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Going Steady: New Singles reviewed 6-29-18 – 7-5-18

Warpaint – 88rising, NIKI – Neo-anthem with pop indie font, NIKI is Indonesian and 88Rising is a record label embracing Asian pop  – B

So Far – Alice In Chains – Of course it sucks, sure it sucks, it has no option but to suck…  HOWEVER it sucks no worse than they ever have – C+

Birthday – All Time Low – Not catchy and clever, but lyrically erudite and effortlessly pleasurable, a complete revelation – – A-

Everything Is fine – All Time Low – This is what we expect from ATL… though the Beatley bride is an innovation – C+

Not The Boy – A$AP Ferg – A little on the lame side but that “bet I make your Mama moist” line is teaching the world new ways to dream – C+

Verified – A$AP Ferg – Apparently that blue check verification ain’t that hard to get and A$AP finds it less than important as a form of validation… and he is right – B

Dancing Alone – Axwell ^ Ingrosso, Romans – Never as good without Steve Angello, though it is as much EDM’s time has passed as a pop phenomena known as Swedish House Mafia had huge cachet and Axwell and Ingrosso don’t. Having said that, this is pretty good house dance pop – B-

Estamos Bien – Bad Bunny – This is the most US Trap song Latin trap star producer Bad Bunny has ever put his name to, it could come from just about any Atlanta Trap star and in a good way, and translates to we’re are fine though this being trap he doesn’t sound fine in its echoey autotune way – B+

Another Chance (Don Diablo Edit) – Big Pineapple, Don Diablo – “The mysterious Big Pineapple grew up on a remote island where he was left as a baby,” it says here. I kinda doubt it but this reworking of an early 00s song is pretty good modern EDM – B

Focus – Charli XCX – Pop move with Charli’s chorus so simple it enters your brain and never leaves you, if I say to myself “I just want you to focus on my love” just one more time… – B+

No Angel – Charli XCX – An arrogant twirl of a song that should break pop – B

Only One – Chris Bandi – Modern pop country style, catchy but bland – C+

youth – cleopatrick – Like so much modern rock, it has a whole lotta Soundgarden in it and, pretty much because the vocals are not too Chris Cornell, they just about pull it off  – B-

Todo El Amor (feat. Maluma & Wisin) – De La Ghetto, Maluma, Wisin – A reggaeton who’s who with a catchy salsa backbeat – B

Until Next Time – Eny – EDM band with a sugar and beatwise first single – B

Love That About You – Filmore – Opening for Carrie Underwood on July 4th and sure has the voice for it though the song could be tighter  – B-

Me and My Friends – James Vincent McMorrow – The singer songwriter is getting poppier by the second and this percolates on a nice little piano hook – B

I See Love – From Hotel Transylvania 3 – Jonas Blue, Joe Jonas –  UK DJ meets a bro on this EDM sweet little banger – B-

Pirate Song – Kenny Chesney – Sounds like Kenny covering Jackson Browne -so not entirely unpleasant – B-

You Didn’t Want Me – Love and Theft – Country pop sweet nothing – B-

Beauty Into Clichés – Madison Cunningham – There had to be one somewhere, a Christian Contemporary singer who didn’t make me throw up in my mouth, and here she is. The other song she released with this single was a lovely, and really lovely, cover of “So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright”. But the lead single, “Beauty Into cliché” is an acoustic guitar song of intense beauty and a rage against consumerism and faux culture:

“Oh how I feel for the sky
Overused by poetry and rhymes
It’s in the sentence that follows
“We stayed up all night”

Oh shouldn’t it concern me
If we shrink beauty to fit into our minds
Don’t have to listen to the whole song
To know what’s in the third line”

How clever is that? – SINGLE OF THE WEEK – A

For My Crimes – Marissa Nadler – Low key folkie bore – C+

Still New York – MAX, Joey Bada$$ – Nice voice and if we must have another song about New York, surely one that shouts out the Yankees 1999 is our first choice? Joey is in good spirits – B+

Stay Woke (feat. Miguel) – Meek Mill, Miguel – Meek Mill is the poster boy for warehousing black men in prisons and so deserves a lot of rope, and gets it on this crappy song – C

Nobody – Mitski – Iggy Pop said of Japanese-American indie pop woman Mitski “She’s a great talent. For me she’s probably the most advanced American songwriter that I know,” and this haunting look into the void would seem to have his back. The beat is quite bouncy – B+

Pure In The Pack – Mozzy – Old school rap with a swagger so cool it works like a shrug – B+

X – Remix – Nicky Jam, J Balvin, Maluma, Ozuna – A who’s who remix – B-

Connection – OneRepublic – For once in a lifetime, Onerepublic don’t over play their pop anthem and get a swinging piece of pop in return  – B

Vaina Loca – Ozuna, Manuel Turizo – Ozuna is big enough to play MSG and this slice of pure pop Latin style has nothing of the darkness you’ll find with Bad Bunny, it is a smart beat Latin move and should hit big though it won’t crossover – B

Firm and Strong – Popcaan – I’ve never much cared for Popcaan, a Dancehall DJ with an EDM bent, but this is more straight up reggae and is haunting – B

Wine For Me – Popcaan – Nice Rasta with backbeat – B

What Whiskey Does – Randy Houser – Old school country and a really ace song to boot, Randy can sing and this is so confident he leads off with the chorus and the chorus kills – A-

Gotta Quit Drinkin – Renee Blair – Another girl country singer heartbreak – C+

Wouldn’t Want To Be Like You (featuring Annie Clark) – Sheryl Crow, Annie Clark – St Vincent (Aka Annie Clark) imprints on Sheryl so it sounds like bad Annie or bad Sheryl, depending upon your mood – C

PARAD(w/m)E – Sylvan Esso – I caught this synth duo at Gov Ball earlier this year, but they made zero impression upon me… I can hear why they didn’t, the band is slight but melodic – B-

PARAD(w/m)E – Rostam Remix – Sylvan Esso, Rostam – Rostam speeds it up and adds a second drum pattern – B

Gin & Drugs (feat. Problem) – Wiz Khalifa, Problem – A nice Zap sample and Wiz kills his verses, Problem not so much – C+

Real Rich (feat. Gucci Mane) – Wiz Khalifa, Gucci Mane – Gucci is enjoying a long break and deservedly so – C+

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