It’s impossible to cover each bit of new music that comes out during the week, so every Friday, we’ll be doing an end of the week music roundup. It’s called Final Track, and we’ll count off a few songs released during the week that are worth giving a listen to.
Today, we've got Angel Haze, Muse, DJ Khaled with Kanye West and Rick Ross, and more.
"I Wish You Would" by DJ Khaled w/ Kanye West and Rick Ross
The beat at the beginning is blaringly obnoxious — and its title makes me think of a crappy David Bowie song of the same name — but once Kanye, back in his 808s & Heartbreak, Autotune-mode, steps up the mic, "I Wish It Would" settles into a catchy stomp with a great hook. Rick Ross does his Rick Ross the Bawse thing, and even if it's not quite as good or inspired as its blockbuster-lineup would have you believe, it has the chance to be a big-time summer hit.
"Silver Springs" by Lykke Li
Another week, another great Fleetwood Mac cover, this time from Swedish songstress Lykke Li, who finds a different kind of despair in a song that's already rife with sadness (it was written by Stevie Nicks right after her break-up with Lindsey Buckingham). Where the original brings to mind Nicks performing in front of a bunch of strangers in some godforsaken bar, the Phil Spector-inspired Li sounds like she's trapped in a claustrophobic echo chamber, hauntingly crooning to her lost love, who's now with someone else. "I say I loved you years ago/But tell myself you never loved me no" gets me every time.
"New Day" by Alicia Keys
The Alicia Keys who once sang "Fallin'" is long gone. She's been replaced by a happy, chipper, married-to-Swizz Beatz Keys, who's done with sadness and is ready for a "new day." If it weren't for Keys's magnificent voice and the song's rat-a-tat drumming, I'd criticize the track for its resemblance to Rihanna's output, but that voice...
"Live and Die" by the Avett Brothers
The lyrics still drip with overly earnest sentimentally, but Seth and Scott Avett pull it off with their smooth drawl and killer melodies, and Rick Rubin provides his unexpectedly great pop song production. The Brothers' next album, The Carpenter (due out September 11), is one to look forward to.
"Would That Not Be Nice" by Divine Fits
The second single from Spoon's Britt Daniels and Handsome Furs's Dan Boeckner new side project, Divine Fits. The jittery beat is vintage Spoon.
"Survival" by Muse
Your official 2012 Olympics "theme" is like the Olympics itself: too long, overblown, and a parody of itself. Seriously, Muse, when did you start wanting to sound like Queen? I don't know which is worse: the garbage can drumming or the ridiculous, masturbatory guitar solo midway through. Never mind: it's the operatic background vocalists.
But hey, it's the Olympics, so, um, show your pride or something.
"New York" by Angel Haze
Wow. This song, from 20-year-old rapper Angel Haze, came out of nowhere to blow me away. Unlike other young MCs we may have written about lately, particularly ones named after X-Men characters, Haze has a natural vibe and that clicking and clapping beat is to die for. I especially like how Haze restrains herself; she keeps the song sparse, never taking the attention for her slick flow. Her EP, Reservation, comes out July 17 — a certain must-have.