The biggest music story of the day is the release of Jay-Z’s 4:44. Hov’s response to Beyonce’s Lemonade is worthy of all the chatter, but some solid new singles deserve attention too!
This week, Liam Gallagher continues his impressive comeback, TLC finally has something new for loyal fans, St. Vincent is back to her old tricks, Tyler the Creator reminds us why he’s deserving of all the hype, Rudimental teams up with James Arthur, and Adam Lambert gives no fux.
No Introduction – TLC
TLC hasn’t released a new album in fifteen years since Lisa Left-Eye Lopes’ death. The remaining members have worked hard to keep things going, but so far nothing has panned out. No Introduction is a solid effort from Chili and T-Boz. “We don’t need no introduction…we back” they triumphantly sing, while a Bollywood inspired beat bangs in the background. The problem is, no matter what they do or create from now on, Lisa’s presence will always be missed. She was the spark in the group that brought every second to life with energy and spunk. Without her, they’re another mediocre R&B group. This new version of TLC isn’t bad, but sadly for them it’ll never be as good as it was. 3/5
New York – St. Vincent
Annie Clark, better known as St. Vincent impresses on New York, the first single from her fifth album expected later this year. Her wonderful songwriting is showcased here with honest lyrics, beautiful piano and swelling strings. “I have lost a hero, I have lost a friend, but for you darling I’d do it all again”. Her simplicity cuts right through you, with obvious emotion building throughout the song. Warning: If you’re going through a breakup, you won’t get through this without crying. 4/5
Sun Comes Up – Rudimental featuring James Arthur
James Arthur is on a roll, isn’t he? Say You Won’t Let Go is a massive hit worldwide and now Rudimental, one of the most interesting groups the last few years has teamed up with the British singer. Sun Comes Up is an upbeat dance track about overcoming adversity. Like most Rudimental songs, it’s catchy, contagious, and will be stuck in your head within minutes. I’ve always enjoyed Rudimental because a lot of their stuff sounds different and makes me pause. This song however sounds like it could’ve been released by a number of other artists. That said, it’s still an enjoyable summer tune. 3.5/5
Chinatown – Liam Gallagher
Following the traditional single release structure leading up to an album, Liam Gallagher has chosen a ballad of sorts for his second single. Following the impressive Wall of Glass isn’t easy, but Chinatown doesn’t disappoint. The acoustic guitars and thumping bass drum drive the tune with Liam belting out lyrics that could’ve come from an Oasis album. Gallagher is set to release his much anticipated debut album As You Were on October 6th. 4/5
911 / Mr. Lonely – Tyler the Creator featuring Frank Ocean
I’ll be honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of Tyler the Creator or Frank Ocean. While I enjoyed a few songs, I wasn’t really understanding all the hype. This new song, however is the real deal. 911/Mr. Lonely is so creative and inspired I’d be crazy not to like the latest offering from Tyler and Ocean. Tyler’s verses are really strong and Oceans voice on the hook is so smooth and fun. Call me a fan. 4/5
Two Fux – Adam Lambert
Adam Lambert frustrates me. He should be much bigger with the amount of talent and swagger he has, but his choices are hard to understand sometimes. He’s a great fit with Queen, but his solo stuff has always been up and down. I loved What Do You Want from Me and 2015’s Ghost Town, but Two Fux doesn’t work. I’m all about the empowering message, but the melody and cheesy lyrics don’t work. “Namaste away”, I gladly will if this is what I can expect from future Lambert offerings. 2/5