TRACK OF THE WEEK
This song is about being that friend in the group who is impossible to have a night out with. The one who sinks seven gin and tonics before 9pm, gets ejected from the club for starting a fight between the three people they snogged, and then throws up on a memorial statue. Prowling pop that feels more at home in your headphones after an argument than on the dancefloor, Liability cuffs Sky Ferreira’s emotional darkness and Halsey’s ownership of her flaws. In other words: it’s an anthem for messy bitches.
For every exciting artist, there are thrice as many who take “inspiration” from them by watering their components down into something much worse. Black Veil Brides were like a metalcore version of the Darkness but without the sense of humour. Now their frontman is embarking on a solo career that channels Gary Numan if he’d grown up listening to My Chemical Romance and Calvin Harris. Which might have been promising if the result hadn’t ended up looking and sounding exactly like Marilyn Manson circa 2006.
Cage The Elephant
Cage The Elephant have been around for a decade, releasing albums with the near-clockwork regularity of a healthy bowel and hovering consistently around the top of festival bills. Still, their name is often met with a surprised “They’re still going?”, which is the result of making music so relentlessly inoffensive it’s impossible to do badly. Apart from one guitar line that sounds like it was lifted directly from The Phantom Of The Opera, Trouble is so satisfactory it’s basically Zach Braff in song form.
Talk To Me
There are endless obvious comparisons for an artist like Kandace Springs – Nina Simone, Roberta Flack, Norah Jones – but none do her justice. Talk To Me may be minimal, but tucked within the spacious piano line and soulful vocal delivery there’s an emotional intelligence that reaches way beyond her 27 years.
Pitbull ft Flo Rida and LunchMoney Lewis
Any Pitbull and Flo Rida collaboration is destined to transport you back to 2007, which can either be a good or bad thing, depending where you stand on thinly veiled metaphors for sexual activity, choruses formed entirely of oh-we-ohs, and lyrics about “living it up”. In its defence, Greenlight is Pitbull at his peak (he raps the words “mami” and “thang” five times each in one verse), plus a very Cheryl Lynn bassline. And if that still sounds unappealing, I’m afraid there’s nothing more I can offer you.