New Music Quick Reactions Nov 12

Anything not covered in this article is either in the process of review or we haven’t thought of it… if what you want reviewed becomes the latter please let us know.

Singles:

  • Rick Ross, Jazmine Sullivan, and 21 Savage, Outlawz (B): A new single from the upcoming project, Richer Than I Ever Been, by Miami rap magnate Rick Ross. This song features a strong vocal hook from Sullivan and satisfactory bars from 21 Savage. Although the beat is a little larger-than-life, Da Boss easily fills the space with his effortless flow.
  • Beyonce, Be Alive (B-): Every Beyonce release is a cause for celebration and this single, for the bio-pic King Richard, is no exception. The writing and instrumentation are nothing special and it drags through the verses. In essence, this song is carried by Beyonce’s flashy and layered vocal performance but that is more than enough to make a good song.
  • Lil Durk, Lion Eyes (C+): On this new track, Chicago rapper Lil Durk provides focused and steady bars that wrestle with the pain of ghetto life. Although the rapping and beat are satisfactory, the hook is not memorable or even good.
  • Rosalia and The Weeknd, La Fama (C): a new single from Rosalia’s forthcoming album, Motomami, featuring The Weeknd singing Spanish. This song sounds as if the producers were undecided if it should be a pop single or acoustic Latin. The result is an overproduced acoustic take with uninspired vocals and melody.
  • Juice WRLD, Already Dead (C): A new single from the late rapper Juice WRLD, heralding a new posthumous album titled Fighting Demons. As with most posthumous releases, this track has a characteristically un-artistic feeling and drags through repeated vocals that maybe should have stayed archived.
  • Avril Lavigne, Bite Me (D+): A new single from the iconic 2000s singer, Avril Lavigne. The lyrics and instrumentation on this song are not bad but the vocals and writing are not good. The featured leap on “Hey, you” is clean but just written ugly.
  • Polo G, Bad Man (Smooth Criminal) (D-): What was Polo thinking? This song uses Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal over a phrenetic beat and rushed lyrics. This track just does not work and is a waste of excellent material both on MJ’s and Polo G’s part.

Albums

  • Canon and Poetics, We Made It (B -): This EP is the most convincing Canon project to date, featuring dedicated production by Poetics. Although some of the beats and lyrics are contrived (“Wrist”), the songs are carried by some good bars and clever modifications of sound. The finished project is short but packed with highlights. One track to check out is “Narcoleptik.”
  • Jason Aldean, MACON (C-): Jason Aldean is a household name in country at this point and this comes out in his music. Risk aversive and mixed poorly, MACON alternates between cliches and odd R&B and rock crossovers. Although there are some solid vocals and a couple of good tracks, this album is made even more perplexing by the inclusion of 5 live tracks tacked on the end.
  • DaBaby, Back On My Baby Jesus Sh!t AGAIN (D): This new project from the divisive and brash Charlotte rapper clocks in at 12 minutes with 6 tracks. Each of these tracks is too short, features nothing new beyond DaBaby’s characteristic flow, and has none of the playful charisma that made Baby on Baby such a success. In addition, it would have been nice to see a more heartfelt project, like 2020’s My Brothers Keeper, especially in light of his recent controversy and single, “Lonely”. The track to check out is “Roof.”

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