Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 22 October 2019

Fresh sounds: Nancy Ajram, Khalid and the Pet Shop Boys release new singles

The latest batch of new tunes finds Nancy singing to her daughter, the Pet Shop Boys at their most sarcastic, and Khalid keeping it dreamy

Abu Dhabi, UAE - November 26, 2016 - Nancy Ajram delights with her hits on Day 3 at Beats on the Beach - Navin Khianey for The National *** Local Caption *** NK2611_BeatsOnTheBeach_Day3_NancyAjram_12.JPG
Abu Dhabi, UAE - November 26, 2016 - Nancy Ajram delights with her hits on Day 3 at Beats on the Beach - Navin Khianey for The National *** Local Caption *** NK2611_BeatsOnTheBeach_Day3_NancyAjram_12.JPG

An Arab pop queen is enjoying motherhood, American singer Meghan Trainor is as sweet as ever, and The ­Chainsmokers stick to their dance-pop formula.

‘Lya’ by Nancy Ajram

There is nothing unexpected about this fans-only affair. Just as she did for her first two daughters Mila and Ella, the Lebanese star has released a song to celebrate the birth, this month, of her daughter Lya. Just like Mila’s Ya Rabi Tekbar Mila and Ella’s Hadri Laabek, Ajram’s ode to Lya is an intimate track. Acoustic guitars and subdued beats are the backdrop for Ajram to express her hopes and aspirations for her newborn.

‘On Social Media’ by Pet Shop Boys

It’s probably fair by now to describe Pet Shop Boys as legends of the synth-pop scene, but being a legend doesn’t stop you having a laugh. There has been a distinctly sardonic element to Neil Tennant’s lyrics over the years (“I love you, you pay my rent”) but with new track, On Social Media, he takes things deep into full-on satire territory. “When you care about the issues of the day / Check your facts on Wikipedia / You can get into an argument right away / If you’re on social media,” he sings, and carries on in the same sarcastic vein over a classic PSB house beat and upbeat synth track for three-and-a-half very enjoyable minutes.

‘Who Do You Love’ by The Chainsmokers, featuring 5 Seconds of Summer

Not as horrible as it reads on paper. American dance duo The Chainsmokers and ­Aussie pop-rockers 5 Seconds of Summer – both somewhat loathed in their respective scenes – pull off a solid piece of pop music with Who Do You Love. The lyrics addressing a failing relationship may sound like the scribbles of a paranoid boyfriend, but the music, with its folky verse and the beat drop in the chorus, is all rather buoyant and a nice mix of both of these artists’ style.

‘Talk’ by Khalid, featuring Disclosure

Khalid teams up with British production duo Disclosure for the first single from his forthcoming second album, due to be released in April. It’s an unfussy, but bright love song about the early days of a new relationship. A light RnB beat is enhanced by some poppy synths and electronic glitches, thanks to Khalid’s new production partners, and it all passes by in a pleasantly dreamy manner. The single isn’t as outrageously catchy as 2017’s Young, Dumb and Broke, but then few singles are.

‘Good Morning’ by Meghan Trainor

This tune should come with a health warning. While Trainor has always kept things sunny and upbeat, this track is way too saccharine. Featuring her dad, Gary Trainor, on backing vocals, it melds her signature doo-wop style with a tropical vibe that features rolling synths and chirpy conga-playing. But it is all too much. Trainor’s voice is almost helium-like in its aim to please and everything is so polished it sounds soulless.

Updated: February 14, 2019 03:05 PM

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