The Roundup: BLACKPINK is ‘Lovesick’ and Ella Mai is Still Writing Love Songs

Every Friday brings a fresh wave of musical releases from our favorite artists. In a new weekly offering called The Round-Up, this writer talks about some of her favorite hits and misses.

BLACKPINK, “Lovesick Girls”

I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a blink or whatever it is they’re calling Blackpink stans these days. They’re pretty, their fashion-forward, and they make music that reminds me of 2012 in all the best ways. “Lovesick Girls”, the third single from their long-awaited album (aptly called, The Album), is a good time, from that catchy hook to that infinitely singable post-chorus that makes me want to throw fistfuls of glitter in the air. I love it!

Bryson Tiller ft. Drake, “Outta Time”

I’ve found Bryson Tiller to be completely unremarkable since his debut single, “Don’t” which, incidentally, is the last song of his I’ve really cared for. Drake here actually offers a really good assist- it’s the kind of sing-talk song that he loves and it’s comfortable, even if it’s a Drake we’ve heard a hundred times before. Unfortunately, this is still Bryson’s track and where Drake’s voice rides smoothly, his sticks to the beat like gum on the bottom of a new pair of Adidas. Honestly, we could have cut this after Drake’s verse and left Bryson’s in the scrap pile. Next.

Megan Thee Stallion ft. Young Thug, “Don’t Stop”

Megan is still riding the wave from the massively successful, instantly meme-worthy, Tik-Tok phenom that is WAP along with fellow hot girl Cardi B. I instantly loved WAP when I first heard it, a feat for an artist that usually needs a couple of listens before she grows on me. I have a feeling that ‘Don’t Stop’ will also need some time to percolate before I can fully get behind it. There’s something about Megan’s delivery that doesn’t grab me on first listen but that feels like a small and irrelevant matter in the face of this music video, which much like WAP, features pastel-pretty raunchiness and a Meg that looks better than ever. Young Thug, like most men who hop on a woman’s track to offer an assist, could have stayed his ass in bed.

Ella Mai, “Not Another Love Song”

If you thought that Ella might be stepping out of her wheelhouse and actually delivering on the promise of her latest single’s title, you’re shit out of luck! Ella’s doing what she does best here, namely: longing after an unnamed boy, dreaming of an unnamed boy, loving on an unnamed boy… you get the idea. It’s all par for the course for Mai, which is to say, it’s perfectly serviceable for her demographic and completely forgettable as soon as it’s over. I’ve never been a big Ella Mai fan so maybe I’m just biased. Silver lining? At least there’s no spoken word bit to suffer through at the end.

Shawn Mendes, “Wonder”

It’s time folks: his hair is longer, his shirt is tighter, he’s got some contemporary dancers on a train! I naively thought that Shawn’s comeback might give me everything I’ve ever wanted, namely, an R&B turn complete with a dance break and a rap feature from one of this year’s XXL Freshmen. Instead, he went for more of the same, an anthemic love song that despite the lush video, does absolutely nothing for me. Readers, is this it? Is it time for me to give up on the hope that Shawn might become an interesting and dynamic performer? I’ll hold out a little bit longer but uh… it’s a no from me on this one.

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