Single Reviews: Prince & Zooey Deschanel, The Black Keys, Calvin Harris, Kodaline, DJ Cassidy ft. Robin Thicke & Jessie J

The Black Keys


Nonesuch Records

"Fever" isn't just the title of the lead track from The Black Keys' upcoming eighth studio album, "Turn Blue" -- it truly raises body temperatures. Eschewing the gritty blues touches that have been hallmarks of the duo's garage veneer, the song, produced by the band and Danger Mouse, is a churning swirl of mod dance-rock, grounded by fuzzy picked bass on the bottom and a candy-colored farfisa melody on top. Patrick Carney's four-on-the-floor drumming is relentlessly machine-like, and Dan Auerbach provides uncharacteristically understated support for the groove on guitar. A subtle key modulation about three-quarters of the way through steers the song down an even more psychedelic rabbit hole, while Auerbach sings about the "cold, pale light in your eyes." He's talking about a pleasure/pain love scenario, but rest assured, "Fever" is more for the hips than the head. -Gary Graff

Calvin Harris


Columbia Records

"I don't want to be the man in the front with a microphone," Calvin Harris told Billboard after his 2012 breakout "Feel So Close" landed. Yet new single "Summer" brings the Scottish producer back to the lead, and in glorious fashion. He doesn't have the pipes of past collaborators like Florence Welch, but his voice has a warm affability absent from most EDM. Best of all, the song's sunny sentiment is perfectly timed after a long winter. -Andrew Unterberger


"All I Want"

RCA Records

On its breakout single, Irish balladeers Kodaline crank up the melodrama with a slow-burning plea to a lost love. "If I could see your face once more/I could die a happy man, I'm sure," sings Steve Garrigan in a wide-eyed falsetto over building folk-rock guitar strums. It reeks of radio bait -- it's moony in a Coldplay meets Mumford & Sons sort of way -- but that doesn't mean it won't tug heart strings. -Ryan Reed

Prince Featuring Zooey Deschanel


Epic Records

Much like the Prince-starring episode of New Girl on which this song was first previewed, "FallinLove2Nite" features two unexpected guests: Zooey Deschanel and a slick, EDM-inspired beat. Prince's vocals -- aided by his familiar helium vocal effect -- slither with sexuality, balanced by Deschanel's wholesome girlishness. It's a simple formula for a straightforward dance cut, but it sounds more current than anything Prince has done in years. -Kathy Iandoli

DJ Cassidy Featuring Robin Thicke & Jessie J

"Calling All Hearts"

Columbia Records

An unabashedly cheesy disco single like DJ Cassidy's new radio track comes off when the joyousness feels effortless, but "Calling All Hearts" sounds too forced to truly resonate. Presumably concocted around Cassidy's current tour with Robin Thicke and Jessie J, the song's tackily upbeat lyrics ("You gotta let go, 'cause it's all right") would be easier to stomach if the production was more imaginative. -Jason Lipshutz