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BLACK HISTORY MONTH: FUNK,
PART FOUR
Say it loud! (2/28a)
NINE YEARS OF GROWTH FOR LIVE NATION
Another record year in concerts. (2/28a)
GAGA GETS "STUPID"
Let's dance. (2/28a)
MORRIS, RHETT, HUFF LEAD ACM NOMS
Vegas, here we come. (2/27a)
U.S. BIZ REVS BROKE $11B IN 2019
The money is streaming in. (2/27a)
DON'T TALK TO THE PRESS
Also, don't leak the memo about not talking to the press to the press. Please.
GRAMMY VOTING
How the sausage is made.
BIEBER'S BIG BOW
Changes changes the conversation.
PRIMARIES
So hard to decide...
Critics' Choice
LISTEN BEFORE CASTING YOUR BALLOT: BRANTLEY, SIA, SAM AND NICK
10/27/15

SONGS

Brantley Gilbert
, “One Hell of an Amen” (Valory/BMLG): Gilbert goes big on this rocking elegy, a lighter-lifting salute to a life well lived that embodies everything contemporary Country does best—heartland sentiment, sturdy-as-a-mountain melody and wailing guitars—in a way that listeners anywhere can feel down deep. The powerhouse track, co-penned by Mike Dekle and Brian Davis, hit #1 at Country radio just after Gilbert’s honeymoon and the death of his grandfather; nothing could better summarize the song’s bittersweetness.

 Sia, “Elastic Heart” (RCA): Though it took a bit longer to ignite than anthem “Chandelier,” this Diplo-produced gem, co-written by Sia, Thomas Wesley Pentz, Andrew Swanson and Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye, provided further confirmation of the singer/songwriter’s eccentric brilliance—for emotional punch and melodic payoff, she’s tough to beat. The lyric’s motifs of resilience are matched by soaring hooks and endlessly inventive sonic touches.

Sam Hunt, “Take Your Time” (Capitol Nashville): How much has mainstream Nashville music evolved in the last few years? Apart from the slight drawl in the vocal, you’d be forgiven for mistaking this simmering track (co-written by Hunt with Josh Osborne and Shane McAnally) for an R&B-inflected pop song. Hunt skillfully weaves his vocal between singing and recitative, invoking vintage soul, and the incandescent chorus lodges in your skull.

RECORD

Nick Jonas, “Chains” (Island): On the heels of falsetto-fueled smash “Jealous,” Jonas explores darker pop territory with this ode to erotic captivity, produced by Jason Evigan, who co-wrote the tune with Ammar Malik and Danny Parker. The ravishing track completed the singer’s transition from bubblegum idol to mature pop artist, and his powerhouse vocal showcases new depth in his range.