Welcome to the Weekly Fiver, where I’ll pick five recently released songs of varying degrees of quality and thoroughly break them down for you. No two songs will be on the same tier, and they’ll be listed from best to worst. The top song will be an excellent must-hear tune, while the bottom song will be one you ought to stay away from or else you will make your ears sad. It’s all very scientific.
Excellent Song of the Week
While it might not be the stellar gem that “Adore” was (watch this blog for more regarding that song), “Drive You Mad” is still a solid continuation of Amy Shark‘s sonic brand. Merging the slo-mo soundscapes of Lana Del Rey with the lyrical minutia of first-wave emo bands, Shark evokes joy out of awkward moments like fumbled hand-holding or brushing shoulders and turns them into snapshots of budding relationships. She does tend to get a little too earnest with her enunciation at times- the line “for old time’s sake” is sung like Marcus Mumford‘s female doppelganger- but that’s a small quibble for an otherwise rare approach to the subject of new love in modern music.
Pretty Decent Song of the Week
The “emotionally damaged party girl” persona is working out pretty well for K.Flay, who’s built a strong cult following with her blend of singing about poor life choices and rapping about poor life choices. While the latter riles her crowds up more, she really shines when she’s writing actual melodies and will hopefully continue to hone that part of her formula.
Average Song of the Week
After the disastrous first single from the band there’s been next to zero talk of their latest album Songs of Experience. The lack of fanfare has been positively deafening; this is the very first truly irrelevant record the band has ever made. It is pretty mediocre, but there are some OK moments to be had. “Red Flag Day”, despite its odd title that sounds like a car dealership sales event, is a Police-lite tune that manages to stay agile enough to avoid being weighed down by Bono‘s predictably heavy-handed sermonizing. It epitomizes the word “passable”.
Below Average Song of the Week
Desperately clinging to the success of “Shut Up and Dance”, Walk the Moon have released another record of tepid Maroon 5 knockoffs…as well as this song, which seems like a justification for keeping their guitarist. It’s not aggressively bad, but it neither fits onto the album nor works as a full-on banger. It’s a fumbled ploy that doesn’t succeed as a rock or a pop song. Also what is with that artsy cover.
Disappointing Song of the Week
Perpetually miserable crooner Morrissey used to put his theatrical swooning to good use, but this decade has not been a good one for the former Smiths frontman. His 2014 record was very much a legacy act offering, and this new one goes beyond that and into disposable vanity project territory. There is not one redeemable moment on the latest album. There’s not even a recognizable moment. Not only are the songs a waste of time and space, but Morrissey’s voice has morphed into that of a washed up lounge act. It’s boring nonsense and Morrissey knows it, judging by the totally random howling at the beginning of the song that sounds like a kid who just discovered that you can record any sound you make. It’s all so utterly embarrassing.