Monthly Report: January 2015 Singles

1. Sevyn Streeter f/ Chris Brown - "Don't Kill The Fun"
In my year-end list of 2014 R&B singles, I lamented that Sevyn Streeter was part of a wave of new R&B singers who only got to release major label EPs, and fretted that we may never get a full-length album or any significant promotion of her again. So I was pretty overjoyed to turn on the radio a few days into 2015 and hear a new Sevyn Streeter single that sounded fantastic. And then, I went home and tried to find the song online, and it wasn't anywhere, which I didn't think was possible anymore (it got pulled for a few days while they worked out a sample clearance issue or something, supposedly). I'm always a little conflicted when Chris Brown ends up on a song I like, just because fuck that dude, but he's on this even less than he was on "Hold You Down," mostly little ad libs backing vocals, and then singing lead for all of 15 seconds. But really I just love Sevyn's voice, and this house vibe suits it surprisingly well. Here's my new favorite 2015 singles Spotify playlist.

2. Walk The Moon - "Shut Up And Dance"
After one pleasant moderate alt-rock radio hit, "Anna Sun," 3-4 years ago, I pretty much forgot Walk The Moon existed. But they really put their foot in this one and made a hit. Rock songs that reference dancing after rock music ceased being the dominant dance music of the world always feel kind of strained and obnoxious, but this one is at least pretty earnest and ingratiating, just so many killer vocal melodies throughout every section of the song.

3. Beyonce - "7/11"
I am of the rare but correct opinion that the greatest track Beyonce has ever recorded is the 6-minute extended mix of "Get Me Bodied" with all the goofy dance instructions at the end. And I feel like this song was made with an understanding of that, but just chooses to take that concept to its logical extreme. It was pretty funny when this song leaked a day or so before the video was released, because I heard a radio station play it and then ask for feedback, and literally everybody who called in hated it. And at that point I didn't really like the song either. But then the video dropped and kind of gave everyone the key to understanding the song's weird, unhinged energy, and now it works as just a song as well.

4. Mark Ronson f/ Bruno Mars - "Uptown Funk!"
It makes total sense that Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars would work well together, but I think of them in very different terms. To me, Ronson is the rich well-connected British kid who's been making unimaginative pastiches of 20th century black music and would probably just be making mashups if he didn't know so many celebrities. And Mars is the kind of cheesy but undeniably talented performer and songwriter who can actually make an unapologetic retro pastiche like this actually entertaining. It's still fun right now, but as it slowly takes over every movie trailer and becomes this year's "Happy," I don't know how much I'll like it in a few months.

5. Boosie Badazz f/ Rich Homie Quan - "Like A Man"
Life After Deathrow had a few songs that sounded like potential hits but nothing that really popped like this one, really is a perfect way to kinda reintroduce Boosie to radio with someone newer that isn't totally leaning on Quan to make it a hit. The long tradition of rap bangers with steel drum loops continues, with this one sounding like a more angry variation on DG Yola's "Ain't Gon' Let Up."

6. B.o.B f/ Trey Songz - "Not For Long"
Here's an example of a bland tapwater rapper really leaning on someone who can actually can make hits to keep him on the radio. I really wish Bobby wasn't on this song at all, because it's the best thing Trey has done in years, it's like "Hold On, We're Going Home" with someone who can actually sing.

7. David Nail - "Kiss You Tonight"
A really big, hooky country song that I seem to hear on the radio all the time but has been lurking in the low teens of Billboard's Country Airplay chart for the longest time when I could swear it's a top 10 hit.

8. Tink f/ Charlamagne Tha God - "Around The Clock"
I somehow missed the whole Tink thing, suddenly her mixtape and her okay song with Jeremih started turning up on all these year-end lists and she was Timbaland's new artists and I'd never even heard of her. But then I started hearing this song on mix shows and it's just killer, one of Timbo's best beats in a while and she has a really unique, confident flow. I guess I should check out the other stuff but right now I'm just digging this song.

9. ScHoolboy Q - "Hell Of A Night"
Oxymoron may not have been a great album but it really has turned into a nice little pop rap hit factory, almost a year later there's still songs on the charts. This one kind of feels like a weird attempt at festival EDM for his live shows, but I dunno, I really like it, great beat and hook and better rapping than most of Q's hits have had.

10. Bush - "The Only Way Out"
I didn't even like Bush that much when they were kinda good, and "Everything Zen" is the only song I can stomach even half the time when it comes on the radio anymore. But wow, this is pretty nice. I'd rather hear it with someone else besides Gavin Rossdale singing (his voice has really not aged well), but he wrote it so hey credit where it's due.

Worst Single of the Month: Sam Hunt - "Take Your Time"
Bro country seems to hit a new low every few months, but this really might be the ultimate nadir. He's basically doing that Drake-style mid-sentence slide from rapping/talking into singing in every line of the verse and, ugh, wow, it's just incredibly awkward.
« Home | Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »

Post a Comment