“Lonely” – Diplo & the Jonas Brothers
When Diplo joins forces with the Jonas Brothers, the result is bound to be as mediocre as one would expect. Fortunately, “Lonely” only lasts 2 minutes and 19 seconds, a marvel considering the fact that this song is practically begging to be played on pop radio. “Lonely” isn’t particularly offensive, it’s just lazy. It gathers together all the necessary components of a hit song and simply spits them back at the listener. Acoustic guitar dripping with reverb? Check. Cowboy imagery on the album cover? Check. The whole affair is remarkably dead-eyed. The Jonas Brothers have shown, since their return, that they can embrace pop without selling their souls. The brothers’ 2019 album Happiness Begins packed a punch andgarnered begrudging praise from critics. The band doesn’t need to stoop to levels as low as “Lonely.” They’re doing just fine on their own.
“Good Thing” – Zedd and Kehlani
Zedd switches up his straightforward production style on his collaboration with Kehlani. This ode to independence blends sparkling synths with a jazzy tempo for an entirely original sound. EDM songs like this don’t usually emphasize lyrics, but in “Good Thing,” they’re clever and complex. Kehlani’s extravagant boasts belie genuine vulnerability, like when she admits, “I make myself up / Just to dance in the mirror when I’m at home.”
“Rushing Back” (feat. Vera Blue) – Flume
Flume is uncharacteristically minimal on “Rushing Back,” letting the unique texture of Australian singer-songwriter Vera Blue’s voice take center stage. Soft bells and a subtle beat are all that anchor the wistful lyrics. Only when the chorus hits does Flume unleash one of his signature flourishes, a glitchy, mangled robotic choir that fails to meld with Blue’s vocals.
Featured Image by Republic Records