On a week like this, with a squashing assault of strong contenders for the desirable Fri 5, your faithful reviewer seems like an “American Idol” judge, with a whole load of self-imposed guidelines about what constitutes a terrific single (rather than an excellent song), attempting to neglect factors to consider like how popular an artist is or isn’t, which record label it’s on, etc. Like …
” The new Lil Wayne tune ‘Life of Mr. Carter‘ is hot but the music is simply okay, Wayne’s flow drives the whole song”; “ Chris Stapleton’s new tune ‘Cold‘ is amazing and his singing is so effective, however it’s five minutes long”; “ Tiesto’s new single ‘Business’ pumps but I’m not feeling that down-autotuned vocal”; “ Amy Allen’s ‘Paradise’ is great but a little reflective for a single”; “ Starrah’s ‘Calm,’ produced by James Blake is awesomely atmospheric but it’s 105 seconds long”– and none of these are criticisms, just reasons why those tunes are runners-up for this extraordinary and varied list of 5 finalists.
Travis Scott f/ Young Punk and MIA “Franchise” With a slow-grinding beat, smart functions from Young Goon and MIA that cover generations and styles, and an eye-popping video (with some slick product placement) directed by the artist himself, “Franchise” checks every box we can think about and reveals why Travis Scott is Travis Scott.
Melanie Martinez “The Pastry Shop” SPEAKING