Singles: Solange, Bruno Mars, Jessica Says & More
It’s skivvy season, baby.
SOLANGE : Cranes In The Sky
Sparse instrumentation clears a direct emotional pathway for Cranes In The Sky, sounding so deceptively simple while each subtle shift resonates with humane impact. It builds such a profound calm, nestle in deep enough and you’ll weep with relief. Really listen, you’ll be rewarded. A Seat At The Table, Solange’s first album in nearly a decade, is a gift.
THE STIFFYS : I WANT TO GIVE YOU ALL OF MY LOVE AND THEN YOU’LL BE LIKE OOH BABY
Was expecting a lot shitter due to the overt bro-joke-ness of the presentation, but it’s petered by self-awareness and the fact it sounds pretty decent. The cheerleader kick-snare and noise noodling is dumb as fuck, it’s obnoxious, but still listenable.
WEEZER : I Love The USA
Turning to ballad mode, Weezer aim for fireworks satire, but fizzle a touch – Rivers Cuomo doesn’t exactly possess the same lyrical nuance or delivery as Randy Newman. But there’s minor worth in the novel factor, especially with the kinda goofy but harmless Patton Oswalt clip. Not as painless as some recent-ish output, and not too heinous in terms of timing a White Album single for the fuckery of the US election.
BRUNO MARS : 24K Magic
This is just a fucking great pop song. Maybe the best outright pop jam of 2016 so far, the kind that will fill wedding reception d-floors for the next 18 months. It’s loose, horny, and fun, Bruno Mars gleefully mines the past, ahead of the curve when it comes to revival. Vocoder pays homage to Zapp, the beat snaps, Bruno snaps. He’s not on James Brown’s or MJ’s levels, but there’s an echo. 24K Magic has a lot going on, but never seems busy or overlong. Put this shit on repeat.
LOST ANIMAL : Too Late To Die Young
Previous You Yang single Do the Jerk seemed a bit tired in the overlong wake of Ex Tropical, feeling anchored to what came before. Too Late To Die Young is a far greater progression, adding more ingredients while still retaining established tonal character. It’s an energised, gentle whirlwind – raucous, uneasy, but welcoming. Delightfully silly melodic breakdowns punctuate resignation and disdain. Good stuff.
SINGLE OF THE WEEK
JESSICA SAYS : Fairest Of Them All
Subdued disco elements thread Fairest Of Them All, touches of late–2000s synth-pop, all in good measure – masterful and dynamic. When it hits a stride, it invokes Robyn’s Call Your Girlfriend, closing with a coda cello solo. It creates beauty in dissecting beauty, operatic allusions both Disney-fied and iconoclastic. Above all else, there’s a pure pop heart on show. New album Do With Me What U Will out early 2017.