It was a battle of the bands this week, and I’m giving the win to Weezer.
Three days ago, Weezer, Green Day and Fall Out Boy revealed their “Hella Mega Tour.” The three released singles that hit streaming services at midnight Friday were the surprising icing on top of the cake for fans.
When the tour announcement was made, I texted a friend and made plans to go to the Fenway Park show, which isn’t until next August. I was more excited than a kid on Christmas. I nearly lost my voice just thinking about all the songs I’ll get to sing along to. They are the same ones that I screamed at the top of my lungs in middle school.
The boys are back and they’re taking us on a much-needed rock and roll ride.
Speaking of collaborations, we were blessed to get one from pop queens Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus and Lana Del Rey. The single is on the rebooted “Charlie’s Angels” soundtrack, which Grande co-executive produced.
This week in new music was filled with great releases from some of my favorite artists.
Head bop your way into this breakdown.
“The End of the Game” by Weezer
- The first 30 seconds of this track had me thinking Van Halen was blasting through my car speakers. Then, I heard the distinct vocals of Rivers Cuomo. I’m really digging the edgy touch for Weezer on this one, as they are truly setting the tone for going on a joint tour with mega modern-day rock bands Green Day and Fall Out Boy. The amp up at the beginning, followed by the softer touch to introduce the first verse, was well done. I am fully here for this modern rock/2000’s alternative resurgence.
“Father of All…” by Green Day
- The song starts with a high-pitched Billie Joe Armstrong, which I’m not used to. But, I’m not complaining. The song had the right touch of hard rock and subtle alternative, making for an unreal track to play on tour. With “Fathers of All…,” Green Day made me re-appreciate the strike of a band with actual instruments, compared to today’s typical sound mixing board.
“Dear Future Self (Hands Up)” by Fall Out Boy featuring Wyclef Jean
- What an unusual, yet totally necessary, collaboration on this one. Fall Out Boy has always been a band that keeps up with modern music, and this track runs no different. With the band’s rock touch and Jean’s hip-hop vibes, the song reminds me a little of some of Black Eyed Peas’ biggest hits. The breakdown by Jean toward the middle of the track, combined with Patrick Stump’s powerful vocals, was the right-added touch. Another great song to scream along with when I see them next August.
“Don’t Call Me Angel (Charlie’s Angels)” by Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus & Lana Del Rey
- I never knew how bad I needed a song with this trio until they released it. I would like to thank Grande for bringing them together and creating this vital female power anthem. I wasn’t even excited for the classic movie’s reboot until I discovered Grande was co-executive producing the soundtrack. In “Don’t Call Me Angel,” Grande continues to run pop, Cyrus gives us her edgier self, and the song ends with the beauty and wanderlust wistfulness of Del Rey.
“RENT FREE” by Russ
- And here we have my favorite song of the week. “RENT FREE” is an edgier hip-hop vibe than I am used to from Russ, but the sound suits him well. Addressing his enemies, who troll him on social media daily, the American rapper doesn’t hold back, all the while giving us some insanely catchy verses. Living in Massachusetts, I understand firsthand how unaffordable rents are statewide, so hearing lyrics like “I live inside my enemies heads’ rent free,” I can relate on a deeper level. His sing-song style raps flow almost too easily, and the track’s beats are nothing short of dope.
“Graveyard” by Halsey
- I love when Halsey (Ashley Nicolette Frangipane) shows us her softer side, and that is exactly what she did on “Graveyard.” The track is the second release from her just-announced album “Manic.” Her vocals are better than ever, her alternative pop sound remains clear, and her lyrics are catchy, yet somehow still vulnerable. Many of us human beings have followed a desired significant other down a dark, spiraling hole. It’s the kind of story I know all too well, and it’s a story Halsey illustrates with rhythm.
“Fooled Around and Fell in Love” by Miranda Lambert featuring Maren Morris, Elle King, Ashley McBryde, Tenille Townes & Caylee Hammack
- What happens when you get some of today’s biggest recording female artists and cover a 1975 Elvin Bishop song? This beautiful masterpiece is what happens. Miranda Lambert outdid herself on choreographing this powerful collaboration. Each singer remains unique in their verses. But when they chime in together, perfectly in unison, they sound more beautiful than any choir I’ve ever heard. The classic song needed a woman’s touch, and these vocal powerhouses gave it to us.
“Big Girls” by Masego
- Cool, groovy, jazzy, and sexy are the only words I can conjure up to describe the American musician’s latest release. Google describes his (Micah Davis) sound as contemporary R&B/jazz fusion/neo soul, and those are the exact vibes I get from listening, over and over again, to “Big Girls.” With lyrics like “Say if you’re fluffy and you know it,” the insanely fun track is an anthem for the curvier girls, like myself. It’s the kind of song that makes a woman sexy and confident in the skin she is in. Also, it’s impossible not to dance to. Trust me, I spent the full 34 minutes of my commute this morning trying to do so in my car.
“Erase” by Cautious Clay
- The first time Clay (Joshua Karpeh) came into my life was when I saw him at Boston Calling in May. His consistent sound, which alludes to an alternative/R&B/hip-hop vibe, is captivating. While his newest release is slightly more commercial, it’s still at the top of my list of favorites for this week. I love when a song can address our society’s addiction to social media, all while standing its ground as a soon-to-be smash hit.
“Unsaid” by Ruel
- I’ve reviewed this Australian artist’s newest releases several weeks in a row, but he keeps hitting me with smash after smash, this is the emotional ballad I’ve been waiting for. The stories he tells in his lyrics are the kind of stories I’ve experienced, so I appreciate him on a deeply relatable level. Also, his voice is absolutely breathtaking. If you’ve ever had words left unsaid that hung over your head, give Ruel’s newest track a listen.