The term that best describes Bieber’s recent singles, both lyrically and vocally, is “whiny.” But on “What do you Mean” and “Sorry,” there’s something about the beat that makes this work; perhaps its the anxious bounce of the rhythm that performs the vulnerability that Bieber’s vocals are trying for. Beiber keeps up this self-pitying tone – which is almost de rigeur post Drake – for the whole album, which gets very boring very quickly, with one exception. In “Love Yourself” the title phrase is perfectly poised on the ambiguity between patronising pseudo empowerment rhetoric and a euphemism for “fuck yourself,” and that pushes the passive-aggression underlying this whole male self-pity jam trend to a moment of clarity. It’s so, so, gross, but perhaps Bieber has done us a service by producing such a perfect, I guess, artifact of 2015 normative masculinity.
CL continues her long march towards actually releasing her solo album with another banger.
Tkay Maidza continues to be the best Australian rapper, as far as I am aware, although I don’t know if I like this new track quite as much as I like her previous, the fabulously unexpected sino-grime of “M.O.B.”
I was lamenting a few weeks ago the apparent narrowing of grime production. I few of the sounds I’ve been missing turn up on Murlo’s new E.P.
I only just discovered that Maya Jane Coles had released a new album this year, although it’s under her Nocturnal Sunshine alias, which she uses, I guess, to make tracks that sound like 90s dance group Sunscreem (that’s a recommendation, in case it’s not clear).
I do like The Sounds, so I guess it makes sense that Spotify would recommend I listen to makthaverskan, who turn out to be another Swedish new wave band, although they tend more to the gothier, Cure-esque end of new wave. Or, on this, their most recent track, a slightly poppier At the Drive In.