Ahhh, this is more like it for an end of year. Scrolling down the New Music Friday playlist this morning (late, because I finished work on Wednesday but time has already ceased to have meaning to me) and thinking “yeah… none of this shite would have made it on in a week where anyone gave a flying fuck”. Like, no offence but a man with the name “Gavin James” is the first track Spotify are recommending today. Gavin James! The state of popstars today, honestly. Not even the good manners to adopt a moniker that at least gives the illusion that they’re interesting. Anyways, we’re 3 days out from Christmas – Ed Sheeran and Eminem are gonna top the charts, and this long, curling turd of a year is into the final, painful push. You can listen along to the slim selection of new songs from today HERE and if there’s any decent ones they’ll be on the main playlist. If you’re at work today, I hope you get out early! If you’re already starting Christmas, I hope you have a lovely one with only one raging family argument, if any at all. Be merry, get fat, and look out for my end of year lists starting on Wednesday!
P.S. Since I’m home and my brother is here, he will also be offering his thoughts this week.
CASSIE – ‘DON’T PLAY IT SAFE’
Cassie is an underrated popstar, but you know what? She’s also a damn lazy one. It’s been months since ‘Love A Loser’ and who knows how long it was before then that she released anything at all? Anyways, ‘Don’t Play It Safe’ is (ironically) a very safe, mid-tempo R&B tune, but the production – handled by Kaytranada, is very relaxed and dreamy. It reminds me of like, a Janet Jackson interlude or something. Nice, but inconsequential.
ANGUS SAYS: I thought it had a summery vibe – the gentle sounds made me wanna chill in the garden and have a BBQ. I would say I liked it, if it was on the radio I would listen.
GOOD CHARLOTTE – ‘AWFUL THINGS’
Good Charlotte’s cover of Lil’ Peep’s ‘Awful Things’ is a lovely way to tribute an artist they probably didn’t know well personally, but was a big fan of them. Originally performed at a memorial event, it’s a fairly faithful remake, though the Good Charlotte version is more thrashy and guitar based. I have been trying to find out whether profits are going to a charity, but coming up blank. Still, nice for Peep wherever he is now and a nice gesture for fans of both acts.
ANGUS SAYS: The original married the subject matter better with the music… it’s not a bad cover, but maybe it needed to be softer, for a tribute? But then again if Peep was a fan and that’s the music he likes, fair enough.
IMAGINE DRAGONS – ‘THUNDER / YOUNG, DUMB & BROKE’ w/ KHALID ☑️
This mash-up, first performed at the American Music Awards, can never measure up to Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar’s fusion of ‘Radioactive’ from the 2014 Grammys, but it’s a worthwhile curiosity for superfans of either artist. Khalid’s vocal is just so gorgeous and versatile, it works whatever he does with it.
ANGUS SAYS: Did not rate it. I don’t know what it is about Imagine Dragons, they just don’t do it for me. I also had no idea there was another artist on this track because I wasn’t listening properly. Do people just take the piss when I do these with you?
KESHA – ‘THIS IS ME’ ☑️
Unlike some artists I won’t mention, if Kesha has tossed a reject from two sets of album sessions onto this soundtrack, you can’t tell. ‘This Is Me’, with its soaring energy and inspirational message, could sit on Rainbow, albeit with that misleading “we needed something for radio” differentiation. Songs written specifically to empower rarely get under my skin, but I do feel a sort of cathartic strength listening to this. Nice work, Kesha sis.
ANGUS SAYS: Back when Kesha first emerged – ‘TiK ToK’ and the one she did with 3OH!3 is my main point of reference for her, and that’s just standard pop – but I know I’ve heard her properly sing before and I forgot what a good singer she is. I really liked it. It’s genuinely nice to hear her putting so much into it, after all that shit she went through. I think singing that was probably cathartic for her.
MIGOS – ‘STIR FRY’ ☑️
I swear there has been a Migos or Migos adjacent song out every single week of this year. Their output in 2017 is just off the scale. This one is a Pharrell production and maybe one of the most textured/layered beat they’ve ever laid vocals over? ‘Stir Fry’ is Migos-goes-pop, and it wears all the N.E.R.D. influence on its sleeve – Quavo serves up a hook so Pharrell it sounds like a ‘Lemon’ remix. The gag is, I really really like it.
ANGUS SAYS: That was pretty good. You can definitely hear the Pharrell – it’s so easy to identify his sound but it’s never tedious, you don’t get bored of it. I would listen again.