JERROD NIEMANN FEAT. PITBULL
“Drink to That All Night (Remix)”
One year after Florida Georgia Line corralled Nelly to help inaugurate the summer of “Cruise,” Jerrod Niemann receives a well-timed assist from Pitbull, pop music’s most ubiquitous guest star, on a top 40-crossover-ready version of his Hot Country Songs hit “Drink to That All Night.” Niemann’s original dip in the Auto-Tune pool actually doesn’t need too much updating for this blatantly party-centric remix, with the epic-night lyrics and back-slapping rock track providing a cozy environment for Mr. 305. But the offbeat collaboration slides into awkward gimmickry: “Step on the gas, full steam ahead/Real-life ‘Wolf of Wall Street,’ gettin’ bread,” spits Pitbull, pouring out his always-grand ambitions while Niemann serves another shot of Jack. The remix finds two disparate artists helping each other out, but doesn’t give the listener anything new to toast to.
MY CRAZY GIRLFRIEND
“Crazy Stupid Love”
This coed dance-pop group’s sound is as wild as its name suggests, with megawatt diva vocals, skater-dude party raps and big beats all included. The mix is condensed to head-spinning effect on “Crazy Stupid Love,” the immediately catchy follow-up to the foursome’s debut single “Go F— Yourself.” Call My Crazy Girlfriend gimmicky radio bait or brilliant popism – both descriptions suffice.
YOUNG THE GIANT
“Mind Over Matter”
Fueled by Ramen
Backed by thick strings and new-wave synths, Young the Giant frontman Sameer Gadhia bares his soul about a love that geography can’t unravel. “I’m in tatters thinking about her/Taste my disaster, it’s heavy on my tongue,” he sings. “Mind Over Matter” is a lighters-up slow-burner – and the best song from the group’s album of the same name.
On “Dirt Road,” Kip Moore slyly questions the traditional construct of faith through country tropes. For him, heaven includes a dirt road, a “couple cans of Bud Light” and his baby by his side. Moore’s scruffy delivery makes his passion for the subject clear, and he’s supported by surprisingly powerful backing vocals that move like a gospel choir. Points to Moore for stepping outside the box; listeners might find more to relate to here than expected.
Sony Music Latin
The World Cup needed another chest-thumping anthem, and Ricky Martin’s “Vida” does the trick: Over appropriately celebratory drums, he shouts triumphant commands that bounce from English to Spanish (“All people in every nation/Put your manos in the sky”). It’s hard to listen to “Vida” and not feel ready to accomplish something.