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Going Steady: New Singles 9-10-21 – 9-16-21 Reviewed

IF IT GOES WRONG BLAME THE LOOP

LALA (Unlocked) (feat. Swae Lee) – Alicia Keys – when Alcia started out she was so pompous and self-righteous she should have changed her name to Common Keys, since then she has developed a taste for hip hop production (Mike WiLL Made-It co-produced) and Swae adds a verse to this state of the art r&b track – C

Spellbound – Angels & Airwaves – speedy recovery to Tom DeLonge from cancer so I can go back to hating this art rock pop punk stuff – C-

Pressure – Ari Lennox – catchy neo-r&b ear worm, no wonder she is opening for H.E.R. in October – B+

Certainty – Big Thief – They have become less folk and Americana over the years and while their skills aren’t diminished the surprise factor is long gone and the song, while good, is also obvious. Still, they can sure compose a memorable tune – B+

Obsessed With You – Central Cee – UK drill but with a better sample than we are used to and it just adds to the fine flow…. I wish it was longer – B

Lonely (with Lil Wayne) – DaBaby – Weezy steals it completely from DaBaby who was thisclose to being in TravisWorld success and blowing it with his stupid, big mouth – B

2k17 – Digga D – another London drill guy, he went to the same high school as Central Gee, but not as adventurous – B-

Long Way – Eddie Vedder – Eddie will always have that emotive voice but, appearance notwithstanding, it is built for hard rock and not for this classic rock Americana stuff… perhaps he can take comfort in his daughter Olivia’s beautiful take on his “My Father’s Daughter” which was released a coupla weeks ago – C-

Shivers – Ed Sheeran – “Bad Habits” was just bad EDM but the proof of pop is in the sales and Ed Sheeran proved himself a long way from gone, and I dislike “Shivers” -another EDM poppiness you can imagine coming from the Little Mix’s of the world- but that doesn’t mean you will – C

Return – Emma Ruth Rundle – piano based, deep folk but a little slow – B-

The 90s – FINNEAS – after disliking all his work away from sister Billie, I liked his first single off his upcoming album, “A Concert Six Months From Now” and I like this one, especially the synth break – B

I Don’t Wanna Talk (I Just Wanna Dance) – Glass Animals – the indie rockers have no problem adding dance to their arsenal, and their last song broke through big time, and I can’t see this one not doing the same – C+

Heavy Load – Gov’t Mule – I admire Warren Haynes to a limited degree, and it is mostly limited by genre because he was great with the Allman Brothers, now he is taking Gov’t Mule in pursuit of deep blues but this acoustic, finger picked track isn’t enough – C

Rock and Roll All Nite – Live from Hella Mega – Green Day – hella whateva Kiss cover, probably makes sense on stage – C+

Scarlett – Holly Humberstone – “we go together like bad British weather on the one day I made plans”? Nice one. And while this is no “Please Don’t Leave Just Yet,” it’s a similar DNA and smarter than, say, Maisie Peters – SINGLE OF THE WEEK – A-

Threatening Each Other re: Capitalism – illuminati hotties – the best named song of the week by the best named band of the year, the song is a little draggy – C+

Love Under Pressure – James Blunt – when I saw James opening for Ed Sheeran at Barclays in 2017 (here -can’t find where I mentioned James? “after the poor man’s Ed James Blunt performed a self-assured half hour”) I liked him a lot but hated his songs. And that remains true for this awful track – MUST TO AVOID – D+

Horsie – Kate Nash – I haven’t loved Kate since 2007 when “Merry Happy” blew me away, though it was the next album that broke her big. “Horsie” is a sad broken up song with a big chorus – B-

Arcadia – Lana Del Rey – It’s been two years plus since Norman Fucking Rockwell blew us all away and since then Lana has released a string of alright singles and a truly tedious follow up, Chemtrails something something, and she still is stuck in LA on the (third) taster off her soon come second album of the year, and it is a sing songy snooze sexiness -a pleasant enough piano driven, sleep inducing track where she compares her chest to the Sierra Madres as maybe the best of her metaphors here. Lana better have better in store on Blue Banister – B-

On a Move – Lonely Guest, Kway, Tricky – what’s the difference between a Tricky song and a Lonely Guest song? Not much but the chorus is well catchy so maybe that? – B+

Burn a Fax – Mac McCaughan – Mac may never write a line as great as “I don’t know how to dance this slow but I can try,” from 2010, again, but try he does on this solo effort with a buzzed our electronic background and a classic rock sensibility, lightning doesn’t strike twice but who wants two chances of being blown to pieces? – B+

Big Persona (feat. Tyler, The Creator) – Maxo Kream – the OG is 31 years old now, and is counting his big everything on this rap rager – B+

Silk Chiffon (feat. Phoebe Bridgers) – MUNA – Muna have some of a modern day Indigo Girls about them, carrying the pink flag for teen lesbians like a LGBTQ Haim, and on a catchy pop rock confection they are triumphant – B

Girl You’ve Got My Heart – Planningtorock – I’ve loved Planningtorock since she performed at the DFA gig in 2013 and just last week she had one of the best moments on the Lady Gaga remix album of Chromatica, her new single has as good a nagging beat that functions as a hook I’ve heard this week on a electronica dance track gagging for a remix itself – B+

Life In Stereo – Pixey – a new face of indie pop meets bedroom electronica but louder and with more to chew on – B+

If You Say the Word – Radiohead- the band are readying a box set of two of their best albums, Kid A and Amnesia, and I can see no reason why the contemporary “If You Say The Word” didn’t make Kid A at least, a lush ballad with the usual sounds and jiggers mucking up the works – B+

Bittersweet Symphony – Richard Ashcroft – The Verve masterpiece is given a powerful run through with Ashcroft, in as great a voice as ever. giving it so much oomph – B+

Skinny Dipping – Sabrina Carpenter – the ubiquitous Julia Michaels and her partner JP Saxe helped write this beauty for Sabrina, with a monologue style diary notes and a pretty melody snap shot by a really good singer songwriter I’ve admired for years – A-

Cimmerian Shade – Sufjan Stevens, Angelo De Augustine – I’ve been hitting Sufjan over the head with a “well, it isn’t Carrie And Lowell” since 2016, and especially during his ambient period, but this has the beautiful delicacy of his best work – A-

You Give Death A Bad Name – Sufjan Stevens, Angelo De Augustine – cut from the exact same cloth as “Cimmerian Shade,” Angelo, the LA multi media artist, harmonizes with extreme beauty on the amusingly named song – B

Right Track (feat. Smino) – Syd – a shimmering electronic, guitar beauty of a song from the now long term artist with a good verse from Smino – B+

The Anonymous Ones – From The “Dear Evan Hansen” Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – SZA – it has been four years since Ctrl and I am, personally, sick of her endless features and one offs, also I don’t like “Dear Evan” at all, so though I admire her switch up on “The Anonymous Ones” to neo-R&B, it is far from what I want – B

Nobody Can See Me Cry – The Darkness – typical hard rock glam from the last band standing – B-

All I Have To Do Is Dream – Live On The Ed Sullivan Show, February 28, 1971 – The Everly Brothers – 1971??? That’s a little on the late side – B+

The Peanut Vendor – Wynton Marsalis, Herlin Riley, The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong All Stars – Wynton plays a gorgeous trumpet here, the song hails from the turn of the 20s into the 30s and has that Havana sweetness of the classic track; no, Wynton can’t equal, it but is no worse for all that, and they don’t even attempt the vocal (a wise move) – B+

Queen Sophie for President – The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die – ambitious pop punkers with a catchy indie pop rock plus sounds – B

Angel Baby – Troye Sivan – I missed the most famous power bottom this side of Lil Nas X, Troye’s first single off his eagerly anticipated second album but here is the second one, and it has a 50s swing to its pure pop instrumentation – B+

Kill The Noise – Papa Roach – the always predictable hard rockers sound the same after 20 years -sort of nu-metal that isn’t – C+

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