“Frail State of Mind” – The 1975”
The 1975’s latest single arrives with the sonic schizophrenia of house music and the faux poignancy of Cigarettes After Sex lyrics. “Frail State of Mind” is, as the title and electronic beat suggest, a lamentation of the type of internet-induced anxiety that lurks around the Twittersphere and Tumblrscape.
Like on “I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes),” the final song off the band’s masterful third album, “Frail State of Mind” builds a healthy dose of self-awareness into the track’s languished lines. Frontman Matty Healy sings “Oh what’s the vibe? / I wouldn’t know, I’m normally in bed at this time” in one verse, and it’s this type of unabashed kitsch that makes The 1975 a generation-defining act. Healy “vibe checks” himself mid-stream of pompousness to speak the language of his millennial-gen-Z-cusp fanbase. On “Frail State of Mind,” the self-aggrandizing sorrow of “Me” and whiny drawl of “Robbers,” both tracks off 2013’s The 1975, are kept at bay.
The song follows on the whiplash-inducing scream punk of “People,” the first single off the band’s upcoming Notes on a Conditional Form. Slick synths slide and buckle around Healy’s most recent musings, making “Frail State of Mind” a comparatively inoffensive listen. A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships (2018) received high praise for its genre-non-conforming versatility. The contrasting sounds of the two singles from Notes on a Conditional Form assure listeners the same breadth of influence, but not at the expense of deep introspection.
“Good As Hell” – Lizzo (feat. Ariana Grande)
If it seems a little late for a “Good As Hell” remix, it’s because it is. The anthemic Lizzo track was first released in 2016, but didn’t rise to prominence until 2019, when Lizzo’s Cuz I Love You gained unprecedented amounts of critical acclaim and commercial success. Ariana Grande adds a whopping four lines and her signature whiny ‘ooh’s to “Good As Hell.” The “thank u, next” singer not only fails to add new substance to the song, but she detracts from its original politics. “He been tryin’ it, but not today” sounds less like feminist mantra and more like a declaration of dependence.
“MAMACITA” – Tyga, YG, and Santana
Trap bass and graphic rap verses collide with Carlos Santana’s smooth electric guitar riffs on “MAMACITA.” With a bespoke guitar solo, Santana outshines Tyga and YG, whose raunchy lyrics douse the steamy romance of the legendary musician’s iconic playing. When you hear a Santana riff, you know it’s a Santana riff. Lines like, “She bad in real life with no make up on (Arriba!) / Fashionova jeans, I can see the thong,” don’t afford the two rappers the same sort of automatic identification.
Featured Image by Dirty Hit