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Going Steady: New Singles Reviewed 7-22-16 – 7-28-16

 

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333 – Against Me – Which is half of 666, of course, on this smart little rocker with a strong backbeat and a veneered 00s melodic thump and buzzy guitar – B

Harmless – Amanda Shires – The first couple of Americana? Well, all it took was a deeply flawed follow up to a breakthrough by one half of the couple to send em back to the woodshed. This is a sweet, sad little country ballad, all tinged with ache vocal and slow orchestrated strings and slide, but it is nothing special – B-

The Weekend – Brantley Gilbert – Look, I’ve had my digs at post-country Steve earle more than once, but to compare this country thumper to Earle is preposterous. A useless blues country workout – C

Ludlow Expectations – Butch Walker – Named after my favorite street in Manhattan, a street I would  spend my life on if I was 40 years younger, abut it isn’t as good as Julian Casablancas take, and it doesn’t evoke the lower east side with the magic his buddy Ryan Adams back in the day: it is a middlebrow Americana plod – C+

Rotting In Vain – Korn – Well, it is loud and in your face so that’s to the good, but it is also conservative and a commercial move… promises pretty darn well for their first release in four years. What’s wrong in pleasing the people? – B+

Pick Up The Phone – Lupe Fiasco – The former King of agitprop hip hop socialism, makes another mainstream move, with its strings and its self-awareness and its Hot 100 chorus, maybe this will do it – B

Cold Water – Major Lazer,  Justin Bieber, Mo – This may not have Jack U Off’s originality but as fuzzy EDM goes it runs circles around everybody else in the game, a Bieber mood piece with a trinkled down beat production that is easily memorable – B+

Vice – Miranda Lambert – Post-marriage Miranda trumps both Blake and Gwen on this heavy duty heartache that explodes on the bridge – B+

Prophets Of Rage – Prophets Of Rage – There is a reason why excitement for this guys has waned and it isn’t because Zach ain’t here, rather because this has a whole in share and share vibe which leaves it both trying too hard and not enough, it just bland – C+

Bleeding Heart – Regina Spektor – How great is that chorus, both twee and entangled, as it details the movement of a breakout. A beauty – A-

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