Rihanna and Calvin Harris Reunite on one of the Top Songs of the Week - April 23 - 29
Fri, 29 Apr 2016 15:47:44
The week in music was overshadowed by the recent passing of Prince, igniting an inexhaustible push to appraise and revisit the cultural mark and merit of this artist who seemed to be able to do it all. Prince's talents as a songwriter, singer, producer, and showman are well-storied, he was an immense star in his lifetime, and it was a shock to hear of his passing at 57 years. Now that he is gone, his music's timeless quality has been reaffirmed in a big way.
Lucky for us there are ambitious artists still living among us. Beyoncé seemingly altered the music universe with the seismic wave that is Lemonade, certainly the flavor of the moment. Drake just released one of the most highly anticipated albums of the year, Views. The true top songs of the week contenders are lurking in Lemonade and Views. But, don't worry, outside that exalted realm, there were plenty of songs put out this week that are worthy of your immediate attention.
The week in songs was especially kind to electronic pop, dance fare. But first, runner-ups SALES and Swanning deserve love for their very excellent new songs. SALES bittersweet "Seven's Day" conveys complexity through a basic sounding bass and drums foundation, that's buoyed by guiding-light guitar arpeggios, and airy vocals declaring diarist lines like "These are not the blades of grass / That you came for (at last)." Then there's Swanning's "Drawing Down The Moon," meat and potatoes for starry-eyed teenage souls experiencing growing pains.
AlunaGeorge - My Blood
AlunaGeorge follows "I'm In Control" with another crowd pleasing blast of synth pop. Whereas "I'm In Control" brought island flare to a globe-conquering dubstep infused pop beat, "My Blood" is content to mine the local British innovations in bass and drums textures that have emerged as global trends in the past years. The collaboration with electronic producer ZHU capitalizes on these trends in the best possible way, succeeding in making them sound fresh, and most importantly as if AlunaGeorge has them patented.
"This Is What You Came For" sees Calvin Harris and Rihanna reunited as collaborators for the first time since 2011's sensational Talk That Talk single. To call it a sequel would be to set the song up for the failure typical to sequels, namely, living up to impossible expectation. On it's own, the song is a fit club banger; and with Rihanna at the center singing "This is what you came for/ Lightning strikes every time you move;" it's hard not to give in to the beck and call of one of the major dance songs to be released this season.
Yumi Zouma - Barricade (Matter Of Fact)
New Zealand's Yumi Zouma's "Barricade (Matter Of Fact)" is more of the effortless downtempo stride they made their own on the previously released single "Keep It Close To Me." Their latest, extends that stride, bringing to the surface a pop sheen that was previously only hinted at. This is band to keep an eye on.
Todd Terje & The Olsens - Baby Do You Wanna Bump
A delightfully odd offering from Norwegian electronic producer extraordinaire. Todd Terje's full length debut It's Album Time is still returning interest in the form of its gem-laden space disco. But in any case, this new track is a welcome reprise of that album's eccentric dance jams. "Baby Do You Wanna Bump," is producer Daniel Maloso's remix of The Olsens (Terje's band) cover of Boney M.'s song, the first taste of an all-disco covers EP, called The Big Cover-Up. It's funky, phew!
Paul Simon - Cool Papa Bell
Paul Simon follows "Wristband" with the breezy "Cool Papa Bell." Built around afropop guitars, Simon long ago made sound familiar and exotic at once, "Cool Papa Bell," challenges offscreen accusations deriding Simon's age and intention. The song is a venerable middle aged finger to the haters. "Papa Bell" is also lighthearted and malleable enough to lend itself to a variety of other uses.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff
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