Graphic by Nick Hardin / Contributing Writer
One of the most exciting parts of every week is “New Music Fridays.” Every Friday, new albums and singles are released across all streaming platforms for music lovers to consume. The goal of this weekly column is to break down a number of singles that are released on a given Friday and distinguish which tracks I think are the best, the ones that are average and the ones that are simply not good at all. The good thing about this column is that it will not just cover a single genre of music, but it will explore many different realms of the music world, giving you a chance to come across new music discoveries.
Best Tracks of the Week
These are the tracks that I enjoyed the most out of all the singles I listened to this week and can see myself playing on repeat.
- “Sunflower” by Post Malone x Swae Lee – This is not the first time that these two artists have collaborated; they also have a track together on Malone’s sophomore album, “Beerbongs and Bentleys” titled “Spoil My Night.” “Sunflower,” once again, is a lot like their previous cut in that it has a nice balance of efforts from both Swae Lee and Malone. Swae Lee takes the first verse and chorus while Malone handles the second verse and chorus. At under three minutes, it is an easy, quick listen with more than acceptable efforts from both artists.
- “Ruin My Life” by Zara Larsson – I cannot lie, I enjoyed this track way more than I expected to. This track is the lead single off of Larsson’s upcoming third studio album. With glossy production, a beat you can groove to and a chorus that will be running through your head all day, Larsson manages to create what sounds to me like a Top 100 radio hit.
- “Conversations With My Wife” by Jon Bellion – This track is the first single off of Bellion’s sophomore album, “Glory Sound Prep.” His most recent album, “The Human Condition,” which came out in 2016, is an album that I absolutely love, so the long-awaited release of this new single had me super excited. And, let me just say, I was not disappointed at all. Bellion is so incredibly talented, and that never fails to be displayed in his music. The way he is able to use his voice to create sounds that help create better, more unique music never fails to amaze me. The song also has a neat message dealing with how Bellion often wonders if his wife would still love him if he were not this “digital Jesus.” In other words, if he did not have the following he had online and the fan base that he has accumulated, would the love his wife has for him still be the same. Bellion is a musical genius, and this is an outstanding track.
- “It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)” by The 1975 – How Matty Healy continues to make certified bops that deal with his past drug addiction is beyond me, but somehow he continues to do it. A lot like the track “UGH!” from the band’s previous album, this track deals with the past struggle of Healy being addicted to heroin. Sonically, the band continues to do no wrong, and the production and aesthetic of the track keeps you coming back for more. It is very rare that The 1975 makes a bad song, and this track was no exception. This was one of the better singles to come from the band’s upcoming third album, “A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships.”
- “Power Over Me” by Dermot Kennedy – I had never heard of this guy before this track, but I saw someone post the song on their Instagram story. So, I thought I would give it a shot, and I was not disappointed. As a matter of fact, I was taken back and in a good way. The Irish singer-songwriter has a very unique, raspy voice with great range and gives us a very dark but gorgeous track here with a spectacular hook. I look forward to hearing more from Kennedy in the near future.
- “Waiting For Tomorrow” by Martin Garrix x Mike Shinoda – This song has been teased and previewed for about two years now, and finally Garrix has released his collaboration with Linkin Park frontman Mike Shinoda. They came through for fans. With a great drop from Garrix sure to be heard at festivals around the world and a great vocal performance from Shinoda, honestly what more could you ask for out of what is likely to be an EDM chart topper?
Meh Tracks of the Week
These were the tracks that I did not hate but I also did not love. Some of these tracks I may revisit at some point, and others I may not.
- “When The Party’s Over” by Billie Eilish – This track is the second single to be released from her still-untitled debut album dropping in early 2019. While this track goes in a totally different direction than the first single off of the album, titled “You Should See Me In A Crown,” it is still a nice piano ballad that enjoyment can be found in if you are a fan of Eilish’s more somber cuts.
- “Good As You” by Kane Brown – This is not Brown’s best work by any means but was still a decent track, nonetheless. The song features a nice guitar solo toward the end of the track. The hook is catchy and easy to latch on to, so it is safe to say I expect this to be on country radio stations very soon but probably not on my own playlists.
- “DrIP DrIp Drip” by Tory Lanez x Meek Mill – This track is the long-awaited collab from these two artists off of Lanez’s upcoming second project of 2018, titled “LoVE mE NOw?” It is basically just a flex track with both Lanez and Mill firing off bars, talking about all of their ice and all the stacks they have on them. However, with nice production from Smash David and a fire hook from Lanez, this makes for a solid track that I could see myself visiting again at some point.
- “Fingers” by ZAYN – A slow-burning R&B ballad is familiar territory for ZAYN. Having previous hits like “Pillowtalk” under his belt, this track is no different from that. Sure to be a hit with the ladies and in the bedroom, ZAYN delivers here the first R&B-sounding track off of his upcoming second studio album. Personally, I think these are the kind of songs that best suit ZAYN as an artist, and R&B “sexy jams” are definitely his lane.
- “You Come First” by Zak Abel x Saweetie – Zak Abel is another artist that I was unfamiliar with before listening to this new single of his. With this outing, he showed me a little bit of something I liked. He has a unique voice, and over the funky summer-sounding beat the song provides, he makes it work. Saweetie, the Bay Area female rapper, adds her touch too at the very end of the track, which I have nothing negative to say about. I have personally enjoyed most of what I have heard from Saweetie so far here early in her rap career.
Worst Tracks of the Week
These were the tracks that just were not doing it for me. I simply did not enjoy the tracks listed below, and I will not be revisiting them anytime soon.
- “Cry Alone” by Lil Peep – Really, what more can I say about this track other than it is simply just not enjoyable? The entire track has to do with this idea of Lil Peep becoming this big-time celebrity, and now everyone from his hometown is becoming envious of what all he has accomplished. The track consists of nothing but drug references and honestly sounds like one giant, terrible chorus. By all means, rest in peace to Lil Peep, but unfortunately, this track simply has no replay value whatsoever.
- “Kiss and Make Up” by Dua Lipa x BLACKPINK – Personally I am not a huge K-pop fan, but I understand the marketing behind this new idea of popular American artists working with popular K-pop artists. For one, it attracts a wider audience to the song, which gives it more popularity, and secondly, it gives both artists a chance to expand their fan bases internationally. This track itself, however, is exactly what you would expect it to be: a teen-pop ballad that every 16 year old will relate to and sing to the top of their lungs. For me, it is a below-average track that I will not return to. I do, however, look forward to seeing how Lipa continues to advance as an artist.
- “The Distance” by Mariah Carey x Ty Dolla $ign – Not even Ty Dolla $ign could save this track. An average track at best, Carey details a relationship in the public eye, and Ty Dolla $ign adds a short third verse and some background vocals. But, as mentioned earlier, even that could not save this awful pop ballad.
- “Agen Wida” by JOYRYDE x Skrillex – I remember back in 2011 or so when I first really started getting into dubstep music, it was artists like Skrillex that really made me grow a love for the genre. It is hard for me to say, but Skrillex just has not been the same recently. This new track with JOYRYDE is no exception. The drop is underwhelming and feels nothing like the Skrillex of old. Someone please give me my 2011 Skrillex back, and fast.
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