Chris Ingalls: Like that unwieldy parachute Katy Perry is dragging around in the video, the song is bloated and heavy-handed, but it’s kind of hard to get too jaded about something that’s basically the unofficial theme song of the Rio athletes. In that sense, the song works nicely and all the proper “inspirational” boxes are checked, both in the composition, Perry’s emotional delivery, and yes, that “you can do it!” video. [7/10]
Latest Blog Posts
Picture Atlantic‘s “Billy Banker” is a song about a vampiric A&R man, chasing after a hapless band in the pursuit of sales, sales, sales. The song’s atmosphere fits this narrative appropriately: nose-thumbing lyrics (“Billy Banker / is a wanker” is the opening line), paranoid guitar, and energetic, sprinting drums and bass. It’s a loud cry against sucking out artistic vision and extracting pure profit, and its frenetic instrumental banking gives that cry nice heft.
Nathaniel Schwass: Pairing up with XXL Freshman Anderson .Paak, Mac Miller proves time and again that the craft must evolve with the artist. On this new single “Dang!,” Miller teases fans with jazzy preview for his upcoming album, The Divine Feminine. Featuring the crooning, brassy timbre of .Paak’s vocals, Mac and Paak piece together a saccharine ballad to alienated lovers, as Miller raps “Fuck ‘em all, let’s be us, summer’s soft sweetness/ Heartache drunk and hang up/ What a mess I made, sense I make none.” This single is a shining example of Mac’s penchant for surprising fans and gaining new ones, all the while remaining true to his artistic vision and aesthetic pleasure. Mac and .Paak make for a great duo over the acoustic percussion and swooning synths of Pomo’s production, a sure fire summer hit and an excellent tidbit of Mac’s forthcoming release. [8/10]
Chris Ingalls: The production is gorgeous—smooth, silky beats, blippy keyboards and warm low end—but that Auto-Tune is enough to put me into anaphylactic shock. That’s one of the downsides of modern melodic hip-hop. But there’s no denying that the groove is solid and it really is quite catchy. [7/10]
Nouvelle Vague are well-known for their bossa nova reinterpretations of ‘80s and ‘90s punk, new wave, and post-punk songs and the French group is back with a new EP, Athol Brose, releasing September 2nd. The EP will include new takes on old classics as well as this remix of Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart” from their 2004 self-titled album. This airy Dream Koala remix reenvisions the tune as an ethereal, dreamy, bit of ambient chill-out. Very sleek and trippy.