Justin Timberlake, Grimes, and Chance the Rapper: Grading the week's best (and worst) new singles
Steve Gunn, "Ancient Jules"
Steve Gunn honed his chops as a guitarist in Kurt Vile's backing band The Violators and serves up similarly laid-back six-string noodling on his latest song under his own name. "Ancient Jules," the carefree opener to his breezy Eyes On The Lines due out next month, is just the remedy for indie-rock fans who've been missing the War on Drugs and Real Estate. B+ –Eric Renner Brown
Grimes, "California" music video
Grimes has set a high bar for herself when it comes to music videos. As usual, there's sensory overload here: a mixture of honky-tonk imagery, dance parties next to disembodied sculpture heads, and models dressed in colorful masquerade outfits. Unfortunately, the various visual strands don't hold together as strongly as previous efforts like the Mad Max-in-a-subway aesthetic of "Kill V. Maim." More interestingly, Grimes slightly remixed the original song for this video. The new version starts out a little quieter, slowly bubbling before finally unleashing the song's overwhelming sonic power. B— Christian Holub
Desiigner, "Panda" music video
Desiigner debuted the music video for his No. 1 hit, but for some reason Jack Black is no where to be found. Instead the gritty, dark clip follows the 19-year-old rapper through the streets of New York City, giving the audience an in-your-face view that at times can prompt whiplash. Desiigner's night starts with a car jacking, includes a run-in with the police, and finally concludes with him riding shotgun to Kanye. We can only imagine what the video for "Kangaroo" will look like. B+ – Derek Lawrence
Iggy Pop, "Sunday" music video
Ever wonder how the 69-year-old rocker takes his coffee? Or how his latest musical cohort Josh Homme looks while chopping wood? The music video for "Sunday" — one of the highlights off Pop's excellent new album Post Pop Depression — offers up answers to those questions, but little else. High-definition footage and sexy filters can't save this video's generic premise. B- –Eric Renner Brown
Chance the Rapper, "Blessings"
The first cut from Chance the Rapper's Coloring Book, released Friday, is also one of his smoothest. On "Blessings," the Chicago emcee reinvigorates the gospel-soaked sound he flaunted on Social Experiment team up Surf last May, punctuating his spoken word-style flow with sizzling horns and a blown-out church choir. "I don't make songs for free, I make them for freedom," he proclaims. We'll take them either way. A –Dana Getz
Schoolboy Q ft. Kanye West, "THat Part"
ForeverYeX produced Kendrick Lamar's "untitled 07" earlier this year and brings his nocturnal, lurching sensibility to "THat Part" — but his hypnotic beat is the song's best element. Schoolboy Q's standard-issue verse about getting money and cruising down Los Angeles' 405 is forgettable, while West's underwhelming contribution ("Wifey gonna kill me, she the female OJ") comes off as half-baked. B- –Eric Renner Brown
Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake, "True Colors"
The two Trolls stars stripped down Cyndi Lauper's 1986 hit for an understated, acoustic performance at the Cannes Film Festival, where the two's pretty harmonies transformed the ‘80s anthem into a wistful, beautifully calming lullaby. A- –Ariana Bacle
Peter Bjorn and John, "Dominos"
On June 10, Peter Bjorn and John will reemerge from a lengthy hiatus with Breakin Point, their seventh effort and first in five years. The Swedish trio previously teased a pair of sunny pop tunes, and now they're back with the most electric yet. "Dominos" unfolds like a pent-up spring, slicing jittery disco beats with an echoic cascade of a chorus. "We fall like dominos," singer Peter Morén chants atop its high-powered pulse. Sounds like they're gearing up for a smash. A- –Dana Getz
Chvrches, "Warning Call"
In the making of a great song, progression is everything; Scottish electronic group Chvrches knows this better than anyone, as many of their greatest cuts, from "We Sink" to "Clearest Blue," evolve from modest, synth-backed beginnings into full-on sonic tidal waves filled with icy stabs and robust choruses. Their latest single, "Warning Call," recorded for the soundtrack to Electronic Arts' Mirror's Edge Catalyst, feels like an about-face, especially on the heels of the 2015 album Every Open Eye, which subtly nudged the band's signature sound into refreshing (albeit subtle) new territory. The biggest fault in "Warning Call" isn't its composition or it's lyrics, it simply reverts back to what Chvrches has long proven they're capable of: glacial synthpop. Registering almost as a rejected-now-recycled track that didn't make the final version of 2013's The Bones of What You Believe, "Warning Call" highlights an underlying weakness that's now very apparently rearing its ugly head as Chvrches navigates the waters between their sophomore album and whatever comes next: they're stuck in a sound that technically still works, but only if we're unwilling to move our expectations beyond square one. C+ – Joey Nolfi
The Stone Roses, "All for One"
The English band stays true to their Britpop roots on their first single in over 20 years, a guitar-heavy jam featuring frontman Ian Brown's slightly husky crooning and the kind of guitar solo that defines rock ‘n' roll. The jangly track's a little too clean, a little too arena-ready to feel like a complete blast from the Manchester rockers' past, but its frantic pace proves that the Roses haven't lost their spirit — or their penchant for old-school earworms. B+–Ariana Bacle
Lizzo, "Good As Hell"
Everybody could use a pal like Lizzo, the Minneapolis emcee whose 2015 album Big GRRRL Small World scored Missy Elliott comparisons thanks to its deft mix of rapping and singing. On this contribution to the Barbershop: The Next Cut soundtrack—which just got a music video to match—Lizzo does more of the latter as she dishes out some real talk (and tequila shots) to a troubled BFF. Her toss-your-hair advice is a little lady-specific, but her delivery is so warm and infectious that it's hard to imagine anyone being immune to her soulful self-esteem boosts. A- —Nolan Feeney