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Going Steady: New Singles 3-27-20 – 4-2-20, 2020, Reviewed

Superstar – 24hrs, Ty Dolla $ign – Ty croons, 24hrs autotunes – B

Not A Rapper – 42 Dugg, Lil Baby, Yo Gotti – bloody throw down for gangstas – B-

In Love With A Stripper – 645AR – sex with helium, which reminds me that I dated a stripper in my late teens, she ended up in prison for dealing heroin and finally became an aide to returning to civilian life convicts – B

Confident – Ace Hood – nice bassy hook, his voice could be a little less nasal – B-

just a boy – Alaina Castillo – a very beautiful R&B ballad, with an acoustic guitar and a voice that sounds like a less emphatic Jessie Reyez – B+

More Than Enough – Alina Baraz – breathy r&b – B

All I Want Is You – Allen Toussaint, Zilla Mayes – First heard as a single in 1955, the intensely felt soul singer Zilla Mayes final recording is a horn and piano driven r&b song. The second time it was heard was on Allen’s The Lost Sessions in 2011 that compiles his transitional recordings from the 1950s to the 1960s. The final time we heard it was last Friday, when it was the latest of six singles just posted by the nine years gone New Orleans legend. The single art is a New Orleans postcard and Allen’s calling card… I have no idea what is going on, perhaps a Lost Session part two? We can but hope – A-

Her – Anne-Marie – the EDM singer’s ode to her mommy – C+

1-800-Nu-Checks – Azealia Banks – off her this time it must drop upcoming album Business And Pleasure, meet the business side: “Panty dropper, pussy popper, pussy dripping, pussy power, pussy power, pussy power, fast cash…” – A-

Slow Hands – Azealia Banks – straight up r&b ballad with a definitive bass hook – B+

The Silent Circle – Barishi – definable sludge for nine minutes with bowels of hell vocals – B-

Life in Quarantine – Benjamin Gibbard – “the sidewalks are empty, the bars and cafes too…”? It goes downhill from there – C-

Everybody Hates Monday Mornings – Benny Benassi, BB Team, Canguro English – spoken word meets downlow house and deep but slow bass – C+

Atlas – Bicep – bloopy electronica with synth sound effects – C+

Crashing Sky – Bizou – 80s style synth pop – B-

Swervin – BlocBoy JB – you might remember his “Look Alive” with Drake, here he is alone with a pomping bass line – B

Murder Most Foul – Bob Dylan – piano and strings meet at a funeral pace for nearly seventeen minutes of testament of pop culture moving outwards to the early 1970s and returning to JFK’s assassination… while most pop stars are canceling their newest releases, Dylan drops his first original composition in eight years and it is a great work – SINGLE OF THE WEEK – A

Unbroken (ft. The Invictus Games Choir) – Bon Jovi, The Invictus Games Choir – there is only one thing certain in 2020’s singles columns: either Bon Jovi, or Christian Contemporary, or hard rock will be the must to avoid every week. Anyway, who dey? “The Invictus Games Choir, made up of wounded, injured and sick veterans and serving personnel from all services and different ranks of the UK Armed Forces, have come together to use the power of music to aid their recovery.” – MUST TO AVOID – D

Persona Non Grata – Bright Eyes – whoops, I said lower east side, apparently it is all in the WEST village, where Conor spent his 00s getting fucked up, a real blah bummer and what’s worse is the bagpipes don’t work – C-

Pretty Crazy – Butch Walker – Not bad pop rocker by the Ryan Adams buddy – B

Favorito – Camilo – he’s written for everybody from Becky G to Bad Bunny, but has left himself a very melodic and catchy slice of Latin pop with only the drums making it clearly today – B+

Martin – Car Seat Headrest – The first single off the upcoming album, “Can’t Cool Me Down”,  improved over repeat hearings, but I doubt this guitar strummer shall – B-

Weedman – Channel Tres – the always great art rapper, because it ain’t all Brockhampton, and no, it’s not “Brilliant Nigger” but it is brilliant nevertheless, a weird, broken up rhythm with Tres on the phone buying smoke – B

Colder – CHITE, Yusuf / Cat Stevens – electronic instrumental, don’t know why Cat is there though I assume it’s because he has been sampled – C+

No Front – Comethazine – cool trap banger – B

Shoot Sideways – Conway the Machine, The Alchemist, ScHoolboy Q – Eminem find is pure OG on this classic rhyming hands in the air, great to hear from Schoolboy Q as well – B+

All These Perfect Crosses – Craig Finn – piano dirge bummer from Craig’s upcoming new double of outtakes, demos, and new songs… miserable little fuck – C+

Fun – Dillinja Mix – David Bowie, Dillinja – Cool, beat heavy remix of the only available on boots “Funhouse” (not that one) -which it resembles a great deal  – B

The Knife – Deeper – post punk guitar guitar – B

Future Teenage Cave Artists – Deerhoof – terrific piece of art pop weirdness – B+

The Loved One – Deerhoof – bass based art rock without being proggy – B

Search For Life – Dirty Projectors – low key, acoustic prettiness with lotsa strings  – C+

Captain Duck – Duck Sauce, A-Trak, Armand Van Helden – Truly terrific sample of Captain Sensible song – B+

Saturn Return – Ellis – dream pop prettiness – B

All the Ladies – Fatboy Slim, Eats Everything – “…in the house…” and this is a very good house track by a master – B+

I Love My Country – Florida Georgia Line – It gives patriotism a good name, a terrific country rocker (by the way, the second goodie by these guys) – B+

End Summer – Goth Babe – neither Goth nor Babe, one man band meets surf guitar and electronic handclaps – B-

Dream St. – Jackie Lynn – Haley Fohr is a talented singer songwriter from Chicago, and she expands her palette here with Hawaiian strings and the pitter patter of a metronome –  B

Sway – Jordana – she has one of those voices that slurs a little to give her a sensual edge to her voice on this romantic singer songwriter song living room pop  – B

I Love You’s – Hailee Steinfeld – excellent reworking of Annie Lennox’s “No More I Love You” – B+

Save Me – Hollaphonic, Xriss – Americana meets beats – C+

A Little Soon To Say – Jackson Browne – The sort of JB song he doesn’t write anymore, and we we wish him best as he recovers from the Coronavirus, this guitar ballad with a great chorus is a nice reminder of what he doesn’t do – B

Only Children – Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – the first was classic, the second a dog, this is a mid tempo lull somewhere between the two – B-

I’m Still Hangin’ On – John Anderson – one for three and these isn’t it – C+

Sway – Jordana – whispery chill r&b – B-

One Summer Day – Justin Hayward – abysmal  folk acoustic blah, and he looks terrifying on the single sleeve, really see below – C

 

Last Time I Say Sorry – Kane Brown, John Legend – unlistenable, viciously terrible ballad – D+

Wild World – Kip Moore – not that one and not that wild – C-

Like It Is – Kygo, Zara Larsson, Tyga – Zara is the Swedish EDM gal, Tyga is Tyga, and Kygo needs Whitney Houston to signify – C

O Ruthless Great Divine Director – Lingua Ignota – opera vocals makes hardcore noise – B

Break Up Song – Little Mix – nothing much EDM pop – C+

Safe Place to Land – Louise Goffin – Gerry Goffin’s kid goes Americana – B- (upped from “C” because she is Gerry Goffin’s kid)

Big Black Train – Lucinda Williams – about depression it says here (whenever I hear about BBTs I think of death), maybe writing it depressed her – C+

Lost Girl – Music from the Netflix Original Film – Lucinda Williams – not bad, and not untypical Williams warblegarble mouth of marbles Lucinda, it goes on for nearly nine minutes and picks up steam as it goes on, a real beaut – A-

Future Peg – Man Man – Take Flaming Lips, remove the affectation, add more guitars and some strong side effects and here you are – B-

Bleed All Over – Mark Lanegan – I saw Screaming Trees open for Oasis at Jones Beach back in the day, I loved em as well. Because, really, Mark has that voice, but his Americana rock solo is a drag – C+

Frontstreet – Mick Jenkins – Best rap I’ve heard all week – B+

Take It Back – Mokita, Ella Vos – Not bad, skittish bedsit tech beats on singer songwriter stuff – C+

Broken Tambourine – Muzz – The class of 2000 (Paul Banks (Interpol), Josh Kaufman (Bonny Light Horseman), and Matt Barrick (Jonathan Fire*Eater/The Walkmen/Fleet Foxes) remind us why the New York scene was stillborn with  astonishingly slow mood music – C-

Turks (feat. Travis Scott) – NAV, Gunna, Travis Scott – great trap beat fuels a goodie – B

I Love You More Than I Hate Me – NOFX – ho hum punk pop – C+

Ninths – NOUS, Christopher Bono – prog classicism with a touch of metal dynamism on the hook – B-

Better Days – OneRepublic – Ryan Tedder might well be a wonderful fellow, as a songwriter I want to punch him on the nose – D

Blue Moon – Onyx Collective, Ian Isiah – a surreally beautiful, slow and gorgeous version with piano and horns and a falsetto to ride it – A-

BELIEVE IT – PARTYNEXTDOOR, Rihanna – can’t take the r&b bore at any price, RiRi handles the hook – B-

Earth Beat – Paul Weller – why has he gone electronic? And why is Mick Talbot here with him? Anyway, it slowly emerges as a soul track, which makes it the first goodie off the upcoming album – B

Quick Escape – Pearl Jam – according to Rolling Stone PJ the band recently opened a hotline (585-20-PEARL) that fans can call for the chance to hear a preview of additional songs from their upcoming album, while this hard rocker is terrific, easily the best of the three single we’ve heard so far – B+

Hate for Sale – Pretenders – The Pretenders second single is the title track off their upcoming album, powered by a sweet harp and always Chrissie’s sneer, the album looks to be the band’s best since Get Close, if she can keep away from the power ballads – A-

Dolerme – ROSALÍA – Rosalia is on a roll and it happens from time to time, just everything she touches is the best. Bad Bunny and J. Balvin are at a similar place and Beyonce was till she made that album with Mr. Beyonce, and Rosalia is simply at the top of the list with her constant pivots between flamenco and Latin Urbano, and this ballad is an acoustic guitar driver heartbreaker as she rails against the man who dumped her – A-

Ooh LA LA (feat. Greg Nice & DJ Premier) – Run The Jewels, Greg Nice, DJ Premier – RTJ is my hip hop Willie Nelson -everybody loves the duo but me. Oddly, I am fine with Killer Mike solo. By my own limited appeal, this ode to Old Dirty Bastard is first rate so… – B+

Johnny – Sarah Jarosz – a third of I’m With Her, and terrific at City Winery, this kiss off Americana is nothing special – C+

Chocolate Souffle – Shabazz Palaces – typical experimental rap from the apex of the scene – B

You Are Not Who I Thought I Was – Sondre Lerche – very pleasant power pop swinger – B

Sludge – Squid – not sludge at all, fair to middling math rock (which sounds exceedingly like prog by other means)  – C+

John Henry was a Steel Drivin’ Man – Steve Earle – I had tickets to see the Steve Earle musical about that dirty, lung killing piece of fuel dug for in “Coal Country” but that ain’t happening, so here is the second song from the show, a fine doci-do waltzerino (Grade: B+)

The Longing – The Dream Syndicate – Steve took a long improvisation, cut it into tracks and added words… works for me – B

Kyiv – Tom Misch, Yussef Dayes – sweet jazzy jam – B

Wandering Star – TORRES – Torres already has a great album under her belt in 2020, so here is another great song, a Portishead cover well worth it – B+

Do The Most – Tory Lanez – first rate banger – B

Popped – Trouble, Quavo – ATLien trap at work – B-

New York At Night – Willie Nile – Instant nostalgia Eddie Cochran steal – A-

Contact (feat. Tyga) – Wiz Khalifa, Tyga – I’ve always had problems with Wiz but he can really rap – B-

Dreamland – Zelma Stone – sadsong dreamscape for her brother who died in a car crash when she was 14 (and he was 19) but still comes to her in dreams – B+

Sheep Tick – Young Knives – weirdcore, screams and post-punk shouts freak out – B

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