V’s New Music Round-Up

V’s New Music Round-Up

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V’s New Music Round-Up

Here are some of the biggest and best releases of the week

Here are some of the biggest and best releases of the week

Text: Ahad Sanwari

Hello and welcome…to the Adele show! Last week was all about Taylor Swift, this week, everyone’s all about Adele. What heartbreak, what drama, what grand romantic endeavors will we be part of this time? Well…we’ll find out, as we dive right into this week’s V’s New Music Round-Up, where we introduce you to this week’s biggest and best releases, whether they be singles or albums (beyond just 30). Speaking of which…

Here are this week’s top picks:

30 by Adele

Image courtesy of Melted Stone/Columbia Records

For what was perceived to be a break-up record, 30 is full of life. What’s most impressive about the record is the way she covers the full gamut of human emotions, love and pain of all kinds, and there’s a beautiful variety of sounds to pair them all with. From indie bops to R&B flavors, the album takes chances with orchestration and composition that presents a new kind of Adele, one that’s distinctly aware of her influences and can pay homage to them. A track like “To Be Loved” presents the perfect example, as she lulls you in for the majority of its almost 7 minute run to then burst near the end. “Easy On Me” sounds most like her past material, and it’s fitting near the start of the record as a transition to the new. To cut a long story short, 30 is Adele chasing pavements she hasn’t before and she’s finally found the other side she can say “hello” from.

Intimidated by KAYTRANADA

Image courtesy of KAYTRANADA

What works for KAYTRANADA’s new three-song EP, as opposed to 30 for instance, is the sonic cohesion between the tracks. You can really tell the same person masterminded each of these songs, as they all flow seamlessly from one into another, from H.E.R. to Thundercat to Mach-Hommy. It’s like you’re going down a tonal scale, filled with some impressive snaps and hats, as you move along. It’s a short delight, but it’s a delight all the same.

“Icy Chain” by Saweetie

Image courtesy of ICY/Warner Records Inc

From the 10 minute version of “All Too Well” last week, we go to the less than 2-minute “Icy Chain,” a trademark Saweetie style bop which allows her to flow and flex her way through a few bars, throw in a pop-rap beat, and mention the word “icy” on a few occasions. It’s a cute little ditty that serves as really just a tease, a little tasting plate of sorts. On that front, it’s a slam dunk, but don’t expect to get in ready to fully feel the fantasy, it’ll be over before you know it.

“Fix You” by Kacey Musgraves

Image courtesy of UMG Recordings

It’s hard to take a song already as dramatic and affecting as the Coldplay classic and to turn it into something even more emotional, but leave it to Kacey Musgraves to pull that feat off. The choice of making it an acoustic ballad that turns orchestral is an interesting one, it gives it a sort of two-toned quality. I almost wish she stuck to one style, given the song is so short, but it does capture a fleeting feeling of comfort that’s new from the original.

“Somos Nada” by Christina Aguilera

Image courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment US Latin

From the insanely fun and sultry “Pa Mis Muchachas,” Aguilera is already showing off the range of material she has prepared for her upcoming Spanish-language record with this new entry. “Somos Nada” is personal and minimal, flanked only by a piano and the singer’s powerhouse vocals. It’s like “Say Something” gone big, an empowering track that really encourages the listener to unleash their full potential. Sounds like CA9 might have some variety to it.

“On My Way (Marry Me)” by Jennifer Lopez

Image courtesy of Universal Studios

Serendipity that this immediately follows “Somos Nada?” Lopez, on the other hand, isn’t really known for her soaring ballads because she tends to champion more of the lilt in her voice that can fill clubs aplenty. But there’s an understated quality to her voice that really lets her tap into emotion and vulnerability, you can really feel the feeling coursing through every vein in her body on this track from the upcoming Marry Me. Safe to say, it’s one of the best and most rousing tracks the singer has released in a good while, and you can chalk a lot of it up to freshness.

“Somebody to Use” by Alesso

Image courtesy of Alefune AB

There are two versions of this track available: the original and a toxic mix. The first: a fun, dance-pop number that’s enough to do an eight count on, ideal for a mood-booster pick, good enough to end up on all those Spotify run playlists. The second: a pounding club track that remixes the original to hell and back and hell again, manifesting it into this darker, industrial sound that’s perfect for hitting the dancefloor when you’re not really sure how you got there.

“No Time to Be Alone” by Will Joseph Cook

Image courtesy of Bad Hotel

The beauty in this jazzy, almost folksy little holiday number is that it just sounds so intimate and sentimental (like a “sentimental little fool,” like Cook would say). It’s something you’d only ever want to sing to someone you truly care about, over a fireplace, the kind of song you write in bed at 2 AM when you’re so heartwarmingly enamored. It’s adorable and romantic and vulnerable and mushy and perfectly schmaltzy enough for the holidays.

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