Billboard’s First Stream serves as a handy guide to this Friday’s most essential releases — the key music that everyone will be talking about today, and that will be dominating playlists this weekend and beyond.
This week, GloRilla feeds the “Trolls,” Shania Twain is ready to come back over, and Morgan Wallen previews a huge new release. Check out all of this week’s First Stream picks below:
GloRilla, “Internet Trolls”
After breaking through last year with the Hitkidd team-up “F.N.F. (Let’s Go)” and proceeding to establish herself as a riveting new voice in hip-hop, GloRilla takes aim at those who have hid behind keyboards and tried to tear her down, with Hitkidd back to provide the soundtrack. “Internet Trolls” is a relatively short but dramatically rendered check-in, with GloRilla sneering, “They don’t wanna clap for you, they just want you to clap back,” while simultaneously proving those same haters wrong.
Shania Twain, Queen of Me
While Shania Twain has plenty of hits to enshrine her legacy and bring in packed audiences whenever she heads out on the road, Queen of Me, her new album and second since kicking off a comeback with 2017’s Now, continues to forge ahead with rollicking country-pop and a seasoned perspective. More than any one song on Queen of Me, Twain’s sense of perspective and determination shines through: the album offers more cup-hoisting anthems that recall her Come On Over days, but their fabric is time-honored, and their sense of joy is hard-earned.
Morgan Wallen, “Last Night” / “Everything I Love” / “I Wrote the Book”
A press release for Morgan Wallen’s forthcoming One Thing at a Time previews the 36-song effort as a “deeply personal album that combines Wallen’s musical influences — country, alternative and hip-hop.” And while the gargantuan LP will no doubt take some stylistic detours, this three-pack of songs ahead of its release finds Wallen in the crowd-pleasing modern country sphere that he’s become a force within: “Last Night” in particular sounds like it will be inescapable for months, its snappy rhythm and warbled harmonies ripe for endless country radio replays.
Karol G & Romeo Santos, “X Si Volvemos”
“X Si Volvemos” is a breakup song, with both Karol G and Romeo Santos acknowledging that lingering physical temptations bring complications to a clean split — and while both artists understand how to deliver wide-reaching choruses, the nuances of their vocal deliveries make this collaboration shine. Both artists’ vocals ache over Ovy On The Drums’ scintillating production, as they try to move on from a fractured reality but their tones keep circling back toward each other.
RAYE, My 21st Century Blues
To describe RAYE’s debut album “long-awaited” would be an understatement: the pop singer-songwriter tried for years to get her former record label to give the project a release date to no avail, eventually turned independent, and fortunately for her, scored a top 40 smash in “Escapism” to lead into My 21st Century Blues. Although her path has been winding, RAYE’s ambition has never wavered: the album soars with genre explorations (“Oscar Winning Tears” is a top-notch R&B showcase) and intimate songwriting (“Body Dysmorphia” is as harrowing as its title suggests), as she makes the most of her opportunity to finally share her story.