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Going Steady: New Singles 8-6-21 – 8-12-22 Reviewed

Materialism as a Means to an End – $uicideboy$ – horrorcore duo still working their way to some form of cheesy blow out beats and raps, if you want it then here it is – B-

Good Mood – Original Song From Paw Patrol: The Movie – Adam Levine – Shellback is behind this Justin Timberlake in Trolls mode piece of crap – MUST TO AVOID – D+

Suicide is Murder – Aimee Mann – people get Aimee completely wrong. She was simply the best from 1993 to 2003, a string of albums that hit a height on I’m With Stupid and then hit it again with Bachelor No. 2 (I saw her on both tours and she was also hitting a height on stage as well) and then there was Magnolia of course, but… not so much. And then she slipped. This is her first song since 2017 and it is the same piano snooze as she always does with literatedness (based on “Girl Interrupted”) and it is just too slow and miserable even if it isn’t a disaster – B-

More Than We Know – Aoife O’Donovan, The Milk Carton Kids – The Welsh folkie isn’t a bad meet up with the duo, but it doesn’t quite work and is neither folk nor country nor Americana, but a bland melange saved from infamy by Aoife’s singing – C+

Volví – Aventura, Bad Bunny – this could have missed, Romeo Santo’s tenor and Benito’s gruff bark are oil and water, but it saves bachata from putting you to sleep and proves yet again that Bad Bunny is an incomparable musical genius capable of any sound he tries his hand at – A

Ten Mysterious Photos That Can’t Be Explained – Billy Bragg – so much better than the first single, the scary “I Will Be Your Shield,” this is a UK meaning of dancehall, where Billy’s melodic croak carries the song on piano – B+

Mimi (feat. Ilsey) – Big Red Machine – sounds like Grateful Dead in country jam mode – B-

Cruising – black midi – an outtake from their debut and exactly the mathrock, jam sound you’d expect – B+

At the End of a Bar – Chris Young, Mitchell Tenpenny -country rock barnstormer from one of my favorite singers, it’s great to hear such a strong performance – B+

In Blur – Deafheaven – post-hardcore beauty, not quite shoegaze (the voice is too high in the mix) but an all hands on deck classic rockism – B+

City of Mirrors – Dos Santos = alt-Latinx, not bad – B-

MORE JOY! (feat. CHAI) – Duran Duran – I was surprised former Blur Graham Coxon, super guitarist, gets a co-write on Duran Duran’s synth pop, electronic hybrid “More Joy” – B-

La Chica De Hoy (This Year’s Girl) – Elvis Costello & The Attractions, Cami – you haven’t lived till you’ve heard Cami sing “De Hoy” with the “oy” elongated like a bra strap on a sunburn and snapped back with an aaaaaaaaaaa where one doesn’t exist. There can be no doubt that Costello’s upcoming Spanish Model will be the best album he has released in the 21st century. I have no idea why the Chilean Cami is so right for “This Year’s Model” but between the distance of the language and the sex change, Cami gives an empathic performance punctuated by a late “yeah” by EC himself. On “Pump It Up,” the first single, you can hear that Janes and Elvis are cut from the same cloth, but Cami isn’t on EC’s side during the destruction of this year’s model, Cami doesn’t come close to promising the satisfaction on a flat out masterpiece and EC’s first “A” of the 21st century – SINGLE OF THE WEEK – A

A Concert Six Months From Now – FINNEAS – the more you listen to Finneas the clearer it becomes that what he gives his sister Billie is an electronic bottom from where she can sing her songs, solo I’ve never liked hm in the slightest until now, where this alt indie sounding ballads works pretty well – B

Baxter (These Are My Friends) Fred again.., Baxter Dury – Fred again… uses found vocals, here from Ian’s son Baxter Dury – C+

Closer – Glok – Ride’s shoegazing leader Andy Bell, discovers deep house – B-

ABSUЯD – Guns N’ Roses – sounds like indie rock meets Motorhead, Slash has a killer solo, but Axl doesn’t give the type of vocal we want in half screamo position – B

Please Don’t Leave Just Yet – Holly Humberstone – the #2 at BBC’s Sounds Of 2021, is the saddest of sadgirls in this professional bedroom isms – B

SUVs (Black on Black) – Jack Harlow, Pooh Shiesty – Jack is fresh off Lil Nas X’s smash “Industry Baby” and along with another teen rap sensation, Pooh (who is signed to Gucci Mane’s record label and is a triumph of melody) should kill. Together they aren’t as good as they should be, but it is catchy enough of a pop distraction – B

Losing My Mind – Majestic, Nightcrawlers – Triumphant house electronica with a great hook, “change my mind” and a swoosh of a synth – B+

I WANNA BE YOUR SLAVE (with Iggy Pop) – Måneskin – if you must listen to the Italian winners of the Eurovision Song Contest, listen to em with Iggy – B-

Eliogy – Morly – as in what happens when Katy Morley adds email to an apology that ends up being a dismissal, with a soft bluishness and a warning from the folkie popster – B

Lovebirds on the Weekend – Mystery Rose -it reads pop punk but it isn’t it, it is hard rock confessional closer to grunge – B

High Horse (feat. BRELAND and Blanco Brown) – Nelly – he adds a twangy countryness via Breland – C+

Swerve (feat. Fever333 & Sueco) – Papa Roach – one of the side effects of “Woodstock 99” is a re estimation of white nu-metal, which the producers opinion notwithstanding can be great, certainly Rage Against and Slipknot (and Limp Bizkit) have withstood time, as was earliest Kid Rock, and Papa Roach were always appreciated and this is nu-metal at its best – A-

Blue Heaven – Public Service Broadcasting, Andreya Casablanca – not bad electronica plus guitars – B

soshy – Purity Ring – completely typical electronic ambient wall of sound indie pop, they’ve been doing this for nine years and sound the same as they did in 2012… not a bad thing – B-

Buss – Rico Nasty – a mix of post punk and pop rap – B

All Of My Cryin’ – Shannon & The Clams the unspeakable Dan Auerbach produces and shoulda given it a backbone, still not terrible rock pop as garage rocker and it doesn’t stall entirely on a good coda – B

If It Makes You Happy – Live from the Ryman / 2019 – Sheryl Crow is the Phoebe Bridgers of the 1990s (the first time I saw Crow she was opening for Dylan), they both have precisely one great song in their career. Bridger’s is “Motion Sickness” and this is Sheryl’s with a strong vocal performance – A-

Keep the Hope – Solemn Brigham – where roots rock meets 90s rap – B+

If Something’s Gonna Kill Me (It Might as Well Be Love) – The Stranglers – a tribute to their keyboard player Dave Greenfield (who died May 2020), could have used his Doors meets heavy metal prog keyboards – C+

Alone Star – The Vaccines – the surf guitar intro riff is money – B

Take My Breath – The Weeknd – after After Hours, the greatest hits, the half time show, the Ariana Grande feature, Abel returns with Max Martin on production for a synth disco extravaganza – B+

Walk The Beat, Tierra Whack – a terrific bass line on this proto-dance rap track – B+

Highway to Hell (feat. Bruce Springsteen & Eddie Vedder) – Tom Morello – a rock and roll super-summit but a soulless exercise that misses entirely the spirit of the original – C

I Get A Kick Out Of You -Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga – I never bought Tony’s Great American Songbook covers with Lady Gaga, he’d be better off alone or with someone who could kill it like Nellie McKay. Lady Gaga is alright, but it isn’t her forte and the raves I’ve read for these two (plus my own Radio City Music Hall show from 2015 here) tended to overrate them. This is alright, but how could they go wrong with the Cole Porter chestnut, performed definitively by the fabuuuloouuus Frank Sinatra – B

That Life – Unknown Mortal Orchestra somewhere between post punk and Americana and better than that sounds – B+

Enter Sandman – Weezer -no, Weezer don’t make it as a metal band but at least it is better than Cuomo performing the shit songs he has been busting on us for well over ten years – B-

Blood On Your Hands – Willie Nile, Steve Earle – Steve growls it nice and gruff – B

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