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Going Steady: New Singles Reviewed 3-2-18 – 3-8-18

Set to Attack – Albert Hammond, Jr. – I would call the Strokes guitarist overrated but the truth is no one rates him and this plodding dreck is one reason why, and congratulations for his second – MUST TO AVOID – D+

To Drink from the Night Itself – At The Gates – Melodeath???  Well, why not when it hits this hard – B

Shiny One – Belly – Tanya Donelly and friends with their first original song in 23 years and it is a lovely guitar plus strings plus harmonies track – B

Put Me Back Together (feat. Kiiara) – Cheat Codes – KIiara has a sweet voice and this is a smartly arranged EDM pop track with a cool lyric – B

You Never Knew My Mind (Johnny Cash: Forever Words) – Chris Cornell – I have a real bad feeling about this concept, adding music to words Johnny wrote. This is an overblown bummer – C-

My Enemy – CHVRCHES, Matt Boehringer – Wow, this is a terrible song. Matt is slumming (though the National’s last album was so bad maybe not) and this dreary mess of an echoey doom ballad helps neither Matt nor the I have soul but it is all in my eyeliner lead singer Lauren Mayberry – C-

Top Off – DJ Khaled, Future, Jay Z, Beyonce – With three top performers on his track, DJ Khaled can’t do better than this bore? “Top off the Maybach”? Really, that’s what he’s got? Everybody sounds ordinary but OK except for Beyonce who only gives us a verse, but it’s a great verse. Still, what a waste of an amazing array of talent. In three days it hasn’t pushed 2.5M streams on Spotify, just for comparison’s sake, Drake’s latest is at 300M – C+

Love is a Basic Need – Embrace – 90s big rock band never quite broke through, but this is Verve big and clatters all the way – B-

Crowd Control – FISHER – My taste for straight up house is huge and this terrific drop the bass is just that – B+

Bulletproof – Godsmack – 90s style metal, all grinding riffs and half formed melodies with strong vocals and not much more – C+

Solitaire (feat. Migos & Lil Yachty) – Gucci Mane – This ain’t up to much, Gucci can get lazy when the mood takes him and he has been on a go slow for around three months now – C+

Who You Say I Am – Live – Hillsong Worship – “This new single would make a great addition to your Easter services as it touches on themes of God’s grace and our identity in Him, declaring, “Who the Son sets free, Oh is free indeed. I’m a child of God, yes I am. In my Father’s house there’s a place for me. I’m a child of God, yes I am.”  – D+

Ahora – J Balvin – A real bore of a reggaeton beat, particularly disappointing after his terrific guest appearance at the Bad Bunny gig – C

Over and Over and Over – Jack White – This is what happens to mediocre talents 20 years into their career -they stop having any relevance whatsoever – C+

I Was Jack (You Were Diane) – Jake Owen – I guess it makes sense to someone but Mellencamp’s ridiculous ode to juvenility (which rhymes with senility for some reason) is given a shining on this country what the fuckism – C-

Knockin’ on Your Screen Door – John Prine – The second great song off Prine’s eagerly anticipated return to albums, this do ci do is a glorious sound and a terrific timeless beauty. The solo? Wow… – A-

Stranger Things – Joyner Lucas, Chris Brown  – This is the single best rap I’ve heard in weeks, this guy has flow and pacing, fast, clear, and brilliant… it’s a pity they don’t have more on their mind but really, getting there is like a top race car speeding through town – A-

Pineapple – Karol G – It hasn’t been a great year for Latin pop so far, but this is a sweet nothing – B+

Watch Fire (featuring Sufjan Stevens) – Laura Veirs – Gorgeous little song about dealing with fears, Sufjan keeps an eye out for her, Laura worries aloud – B+

Best Friend – Little Dragon – Typical electronic pop honey, but no more than that – B-

Everyday – Logic, Marshmello – Logic has a lot going for them, unfortunately they are more cultural (social?) than musical. Once you see him live you love him but the songs don’t make it at all. This is terrible – C-

No Excuses – Meghan Trainor – A great earworm banger with an excellent verse and just as good chorus, she should write for Katy Perry, if Katy’s songs were half this good… – B+

Short Court Style – Natalie Prass – Beautifully  sung and arranged, soulful singer songwriter, the song isn’t great – B-

X – Nicky Jam, J Balvin – Balvin’s second song of the week is a terrific reggaeton bagger – B

hammer – nothing,nowhere. – This isn’t emo rap quite, it is bedsit land rap with tunefulness and paranoia to burn – B

Hurt To Look (feat. Rae Sremmurd) – Swae Lee – I thought Swae Lee was a member of Rae Sremmurd… this is state of the art trap, and it should hit big – B

List of Demands (Reparations) – The Kills – these guys are very reliable and quite good, always able to maintain a banger through to the end, but please forgive us for taking it for granted, they seem to be running in place – C+

Put It On a T-Shirt – The Vaccines – Second goodie in a row from the rockers, dramatic classicist like an at their best Dawes if Dawes were English – B+

In the Moment – The Weeklings – These guys make it look so easy, but this is intricate power pop with a mind boggling chorus and cascading charms, harmonies. Enough like the Beatles to make you feel they haven’t lost the magic while growing inside their power pop confines into something else again, finally they throw in a bridge that seems to have fallen out of “And Your Bird Can Sing”. Nobody does it better than the Weeklings – SINGLE OF THE WEEK – A-

Right Left Wrong – Three Days Grace – Modern rock and roll, not my scene at all and it is mostly because I can’t take the singing. Same here but if I could get over it, these 20 year vets would be a place to begin – C+

YDTMHLT – War on Women – Kathleen Hanna is on this vicious and loud feminist tract via Baltimore, this is undoubtedly the most exciting slice of sound you’ll hear this week – B+

The Hamilton Polka – “Weird Al” Yankovic – Ten songs off “Hamilton” in five minutes and quite as good as you hoped it was – A-

For You Too – Yo La Tengo – I haven’t loved these guys since 1997, but of the four singles they’ve released this year year, this one is a terrific and beautiful “Fake Book” ish pseudo Americana success – B+

Toy – Young Fathers – That’s a weird beat… what is it? Seems like a synth weirdness… Third great single off the upcoming album – B+

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