Lazy rascals, spending their substance, and more, in riotous living

The Official Chart for September 20

New Demi Lovato! The first 10 seconds are fantastic, and I’m not sure the rest of the record quite lives up to it, but still, that imperious bass noise is great.

Someone recommended Kehlani to me a couple of months ago, and I really should have paid attention to them (probably if I’d realised Kehlani is from Oakland my East Bay nationalism would have drawn me to check out her music earlier). I need to think more about what you might call classicism in R&B. I feel like a lot of the time my reactions to R&B records are ungrounded because I can’t quite articulate what it is exactly that shifts my perception so that I stop thinking of a track as boring retread of R&B tropes, and start thinking of it as a respectful re-creation. Anyway, whatever that line is, Kehlani’s You Should Be Here is very much on the right side of it.

Someone else I’m catching up on somewhat after the fact is Kyla La Grange. Popjustice was very enthusiastic about her last album, but Popjustice’s enthusiasm only seems to have a pretty weak correlation with whether something is actually good or not. But last week they got more specific than just enthusiasm, comparing La Grange to “Siobhán Donaghy with a drum machine,” which is guaranteed to get my attention (although lots of Siobhán Donaghy’s songs have drum machines on so I’m not exactly sure what they’re getting at). It’s a pretty accurate description (although “The Knife” is more “Siobhán Donaghy with steel drums,” which is if anything even better).