The beat opens up Pandora’s Box, making way for a squad of misfit lyricists. They’re firing in every direction, each acting as brazen and feisty as the other. It’s Brown’s show, however, and with his token delivery he’s bouncing off the walls like a madman. A few years have rolled by, but the daredevil is still alive and well; it’s a brief warm-up before the full show gets underway; [LISTEN].
Bloc Party’s signature stop and go guitar and staccatto drums go on effortless three-minute cruise control like it’s gonna kick it into high gear but never does. Their first song written and recorded with two new members feels safe and formulaic without much of a payoff. Still, a stickily confident chorus and new drummer Louise Bartles’ killer technique gives the new lineup hope.
After a bit of backlash over the radio friendly unit shifter vibe of their last New Song, Warpaint provide some hope here that their new album will retain some of the moody atmospheric quality of their previous work, while still upping the BPMs. Every band deserves a paycheck in this era, but still, any sacrifice of dream pop sensibilities for dance pop sensibilities will come at a cost; [LISTEN].
The mighty bassline announces a whimsical journey through space and time. The groove is simple, but steady; traversing the stars with ease. Love in all its forms is the main attraction, and it carries the song into uncharted territories. There’s a Roy Ayers quality to it that is immediately infectious, a bounce that makes it relatable to all alien lifeforms. Universal soul that ignites the senses.
A synthetic bleeping hook skips down the street under the influence at 11 a.m., giving way to power chords and a lyrical shoulder shrug. Our hero hasn’t been to town for years, and though he may not be sure what he’ll find there, he knows that he and his companion will be indifferent to it. They’ll dismantle and dismiss the “important,” conjoined by the ephemeral nature of life.
The former Adele collaborator is alone with his keys here, dropping a spare but warm arrangement that will either get jazzed up for a forthcoming album or remain a specter of a full band offering. It’s a pleasant and relaxed musing on an unpleasant but inevitable ending. Ironically and intentionally, he invokes religion to summon guilt in the Judas that he’s separating from; [LISTEN].
A jilted lover looks to vent her frustrations, only to be met with further ridicule. It’s a stretch to call it a sequel, when it’s really only a sloppy seconds rework of a song that barely got off the ground in the first place. She’s officially become that spastic ex who can’t let the past go; not because she was in love, but because her ego can’t fathom the thought of being dumped; [LISTEN].
AlunaGeorge shift from the dance-y electronic stylings they’ve become known for towards a mature mid-tempo soul-pop groove, a vignette of a third-party torn between two friends feuding over commitment. Support is offered in the form of “a little bit of wine [and] smoke,” rather than indulgent listening to the push and pull of a relationship that is clearly causing too much friction to go on; [LISTEN].
Moody mumble rap that gets a sizable jump on the Halloween festivities. The autotune works remarkably well; adding an otherworldly, sci-fi dimension. Kendrick Lamar runs with the theme and burns rubber with a sizzling verse; his off pitch tone making him the ringmaster of this mad circus. Scott doesn’t venture too far from the overall theme, floating in the backdrop like a lost soul; [LISTEN].
Loss opens up a raw black hole of emotion, one that expels a spiraling refrain of “nothing really matters” for an indefinite time, maybe forever, ’til the loss of one’s own life. The impossibility of going on after such a calamity crescendoes when Cave desperately claws at his consciousness, reminding it to “just breathe,” pleading with it to do the one thing most automatic and essential to human survival.
A RIFF is a bonsai-trimmed song review in 300 characters or less, plugging your favorite lyric. Create your own, vote others to the TOP - the lyric is your oyster.