“Money Over Love”—Bilal Feat. Kendrick Lamar
“I rock that box on credit,” snarls Bilal as he channels the narrative falsetto and vintage soul sounds of Curtis Mayfield on “Money Over Love.” One of the highlights off the R&B boss’s latest record, “In Another Life,” this psychedelic soul stops and starts, building tension and a sense of urgency throughout. Rapper Kendrick Lamar adds to that tension with a forceful penultimate verse, returning the favor for Bilal numerous cameos on “To Pimp A Butterfly.” “In Another Life” is available June 30 on eOne Records.
Channeling slinky Los Angeles rock, “DEAL” represents a departure from the pop-oriented sounds of Miguel’s hit second album and the Grammy winning single, “Adorn.” While he could easily have been content to replicate the sounds from that hit, Miguel’s third album finds him experimenting with the complex sounds of contemporary R&B. Cultivating a delicious mix of fuzzed-out guitars, erotic wordplay and sludgy tempos, the charms of “DEAL” are hard to resist. Look for this cut on “WILDHEART,” available June 30 on RCA Records.
“Baby Don’t You Lie To Me!”—The Fratellis
In a never-ending crusade to prove that they are more than just the band that penned “Chelsea Dagger,” The Fratellis bring out the pop polish on “Baby Don’t You Lie To Me!” This is a terrific lead single from the group’s forthcoming fourth album that has all the energy of the band’s past work, featuring a bombastic flurry of clanging piano chords and a healthy dose of British rock and roll attitude. The Fratellis will release “Eyes Wide, Tongued Tied” on August 21.
“Never Gonna See Me Cry”—Good Old War
“Never Gonna See Me Cry” finds Philadelphia duo Good Old War slapping a “commercial glory or bust” sticker on their guitar cases and getting to work. This song is one of the stronger cuts on the group’s fourth LP, blending elements of rock, pop and folk into a pleasant alt-pop that will appeal to fans of Fun., Walk The Moon and Mumford & Sons. “Broken Into Better Shape” is available June 30 on Nettwerk Records.
“The State of Gold, Pt. 2”—Matt Pond PA
Crackling with a newfound energy and ethereal studio glow, “The State of Gold, Pt. 2” finds Matt Pond and company updating and indeed perfecting the world-weary everyman style they are known for. This cut is the stirring and sunny foil of “The State of Gold, Pt. 1,” a dual title track that serves as the highlight of Matt Pond’s 10th album under the PA banner. With “State of Gold,” Pond may still be in search of personal solace, but he has certainly found a golden state in the studio. “State of Gold” is available June 30 on Doghouse Records.
Retro Pick of the Week:
“Washington D.C.”—The Magnetic Fields
If ever there were to be an indie-rock version of the Star Spangled Banner written, The Magnetic Field’s “Washington D.C.” would be it. One of the many, many bittersweet pop classics on the sprawling “69 Love Songs,” Stephin Merritt both subverts and celebrates the formula of classic American songwriting. As we commemorate American independence this week, let that same rebellious spirit color your soundtrack.
Teddy Eisenberg is a third year programmer at WRUW-FM 91.1 Cleveland. He hosts The ’59 Sound, an exploration of rock music, every Thursday morning from 8-10 a.m. and co-hosts the variety talk show Max and Teddy in the Morning at Night (Sometimes) on Mondays from 5-6 p.m. The crackle of vinyl warms him on cold Cleveland nights.