With so much new music coming out every week, it’s hard to know where to start, or how to avoid wasting your time on mediocre songs. This becomes even more difficult when a bunch of artists release singles at the end of the week, cramming you with music to catch up on that can easily get lost amidst album releases. That’s why starting this week, I’m launching a new series called This Week In Singles. I’ll catch you up on all the latest releases, and give you a brief review so that you know what to expect! Let’s dive in.
Linkin Park – “Heavy”: This one is already extremely divisive, and I understand why… it’s basically LP making a straight up pop song, even having a guest spot from pop singer Kiiara. But here’s the thing… this more modern, stripped-down sound actually suits them quite well. The emotional honesty that’s always been a staple of LP is there, and Kiiara is arguably the best part of the song. It’s not amazing, but I can see this being the band’s biggest hit in years.
All Time Low – “Dirty Laundry”: All Time Low just signed to Fueled By Ramen, and with the new label comes a pretty big sonic shift. The sound is much more “produced” and pop-oriented, but there’s a darkness combined with the accessibility that reminds me of something The 1975 would write. I actually really dig this sound from them. Their upcoming album already shows a lot of promise.
Incubus – “Nimble Bastard”: These guys got their fire back! Their last album “If Not Now, When” wasn’t bad, but it veered too far into soft rock territory, bordering on elevator music at times. To me, these guys have always been at their best writing catchy, upbeat alt rock tracks, and that’s no exception here. One of their best songs since 2006.
Volumes – “On Her Mind (feat. Pouya)”: This is NOT going to be for everyone, particularly all of the band’s old fans. The cheesiness and more accessible sound wasn’t really rubbing me the right way at first, but after a couple more listens I had to admit that Myke Terry’s great hook is absolutely undeniable. His cleans on here are exactly what I wanted when he joined the band. The rap sections from Pouya and screams may not be standouts on their own, but they do a good enough job of tying the song together.
New Found Glory – “Happy Being Miserable”: I never got hugely into this band, probably because they were “before my “time”, and I never saw them as that special. That being said, the more pop-oriented production here works pretty well for them. Aaron Sprinkle is producing this new album, and I think he’ll do well by this band.
Papa Roach – “Help”: It’s been a long time since I’ve been any sort of active fan of this band, and the new material probably isn’t going to change that. However, this and “Crooked Teeth”, their two recent singles, show that they’re strengthening the hook-driven hard rock formula that’s always worked best for them, and are some of their best material in a while.
Maroon 5 – “Cold (feat. Future)”: I’ll always mourn what this band once was. Not to say that they were ever high art, but their first couple albums were filled with legitimately great pop rock jams, with cool instrumentation and silky smooth vocals. But ever since Adam got a taste of bigger celebrity on The Voice, they’ve been trend-hopping into whatever overproduced trend dominates pop music at the moment, and have truly reached the bottom of the mainstream barrel. This song, honestly, isn’t much different. The minimal, hip-hop aping beat manages to be boring rather than slick, and even Future’s guest verse can’t salvage this track from being utterly forgettable. Bring back “Songs About Jane”.