John Legend- ‘I Know Better’
The singer-songwriter and pianist has ten years of powerful melodies under his belt. And 2014’s smash-hit ‘All of Me’ proved that he’s far from losing his motive and talent. ‘I Know Better’ is Legend’s third single this year, following ‘Love Me Now’ and ‘Penthouse Floor (ft. Chance the Rapper)’, leading up to his fifth solo album Darkness and Light, released this Friday. This may not be new ground but there is no denying the aesthetically pleasurable sound of a legend and his piano. An organ-like production accompanies the passionate vocal performance and mysterious lyrics, showing that sometimes less is more. The diversity between Legend’s latest singles invite you to keep an eye on the upcoming album, as it may be his most outspoken yet.
Listen to ‘I Know Better’ here:
The Weeknd- ‘Rockin’’
After weeks of releasing teasing singles, the R&B sensation finally released his anticipated album, Starboy on Friday 25th November. The album has since dominated the charts by taking up most of the top 20 positions, making it an extremely impressive return for the singer. ‘Rockin’’ is just one of the many instantly lovable tracks on the album. It heavily explores a late night dance theme through a quick and simple beat tempo and a looped synth similar to what you might hear in a house tune. This is accompanied by the unmistakable voice of the man of the moment who offers both soft and low and falsetto notes. Despite competition with other tracks from the album, this song has the potential to be the recurring track to the parties throughout the holiday season, rocking you into 2017.
Listen to ‘Rockin” here:
Scarlett Johansson- ‘Set It All Free’
The screen siren has shown her talents beyond acting on various occasions. Earlier this year, she contributed to the soundtrack for the summer blockbuster The Jungle Book, and now she was featured in the animated musical Sing. Although the soundtrack will not be released until 9th December, previously released tracks featuring Stevie Wonder, Ariana Grande and Jennifer Hudson indicate that she is in very good company. ‘Set It All Free’ is a cheery rock tune with a catchy vocal melody. The exclusive use of simple, fast-paced guitars and drum kit is reminiscent of songs like Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Since U Been Gone’. The alternative aesthetic to the song suggests there is quality and diversity throughout the soundtrack and that is not just another mainstream movie score. With lyrics like “I can do anything”, the song will not only get you through your busy week, it will also motivate you to check out the rest of the album after its release.
Listen to ‘Set It All Free’ here:
Busted- ‘Coming Home’
Busted’s latest comeback has been met with mixed reviews. Their latest album Night Driver showed that their creative influences have grown and they are no longer the teeny-bop, pop-punkers they once were. ‘Coming Home’ features everything that is classic like ‘Crashed the Wedding’: soulful vocals, various types of synthesizers and digital drum beats. The single shows distinct 80s electronic influences, a far cry from classic hits but still a beat you can’t help but tap your toes to. The three original names may be back, but this is definitely a new Busted.
Listen to ‘Coming Home’ Here:
G-Eazy- ‘Still’/ ‘Bone Marrow (ft. Danny Seth)’
The 27-year-old rapper is climbing higher and higher to the top, and less than a year after the release of his most acclaimed album yet, Gerald is back with two fresh singles. ‘Still’ is a slow-paced, solemn piece featuring very little but a simple drum beat and a consoling piano melody throughout. The humble production is met with heavy lyrics about perception, legacy and life challenges. The production and verses build up to “You gotta keep it together”, the first line of the alluring finale performed by singer Ashley Rose. ‘Bone Marrow’ brings us back to the classic hip-hop beats and lyrics about the party lifestyle. The song does not fail to satisfy, and if it’s the first you’ve heard of Brit rapper Danny Seth, his name is sure to make your next Google search. It’s unclear whether G-Eazy’s return is the beginning of a new mixtape or album, but one thing that’s for sure is that we want more.
Listen to ‘Still’ here:
Listen to ‘Bone Marrow (ft. Danny Seth)’ here:
Read last week’s Stu’s Spotify specials here