FRESH: january 6 – january 12

This week we’ve got a lot new music that goes from funky to smooth R&B, a minimalist beat that works much better than last week’s attempt, and a recycled song to wear it out until people are over it … I’m sure plenty feel this. LET’S DO THIS!

“Without You”

by Hasley feat. Juice WRLD

released: january 9, 2019

I’ll be honest, I haven’t really listened to Hasley. Not that I’ve been avoiding her music, I just never listened to her. She re-released her hit song “Without Me”, collaborating with rapper Juice WRLD as an attempt to cash out on this song more than it’s already been (surprise). I listened to both versions, with and without the rap, and to be honest, the rap doesn’t help the song any. It’s typical 2018 auto-tuned rap that is more so filler than part of the song itself. It also reeks of 2018 pessimisum. It might be time to leave this song in 2018.


Rating: 4.5/10


by Billie Eilish

released: january 9, 2019

This minimalistic song is inspired by the upcoming film “ROMA”. The song successfully uses autotune over a stripped down beat in a way that I really don’t mind — much better than Paul McCartney’s attempt (though he might have created a trend so good on him at least). It fits with the whole vibe of the song and the story actually makes sense. What I really like about this song is the depature from complete pessimism. Even though she is parting from someone who she cares about and is somewhat living in the past, Billie acknowledges that she will seek new endeavors where nobody knows her the way she knows herself.


Rating: 7.5/10

“Dancing with a Stranger”

by Sam Smith and Normani

released: january 11, 2019

While this sounds like every other song on Top 40 in 2018, I appreciate how the production is more mellow with Sam Smith and Normani lightening up the song with their thin and fresh voices. I can stand another 1 or 2 of these song styles, but enough after that. Even though, yes I get that Normani is all about R&B and yes, Sam Smith definitely has large inspiration from Amy Winehouse (but with his own twist), which I think is one of the saving factors of this song. I have to say, without the delicate texture of both voices, I think it would have been just way too much. I’m not sure which direction they should be going — who am I to know that answer anyhow — but I think both took a small step in the right direction. It’s going to be their next move that’ll determine as to whether or not their music — as well as their careers — will progress.

Rating: 7/10


by Calvin Harris and Rag’n’Bone Man

released: january 11, 2019

Ok, something I can get down with! Calvin Harris is back and this time he’s got me shakin’! He’s used to coming out with bops with the likes of Ellie Goulding, Pharrell Williams, Rihanna, and Nils Sjöberg. This song has got a sort of Outcast-vibe with Rag’n’Bone Man’s deep, raspy baritone voice mixed with Harris’ funky style with a mix of a lighter, groovy EDM elements. It’s a boyant song that’ll get your morning going right.


Rating: 8.5/10

Zach Aldana
I am a musician with a focus in voice. I studied music during my undergraduate years, receiving a degree in Music at the University of Illinois at Chicago. My musical experience stems back from when I was three years old singing in a church choir. 22 years later, I've participated in numerous choirs, some of which have toured internationally from South Korea to Wales. I am also a classically trained singer, performing solos around the world, most notably for Kelly Clarkson's Piece by Piece World Tour at the Allstate Arena in 2015. Aside from performing, I also enjoy songwriting, analyzing music, and of course, stating my opinion about all things music. Aside from that, I am a graphic designer and web developer. I began graphic and web design at the age of eight. In time, I have been commissioned to help schools and universities, businesses, and personal clients develop their presentation and online exposure. ​

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