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Going Steady: New Singles Reviewed 4-20-18 – 4-26-18

Off The Gas (feat. Lil Skies) – 6 Dogs –  An interesting mumble rapper from Georgia, who was raised in a very strict religious household and got grounded when his mama discovered his secret life, here’s a terrific piece of growing up (off the gas means stop being childish) fast  – B+

No Tears Left To Cry – Ariana Grande – Ariana is in good voice, which is no surprise, right? But the song is a catchy dance track not as gloomy as you might expect – B

Therapy – Armin van Buuren, James Newman – Trance pop with a good singer – C+

Sin Pijama – Becky G, Natti Natasha – Becky G you might know from Empire, but not me… I know her from featured appearances on a fistful of Latin pop tracks, and now  from this good but not great track. Her problem is a voice perfect for featured verses but a little nondescript for the lead – C+

Kazakhstan – Brian Eno – Ambient blah – C

lovely (with Khalid) – Billie Eilish – Haunting, and Billie and Khalid’s voices mesh in a quiet dream… the song isn’t much – C+

City Looks Pretty – Courtney Barnett – I have never been the fan so many people are of this indie rocker, she is like a gender fluid Juliana Hatfield updated for a world in which War On Drugs is King. Till now. This has her best tune to date and because it is so great it improves on her most trait, that sing songy vocal just off the melody – A-

F.L.Y (feat. Fetty Wap) – De La Ghetto – Hot little reggaeton track trying to crossover and succeeding – B

Right Here, Right Now – Friction One in the Jungle Remix – Fatboy Slim – Meh, pointless – C

Alcohol – FIDLAR – Their first song in year is a scream and shout big nothing – C+

Sham Pain – Five Finger Death Punch – Nice hook, “I’m living the good life…” – B+

Philly Forget Me Not (with Train) – Daryl Hall & John Oates – Nice ode to their home town, featuring the Train guy co-writing his first song this week – B-

I Like That – Janelle Monáe – Except for “Pynk” every song has been killer off Friday’s new release, including this straight up beauty of a dance track – B+

OTW – Khalid, 6lack, Ty Dolla $ign – AKA On the Way, r&b as written in 2018 – B

I Can Change – Lake Street Dive – The song should have been a little stronger but the vocal arrangement is ace – B+

Beyond – Leon Bridges – I hate neo-soul as much as the next guy but occasional a miracle will happen and this is that. Nothing Bridges has done has earned much more than a shrug from me but this one is a masterful piece of soul crooning – SINGLE OF THE WEEK – a-

Familiar – Liam Payne, J Balvin – Nice crossover both ways, Latin to EDM pop and back. A goodie by Liam – B+

deep end – Lykke Li – Indie EDM pop from Sweden -a little boring – C+

Bailar Contigo – Monsieur Periné – Excellent old school Latin dance track – B

Had Me By Halftime – Morgan Wallen – Twang twang twang twang twang – C

All Or Nothing – Naughty Boy, RAY BLK, Wycliff Jean – A huge disappointment, Naughty Bboy should be well beyond this EDM by the numbers – C+

Bad Luck – Neko Case – I haven’t liked much from Neko in years but this is Americana as bubbleyum, catchy, sweet and bubbly – B

Great Is Thy Faithfulness (Beginning to End) [feat. Mike Weaver] – one sonic society – blah blah blah Jesus blah blah – C-

Other Arrangements – Parker Millsap – I didn’t like it at first but it is a grower, the other is the arrangement, the guitar is a beauty – B

The Boy In the Bubble – Richy Ahmed Remix – Paul Simon – That is a terrible phht pfhht mix- D

There’s A Fortune In Those Hills – Pete Townshend –  An outtake from his first solo album and so good you have to wonder why he didn’t release it at the time, it is of a piece with the album and the album is one of his best – A

Bad Dreams – Pete Yorn, Scarlett Johansen – Ho hum folk rocket with deep throated Scarlett not helping – C

Perdido – Poo Bear, J Balvin – Justin Bieber’s buddy and J’s second song of the week, this is much less crossover and more reggaeton – B

Nothing Compares 2 U – Prince – His original unreleased take, better than Rosie, not as good as Sinead – A

SADE IN THE 90s – Qveen Herby – First class r&b dance track, completely addictive – A-

CLOSE (feat. Travis Scott) – Rae Sremmurd – Rae Sremmurd are considered the Beatles of young rappers and this is a very clever hook, very catchy, very much how to craft these sorta stuff, like Migos without as many tracks. Travis is first rate – A-

Basement – Russ. Jesse Reyez – Cool handclaps and top new r&b singer Jesse Reyez with top young rapper Russ – B+

Outstanding (feat. 21 Savage) – SahBabii – Nice little dance beat and 21 Savage sounds almost calm – B

Villain – Speedy Ortiz – I don’t always like these guys (though they’re good live) but this is a first rate little rocker – B+

Babe – Sugarland, Taylor Swift – That bloke from Train’s second songwriting credit of the day is this return to country skills by one. T. Swift after that hugely popular Little Big Town abomination. Jennifer Nettles is a personal fave and this heartbreaker is first class – B+

Ready to Roar – Willie Nelson – Willie’s  third or fourth classic in a row, swing time country waiting on the weekend – A-

420 Freestyle – Wiz Khalifa – He’s a shitty rapper and this is terrible – MUST TO AVOID – D+

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