Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – “Holy Mountain”
Noel Gallagher, the former front man of Oasis and architect behind the legendary “Wonderwall,” and his High Flying Birds released an underwhelming single, “Holy Mountain,” on Oct. 9. The single relies on a du-wop-meets-space-age beat driven by unchanging electric guitar riffs and a simple and steady drum beat. The band, obviously attempting to differentiate themselves from other classic rock imitators by emulating an earlier stage of the genre, frankly went digging for inspiration in the wrong pile of records. Gallagher credits the hook to a “beyond obscure” track titled “Chewing Gum Kid” by The Ice Cream, a little-known band of the 70s. The lyrics are equally disappointing and lacking in substance, as the song ends with Gallagher repeating “She fell, she fell, right under my spell” 15 times.
This single comes on the heels of brother and fellow member of Oasis Liam Gallagher’s of As You Were, a mature and reflective album released on Oct. 6. Given the brothers’ infamously tumultuous relationship that ultimately sealed fate of Oasis, it is worth noting the close release dates and stark difference in sound.
MGMT – “Little Dark Age”
For the first time since 2013, MGMT has released new music in the form of the single “Little Dark Age.” The single is a haunting mystery of a song that takes listeners on a journey made for an 80s horror movie. The song’s terror-stricken lyrics matched with the techno beat of a synthesizer is remarkably reminiscent of the 1986 Soft Cell hit “Tainted Love.” Andrew Vanwyngarden, the band’s eccentric vocalist, makes a clever cry for help that “Policemen swear to God / Love’s seeping from the guns,” and the chorus rhymes lines like “On the stage,” “Burn the page,” and “All the rage” with “My little dark age.” Released just in time for Halloween, the creepy single creates an uneasy feeling worthy of a feature in American Horror Story or Stranger Things. “Little Dark Age” is the first single off of MGMT’s much anticipated fourth album, expected to be released in 2018.
Maroon 5 – “Whiskey”
Maroon 5 released its fourth single this year on Oct. 20, a slow piano ballad paired with a slow, sensual techno beat. The band collaborates with rapper A$AP Rocky on “Whiskey,” a song about a girl who kissed Levine “like a whiskey.” Adam Levine’s vocals are the focus of the song and remain low and steady throughout the song, creating a beautiful John Legend-esque sound. A$AP’s feature is faster-paced and includes varying levels of autotuning. The rapper rhymes alcohol-infused lines like “Punch drunk love, it’s a fine line / Dom Pérignon, she the fine wine.” The song seems to take a more more mature sound than the band’s 2015 album V, which was full of quintessential Maroon 5 upbeat pop-rock jams like “Sugar” and “Animals.” The diverse single, “Whiskey,” however, sounds as though it could be at home on an album of The 1975 or Justin Timberlake, given its effortless combination of a synth-pop beat and mature, love-drunk lyrics.
Kris Wu – “Deserve”
Kris Wu employs a fun, simple “Hotline Bling”-like beat and the vocals of popular rapper Travis Scott on his Oct. 11 release, “Deserve.” The Chinese-Canadian actor and former member of South Korean band EXO seamlessly combines K-pop boy-band vocals with edgier rap lyrics to create an instant hit. The song is dedicated to a woman that has captivated the duo. The chorus is simple and easy to sing along to, repeating “yeah, yeah, yeah” in between one-liners like “Let me get you in your zone” and “Baby, you deserve a song.” The two sing “Let me make you famous, Michael Jackson dangerous,” alluding to Jackson’s 1991 record Dangerous. The single fails to make use of Scott’s ability to produce memorable verses, however, such as those found throughout Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight. While the song lacks deep meaning or especially clever lyrics, it holds lighthearted party hit potential.
Featured Image by Sour Mash