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“Malibu” – Miley Cyrus
Sera Akdogan: Wow, she has come a long way since her foam finger degradation days. I really like this song and the new, new Miley.
Neil MacAlister: Miley gave up ripping off black music for this? Generic, sad pop with a folky edge? I honestly love Miley’s voice, but this isn’t helping me get past her ignorance and terrible personality.
Edna Batengas: I never thought I’d say this, but eeep Miley is back. It’s a refreshing change from her previous work; it’s chilled and mellow. I just hope she comes out with an album soon.
“Whatever It Takes” – Imagine Dragons
SA: I started to dislike Imagine Dragons once I noticed that a lot of their songs sounded the same. With that being said, their newest single actually sounds different for once. The rapping portion stands out from their typical collective chanting.
NM: What even is this? I’m actually yawning. Can we forget Imagine Dragons ever happened?
EB: Wasn’t a big fan of “Thunder,” but this song reminds me of why I fancied Imagine Dragons in the first place. This song has a certain distinctiveness and freshness (plus Dan just has an amazing voice.)
“Firebird” – Kinobe
SA: His voice sounds so dreamy and soulful. I love the beat on this EP also — the powerful vocals blend beautifully with the background sounds.
NM: This is fine, I guess, but I’m pretty sure at least 100 people have already made the exact same song.
EB: Considering that this band is back at it again after eight years, I’d say I’m pretty impressed.
“Hot2Touch” – Felix Jaehn, Hight, Alex Aiono
SA: This could be a fun song to listen to on the radio, but I feel like it could get annoying to listen to after a few days of hearing it. The song itself is kind of cheesy and repetitive, to be honest. It’s like, “We get it, she’s too hot for you, bro.”
NM: I’m okay with this, we need more brass bands in dance music.
EB: This is soo catchy and has great beats. The ‘80s are definitely making a comeback and I’m loving it.
“Dance with the Devil” – Sir the Baptist
SA: There isn’t much substance to it, but the song has a catchy beat and lyrics. I personally enjoy the part when he literally starts howling.
NM: Oh, I really like this. Sir the Baptist has such unique vocal inflections, he’s really showing off on this one. I’m into it.
EB: : It’s not a bad song but it sounds too similar to other rap artists. Am I the only one hearing some Fetty Wap-like vocals?
“On the Road Again” – Nas
SA: Did I just get transported into an old western film? Was that a banjo? Not sure how I feel about this one . . . might be too ‘old timey’ for me.
NM: We’re all still waiting for the new album that’s supposedly been done for over a year, but you know what? Go ahead, Nas. Cover a 1920s blues song with Jack White. I’m here for it.
EB: I think it’s rather clever how he has incorporated blues and rap music. Could this be a sign of Nas dropping a new album? *gasp*
“Carolina” – Harry Styles
SA: What the heck . . . this is what Harry Styles sounds like solo? Not bad, not bad at all. I’m embarrassed to say I initially thought it was James Mercer (from The Shins) singing for a minute there, so good on ya for fooling me, Mr. Styles. Now the real question is: who this song is about . . . ‘good girl’ Taylor Swift perhaps?
NM: Wow, Harry Styles is really trying to recreate every genre for this album. Zayn’s still clearly having the better solo career.
EB: OK, Harry, I get it. You’re inspired by the Beatles. Let them be your muse and stop trying to be them.
“Go For Broke” – Machine Gun Kelly, James Arthur
SA: I’m all about the inspirational rap music. Wow, that just sounded so white, I’m sorry. But I really enjoyed this song, it was catchy and lifted my spirits this morning.
NM: MGK’s really on his Kid Rock here. I didn’t think he could get any worse.
EB: Awesome to hear these two artists collaborate together. It’s so uplifting, I really enjoyed it.
“Gospel” – Rich Chigga, Keith Ape, XXXTentacion
SA: I’m sure fans of this kind of rap would enjoy this song, but it was way too aggressive for me. I felt like I was being verbally attacked.
NM: This is wild. Rich Chigga blows me away with how good he actually is at rapping. Keith Ape goes in. And as much as I loathe XXXTentacion as a person, he’s perfect on this. This makes me want to start a mosh pit in church.
“Whine Slow” – Panetoz
SA: I’m not sure what he is saying, but it sounds like a lot of fun! If I could whine, I would whine to this song.
NM: I don’t know where this afrobeat/EDM trend came from, but at least it’s fun.
EB: Right from the get-go it had me wiggling in my seat. Yaaaaasss. Excited to see dancehall becoming a lot more common is mainstream music. Totally a summer party or club song. Two thumbs up. Bring on the dancehall!
“Mask Off” – Tobey Rosen
SA: Is this song for or against drugs? I can’t tell. Nevertheless, it’s mysterious and artsy and has caught my attention.
NM: I hate this a lot. I never want to hear this again. I blame Ed Sheeran for all these sad white boys trying to cover rap songs.
EB: I’m a fan of acoustic covers, but I feel like the song lost its spark. Just don’t do it.
“Natural Blues” – BROHUG, Moby
SA: What is going on right now in the world of electronic music? Unfortunately, I only like the one refrain line which actually sounds blues-like. Nothing else is appealing to me here. I’ll pass this one on to the ravers.
NM: Is this actually Moby? Like bald, annoying, arrogant Moby? Isn’t he like 50? There’s nothing to enjoy about this.
EB: Didn’t see the EDM coming, it caught me off guard and I found it annoying. Would’ve been much better without it, to be honest.