Keeping it short this week because there are a lot of instant grats or “album teasers” on the New Music Friday playlist today and you know I like to stick to only hearing the singles as much as possible. I feel that rant about proper campaigns bubbling in my veins again and I’m just trying to control myself so as not to go off on that boring tangent again. I can’t believe there are only 10 weeks left of the year, by the way? The other slew of new stuff is distinctly in the Christmas category, and while I have long relaxed my “not until the 1st December” rule about listening to Xmas songs, we haven’t even had Halloween yet? I might do a bonus “new Xmas Friday” in a couple weeks time if that rings anyone’s jingle bells? Hit me up on twitter to let me know if you’d like that in your stocking this year, go HERE to play this week’s review selection and I hope you have a marvelous day.
ANDY BROWN – ‘LANDSLIDE’ ft. CRISSIE RHODES
In his former life as the frontman of not-a-boyband Lawson, Andy Brown had a knack for writing slightly overwrought but well-formed pop songs of the soft rock flavour. In his current incarnation as a solo star, it’s more of the same really, but the Nashville dial has been turned up a couple of notches and there’s a female vocal on this track courtesy of the chick from country act of the UK, The Shires. I never know how I feel about country music coming out of the UK. In the same way hip hop has very specific roots, country is such an all-American genre, and while the UK hip hop scene has morphed into something representative of the surroundings, UK country is just a facsimile of its US origins, making it inauthentic. Anyway, not to hang that shit on Andy, who I like a lot, this song is Sunday morning nice. One for the mums, y’know?
HAYLEY KIYOKO – ‘FEELINGS’ ☑️
This track isn’t on the NMF playlist for some inexplicable reason, and if I didn’t also check the release schedules separately I wouldn’t even have known about it, which is a shame because it’s an absolute delight. Hayley Kiyoko is one of the girls in that episode of Insecure which is why my brain snagged on her name (she also pops up on my Tumblr feed from time to time) and while her aesthetic is v Halsey, the music is much more unapologetically pop. ‘Feelings’ is a super sugary tune about being kinda obsessed with someone I guess (can’t relate!) and it’s better than most of the other songs in this lane that were released this year.
JUSTIN BIEBER & BLOODPOP – ‘FRIENDS’ REMIX ft. JULIA MICHAELS
This is the laziest fucking pile of absolute shit, oh my days. I can’t stand Julia Michaels you know, like nothing personal to the girl or anything, it’s just that she has ruined pop music and her stupid anaesthetic slur vocals ratchets my temper all the way up past 10 as soon as I hear it. This song was already mediocre and now it’s worse. Imagine having so much contempt for your fanbase that you literally just drop out Bieber’s vocal on the front end of the song, turn up the demo singer and call it a remix. I’m vexed.
LIAM PAYNE – ‘BEDROOM FLOOR’
I forgot my rule on reviewing One Direction alumni last week because I was too blinded by disdain for Louis Tomlinson, but I’m back on that laser focus higher or lower? shit this week. This song is not better than Niall Horan’s ‘Slow Hands’. (But it is better than ‘Strip That Down’.)
NAUGHTY BOY – ‘ONE CHANCE TO DANCE’ ft. JOE JONAS
Now… I love Joe Jonas, I really do, but his voice is lacking to be nice about it, so he’s an odd choice to carry this song that so clearly has ambitions of epicness. Like, imagine this song with say, an MNEK on the vocals. Suddenly it’s a much higher class of song. A stronger voice would make the “I ain’t no Michael Jackson” line sound less goofy too. My only guess is that Naughty Boy wanted to get Joe Jonas in his studio and for that I cannot blame him. We all thirst, Shahid! Anyways, I want to love this but I think my heart is still too tender. (No, I did not take Joe’s engagement well.)
NICK JONAS – ‘HOME’
I loved the subtlety of ‘Find You’, and how it’s not obviously amazing, but just creeps inside you until you can’t stop listening to it. ‘Home’ has none of that nuance, it’s very crashing and full and even shouty at times. Thankfully it’s from a children’s movie, so we don’t have to worry too much about what this spells for the album (I hope!) It has a cute message but I feel a little attacked honestly. Not a bad song, just not for me on this delicate morning.
RITA ORA – ‘ANYWHERE’ ☑️
My queen! Honestly what a fucking amazing song. ‘I Will Never Let You Down’ (previous best) found dismembered and rotting in 5 separate plastic bags washed up on the Thames. I can’t wait for her to inevitably perform this at the EMAs. Is this the first song with a chance of hitting the top 10 this year that has a proper chorus that sounds differently to the verses? And that odd little post-chorus! I’m honestly shook all the way up by how dreamy and gorgeous this is. Yesterday I saw lots of reviews that referred to this song as basic, and like… you know firstly I don’t think it is basic, I think it’s one of the more interesting releases of 2017. Secondly.. all pop is basic right now if we’re being honest. Music like fucking tofu. It’s tasteless and has no texture and it goes with everything. The only way you can decide which of these bland, white sponge songs you can get down with is by choosing your favourite waitress. Rita Ora always serves. Start tipping, motherfuckers.
TAEMIN – ‘MOVE’ ☑️
I loved Taemin’s first solo effort (he is a member of the k-pop boyband SHINee for those who don’t follow that scene), and for as much as ‘Danger’ was noisy and pop, ‘Move’ is much more slick and R&B. It’s weirdly refreshing to listen to something so mainstream but with a darker edge to it – the light, frothy trop-pop hangover still hasn’t cleared in the west and I can think of about 15 male popstars who could do with a song this good to make me, or anyone for that matter, give a shit about them again. Taemin was always the best dancer in SHINee so I’m excited to go find the video for this too.
5 AFTER MIDNIGHT – ‘TASTE’
I am screaming at how embarrassing this song is!!! Oh my god. Oh my GOD! Picture me with my hand over my mouth holding in shrieks, please, because that is how I am listening to this song. How could these boys have been done so dirty? Why is everything they do so uncool? Three brown boys that look like a modern day 3T and they’re out here singing this song from the scene in a Disney Channel original movie where the lead confesses to a crush on the girl that works at the greasy diner he and his gang go to after school. How??? I’m just… Where is the culture? One of these GROWN MEN has a baby, please, and they’re carrying on like one of those all-white pre-teen schools tour acts that creepy ex-boyband member manager churns out at a rate of knots. Since this will not be troubling the charts in anyway, let’s end this band now before they are damaged any further.