Track Reviews

‘Me and the Devil’

Gil Scott-Heron

XL Recordings

The track throbs with distorted bass as the hero swears revenge to an uncaring sky. Politicized flows like “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” might have earned Gil Scott-Heron the title Godfather of Rap, but the twisted synths in blues number “Me and the Devil” sound more like “Sin City” than 50 Cent. His voice ripped apart by age and cheap whiskey, Scott-Heron croons over a heavy backbeat until the fallen hero chambers a round for his revenge — then it’s over. What Scott-Heron has crafted is genuinely disturbing, but there’s no climax to break the track open. You’ll have to pick up the album to find out how this cliffhanger ends. 5/10

— Matthew Pecot

Associate Hiatus Editor

‘Fearless Love’

Melissa Etheridge

Island Records

A Chex Mix of cliche, formulaic song structure and tired lyrics, Etheridge’s “Fearless Love” rides her powerful voice all the way to Alzheimer’s. The plodding drums and annoying synth are a humdrum throwback to Alanis Morissette and every other female phoenix who rose above her ex-boyfriend’s abuse. Needless to say, “Fearless Love” is a step down from the raw power of her “Piece of My Heart” cover and the honesty in breast-cancer survival anthem “I Run for Life.” The track was made for hardcore fans or people with poor pattern recognition: If every Nicholas Sparks story seems original to you, wait until you hear the lows this song goes. 4/10

— Bryan Kim

Contributing Writer

‘Romance is Boring’

Los Campesinos!

Wichita

In their latest single, Los Campesinos! draw upon their typical grab bag of instrumentation to create a melting pot of unhinged guitar solos and energetic medleys. The ironic “Romance is Boring” boisterously replicates the entertainment of the best of the group’s earlier work. Irreverent and cheeky lyrics uncage the track’s breezy energy, stopping only for the occasional emphatic chorus, raucus vocals juxtaposed with the banal scene described.

Catchy and concise, Los Campesinos! exude a bottomless energy, just beginning to hit their stride. 7/10

— Imran Manji

Staff Writer

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