Single Reviews: Jack White, Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea, First Aid Kit, Nico & Vinz, Scotty Boy feat. Sue Cho

JACK WHITE

"Lazaretto"

Third Man/Columbia

Claiming to be the world's fastest recorded and released song, Jack White's "Lazaretto" received much attention in the wake of its Record Store Day unveiling. But the title-track lead single from his second solo album is far from a gimmick. The halting guitar riff makes you think White is about to break into The O'Jays' "For the Love of Money." Instead, he launches into an electro-funk workout that feels like he's racing against time. "I'm so Detroit, I make it rise from the ashes," he yelps. But the instruments do most of the talking: There's a searing guitar solo, tempo jumps and a fiddle break that would make Mahavishnu Orchestra proud. "Lazaretto" is in-and-out, leaving the listener panting and ready to hear more from White's new album. -Gary Graff

 

ARIANA GRANDE feat. IGGY AZALEA

"Problem"

Republic Records

With the assistance of a cheeky Iggy Azalea verse (and uncredited Big Sean ad libs), Ariana Grande's latest single finds the 20-year-old fortifying her position as an R&B artist with mainstream pop appeal. The saxophone sample on "Problem" immediately recalls recent radio hits like "Thrift Shop" and "Talk Dirty," but Grande's distinctive voice prevents the boisterous single from sounding overly derivative. -Jason Lipshutz

 

FIRST AID KIT

"My Silver Lining"

Columbia Records

Reliable folk-pop duo First Aid Kit meets its major-label moment with cinematic panache on "My Silver Lining," the first single from Columbia debut Stay Gold. Opening with elegant strings arranged by Nate Walcott (Rilo Kiley, Bright Eyes), the track gallops along at a confident clip behind plucked acoustic guitar and the Swedish sisters' lilting yodels. -Harley Brown

 

NICO & VINZ

"Am I Wrong"

Warner Bros.

Norwegian duo Nico & Vinz bring "Am I Wrong," their already world-conquering collection of rhetorical questions, to the United States, with the dancehall-inspired song recently turning into the pair's Billboard Hot 100 debut. The pair approach lines like "Am I wrong/For trying to reach the things that I can't see?" with dead-eyed earnestness, but the slide guitar and backing harmonies keep the song an airy affair. -Jason Lipshutz

 

SCOTTY BOY feat. SUE CHO

"Shiny Disco Balls"

Pop Rox Muzik

What "Animals" hath wrought: The ping-ponging hook of Martin Garrix's crossover hit is the clear inspiration for the break on Scotty Boy's "Shiny Disco Balls," with pre-drop tension stoked by a Yaz-like synth line and a decadent vocal chant. It's crowded for a club banger, and originality certainly isn't a priority, but the song's dancefloor potency can't be denied. -Andrew Unterberger


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