What’s new with Beyoncé, Rosalía, Taylor Swift, Alicia Keys and other songs for November | Babelia

Rosalía feat. The Weeknd – ‘The Famous’

Everything was expectations, once again, in Rosalía’s world, and ‘La fama’, the first preview of a new album scheduled for 2022, leaves a cold atmosphere. It could be said that even indifferent, which, as history shows, is the worst thing that can happen to any artistic work. The song is a bachata revamped with all the electronic clothing so typical of these times. Bachata by “la Rosalía, accompanied by The Weeknd, the Canadian musician who has stretched the limits of R&B in recent years. and with whom he already collaborated in the Spanishized revision of ‘Blinding Lights’. Here The Weeknd sings in Spanish and does not go beyond a curious note for a composition that lacks depth, tear and even grace. It is a light theme, no more, but, at this point in which all the pop superstars look at Latin American sounds to articulate their speeches, they would be grateful for more salt and strength, as C. Tangana did in the rumbachata of ‘You stopped loving me’. It is not enough just to sell a song with a style. If with ‘Blinding Lights’ The Weeknd helped Rosalía win over the Anglo-Saxon public in the US, now she returns the favor by introducing him to the Latin world. The transfer of interest is worth it, but it would be good to put more desire on it, apart from the commercial ones. FERNANDO NAVARRO

Moses Sumney – ‘Bystanders (In Space)’

‘Bystanders (In Space)’ could be translated as “passers-by in space”. In some way, the name first indicates the bucolic atmosphere to which Moses Sumney, a musician of impossible labeling, wants to transport. Sumney is not soul, nor hip hop, nor jazz, nor R&B. And yet, it is everything at once. An artist with a heavenly voice and extraordinary fragility who creates environments as impossible, in which the exquisite taste for minimalism of groups like The National and the evocative virtue of free spirits like Jeff Buckley prevail. In this preview of what will be his next album, Sumney plays his usual cards since he was unveiled in 2018 with the fascinating Aromanticism. The synthesizer draws sidereal signals in a song of increasing suggestion. Without being dark, ‘Bystanders (In Space)’ is not light either. It is like a galactic void that imposes and recreates itself in all directions. The album promises to bring more elements to make Sumney one of the most important voices of black music of the last decade. F. N.

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Rigoberta Bandini – ‘Julio Iglesias’

One of the recurrences of postmodernity is to appeal to nostalgia, often from a packaging horteril: Alaska is a master at it. The Catalan Rigoberta Bandini, phenomenon indie that has exploded into the pandemic (some have done well with the virus) with songs like ‘Too Many Drugs’ or ‘Perra’, He titled his new creation ‘Julio Iglesias’. The piece sounds more like Abba than the author of ‘Gwendolyne’, but the grace is already done. A song that describes in the text those family trips where the father smoked Ducados and everyone sang the songs of the parents’ generation. Even the singer sees the need to get herself into the text: “Paula Ribó [su nombre real] he suffered and now that is poetry ”. It all sounds nice and friendly. CARLOS MARCOS

Rigoberta Bandini in concert in Madrid, in September 2021.
Rigoberta Bandini in concert in Madrid, in September 2021.David Exposito

Tachenko – ‘Four stars’

The indie Spanish has seen groups fall in the last three decades, some due to lack of quality, others due to bad luck. Tachenko, who will turn 20 next year, are still standing, but in a division that does not correspond to them. Those from Zaragoza deserve to be much higher. A dozen albums support them: all (that is, all) good. His new job is called The nightclubs in the afternoon and one of his best songs is ‘Cuatro estrellas’, where those of Sergio Vinadé offer a new lesson in guitar pop with a memorable chorus. Fresh, exciting, smart. And that they continue like this for many years. C. M.

Gabriels – ‘Bloodline’

We live in times of polarization. And not only in what is important, also in the music scene. They say that the fault of all this is reggaeton, which has ended up blowing up all the consensus. You can no longer believe in Joe Strummer, or in Chopin, or in anyone who does not have several Latin Grammys, without being branded a stale soul who wanders through the sale section of any record store sad because he already has all those vinyls. That is why peacemaking music is necessary, the one that, like Norway – a country that is an expert in mediating conflicts, let them tell Rabin and Arafat – brings together young and old, those who come and those who return. This Los Angeles trio, if you see it with eyes that have seen a lot, they sound like gospelBobby Womack, Fela Kuti and Billie Holiday; If you see them with new eyes, they are at that point where the shadows of Sault and Moses Sumney himself meet. ‘Bloodline’ is the preview of their second EP. This is a slow funeral march that has the unique quality of sounding equal parts to genesis and apocalypse. It does not reach the levels of genius of its first single, ‘Love and Hate in a Different Time’, but it supports the idea that these three can become important without needing to become millionaires to achieve it. XAVI SANCHO

Black Country New Road – ‘Bread Song’

In February of this year it went on sale For the first time, the debut album of this London septet. The feature length related them to the other young epigones of the wild experimentation, Black Midi. But the Black Country New Road thing it was even crazier. It was as if the seven members of the band had put something into every song and no one was determined to give up anything that crossed their mind. You could find Richard Hell and Goran Bregovic on the same song, and that same song could start and end up to six times. It was curious, funny, interesting, and sometimes even brilliant. These months seem to have calmed these guys down a bit, or at least given them a minimally consistent system of government. ‘Bread Song’ is his second attempt at a proper song. Reduce references to 90s orchestral pop, Kurt Weill and Beta Band. It sounds less interesting and fresh than its first references, but, unlike those, you want to hear it more than once. Quite a few more. X. S.

Alicia Keys, at the Billboard Awards held in May 2021 in Los Angeles.
Alicia Keys, at the Billboard Awards held in May 2021 in Los Angeles.Chris Pizzello (AP)

Alicia Keys – ‘Best of Me’

Alicia Keys’ eighth album, due out in December, will have two sides, Originals and Unlocked. Or what is the same, it will be a double with the same songs in two versions: a silkier and a more robust, co-produced with Mike WiLL Made It, collaborator of Kendrick Lamar. As the first sample comes ‘Best of Me’, a ballad reminiscent of La Sade de Diamond Life. I mean, soul vintage and exquisitely executed, with pop production and total dedication to the other person as the theme (because “you bring out the best in me”), but with the spiritual significance that characterizes it. The version unlocked sounds more synthetic, with a subtle arrangement drawn from house of the nineties. After hearing this first advance, the double version does not seem justified. We will see the rest … BEATRIZ G. ARANDA

Beyoncé – ‘Be Alive’

More interest has the new Beyoncé, who these days looks at us from all the posh magazines in the commented Tiffany ad, celebrating in passing that in 2021 she is already the most awarded woman at the Grammys. Yes, definitely ‘Be Alive’ is a song of euphoria but it has other readings, all applicable to the Black Lives Matter movement. The song is part of the film’s soundtrack King Richard, about the life of Venus and Serena Williams’ father. In it, the layers of vocal harmonies are rich and unpredictable, allowing interest to grow and not wane, despite a simple musical accompaniment: delicate chords and a classical structure of marked beats. The performance vocal is sensational and carries the full weight of the melody: poignant singing “how we have fought to be alive”; assertive saying that “I look up with pride”; and without an iota of victimhood when he sings “do you know how much we have cried?” B. G. A.

Singer FKA Twigs, in concert in Oakland, California, in 2019.
Singer FKA Twigs, in concert in Oakland, California, in 2019.
Steve Jennings

FKA twigs feat. Central Cee –Measure of a Man’

If one listens, as is the case, to this song without previously knowing anything about it, the first thing that strikes us is that it sounds like a James Bond movie soundtrack. Almost: it turns out to appear in The King’s Man, the third feature film of the franchise KingsmanThose 007s that, as they arrived in the 21st century, are not a state agency but a private one. Measure of a Man It seems like entertainment for FKA twigs, who plays the Tina Turner who sang ‘Goldeneye’ in the 90s, or the Shirley Bassie who performed ‘History Repeating’ with Propellerheads around the same time. Elegant electronic instrumentation, orchestral strings and a foray by London-based rapper Central Cee, give shape to a theme that is still a curiosity in the Twigs repertoire. ÍÑIGO LÓPEZ PALACIOS

Arca feat. Planningtorock – ‘Queer’

Let’s see if I have not misunderstood: the Venezuelan Arca published Kick i, a master album, in 2020, and on December 3, 2021 they will arrive Kick ii, iii and iiii, three other discs that complete a tetralogy about herself. Apparently the place of iiii would be the conclusion. Now let’s forget the theory and get into Queer, the song that serves as a preview of that fourth volume is, of course, Arca 100%. A strangely pop Ark (within its scales) with the participation of the artist Planningtorock, who with her distorted voice sings in English about tears and queer power. Like almost everything about Arca, there is no one to explain it, but like almost everything about Arca, it is a marvel. I. L. P.

Charli XCX, in an image from the 'Forever' video, in 2020.
Charli XCX, in an image from the ‘Forever’ video, in 2020.

Charli XCX feat. Christine and The Queens y Caroline Polachek – ‘New Shapes’

Second preview of Charli XCX’s new album, ‘New Shapes’ arises from her tripartite alliance with two other great ladies of electronic pop with pretenses arty: the French Christine and The Queens, who triumphed with Human warmth, and the magnificent leader of the extinct Chairlift, Caroline Polachek, who always improves everything she plays, including a cover of The Corrs. Despite all the promise of this gentlemen’s agreement, the result is more effective than captivating, and it suffers from an excessive simplicity, verging on sterile repetition. The air of remake of an eighties classic that the song emerges, bathed in somewhat invasive synthesizers, and his speech about a dying relationship that fails to reincarnate in those “new forms” to which the title refers, give off a certain air of already seen. ÁLEX VICENTE

Taylor Swift feat. Phoebe Bridgers – ‘Nothing New’

The new recording of Red, the transitional album with which Taylor Swift moved from being a muse for country folk in Dinerolandia to aspiring to global pop stardom, contains a handful of songs that the singer never recorded for the original album. The best of all is ‘Nothing New’, melancholic lament about the dislikes of fame and the different treatment that men and women receive within this industry, two of the leit motivs Swift themes on more recent albums like Reputation O Lover. The singer shows here a sophistication for the lyrics that, seeing what she has seen, she already possessed long before the celebrated diptych that they supposed Folklore and Evermore in 2020. “How can a person know everything at 18 and nothing at 22?” sings Swift, who has recruited the enveloping voice of Phoebe Bridgers, with whom she forms an unexpected and well-matched duo. AND. IN.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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