Luísa Maita perfectly personifies the multi-cultural character of her home city of São Paulo as she is the daughter of immigrants (Syrian and European Jewish) with a great love for traditional Brazilian music as well as the many off-shoots that have been developed by the many ethnic groups of Brazil. Maita is also thoroughly modern in her approach, incorporating electronic music into her sound as we hear on her new video for “Fio da Memória”, which also happens to be the title of her latest album. “The record is about what Brazil is today aesthetically, in this electronic age,” says Maita. “Fio da Memória” is a beautiful song with its gentle programmed beats and Maita’s stunning voice.
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William Clark Green nearly became a rancher, like many good Texans, but we’re thankful that music intervened in those plans as Green brings some real rock ‘n’ roll punch to his straight from the heart country tunes. Like many notable Texas singer-songwriters, Green takes his cues from the storied legion of Lone Star State songwriters who have gone before and brings in the energy of rock and attitude of outlaw country. It’s a potent mix that make Green a tremendous live performer. On this live version of “Sympathy”, Green brings down the house and shows a musician quickly maturing to take his place alongside Robert Earl Keen, Joe Ely, and Billy Joe Shaver. Green tells PopMatters that he’s “never written a song with that much emotion in it in 45 minutes, and will never do it again.”
Andrew Paschal: This song is so fun, infectious, and inventive. It adopts a hip-hop flair with a playful, tongue-in-check attitude, but its self-awareness and sense of humor never lapse into irony or parody. It’s unpredictable without being chaotic or messy; instead of over-relying on the catchy chorus and phoning in some passable verses, Beck finds new ways to surprise and delight throughout, with each verse stylistically distinct from the last. As a result, “Wow” has an almost Grimesean openness to possibility—Beck didn’t have to toss in some rhythmic piano three minutes in, for example, but he did and it worked out great. I didn’t expect Beck to be making a Song of the Summer on album #13, but I’m thrilled to hear he has some Odelay left in him yet. [9/10]
Michael Pementel: So far everything from 22, A Million has been straight fire. 33 “GOD” continues to make me believe that Bon Iver may be dropping one of the best albums of 2016. Instrumentally, this track knows when to start slow, keep this settling, and then kick in for a powerful chorus with sunshine rings and drums. Iver’s voice is the beauty we’ve come to know and love, and “GOD” in particular captures some poetic lyricism. The only thing I wish was that this song was longer so I could enjoy it even more. [9/10]
Dan Kok: After taking on the voice of a founding father, Daveed Diggs is back to laying his super technical flow on top of industrial, noisy beats. Clipping’s catchiest and most popularly appealing tracks from their previous album sounded like this one: A complex beat made in what sounds like a hardware store, an aggressive hook, and a series of jabs at society and/or hip-hop culture that everyone can agree aren’t too polarizing. But even on tracks like this where what he’s saying is perhaps a bit shallow, the way he says it makes it so engaging. Diggs’ writing can be very meaningful and resonant, but it can also just be fire. The latter is the case here. It’s a track you turn up and roll the windows down for and everyone needs that sometimes. [8/10]