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Going Steady: New Singles 8-9-20 – 8-15-20 Reviewed

With a hefty dose of singles to be gotten through, relax, turn up the stereo, and groove along…. see you lata!

Black Carbon – Akae Beka, Chronixx – the late rastaman died last year at the age of fifty, here with Chronixx he clearly knew his stuff – B+

Shot In The Dark – AC/DC – with half the band either dead or deaf you would expect a dog but, by some miracle, this maintains the DNA and Axl is nowhere to be seen – A-

Powerpuff Girls – A$AP Twelvyy – the little A$AP who could, in pursuit of Latinas – B

JEWELZ – Anderson .Paak – his second killer dance track in a row finds Anderson riding a Timbaland beat while high on helium – B+

wisdom teeth – Bea Miller -not unimpressive piece of singer songwriter self-laceration from the nineteen year old – B

Baby, I’m Jealous (feat. Doja Cat) – Bebe Rexha, Doja Cat – Bebe is jealous of her guy, she should be jealous of Doja Cat who has more lives than one as she skipped being cancelled after dropping the n word (though not in a racist way) – B-

Timeless (feat. Lil Wayne & Big Sean) – Benny The Butcher, Lil Wayne, Big Sean – The Griselda guy re-purposes “No Church In The Wild” hook  on a banger,  hang on till the last verse for Big Sean – B-

OD’d in Denver (feat. Matt Sweeney) – Bill Callahan, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Matt Sweeney – Hank Williams Jr cover as a roots folk dirge – B

Second Sight – Buck Meek – The other Big Thief, with a lovely slice of classic singer songwriter meets Americana featuring a first rate chorus… – A-

The Power (Of Their Knowledge) – Cabaret Voltaire – if Richard Kirk wants to return to releasing art mood records, why not? And while this is the second single, and the second that doesn’t really pan out, blame the passing of time not the song construction (only) – B-

Skate Depot – Channel Tres – I’ve been a fan ever since catching him opening for Robyn and being blown away by “Brilliant Nigga,” and while this ain’t that it is some middle ground between hip hop and EDM -I mean a real one – B+

Stay – Cheat Codes, Bryce Vine – DJ duo plus Cali singer with a catchy but bland number – C+

Elephant – cupcakKe – has there been a worse career move than the rapper finding God and denying her thrill a minute sexuality and hardcore that  Lil Kim would blush rapping? Then she lost her religion and lost a chunk of her well confused audience. Having said that, the woman has flow to die for – B+

When It Don’t Come Easy – Dave Hause, Laura Stevenson – from Dave’s upcoming Patty Griffin cover album, this is country Americana with the added plus of Laura harmonizing – B

Under Pressure – Death Angel – the thrash metal guys perform a straight up, even somewhat acoustic based, cover of the Queen/Bowie song -sweet but useless – B-

Body Loose – Dizzee Rascal – king of grime, MC MBE Dizzee, returns with a full on ripper just like the old days – B

Mary In the Morning – Takes 3-4 – Elvis Presley – i guess we are waiting on a deluxe version of one of the King’s best album, and over 40 years later, where even Jimi and 2Pac seem done at last, there are still outtakes to enjoy – B+

Ten Cuidao – Farina, Thalía – The Colombian star with a catchy dance track added to a singer songwriter Latino vibe – B+

Bad Times Good Vibes – Frank Turner, Jon Snodgrass – the first nearly two minutes is a masterful pop punk knees up, the following minute and a half is useless spoken word which makes you keep it off playlists – B

Wallflower – Goldfinger – horns blasting ska meets rock by  great practitioners…  who should hold back on the rock – B

About Blank – Gord Downie – when the Tragically Hip leader died three years ago at the age of 50, Canada went into mourning. Next week his final album,  recorded in four days in July 2017, three months prior to Downie’s passing of brain cancer, drops. A huge loss and this song is strong as anything his repertoire – A-

About Blank – Acoustic – Gord Downie – here with just a finger picked guitar – A-

My Way, Soon – Greta Van Fleet – Lead singer and Robert Plant wannabe Josh Kiszka takes up so much oxygen in the band that his brother,  guitarist Josh Kiska, has a hard time making his presence known and that’s why they aren’t a great hard rock band. Here, on a both sturdy and slight guitar rocker, Jake steals it away with a coupla killer solos – B

Hands Down In Your Pockets – Jeremy Ivey – excellent country-blues track protest – B+

Vote – as featured on ABC’s black-ish – Jhené Aiko – Aiko makes the case with a neo-R&B track – B

Letter 2 U – J.I the Prince of N.Y – surprisingly straight on song from the teenage Brooklyn guy… a very good sing rapper as well – B

LOAD IT UP – Juicy J, NLE Choppa – rapping effortless to a pronounced beat and includes a strong Choppa on a greed is good song – B

We Didn’t Have Much – Justin Moore – country does two things very well today, drinking songs and nostalgia, this is the latter – B+

Sundowner – Kevin Morby – first rate acoustic based singer songwriter with a beautiful little song – B+

Dream Gone Bad – Kill Or Be Killed –  they add emo to screamo with predictable results hurt by the lead vocal that isn’t screamo – C+

NFL (feat. Gudda Gudda & HoodyBaby) – Lil Wayne, Gudda Gudda, Hoodybaby – clever rap with Weezy using a great metaphor – B

Not a Pop Song – Little Mix – the harmonies are sweet, the tune is masterful, the vibe is sidestepping dance, and the song is their best to date – A-

BRON – Lykke Li – if you’ve ever wanted to hear her sing in Swedish here is your chance… – B-

La Nota – Manuel Turizo, Rauw Alejandro, Myke Towers – Manuel performs Latin Trap, and it sounds an awful lot like Atlanta trap here, except for the language of course – B

Silver Tongue Devil (feat. Shenseea) – Masego, Shenseea – another example of Latin pop fusing with another genre, this time neo-R&B – B-

Garden – Meet Me @ The Altar – pop punk from a trio living in different States and making music online, pop pink but not that hot – C+

My Kind Of Present – Meghan Trainor – pretty good pure Meghan Christmas song – B

Last Christmas – Meghan Trainor – The Wham!  cover ain’t much (though it is better than that lousy movie) – C+

BLM (feat. Abra Cadabra) – OFB, Bandokay, Double Lz, Abra Cadabra – from the tenement houses of the UK -a modern Dickens type horrorshow, workhouse- OFB are a little August 2020 but they sure have a reason to rap about what they know – B+

Before I Got Here – Palberta – post-punk girl trio who are never too out there and noisy (and just plain weird) not to make a song – B

stay4ever (feat. Mounika.) – Powfu, Mounika. – Powfu is the king of bedroom pop if only because of “death bed (coffee for your head)” and he tries something similar and slips a little but not too hard – B

Comfortable (feat. Davido) – Preme, Popcaan, DaVido – Preme adds Popcaan’s dancehall sound to mediocre rap – C+

All You Fascists Bound To Lose – Resistance Revival Chorus, Rhiannon Giddens – 70 women and non-binary singers, lead on this one by Rhiannon Giddens, cover Woody Guthrie – B

Feels Right – Roosevelt – electronic popster in synth pop mode – B-

Gorgeous – SAINt JHN – the  Brooklyn via Guyana rapper still looking for a follow up to “Roses”, and this rap take is good but not that good – B

Hypochondriac – Sasha Sloan – it sounds like typical acoustic sad girl but the metaphor is very sturdy – B+

Little by Little – Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – a sweet and funky workout on the Dusty Springfield oldie – B+

29 – Soul Glo – fast, loud, glowering, via Philadelphia on the Touche Amore guys label, at under 90 seconds it is the definition of a ripper – A-

Fear and Moving Forward – Souvenirs – aka sad boi stuff, with an electronic mix and a song that flies past self hope and land in self-revelation – B

Show Them The Way – Stevie Nicks – I’ve never been crazy about Stevie, she was too contradictory for my tastes and Lindsey wrote better songs and Christie had a better voice. But this shaken, overwhelmed by destiny, dream state protest, prayer works pretty well…. a piece of advice? Keep it off playlists, it gets irritating – B

Vibrant – Stokley, Snoop Dogg – the Mint Condition singer on a straight up r&b track with Snoop adding a verse – B

Superstar – Tennis – written by Bonnie and Delaney, you all know Karen Carpenters dramatic vocal, the pop duo Tennis do a capable take though maybe the synths sound wrong – B

Haunted Sea – The Budos Band – Staten Island’s instrumental funk band kill on the horns – B

Suspended – The Muckers – the lead singer is from Iran originally, Emir took his love for New York City rock and roll to…. New York City. It sounds alright, all those clanging guitars and fractured construction, but the tune needs to be a whole lot better… maybe the next one – B-

Oh Sweet Fire – The Notwist, Ben LaMar Gay – Ben is a jazz singer, Notwist is a German electronic band, the sound is unique and a little creepy – B-

Anno Satana – The Smashing Pumpkins – the vibe is pure Mellon Collie, Billy plugs into the sound that made him rich – B+

Birch Grove – The Smashing Pumpkins – here it becomes clear that while Billy, on his fourth song off the upcoming double, is as good as he gets, he can’t write the tunes any more – B

Pain – Live – The War On Drugs – glittering guitars and haunting rock Americana vibe on a fine take of a good song – B+

Headless to Headless – TOBACCO – electronic what the fuck, haunting track – B-

Down with the Ship – Todd Rundgren, Rivers Cuomo – two-tone vibe ska meh – MUST TO AVOID – D+

Run Around the School – Told Slant – bedroom pop, deeply felt and somewhat sad deep feel singer songwriter – C+

Goodyears – Travis Denning – more country nostalgia – B-

Sleepy Hollow – Trippie Redd – one of the worst sets I’ve ever seen was Trippie opening for Travis Scott (he got thrown off the tour pretty soon after), but he can be very good on record and this genre switch up rap is perfect for your Halloween mix – B+

FRANCHISE (feat. Future, Young Thug & M.I.A.) – REMIX – Travis Scott, Future, Young Thug, M.I.A. – How can a Travis track improve on a song he did with Kid Cudi? First add Young Thug and M.I.A. so it is equal, and then add Future to tip the scale – SINGLE OF THE WEEK – A

As I Walked Out – Van Morrison – a Celtic folk protest, and the protest is over the lockdown following Covid-19 ravishing the UK… so he is a moron who can still write great songs, even about nonsense – B+

Born to Be Free – Van Morrison – this one is pure Van, r&b soulfulness with more ridiculous sentiments, when over a million people have died worldwide clearly freedom has nothing to do with it – B-

Pre-Expatriate – We Are The Union – ska protest, hey it’s much better than Todd and Rivers – B

The Shining But Tropical – Wild Pink – a touch over produced, organ driven dreampop – B-

Hold On – Yola, Natalie Hemby, The Highwomen, Sheryl Crow – country soul singer Yola joins a growing stable of black women in the country field… but the song ain’t much, Yola is to country what Sharon Jones was to r&b -she can sing em but she can’t write em, Sheryl and the Highwomen are, as always, an irritant – C

cotton candy – YUNGBLUD – glam pop from the UK guy with a good hook and as sweet as the name – B

Trust No One – Zeal & Ardor – proggy post punk with a good hook – B

Did you make it to the end? 71 songs in the history books…

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