Lizzo Makes a Good Song Even Better, BTS Are in Love, and J. Lo Goes Yeehaw


Yes, with luv: BTS feat. Halsey, “Boy With Luv” – I am genuinely concerned with how many times I’m going to listen to this today. “Boy With Luv” is a joyous, pop banger—it’s as if BTS managed to capture the exact sound of a stomach filling with butterflies, the explosiveness of having a good interaction with a crush. I was concerned with how the K-Pop boy band would institute Halsey’s sleepy whisper-singing into their maximalist pop and it turns out they… didn’t do much? She’s heard low in the mix in the chorus, but that’s it. The song is better for it, but her fans will likely feel disappointed. —Maria Sherman

Y: Lizzo covers Miley Cyrus and Mark Ronson’s “Nothing Breaks Like A Heart” – Leave it to Lizzo to make a pop song I already like even better. Instead of speeding the tune up—which would’ve been extraordinarily easy for her, she slows it down and lets her rasp do the work (plus, that gospel chorus doesn’t hurt.) It’s gorgeous, and I love it, simple as that. —MS

Y: Jessie Reyez and 6lack, “Imported” – Reyez’s delicate yet croaky voice, and songwriting genius really shine in this song. The storyline, simplistic nature of the video and their emotional deliveries make this a beaut. With standout lines like “get over them by getting under me” and “I drink liquor like it’s water, hope my liver can afford it” guzzled in breathless, heartfelt runs, Reyez and 6lack take the relatable agonies of unrequited love and somehow make listening to them sing about it enjoyable. *Chefs kiss.* —Ecleen Luzmila Caraballo

Yes: Jennifer Lopez feat. French Montana, “Medicine” (video) – Last week I sang this single’s praises and turns out, the video is great, too. Jennifer Lopez has hopped aboard the yeehaw bandwagon, and we’re all going to be better because of it. —MS

Ja: Lust for Youth, “By No Means” – “By No Means” is the last song on the forthcoming, self-titled LP from Euro-pop goths Lust for Youth, and by far the best. It’s addictive, and I can’t stop quoting the Copenhagen duo’s deliciously hate-filled lyrics: “You’re painfully in competent/Your self-pity is appalling/I see you’re always happy to talk about your misery/Your sentiments are tainted/A compliment from you would insult me.” Send it to the last idiot who wronged you, or keep it to yourself. —MS

Some Yeses and Some Nos: Omar Apollo, Friends Apollo’s second EP is a fun mix of funk-infused pop songs by a dude who’s clearly figuring out his sound and in it for the long haul. The standouts for me are “Kickback,” “Ashamed,” and “There For Me (Interlude)“—the latter of which he admits was the result of a drunken night. Short and sweet, it’s the perfect example of the minimal slow-tempo songs he can and should continue to embrace, à la “Ugotme.” His debut EP was a stronger batch, but the Indiana-born Chicano is trying new things and I’d say now’s the time do that. —ELC

Absolutely. Destroy me: Sarah Mary Chadwick, “Confetti” – Since learning of New Zealand artist Sarah Mary Chadwick, I cannot stop listening to her deep, haunting voice—it creeps up within you, confrontational, unavoidable and yet, so simply gorgeous. This track, like all the songs on her forthcoming album on Captured Tracks sister label Sinderlyn, The Queen Who Stole The Sky, was recorded live in Melbourne Town Hall on a 147-year-old grand organ. It makes sense—only something that pulls from history could be so resonant. —MS

Y: Vicente Garcia, “Candela” – You know that song by Los Hermanos Rosario that goes y tiene SWING, y baila SWING… that’s what I hear in my head when I think about Vicente. In other words, he’s candela. A soothing fire. This perico ripiao (DR’s own) is a fun reminder of the Latin Grammys’ Best New Artist of 2017’s roots, and a prelude to his upcoming album. I just hope he’ll have a few “Duclito e Coco”-esque songs in there as that’s lived in my morning playlist for months now. —ELC

N: Sech, Justin Quiles, Maluma, Nicky Jam, Farruko, Dalex, Lenny Tavárez, “Que Mas Pues” (Remix) – Yes, there are that many people on this song. They attempt to follow in the footsteps of “Te Botè,” (which has a mere 6 artists compared to this hearty 7) but only further affirm my belief that that kind of magic can’t be duplicated. This song is lacking the lyrical strength that made the remix of Casper Magico, Nio Garcia and Darell’s summer hit a favorite. On the other hand, the fact that Panamanian reggaetonero Sech was able to gather such a strong group for this remix is a testament to his escalating fame in the rest of Latin America, and I’m for that. —ELC

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