It’s been awhile since we heard from Normani — 553 days, in fact! Last was in January 2020, with her Birds of Prey cut “Diamonds” with Megan Thee Stallion, and a lot has changed since then. A year and a half after that collaboration, the singer is back with “Wild Side,” this time backed Megan’s partner in “WAP,” Cardi B. Continuing her love for late ’90s and early ’00s sounds, Normani prominently interpolates the late Aaliyah’s “One in a Million” and somehow makes the idiosyncratic classic all her own while straying away from the pop sounds of 2019’s “Motivation.”

Beginning…


R&B is in an exciting place right now; whether you prefer the traditionalism of a Jazmine Sullivan or a Mariah Carey or the futurism of a Dawn Richard or a Kelela, there’s room for everyone to explore their desired sound. Another Mariah — Mariah the Scientist, to be exact — is forging a path of her own with a beautiful blend of the past, present, and future of the genre, just as her moniker suggests.


In 2020, I didn’t have the energy to write about music at all, even when I really wanted to. As such, I will be posting reviews of my favorite albums of last year — approximately as the anniversary of their release approaches — to allow myself to capture what made me love them so much. Here is the fifth!

In the machine we call the music industry, the idea of identity is often used as promotional material or lyrical fodder, creating a narrative for an artist to step into who they’ve always wanted to be; it can also be used…


Slayyyter is the moment. Since launching into the hyperpop stratosphere in 2018, the singer has quickly amassed a devoted following and paved a unique lane for herself in the post-PC Music landscape, becoming a celebrated popstar for the Internet age. But that doesn’t mean things have been easy for her in these short three years, and Troubled Paradise — her sprawling and aptly-titled debut album — is the culmination of her initial success coming to a head in both fantastical and terrifying ways.

Largely eschewing the Y2K aesthetic and sound of her self-titled mixtape, the singer takes visual inspiration from…


It’s 2021, and we have a new Aly & AJ album. Especially in these times of information overload and the need for ever-quickening turnaround, taking any significant amount of time away from the spotlight can kill an artist’s momentum instantly. …


In 2020, I didn’t have the energy to write about music at all, even when I really wanted to. As such, I will be posting reviews of my favorite albums of last year — approximately as the anniversary of their release approaches — to allow myself to capture what made me love them so much. Here is the fourth!

The first line sung by Hayley Williams on the single “Simmer” is a visceral one: “rage is a quiet thing.” It is an assured statement, leaving no room for questioning before moving forward with her thoughts; it is also a pretty…


With an ear for writing catchy toplines and the ability to switch from dreamy soundscapes to aggressive pop beats at the drop of a hat, Troye Sivan captures queer melancholia in a way few of his peers are able to emulate. On his first single since last year’s immaculate In a Dream EP, the singer teams up with DJ Regard and breakout up-and-comer Tate McRae for “You,” a breakup anthem that fits in snugly with the rest of Sivan’s catalog while still advancing his artistry.

Over Regard’s clubby synths and a sturdy kick drum, Sivan unravels his heartbreak, questioning the…


Self-empowerment songs can often teeter the line between cathartic and cringey, and there is no greater modern example than Demi Lovato’s discography. A singer known for rallying the bruised and battered with her music, she has made a career of uplifting her fans to varying degrees of success — 2011’s “Skyscraper” continues to hold up a decade later, while 2020’s “I Love Me” has already been all but discarded from her musical canon. …


In 2020, I didn’t have the energy to write about music at all, even when I really wanted to. As such, I will be posting reviews of my favorite albums of last year — approximately as the anniversary of their release approaches — to allow myself to capture what made me love them so much. Here is the third!

“You want a timeless song/I wanna change the game” are the first lyrics uttered by Dua Lipa on her sophomore record, Future Nostalgia, and listeners were not prepared for the singer to do just that. Over the course of a tight…


Hayley Williams is big time sad. Or perhaps was at some point — it’s a little bit unclear. Described by the singer herself as a prequel to or “some sort of detour between parts [one] and [two] of” her debut solo album, Petals for Armor, her second record, FLOWERS for VASES / descansos, is devoid of the cathartic joy and sometimes rage that characterized its predecessor, instead reveling in the macabre and heart-wrenching feelings that occupied her mind during the dissolution of her marriage. …

TJ Lovell

A music business student with a passion for writing about music almost as intense as his desire to curate it.

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