V’s New Music Round-Up
Here are some of the best and biggest releases of the week
Hello and welcome! Are you in pristine Earth Day spirit, ready to save the world and the people living in it? Need a playlist worth a hero’s time, do you? Then welcome to V’s new music round-up, where we tune you into some of the week’s biggest and best releases, whether they be singles or albums.
Here are this week’s top picks:
A Gangsta’s Pain by Moneybagg Yo
Moneybagg Yo has had a good year so far with his career and this album should be the icing on it all. The album dives into personal struggles and his early life, while still managing to deliver effective social commentary. The album’s structure really serves it well, giving his story its weight while also allowing lighter-toned collabs with Jhené Aiko, Pharrell, and Future the room to thrive.
“Just Until…” by Cordae
The former YBN member dropped a new EP in the run-up to his sophomore record, collaborating with Q Tip and Young Thug in the process. Cordae explores his voice and the different styles he can master, also flirting with sounds reminiscent of 00s hip-hop and 90s R&B.
People Don’t Change by PJ Harding and Noah Cyrus
Noah Cyrus teams up with Australian singer-songwriter Harding to deliver a beautiful and melancholic album about keeping hope through the pain and disappointment. The gorgeously in-sync vocals, the detailed lyrics, the folksy melodies all come together to create an album steeped in narrative and emotion that hooks you into their journey from the very first guitar strum on “Dear August.”
“Save Your Tears (remix)” by The Weeknd with Ariana Grande
“Save Your Tears” was already a pretty great song to begin with, a perfect nod to darker 80s synths and melodies. But Grande comes in and takes it up a few notches, starting off small with smoky melismas and then nailing each and every note as the song progresses, sounding as confident as ever. A career with an 80s cover band doesn’t sound like a bad choice for her.
“Come Through” by H.E.R. ft. Chris Brown
H.E.R. taps Brown for this slinky and smooth R&B track that’s exactly what you think it would be about — asking your partner to “come through” for you and cancel their plans. The two bring their best riffs and ooh’s to deliver this lightly sexy and sultry jam that’s all about the snaps and the side-to-side sways.
“Ram Pam Pam” by Natti Natasha and Becky G
These two latin superstars return for their first collaboration since “Sin Pajama,” delivering a reggaeton feminist anthem. The two embody the best part of latin-pop and reggaeton music — artists genuinely having fun with their song, bouncing off each lyric about owning their sexuality.
“Cry About It Later” by Katy Perry ft. Luísa Sonza and Bruno Martini
Smile’s best album cut (by about 15 miles) gets a rework that leans hard into the Daft Punk-esque techno-pop sound that the original only fooled around with. Sonza’s relatively airier vocals mesh well together with Perry’s, especially during the harmonizing bits, making this track a solid teaser for the pop masterpiece that is the original “Cry About It Later.”
“I Need Some of That” by Weezer
Just as nostalgic in sound as it is in message, this track about musing about the good times of the past and never wanting to grow old takes you on a time machine to 2000s high school rock gone hard. Yes, rock fans, the guitars go in feisty and the riffs are totally wildin’. And yes, mainstream fans, it’s not so intense that you can’t headbang to it at a reasonable speed.
“Imagine” by Ben Platt
For those whose understanding of Ben Platt extends to mostly his acting career in film and Broadway, this track is quite the departure from his usual style, more of what a 2021 Pitch Perfect and Dear Evan Hansen riff-off would sound like. It’s got the emotional vulnerability and abandon of a theatrical performer with the modern-synth production value of an indie-pop sensation.
“when was it over?” by Sasha Sloan ft. Sam Hunt
Sloan and Hunt, two of country music’s more evocative vocalists, come together for this stirring break-up track, wondering when their relationship started to break down and holding on to the last remnants of it. The two conduct their conversation through the song in a way that really makes you hurt for this fictional couple.
“Sorry” by Deb Never
It’s the production on Deb Never’s vocals that really get you on this track. It’s not that they’re groundbreaking, just that they’re pitched to the point that she sounds monotone, blaise, almost like she really doesn’t care, which is exactly what this bedroom-pop alt-electronic banger about moving on is trying to be.
“Introvert” by Little Simz
For an age where most tracks would start hitting the “skip” mark around the 3:00 point, Little Simz deigns to create one over six minutes. But each second is filled with pumping horns, a moody underbelly of a beat, searing lyrics and choruses, a majestic orchestral fanfare of a song that dives into the artist’s personal and political psyche.
“Worth It” by Amber Mark
“Worth It” is a song filled with soul and power without really trying to shove anything in your face with just its gentle R&B rhythm. Mark employs a clean tempo change midway through the song to keep an organic flow going as she discusses empowering themes about assessing your own self-worth.
“America’s Sweetheart” by LILHUDDY
After some dips into the sea of pop-punk, LILHUDDY slows down a little bit for a more bare-chested approach on “America’s Sweetheart.” He details the deterioration of a relationship (a pretty public one many TikTok fans know of) and how it affected him, thus explaining the more somber mood. Though there are some garage grunge guitars thrown in part way, so some of the old LILHUDDY does exist.