We Listened So You Didn’t Have To
It’s been another exciting week for music as we hit the back end of November. Maroon 5 returns for another collaborative single, Jessie Ware’s releases her third album, and Joji puts out his first official solo track.
Maroon 5 – “Whiskey (feat. A$AP Rocky)”
The latest in a series of collaborative singles from Maroon 5, “Whiskey” follows “Don’t Wanna Know” and “Cold” in throwing Adam Levine together with one of 2017’s most popular rappers. This time around, Maroon 5 has teamed up with A$AP Rocky for a low-key alcohol-inspired ballad. As far as Maroon 5’s contributions, Levine’s vocals are excellent, the beat is perfectly downplayed, and the reverberating production captures the mood. However, Rocky’s contributions are less inspiring. Unfortunately, his verse feels a little too forced into the track, especially when they add the DJ Mustard-style “hey” just for the rapper bit. It’s another in a long line of miscalculated pop singles with a final rap verse to add “urban radio” credibility.
Everything Is Recorded – “Show Love (feat. Sampha & Syd)
If this feature list doesn’t get you excited, then I suggest you go listen to Sampha’s “Process” and Syd’s “Fin.” Once you’ve done that, come back and you’ll understand how amazing this is. XL Recording’s Everything Is Recorded (AKA Richard Russell) has been throwing together rare collaborations like this all year, but “Show Love” is one that deserves particular note. With beautiful production, gorgeous vocals, and catchy melodies, it’s another incredible display of each artist’s caliber.
Jessie Ware – “Sam”
“Sam” is Jessie Ware’s most understated single yet, released earlier this week in support of her third album “Glasshouse.” Dedicated to her husband, who she emotionally describes as a “man far from my father,” the track closes out Ware’s new album. Held up by an acoustic guitar, “Sam” highlights the soft vocals of Ware and her backup singer. The track ends with an extended brass solo, sonically processed to sound distant and emotional – as if echoing from somewhere else. It’s a poignant end to the album. Jessie Ware’s third album, “Glasshouse” is out now.
BadBadNotGood – “I Don’t Know (feat. Samuel T. Herring)”
The second in a series of follow-up tracks to their 2016 album “IV,” new song “I Don’t Know” sees BadBadNotGood rejoin with Future Island’s frontman Samuel T. Herring for another spectacular contemporary jazz tune. Herring’s vocals are spot-on as always and the beat is gorgeous. It’s another win for BadBadNotGood, who has been killing 2017. Previously this year, they produced “LUST” on Kendrick Lamar’s new album “DAMN.”
Joji – “Will He”
Most probably know him as Filthy Frank, but George Miller makes ‘serious’ music, too. “Will He” is the first official release from Miller’s Joji moniker in the lead up to his new album. With a cloudy trap-inspired beat, pained vocals and ‘sad-boy’ lyrics, one can quickly see the appeal. For fans of understated, emotional R&B, Joji may be one of your next favorite Internet artists.
Let us know what you think of these tracks down in the comments, and look out for next week’s list!