Every Friday, pop critics for The New York Times weigh in on the week’s most notable new songs and videos. Just want the music? Listen to the Playlist on Spotify here (or find our profile: nytimes). Like what you hear? Let us know at [email protected] and sign up for our Louder newsletter, a once-a-week blast of our pop music coverage.
Ed Sheeran, ‘Bad Habits’
In the video for his new single “Bad Habits,” Ed Sheeran boldly declares, “We live in a society.” Though I could have lived my life contentedly without ever seeing the British musician dressed as a glittery, high-flying hybrid of the Joker, Edward Cullen and Elton John, the track itself is a reminder of Sheeran’s knack for sleek songcraft. “My bad habits lead to late nights, sitting alone,” he sings over the kind of brooding chords and insistent, minimalist beat that suggests that pop music will continue to exist in the shadow of the Weeknd’s “After Hours” for at least another trip around the sun. “Bad Habits” doesn’t quite have the fangs that its video incongruously promises, but it’s a well-executed, safe-bet pop song squarely in Sheeran’s comfort zone, which is to say that it already sounds like a smash. LINDSAY ZOLADZ
Willow Smith’s swerve into rock continues, abetted by the drums of Travis Barker from Blink-182. Their first collaboration, “Transparent Soul,” was straightforwardly vengeful pop-punk that proved she could belt. “Lipstick” is more idiosyncratic, with angular vocal lines overlapping stop-start...
Read Full Story: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/25/arts/music/playlist-ed-sheeran-willow.html
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