From Kanye West to Post Malone, it’s been a week of divisive releases. Our writers make sense of it all in the latest round of roundtable reviews.
Janelle Monáe – Screwed (Feat. Zoë Kravitz)
Ti Butler: So I’ve just finished watching all of Janelle Monáe’s Dirty Computer “Emotion Picture” and the Screwed section is, like everything else in it, brilliant. Screwed has got this really clever way of being five minutes long without feeling like it’s five minutes long. 4.5
Georgia Griffiths: I love a banger but what I love even more is a political banger. This song masquerades as a sex-positive bop (which it is) but also has a great societal commentary, particularly towards the end. We’re entering the age of Janelle Monae’s mainstream popularity and I’m so here for it. 4.5
Sam Murphy: Simultaneously the funnest and most politically charged song on the record, Screwed is a triumph. I love a ‘fuck-it’ dance song and this one just bleeds chaos, freedom and anger in the best way. Monáe is going to save the world one funk riff at a time. 4.5
Post Malone – Ball For Me (Feat. Nicki Minaj)
Ti: I just don’t get Post Malone. At least Nicki’s bit is great. 1
Georgia: This is super boring until Nicki comes in. She’s so much better than this song but her verse is fire. This is far from the best on Post’s new album which is a shame because I think it’s going to be the one that is pushed the hardest. 2
Sam: Flicked to the Nicki Minaj verse, loved it, didn’t bother listening to anything else. If anything this just confirms Minaj is the best and most versatile features artists in the world. 2.5
The Internet – Roll (Burbank Funk)
Georgia: I’m so happy The Internet is back. Syd is still one of the best things to come out of Odd Future in my opinion. This song is super smooth and it makes me excited for what might be coming next. 3.5
Sam: I love this because it just feels like The Internet are having the best jam session on earth. It’s certainly not the best thing I’ve heard from them but it’s great to hear Steve Lacy in the driver’s seat vocally and shows me that they’ve still got all that chemistry that we fell in love with. 3.5
Hatchie – Sleep
Ti: Did I once hear this song in the closing credits of one episode of mid-2000s ABC Kids series Out There? Realistically I know that’s not possible, but at the same time, I could have. 3
Georgia: The intro gives me low-key Depeche Mode ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’ vibes. It doesn’t really sound like a new song – if someone told me it was a one-hit wonder from the 90s I’d believe them. It’s not Hatchie’s best but I don’t have any real issues with it. 3
Sam: I can’t get enough of Hatchie. It’s like she’s soundtracking everyone crush-driven daydream I’ve ever had. It’s all pink fluffy clouds, bubblegum and pink milk fountains. It’s lo-fi but under all that fuzz she’s crafting some of the best pop songs on earth right now. 4
Kanye West – Ye Vs. The People (feat. TI)
Ti: Wait why am i in this song?
Georgia: I’m of the belief that Kanye currently knows exactly what he’s doing and it’s all a messily executed PR move. All publicity is good publicity for him. This track continues his Twitter affair with Trump and it’s one of the few times I think TI has actually added something to a song. It doesn’t really matter if I enjoyed this song because it’ll still work in Ye’s favour. 2
Sam: It’s been a tough week for Kanye fans and I’m thankful that there’s this kinda clarifies some of the behaviour. As a standalone song, the sample is excellent and very Kanye. Kanye’s verses are tight but while T.I. is the voice of reason in this, his flow is clunky. Let’s leave this one off the album. 3
Mason Ramsey – Famous
Ti: Alright, so, took me a while because Google wasn’t being particularly helpful, but the people who wrote this are: Tyler Hubbard, who you would of course know from Florida Georgia Line; Canaan Smith, who came seventh on season 15 of The Amazing Race; Corey Crowder, who has his own songs and is also noted for writing a 2014 Hinder song; and Sarah Buxton, who also has her own songs, appeared on the last FLA|GA album, and has songs on the TV show Nashville. Anyway, look, good on Mason for having a nice moment we all enjoyed. I wish him the best in his future endeavours.
Georgia: I’m all for memes crossing the divide into the real world so all the power in the world to Mason and his Grandma for seizing his 15 minutes of fame and running with it. Despite how many writers this song has it’s pretty dreadful, but I can appreciate the business principles behind it. 1.5
Sam: I actually think this is a really great country song. I’m not Mason’s biggest fan, nor am I really going to criticise him either. I just don’t really care. But in terms of turning a hit song around at record speed, they’ve done a great job. 3