Rap's Ultimate Lover Boy Strikes Again


I don’t think so: Drake feat. Lil Durk, “Laugh Now, Cry Later”: While I agree with the general sentiment of Drake’s latest offering in that laughing now and crying after the fact is usually a good way to live, I don’t know if this song or the video, which is basically an ad for Nike, is the move? Nike’s headquarters in Beaverton are beautiful, and it was very nice of them to let Drake wander the campus and the company store unhindered. Drake’s beard remains, and for that I am grateful. I am less grateful for Drake crying not once but twice, resplendent in a white turtleneck and powder pink quilted coat. Rap’s ultimate soft boi strikes again. —Megan Reynolds

It’s fine: Brandy Clark feat. Randy Newman, “Bigger Boat” – As far as tone-deaf “Why can’t we all just get along?” country songs go, “Bigger Boat” is at least charming, even if borders on childish. I assume the Jaws-referencing title is meant to bring some humor into the deep-seated dread that defines every waking second of every day in 2020, so I’m cool with it… for now. Also, it’s just nice to hear Randy Newman having fun. —Maria Sherman

Leave well enough alone: Dua Lipa featuring Madonna and Missy Elliot, “Levitating [The Blessed Madonna Remix]” – “Levitating” is one of the best tracks on Dua Lipa’s album Future Nostalgia; and while the remix isn’t awful, it’s certainly not blessed. The song, which in its original format is at the optimal speed to showcase Dua Lipa’s deep brassy timbre, is sped up to favor Madonna’s singing voice at the loss of Dua’s. Also in signature Madonna fashion, the production is overdone adding an extra layer of beats to really enforce that this is a Madonna dance track. Missy Elliot, who can do no wrong, is the only thing that saves this from being a hard no. —Shannon Melero

Yes: Drew Citron, “Summertime” – I’m familiar with (and a fan of) New York City-based musician Drew Citron’s other bands, indie-pop group Beverly and no wave post-punks Public Practice, so I was thrilled to hear her solo material. “Summertime” is wistful for the season we’re currently in but no longer get to experience, a dissociative-yet-dreamy somber pop song about desire and heartbreak. It’s uncomplicated and beautiful, and the perfect thing to turn on at sunset. —MS

100% Yes and I’m obsessed: Sweeping Promises, “Hunger for a Way Out” – Listen, as long as I am allowed to contribute to this weekly blog series, you bet I’m going to find a way to sneak in some lo-fi, more-punk-than-post post-punk. This week, it’s the brilliant Boston band Sweeping Promises. Less imaginative people would compare them to Kleenex/LiLiPUT, and I think that’s accurate—but they’re also something else entirely—less springy, more fire. —MS

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