The Single Wrap-Up runs down the list of singles and tracks reviewed over the past week. Ed Sheeran, “How Would You Feel (Paean),” is this week’s best bet.
February 2017 introduced a lot of new music to the world. Sure, there were albums, but everybody knows singles are “where it’s at” these days. Between February 10 and February 22, there were numerous new songs issued. Some were great, some above average, while others were mediocre – Linkin Park comes to mind. Ed Sheeran had the week’s best bet with “How Would You Feel (Paean).”
1. Ed Sheeran, “How Would You Feel (Paean)”
With the release of his third single, “How Would You Feel (Paean),” Ed Sheeran further builds anticipation for his third album, ÷. “How Would You Feel (Paean)” is an honest, radiant piece of music. It masterfully showcases Sheeran’s artistry and his impressive singing voice. Authentic to the nth degree, the singer/songwriter flawlessly exhibits dedication to his bae. This song is simply beautiful.
2. DJ Khaled ft. Beyoncé & JAY Z, “Shining”
DJ Khaled was able to assemble a juggernaut with “Shining.” The song is cool, but most impressive are the featured guests – Beyoncé and JAY Z. Following the signature Khaled shout outs, Beyoncé gets the shining started, chocked full of attitude. JAY Z isn’t left out of the action, arriving late in the action. Ultimately, this is an enjoyable flex-fest. It doesn’t change the game, but excels in its function of being a turn-up joint.
3. Incubus, “Nimble Bastard”
“When you land on your feet / You’re a nimble bastard / And you don’t skip a beat / Such a nimble bastard.” Incubus returned with the brand new, unapologetically-titled “Nimble Bastard.” The nimble bastard of which frontman Brandon Boyd speaks is omniscient and all-knowing, but an unspecific person. Essentially, the record finds Boyd and company in awe of the resiliency some people possess. Ultimately, Incubus is on its ‘A-game’ with “Nimble Bastard.”
4. Kygo & Selena Gomez, “It Ain’t Me”
Kygo and Selena Gomez collaborate on “It Ain’t Me” which screams potential pop hit. Selena Gomez lacks an elite voice, but excels in her artistic lane. Kygo is quickly building a name for himself. His star can only rise collaborating with Gomez. “It Ain’t Me” isn’t a game changer, but it is enjoyable and well put together. The folk-pop sensibility of this dance/pop record showcases the eclectic possibilities of electronic music.
6. Linkin Park ft. Kiiara, “Heavy”
Linkin Park returns with pop single “Heavy,” assisted by pop newcomer Kiiara. Ultimately, “Heavy” has the potential to be a pop hit. That said, the song fails to be game changing or elite in the big scheme of things. It’s enjoyable enough, but this isn’t the song of the year by any means. The biggest rub is that “Heavy” is missing its Linkin Park-ness.
7. Mary J. Blige, “U + Me (Love Lesson)”
“U + Me (Love Lesson)” plays as any Mary J. Blige song should. Blige excels when ‘pain fuels the fire,’ which is the case of this love did a number on me single. In addition to a sound concept and lyrics, excellent production work lifts “U + Me.” It’s contemporary enough, but suitable for a 46 years old veteran. Vocally, Blige remains tough, even if “U + Me” isn’t the definitive moment of her illustrious career.
8. Trey Songz, “Nobody Else But You”
Trey Songz drops a winner with “Nobody Else But You,” which focuses on love as opposed to sex. It’s not as cutting edge as his more sexually-driven numbers, but definitely more mature. By mature, it’s not a bore, despite NOT being a tour de force. Nonetheless, Songz is in excellent voice. His return adds some much-needed excitement in urban contemporary music in 2017.
9. The Chainsmokers & Coldplay, “Something Just Like This”
The Chainsmokers have been unstoppable throughout the end of 2015 up until present. Prior to “Something Just Like This,” The duo had already dropped a hit in “Paris.” Now they up the ante with “Something Just Like This,” featuring Coldplay! All in all, it’s another enjoyable Chainsmokers record. The hype is slightly greater than the greatness of the song itself, but “Something Just Like This” has its moments. Furthermore, The Chainsmokers do just enough to tweak their winning formula.