Taylor Swift may be the talk of the town today, but Eminem and Beyoncé made a splash themselves with the surprise release of their new, introspective collaboration, heralding the return of Eminem to the spotlight (and a forthcoming album). Walk the Moon — of “Shut Up and Dance” fame — also have something to say on their new album “What If Nothing,” a pop-rock collection with plenty of earworms in store. Rapper Chaz French finds a solid flow on a new mixtape. London pop duo Cherryade paint the town red in a proper party anthem. And Jennifer Lopez brings the party on the infectiously upbeat “Amor, Amor, Amor.”
Write to Raisa Bruner at email@example.com.
"Walk on Water," Eminem feat. Beyoncé
Guess who’s back? Yes, it’s Marshall Mathers. And he’s brought Beyoncé with him. Two respective titans of music join together for “Walk on Water,” an emotional and introspective new ballad that sees both of them questioning the pedestal their fans have put them on — and the challenges of living up to the standards they’ve set. “Why are expectations so high?” Eminem questions at the offset. “Is it the bar I set, my arms I stretch, but I can’t reach?” And Beyoncé, heavenly resonant over the spare piano melody — plus sound effects of crumpling paper, lines being scribbled and muffled curses — reminds us that just because we’ve deified these artists doesn’t mean they can always deliver on perfection. “I’ll walk on water, but I ain’t no Jesus,” she insists. “I’m only human, just like you. I’ve been making my mistakes, oh if you only knew. I don’t think you should believe in me the way that you do, because I’m terrified to let you down.” Eminem is expected to follow this up with a new album.
"Kamikaze," Walk the Moon
Walk the Moon came out swinging in 2014 with surprise hit “Shut Up and Dance,” an earworm and radio success. After some time away, the band regrouped for a new album What If Nothing, out today, filled with their pop-friendly alt-rock. “Kamikaze” is an urgent and immediately catchy song, with a minor-key melody that gets bombastic lift from a heavily beat-driven chorus. Some sharp electric guitar riffs, multi-layered production and the anthem-worthy vocals of lead singer Nicholas Petricca seal the deal.
"Kill," Chaz French
If you liked the slightly eerie, ominous flows of Kendrick Lamar on records like “DNA.”, then Chaz French might be exactly your speed on “Kill,” a sharp, insidiously memorable track off a new surprise mixtape to follow up his summer album release True Colors. The D.C.-born artist’s flow is rapid-fire, crystal-clear and nimble, asserting independence at every turn. “Don’t let ’em slow you down, don’t let em hold you back, you don’t owe nobody nothin’,” he reminds listeners. “You ain’t worth losing my focus.”
"My Town," Cherryade
If you like the irreverent party girl anthems of groups like Icona Pop, then you’ll love the cheeky vibes of Cherryade. New song “My Town” is an unapologetic rallying cry for “painting the town.” The spunky London duo are about as brash and fun-loving as they come. “In my town, we gonna cause some trouble; in my town, no one can burst our bubble,” they sing. It’s sweet and spicy, attitude-filled and chanted singalong fare over bubbly beats — the perfect kind of pump-up pop.
"Amor, Amor, Amor," Jennifer Lopez feat. Wisin
Roll into the weekend with JLo’s upbeat, celebratory Latin jam “Amor, Amor, Amor.” If the party-ready beat doesn’t already make you want to jet off to warmer weather, then her extra-sultry music video should do the trick. (No one dances in fur and crop tops quite like Lopez — and she’s assembled quite a talented crew to back her up in the dance battle, too.) Featuring reggaeton singer Wisin, “Amor, Amor, Amor” shows Lopez continuing to lean into her Latina heritage. Plus, it’s a worthy contender to follow smash Latin hits “Despacito” and “Mi Gente” if those have lost their “wow” factor for repeat listeners.