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First Impressions: Solange, 2 Chainz, Carly Rae Jepsen And More

Written By Sam Murphy on 03/07/2019

First Impressions is our review roundtable where we size up the new music of the past week. This week we’re looking at Stay Flo from Solange’s latest LP When I Get Home, Ariana Grande and 2 Chainz’s second team-up of the year Rule The World and more.

Solange – Stay Flo

Jackson Langford: Solange has more than proven her ability to craft entire universes with rich melodies and her silky smooth vocals alone. When I Get Home is no different – it’s avant-garde, it flows gently and delicately and completely absorbs you. The centrepiece – ‘Stay Flo’ – soaks you up whole. It sounds of late nights, red cups, perhaps a dull scent of weed floating from room to room. It’s a moment of clarity in the hazy ambience of When I Get Home, and it’s one I could listen to forever.

Jessie Lu: Can’t say I bought into the initial hype of this album drop (so much new music this week!) but I can now see exactly why some people have been screaming Solange is the superior Knowles for years! Like her album, this track feels almost ethereal, transcending through space and time with its repetition, a theme that she’s taken to a new level. Stay Flo relies on her incredibly soothing vocals and she delivers in spades, guiding us through her mind but not explicitly showing us anymore. 4.5

Sam Murphy: The first listen of When I Get Home washed over me but there was one song that stuck out from the first listen and it was that one. It’s just Solange extremely in her shit. Everything from the tempo to the vocal samples feel like they’re part of her DNA. She just sits in it and lets it unfold naturally. Most artists don’t have the restraint to allow something to stay so natural but Solange knows exactly when something is right. I can see her putting this on, lighting a blunt and vibing out to it with no one else alone. 5

2 Chainz – Rule The World (Feat. Ariana Grande)

Jackson: 2 Chainz has remained content with how incredibly underrated he is for a while – he knows he’s great, that’s all that matters. But now with Ariana’s deep, lavish vocals melting beautifully in the chorus, it’s hard to believe 2 Chainz is going to remain underrated for much longer. 4

Jessie: Couldn’t tell you the last time I listened to 2 Chainz but anything with Ariana is a bop these days right? It’s been slightly hyped also because it samples Amerie’s Why Don’t We Fall in Love but it only really helps out Ari, with pretty uninspiring content from 2 Chainz. Ariana’s feature is up to scratch and almost gets me moving but it ain’t no NASA and I don’t think I’ll be revisiting it anytime soon. 2

Sam: Ariana always skirts around having a full on Mariah moment but here she’s heard those throwback ‘90s keys and decided “fuck it, let’s do it.” She sounds great and it’s a really sunny moment on an album that is full of highlights. Lyrically it’s not 2 Chainz’s best moment on the record but it’s the light pop moment and he needed at least one of those. 4

Carly Rae Jepsen – Now That I Found You

Jackson: Carly just gets pop, she just gets it. She’s completely fine with packing enough sugar into one three minute banger that it gives you tooth decay, but always makes sure there’s a little spicy kick to balance things out. Her best since ‘Cut To The Feeling’. 4

Jessie: Now this is the bop we were all waiting for and expected from our QWUEENN!! Made for your next messy night at your best local gay club. Still not quite at the lofty heights bop level of that she’s reached before though, and feels a tiny bit formulaic. 3.5

Sam: It’s the lesser of the two songs that she released last week but not by much. The verses feel like blood pulsing through my veins and even though the chorus feels a bit more lacklustre it’s still a euphoric moment that only CRJ could serve. 3.5

Benny Blanco – I Can’t Get Enough (Feat. Selena Gomez, J Balvin, Tainy)

Jackson: Literally everyone on this song can do and has done better. 1

Jessie: Felt like this track had immense potential at the start, setting up with Selena’s pleasant vocals and the gradual build of the beat from benny blanco but then stays fairly one dimensional throughout. Disappointing, because benny blanco has displayed way more range than in here. I would love to see some new stuff from Selena though,  her last big drop being over 3 years ago, guess these morsels will have to tide us over for now. 2.5

Sam: The funny thing is, I can get enough and I literally did on the first listen. It’s a mind-drilling, repetitive song that doesn’t do justice to any of the people featured here. Selena has come back for the sugar-free version of Taki Taki and she shouldn’t have. 2

Bea Miller – it’s not u it’s me (Feat. 6lack)

Jackson: ur right it is u 1

Jessie: I’ve definitely heard this around and remembered it which is a good sign? No clue where though, and have to admit, this the the first I’ve heard of Bea Miller and I’ll be coming back for more. Best collab of the week on here. Getting faint Billie Eilish x Ariana Grande vibes and I’m digging it. 4

Sam: I think the chorus is eventually going to drive me nuts but for now it’s satisfying. I actually am not sure who Bea Miller is but her voice sounds really great in the verses, so much so that she probably didn’t even need 6lack to join. I see that Mike Sabath who produced this also worked on the Benny Blanco song. At least he didn’t commit two crimes this week. 3

MARINA – Superstar

Jackson It can be hard to track just how Marina’s evolution has happened since her releases are so sparse. But one thing that has stayed with her for years is her ability to make accessible pop music that has haunts you. Her theatrical vocals waltz across the rapid fire beat and thumping bass, and it’s so good to have her back. 4

Jessie: THIS (and her insta pic with Lana Del Rey) is officially getting me hyped for her upcoming long awaited album. It feels like a grown up version of MARINA that we’re getting, maybe a little less sickly sweet but one that definitely hasn’t lost any of her charisma (or divine soprano). Definitely a tune to get behind. 4

Sam: I’m really having trouble deciding why I like this song so much. It feels lacklustre on the first listen but it just keeps revealing itself and now I think it’s brilliant. “I love the way we work so hard, we’ve come so far,” is such a simple but interesting hook for a love song that celebrates relationships being hard but sometimes worthwhile. We love a constructive popstar. 4

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