Halsey Should Be Sad


No: Halsey, “You should be sad” – Clearly, Halsey’s forthcoming album, Manic, is going to have some country on it. “Finally // beautiful stranger” was her first attempt at a Southern-sounding stripped down acoustic ballad, and it worked. She successfully found some twang. I was about it. But “You should be sad”? Not so much. The video, too, feels like New Jersey-gal-goes-to-Nashville-once cosplay. I wish she’d pivot hard—and perhaps wrote a more biting radio banger a la “Before He Cheats” instead of coasting. Its indirect, it wavers, it feels like an attempt to get on country radio—a genre where most loyal listeners still use the FM dial for music discovery—and I’m not so sure it’ll work. But like anything in her repertoire, there are misfires. Let’s move onto the next one, shall we? —Maria Sherman

Sure: Selena Gomez, “Rare” – The best song about burnt toast that you’ll hear all year. —MS

Y: Red Velvet, “Psycho” (Performance Video) – Red Velvet’s R&B electro-pop single “Psycho” has been out for a few weeks now, and it’s great, but the choreography for the music video deserves exclusive props. According to K-pop gossip site Koreaboo, the above performance was partially-crafted by a 15-year-old professional dancer named Bailey Sok. I have never felt so old, so immobile, and so inspired all in one breath. It’s worth a watch. —MS

Yes: Poppy, “Anything Like Me” – Poppy, the child currently gestating in Grimes’ womb, has somehow emerged the musical offspring of Marilyn Manson. It’s a surprising pivot for her. Gone are the days of her digitized twee prison. That persona has found freedom in industrial sounds, of all places, and the expertly-sculpted rebellion looks good on her. And the guitar solo on “Anything Like Me”? Talk about unexpected. —MS

Y: Sarah Mary Chadwick, “Let’s Fight” – Melbourne artist Sarah Mary Chadwick is quickly becoming one of my favorite songwriters. “Let’s Fight” is bright, jangly Aussie power-pop, chuck full of devastating, lyrical reality. “Who doesn’t like fighting until someone cries?” No one, with the exception of when they do. —MS

Y: Dounia, “What It All Meant” – I’ve been on board the Dounia train since she released her first album, Intro To in 2017 and she has yet to let me down. Following last week’s steamy “Mint Tea Freestyle,” her latest song, “What It All Meant” is a perfectly sexy, self-assured jam that I will absolutely be bumping for months to come. —Lisa Fischer

Fine: Megan Thee Stallion and Normani, “Diamonds”: Perhaps it is because this song is for a movie soundtrack—Birds of Prey, starring Margot Robbie as something I cannot quite parse—but nothing about this song is particularly thrilling to me. The outfits are nice, but the song itself is what I imagine would soundtrack a barre-yoga class led by a flexible woman in Alo Yoga leggings encouraging me to find the goddess within. —Megan Reynolds

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