“Move That Dope” – Future
And just like that, Future shows up with another earworm of a song. “Move that Dope”, off of Future’s interminably-delayed Honest, features Pusha T, Pharrell and Casino all slinging their product in fine fashion. Future also gets assistance from the unstoppable Mike Will. Will turns the synth way up and adds some filter, creating a sound that has been accurately compared to Hit-Boy’s similarly earth-shaking “Clique” beat. Turn your volume up, because this sound should be shared.
Lyrically, all are able to make good use of Mike Will’s beat. Future autotunes “Young nigga move that dope” ad nauseum for the hook, and it is satisfying and catchy as “Bugatti” or “U.O.E.N.O.” King Push himself shows up to remind the kids that he still runs the game, growling “young enough to still sell dope/but old enough that I knows better”. It is Pharrell, however, that takes the cake with a goofy verse that ranges from his “Gandalf hat” to reminding everyone that “if you got two hoes/you need to let one go”. I am not sure what kind of dope Pharrell is moving, but if it includes Lord of the Rings references, I am buying.
— Calvin Patten
“I Can’t Describe” – Jennifer Hudson, Pharrell, T.I.
Jennifer Hudson has finally found major chart-topping potential with her new single “I Can’t Describe,” featuring T.I. This is the first look at Hudson’s upcoming third studio album, which is set to be released in early 2014.
Hudson, who is mostly known for modern R&B, takes a step back to try a more retro, upbeat 70’s-style sound in her new single. Only a voice like Hudson’s can pull off such soul. The collaboration with T.I. may cause some to be wary, but surprisingly enough, T.I. raps out his lines smoothly and effortlessly.
The lyrics epitomize retro-glamour and stylish, sensual hedonism, as Hudson sings of the indescribable pleasure of dancing the night away and more. T.I’s rap lyrics are expectedly full of references to wealth and luxury. While the lyrics aren’t particularly out of the ordinary, what makes “I Can’t Describe” work is the successful combination of an older style and beat with more modern rapping. This is a song about enjoying carefree pleasure, and Hudson and T.I. pull it off.
“Luna” – Bombay Bicycle Club
For years, British indie rock band Bombay Bicycle Club has explored the frontier of genres as diverse as R&B, folk and ‘80s synth pop (think Vampire Weekend’s Contra), becoming well-known for pushing the envelope and evolving musically. Their fourth LP, So Long, See You Tomorrow, is no different. Though it shares several common features with their third album, A Different Kind of Fix, So Long, See You Tomorrow is defined by experimentation with a more psychedelic, polished sound.
“Luna”, the second single to be released from the album, stays true to this description. Frontman Jack Steadman’s voice is complemented by sophisticated guitar riffs and light-but-driving drum rhythms, creating a vibrant and varied texture. Featuring the beautiful vocal talent of UK-based Rae Morris, “Luna” has a wonderful buoyancy that explodes in fresh and unexpected ways. Morris’s voice lifts up the track before the first chorus, and when the chorus arrives again, bassist Ed Nash’s pounding rhythms take over. Fitting with the title, the track creates a lunar landscape that is at once foreign and familiar to the listener. “It’s all about animation and loops,” says Steadman, and this playful, surprising quality can be felt throughout the track. Although the rest of the album is a mixed bag in terms of quality, with some clear hits and other tracks that would have been better left off the final cut, “Luna” does not disappoint. The song marks a maturation in the band’s sound that holds the album together, and promises to solidify their reputation as innovators in the indie rock genre.
— Caitlan Sussman