Lady Gaga and BLACKPINK Make Sour Sound Sweet


Y: Lady Gaga ft. BLACKPINK, “Sour Candy” – Until YG Entertainment blesses us with a new BLACKPINK album in 2020, I will settle for a collaboration with Lady Gaga. “Settle” might be too demeaning a word—“Sour Candy” is a catchy confection as much as it is an acidic Eurodance club banger, and I appreciate the meeting of minds between Gaga and K-pop girl group BLACKPINK. “I’m sour candy, so sweet then I get a little angry,” Jennie and Lisa rap on the track, “I’m super psycho, make you crazy when I turn the lights low.” It’s perfect for 3 a.m., and for a Sour Patch Kids commercial, and the duality works. —Maria Sherman

Sure: Tove Lo, “sadder badder cooler” – Swedish pop singer Tove Lo takes the trope of “winning a breakup” and attempts to turn it into an empowerment anthem on “sadder badder cooler.” It’s fine—I love the refrain of “Why am I cooler than you?” and I’m sure it sounds best a few weeks out of a breakup when the healing begins. Otherwise, I’m just appreciative of the grandiose, “I’m better than you” theme, a deliciously selfish and self-involved idea that rarely appears outside of radio rock songs meant to sell, like, Madden video games. —MS

Y: Widowspeak, “Breadwinner” – Who knew a song about oppressive work life could sound so… romantic? “Baby, you gotta quit that job ’cause your boss is a jerk/Go on and take the time off, and I’ll do the work,” frontwoman Molly Hamilton sings, leading to the breathy revelation “Is this how you measure time? Vacations you can’t take/Is this how you count the hours? The ones when you’re awake/O, met a man who never worked/O, you and I will always work.” It’s a burden few like to be reminded of while listening for pleasure, but what a gorgeous delivery of a troubled reality. —MS

Y: Ne-Yo and Jeremih, “U 2 Luv” – What I need right now is a soft, springy love song, Ne-Yo’s dulcet vocals, and the robotic drips of a “Computer Love” sample to carry me through the weekend. Here’s to Ne-Yo and Jeremih singing about eternal companionship. —Clover Hope

Why not: Orville Peck, “No Glory in the West” – I’m not entirely familiar with Orville Peck’s oeuvre, but I recognize him because of the fringed mask he’s wearing. That mask also made me think that Peck’s shtick would be different than it is, which is… whatever this is? I don’t know if I love the song, but I appreciate the Red Dead Redemption vibes, and it’s always nice to look at sweeping vistas of mountain ranges. —Megan Reynolds

Ahhh: Julianna Barwick, “Inspirit” – Allow yourself a moment of zen with “Inspirit,” the first single from vocal wizard Julianna Barwick’s upcoming album Healing Is a Miracle. As usual, Barwick is layering gorgeous harmonies of her voice—here they swell and ebb, lapping at you in waves and threatening to unravel. There’s palpable joy here, and while Barwick does dark and strange perfectly well, the lighter mood is a welcome relief. —Rich Juzwiak

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