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The good, the bad and the tone deaf: Flo Rida, Tori Kelly, Imagine Dragons

Breakdown of the new music that dropped this week

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Our job at The Spectrum is to show you both sides of the story – what’s worth the listen, and when to press “skip.”

“G.D.F.R.” – Flo Rida ft. Sage the Gemini

The “Low” singer may not have been in the spotlight since his hit “Wild Ones” came out in 2011, but his latest track could very well be the one that puts him back on the map. Known for his high-energy, super catchy tunes, this song follows his usual combination of dance-pop-rapping. “G.D.F.R.” or “Going Down For Real” doesn’t disappoint, and fans of the singer will be waiting to see what’s coming next.

QUALITY – GOOD

“Nobody Love” – Tori Kelly

This artist is an example of Youtuber-turned-popstar, and it works. Her latest track has a very sweet sounding, innocent pop vibe. She croons about being in love, a stereotypical topic that creates a powerful base for her gentle, yet strong voice. Kelly’s career is far from over, as long as she continues to switch it up and show listeners there are many sides to her pop-based music.

QUALITY – GOOD

“Trouble” – Imagine Dragons

Straight from the new album “Smoke + Mirrors,” this track is the surprise of the project. The opening is reminiscent of “Madness” by Muse, and continues to be pure instrumentals until 1:30, when all sound ceases. The avant-garde attempt is nice, but it takes away from the rest of the album that sounds so new and fresh, while still maintaining the Imagine Dragons sound.

QUALITY – BAD

“Black and Gold” – Hey Colossus

The track off their new album of the same title is mighty in sound, starting out slow and building to a creative climax. The group has an understated indie sound that, as it builds, turns more into a heavy rock, grungy feel. The six minutes are a sneak peek to the rest of their sound – an unusual mix of two unlikely genres that works, if you like the instrumentals of alternative metal.

QUALITY – GOOD

“What Kind of Man” – Florence + The Machine

With Florence, I expect to be surprised by what she comes out with next. When the song first opens, there was a moment of disappointment that it sounded like so many of her other hit tracks. That is, until about fifty seconds in, where her usual gentle sound turns rock. “Let me dangle at a crude angle / oh my feet don’t touch the floor,” she growls, different than her usual strong, powerful voice. It’s nice to hear the change – it’s time for something different than “Dog Days.”

QUALITY – GOOD

“Julia” – Jungle

The London group has a techno-pop sound with an ’80s feel that’s easy to get into. Their song “Julia” has a fun energy to it, like a Neon Trees and Calvin Harris combination made in heaven. The instrumentals aren’t overbearing, but are unique enough to make a listener double back and listen again. They describe their sound as urban, but just plain pleasant works too.

QUALITY – GOOD

“Gotcha Love” – Estelle

The experienced artist comes out with her new album in hopes of reinventing her sound, but tries a little too much. Her album, True Romance, comes after three others, and the sounds on the track sound like reinvention. “Gotcha Love” is gentle, but the layering of her voice is almost too overwhelming. Though the entire album doesn’t have this overworked sound, this one in particular just makes Estelle look like a try-hard.

QUALITY – TONE DEAF

Tori Roseman is a senior arts editor and can be reached at tori.roseman@ubspectrum.com


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