these lovely and familiar pop tunes will make you feel 25-0 [single reviews]
Adam Saxe – “25-0”: Adam Saxe continues his dominance of toeing the line between pop and R&B on his new track, a funky synth-heavy tune with “hey’s” in the background of the chorus and stellar vocal manipulation throughout. Much like its predecessors “Bad Soul” and “Sandcastles,” “25-0” feels like the perfect summer jam, until a key change in the song’s bridge brightens the mood, making it somehow an even more perfect summer jam.
Billie Eilish – “lovely” (featuring Khalid): Electropop princess Billie Eilish may have just released Don’t Smile at Me last August, but she doesn’t show signs of stopping or slowing down anytime soon. This time around she’s teamed up with R&B superstar, Khalid, and together they form chilling vocal harmonies over an equally chilling piano and violin, resulting in a truly “lovely” song.
Liam Payne – “Familiar” (featuring J. Balvin): …And so the debate for most talented One Direction alumnus rages on. The latest single from Liam Payne boasts a Latin flair, thanks in part to guest reggaetonero, J. Balvin, hopping on this bilingual cut. Obviously, Balvin’s signature voice and singing en español play a role, but there’s an elastic-sounding guitar line at points and a certain bounce throughout that solidifies this.
Nicki Minaj – “Chun-Li”: One of the most polarizing women in hip-hop is back with a savage new single. One of two new tunes from the Trinidadian rapper, “Chun-Li” is easily the better of the two. From the resounding gongs throughout, to the recurring dissonant saxophone chord, to the head-bobbing beat, “Chun-Li” is a banger if ever there was one. I’m still floored that I’m loving a Nicki Minaj song this much but, to paraphrase her own words, maybe I was just painting her out to be the bad guy.