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Going Steady: New Singles 8-7-20 – 8-13-20 Reviewed

Money Maker (feat. Lil Wayne) – 2 Chainz, Lil Wayne – a simple but it does the job, banger – B

Lockdown (feat. JID, Noname & Jay Rock) – Remix – Anderson .Paak, JID, Jay Rock, Noname – some line-up… Noname kills on her verse including: “And if you rich, I pray that God forgive you. Supposed to share the garden, grow the Holy in you” – A-

Simply Done (feat. Benny the Butcher) – Armani Caesar, Benny The Butcher – Griselda Records is the new hip hop label with a whole lotta boom bat and old school scratching, Armani is Griselda’s hard hitting first lady and this is her first single – B+

Kings & Queens, Pt. 2 (feat. Lauv & Saweetie) – Ava Max, Lauv, Saweetie – a variant on “You Give Love A Bad Name” on the chorus, pure disco on the verses – B-

Faith Alone 2020 – Bad Religion – don’t we love these Hardcore lifetimers? I thought we did but what the world needs now is clearly love sweet love or/and another folk singer like a hole in the head, not this slow paced remake of their 1990 classic – C-

Sorry – beabadoobee – she is having a breakthrough year, singing the hook on Powfu’s superb “death bed,” and the bedroom pop, sad girl UK division is evolving though I prefer her even more stripped down, this single off her upcoming debut album is a modifier  at first than boils over into classic rockisms – B

Quarantine – blink-182 – a crappy, pop punk with none of blink 182’s sophomoric humor though that’s what they are trying to tap into, none of their tunes either – MUST TO AVOID – D+

AUATC – Bon Iver – why add Bruce Springsteen and Jenny Lewis on your song if you are doctoring the vocals to the point of anonymity? Let them eat cake, I guess – B

Hours and Hours – Bully –  Alicia Bognanno is born to be a rockstar and usually has the songs to prove it, but this piece of mother-daughter rage is too brooding and angry and the get off doesn’t get you off till around the middle – C+

Up Inna – Cadenza, M.I.A., GuiltyBeatz – Beat concerto with tom toms and bleeps and blips, and electrolyte M.I.A. chanting ‘fuck him in the ass” like a despotic robot – B-

WAP (feat. Megan Thee Stallion) – Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion – (literally) bad ass rap, sex, party joint with two top rappers and a video that caused controversy with the inclusion of the former Mrs. Travis Scott. Nothing on its mind but sexy, saucy fun – B+

On The Road To Find Out – Yusuf / Cat Stevens – he recasts a masterpiece as an old man’s Sisyphus of thought blues, I like it more than the grade suggests: the problem is he took a great song and turned it into an alright one – C+

U Should – CHIKA – r&b classicism is the add to a speed rap – B

Somewhere – Cold War Kids – what time is it? well whatever the time or time zone Cold War Kids is the worst band in the world right this second, and yet that lick is a beauty  – C

Drive-In Saturday – Live at the Elysée Montmartre, Paris on 14th October, 1999 – David Bowie – do you ever get the feeling you’re being cheated? Prince’s family releases “Cosmic Day” -a great, unheard classic, and we are stuck with yet another live song from the archives. Bowie wasn’t a great live performer, moments of greatness sure, but it wasn’t where his art lived, and this 1990 version of a 1974 classic is the essence of what the fuck are you doing this for? – B (It’s still a great song)

St. Augustine At Night – Dawes more SoCal pop, with an Americana acoustic piece of singer songwriter memory play – C+

We Won – D-Block Europe – The UK rap collective seem young beyond their years on this trap workout from Lewisham that has an adolescent view of romance and how it intrudes – B-

Freak – Doja Cat – with Paul Anka’s “Put Your Head On My Shoulders,” Doja Cat goes doo wop, not time to cancel her yet, not close – A-

I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water – Elvis Presley – His Estate released a new version of Stonewall Jackson’s  stomper,  which we know from Elvis Country (I’m 10,000 Years Old) , and this full tilt Southern boogie with a howling harp and Elvis with his foot on the pedal and a rocking, dream take, is a must hear – A

Afterlife – Flatbush Zombies – from pre-pandemic sessions with James Black producing, this is a plunking, beat smart piece of rap electronica from the Pro Era trio – B+

Feels In My Body – Icona Pop – circa “I Love It” Icona Pop were the best popsters on the planet, so good they brought Charli XCX with them, and everything they’ve released has been ace in every way except sales, another terrific EDM pop song might turn the trick – B+

Every Time You Leave (Feat. Delaney Jane) – I Prevail, Delaney Jane – From MC5 to I Prevail, this is entropic rock going steadily into nothingness – C-

SULA (Paperback) – Jamila Woods – a very pretty, chill r&b ode to Toni Morrison – B

Daylight – Joji, Diplo – Joji is a member of the Japanese rap collective 88rising, and on this oddly bland summer song Diplo adds nothing (except on the video) – B-

What U Need – JoJo – a new song following up her album in May is catchy and prettily sung pop music – B-

Smile (with The Weeknd) – Juice WRLD, The Weeknd – Is this a Weeknd or a Juice track? It is the first (if not only) time the two, who naturally should drift towards each, both emo-ish sad guys at the height of the charts, did so. The Weeknd steals it, maybe it is a Weeknd song – B

Aquí Yo Mando – Kali Uchis, Rico Nasty – Both of these women aren’t great on stage, and both are good in the lab, here we get Latino Urbano trap, and not bad, professional, and cool with excellent rapping and singing – B

Change Your Mind – Keith Urban – was Keith ever as good as I thought he was? It’s hard to remember. This is Middle Of The Road, and terrible – D+

Speak To Me – Koryn Hawthorne – A voice contestant, soulful without being all that, the song is a straightforward slice of r&b and the better for its lack of business – B

my ex’s best friend (with blackbear) – Machine Gun Kelly, blackbear – just a stupified piece of rock mediocrity sex song – C

Papás – Mau y Ricky – The “Desconocidos” duo who dub themselves hitmakers just because everything they record crosses the 100M streams with ease, have a catchy, if anemic, track, to add to their dance reggaeton vibe – B-

Stayback – Omar Apollo – The singing is very Prince-y in falsetto mode, the song itself finds a groove and doesn’t deviate – B-

Southern Belle – Palehound – This is the Elliott Smith cover to beat according to Alyson Camus (here), and since I am not a big fan of either artist, take my word for it: it’s a ferocious, outburst of anger – B+

Cosmic Day – 2020 Remaster – Prince – an outtake song that has yet to see the light of day though it is as good as anything except the best of Prince’s released material, an earworm with a high strung vocal and psychedelic meets funk jamming –  A

Monte Carlo – Remi Wolf – youthful and fun EDM pop – B

Pinned to the Cross (feat. Finn Matthews) – Rick Ross, Finn Matthews – Rick never came all the way back after his heart attack, but this finds him grown up and out of Maybach Music on a political slam dunk from a blue collar worker who turned to music. Includes a soulful chorus by Fineas but… what on earth has Terry Crews done to Ro-zay? – B+

Impact (feat. Robyn & Channel Tres) – SG Lewis, Robyn, Channel Tres – Robyn has been dropping remixes off Honey for a year, so though this isn’t her track it is great to hear her singing something else, Channel Tres welcome here, and SG Lewis is a major London DJ and if the rest of his debut is half as good… – B+

Colors (feat. Wale) – TeaMarrr, Wale – if you have heard “Whory Heart” you won’t have forgotten TeaMarrr, if you haven’t start on this clicking, clickity and addictive minimalism song, it’s worth it – B+

I’ll Never Forget – Demo – Texas – As a long time fan of the Scottish band (I was a friendly acquaintance of Johnny McElhone for awhile), this demo version is worth listening to because, oh Lord, what a beautiful voice Sharleen Spiteri has, I hope a new album is in the works – A-

I Go To My Heart – The Avett Brothers – I am not fan (from a live review last year here), but this is a tuneful, sad song which has the brothers singing on top of the piano melody – B

I Don’t Know – Demo – The Replacements – another Pleased To Meet Me outtake from the upcoming box set, sounds awesome to me, not “Take Me Down To The Hospital” but a great singasreamalong – B+

Babysitter (feat. Trent Reznor) – TOBACCO, Trent Reznor – industrial electronic hardcore – B

Three Little Birds (feat. Ziggy Marley) – Toots & The Maytals, Ziggy Marley – Ringo Starr is holding down the bottom, and Toots is joined by Ziggy Marley (his father wrote it) and it is a dancehall, trumpets blazing, dubby drums, rock out. Nowhere near as great as the original, needless to add – B

Rager teenager! – Troye Sivan – our favorite gayteen isn’t a teen anymore, he’s 25 years old, and here remembers the days of his youth with a lovely ache – A-

True Love – Yemi Alade – The Nigerian popstar made zero impression on “Don’t Jealous Me” off Black Is King, but Yemi makes up for it with a Ladysmith Black Mambazo vibe in the instruments added to a singer songwriter with a different texture vibe, and a stunningly beautiful track – SINGLE OF THE WEEK – A

Magicians – Young Jesus – Ten minutes of indie Americana, good indie Americana with the jam in the middle as disciplined as any you will ever hear  – B+

 

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