Isaiah Rashad – Free Lunch

http://www.thesinglesjukebox.com/?p=21997

We love lunch!


[Video][Website]
[6.17]
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Josh Langhoff: It’s a thin line between hypnotic, narcotic, narcoleptic, and then just uttering an endless bunch of eighth-note syllables ’cause you’re about to topple over to the floor and you can’t stop yourself. What were we talking about?
[3]

Jonathan Bogart: I bet someone’s already written about the thirty-year drift from rappers with booming, authoritative voices like Rakim, Chuck D, or Ice Cube to rappers who slur, hiccup, and release their words as commandingly as they let smoke escape their lips, and better than I could. But as someone for whom rap has always been the sideline rather than the main event, Rashad’s genial delivery stands out as qualitatively different from the rap I grew up hearing, in a way that I’m still not entirely used to even as I recognize that it’s entirely of the present moment.
[6]

Alfred Soto: Two years after Cilvia Demo, this purr-voiced Tennessean reminisces about summers spent in go-carts, Steel Reserve, and getting head or perhaps daydreaming of head, to the accompaniment of rim shots and guitar ripples. The last verse is a promise, not a valedictory.
[7]

Ryo Miyauchi: The bumpy chorus got a lot of fun words to pick apart, but what makes this song stick for me are the names, places and slang Isaiah Rashad scatters throughout his verses. “Cool as me front of Kanku’s store.” “In my hood, we call it buck.” “Free Lunch” plays best as a scene- and atmosphere-setting exercise, and not much else,  but the breezy beat blows a faint, delightful flashback laced in the smoke.
[6]

Gin Hart: Unspooling languidly, but not lazily, the sound is ripe with un-selfconscious intimacy — a quick mind kicking back. A thick summer-on-the-porch sound. The instrumental is golden, sensuous, muted without haze or buzz. The lyrics have one foot on mundane solid ground, dipping the big toe of the other foot in a neutral-tone surrealist dreamscape. 
[9]

Iain Mew: “Today was… a keeper:” hesitant, put-upon, but ultimately positive; a picture of the song and its oh so constructed atmosphere in miniature.
[6]

Lady Leshurr ft. Wiley – Where Are You Now?

http://www.thesinglesjukebox.com/?p=21995

All hail the queen!


[Video][Website]
[6.43]
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Scott Mildenhall: Lady Leshurr has an air of certainty of her own hilariousness that ever so slightly grates, but reading her talk of her distance from the grime scene brings home how she’s swimming against the tide. She’s a woman from Solihull — practically the moon to some Londoners — who’s only getting this kind of major label shot now after building a level of success it does not guarantee under her own steam. Whoever she’s actually talking to here (and that could be no-one in particular), it’s easy to take her side. This is funny, even more so for the reliable, subtle absurdity of a Wiley line like “I got a shop and we sell sports shoes”, and like some of the biggest hits to emerge from grime over the past few years, it is eminently accessible.
[7]

Jonathan Bogart: The ephemeral nature of pop stardom has been a standard topic in pop music since basically forever, and if the great innovation of hip-hop was to turn it into a taunt, that too has been around for a while. Lady Leshurr’s doing nothing new here, but arguably she’s not trying to. The video and music are throwbacks to grime’s above-ground emergence in the early 2000s, full of cartoon brightness and hyped-up whoops. That’s part of the taunt, of course: the slight nostalgia of the production is another reference to the last time the song’s subject was any good. (The identity, if any, of said subject is a red herring; we can all think of someone who fits the bill.) What’s more immediately important is that the song marks Leshurr herself as having arrived, not just in getting a cosign from Wiley, who sounds a bit defensive about the whole thing, but in breaking a single that isn’t a mixtape freestyle.
[7]

Ryo Miyauchi: The only tangible thing Leshurr lists that places her above the has-beens is how she now raps for money. But she didn’t even have to explain that, given how her charisma and voice speak for itself. Her whoops make her stand a head taller than others, above that brass, even above a half-there Wiley. And that energy is all she needs to show she’s living better than the rest of ’em. She throws the question around like take a good, hard look at yourself. Hopefully, the suckers get a clue where they went wrong before Leshurr calls out attennntion!
[8]

Will Adams: Lady Leshurr’s taunting gets a bit repetitious after a while, though she’s smart enough to add in enough wackiness (“You fell off, you have!”) to keep her afloat. The overcrowded production, meanwhile, puts a damper on the whole thing.
[5]

Gin Hart: This track sounds like Mattel MGA Entertainment (lol) mildly thugged out a camo-clad Bratz doll and set her loose, which I… don’t hate? I love that the premise is, like, MC hide-n-seek, and am charmed and furious that Lady committed to a dud like “You look like 86 years old” as a rap lyric. Whatever. It makes me feel like I’m in an off-brand inspirational dance crew movie. 
[5]

Cassy Gress: With a tempo this fast and a looping riff this dramatic, you need someone to do exactly what Wiley’s verse does: rapid-fire rhythm, with minimal pauses for reaction. Lady Leshurr is rapid-fire too, but she throws a lot more syncopation into the verses than Wiley does, and with a beat this fast, syncopation just gets muddled.
[6]

Alfred Soto: Boasting like we’re supposed to know who the hell she is, the lady soon earns it. Transcending the expected musical tropes are her and Wiley, the Gaye-Terrell of grime, spitting lines as if each was alone but lighting the fire as if they were eye to eye.
[7]

Kenny Chesney ft. P!nk – Setting the World on Fire

http://www.thesinglesjukebox.com/?p=21994

We’ll see if it sets the world alight as much as Paisley-Lovato did


[Video][Website]
[5.33]
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Thomas Inskeep: Two years ago, about Chesney’s “American Kids,” I said, “Chesney likes to go to the well of reminiscence a lot — he’s done it on 2001’s “Don’t Happen Twice,” 2004’s “I Go Back,” and 2010’s “The Boys of Fall,” to name just a trio of top-two country singles — but it’s something he does well because he makes you believe him.” As he approaches 50 (!), it makes increasing sense for him to keep it up (it’s certainly served Alan Jackson well), and as he’s approaching 50 and Country Radio Never-Never Land, it also makes sense for him to call for backup. Which helps explain the presence of P!nk, singing her lungs out as she tends to do on such inspirational material, as much  aspirational too. The production stays out of the way. And Chesney, as ever, is sturdy. The pairing is a smart, savvy, and ultimately good one.
[7]

Katie Gill: P!nk on mediocre songs about fire continues! The mixing on that chorus is abysmal, with P!nk steamrollering over Chesney’s vocals. I suppose it’s payment for the fact that she doesn’t really do anything in this song. P!nk’s undoubtedly expensive, a bigger name in the music industry as a whole than Chesney, who’s main contribution to his genre is a beachy puka shells aesthetic and “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy.” Why have her on your song if she’s not even gonna get a verse?
[4]

Edward Okulicz: If Chesney had “being eaten alive and shown up completely by Pink” on his life goals list he can consider it well and truly crossed off. I like soft rock AOR as a sound on Pink (see “Try” for a relatively non overplayed peak) and she knows how to do windswept soft focus special effect dream sequence nostalgia. Chesney sounds like it’s his first take after a lobotomy.
[7]

Alfred Soto: Hell, if Brad Paisley can sing with Demi Lovato….This one begins with a wistful synth cloud through which Chesney gazes at stars and piers and empty beers and “meers” or whatever lipstick’s smeared on. P!nk sounds a hell of a lot more present than Chesney — she knows how to make sentimental garbage like this count. But why pay her fee for just a chorus?
[4]

Cassy Gress: Why would Kenny Chesney and Pink set a country song about being young and reckless in West Hollywood? He’s from Tennessee and she’s from Pennsylvania; La Cienega Blvd. is oddly specific, and if this were a more storytelling or fictional sort of song it would probably be set in third person. I think it’s more likely that they’re singing about being middle-aged but acting like 20-year-olds and screaming on the pier and writing in lipstick on the mirror. As someone approaching middle age herself, I’m put off by it. Strange sentiment aside, I almost wrote that this sounds like riding in a convertible on the highway at sunset, but it doesn’t — it wants to, but it sounds so soullessly generic about it.
[3]

Gin Hart: This sounds romantic and nice and oh god I’m very embarrassed. 
[7]

Banks – Fuck With Myself

http://www.thesinglesjukebox.com/?p=21992

This one is a bit of a deep cut.


[Video][Website]
[4.86]
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Alfred Soto: A worried, mumbling number that strikes back against a cruel lover with a wasp cloud of synths. She fucks with us, not herself.
[7]

Claire Biddles: The ambiguity of the title is interesting — self-sabotage or self-love? — and the percussive introduction hints at something lush and sensual, but I’m bored of alt-R’n’B that sounds like this. The song’s skittering production is blandly fashionable, and Banks’ reedy delivery lacks the personality and masochistic sexuality of someone like FKA Twigs, who increasingly feels like the model for this diluted, overused sound.
[4]

Will Rivitz: I really got down with Goddess and London when they dropped a few years ago, but now that something like eighty percent of Soundcloud divas are hiding behind shrouds of “dark electronica” or whatever the term du jour is nowadays, what Banks is doing is no longer as special as it once was. If Banks is to remain worth our time, her sound ought to evolve, but this sounds like a B-side from 2013.
[4]

Natasha Genet Avery: I might be the only person here who liked Goddess. I spent a whole winter taking in Banks’ big, wobbly synths and nodding along to her even bigger proclamations (Banks was always in danger, drowning, begging, running away, etc.). On “Fuck With Myself,” over sparse percussion and dissonant strums on a koto, Banks makes the leap from theatrical to theater-kid. She doesn’t do weird well; note the punctuated/distancing delivery of “fuck with myself more than anybody else.” Banks’ small, unsteady vocals can perfectly capture pain but don’t project the confidence necessary for a title this bold or a track this minimal.
[5]

Will Adams: I missed the Banks boat the first time it sailed around, and now I’m still not sure I want to climb aboard. Over a plain base of percussive skitters and dark synths, Banks makes several attempts to give menace to the title, whether via whispers, detached exhale, or an incredibly annoying, gulped delivery (of course, she does that one the most). No matter how ineffective it is, though, she continues throwing darts at the board, making “Fuck With Myself” feel way longer than three minutes.
[3]

Katherine St Asaph: Banks always comes off like she’s doing karaoke of someone else’s songs — like how you always think you sound better than you do while singing under your breath — and “Fuck With Myself” is no different.
[5]

Edward Okulicz: I love how the intro plays with silence, but the track doesn’t get better with more density. It’s still quite an eerie listen, and Banks’ voice works well with it until the points where she really sings because it seems out of character for the song — the “IT’S OUR LOVE!” bits in the chorus don’t fit right with the mood or the narrative built up so well with the rest of the song. She’s like an unwanted guest on her own single!
[6]

Kari Faux – Fantasy

http://www.thesinglesjukebox.com/?p=21988

Or possibly named after just the one song, then.


[Video][Website]
[5.50]

Juana Giaimo: “Fantasy” is all about being casual. Her indifferent tone, the instruments appearing and disappearing leaving no traces — the jazzy piano, a trumpet and all those weird noises at the end — and the subtle rhythm make it an enjoyable song, but a forgettable one too. After all, she is true to her words: “I won’t pressure you to stay.”
[6]

Jonathan Bradley: The ever-shifting jazz arrangement, which suggests a diegetic collage in its wander through chilled piano runs and soundtrack saxophone noodles, is more engaging than the too-repetitive lyric; “I’m no man’s fantasy” is a statement of purpose that tells rather than shows. Her not quite entirely weightless shrug on “…because I’ve given up” hints that there’s more to Kari Faux than a merely laudable manifesto of feminine independence. Even in her younger days, as a neophyte transplant from Little Rock, when her arrangements were more uncomplicatedly hip-hop-driven, the awkward precision of her flow and the hazy swell of the production accompanying it suggested someone not quite in tune with the mainstream, as if Dungeon Family had extended its tendrils from Georgia to Arkansas. “Fantasy” underlines Faux’s idiosyncrasies more insistently than might be necessary, but they’re nonetheless what make her worth keeping an eye on.
[7]

Will Adams: Kari Faux’s disaffected, super-quantized flow combined with the schticky jazz elements makes the majority of “Fantasy” a bit of a chore. The instrumental, verging on psychedelic outro takes a sharp turn toward interesting, too little too late.
[5]

Alfred Soto: The piano and saxophone riffs suggest a less vaporous presence than the agreeable, nondescript singer, who tells an awful lot more than she shows.
[5]

Ryo Miyauchi: Her delivery is faithful to the beat but might not strike with immediacy, but I find that more a feature than a flaw. While others might have pressed more strength to a song that starts with “I’m no man’s fantasy” to assert their point, Kari Faux sounds like she’s been there, done that. She explains it as dialog she chooses to reveal before meeting, not midway when issues arise, just so people know what they’re getting themselves into. The cool in her voice, meanwhile, makes it clear she’s not afraid to go on to the next one if they can’t handle her way.
[6]

Edward Okulicz: “Fantasy” starts coolly, just a confident pose astride a double bass and some finger clicks. By 90 seconds in, the pose has stopped being cool and Faux’s lyrics start to seem try-hard and forced. When other instruments pop in and out, it feels as if they’re covering up for a song running out of interest.
[4]

Cassy Gress: Oh man, I wish this had been sung. It almost is sung! I can hear the pitches of the tune under her rap, and with that lounge-noir beat, her slow, almost conversational rap sounds passive.
[5]

Katie Gill: I get why Kari Faux is reciting these lyrics in a borderline monotone. She’s broken and has been through enough relationships that she’s resigned to the fact that any inevitable future relationship isn’t going to work. She’s given up, and nowhere is that more apparent than her tone. That being said, I honestly don’t know if the tone works or not. Her bored monotone and the pseudo-improvised jazz stylings backing leave something that feels exceedingly and purposefully disjointed. Which is probably the point — but I’m still on the fence if it actually works.
[6]

Fei – Fantasy

http://www.thesinglesjukebox.com/?p=21987

Today’s entries are all named after Mariah Carey songs.


[Video][Website]
[6.00]
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Ryo Miyauchi: The beat’s dim, digital glow does more than enough to open up the heart. Fei certainly gets it, surrendering her voice into the synths in the chorus like a trust fall. I wish her fantasy involved less of being the object in someone else’s, though her voice suggests to me she still has control despite giving a good portion of it up.
[6]

Adaora Ede: Fei offers a slow burner for her solo debut — a departure from the clap-stomp, matter-of-fact style of her group, Miss A. As for “Fantasy,” Fei’s role as an unpopular member of a nearly defunct girl group in one of the biggest labels in the K-pop market has assembled soundly into this track: a little bit of mystique, not a lot of public appeal. Best way to let everyone know that you are more than the shadows of your much more popular group member is a sexy concept, right? Fei offers us slinky modernity that contrasts JYP’s archetypical maximalism. the glimmering scintillas of synths trick the listener into believing this song is more complex than it actually is, but even Fei whispering over Muzak cannot be shielded by the smoke and mirrors of 360 VR hula hoops. 
[4]

Jonathan Bogart: The pulsating synth washes and airy helium vocals are certainly seductive, but the lyrics aim for seductive and hit creepy: my instinctive reaction is lady, you don’t even know me.
[6]

Will Adams: The heavy swing and lush seventh chords on “Fantasy” seem modeled after Disclosure’s “Latch,” though Fei opts for a hushed delivery instead of Sam Smith’s unabashed catharsis. That she is doing so with a similar sentiment makes “Fantasy” more hypnotizing and, in a way, far more intimate.
[7]

Alfred Soto: Every time the drum programs thwack and dispel the clouds of candy-colored synths, I suspect the song’s going deeper than masochism.
[5]

Josh Langhoff: Guitar pokes like dust motes through a gauzy shimmer of cymbal and reverb. Fei syncopates gently across a mechanized swing beat. A modulation sounds like a hasty afterthought. Chillwave lives and grows flesh.
[6]

Scott Mildenhall: Not a foot is put wrong until that weird synth grenade that’s thrown mid-vocal-run towards the end. Perhaps calling it a grenade is an exaggeration, but alongside the rest of the song it’s like a Doritos Roulette assailant. Of course if “Fantasy” were a bag of Doritos it would be Blue Flavour: always composed, with just the slightest kick; never needing to be as attention-grabbing as Red Flavour. Neon skies, Fei in a deckchair with a mass-off bag of Doritos. That is, suddenly, what this song sounds like.
[7]

Cassy Gress: This song sounds like a languorous stretch, one of those songs where I could pull out a checklist of everything Fei and the producer(s) were trying to accomplish with this and I’d give them high marks on every one. It’s sexy, sighing, promising.
[8]

Leonel Manzanares: Seductive and oneiric, but ultimately too feeble and restrained for its own good. The production knew that and tried to mend it with that key change. The beat is solid, though, but that’s just maybe my weakness for synthesized shuffle grooves. 
[5]

Jonathan Bradley: It’s as vaporous and enchanting as its title, as much Neon Bunny as it is idol, and would have earned a good couple of extra points if it weren’t for the concluding key change, which arrives like an airhorn in the middle of a daydream.
[6]

Jagwar Ma – OB1

http://www.thesinglesjukebox.com/?p=21985

Nostalgia, ultra…


[Video][Website]
[4.43]
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Alfred Soto: Here’s a novelty: an imitation of late ’90s Depeche Mode. The influence holds Junior Boys and Holy Ghost! at bay.
[4]

Thomas Inskeep: A baggier, more synthy Klaxons. 
[6]

Edward Okulicz: In the 1990s, musicians tried to create exciting new breeds of pop by mating representatives from dance and rock (see the Spawn soundtrack, by which I mean refer to it but don’t listen to it). In 2016, they’ve taken one of the resulting hybrids and back-crossed it with late-period Filter, maybe Stabbing Westward and called it “OB1.”
[4]

Jonathan Bogart: Oh right, of course there would be Crystal Method nostalgia.
[4]

Cassy Gress: There’s at least one too many choruses in this, and Gabriel Winterfield needs a bit more of a nasal sneer, like Liam Gallagher, for instance. Also, that pre-chorus is a major loss of momentum from the thrumming, mechanical riff in the verses and chorus. But riffs like that can cover up a multitude of sins.
[6]

Peter Ryan: It might be me, but it’s definitely also Gabriel Winterfield’s wet-blanket stylings. A vocalist that could light a fire under the listless portions would go a long way toward fixing things, but I’d still prefer they axe everything before 3:00 and loop the remainder I dunno, twice, not more than three times.
[4]

Jonathan Bradley: I was too young and too distant for Madchester the first time around, and when I grew older and, as a budding dilettante, set about learning my history, I wondered why listeners might have wanted hip-hop or acid house filtered through indie guitar. The sound bears the notable and ignoble quality of being one of the last moments in which British rock concerned itself with innovation. English guitar acts had until that point, been more interested in contemporaneous black music from the United States and the Caribbean than many of their American counterparts, and more convinced that it could be reworked into white rock music. The late 1980s were the point the increasingly precarious balancing act that appropriation required became something British rock either could not or would not sustain, and the highlights of the era were those songs by bands like the Happy Mondays or Stones Roses that were written sharply enough to overcome the ungainly syncresis. Jagwar Ma, like me, are not of this generation or nation, and they recreate the baggy sound without the hooks, precision, or musical context of their forebears. “OB1” is the kind of music best heard at a festival, from a distance.
[3]

Biffy Clyro – Animal Style

http://www.thesinglesjukebox.com/?p=21984

Your editor would shitpost here as per tradition, but she has reached her metaphorical-newspaper-to-face quota for the month already…


[Video][Website]
[4.00]
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Scott Mildenhall: You see, they say living is a problem because everything dies, but Biffy Clyro seem to have their place on the Radio 1 playlist in perpetuity. Are they still gaining new fans, in numbers? Well it doesn’t matter, because they are eternal. That status clearly allows them the room to do absolutely anything they like, and in this case that’s a bombastic pastiche of 21st century rock music in its entirety, but mostly of Muse and themselves. “Visceral”/”habitual”/”animal”/”carnival” — didn’t they already do “magical”/”wonderful”/”biblical”/”invisible” a couple of years back? Too right they did. When Muse long ago descended into self-parody the nonsense that ensued was sometimes thrilling, so this new extra-layered satire promises great things.
[6]

Edward Okulicz: I enjoy the fact that the Biff boys have emerged from their own collective anuses to now sound like they’re doing one of Muse’s slower songs, but faster. But the urgency that would have justified “I’m a fucking animal,” isn’t there. Matt Bellamy would have pumped up the bass. So these guys should have too. As usual, it’s a catchy riff, but I can’t forgive the ape noises at the end.
[6]

Jonathan Bradley: No, we can’t keep it.
[2]

Cassy Gress: The riff from Muse’s “Unnatural Selection” combined with something from US rock radio circa 2003. Aside from the fact that this reminds me of music videos with strobe lights and track suits and white guys grimacing, I can’t in good conscience give a good score to a song that sounds like it will inspire abusers to blame it on their uncontrollable animal natures.
[1]

Joshua Copperman: Biffy Clyro are classified as “prog-pop”, which should please the side of me which shares my dad’s love of Peter Gabriel-era Genesis. So why does this just sound like a marginally edgier Foo Fighters? I thought that was just because Rich Costey produced it, that maybe they just sold out, man, but this is somehow a comparison that’s plagued this band for years. Definitely not the hypothetical Rabbit Lies Down On Broadway band I imagined.
[4]

Katie Gill: The first person to make an In-N-Out burger reference gets a newspaper to the face. That aside, this song suffers way too much from “well shit, I know that it sounds like something, but I can’t place what it sounds like.” Foo Fighters, maybe? I hope Biffy Clyro get good royalties when this song inevitably ends up on Guitar Hero.
[5]

Alfred Soto: Cursing is telling, not showing.
[4]

Jon Pardi – Head Over Boots

http://www.thesinglesjukebox.com/?p=21981

Never has a name been so suited to bro country than Jon Pardi (rock is in the houuuuse tonight), and yet…


[Video][Website]
[5.29]
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Will Adams: In which Jon Pardi belly flops on a plodding rhythm and uninspired title that’s not nearly as clever as it thinks it is.
[3]

Alfred Soto: Not once has Luke Laird lent his name to a song as tired and lazy as “Head Over Boots,” therefore I’m inclined to blame co-writer Jon Pardi, who thought playing with the title was a show of wit.
[3]

Ryo Miyauchi: I wish Jon Pardi didn’t stop at “head over boots” because the other cliches — the king and queen, the rock and roll — could use some charming twists too. But much like his well-worn love story and the balmy slide guitar delivering it, the cliches reliably hit some sort of feeling.
[5]

Adaora Ede: Excusing the elementary slant rhymes that create the titular lyric and most of the other verses (like, thoroughly excusing them, I’m sure I’ve heard more complex country lyrics out of the Hannah Montana soundtracks), Jon Pardi knows how to create a lush love song out of formula. The instrumentation is bare-bones — a little guitar, a little fiddle, a little bass, just enough to appeal to the fundamentals of romance. It could just be the traditional style that “Head Over Boots” parrots, but it has been a long time since a country song has made me feel as warm and fuzzy inside as this.
[6]

Cassy Gress: Leave it to a country song, with a well-worn I-V-vi-IV chord progression and a slightly-too-nasal singer, to make me feel sad about never having been asked to dance.
[6]

Thomas Inskeep: Lyrically this is pretty simple, but I find this ever-so-charming musically, marrying a ’50s swing with a ’90s country sensibility. Pardi’s vocal is slightly awkward — he’s got an odd voice, kinda thin for country music — but that actually adds to its appeal. There’s a sweet quality to “Head Over Boots” that you don’t hear much in contemporary music, and for that alone I’m a fan.
[7]

Peter Ryan: This is exceedingly polite, unquestionably chaste, and completely charming. Pardi’s vocal is so nondescript and the chorus so big that it basically lives or dies by the strength of his band, but the swing and harmonies and intermingling fiddle/slide guitar all shoulder their shares of the weight. And Pardi gets considerably more mileage out of the verses, where he can show off the elastic sweetness of his voice in relative isolation. There’s not much here that hasn’t been done to death, but the dosages are all correct — all encapsulated by the perfectly-fleeting half-time bridge, with its beautifully-obvious “I’m here to pick you up and I hope I don’t let you down.” It pays to know exactly when enough is enough.
[7]

French Montana ft. Kodak Black – Lockjaw

http://www.thesinglesjukebox.com/?p=21976

Best-case scenario for a song with this title?


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[6.83]
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Thomas Inskeep: *hopes song isn’t about what I fear it’s about* *plays song* *is relieved* *is surprised to hear a hip-hop song in 2016 (or maybe ever) about using MDMA* *wishes Kodak Black’s voice wasn’t so annoying* *is glad “Lockjaw” isn’t another generic trap record* *credits Puffy with at least some of that* *has always casually liked French Montana and this doesn’t change that* *song ends*
[6]

Anthony Easton: I can’t imagine this becoming as popular as The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face,” but for songs which use cocaine’s analgesic properties as metaphors for emotional contience, I think this one a bit better. It’s such a low, slow, repeating song, working in tight circles without letting entry, a song that seems more obligation than pleasure. The loops are deepened by the space where a canine howl becomes an almost human keen and vice versa.
[8]

Jessica Doyle: It’s hard to resist a song whose hook is about incomprehensibility; more so the way Kodak Black and French introduce ambiguity into every line: no mention of the high without being reminded of the monkey of the back; boasting about irresistibility and then introducing a woman who glances down suspiciously at her drink. They sound as if they don’t quite understand themselves, and thus make themselves easier to understand.
[8]

Iain Mew: The dose of energy they join together to add in the second verse is cool, but the song is all about “bite down” and the way that every sound points towards a plush numbness that becames a more all-encompassingly inevitability with each command. It doesn’t make giving in sound good or bad so much as sweep those options away altogether.
[6]

Jonathan Bogart: The floating, ghostly vocal drift that makes up the background is responsible for most of this score; the rest of it is due to Kodak Black’s warm, humorous presence, turning French Montana into a water carrier on his own song.
[6]

Jibril Yassin: The best decision made on this song was not to delegate each rapper a verse. French Montana has such a smooth flow riding over this that he almost would have slid into the background on his own had it not been for young Kodak’s raspy voice, wrapping itself around French’s rhymes like saran and inserting himself whenever he damn pleases, a result nothing short of mesmerizing. 
[7]