BEST OF … The First Half of 2015

Miguel
Miguel

BESTSONGS

50 Kendrick Lamar, “Hood Politics”

49 Panda Bear, “Crosswords”

48 Lianne La Havas, “Unstoppable” Continue reading “BEST OF … The First Half of 2015”

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CURRENT: A$AP Rocky – “Everyday” [ft. Rod Stewart, Miguel, & Mark Ronson]

At.Long.Last.A$AP finally has a release date: June 2. Following the claustrophobic “Multiply” and “M’s”, this newest single finds A$AP Rocky spreading his wings and taking flight. He brings some friends along with him, and while Miguel and Mark Ronson certainly make sense in 2015, the insertion of Rod Stewart is such a left-field, brilliant move on the A$AP Mob leader’s part, as the veteran singer’s weathered vocals mesh beautifully with Miguel’s greener chords. All together, these four artists come together to help form what is perhaps the most optimistic, relaxed song in A$AP Rocky’s repertoire. After the tense, breath-holding previous two cuts Rocky recently released, “Everyday” is a long exhale.

CURRENT: Jessie Ware – “Kind of… Sometimes… Maybe” (feat. Miguel)

Jessie Ware has been knocking it out of the park with every single released thus far from her follow-up to her sublime 2012 introduction DevotionTough Love has already brought us the breathtaking title track and “Say You Love Me”, as well as the Dev Hynes-assisted “Want Your Feeling”. But it’s her collaboration with Miguel on “Kind of… Sometimes… Maybe” that perhaps leaves the most immediate, and lasting, impact. Despite her indecisiveness, the chorus is perhaps her hardest hitting to date, speaking for Ware when words fail her.

Make sure to check out what’s turning out to be one of the year’s best albums, Tough Love, when it’s released on 13 October in the U.S. through Island.

CURRENT: Janelle Monáe feat. Miguel – “Primetime”

Janelle Monáe’s new LP, The Electric Lady, looks to be as mindblowingly awesome as her previous LP, 2010’s The ArchAndroid, thanks to the thrilling singles “Q.U.E.E.N.,” “Dance Apocalyptic,” and now the Miguel-assisted “Primetime.”

While we await for the most anticipated collab on Lady, the Prince-featuring “Givin Em What They Love,” the arrival of “Primetime” shows Monáe and everyone’s favorite (non)crowd-surfer Miguel doing their best to honor the legacy of Prince. The R&B power ballad is a perfect display for the eccentric singer to show off her vocal chops, while Miguel sits nicely in the picture, while never taking the spotlight away from Monáe.

If you can’t get enough of Janelle Monáe, check out The Electric Lady when it hits stores on 10 September.

Quarterly Report: Best Tracks of 2013 (Part II)

Daft Punk
Daft Punk

Well, that was fast. 2013 is already halfway over, and we’ve already gotten enough new music to hold us over until 2015. While the first three months saw artists from My Bloody Valentine to Justin Timberlake releasing new music, these past three months have seen the likes of Savages, Daft Punk, Deerhunter, and Kanye West all release new albums.

Today, I bring you the second of four installments in the Quarterly Report series. I’ll be back with the best tracks of the third quarter of 2013 at the end of September. Until then, let’s take a look back at what the months of April all the way through June had to offer.

top fifty tracks (Q2)

50 Lorde, “Tennis Court”

49 The Child Of Lov, “Fly”

48 JAY Z, “Open Letter”

47 Savages, “Strife”

46 Sasha Go Hard, “Rondo”

Continue reading “Quarterly Report: Best Tracks of 2013 (Part II)”

CURRENT: Mariah Carey feat. Miguel – “#Beautiful”

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After the unintentionally ironically titled “Triumphant (Get ‘Em)” failed to make any noise on the charts last year, Mariah Carey went back into the studio to work on her next album. While she arguably had nowhere to go but up from there, the first official taste of her new studio album exceeds any and all expectations from Mimi.

Enlisting R&B hitmaker Miguel to help pen the track (and provide his always stunning vocals) was a wise move for Mrs. Cannon. The song’s classic vibe fits the singer far better than the hip-hop leaning, Rick Ross featuring single released last year. And yet there are similarities between the two, mostly the fact that Mariah Carey allows her featured guests to shine in the opening of both tracks, with her playing the role of clean-up hitter. But here, Miguel and Mariah’s chemistry shines through in a way unseen on “Triumphant,” with a chorus primed for Top 40 radio spins.

REMIX: Cashmere Cat – “Do You” [Miguel]

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Miguel’s excellent Kaleidoscope Dream deservedly served as the launching pad for the singer’s worldwide recognition, as he’s been busy touring with Alicia Keys, and working in the studio with such heavyweights as Mariah Carey and Beyoncé. Another benefit of his newfound fame is the attention his music has garnered from DJ’s and remix artists, such as Norway’s Cashmere Cat.

First released last month, Cat has now uploaded his remix of “Do You…,” one of last year’s best singles, as a free download. Miguel’s pristine, smooth vocals are given a more upbeat backdrop, giving his proposition of “Do you like drugs?” a much different effect, a proposition to a large crowd as opposed to a bedroom companion. Cashmere Cat stretches out the “drugs” until it becomes a high pitched squeal, acting as the catalyst that blows the lid off the track. In the end, this remix is as much a validation of Miguel’s compositional skills as it is Cat’s ability to create instant crowd-starters while retaining the original’s overall essence.