Voyou Désœuvré

You don’t need me to tell you that Lemonade is incredible (if you do need to be told that, Ash Sarkar will tell you). It’s interesting to compare it to Beyoncé’s previous, self-titled, album, which, for all its coherence as an album was also a sequence of discrete bangers. Lemonade isn’t like that, not because the individual tracks aren’t good, but because they’re so clearly designed to work as part of an immersive whole; it’s not an album of stand-out tracks, but rather one filled with details to get lost in. So while I’ve linked to “Sorry” because it’s my favourite track, that categorization is almost irrelevant, because I’d really like to link to moments spread across the whole album, like the horns in “All Night” or the distinctively Beyoncé moment of self-doubt in “Love Drought” where she asks, “… or am I not thirsty / enough.” Read more↴

I’m really enjoying Sizzy Rocket’s debut album Thrills. The obvious comparison is with Kesha, with the belligerent hedonism (“we’ll never stop feeling if it kills us”) and the stylophone-esque synths on the title track. But, also like Kesha, Sizzy Rocket doesn’t let this attitude preclude being more open and affecting, as on “Helium” and the more eighties-synthpoppy “Need Somebody.” Read more↴

Sara Ahmed writes about how attempts to emphasize the affirmative and exciting elements of feminist theory can sometimes contrast these elements with an other, implicitly earlier and duller feminism, and so end up reinforcing the image of the boring, outdated feminist. I was reminded of this by how Girli’s excellent new single, “Girls Get Angry Too“, wilfully insists on being this “boring” feminist; without, of course, actually being boring. What I like so much about the track is that it’s direct and serious – it’s not jokey or cute – but it’s also full of  wit and artistry, in the thoughtfully constructed and energetically performed lyrics, and the intense, exciting beat (I haven’t heard as pummelling an industrial clang since the early days of grime).

You can listen to all the track from this week’s official chart on Mixcloud. Read more↴

New Pet Shop Boys! I’m not sure how I feel about their new album, Super. The singles, “The Pop Kids” (especially) and “Inner Sanctum,” are great, but the rest of the album is less impressive. “Twenty Something” seems like an awkwardly strained attempt to write a zeitgeist song for a zeitgeist they’re not really a part of, and I don’t get the point of “The Dictator Decides” at all (it sort of looks like a political song if you squint a bit, but what aspect of contemporary politics is it actually supposed to be grasping?). Read more↴

I’ve compiled all the tracks I’ve mentioned this week into a mixcloud track, which you can listen to through the player above, and follow along with the post, I guess? The first track is the new Carly Rae Jepsen! Specifically, one of two new tracks from the new Japan-only remix album. “First Time” is great, could easily have been a track from Emotion, except that the extra-punchy synths are more reminiscent of Kiss. The other new track, “Fever,” is less immediately striking, but the lyrics are wonderful (“well that could work but I’m still hot for you”); the remixes are mostly whatever, although there’s a good disco version of “Your Type.” Read more↴

The only problem with the version of Miguel’s “Waves” that adds Kacey Musgraves is that now I’m going to be disappointed when Musgraves’s next album isn’t wall-to-wall Prince-gone-country sex jams. Read more↴