Hello! Welcome to my first This Week In Records, the feature that I shall try and work on at least once every two weeks… This week has been an exceptionally solid week for new releases, with many genres and styles covered.
Lizzo – Grrrls
Following the TikTok-fueled worldwide hit About Damn Time, funk-pop superstar Lizzo returns with this short feminist anthem. While there has been controversy since its release concerning the unfortunate use of a slur within the lyrics, Lizzo has since apologised and released a new version correcting this.
Callum’s Verdict: While the chorus is one of the catchiest pop melodies, its inability to pass the 2-minute mark really doesn’t allow the song to properly get going. If it had the lush production of her previous single this would be a worthy follow-up to the surely future iconic About Damn Time. But as it is, you can certainly do better Lizzo! 2/5
Grrls is out now via Atlantic Records. Check it out below:
Demi Lovato – SKIN OF MY TEETH
Following the muted critical and commercial reception to their most-recent album Dancing with the Devil in 2021, Demi Lovato has marked the ‘funeral’ of her pop music by releasing this alt-rock-influenced new banger. However, it has so far failed to set the streaming services alight, with it currently not appearing in the USA Spotify Top 200 which is certainly disappointing but not surprising.
Callum’s Verdict: Yes, it does sound an awful lot like Hole’s classic Celebrity Skin. Yes, it is a little ironic that Demi’s pop ‘funeral’ single is no heavier than something by Blink-182 or Machine Gun Kelly but, like those two artists, that is not necessarily a bad thing. She clearly has the perfect vocals to make the rock transit, so I’m sure the only way is up for them in this genre. Her vocals do truly sound lush over the middle-eight and final chorus, making me question why this genre transition was not made long ago. In her brutally honest lyrics, it is also refreshing to hear Demi reclaim her recent problems with drug addiction following the media attention that has hounded her relentlessly in the last few years. 4/5
SKIN OF MY TEETH is out now via Island Records, check out the ever-so-slightly edgy video here:
Inhaler – These Are The Days
Following their #1 debut album It Won’t Always Be Like This in 2021, Irish four-piece Inhaler (don’t mention the lead singer’s father!) are back with a rare romantic banger. It appears to be the first taste of their upcoming second album, and shows no signs of a sophomore slump.
Callum’s Verdict: This single further proves how Inhaler has created the perfect mix of modern indie with clear 80s synth-wave influences. A lot of artists in recent years have followed the 80s pop trend too closely to the point of pastiche, this is simply never the case with Inhaler. This anthem’s summer-infused combination of thumping bass grooves and frontman Eli Hewson’s top vocal chops create a piece that somehow already feels nostalgic and certainly will be after rinsing this single as the days get longer. 5/5
These Are The Days is out now via Polydor Records, check out the lyric video here to get a sense of their crazy live shows:
Machine Gun Kelly (feat. glaive) – more than life
Released as the first taste of the deluxe edition of his chart-topping new album mainstream sellout, the Texas rapper-turned-rockstar Colson “Machine Gun Kelly” Baker has teamed up with rising hyperpop star glaive for this slice of emo-rap infused pop-punk that deals with the issue of not wanting to live without someone who does not share the same sentiment.
Callum’s Verdict: While this single lacks the fun, upbeat vibes of mainstream sellout, the vocal abilities of both Baker and glaive elevate this single leagues above where it would be if it were say, 24kgoldn or iann dior behind the microphone. Admittedly I had not heard of glaive before this single, but both the range and grit in his voice are impressive. Travis Barker’s 808-filled punk production is slightly predictable here, I could have guessed what the drum-fills sound like before even pressing play on Spotify, but clearly he’s found a winning formula in that regard. 4/5
more than life is out now via Bad Boy/Interscope Records, check out the cinematic video for it here:
Marshmello & Khalid – Numb
Callum’s Verdict: Khalid’s music in the last few years has committed the worst crime known in music, to be incredibly boring. Everything since his second album Free Spirit in 2019 seems to have been a retread, only being his few dance collaborations that have left any sort of mark (such as the brilliant Talk); this is no exception. That being said, I am unsure whether Numb is so generic that it’s turgid, or generic in the sense that it clearly copies a winning formula very very well; I am currently sensing the latter. It is a prime example of music that is clearly made to feature in adverts for CentreParcs or a beach sequence in a family film, complete with OneRepublic-esque whistles and a chorus so simple that a 2-year old could recite it after a sin listen. But it just recreates this winning formula so well to the point it is hard to hate. 3/5
Numb is out now via Joytime Collective/RCA Records, check out the video here:
Best of the Week: Inhaler – These Are The Times
But What Albums Can I Hear This Week?
With quite a varied selection of LPs releasing, there really is something for everyone! Of course, the biggest release of the week is the much-anticipated third album from King of “pop’n’roll” George Ezra, Gold Rush Kid. BTS have released ‘anthology album’ (just a fancy ‘greatest hits’ really) Proof, just days before their ‘hiatus’ was announced yesterday (June 14th), while DnB legends Chase & Status follow their biggest single in years Mixed Emotions with their sixth album What Came Before. On the rockier side of things, there are new albums from goth lords Motionless In White, rising indie star Will Joseph Cook and underrated Britpop legends Kula Shaker, who deliver possibly the worst album title in years with 1st Congregational Church of Eternal Love and Free Hugs… not even Matty Healy would come up with that! If you’re one of the few Brits out there into country music, Carrie Underwood also has a new album out I guess…