Solange Embodies Effortless Cool, Carly Rae Jepsen's Passable and A Star Is Born Again


Y: Ellie Goulding, “Flux” – As far as ascending, sentimental piano pop ballads go, I was not expecting greatness from Ellie Goulding. “Flux” is good—minimal only in musicality (she goes there with her vocals)—a soft dirge for a past relationship gone awry. I still miss her big, blockbuster-sized anthems, but this ain’t bad! —Maria Sherman

It’s… fine: Carly Rae Jepsen, “Now That I Found You” – Carly Rae Jepsen has consistently released beloved pop bangers, which is only unfortunate if you consider the big shoes she’s forced to fill whenever she releases a new track: her own. I wasn’t big on “Party For One” and her latest, “Now That I Found You” is equally… fine. It’s passable, not “Cut to the Feeling,” or “Boy Problems,” but I’m still hopeful for the future. The big, life-affirming single has yet to drop. —MS

Sure: A Star is Born’s Lady Gaga (as Aly) and Bradley Cooper (as Jackson Maine) “Clover” song tease – It’s not enough of a tease to write home about but I’m doing so anyway. “Clover,” or as I like to envision it, “Clover Hope,” named after the Muse’s editor, is an affectionate folky-rock song about, I don’t know, how hard it is to keep it so hardcore. I think it sounds okay? Promising enough to genuinely make the forthcoming 12-minutes of new A Star is Born footage something to look forward to… music to my eyes! —MS

Y: Kedr Livanskiy, “Kiska” – Very into this creepy track “Kiska,” aka “Pussy” in Russian, from electronic artist Kedr Livanskiy. “This song is about a girl who’s a badass,” Livanskiy said in a press release. “‘Pussy’ gonna sit on your face” – this is a mythical, crazy expression from the ghettos of Russia’s Marino district.” The video is equally bizarre! – Hazel Cills

Yah: Tierra Whack, “CLONES” – I don’t know who the hell specifically is copying rapper Tierra Whack’s style, which is so singular and fully-formed in its brilliant weirdness, but this diss track to dudes who try to her steal her flow is excellent. And clones back the fuck off! – H.C.

Y: benny blanco, Tainy, Selena Gomez, J Balvin, “I Can’t Get Enough” – This admittedly took a few listens for me to enjoy. Selena’s feature, is my least favorite part though I do see the appeal for both sides of collaborating—particularly for Selena after the success of “Taki Taki.” It’s evident that this is Tainy’s baby, though. The best part of the record is the production, with an airy, buzzy loop and clean reggaeton backbone. Luckily for Tainy, whose setting the groundwork for an upcoming solo album, his talent screams just as loudly if not louder than the vocalists though he doesn’t say a word. —Ecleen Luzmila Caraballo

N: G-Eazy and Blueface, “West Coast” – As with most of Gerald‘s music, the beat is catchy (at least in the first half) but it’s lacking lyrically, and something about his voice makes everything sound particularly corny, especially when it’s paired with moments like “I got more bitches than PetCo.” This is good for me as it’s made me get over my fall crush on him, but bad for him as it shows he has a lot of growing to do as an artist if he wants to both stay relevant and actually be “signed to Sony for years.” The song is only two min and 20 seconds long but I was done with it half way through. Additionally, it incorrectly states that the west coast is “the best coast.” Need I go on? —ELC

Y: Solange, When I Get Home — If you’re going into Solange’s new album looking for another “Cranes in the Sky” or “Don’t Touch My Hair,” then you’re going to be a little disappointed. But even though you may not come away with a sing-a-long anthem at the ready, you won’t miss it. When I Get Home is, straight up, a delightful album. The production is effortlessly cool and a touch more experimental than A Seat at the Table, but it’s not inaccessible. Currently, the two songs I can’t stop listening to are “Dreams” (“dreams, they come a long way, not today”), “Alameda” (“Brown liquor, brown sugar, brown braids, black skin, black Benz, black plays”), and “Binz” (“I just wanna wake up on CP time” which, yeah, same). Give it a go, and get ready for the accompanying visuals that are sure to kick our collective asses. —Ashley Reese

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