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New Music Roundup: Icona Pop, Ballad & Starrah

EDM-free R&B and cliché pop.

Artist // YouTube

Icona Pop & Louis the Child, "Weekend"

I've always wanted to like Icona Pop. But after "I Don't Care," which I appreciated as a one-off, it felt like their follow-up singles lacked just as much substance, and now I think I've just grown tired of the shtick. They really drive it home with "Weekend," yet another song about partying into obliterated oblivion. And they make sure to list all the necessary requirements. Getting "too turnt"? Check. An "iPhone screen cracked"? Uh huh. "Brand new high heels"? K. Realizing that you "can't remember anything"? Yup. Also, if I hear the phrase "pop a couple bottles" one more time... Why isn't anyone striving for innovation, even for the most inconsequential of lyrics? Anyway, my favorite part of "Weekend" is when they stop singing and make room for that squealing, scaling synth that sounds a lot like a snake-charming flute after, per Icona Pop's words, "three drinks."— Danielle Cheesman

Ballad, "Give It All"

When I pressed play on Ballad's "Give It All" single, I instantly did a double-take. Why? Because I honestly thought that Lloyd was a featured guest. But that wasn't the case; it was Ballad, all himself. Still, this could be a good or bad thing. Good because it shows his vocal abilities and alterations that add more substance and style to the track, but bad because people will make comparisons as we often do (and I just did). Still, there is a high level of appreciation for songs that still hold the true essence of R&B without implementing electro/EDM sounds so, Ballad, you get three thumbs up for this one. — Erin Ashley Simon

Starrah, "Dirty Diana"

For those who don't know who Starrah is, she's the writer behind hits such as Kevin Gates' "2 Phones," Rihanna's "Needed Me" and more. However, she's now taking the solo artist route with three poppin' singles: "Low," "Rush," and her latest, "Dirty Diana." The Retro Future-produced track is catchy and light with its bubbly-synths and, overall, quite versatile. It could be the soundtrack to buying the first round at club or to a summertime party but, either way, "Dirty Diana" further proves that sometimes simple is better.— E.A.S.

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