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Going Steady: New Singles 8-20-21 – 8-26-21 Reviewed

Kevin Abstracted


Unlock It (feat. Playboi Carti) – ABRA, Boys Noize – the r&b singer with the top German DJ and the fashion plate, catchy stuff aided and abetted by an excellent beat – B

Thelma + Louise – Bastille – I’ve never much cared for the UK band but the singles coming out of the upcoming electronic rock bands album, including this one, have proven alright – B

Lower Case (no cap) [feat. Killer Mike] – Big Boi, Sleepy Brown – The Atlanta Mafia on a loser – B-

Wasted – Digga D, ArrDee – samples T2’s “Heartbroken” on a rap dance hybrid – B

In My Arms – Disclosure – sure sounds like house to me from the brothers who went through a very hot stage when they introduced us to Sam Smith and now not so hot – B

In the Sweet by and By – Dolly Parton, Bradley Walker, Carl Jackson, Jerry Salley, Larry Cordle – this is part of a bluegrass-faith compilation, and Dolly’s vocals are exquisite on the spiritual standard with first rate backing vocals – A-

How Lonely Are You? – Ducks Ltd. – nice jingle jangle guitars and a guest appearance from the Beths – B

You Want My Love – Earth, Wind & Fire, Lucky Daye -co-written by Babyface and one of the two songs they performed at The Homecoming Sunday, it is alright I guess – B-

Visiting Hours – Ed Sheeran – beyond maudlin, sugar loaded bad – MUST TO AVOID – D

Risk It All – Ella Henderson, House Gospel Choir, Just Kiddin – despite a house gospel choir, generic EDM from a UK go to singer – C

Peach – Future Islands – the bass lick carries a lovely tune and a a whole lotta good vibes from the Americana meets synth band – B+

Running Wild (Tumblr Girls 2) (feat. Kossisko) – G-Eazy – blue eyed soul plus lame-o rap – C

A Jump into the Sea – George Jones – the most un-George Jones like song I’ve ever heard, an ambient instrumental eight years after he died – D+

9 TIMES OUTTA 10 – Gunna, Taurus – hooky though dreary self-promotion from Gunna and his DJ, Gunna is just out of hospital after recovering from pneumonia – C+

Stratego – Iron Maiden – the second single is a blah by the numbers heavy metal – C

Summer – Jaden – closer to kiddie rap than either r&b or, god knows, pop punk – C+

Life Is Not The Same – James Blake – a lo-fi electronic drag, I guess he doesn’t have another “I’ll Come To” in him – C

Wild Hearts – Keith Urban – country pop rocker – B-

SIERRA NIGHTS (feat. Ryan Beatty) – Kevin Abstract – I hope this one hits for the Brockhampton star, a beautiful modern pop track with a smooth rap and an addictive melody (no, really) – SINGLE OF THE WEEK – A-

More – Low – godawful slowcore drag from the vets – D+

Calling Out for Love (At Crying Time) – Live – Marshall Crenshaw – written with Don Dixon and while this version has a killer guitar break, it is not Marshall’s greatest moment – B-

In My Blood – MO3, Morray – shot to death on a highway in Dallas last year, this is as good as singer-rap gets as last will and testament – B+

Cowgirl in the Sand – Live – Neil Young – from his 1970 Carnegie Hall gig, I just wish he’d release his 2014 four night stand – B+

My Father’s Daughter – Olivia Vedder, Eddie Vedder, Glen Hansard – from the Sean Penn directed “Flag Day,” a very good Americana written by Eddie and the Iron And Wine guy and beautifully sung by Eddie’s daughter (come hell or high water) – A-

Walking at a Downtown Pace – Parquet Courts – three years later, a loud and grooved on rocker with less VU in the make-up – B

I Need You – 박혜진 Park Hye Jin – K-pop gal’s spritely pop ballad with a hook that keeps you coming back even as it gets increasingly irritating – B-

I Feel Good – Pitbull, Anthony Watts, DJ White Shadow – sounds like a full blown Bruno Mars vibe out dance track – B

Aye – Sam Fender – another goodie from what may be a huge album for Sam Fender, great songs with a backbone that improves the harder it rocks plus a glam veneer – B+

Summer of Love – Shawn Mendes & Tainy – an indifferent to bad hyper-pop EDM track – C

Don’t Go (with Justin Bieber & Don Toliver) – Skrillex – a mainstream pop EDM helped enormously by Justin – B

In The Dark (with Jhené Aiko) – Swae Lae – The Rea Sremmurd brother with a good little r&b track – B

Bad Reputation – New York Rocker Sessions – The dB’s – it makes you wonder what Alan Betrock added to the band, the vocal is a touch better than the Stands For Decibels take, and Will Rigby is mighty fine on the break – A-

Living In The Heart Of Love – The Rolling Stones – indifferent outtake from Tattoo You, but maybe not as bad as I thought the other day – B

Freedom Highway – The Specials – the Pop Staples staple with a weak attack from the two tone giants – C

Everybody Knows – The Specials – I am pretty tired of people covering Leonard Cohen songs, without his voice it doesn’t work as well – B-

If You Ever Leave, I’m Coming with You – The Wombats – no, they never improved on that 2007 album, but this is clever enough UK indie – B

Again – Third Eye Blind – 90s style rocking bore, come back “Semi-Charmed Life” all is forgiven – C+

Move – Santana, American Authors, Rob Thomas – a predictably second rate “Smooth” re-write though it was fun at Central Park last week – C+

Tick Tock – Young Thug – did you know that Gunna bough Young Thug a Mercedes for his birthday? – B

fleabag – YUNGBLUD – the glam guy rocker with a nothing special rocker – C


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