Thursday 14 January 2016

BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE WEEK 15/01/2016: David Bowie, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West and more...

It’s unfortunate that the birth of this new year has already been memorialised with the death of a musical icon. Does this spell out doom and gloom for the music industry? I’d like to think not. Continuing my ‘Tracks of the Week’ segment I bring you this first annual instalment, kicking 2016 off with some big names to prove that all is not lost. Big names like globally-renowned New York rockers, Washer. Everyone knows them. I can’t say I’m all that familiar with this Kanye West fellow though…


'Lazarus' – David Bowie

Everything Bowie did was an artistic statement, even in his death. Watching this video at first, I assumed it all to be surrealist nonsense. But that was three days before he passed away, three days before I or anyone else knew he was terminally ill. Now it’s all disturbingly and vividly clear – Bowie writhing around on his deathbed, frantically writing material down at his desk before the end takes him, the evil cancer waiting for him in the guise of some ugly creature under the bed - it’s like some geniusly awful surprise plot twist has just been unveiled. As for the lyrics, they're not quite as easy to read into: 'I was looking for your ass'. 

'Untitled 2' – Kendrick Lamar

Previewed in a live performance on The Tonight Show, ‘Untitled 2’ may just be a leftover from last year’s To Pimp A Butterfly but it’s a tasty leftover regardless. A velvety funk instrumental offers the backdrop to some fiery bars from Kendrick about how wealth doesn’t bring happiness. I doubt we’ll see a studio version, but it’s something to keep us ravenous K-dot fans satiated in the mean time.

'Got Drunk And Ate The Sun' – Washer

Getting drunk and eating a kebab is boring. These unhinged Brooklyn rockers prefer to cure their alcohol munchies by eating giant balls of thermonuclear plasma. Most of this duo’s songs are a little demented in sound and given the subject matter it’s only logical that this track should follow suit. The way the singer breaks into screaming without warning midway through the track is beautifully volatile (if I tried to eat the sun I'd probably scream too).

'Real Friends' – Kanye West

There’s not much to the beat, but it’s a relief to hear Ye rapping with soul and being humble for once, reflecting on how he hasn’t always been a great friend: ‘I guess I got what I deserved’. A snippet of another song ‘No More Parties in LA’ meanwhile appears at the end of the track feauturing, of all people, Kendrick Lamar. 


'Facts' – Kanye West

Yes, it’s him again. Sadly this second-rate trap rap single appears to be nothing more than a laughable diss track aimed at sportwear giants, Nike. ‘Nike treat employees just like slaves.’ Just because you sponsor Adidas, Kanye. As if they’re any better. Listen here.

'You Are Killing Me' – The Dandy Warhols

Give these aging Britpoppers a pillow. They sound tired. Are they trying to sound like they’re not trying? Or are they simply not trying?