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Y/NY/N is a guide to the week’s music releases based on our highly scientific, non-subjective Yes/No rating system.  

N, strike this down: Taylor Swift, Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September” cover — It’s been a hellish week, and it’s now made more hellish by Swift’s mellowed Spotify-curated version of one of my TOP FIVE pick-me-up songs, which she instead turned it into a soulless, acoustic prom ballad. Don’t subject yourself to this on a Friday. -Clover Hope


Y: Empress Of, “In Dreams” — If you’re not already into LA singer-songwriter Empress Of’s gutsy synth-pop, then you’re sleeping. On Wednesday Lorely Rodriguez dropped two great new songs “Trust Me Baby” and “In Dreams,” and I’m particularly into the baroque vibe of the latter, on which Rodriguez sings of a sort of Gothic romance, full of kisses under a full moon and a lover who comes to her only in dreams. -Hazel Cills

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Ok, cool: Raheem DeVaughn, “Weeknd (Remix)” — In his falsetto-rich version of one of SZA’s most lovable tracks, DeVaughn details a scandalous night of double infidelity, and he does it in classic R&B quiet-storm fashion while keeping her vocals, making it sound like a sexy, cool duet. -CH

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Nah: Jason Derulo, “Colors” — Jason Derulo has somehow become an ambassador for that brand of euro R&B that trickles into every international club and unwittingly into your precious ears. This is him doing cheesy choreography on a soccer field, etc., in the video for the World Cup’s Coca-Cola theme song. I know it’s technically an ad and supposed to be uplifting, but I must formally reject it. Watch this more attractive version featuring Maluma instead. -CH


Y: Speedy Ortiz, “Villain” I’m a big fan of music videos that celebrate the mundane while taking certain liberties with reality. That is...a very particular take, but one indie rockers Speedy Ortiz embody in their “Villain” music video, frontperson Sadie Ortiz navigating her glamorous and delightfully dull day-to-day existence, invaded by a fish-head monster who, I’d argue, is the perfect metaphor for any being (or feeling!) that infiltrates your space. It’s exhausting! So, uh, fuck that fish. -Maria Sherman

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Yes, ma’am: Chvrches, “Miracle” — In the past, my only experience listening to Chvrches has been in the dressing room of an H&M and other clothing stores of varying quality. It is the perfect pop for that space, but music I’ve never tried to really listen to, you know what I mean, my dude? “Miracle” fits well into that camp, too, but it’s also, like, the Scottish trio abandoning their early indie/electro-pop days and diving straight into capital-P Pop. I’m not mad, and will listen to this seven more times before the day is done. -MS

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Meh: Carrie Underwood, “Cry Pretty” — I say this as someone who loses their shit whenever “Before He Cheats” plays anywhere—but “Cry Pretty,” CU’s latest ballad is kinda, incredibly, undeniably “meh”? Her pipes are doing their thing here in a big ass Nashville way, but the song itself feels like it’s trying to do too much? It’s almost like there are two songs here, both are fine, brought together to make something exceptionally okay. Bring back angry Carrie! -MS

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So close: Lil Xan and Charli XCX, “Moonlight”  For a song that’s all about overcoming moods and embracing happiness, it doesn’t sound like there’s any real emotion—negative or positive—behind Lil Xan’s slow-moving rapping style. This could be a good song—there’s some nice strings and keys over the catchy beat and Charli XCX’s brooding yet energetic interjections keep things light and bouncy. But it also kind of sounds like Xan recorded his parts in his pajamas, which makes me wanna snooze, too. -Frida Garza 

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