Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Singles Summary: June 2015


Foxes // "Body Talk"
TBA, Sign of the Times / Sony UK
★★★★☆

English singer-songwriter wasted no time preparing a follow-up to last year's Glorious, her impressive full-length debut. The rapid fire release schedule doesn't equate to diminish quality, though. She has tweaked her previous sound to deliver a lively nod to '80s pop and disco on "Body Talk." Based on the commercial reception to the single, it seems that, like Carly Rae Jepsen's newest album, Foxes' sophomore album will be a less-publicized event than her debut. However, also like the case of Jespen, quality hasn't been sacrificed.


Bonnie McKee // "Bombastic"
Bombastic EP, Bonnie McKee Music
★★★★☆

Following Cher Lloyd and Karmin in a departure from Epic Records, Bonnie McKee has decided to become an artist on her own terms. With tracks like "American Girl" and "Sleepwalker" in the rear-view window, she's starting over with her Bombastic EP. The title track is an intense piece of pop, while the accompanying video is a sexed-up remake of a cheap '80s workout video. McKee has been hidden behind-the-scenes as a songwriter for some of today's biggest pop-stars, so it's nice to see her producing her own pop jams once again. Hopefully as an independent artist, she will be more committed to the full-length album that we've been awaiting for many years now.



Halsey // "Hold Me Down"
Badlands, Astralwerks
★★★★☆

Synthpop artist Halsey is ready to promote her upcoming debut album, Badlands. Although singles "Hurricane" and "Ghost" (from both Badlands and her previously-released concept EP Room 93) are still growing in popularity, she has dropped "Hold Me Down." She holds steady with her dark, grinding synthpop style and has yet to falter. Given that she continues to pump out material like this, Badlands is sure to be a force to be reckoned with.


Selena Gomez // "Good for You"
TBA, Interscope
★★★★☆

Selena Gomez has wasted no time after fulfilling her contract with Hollywood Records and signing a new agreement with Interscope Records. She dropped a collaboration with short-term love interest Zedd earlier this year, and now she has begun promotion for the solo full-length follow-up to 2013's Stars Dance. The lead single to the unnamed album, "Good for You," is a sensual urban-inspired track. The video cut is a solo rendition that cuts out the glimmering booms of the choruses, while the official version (which features A$AP Rocky) is bit more climatic. The track's production evokes that of Gomez's last solo hit, "The Heart Wants What It Wants," from her last-minute greatest hits compilation, but this song's lyrics are geared towards sex appeal and self-confidence.


Demi Lovato // "Cool for the Summer"
TBA, Hollywood
★★★★☆

Demi Lovato's fifth album cycle has begun with the push of lead single "Cool for the Summer." The single is a driving, gritty stab at synthpop that brings Max Martin into Lovato's list of production collaborators. The song itself is a great summer anthem, but unfortunately, Lovato's personality is not along for the ride; through most of the song, her voice is rendered unrecognizable. It is nice, though, to see her moving towards sexier, more mature sounds and lyrical content. 



The Weeknd // "The Hills" & "Can't Feel My Face"
TBA, Republic
"The Hills": ★★★★☆ // "Can't Feel My Face": ★★★★☆

The Weeknd is wasting no time after mainstream success via his Ariana Grande duet "Love Me Harder" and Fifty Shades of Grey-fueled solo hit "Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey)." He released two new tracks - "The Hills" and "Can't Feel My Face" - within a few weeks of one another. The former follows his signature sultry sound, complete with a bass-blasting, ground-shaking chorus, while "Can't Feel My Face" finds him sounding more like Michael Jackson than himself. It looks like the third chapter of the Weeknd chronicles will be quite a varied set, but a good one at that.

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