Taking place during Christmas and often beyond, Readers Week allows us to review suggestions. This year, in keeping with the unexpected rush of song, we had more choices than ever. “Bad Friend” had a resonance transcending the pandemic. “Guess we fell out/what was that all about?” — hell yes, chilling. I wish the arrangement hadContinue reading “Singles 12/25”
Welcome to Amnesty Week, friends, during which TSJ writers submitted tunes to we should’ve paid attention in the last year. The sheer plenitude stunned me; I didn’t review four songs and I still came up with the highest number of blurbs since the pandemic started. I preferred The Aces’ Haim-adjacent “Daydream” to Haim’s plodding “TheContinue reading “Singles 12/21”
I mentioned this before: my roots in freestyle and Miami bass make me a sucker for rapped crosstalk from hip-hop women. “Damn Daniel” hits every one of my erogenous zones. Click on links for full reviews.
I measured my 2020 to the slap-slap of my sneakers on damp asphalt and the daily COVID-19 infection rate in Florida (the state with the prettiest name!). Bangers like “Say Something” accompanied those movements. Humid mornings and cool ones, before dawn or sunset, I was the fool reading Ali Smith and singing Kylie Minogue inContinue reading “The best singles of 2020”
We roared back to life thanks to a fall recruitment drive, and the songs provoked lively and unexpected crosscurrents. Was Luke Combs always this bathetic a balladeer? Were we prepared for Lil Nas X’s fluke status? Does The xx’s Romy, in the words of Katherine St. Asaph, need to record a banger? Click on linksContinue reading “Singles 12/5”
Clinching a year in which his diminished commercial clout led to mildly bold strokes that served as quite excellent vocal showcases, Usher releases his sharpest single of 2020. He wastes no time explaining the stakes: “I love love but I’m freakin’ bad at it.” How he admits to caddishness without succumbing to Kanye or DrakeContinue reading “Singles 11/28”
Covering the spectrum of adult sexuality from ogling to spooning, Positions shows Ariana Grande at her most commanding. Her voice has constricted to a whiskery coo faster than Mariah Carey’s, but her weaknesses complement “My Hair, “POV,” and “Westside”: she’s single-minded to distraction. Welcome back, Stevie Wonder, and you brought friends! Click on links forContinue reading “Single 11/13”
Sooner or later we’re gonna get tired of Megan topping these things, and this isn’t even her best single of the year. Click on links for full reviews. Megan Thee Stallion ft. Young Thug – Don’t Stop (8) Headie One ft. AJ Tracey & Stormzy – Ain’t It Different (8) Bruce Springsteen – Letter toContinue reading “Singles 10/30”
A bit of a slow week, though “Ain’t It Different” is one of the year’s best. I spent a few minutes this morning thinking about Justin Bieber singing “911,” for, after all, “Holy” is an aural version of the phone call. Click on links for full reviews.
The overlong Folklore works as a return to Taylor Swift’s acoustic foundations, but like many excellent singer-songwriters this far into a career she has used a decade’s worth of sonic discoveries to toughen the new material. Imagining Aaron Dessner arranging “Illicit Affairs” and “Cardigan” for National albums would not stretch credulity; the same works forContinue reading “Singles 10/3”
With so many splendid-absurd moments on Imploding the Mirage, I question why the band released “Dying Breed” — altruism? Can get songwriting credit. “My God” and “Running Towards a Place” sit patiently raising their hands. Click on links for full reviews.
BTS’ American breakthrough didn’t move us, nor did we cop to Selena Gomez’s making herself ‘real’ or whatever by collaborating with Trevor Daniel. More Flo Milli, please! Click on links for full reviews. Flo Milli – Weak (7) Miley Cyrus – Midnight Sky (7) Love Regenerator x Steve Lacy – Live Without Your Love (7)Continue reading “Singles 9/12”