Justin Bieber and Chance the Rapper’s Wholesome Team-Up, and 10 More New Songs

Justin Bieber featuring Chance the Rapper, ‘Holy’The earnest, restrained “Holy” doesn’t exactly announce the arrival of Justin Bieber as a Christian pop star — he’s more doing devotional R&B, blending themes of loyalty and faith with those of romantic commitment. (For example, “I don’t believe in nirvana, but the way that we love in the night gave me life, baby.”) These are lines that are already fuzzy in gospel and contemporary Christian music (CCM), but Bieber’s turn in this direction — amplified by a squeaky, nimble, praise-adjacent verse from Chance the Rapper — signifies both Bieber’s ongoing journey away from his tumultuous teen years and also the increasing visibility of spirituality in secular spaces. Did you have Justin Bieber-goes-Amy Grant on your 2020 bingo card?

Sam Smith, ‘Diamonds’

Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” morphing from ballad to club propulsion, has been a durable template for songs by resentful exes. The latest is Sam Smith’s “Diamonds,” a denunciation of a mercenary partner that starts as a lament but gradually takes on a 4/4 disco thump and busily scrubbing rhythm guitar. “You’re never gonna hear my heart break,” they (Smith’s pronoun) declare, adding, “Take all the money you want from me.” But there’s anguish in their voice, even as the beat pushes Smith toward freedom.

Blood Orange and Park Hye Jin, ‘Call Me (Freestyle)’

The pandemic has fostered the kind of web-surfing that leads to unexpected, long-distance collaborations. For “Call Me (Freestyle),” Devonte Hynes, a.k.a. Blood Orange, places his melody and lyrics atop the hazy, looping piano refrain and drum-machine beats of “Call Me,” a 2018 track by the South Korean singer, songwriter and producer Park Hye Jin. Her vocal in Korean, from the original track, chants, “Don’t answer my phone. It’s just a depressing story anyway.” Above her serenely melancholy piano, Hynes — sometimes harmonizing with himself — sings in quick triplets about bicycling late at night and poses questions: “How do you feel?” “When was the last time that you cried?” Mood: suspended, isolated, wondering.
READ MORE:https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/18/arts/music/playlist-justin-bieber-chance-the-rapper.html

Drake Was Isolated (at the Top) Way Before Quarantine

“Dark Lane Demo Tapes” is a collection of rough drafts about the struggles of success and hints at what his next album might sound like.

Credit Drake for being both the most sonically consistent pop star of the last decade and also a work in progress. From album to album, year to year, he draws from a standard palette of moody R&B and puffed-chest rap, emotionally charged hip-hop and muscular soul. But at the same time, he’s always slathering his approach atop new inputs: dancehall, grime, Houston rap, Afrobeats and beyond. Unlike many of his peers, he’ll put his credibility on the line for a chance to absorb and repurpose new sounds.

Which is why “Dark Lane Demo Tapes” — a largely effective album-length odds-and-ends collection but not, you know, an album — may be more valuable as data than as songs. As music, it’s a mostly sharp document of top-dog anxiety and solipsism. But it’s also perhaps a spoiler for the proper album Drake announced will be released this summer,his first since the blustery “Scorpion” in 2018.

“Dark Lane” shows Drake songs at various developmental points — full-fledged experiments in a range of regional and microscene styles, half-cooked ideas from old projects, classicist exercises, formal rhymes, informal rhymes. Omnivorous and osmotic, he feels his way around new production styles and tries out new flow patterns, attempting to make them jibe with the soft-edged style he excels at.

“War” is a U.K. drill song, ominous and sneering and full of deeply studied slang. “Demons” explores Brooklyn drill, a little jumpier than its overseas cousin. (It features two of that scene’s up and comers, Fivio Foreign and Sosa Geek.) “Toosie Slide,” which recently went to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 thanks to its baked-in virality, is a quasi-dance song. And “Pain 1993,” a long-promised collaboration with Playboi Carti, is a chance for Drake to ably mimic his collaborator’s chirps.

READ MORE: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/06/arts/music/drake-dark-lane-demo-tapes-review.html?action=click&module=Editors%20Picks&pgtype=Homepage