Best and Worst Singles of the Week: From Mumford & Sons to Wale
Mumford & Sons
Following the busy acoustic stomp of past singles like "Little Lion Man," Mumford & Sons' "Believe" does away with the band's beloved banjos in favor of Coldplay-ish stadium-rock. The song starts with Marcus Mumford's vocals stripped bare over synths -- yes, synths -- before crescendoing to a big hook that hits its singalong mark. --Jason Lipshutz
"That Battle Is Over"
Her voice veering from sweet murmuring to all-out wailing, experimental pop provocateur Jenny Hval's dreamy new track is driven by musings about biology, divine punishment and feminism. The oddball lyricism goes down smoother with the addition of live instruments -- far-away drums, toasty organs -- a welcoming shift from her computer-loop sound. --Harley Brown
"For A Boy"
Channeling the lovesick lyrics, sticky-sweet pop melodies and finger-picked acoustics of early Taylor Swift, RaeLynn follows the polarizing "God Made Girls" with "For a Boy," an all-inclusive bid for proper stardom. The tune, co-written by Laura Veltz (Eli Young Band, Chris Young), inoffensively hums along, but doesn't do much to distinguish RaeLynn from her country peers. --Jason Lipshutz
Wale Featuring Usher
Maybach Music Group/Atlantic
"I'll admit it, all being pathetic/I'm in my late 20s/Still never been to a wedding," admits Wale on this surprisingly raw ballad. With Usher providing an emotional hook, "The Matrimony" is Wale at his most vulnerable -- a refreshing rarity for a rapper more known for showing off. --Dan Hyman
This story originally appeared in the March 21st issue of Billboard.