Friday Five: Juice WRLD's 'Righteous', the Killers' snappy new single, and more
The five best tracks of the week.
Every Friday, EW's music team runs down the five best songs of the week. In today's edition, Juice WRLD traces a bleak landscape, Isaiah Rashad gets limber, the Killers have a snappy single, Lola Lennox drops a vibrant piano ballad, and Earl Sweatshirt recruits Maxo.
"Righteous" – Juice WRLD
The late rapper Juice WRLD was adept at writing songs that delved into personal demons, blending candid lyricism about anxiety and substance abuse with emo-rock hooks and modern trap beats. This posthumous release traces similar ground, as the Chicago MC — who passed away last December at the age of 21 from an accidental drug overdose — wades through a bleak landscape. "Five or six pills in my right hand, yeah/Codeine runneth over on my nightstand/Taking medicine to fix all of the damage," he sings over a gently plucked guitar and minimalist beat (production was handled by Charlie Handsome and "Lucid Dreams" producer Nick Mira). "Righteous" makes for a hard, haunting listen. And like past Juice WRLD hits, it lingers long after you're finished. —Alex Suskind
"Why Worry" – Isaiah Rashad
Isaiah Rashad broke his four-year silence this week with a new loosie called “Why Worry." The two-and-a-half minute cut was originally recorded in 2017, but the TDE rapper’s limber flow and timeless bars about basking in luxury sound smooth as ever in 2020. The chopped-soul beat comes courtesy of Toronto producer Crooklin, who’s worked with stylistically similar rappers like Freddie Gibbs and Jay Rock. Rashad confirmed on Twitter that “Why Worry” won’t be on his forthcoming album, which fans have been eagerly anticipating since his 2016 opus The Sun’s Tirade. Nevertheless, it’s served its purpose by reminding us why we’ve missed Rashad in the years since Trump took office. —Eli Enis
"Fire in Bone" – The Killers
Brandon Flowers is cast to the wind in his band's snappy new single off upcoming album Imploding the Mirage. Soundtracked by ticking-clock percussion, wind chime synths, and a funky bass line, he spends the first half of the song lamenting his current state: "I felt eighty-sixed/I felt darkness/But I felt fire in bone/I felt no good." But fear not, there's a happy ending to this tale was co-written by drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr. and producer Stuart Price. "And when I came empty-handed/You met me in the road/And you fell on my neck/And you took me back home." —AS
"Pale" – Lola Lennox
Music is the family business and business is clearly good based on this new single from the daughter of Annie Lennox. She swoops and swirls around this forlorn but vibrant piano ballad. While her voice is clearly her own, there are fragments of phrasing and tone that make it clear the apple appreciated the tree from which she fell. —Sarah Rodman
"Whole World" – Earl Sweatshirt feat. Maxo
Like past Earl releases, this one creeps up, with intoxicatingly knotty bars that require repeat listens ("My effervescence lost, but not entirely, I shrug the venom off/Kept a tiny piece for times we in the war/I like to think of life as deep, chilly water") and syrupy beats (from the Alchemist here) that stick in your gull. —AS