Zayn’s Dusk Till Dawn: a towering piece of perfect pop

Also this week: Tove Lo’s subtlety-free sex jamboree and U2’s return to form after the iPhone debacle

TRACK OF THE WEEK

Zayn ft Sia
Dusk Till Dawn

Having channelled the Weeknd on Pillowtalk, Frank Ocean on his debut album and Drake on this year’s non-hit Still Got Time, Zayn’s now set his doe-eyes on Sia’s gusty-pop crown. In fact, the billowing Dusk Till Dawn features Sia herself on backing vocals, the pair’s high-wire emoting catapulting the now-this-is-how-you-do-a-pop-chorus chorus skywards, leaving the rest of the song essentially cowering under the sheer weight of it all.

Tove Lo
Disco Tits

Altogether now: “I’m fully charged, nipples are hard, ready to go.” So runs the chorus to Tove Lo’s Disco Tits, a subtlety-free sex jamboree that could never hope to live up to its title but has a pretty good go anyway. Over supple beats Lo updates us on her current excitement levels (“I’m wet through all my clothes”) before unleashing perhaps this year’s biggest understatement: “I know how to dial it back, not this time.”

U2
You’re The Best Thing About Me

The last time we heard from U2 they’d taken the unprecedented decision to upload their new album to everyone’s iPhones, a PR disaster of such magnitude that even Bono seemed humbled. After three years of wound-licking they’re back with a song featuring all the things you expect from U2: a chiming guitar figure Coldplay have probably already ripped off, a stadium-ready breakdown and clunky lyrics about children being the real teachers.

Kelly Clarkson
Love So Soft

Pop is so confusing. One minute it’s all “love me harder” – then, according to Clarkson, it’s best to be soft, which if we’re being crude seems to go against basic biology. Sadly, Love So Soft is a stinker; Clarkson’s undeniable voice – which blows up a mansion in the video – struggling to mask the whiff of Meghan Trainor clinging to each plastic-sounding retro-fied horn blast.

Sam Smith
Too Good at Goodbyes

The cover art for Sam Smith’s new single features a massive bunch of decaying flowers drooping on an artfully frayed tablecloth. The picture is in black and white to connote expensive, stage-managed sadness, which is basically what Too Good at Goodbyes is. The choir is lush, the production from former Mis-Teeq collaborators Stargate is slick, the voice quivers when it’s supposed to, and yet the result is about as emotionally intoxicating as Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Contributor

Michael Cragg

The GuardianTramp

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