Feature Story New Music Reviews

OPPS! 50 of 2022: #20 – 16 / Spanish Pop, A Pop Comeback and A Victory Dance

The OOPS! Keeps coming. There is some fantastic Spanish pop in this block as well as a comeback from a one time pop idol. I love listening to new music, so let’s get going!

20. Rosalia: Saoko

Spanish pop is a blind spot of mine and with tracks on Rosalia’s album racking up 200+ and 300+ million listens…I need to fix that. Spanish hip hop mixed with some imrpov jazz interludes, Saoko shows both the experimental and powerful side of Rosalia. She has made my end of the year list in the past with Aute Cuture in 2019. She embodies power, sex and creativity within quick hitting songs that feel like slamming shots of jet fuel. She is a ton of fun and whenever you play her music a party follows.

19. Britney Spears and Elton John: Hold Me Closer

Sometimes I like a song for the simple reason that it exists. The song itself is secondary to what it represents in the larger world. In essence, the sheer existence of the song…without even listening to it…is powerful. The fact that Britney Spears can put out a pop track…with Elton John no less…that has over 170 million hits is inspirational. She was too talented to leave music and this part original, part dance club Tiny Dancer cover is evidence of that. It is nothing revolutionary, but it is a catchy pop song that is well constructed and has you rooting for more music from Britney Spears. Side note, Toxic is fire.

18. Alvvays: Belinda Says

Part the Sundays, part Stars and some hints of classic shoegazing, Alvvays is right up my ally. It has this loose 90s indie aesthetic, but fresh enough with some sparkling vocals and snappy drums to keep it fresh and avoid falling into nostalgia. This is a fun band with great energy and light. I recommend the entire Blue Rev album to get a full look at the different sides of the band and fully explore their sound.

17. Ezra Collective: Victory Dance

The Ezra Collective is a five piece band that dabbles in hip hop, latin jazz, traditional jazz and a bit of jam band. You get a jam band vibe on Victory Dance as everyone is just going for it and the song itself has a loose structure and feels like people getting together in a studio and seeing where it goes. Where the track does go is a complex yet relaxed multi-layered latin jazz track with complimentary performances and solos throughout. This is a track you could listen to 20 times and get something new out of it each time. Be on the lookout for this band…they will definitely make the top 50 next year.

16. Amber Mark: The One

Amber sings about self – doubt, anxiety and the struggle between self – love and looking for the praise of loved ones. This is a track we can all relate to as we try to navigate the world and try to stay positive. Amber sings about this struggle for self belief over the top of some soulful samples, deep bass and driving 4/4 percussion. Her vocal is both smooth and full of emotion, which is a perfect combination for R&B. She is an amazing artist you will be hearing more from in the future.

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