Dionne Warwick and Krayzie Bone Make Beautiful Music Together


It sure is: Halsey, “Nightmare” – Uh, Halsey is the Paul Revere of the impending nu-metal revival. Who knew? Stylistically, “Nightmare” is her take on rap-rock (where rock is defined by, I don’t know, the guitar-less offerings of Twenty One Pilots.) It’s interesting to see a vintage genre defined by machismo and misogyny turned into something of an empowerment anthem in 2019—I only wish that she would’ve pushed it harder, and made this song as violent-sounding as its lyrical intent. Also: Is that really Debbie Harry near the end of the video? Dang. —Maria Sherman

Yes: French Vanilla, “Suddenly” – Fans of skronk-y new wave post-punk free of all that self-serious nonsense, look no further than Los Angeles’ French Vanilla. “Suddenly,” their latest, is playful and weird, and Sally Spitz’s chorus of “I like the nightlife/I’m in the spotlight/I want to live life,” is the energy I want to bring forth this summer. —MS

Absolutely: Dionne Warwick & Krayzie Bone, “Déjà Vu” – Nothing says it better than the opening line of Dionne Warwick’s 1979 ballad that has been freshly remade with the tsk-thump of contemporary hip-hop/R&B and a verse from a member of Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony: This is insane. The chrome sheen on the song is a far cry from the produce-aisle smoothness of the original that carried it to No. 1 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary. And I think that’s just great. This is too weird to be anything but compulsively listenable, and Warwick’s diminished vocal stylings—she’s all rasp and croak—make it all the more poignant, an aural representation of a fading memory. Warwick cut this for her new album She’s Back, which contains mostly original songs sounding mostly like slow jams of the ’90s. But in fact, she remade “Déjà Vu” on her last album, 2014’s Feels So Good, as well (then it was a duet with Jamie Foxx), which makes a song about remembering an ongoing concept. May she never stop remaking. —Rich Juzwiak

Whoo!: Terr, “Tale of Devotion (Prins Thomas Diskomiks)” – This is so arpeggiated it sounds like a strobe light. One of the only things our species has going for it is that people just never stopped making great disco. —RJ

Yes: Lana Del Rey, “Doin’ Time” – Though I was raised in suburban Connecticut, my adolescence featured many hours of Sublime on repeat, in an attempt to deny my New England reality and connect with my parents’ California roots. Del Ray’s sultry cover of “Doin’ Time” is just far enough removed from the original to not trigger a stream of traumatic memories of sneaking out of the house and getting stoned in the woods with a crew of stupid boys who were never worth my time. Dare I say, it’s even better. —Lisa Fischer

Y: Hatchie, “Obsessed” (music video) – This charming peak into how Hatchi hangs out and goofs off while on tour makes the indie-rock group’s latest single come to life. Whether it’s a shot of friends giving each other piggyback rides or a stunning close-up of taquitos rotating around in a gas station hot food bar, the music video is tender and fun, which is a pretty apt description of “Obsessed,” as well. My only complaint is the song itself is about a minute too long! Still, hard to get tired listening to this. —Frida Garza

N: Charli XCX, “Blame It On Your Love” feat. Lizzo – It’s hard to think of someone I’d be more excited to see hop on a Charli XCX song than Lizzo. But this new single, a shiny reworking of Charli’s “Track 10″ off her 2017 mixtape Pop 2, ruins the textured, gritty nature of the original. The handclaps at the beginning feel disingenuous, and when the beat drops, I feel like I’ve heard it all before. The overly buoyant production even washes Lizzo out, although I do like the last line in her verse: “I’m trying to catch millions/I ain’t tryna catch feelings, bitch.” This song could use fewer bells and whistles, and more fucking this up. —FG

Y: DJ Khaled, “Higher” feat. Nipsey Hussle, John Legend – All personal opinions on “We the BEST muUusic,” guardian of keys Khaled aside, there’s no denying he has a gift when it comes to gathering talent and making some of this era’s most standout music. In “Higher,” he takes us to church with a somber reflection on life’s greater purposes alongside the soulful John Legend, and the late rapper Nipsey Hussle, who really showed his skills here. The surreal video, filmed just days before Nipsey Hussle’s passing, is chill-inducing, and admittedly left me teary-eyed. “Looking back at my life makes my heart race… I was thinking chess moves, but it was God’s grace,” he spits. Other noteworthy songs on the star-studded album include “You Stay,” in which Khaled samples Latin salsa reina La India, “Just Us” with SZA, and “Wish Wish” with Cardi B and 21 Savage. —Ecleen Luzmila Caraballo

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