Going Steady: New Singles 9-11-20 – 9-17-20 Reviewed

Written by | September 13, 2020 9:09 am | No Comments



Flowers – Aaron Taylor – UK r&b by an ace soul guy with an odd wooziness to his sound, but real woozy, it seems to swing shakily and artily – B+

Golden Eye – Action Bronson – The second single off the upcoming album has one of the most original backing tracks, it sounds like Middle Eastern yearning chants – B

anything – Adrianne Lenker – a memory song, all acoustic guitar and whispered revelry of a summer long past on an Autumny moment by the Big Thief alt folk queen  – A-

The Gates – Aesop Rock – “Rat tail, my backdrop’s all black sails, dog bite and my bird curse, cross-eyed, world’s worst”? Aesop’s first drop in over four years takes you to the gates of the spiritual world and he raps dense as hell lyrics with immense skill, both fast and disciplined – B+

Love Looks Better – Alicia Keys – it’s not that I changed my opinion, it is that Alicia added hip hop to her MOR soul pop and woke up, her second goodie in a row – B

It’s a Fire – Amanda Palmer, Rhiannon Giddens – Amanda isn’t quite Americana but she is close at times, Rhiannon is Americana roots, Portishead is trip hop, and as covered by Amanda and Rhiannon they are quasi-classical leaning dark goth but less of an accent on the drums – B+

Counting Down – American Authors – brutal AOR, like grunge for adults meets indie -ghastly is the word – MUST TO AVOID – D

Step It Up (feat. Sharlene Hector) – Armand Van Helden, Riva Starr, Sharlene Hector – trance dance blah – C-

Worth It – beabadoobee – I wish she’d change her name if the bedsit Filipino via the UK popster is gonna remain this hot, surely her chorus on “Death Bed (coffee for your head)” blew you away and Bea out of the bedroom. This single off her upcoming album is bigger than she has been before, becoming a strong indie pop sadgirl variant – B+

Siberian Butterfly – Bob Mould – melodic slice of pop punk for guitar – B+

Letter To You – Bruce Springsteen – backed by the E Street Band, the lyric sucks and the singing overwrought, but from Max’s drum roll to Nil’s Byrdsy ringing guitars, the E STreet Band save it the way they weren’t invited to save Bruce’s last album – B+

Don Don – Daddy Yankee, Anuel AA, Kendo Kaponi – add trap beats  to reggaeton, and it can sound too calculated though the hook is classic and the rap a fast spitter in Spanish  – B-

Let’s Love – David Guetta, Sia – eleven years and eight collabs since “Titanium” and Sia still doing favors, her voice adding depth to pop dance vibes – B

Loud – Delilah Montagu – “if lost please return to nearest piano,” the Londoner cracks and while perhaps the piano could be more dominant, the song itself is a sweet piece of self-awareness – B

Mask of Yesterday – Deradoorian – what goth might sound like if it had a good cry before falling asleep on its bed – B-

Act Like You Know (feat. Smoke Boys) – Dizzee Rascal, Smoke Boys – Wiley and Dizzee and not Stormzy introduced me to London Grime, and of the two (not three), Dizzee is the better rapper, eighteen years on all power to the man’s immense skills as a rapper though his production isn’t all that – B

Spirals – Django Django – electronic poppers with a panoramic middle that saves em  – B

Lyin’ Eyes – Live From The Forum, Inglewood, CA, 9/12, 14, 15/2018 – Eagles – That’s Vince Gill singing lead – B

Hey Clockface / How Can You Face Me? – Elvis Costello – two slices of soft shoe shuffle finding Costello capable of writing and performing just about any genre he turns his hand to, sometimes with disappointing results but not here  – B+

Long Live – Florida Georgia Line – At their best (whatever that means) when they provide less, the songs speak for themselves (when they speak for themselves), and this Southern culture (aka country girls, cut off jeans…) is crappy but not as crappy as usual  – C

Beautiful Boy – Gillian Welch – Gillian still rifling through her back pages finds a not all that Americana snooze whatever – C+

I Just Want You To Know – Gillian Welch – much better country folk based around a gorgeous slide guitar lick – B+

Song Machine: Strange Timez (feat. Robert Smith) – Gorillaz, Robert Smith – A total waste of Robert Smith on a typical arty blahdom. Gorillaz are YES in different clothing, this isn’t their worse because at least you get to hear the Cure leader  – C+

Truckin’ (Live at the Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY, 2/18/71) – Grateful Dead – American Beauty is Grateful Dead’s best album but the upcoming deluxe doesn’t look like the kitchen sink Workingman’s Dead deluxe from earlier this year, all I see is a re-master and a live, the latter is where we get a boogieing little rocker on “Truckin'” for the millionth time – B+

Weight of the False Self – Hatebreed – screaming hardcore piece of great advise – B+

Godspeed – James Blake – ever since he hooked up with Jameela Jamil (you know: “The Good Life” actress) in 2015, his songwriting has improved, with last year’s “I’ll Come To” a late contender for best song of the 10s, and this not as giid but still good – B+

Turntables (from the Amazon Original Movie “All In: The Fight for Democracy”) – Janelle Monáe – Her first new song in two years is pretty good groove soul -it sounds like Anderson .Paak on the verses but in a good way and builds irrevocably to a multi voiced ending – B+

Things Could Get Much Worse – Jeremy Ivey – Produced by Margo Price, it’s a country doo wop joy – B

Love Theory (Remix) – Kirk Franklin, Wyclef Jean – Jean is an overrated fool whose charity work for Haiti is a national embarrassment (is it worth remember the Haiti earthquake here? That was in 2009 and we wrote and wrote about what was happening and when no one listened I realized rock nyc would never break through: five years after, Rolling Stone repeated everything we said). This sucks – C-

Our Time – Lil Tecca – this has been around for over a year, but fine to hear its official release, a sort of fame and friendship track – B

Found You – Ludacris, Chance the Rapper – Ludacris peaked high in 2003, and while he is both fast and fresh, he hasn’t released an album since 2015. Surprisingly, this is a rap soul conglom of the first order  with Ludacris in great voice and a beautiful chorus from one Chance The Rapper – B+

Want You – Luh Kel, Queen Naija – St. Louis r&b crooner is young but is as tuneful as possible and Queen Naija turns it into a conversation, as lovely as young love  – B+

Letting Me Down – Downer Version – Margo Price – Ho to the hum – C

OK Not To Be OK – Marshmello, Demi Lovato – nothing special mix of the two, thanks for the advise – C+

One More Second – Matt Berninger – And he has gone three for three, with that emotive Scott Walkerish voice on a lovely ballad, the middle is especially enjoyable  – A-

Working For The Weekend (feat. bbno$) – MAX, bbno$ – MAX is a soon to be major pop star and his new single will only cement his position, a well produced slice of pop ear glowing stuff. I am the pits at figuring out what will cross the pop threshold (though some big successes as well, Taylor Swift for one, Jessie Reyez for another), but I bet this breaks big – B+

CNTRL – M.I.A. – a typical M.I.A. sound if it was circa “Paper Planes” on a piece of agitprop – though this being  M.I.A. you can only hear it here – B+

Without A Net – From the Documentary Film ‘Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story’ – Mickey Guyton – Guyton is a female and black country singer with an overpowering voice, it has taken five years but this could break her – B+

Oh My Gawd (feat. Nicki Minaj & K4mo) – Mr Eazi, Major Lazer, Nicki Minaj, Diplo, K4mo – The latest pop star out of Nigeria adds Jamaican dancehall to the mix on a catchy, starry track… Nicki does it just right – B+

Be a Rebel – New Order – truth be told, I lost much of my interest in New Order after “Ceremony” and the rest after “Bizarre Love Triangle,” so whether you consider it a ringing endorsement that their first freshly written song in fifteen years sounds like New Order will depend on your level of fandom – C+

Visitor – Of Monsters and Men – The Iceland band come across like 10s indie rockers with more electronics and a woman lead singer but they actually have the anthemic quality of a U2 or Killers, more anemic but made of stronger stuff – B+

Kamikaze – Omar Apollo – a singer songwriter using both English and Spanish, who sounds like a teen hip hop produced r&b with the beats a touch too strong – B-

Looking For Me – Paul Woolford, Diplo, Kareen Lomax – popular DJ with a lame track – C-

Baptize (with JID & EARTHGANG) – Spillage Village, JID, EARTHGANG – The supergroup team should be a lot more super than this average rap track with voices galore but a good hook – C+

Move – Stefflon Don – we aren’t getting Dancehall Don, the woman is pure rap Don here  as she spits her grime with authority – B

What the Future Holds – Single Mix – Steps – The return of Steps was a big deal in the UK in 2017, they dress like ABBA and sound like Little Mix if Little Mix weren’t so computer oriented – C

BS – Still Woozy – still in the garage, still self produced dream pop – B-

Can’t Kill the Musikk – The Wannadies – Have the Swedish poop rockers  learnt nothing since “You And Me Song” and a coupla decades break?  Nope – B+

Ring (feat. Young Thug) – T.I., Young Thug – along with Gucci Mane, T.I. invented Atlanta Trap, and like Gucci he never came all the way back after his release from prison, on his new single with another Trap king Young Thug, “Ring,” he is just as sturdy as ever with an addictive slice just to remind you how it is done pre-ATL  A-

Paradise – Tinlicker, Helsloot, Saro – trance nothing much song except for the finger picked bass but that’s not enough – C

Confusion Wheel – Tom Petty – another Wildflowers outtake, can’t say I’m overwhelmed… – C+

I Got You (ft. Busta Rhymes) – Trippie Redd, Busta Rhymes – samples the  Busta Rhymes and Mariah Carey’s 2003 hit, “I Know What You Want” and then floors it with an appearance by Busta Bust – B+

Bad Habits – Usher – STDS and promiscuity result in half hearted apology – C+

Nobody Gets Me (Like You) – Wallows – pop punk power trio, not as good as it needs to be  – C+

Pop Like This (feat. Yo Gotti) – YBN Nahmir, Yo Gotti  – The Alabama pop rapper with one of the most addictive songs of the year as it pops irresistibly with the hook of the week at the very least with his fourth and best single of the year – SINGLE OF THE WEEK –  B+

Father And Son – Yusuf / Cat Stevens – Cat has nothing much to add on Tea For The Tillerman‘s 50th anniversary, but unfortunately the songs so far have been worse than pointless distractions, they mess with our memories. This one he gets right, beautiful backing track and kudos  for the attempt to go falsetto  with the son portion – B+



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