Single Reviews: Quirke, T.I., Bella Thorne, Lady Antebellum, Porter Robinson

QUIRKE

"Break a Mirrored Leg"

Young Turks

"Break a Mirrored Leg" may be an unusual choice for a musical introduction, but British electronic producer Joshua Quirke (who goes by his last name) is clearly guided by his own left-field compass. The track, the first taste of his forthcoming debut EP, "Acid Beth," is a fidgety, finicky wash of clicking percussion and washed-out synths, morphing back and forth from drifting, textural drones to propulsive thuds. The entire first minute consists of murky sampled atmospheres before unexpectedly blasting into swirls of oceanic noise. The dust settles once more around the two-minute mark, as static synths pulse over clockwork percussion - all before exploding again into another frenetic electro swirl. Intimate and indecipherably manic all at once, "Break a Mirrored Leg" is an intriguing tease from a brand-new face in electronic music.

-Ryan Reed

T.I.

"Turn It"

Grand Hustle/Columbia

Rappers like T.I. - hard-­hitting rhymers with street cred backed up by a hardscrabble narrative - operate best when things get grimy. It's refreshing, then, to hear the Atlanta vet once again sling Molotov cocktails on "Turn It," a new single that's all 808 booms, Three 6 Mafia synths and a smirking, abrasive flow. One of the MC's most potent tracks since 2006 album "King," "Turn It" is a promising sign that King T.I.P. is returning to his roots.

-Dan Hyman

BELLA THORNE

"Call It Whatever"

Hollywood Records

Teenage pop newcomer Bella Thorne is the latest Disney Channel star to try her hand at music, and debut single "Call It Whatever" is a mixed bag with some instant charm. The peppy track suffers from a robotic pre-chorus with heavily processed vocals, but when Thorne, 16, joyfully tosses off the hook over stomping percussion, a promising artist can be seen through the clouds.

-Jason Lipshutz

LADY ANTEBELLUM

"Bartender"

Universal Music Group Nashville

Lady Antebellum's Golden album started with a couple on the rocks ("Downtown"). The first single from the trio's upcoming fifth LP, however, finds the relationship dead, and Hillary Scott ready to bury her wounds with "a double shot of Crown" with her girlfriends. "Bartender" blends Dave Haywood's plucky banjo with a tight R&B bridge and a pop-rock sense that shines a different light on Lady A's ­harmonies.

-Gary Graff

PORTER ROBINSON

"Sad Machine"

Astralwerks

Porter Robinson keeps moving away from his big-stage EDM bangers with "Sad Machine," a burbling, cinematic single that also features his vocal debut of sorts, with help from Yamaha's voice-synthesizing Vocaloid technology. The song brings to mind the ethereal pathos of Passion Pit, reminding the listener that even the "lonely robot girl" voice Robinson imagined has human feelings after all.

-Harley Brown


THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.