Mac Miller, "My Favorite Part" feat. Ariana Grande
This one took me by surprise. And not just because Mac Miller sings on it, but because he does for the whole damn thing. And sounds good, at that! Which is a risk when side-by-side with a power vocal like Ariana Grande (his now-girlfriend). These neo-soul sounds – an electric keyboard and rubbery bass – are stolen straight from Musiq Soulchild circa the early 2000s and I am all the way here for it. Coupled with the Anderson .Paak-assisted funky, horn-driven "Damn," I'm officially hyped for Mac's upcoming The Divine Feminine.—Danielle Cheesman
Lady Gaga, "Perfect Illusion"
Lady Gaga has been teasing her return to music with this single for weeks. And after nearly three years since she’s had a solo hit, I was expecting better. I love the disco-rock beat fit for an arena and I love her descending key-changing tone on the verses, but the chorus is where things get tricky. The way she is pronouncing “love” is so dramatic, it’s unnatural. It’s nearly theater-esque. Which mentally brings me back to her ArtPop days; a time I’d like to forget. It’s as if she’s trying her damndest to be a rock god and I’m seeing right through it. Gonna go dust off The Fame now.—D.C.
Common, "Lovestar" feat. Marsha Ambrosius and PJ
Reminiscent of a track from his 2002 album, Electric Circus, Com' does what he does best when it comes to rapping about the fairer sex. Not one to shy away from his emotions, the MC describes what his ideal love and affection would be with the one he is currently desiring. Offering her space and freedom to do as she pleases, Com also reminds her that their mutual love and respect is a godbody romance.—Robert Hansen