The Weeknd’s Disco Fever and 9 other new songs


What would Barry Gibb do? The muffled disco sound, electric piano chords and call-and-answer falsetto voice in “Take My Breath” are reminiscent of vintage Bee Gees through a Max Martin production. But leave it up to the Weeknd to sketch out a spooky bedroom scenario: “Baby says take my breath away / and make it last forever.” He seems to fear the strangulation – “You are far too young to end your life,” he warns – but the chorus keeps coming back. Perhaps this is a metaphor for Covid-19. JON PARELES

“Volví” is the kind of mythical collaboration first theorized in group discussions and Twitter threads, written in all caps. It’s the biggest bachata boy group in the world and Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, after all. The dream comes to life with a bachata-reggaeton hybrid brimming with late summer joy. But it also contains the slow craving for bachata: familiar themes of jealousy and possession, the kind of toxic melodrama that makes the genre so addicting in the first place. ISABELIA HERRERA

And to think that you spent the last week theorizing on Limp Bizkit. Here’s the real text to decode: “Absurd” is Guns N ‘Roses’ first single in over a decade. It’s amplified and edgy, a slightly filtered version of the faster chaos that first made them famous. Axl Rose looks a bit bulbous, but all around him things are moving exceptionally fast. JON CARAMANICA

As surely as Nelly brought Midwestern melody to hip-hop and sowed more than a decade of imitators, he has done the same in country music, thanks to his remix “Cruise” with Florida Georgia Line. His Nashville heirs were rapper-singers, black artists who are starting to find success near the center of the Nashville mainstream. Here, Nelly teams up with a few of them, Breland and Blanco Brown, and all together these three country artists – to varying degrees, but all sincere – somehow arrive at a disco. – pristine country. CARAMANIC

A pair of luminous stilettos and a bubble gun appear in Isabella Lovestory’s “Vuelta” video, helping to turn a minimalist music video into a hyperpop dream. Lovestory’s lyrics are all playground nursery rhymes: “Baby I’m alone / Why don’t you hold me? / All I wanna do tonight is dance.” The track is simple but timid enough to remind you of the joy that Y2K girl groups like Dream and Limited Too’s in-store soundtracks brought you back that day. HERRERA

“Bade Zile” is a traditional Haitian voodoo song that calls spirits. He receives an electronic update on “Leave the Bones”, an album collaboration by Lakou Mizik, a band from Haiti whose long-standing project is to preserve traditional songs by modernizing them, and producer Joseph Ray , who shared a Grammy. as part of the dance-music group Nero. Men and women go back and forth between the traditional song, then unite and echo; hand-played percussion overlaps a four-floor rhythm and the energy multiplies. PARÉLES

Dominican drill artist Red 6xteen unleashes “Armageddon” with a cadence that sits low to the ground. But it doesn’t take long for him to do a stunt: his voice turns into high-pitched, squeaky taunts, to turn into a mad rush. An orchestral outro finds her pondering loyalty and her place in the game. The two-and-a-half-minute track functions as an exhibition of Red’s potential, a promise to infuse Dominican hip-hop with the edge that he needs. HERRERA

In the American musical register, the composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist Brian Jackson has been too easily forgotten. As the other half of Gil Scott-Heron’s musical brain throughout the 1970s, Jackson helped create some of the most enduring (and relevant) music of the era. But since he and Scott-Heron split in the early 1980s, Jackson has rarely released his own recordings. When Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge launched their Jazz Is Dead project, a series of collaborations with older musicians, they first looked for Jackson. The fruits of this 2019 session have now been released under the name “JID008”, a short album of instrumental pieces, all composed collectively, containing allusions to the “Bitches Brew” and “Get Up With It” sessions by Miles Davis, and to more recent work by Miles Davis. guitarist Jeff Parker. On the floating “Baba Ibeji”, whose name refers to a pair of sacred twins in the Yoruba religion, Jackson’s Rhodes shines with the same silent magnetism that defined it half a century ago. Nothing is overdone; attentive listening is rewarded. GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO

The warmth of waltzed piano chords, backing cellos and “ooh” backing vocals accompanies Aimee Mann in “Suicide Is Murder”. But his words are clinical and legalistic, considering the practical physical aspects and weighing “the motive, the means and the opportunity”; instead of offering sympathy, she coolly reminds a listener that suicide is “heartless murderous madness.” PARÉLES

Amelia Meath’s quiet, confident voice usually gets a cleverly minimal electronic backup like half Sylvan Esso. Rather working with guitarist and producer Blake Mills, she draws on brushed drums and syncopated acoustic guitar, as well as electronic groundwork and what could be brass or simulations, in a waltz that evokes elusive allure. of a smoky bar crawl. This is the first experimental and comfortable release of Psychic Hotline, a label run by Sylvan Esso with his manager. PARÉLES


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