Is Carrie Underwood's 'Smoke Break' a Smash Hit? Plus More of the Week's Best and Worst Singles

Carrie Underwood
Courtesy Photo

Gorgon City ­ft. Romans
"Saving My Life"
Priority/Capitol Records

Two years after Disclosure's breakthrough, London's neo-garage revolution is still going strong -- maybe stronger, judging by this single from duo Gorgon City, which ups the soulful pulse from its 2014 debut with a Sam ­Smith-ian topline from Roc ­Nation's Romans. -- Alex Gale

Exclusive: Gorgon City Premieres 'The Terminal' Off Pete Tong's Miami Compilation

Nick Jonas
Island Def Jam

Adulthood looks good on former Disney prince Jonas, who chases his solo breakthrough "Jealous" with the pomade-suave "Levels," from his second album, due in 2016. A worn metaphor persists -- "Get on my elevator, baby, we're going up," he falsettos -- but it's a minute detraction from such a funky, sexy Timberlake sound-alike. -- Steven J. Horowitz

Music's Men of Style: Nick Jonas Reveals His Greatest Fashion Regret and the Accessory He Can't Live Without

?"When Love Hurts"

Nearly a decade after releasing her sophomore album, pop powerhouse JoJo sewed up her longtime label woes (with Blackground) to return with a new record deal and a trio of singles. "When Love Hurts" is the most vivacious, taking her R&B-leaning pop to the dancefloor for a banger worth a thousand disco balls. -- S.J.H.

JoJo Releases 'Tringle,' Reflects on Her Forced Musical Limbo: 'I Knew No One Was Going to Save Me'

Carrie Underwood
"Smoke Break"
Sony Music Nashville

Calling her fifth album Storyteller sets up Underwood's new single, "Smoke Break," which weaves numerous tales of finding respite from working-class struggles, whether money woes or being "a good wife and a good ­Christian." The normally overpolished ­American Idol winner wears the song's blue-collar country-rock vibe well. -- Jason Lipshutz

'Guns' A-Blazin': Carrie Underwood Hits Top 10 on Hot Country Songs Chart

?Listen to this week's singles, as well as more music from this issue, in the Spotify playlist below:

?This story originally appeared in the Sept. 5 issue of Billboard.


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