Vanessa Carlton Is Back, But It’s Nothing Special

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

Meh: Vanessa Carlton, “Future Pain” - Vanessa Carlton is finally back from her Broadway debut with a song off her upcoming spring album, Love Is An Art. I’ve been an ardent Vanessa stan for years (I’ve seen her in concert thrice and no, I’m not just hoping to hear “One Thousand Miles” again), but after the first few listens, “Future Pain” doesn’t strike me as anything particularly special. It’s a snoozy tune that picks up some steam about halfway through, but by then, it feels like too little too late. Here’s hoping that the rest of the record has a little more life in it! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must go listen to Rabbits on the Run on repeat for the rest of the winter. —Lisa Fischer


Y: Harry Styles, “Watermelon Sugar” - Last weekend, Harry Styles hosted and performed on Saturday Night Live, an event I considered a holiday. Nearish the end of the hour-and-half episode, he debuted “Watermelon Sugar,” a sexy song about sex that, in the few days it has been in public existence, has yet to fail to bum me out. I suppose when he told Rolling Stone his new album was all about “having sex and feeling sad,” he wasn’t being hyperbolic. I can’t wait for more. —Maria Sherman

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I can’t believe I just wasted four minutes of my life watching this: Gabbie Hanna, “Broken Girls” - Bypassing the blatant flattening of mental illness, this song couldn’t find a hook if it wanted to. Surely Hanna has enough YouTube money to pay halfway decent songwriters to help her out, right? —MS


Y: Weaves, “Internet Tears” - Perhaps the only thing as ridiculous as crying alone online is listening to a deliciously fractured indie rock tune about crying online. More music could benefit from humor—and a healthy layered of self-aware absurdity—as it does here. —MS

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It’s fine: Courtney Love, “Mother” - As a Hole super fan, it pains me to say that this new one from my spiritual punk matriarch, Courtney Love, is just okay. I will write it off as a song written specifically for a soundtrack (for a take on The Turn Of The Screw, no less), but as soon as it stopped playing, I immediately forgot the melody. That doesn’t bode well. —MS

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Fuck. Yes: Rina Sawayama, “STFU!” - I always described Rina Sawayama’s music as something that came from the soundtrack of a “girl power” Disney Channel Original Movie from the early 2000s. That, coming from me, is a massive compliment, because more things should sound like they could have been heard on The Cheetah Girls or Cadet Kelly. And Sawayama could have stuck to that brand of kitschy pop, but it was refreshing to hear her step out of that zone and try something a little new in “STFU!” It’s like pop and nu-metal had a freaky baby. If this is what we can expect from nu-metal revival, I’m here for it. Also, the intro of the music video is brilliant, especially if you’re Asian and have ever had to deal with white dudes with “yellow fever.” All in all, “STFU!” gives us a taste of what’s to come for Sawayama, and the future looks bright. —Ashley Reese

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About the author

Maria Sherman

Senior Writer, Jezebel

Ashley Reese

Staff writer, mint chocolate hater.