Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars, “Uptown Funk”
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Further proof that Bruno Mars is the hardest-working man in show business. I hope to god Ronnie Hudson got royalties from Mark Ronson for having written “West Coast Poplock,” from which this song borrows liberally, with shades of Kool & The Gang’s “Jungle Boogie” and the Time’s “Jungle Love.”
Giorgio Moroder, “74 Is the New 24”
KNUCK IF YOU BUCK.
Paolo Nutini, “One Day”
A creepy video starring Joanna Lumley as a lounge singer trapped in a Shining-like loop, forced to perform at a Club Silencio–ish venue every night.
Meghan Trainor, “Lips Are Movin”
You’ll have to watch this one on YouTube. I can’t help but love “All About That Bass” chanteuse Meghan Trainor, ever since I learned she was discovered by Big Al Anderson of NRBQ. An online commenter called Trainor Masshole (um, she’s from Nantucket!) said the singer “looks like she works at a Johnny Rockets,” which only made me love her that much more. She makes haters seethe, a lot like Lena Dunham’s do. How dare a girl be normal-looking and exist, or be self-confident and want to be looked at and listened to! Trainor has hooky songwriting chops beyond “Bass,” and her Hairspray doo-wop vibe will easily carry her through at least this album cycle. She’s also tacky enough to wear a sequined kitten two-piece ensemble with Baby Spice pigtails and then to change into a rainbow tutu at the end. Also, that she has already made the use of “bass” as a synonym for “ass” into her own weird trademark across more than one song? I love her. Her album has at least one more surefire hit single in “Title” (you guys, she raps, too), so get used to having Meghan Trainor around for a while.
Kindness feat. Robyn, “Who Do You Love”
Oooh, experimental pop!
Nick Jonas, “Teacher”
So Nick Jonas tried to make a Prince album, and it turns out it’s amazing? Nick Jonas is coming for Justin Timberlake’s white funk. He’s a star with a formerly tween fan base that is now grown and ready to go to Erotic City. I first heard “Jealous” on the radio, and I had to pull over and Shazam it, and I yelled aloud to no one, “NICK JONAS? DAMN.” I knew he could write a decent song, but I didn’t know he could write a dance groove. Even I didn’t know he had this in him.
Calvin Harris feat. Haim, “Pray to God”
Beyoncé, “Ring Off”
I can’t legally play this new Beyoncé song, which leaked this week, from her upcoming full-length. But I can talk about how it’s the most direct song yet about the Jay-and-Bey divorce rumors, seen through the prism of Beyoncé’s parents’ troubled relationship and addressed to Mama Tina. And that it’s really, really good.
Chrissie Hynde “Adding the Blue”
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Chrissie Hynde’s voice always makes me cry. It’s tremolo on fleek.
The Velvet Underground, “Foggy Notion”
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I haven’t the foggiest notion why the Velvet Underground song “Foggy Notion” apparently “premiered” on Vevo this week. I was half-expecting it to be an EDM remix? Blessedly, it is not. Enjoy.