”, Life Alert, I’m stuck off the Perc’, I can’t get up” is something more thorough – B+

Baguetti (with JID & Kenny Beats) – Smino, JID, Kenny Beats – Good song, hip hop and rap and. .. weirdness, and Smino’s  baby Snoop rap – B

Ferris Wheel – Sylvan Esso – sweet and a little boring from the duo of dance poppers – C+

Balance – Terrell Hines – he has been dropping r&b joints all year, the last one featured Vince Staples, this one is catchy enough – B-

Reflecting Light (feat. Sananda Maitreya & Vashti Bunyan) – The Avalanches, Sananda Maitreya, Vashti – how can we miss em if they won’t go away, a broody bore – C+

Wherever You Go (feat. Jamie xx, Neneh Cherry & CLYPSO) – The Avalanches, Jamie xx, Neneh Cherry, CLYPSO – not bad, the voices and the song are haunting, but given who is on the track couldn’t they make a touch better? Sure it lifts off, or maybe I mean fizzles, the bass sounds nice, but it isn’t up to enough – B

You n Me Sellin’ Weed – The Flaming Lips – indifferent, which is more than you can say of most of their work – B-

Scarlett – The Rolling Stones – The big selling point on the Stones latest drop from the Goat’s Head Soup box set, is a demo featuring Jimmy Page and Keith trading licks on a riff glam shrug of a song: more than historical value, but how much more? B-

All Of Me (feat. Travis Barker) – The Score, Travis Barker – plodding electro pop rock – C

Low Down in the Broom – The Waterboys – ugh, that voice – C-

A Love You’ll Never Know – The Wytches – Brit rockers return on a song they simmer for too long before exploding though once it does it is impressive on the break – B

Jits – Twelve’len – a different sounding r&b, with a clipped delivery and a study on the beat via Miami – B

Dispatches from the Gutter – Uniform – firsty rate industrial strength hardcore rager, a real smack in the jaw – A-

(un)knowing – Young Jesus – indie Americana in not untypical Saddle Creek band form, it is absolutely a songwriter’s song, busily clever and deep with a killer break, not a miracle but it gets the job done and a major breakthrough that should get them noticed after eight years – A-


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