A full meal this week, as the scores demonstrate. Working with what sounds like a beer country castoff, Carrie Underwood eschews good intentions and enjoys the hell out of herself. Mixed down Neko Case, Aya Nakamura relishing her lower register, Itzy afloat on their own ebullience. Continue reading
Mild surprises characterized this week: Big Sean and Kenny Chesney connected with me by spiking their verses and melodies with wistfulness. Gfriend’s “Fever,” however, has no patience for wistfulness or remember-whens.
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My expectations were too high for the Maren Morris-Brandy Carlisle-Amanda Shires collaboration; “Redesigning Women” does nothing with a tired reference to a 1980s no one not breathing at the time can remember. Miranda Lambert barely survives too. Continue reading
This week, two discrete takes on Afrocentrism: Whitney Houston resurrected and repurposed, with a cover of Ray Charles devotee Steve Winwood’s Chaka Khan-assisted “Higher Love”; and Jamila Woods, worrying over James Baldwin’s legacy as the decade ends. Sheryl Crow and friends reckon with nothing except their sense of a besieged community of insiders.
Struggling with a blurb that attempted to encompass “fuck yeah!” and disgust, I muddled my way through “Dynamic Duo.” I should’ve written what Jacob Sujin Kuppermann did: “Trapped on the precipice between never wanting to hear this again and wanting an extended cut and I think the latter is winning. Please send help.” Excuse or make your peace with its grossness and the way the rappers’ can-you-top-this vulgarity plays off the beat will spike your blood pressure.
I regret warming late to Sun-El Musician, who releases one shimmer of a single after another; “Into Ingawe” makes the July heat bearable. Perhaps it made Thom Yorke bearable. Continue reading