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Going Steady: New Singles Reviewed 12-6-19 – 12-12-19

 

Believe – Adam Lambert – Adam is way too histrionic, but give him one of Cher’s gay anthems and he knows what to do with it. Astoundingly delicate take, a slow, emotional build with till he reaches a moment of catharsis and then fades. This version was first performed live at the Kennedy Center Honors, and the recorded version is just as good – SINGLE OF THE WEEK A-

Reasons I Drink – Alanis Morissette – Another damn list song, it takes away all of the good will her great Broadway Musical has built, not all no -some – C

Void – Algiers – Afro-Punk anthem, heart of darkness – B

Nadie Como Tu – Amenazzy, G-Eazy – A baby Nicky Jam with an assist for G-Eazy – C+

Frozen – Be Well – A nice little thrasher – B-

Strength for Breath – Be Well _ pushed along by the drums to much better effect – B+

Love Will Remain – Bill Fay – Lousy piano ballad – C

You and I – Caribou – the one man, EDM, moodster with a bummer soul track – C+

Mother – Courtney Love, The Turning – From that upcoming remake of “The Turning Of The Screws,” finds Love going very Goth – C+

From the Grave – Cro-Mags, Phil Campbell – Ramalama, fast, loud riff monster, great singer but it would be – B-

Nixon’s Rules – Graham Parker – Parker takes on how the remnants of Nixonian future history: “The English government still lying through its teeth to protect its failed policies…” Yowzer, anybody woulda thought they were Mercury Records – B

Pantomima – Greg Dulli – Terrific lick monster, with a study Afghan Whigs throb, and if you like Greg you’ll love it – B

Hope – Cyndi Lauper – Synth throb snooze – C+

SUGA’s Interlude – Halsey, SUGA, BTS – UK DJ, Korean rapping, and a Halsey vocal… an odd choice for single, right? Well, except for the Korean rapping – B-

Finally // beautiful stranger – Halsey – Halsey goes Lana and it works very well – B+

Adore You – Harry Styles – Over tweaked crap, so far so meh – C

Riding Solo – Hinds – Very catchy pop rock from the Spanish women – B

Free Gloss (feat. Nicholas Allbrook) – Holy Fuck, Nicholas Allbrook- Kraftwerk-y rock track with a lotta beeps and a rock guitar sound – B

Solita – Kali Uchis – crossover Latin pop with an edgy backing on the 808 – B

Texas Sun – Khruangbin, Leon Bridges – Texas trio plus mediocre soul on a steel guitar twang track – C+

Accomplishments – Lil Keed, Lil Yachty, Zaytoven – Atlanta trap, on Young Thug’s label which explains DJ Zaytoven’s presence, I love Lil Keed’s voice – B-

Our Man Walter Cronkite – Mary Chapin Carpenter – Beautiful, smokey vocal, on an ode to the newscaster – B-

Migration of Souls – M. Ward – Remember when Conor Oberst wanted M. Ward for President, circa 2004, and a year later he released his greatest moment, “One Life Away”.  And since then, meh. That She & Him stuff got old fast, last years album didn’t hit, and this song is not much though his voice is still pleasant and warming – B-

Best Thing – Nadia Reid – She’s got a good voice for an indie folk woman and can draw out a line to the breaking point, but the song is a bland out – C+

PAID MY DUES – NF – Nice flow, and the hook that opens the song is ace, the speed rap strong, and the self-awareness well said  – B

God Only Knows (Team Timbo Remix) – for KING & COUNTRY, Dolly Parton, Timbaland – Really, Timbaland? Anyway, for King & Country have always been a terrible Christian contemporary blowhard brothers but Tuesday’s CMA Christmas version of “The Little Drummer Boy” (they’d done it in 2013 for a Christmas album) was a game changer. Now, this waste of Dolly Parton on a song title that should never be used again, brings us back to ground zero – D+

Cash Machine – Oliver Tree – LA comedian and singer, sounds like bedroom pop – B-

Forget Me Now – Polica – electronic indie, sweet but a snooze – C+

Hangerz – Pussy Riot, Junglepussy, Vic Mensa – The agit propers make a serious pop move, everybody right on the money. It’s not “Make America Great Again” but it’s a goodie – B+

That’s Tuff (feat. Quavo) – Rich The Kid, Quavo – So 2017, so trap – B-

Feed – Soccer Mommy – Another one from “The Turning” -a quirky, angular track goes nowhere – C+

Elevator – Smoke Fairies – Folkie rocker with a great lick it rides well – B+

Audi II – Smokepurpp – Where is the second album? I guess this banger with a great flow and a funny take on money via car finds him well out of Broward County – B

Is This The Last Time – Spoon – a B Side from 2002, which makes it less soulful but more clearly an indie ride – B-

Headlights – Squirrel Flower – Another indie chick snooze – C

Christmas Tree Farm – Taylor Swift – a 50s style arrangement of high style American Standard before daydreaming herself to the farm she spent her Christmases as a youth (with vintage footage to prove it on the video). I love it, well done Taylor – B

Don’t Blow It, Kage – Tenacious D – I’ve never much cared for the Spinal Tapping duo, but this is a killer track (produced by Jack White), and it works as a funny little portrait with Jack Black going from aggression, dismissal and then begging for his return… B+

I Can Change Your Mind – The James Hunter Six – Soulful Bossa Nova – B-

9th Configuration – The Rentals – If you’re down with this bore, you’re a better P than I am… – B

Blow Me – The Used, Jason Aalon Butler – Useless post-hardcore gives what’s left of rock a bad name – MUST TO AVOID – D

Gracious Day – TORRES – I like the poster girl for lesbians everywhere quite a lot, not here though… a slow drag – C

Kissing In The Wind – Travis – Travis at their MOR worse – D+

Without You – Wish You Were Here – Fuck, I am dying of boredom – D+

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