Friday, May 26, 2017

NMF Thoughts from May 26 - featuring CARLY RAE JEPSEN, RITA ORA, and DAGNY!!!

Carly Rae Jepsen made the song of the week (OBVIOUSLY)

This is a pretty amazing NMF for many reasons. One of them involves Carly Rae Jepsen and the other involves there being no absolutely horrible songs this week! So buckle up. 

Australian pop star Samantha Jade is getting ready for a new era. Her new single "Circles On The Water" starts off boring before the drum machine kicks in. Unfortunately there is no chorus so the tropical breakdown puts it at the bottom of this list. Nonetheless, it's one of Samantha's more sophisticated pop songs so good job Ms. Jade. 

Margaret is really turning up the promotion for her album out next week. This week she pops on a tropical song with VAX called "6 in The Morning" that is inoffensive but not very exciting. Let's just listen to "Cool Me Down" again. 

After that disaster of a single with Demi Lovato, Cheat Codes have returned with "Stay With You". The singer CADE does a great vocal job especially on that falsetto and the dubstep breakdown is something I haven't heard in a while. Perhaps these boys might be interesting after all. 

Swedish power-pop trio The Magnettes have decided to go downtempo on their new anthem "So Bad", a commentary on the sexism and double standards that pervade society. It could go very heavy but luckily they haven't forgotten the catchiness. It would make more sense on an album so hopefully that is coming soon. 

"Silence" by Grace Carter is a rousing piano pop anthem that sounds like a more soulful Natasha Bedingfield single. 

Swedish dream pop band Postiljonen have released the first single from their third album called "Crazy". After suffering from the sophomore slump, it's nice to hear the magic back in their music. If you get the chance, their debut album is one of the best albums of 2013 and definitely worth a listen. 

"Illusion" by Matilda is a nice companion song to Noonie Bao's "Reminds me" from last year. Which means it's a beautiful piece of dramatic baroque pop. 

Move over "G.U.Y.", there is a new power bottom anthem in town and it's from Little Mix. "Power" is one of Little Mix's weaker singles but the addition of Stormzy helps out a lot. And Leigh-Anne's verse remains fire so get those bussys popping this summer. 

Grace Mitchell has returned from her still amazing single "Now" with a new sinister pop song called "Cali God". It's definitely more in your face than her previous single but loses some of the magic that makes her best songs sound like nothing else out there. In the end, Grace made a pretty good Halsey song but it would be nice to hear more songs like "Now" in the future. 

Mabel's new EP successfully straddles that line between hazy R&B and sexy electropop. It's always nice to be surprised by someone you thought didn't have the X factor but Mabel is nothing if not consistent across her first release. 

Sia has released a song with Labrinth for the new Wonder Woman movie. "To Be Human" takes a little to get going but the chorus is a classic Sia slam dunk. And who doesn't love a new Sia song?

Swedish hometown hero Eric Saade has slowly transformed into an enigmatic electropop artist but the songs that came with this were boring tropical tracks. Until now, because "Another Week" is sublime, romantic, has a strange distorted chorus, and is perfect for the summer. 

"Waterslides" by Pixx has some pretty insane artwork. Luckily, the song is equally as bonkers, sounding like long lost Santigold single. Maybe one to watch. 

Troye Sivan follows Bebe Rexha and Dua Lipa in being recruited by Martin Garrix for an emotional dance track. "There For You" doesn't have the best breakdown from Martin but Troye sounds amazing, especially the line about tears on pillows being rivers. Tears and rivers are always good pop metaphors.

Allie X is back with another track from her debut album. "Need You" is a much more chill affair for Allie but it's silky smooth bass line matches Allie and Valley Girl's vocals well. There are sure to be plenty of bangers on Collxtion Vol. 2 so there is nothing to worry about. 

"Magic" by Kleo sounds magical and exotic without any effort. It's just a lovely pop song. 

The hundredth Bleachers promo song "I Miss Those Days" sounds like a perfect mix between the best hits of ABBA and Pnau. It's just very euphoric and includes BELLS. This album should be quite amazing. 

Noah Cyrus's new single "I'm Stuck" is definitely the best thing she has released. But after this country banger, it's becoming clear that Noah is basically turning into another Miley. Oh well, her PR team is gonna have their work cut out for them. 

I was skeptical about Camila Cabello's solo career being anything to care about. But after last week's brilliantly titled "Crying In The Club" and this week's "I Have Questions", her effort to bring back the mid-2000s makes a lot of sense. The balladry of "I Have Questions" doesn't have nearly as many Sia-isms as her first single, so it sounds more authentic to what Camila might be trying to do. With all the star power going into her, Camila should be able to pull out a decent debut. 

The new Shakira album is a splendid mix of mystical electropop and Latin pop beats. All the previous singles are great but I've been listening a lot to the Julia Michaels & Justin Tranter written "When A Woman". The line "Only a woman can get this dark, only a woman can cause these scars" is one of the best of the entire year. 

What happens when you the singers behind "Under You", "Ciao Adios" and "Cooler Than Me" come together? You get "Remember I Told You", the new Nick Jonas single featuring Anne-Marie and Mike Posner. It does a really good job at mixing Nick's original smooth R&B vibes with some cool guitars and synths, with the song sounding more like a comedown track than a party anthem. Anne-Marie gets the short end of the stick but everyone sounds great so good job to everyone involved. 

NEIKED had a worldwide hit last year with "Sexual". It would take a big song to follow up but his new track "Call Me" featuring MIMI is just the right breezy summer track to be another smash. The "you give me feels" part is really great, as well as the instrumental breakdown in the chorus that sounds like someone going crazy on a sitar. 

Norwegian superstar of 2016 Dagny made the best EP of last year with songs that take classic guitar hooks to make immensely great pop songs. And she's back today with a new song that does the same thing! "Wearing Nothing" is the sister to her masterpiece "Too Young", a rousing pop anthem with a bouncy bass line and strong vocals. If the chorus exploded as opposed to just coming and going the song would be a solid 10/10 but I have a feeling Dagny might be holding back on purpose. 

"Night Vision" by Charlotte Hatherley is amazing on various levels. It's a maelstrom of synths in your face before settling into an ominous 80's groove but the pop element remains strong throughout. This appears to be a relaunch of Charlotte's career but if all her new material is like this, she could take over the world. 

Guess who has come back and decided to never let us down? RITA MOTHERFUCKING ORA. After her successful stint on reality TV, Rita has decided to get back to her part time job as a pop star with "Your Song". The song apparently involves Ed Sheeran but luckily it's a smart electropop song that sounds perfect for 2017 radio and could relaunch Rita's career. You got to love songs about singing songs, just another way that Rita will never let us down. 

"Don't You Forget About Me" is the debut single by new pop singer Robinson. Its minimalistic balladry is magical, her voice is killer, and will send chills down your spine. If all of Robinson's songs are this lovely, she could become the best newcomer this year. 

Halsey's promo single with Fifth Harmony's Lauren Jauregui is by far the best thing she has ever released. "Strangers" is an LGBT love anthem and sounds like a t.A.T.u. single. It's made even better because both girls are bisexual themselves. If any song deserves to be a single from the HFK era, it's this one so come through Halsey. 

All right, the best song of the week would obviously come from the actual deity in human form that is Carly Rae Jepsen. I've already discussed my initial thoughts on "Cut To The Feeling" but today we get an official release. While the original version's structure of being 90% chorus was everything you could want, the new version is a proper pop song. Those verses, the chorus, the bridge, the Madonna sample, the self reference to our holy scripture E•MO•TION, the line about playing with angels, "Cut To The Feeling" could not get any better.  In fact, it's one of the best songs of this year, of this decade, of this millennium. It's the kind of song that deserves to be played at every club, graduation, wedding, and celebration across the world. The chorus is itself one of the most perfect pop moments I've ever heard and Carly's lyricism remains as strong as ever. It's the kind of song that will never stop making you happy and if anyone knows how to do that it's Carly. How she could have passed this song up TWICE is beyond me but it's with us now and for one brief moment, everything is perfect in the world.

Here is a playlist of all the highlights of this week, with "Cut To The Feeling" as the finale. If you want to catch up with the best of the best, here is another playlist for 2017 pop hits!

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