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The Inside Track

  1. the inside track
    Demi Lovato’s Rock Side Has Always Been There“Come Together,” off Lovato’s new album, Holy Fvck, is a map to the singer’s past, present, and future.
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    The Kid Laroi Is a Pop Chameleon“Stay” is the most anonymous work yet from pop’s new post-Post Malone.
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    Pop-Punk Is a Tool for Self-Acceptance on WILLOW and Avril Lavigne’s ‘G R O W’In many ways, it’s the song encapsulation of WILLOW’s work at the red table.
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    Capture the Beauty of SAULT’s New Album NINE While You Can“Bitter Streets” finds the mysterious U.K. collective at its best, making permanent beauty out of all things temporary.
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    ‘You Right,’ Like the Rest of Planet Her, Is Doja Cat’s WorldThe Weeknd doesn’t bring much to their collaboration — not that Doja needs it.
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    Japanese Breakfast’s Jubilee Goes Down in a Blaze of Guitar GloryThe minutes-long solo on “Posing for Cars” evokes the album’s journey toward joy.
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    ‘Seeing Green’ Can’t Re-create Nicki Minaj’s Beam Me Up Scotty MagicMinaj links back with Drake and Lil Wayne on a new addition to her famed 2009 mixtape that didn’t need an update.
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    The Marfa Tapes Ends on a Hymn to West TexasMiranda Lambert, Jack Ingram, and Jon Randall capture the magic of their surroundings on “Amazing Grace (West Texas).”
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    Admit It, ‘SugarCrash!’ Was Already GreatElyOtto has a new remix of his TikTok hit, now featuring Kim Petras and Curtis Waters.
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    ‘Mr. Perfectly Fine’ Is a Perfect Specimen of the Old TaylorIt’s the sort of classic Swiftian breakup song we haven’t heard in years.
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    Three Generations of Country Queens Unite on Loretta Lynn’s ‘Still Woman Enough’Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood join Lynn on the sole new song off her 50th studio album.
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    On ‘Pay Your Way in Pain,’ St. Vincent Is Fully a Rock StarAnnie Clark refracts ’70s funk through her own idiosyncratic view on the first Daddy’s Home offering.
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    Noname’s Voice Remains Singular on ‘Rainforest’The wonder of the track is nothing feels out of place.
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    Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ Remix Earned the Right to Be a Delightful MessWith 3OH!3, Big Freedia, Dorian Electra, and 100 gecs’ Dylan Brady, so what if it’s over the top?
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    The Weather Station’s ‘Robber’ Is UnshakableThe song sets the tone for Ignorance, an album-length statement about climate anxiety.
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    9 Songs That Wouldn’t Exist Without SOPHIEFrom ones SOPHIE produced to ones that undeniably bear the artist’s influence.
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    ‘Don’t Judge Me’ Makes the Best Case Yet for FKA Twigs’s Hip-hop CrossoverWith U.K. hitmaker Fred again.. and rapper Headie One.
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    glaive Celebrates His Sweet 16 With a Delectable FU of a Song Alongside ericdoa“cloak n dagger” falls more comfortably into emo than hyperpop, though.
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    Lana Del Rey Is Only Speaking for Herself NowPast the current discourse, “Chemtrails Over the Country Club” doesn’t say much.
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    Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘drivers license’ Is Nothing New — of Course It’s a HitThere’s some truth to the Taylor comparisons.
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    ‘Girl Like Me’ Is the Heart of Jazmine Sullivan’s Heaux TalesThe singer collaborates with H.E.R. on her first album in over five years.
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    Taylor Swift’s Haim Collab Tries to Be Cold-Blooded But Is Mostly Just ColdThe evermore song lacks the fire at the center of great country revenge anthems.
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    Drakeo the Ruler’s First Post-Prison Album Flexes on the Justice SystemWe Know the Truth emphasizes clear calls for justice alongside some of his most intimidating bars ever.
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    Megan Thee Stallion Murders the Narrative on ‘Shots Fired’And gets the last laugh while doing it.
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    Lil Uzi Vert Is Leading Future NowPluto x Baby Pluto’s best moments find Future following the steps of his protégé.
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    ‘Bryson’ Is the Perfect Reintroduction to NLE Choppa, Rap’s New Gwyneth PaltrowHe’s “awakened,” sure, but no less fun as hell.
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    Ariana Grande Ends Positions With a Bit of Emotional HonestyCloser ‘pov’ is a rare moment when Grande is an unsure human like the rest of us.
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    Adrianne Lenker’s instrumentals Are Stunning Sounds of IsolationThis time, the singer-songwriter’s challenge to listen comes as a gift.
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    Kevin Morby’s Ode to the Midwest Rewards Patience“Don’t Underestimate Midwest American Sun,” the unassuming centerpiece of Morby’s new album, feels expansive.
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    Future Islands Do ‘the Future Islands Thing’ Again“For Sure” and their Colbert performance show that their style hasn’t grown stale.
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    Laura Jane Grace’s Quarantine Album Is Everything Quarantine Music Should Be“Old Friend (Stay Alive)” is a survival song for disastrous times.
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    The Rage of Idles Is Just Another Empty Gesture“War,” which opens their new album Ultra Mono, doesn’t make sense.
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    Can Ava Max Ever Follow Up ‘Sweet But Psycho’?“Naked,” her latest try, is one of her best songs — but still not built for the 2020 charts.
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    NBA YoungBoy Is Still a Major Work in Progress, But He Cannot Be IgnoredWhen given the chance to face his bigger flaws headfirst on Top, he turns away.
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    ‘Pigeons’ Is Bill Callahan at His BestThe Gold Record song is a revelatory shift as Callahan continues to move away from music about loneliness.
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    Dua Lipa’s Maximal Turn Yields Minimal ResultsMark Ronson’s Gwen Stefani-featuring “Physical” remix is one of Club Future Nostalgia’s most unnecessary tracks.
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    Bully’s Screams Feel Necessary As Ever“Not Ashamed” is one of the clearest statements on Sugaregg, and Alicia Bognanno screams damn near the whole thing.
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    Burna Boy’s ‘Level Up’ Is Better Than a Victory LapTwice As Tall’s opening track revisits Burna Boy’s wild recent rise, and also makes clear that he’s not getting complacent.
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    Victoria Monét Saved the Best Songs for HerselfThe title track of Monét’s ’70s-tinged debut proves she’s not just someone else’s songwriter.
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    Dominic Fike Still Has a Lot to LearnWith lines like “I hope I get Me Too’d,” from “Cancel Me,” the breakout alt-rapper only muddies the statement he’s trying to make.
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    Lana Del Rey Can’t See Past Herself on ‘Paradise Is Very Fragile’Del Rey attempts to continue the conversation from Norman F- - -ing Rockwell.
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    Taylor Swift and Bon Iver Find Perfect Harmony on ‘exile’This isn’t the indie record that’s much cooler than hers. This is what she makes after she’s listened to that record.
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    Illuminati Hotties Challenge Everything on ‘free dumb’Off their mixtape and final kiss-off to ex-label Tiny Engines, Free I.H: This Is Not the One You’ve Been Waiting For.
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    ‘Man of the Year’ Is a Fittingly Emo Coda to Juice WRLD’s CareerIt’s affecting to hear the rapper accept the profound impact he’s had on his audience.
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    Margo Price’s ‘I’d Die for You’ Is Transcendent Rock MusicThe country outsider’s biggest song yet, on new album That’s How Rumors Get Started, shouldn’t come as a surprise.
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    Arca & Sophie’s ‘La Chíqui’ Pushes Pop Music Further Into the FutureThe producers team up after circling each other for years.
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    Phoebe Bridgers’s ‘I Know the End’ Has the Catharsis You’ve Been CravingFeaturing Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus, Conor Oberst, Nick Zinner, Tomberlin, Blake Mills … everyone?
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    ‘Nothing Revealed / Everything Denied’ Is The 1975 Summed Up in One SongMatty Healy was bound to rap at some point.