Singles Jukebox – Amnesty Week

The last regular week of the year is also Amnesty Week, wherein our writers suggest ignored songs; but that fact alone doesn’t explain the number of songs I liked. Count’em: eight 7s, two of which would be easy 8s if I had to do it again. The first is a poignant Tim McGraw ballad, hisContinue reading “Singles Jukebox – Amnesty Week”

Singles 12/12 – Readers Week

As we approach the twilight of the Singles Jukebox’s 2014 session, we turned to a tradition we call Reader’s Week, during which we listen to suggestions. It speaks to the diversity and global reach of this readership that I recognized not a one of the winners. A note about my scores: the middling ones reflectContinue reading “Singles 12/12 – Readers Week”

Singles 11/28

There isn’t one Bruno Mars single I could stomach before this week’s Mark Ronson collaboration, so I have a remedy: less falsetto, more chalk. As in, chalky vocals. The Brown-isms didn’t grate last week but you watch as this thing takes off on radio, and it will if last week’s SNL studio audience was anyContinue reading “Singles 11/28”

Singles 11/21

We liked the #1 song in the United States, in my case a lot — my favorite Swift single since “Mean.” Azealia Banks’ continuing strength also surprised us. If you haven’t heard Shamir, by all means. “On the Regular” has lost some luster, but “If It Wasn’t True,” released earlier this year, should go intoContinue reading “Singles 11/21”

Singles 11/14

Christgau, who got to Brandy Clark a year after release, rather delicately avoids judging 12 Songs a well-meaning snore. She and fellow out Nashville songwriter Shane McAnally appear in the credits for “Drunk Americans,” and while I hear little but the faintest of tweaks to Toby Keith’s approach I’m mesmerized by the idea of ClarkContinue reading “Singles 11/14”

Singles 11/7

Note the row of 4’s and 5’s — it was that kinda week. I liked Roudette’s insinuating number more than my colleagues, thanks to a sumptuous production (“Gorgeous Balearic lounge music,” Will Adams wrote). Mexican singer Ximena SariƱana also triumphed with an arrangement of beguiling and unexpected gnarls. But the ringers…Poor Brad Paisley. Moonshine inContinue reading “Singles 11/7”

Singles 10/31

Lots of winners this week: Sleater Kinney’s assured return, Mick Jenkins’ dense hip-hop, and Flying Lotus’ swirling and equally dense backing track for a worthwhile Kendrick Lamar performance, and, my favorite, Tamar Braxton. Although SK ranked first in number of listens, Braxton is catching up, another example of the female R&B songs that has madeContinue reading “Singles 10/31”

Singles 10/24

“Jealous” isn’t as exciting as the blurb suggests. The high notes are awful, and the thing is no “Pom Poms,” but I saw how this week’s crop would score, and couldn’t tolerate as winner John Rich’s mediocre diversion from Tea Party campaigning. But, hey, Atari Teenage Riot inspired one of our livelier comments sections. SpeakingContinue reading “Singles 10/24”

Singles 10/17

Ambivalence over Nancy Whang dominated the “A Simple Design” blurbs, as they did my review a few weeks ago. I’ve come around. The song delivers on the title promise: elegant, boasting a pleasing circularity, onomatopoetic hook. Enthusiasm for “Quarterback” didn’t carry over for “Gone Enough,” which has the guitars substituting for poignancy. For even moreContinue reading “Singles 10/17”

Singles 10/10

Suspicious of Lorde a year ago, I think I understand her manipulations of mechanized late nineties spook rock (think Smashing Pumpkins’ Adore and Garbage album tracks). I may overrate “Yellow Flicker Beat” in the manner of a fella shouting about a discovery everybody made last week. The Ariana Grande track, well, nothing to get: theContinue reading “Singles 10/10”