Weekly Song Reviews (24/4): Travis Scott, Hayley Williams, lost spaces, 솔라(SOLAR), Isaiah Rashad, Charli XCX, Ab-Soul

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Album reviews take a lot of time to write, so in order to give you guys more content on a consistent basis, I’ve decided to jot down my thoughts and review the songs that catch my attention each week. Enjoy!


Hayley Williams – “Dead Horse

Genre: Pop

Off her 2nd EP for her upcoming Petals for Armor album, “Dead Horse” is the most After Laughter-esque offering since Hayley went solo. It’s upbeat and breezy but the potency of her lyricism, which touches on her struggle to keep her marriage before ending in an eventual divorce, lends the track much more depth.

“Dead Horse” is colourful, affecting and poignant. It’s arguably the best solo material she’s released thus far. It’s a shame the rest of her recent work lacks the same zest of this track.

lost spaces – “windows.95

Genre: Indie Pop

One of my favourite bands right now, Malaysia’s lost spaces latest single is far from disappointing. Equally as laid back as much as their best work, lead singer Samuel Lopez’ seductive vocals elevate the track’s status to being beyond just a ‘vibe’.

The real stunner on “windows.95” is its chorus. Its dangerously addictive and the light tone of it serves as a great contrast to the thumping production.

Ab-Soul – “Dangerookipawaa Freestyle

Genre: Rap

4 years. 4 YEARS fans were waiting for new Ab-Soul music, and he decides to randomly drop a loosie that shows why they’ve stuck by him for so long during the long silence. Riding over a horn-backed boom-bap beat, Soul talks his shit as he effortlessly glides across the first half of the song.

The energy he brings after the half-point beat switch is infectious. Sounding as hungry as his debut, I’m hoping his upcoming album is filled to the brim with sparks of brilliance like this. Plus, I’ll never get tired of Mac Miller shout outs in rap songs.

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솔라(SOLAR) – “뱉어(Spit It Out)”

Genre: Pop

The leader of my favourite Kpop group – MAMAMOO, SOLAR’s “official” solo debut (she’s had prior singles but this is getting a label push) is a thumping pop tune that’s pretty much in line with her past work with the group. I’m in love with the very sultry synths and string sections when the track kicks off, plus SOLAR’s whispery vocals perfectly complements the atmosphere set so far.

However once the rest of the song comes in, “Spit It Out” begins to devolve into a by-the-numbers K-pop tune. The overblown production ends up overshadowing its artist, which is a shame given how well the track was initially set up.

Isaiah Rashad – “Why Worry

Genre: Rap

Another song out of the #TDEAPPRECIATIONWEEK, Isaiah Rashad’s first solo song in 4 years (see a trend here?) was recorded back in 2017 and very much sounds like it. The backing horns (hmm..) on the production give the track some much needed oomph as Isaiah lays down his now-signature laid back delivery over it.

It’s nothing that the Tennessee rapper hasn’t done before so it’s a perfectly serviceable song that is only marred down by the weird mixing in the vocals. Isaiah has always teetered on the lines of lo-fi music, but this time he ends up being slightly drowned out by the beat.

Charli XCX – “claws

Genre: Pop, Electronic

The 2nd single off her quarantine album – How I’m Feeling Now, “claws” is in the same vein as previous single “forever”. The heavy PC Music aesthetic is still here while Charli laments about a one-sided love affair. It’s a joyous track that honestly deserves to be played in the biggest arenas possible.

The song could have easily found a place on her previous album Charli, but it lacks the complexity that could be found on that record’s best tracks. I still like “claws” but it feels rather bare-bones compared to her recent work, though it’s not surprising given that it was made within the span of 1-2 weeks.

Travis Scott & Kid Cudi – “THE SCOTTS

Genre: Rap

As one of the biggest rappers in the world, Travis Scott’s next move will be a collaboration with idol and mentor Kid Cudi. “THE SCOTTS” is the first single off their upcoming collaborative album of the same name, and this is anything to go by, it might be one of the best trap records of the past 5 years.

Once again tapping into Travis’ signature psychedelic sound, the production is suitably atmospheric for both artists to skate over as they lay down performances that makes full use of their incredible chemistry. It’s not revolutionary by any means, but having Travis and Cudi meld so perfectly each other’s sound just makes me squirm with excitement.

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Posted by

Based in Melbourne and Malaysia. Jensen is a part-time journalist and full-time music fan.

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