The May 2016 MuuTunes playlist is here.
Bangers™ — 3-ish minute pristine pop productions, just so we’re on the same page here — are in short supply.
Everyone is supes moody, depressed and Xanaxed out these days: Look at Zayn. Look at Rihanna. Look at Drake. Look at my favorite Kylie Jenner lip gloss commercial song. Shadowy, moody, experimental, chill, worldweary ANTI pop, Lemonade and lUcOzAde, no doubt ushered in from a post-Weeknd, post-Lana Del Rey and Lorde climate.
That’s not to say the music isn’t good, or that anything that isn’t specifically catered toward the dance floor isn’t excellent. The aforementioned records are all great records. Truly!
But let’s face it: There’s a banger famine. And for those of us craving a “Love At First Sight,” a “We Found Love,” a “Bad Romance,” a “Toxic,” a “Dancing On My Own,” a “Teenage Dream,” a “Run Away With Me” (#JusticeForJepsen) — the hands-in-the-air bops meant for clubbing and cardio routines as opposed to artsy slow-burners and agonizing tearjerkers — there’s been a noticeable lull. Where’s all the frothy escapism?
If I’m a trashy and predictable queen (formerly known as “Basic Bitch”) for craving tightly manufactured, choreography-friendly pop, then so be it. To quote Motown Records founder Berry Gordy: Don’t bore us, get to the chorus.
Luckily, the tide appears to be turn(t)ing ever-so-slightly this month. The bops: they’re a’coming.
– Princess Dua Lipa, who I proclaimed quite possibly our Next Great Pop Star To Believe In earlier this year, has proven herself to (still) Be The One with the almighty “Hotter Than Hell,” which, true to its name, is a tropical-tinged string of flame emojis in song form. That voice. That chorus. That’s a banger. (I was also #blessed enough to catch her live in the flesh last week at the McKittrick Hotel, and can confirm she sounds just as good, if not even better live — and the styling and stage presence was entirely on point, too. Consider every box ticked.)
– Ariana Grande‘s Dangerous Woman album campaign is as incoherent as her enunciation (and those latex bunny ears — why?), but Lil’ Miss Ponytail is giving it to the gays and girls. After “Be Alright” provided a moment in vogue, the pulsating “Into You” hits even harder with some finger-snapping flirting on the dance floor — and I’ll take that chorus as a REFERENCE to Mariah‘s “Touch My Body.” It’s maybe her greatest offering since “Break Free.” Max Martin remains God.
– Poot Lovato, wrongly credited as her sister Demi, covered “I Will Survive” for the soundtrack of The Angry Birds Movie. I’m happy she’s free.
– I honestly have no idea if I’m riding Meghan Trainor‘s M-Train ironically or what at this point, but I will say that there are some bops on her all-too-confident new record Thank You, including “Me Too,” which is essentially a more palatable version of Legendtina‘s ahead-of-its-time Bionic self-love affair, “Vanity.” Who am I kidding? I’m such a Potty Trainor.
– Alicia Keys is not screaming about being on fire? And is suddenly interesting again? “In Common” came out of nowhere, and it’s actually excellent — a fresh, sexy, summery, slightly Sade-ish moment of Caribbean-tinged greatness that we’ve never heard from her before. “If you could love somebody like me, you must be messed up too” is also my new Tinder bio.
– Just kidding. Who needs Tinder when I already have a new boyfriend? His name is Maluma, and he is Colombia’s Resident Reggaeton Pretty Boy/Dirty Boy. And also my man. Only in my head for now, but like…soon in real life too, I’m sure. I’m a Malumasexual. A Malumaniac. All Day I Dream About Maluma.
While he doesn’t have a solo track out this month (that “El Perdedor” video tho), he’s featured on a new song by Leslie Grace called “Aire,” and it’s pure fuego. Y agua. Y aire. Todo.
Look at this. I’ve never been more jealous of a baby.
Enjoy all of these songs (and more!) by subscribing to the May 2016 MuuTunes playlist on Spotify or Apple Music. (Missed April? It’s right here.) As always, I will keep updating throughout the month with even more bangers, bops and everything in between.
And call me, Maluma.