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Going Steady: New Singles Reviewed 5-11-18 – 5-17-18

Younger – A Great Big World – Another follow up to “Say Something” that doesn’t click, too innocuous to be offensive but still nothing much – C+

Say It With A Kiss – Amy Grant – Remember just after George Jones died, Amy and Vince Gill were the first family of country for the blink of an eye. Then they couldn’t maintain it and this indifference country pop is one of the things that they are doing and shouldn’t do – C+

Mad Mad World – Bonnie McKee – EDM pop songwriter shoulda left herself with something better than this percolating jam – C+

Drew Barrymore (feat. Wale) – Bryce Vine – The former “The Glee Project” contestant releases a very catchy little rap pop track – B

Twice – Christina Aguilera – This is certainly not “Accelerate,” and Kanye didn’t produce it. It is a browzy big ballad and while Christina is in fine voice the song itself is lousy – C+

Must’ve Been (feat. DRAM) – Blonde Remix – Chromeo – House pop, DRAM underused but the drop the bass moment is big – B-

Samurai Cop (Oh Joy Begin) – Dave Matthews Band – Worst singer ever, adenoidal annoyance – C-

Stay Open – Diplo, Mo – The most average song Diplo has done in awhile, this is a mid-tempo dance track with a clever enough  backbeat – C+

You Can’t Bring Me Down – Dierks Bentley – I’d like to use my words like rocks around his ankles –  MUST TO AVOID – C-

Milk and Honey – Girlhood – London electronic duo sound like everyone else only with better production – C+

Slide – James Bay – A mood music lo-fi by a man who could be the world’s last rock star if he concentrated hard enough – B

New Light – John Mayer – Poppy singer songwriter, but John can’t get away with it anymore – B-

Happy Man – Jungle – Old school r&b funkiness – B

Mi Cama – Karol G – That “bum-di-di-bum” hook is money in the bank, and along with Becky she is one of the two go to women for Latin Trap and Reggaeton, this is an excellent boppy dream song that can’t stop percolating, if it was a little faster it would be a masterpiece – SINGLE OF THE WEEK – A-

Fun – Kaskade – Kaskade are usually a major bore but this is a no nonsense trance as banger – B-

Ikuyo (feat. 2 Chainz & Sophia Black) – KYLE – I always felt as though KYLE took a back seat to Lil Yachty, and this deadly nursery rhyme seems to prove that KYLE is just a young, playful pop thing… and that’s a problem for no reason at all – B

Playinwitme (feat. Kehlani) – KYLE – This, I guess the B Side of the single, is even better. Kehlani is a wonder here, though no surprise since she has spent the past two years improving, here she sops up this beautiful and bright tune – B+

Born to Love You – RISE Recording – LANCO – Americana country band get this one – B

What Are We Waiting For (feat. Nicolette Robinson) – Leslie Odom Jr. – The original Aaron Burr makes a sharp turn from the showtunes we are expecting on this pretty folk ballad, a duet with his wife – B-

People Get Old – Lori McKenna – First rate piece of harbored nostalgia  Americana – B+

Audio – with Sia, Diplo & Labrinth – LSD – Labrinth leads the way and Sia is close by, Diplo steals the break, but it isn’t a good enough song – B-

Can’t Dance – Meghan Trainor – Clever little dance track morphing out of “Poker Face” to channel what now feels like a classic Lady Gaga vibe – B

Let You Be Right – Meghan Trainor – Meghan gets her submissive on – B

Salvaje – Messiah, Elvis Crespo – Always great to hear from the best merengue performer on the 90s, though this is a purer Latin pop feel with a steady dance beat and Trap and reggaeton feel… it seems that Latin Pop has become adhesive tape  – B+

APOLOGY – Ne-Yo – Nothing much r&b – C+

Team – Noah Cyrus, MAX – Both Noah and Max are talented guys, but this is a little twee for its genre half pop half soul for tweens vibe – B-

Body So Good – Popcaan – Dancehall performer who came to light on a Gorillaz track and failed to convince me. This is not unpleasant reggae pop – B-

Seven Nation Army (From Westworld: Season 2) – Ramin Djawadi – This is Ramin’s best version of a high culture nouveau pop standard turned to atmospheric music for bots and nonbots massacring each other – A-

Girls (feat. Cardi B, Bebe Rexha & Charli XCX) – Rita Ora – A dog with fleas, girls should do better than this, then  “sometimes I just wanna kiss girls” helps to save it – B-

Play It by Heart – Ryan Griffin – Country whatever – C

Back To You – From 13 Reasons Why – Season 2 Soundtrack – Selena Gomez – 1 – Love the new haircut, 2 – I realize the first cut is the deepest but really: Justin Bieber??? It takes some of the music way off this pop moment even though I predict a hit  – B-

Fun, Fun, Fun – The Beach Boys, The Royal Philharmonic – I have despised just about every time a pop song by, say Presley, has strings tossed on it, but Brian Wilson is such a King of melody and harmony, it works here – B+

Stay Here in the Sun – TĀLĀ, Naughty Boy – British-Iranian Tala took a sample from a Naughty Boy demo (guess which… I know what I believe), and ran with it. What we get is a lovely feel good triumph – B+

Clout (feat. 21 Savage) – Ty Dolla $ign – You wait around for 21 Savage and while he doesn’t give much, what he gives aces the track – B

If You’re Over Me – Years & Years – Sure, Olly has a sweet voice but his material doesn’t cut it as 80s synth pop come of age, and that’s all the boy band has if you don’t include an out front boy – C+

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