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Going Steady: New Singles Thursday, March 5th, 2020 Reviewed

 

ocean waves – Aliana Castillo – Roman has crafted a by the numbers pop singer songwriter sound and the song is good enough to rest on the sweet, almost glowing sounds – B

The Book Of You And I – Alec Benjamin sad song about a break and the memories that remain, sounds a bit like Niall’s first solo album – B

Lemonworld – Bartees Strange – Sure, it’s strange to hear a National song without Matt’s Scott Walker goes Americana baritone, and without guitars, but Bartlee -a DC producer and songwriter, adds swooping synths and computer generated sound effects – B+

Young & Alive – Bazzi -two years ago his blue eyed soul was in great demand, now less so though this is as good as anything he has ever done – B

Holy Moly – Blueface, NLE Choppa – Blueface is a pop machine and was expected to break bigger, “Holy Moly” is perfect for your Tik Tok video – B

Flowers On A Grave – Buish – had Gavin this: he hasn’t learnt a thing in quarter of a century,and yet it is less offensive now, it just sounds better considering what surrounds it – C+

Yr Old Dad – Catholic Action – garage rockers via Glasgow with a penchant for glammy Stones steals and strong, better (much) than the majority of UK rock bands – B

Doom – Charmer – emocore, or is it popcore? No, emo because the vocals are whiny but the guitars are blistering – B-

If I Told – Courtney Marie Andrews – Her “Downtown Train” was gorgeous and “May Your Kindness Remain” her masterpiece, here she has the same sound and the same impeccable singing and tautly sad sound. She can drag over an album but never over a single – B+

Crossroads – Live At The San Diego Sports Arena, USA / 1968 – Cream – chugs along nicely but you can’t help feeling they were being overestimated at the time – B

Lawd Jesus – Cupcakke – still Born again with a foul mouth and a great flow and new friends (apparently) – B

Perfume – Dalex, Justin Quiles, Sech – The beats are trap happy and the mood is urbano though the song doesn’t take off – B-

Wonderful – Deacon Blue – a straight up beauty on their first release in four years, a piano based ballad with a chamber pop feel to it from the Scottish band who were an adjunct to the mid-80s sound of Glasgow  more than welcome back – B+

Gaslighter – Dixie Chicks – The Dixie Chicks were excellent four years ago at MSG (here) and we expected some music but we didn’t get it till now, fourteen years after their last fresh material -though Natalie did released a very good solo album back in 2013. The introduction is a conflagration of Natalies divorce with the Dubya dis that changed their worlds, and the punchline goes “you lied lied lied”. Not sure if that makes the man at the center a gaslighter but I’ll forgive em the ordinariness because the vocals, and especially the harmonies on the chorus are worth the money – B+

Give Me Another Chance – Empress Of – Comparatively ordinary dance pop by the Honduran-American wiz kid, the beats sound analog – B

4T Recordings – Four Tet – sound variants with New Age vibe – C+

Paddington Bear – Gary Barlow – what? wasn’t Robbie Williams available, well good, because the former Take That-er does a great soft shoe shuffle – SINGLE OF THE WEEK – A-

Slow Down -Gone West – Colbie came along with Taylor Swift, they even co-wrote a song on Breathless, and they both mined country pop till Taylor veered into pop and Colbie into SoCal country, and now emerges as the Little Big Town without the harmonies and with better songs in the new band Gone West… sounds good with me. By the way, I am a huge Colbie fan and I completely missed the Go West EP last year because it is impossible not to miss stuff, and this despite us posting about the band! – B+

SKYBOX – Gunna- still dripping over all these years, the Travis Scott contemporary has a clipped, sawed off vocal and a strong backing sound – B

The Steps – HAIM – The sisters were releasing songs off the upcoming album last year, “Summer Girl” was killer, and they continue with yet another strong track off what could be their best SoCal popdom to date – B+

Seeing Eye Dog – Happyness – guitar rock with a brilliant fuzzed out solo and a melody that lives on the edges of the UK band’s first release in three years – B+

Georgia On My Mind – India. Arie – more than credible take on the Ray Charles standard – B+

J Terrapin – Jade Hairpins – Fucked Up were the hardcore band set to transform hardcore and failing, and here two members rethink pop-punk with a catchy little guitar rocker – B

Late Jim’s Lament – James Elkington – Americana guy bums out cleverly – B

What’ve I Done To Help – Jason Isbell and the 400 Units – bloody Jason Isbell, couldn’t follow up be afraid with anything special: I guess that’d be too much to ask for… more agitprop but who cares since it is terrible – MUST TO AVOID – C-

House Music All Night Long – Jarv Is – a lousy band named after the spectacularly named Pulp (Pulp, Blur, Oasis: they sure could name em), and the song is a moody downer and not in a “This Is Hardcore” or even “Leftovers” way – C

ANKLES – Jessie Reyez – she has a voice that always sounds as though it could be crying or killing, there is an insider horrorshow to “ANKLES” -a pure trauma, great, slam dunk anger that bubbles through pain, the second and the better single off her upcoming album-  A-

Nobody Knows My Name – José James, Laura Mvula, Kris Bowers – hand clapping gospel with a side of jazz, you know it’s serious because Mvula is on it – B

Never Worn White – Katy Perry – Congratulations to Katy,  who is getting married and is already pregnant, and has released the Wedding Song interloped, somewhat embarrassing “Never Worn White” yuck -if that hasn’t made Orlando Bloom run for his life, nothing will – C-

Raising Hell (Steve James remix) – Kesha – kudos to the 21 year old DJ who leaves well enough alone and just winds up the beats behind Kesha – A-

12345 (Get Real) – Leven Kali – new school chill r&b – B

Having My Way (feat Lil Durk) Lil Skies – Pretty good, fashion-rap track, Lil Durk phoned it in – B

What Are You Gonna Tell Her – Mickey Guyton – singer songwriter goes country (or country goes…), nice voice but a bad song – C-

Dead Weight – PVRIS – Ho hum beats and pop rock – C+

That Way – Lil Uzi Vert –  Undoubtedly, Lil Uzi spent a fortune on the Backstreet Boys sample and he is enough of a popstar to do the math though it would have been 100 times more expensive and not half as good as his Oh Wonder sample, still if this is about the rappers return after three years in the fast turnover rap opop business it works as being immediately memorable albeit not all that – B-

Are You Feeling Sad? – Little Dragon, Kali Uchis – Yuki is a very popular woman with a strong voice that overflows into Asian vibes plus tech, Kali is a legend in the waiting room of pop, and the arrangement and instrumentation is pretty darn good, whole the song isn’t – C+

You’re Not Alone – Luke Jenner – The Rapture’s lead singer with a lo fi bummer – C+

Circling – Porridge Radio – not as good as last months “Sweet,” it is sweeping walt as a post-modern dirge and that’s a good thing – B+

Red – Rich The Kid – chopped to pieces arrogance (which comes with the territory) but at least come close to “Plug Walk” – B-

XS – Rina Sawayama  -on the verge of a major breakthrough, she drops a boring dance track on the heels of the great “Comme Des Garcon” when she needed to wrap up EDM fast and hard – C+

Murphy’s Law – Róisín Murphy – The former Moloko lead singer with a fine disco funk blue eyed soul workout, try the extended eight minute version which is EXACTLY what Hall and Oates should do if they wanna jam- B

Touchy Feely – Ro James – ccool r&b with a fine bass hook – B

Nobody but Me (feat. Graham Coxon) – The Jaded Hearts Club, Miles Kane, Graham Coxon – take a Blur and add THE MUSE, Matt Bellamy, and throw in a cover of The Isley Brothers 1962 hit and you could a not horrible singalong – B

Six days In June – The Fratellis – Remember “Chelsea Dagger”? Well they are even better on this hond riding rocker – B

The One – The Lemon Twigs – the jingle jangle glam bros are still catchy and still not much more – B

Never Tear Us Apart – The National – INXS cover for Australian bushfire relief compilation, not a great match

Past Life – Trevor Daniels – bedsitland singer songwriter, not bad, great haircut – B-

Where Do You Go When You Dream? – Woods – That was Woods on Purple Mountain, they did a good job as well. This is indie folk saved by a wonderful middle eight – B

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