This Week in Music | 01/05/17

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Gorillaz - Humanz (Album)
 
Gorillaz have returned after a six year hiatus with their 26 song strong album, Humanz. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Damon Albarn said about the album, “It's topical and something that comes from within me, which may be completely different.”  
 
 
‘Ascension’ is the first song from the album, it handles issues such as racism and inequality. It’s worth a mention that in the third verse, featured artist, Vince Staples, mentions Barack Obama, “I’m finna turn Obama to my patna ‘fore he dash”, however Albarn decided that he would bleep all mention of Obama and Trump because he didn’t want to give Trump any more attention. The song itself is fast-paced throughout Staples’ verses with some fleeting respite from 2D (Damon Albarn) on the second verse. Then it’s straight back to the fast flow for the remainder of the song.
 
‘Saturnz Barz’ is the standout track on the album, it’s heavily influenced by past Gorillaz work and reggae. The song features Jamaican born Popcaan. He’s previously featured on Drake’s ‘Controlla’ and Naughty Boy’s ‘Should’ve Been Me’ so this is no step back for the artist. 
 
 
‘We Got The Power’ is sort of the complete opposite to most of the tracks on the album. It’s more of an uplifting call to arms than anything, “We got the power to be loving each other.”
 
It features Jehnny Beth from Savages and backing vocals from none other than Noel Gallagher. Although, publicly Noel’s brother isn’t so happy with the collab; he took to Twitter to have a painfully grammatically incorrect rage about it, “that gobshite out of blur might have turned noel Gallagher into a massive girl but believe you me nxt time i see him there’s gonna be war.” So painful to read let alone write.
 
It’s kind of fitting that two old britpop enemies would come together to make such an impassioned and positive track. Maybe Liam’s just jealous.
 
Number 22 ‘The Apprentice’ features the man who’s everywhere at the moment, Rag’n’Bone Man. It shares a name with the TV show which notably Donald Trump is the star of. 
 
RAY BLK and rapper Zebra Katz also feature on the funky, synth track. It’s slick and the production behind it is effortlessly cool; the three featured artists take the centre stage from Albarn but that’s a good thing in this case. 
 
The album on a whole is great and definitely give it a listen the whole way through if you’ve got one hour and nine minutes to spare. If not check out ‘Charger’ (feat. Grace Jones), ‘Hallelujah Money’ (feat. Benjamin Clementine) and ‘Out of Body’ (feat. Kilo Kish, Zebra Katz & Imani Vonsha.
 
Hailee Steinfeld - Most Girls (Single)
 
 
‘Most Girls’, produced by OneRepublic’s, Ryan Tedder is the female anthem that we need. Steinfeld’s celebratory song of all kinds of girls is empowering and 
 
Hands down the best line of the song is, “some days you feel so good in your own skin, but it’s okay if you want to change the body that you came in.” There’s a stigma attached to plastic surgery but here Hailee says the thing that so many people need to here. It’s okay to want to change your body because it is your body.
 
The dance-friendly production and girl-power lyrics should get everyone dancing to the beat of their own drum.
 
Whethan - love gang (feat. Charli XCX) (Single)
 
 
Alternative pop princess, Charli XCX, features on Chicago native Whethan’s new single ‘love gang’ to create a indie-electonic track.
 
Charli’s familiar rugged moan starts the song off with trappy beats then it turns more blissful with Charli singing, “Let’s catch a shooting star in the sky and ride.”
 
Whether it’ll be a big hit that’s another thing but it’s definitely a radio ready track; it’s got a great chorus to sing-along to and Charli’s vocals will always go down well with listeners.
 
MUNA - I Know A Place (MNEK Remix) (Single)
 
 
MUNA released ‘I Know A Place’ way back in late 2016 but they’re back with a MNEK remix which takes it to new heights.
 
The L.A based trio are known for their political stance and this song was no different - it’s a plead to society to put an end to violence against the LGBTQ community.
 
MNEK doesn't just lend his vocals to the track, he adds a whole new lick of paint to it. He takes it from indie-pop to a pure club anthem with tropical beats and glittery synths.
 
Haim - Right Now 
 
 
Haim are back with a brand new single ‘Right Now’ and the announcement of their much anticipated sophomore album. The sister trio debuted the single on Friday in all its glorious perfection.
 
‘Right Now’ has all the distinct characteristics of a Haim song - the stripped back vocals; the sudden guitar riffs and the soft drums. All this considered, it’s held back, toned down and restrained; there’s no big moment. 
 
There’s a certain charm though - from the mics being turned up so loud you can hear the girls moving about in the studio. Yes, the song may sound unfinished and unproduced but that just shows off the sister’s unreal talents; not many artists could leave their song like this but they Haim can.

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