Playlist: Naughty Revenge, Just Plain Naughty and Not Plain at All

June 30th, 2013

Darrin Dickerson

TYLER FARR On his single “Redneck Crazy,” he toilet-papers a house.

REDNECK CRAZY

Maybe Tyler Farr is a tough guy, and maybe he’s a chump. On his new single “Redneck Crazy” (Columbia Nashville), he has the luxury of not having to choose. On this slow-burning country ballad, Mr. Farr seethes over an ex who’s stepped out on him, but what starts out threatening ends up mischievous. “I’m gonna aim my headlights into your bedroom windows/Throw empty beer cans at both of your shadows,” Mr. Farr sings. He’s aggrieved, but in the song’s video, his payback takes on a soft tone. He prepares an assault of sorts on his old girlfriend, abetted by the country rapper Colt Ford; the sensitive macho man Lee Brice; and Willie Robertson, leader of the “Duck Dynasty” clan. They do indeed shine headlights into her home, then gleefully toilet-paper her house while her new man cowers behind her.

Mike Ryan

MIGOS This Atlanta trio of rappers — from left, TakeOff, Quavo and Offset — has the new mixtape “Y.R.N.,” featuring Stack Boy Twaun on some tracks.

Migos

Y.R.N.

Migos is a trio — Quavo, Offset and TakeOff — of insistent, noisy and chaotic rappers from Atlanta fluent in drug-dealer fantasias and sticky choruses: familiar tropes, new package. The urgent new Migos mixtape, “Y.R.N.,” argues loudly for that package’s freshness, though. Migos is perpetually in fifth gear, whether on the breezy “Bando” or the jumpy “Hannah Montana.” The rapping is precise and dense, often delivered with dry wit. And the group has an ear for thunderous beats; especially good are the menacing ones by Stack Boy Twaun on “Cook It Up” and “Chirpin’.” The highlight is “Versace,” a pile of gleeful boasting that’s one of the most feverishly intense songs of the year. It attracted the attention of Drake, who released his own remix. Two years ago he turned Future into national force from regional phenomenon by adding a verse to his song “Tony Montana,” and he just gave the same rocket boost to Migos.

Farruko

IMPERIO NAZZA: FARRUKO EDITION

Auto-Tune lives in the mouth of Farruko, the rising young star of reggaetón, the genre that is perhaps that technology’s last real refuge in pop. On his peppy 2012 album “TMPR: The Most Powerful Rookie” (Siente/Universal Latino), he made a case — à la T-Pain in R&B and Demarco in reggae — that it could stand up as a single-minded strategy, and the new “Imperio Nazza: Farruko Edition” (Imperio Nazza) comes off less as an argument and more like a victory lap. This album, a set of songs released by the producers Musicologo y Menes, shows how Farruko finds ways to be diverse — he’s sweet-voiced on the reggae-inflected “Besas Tan Bien”; a little tough on “Mi Vida No Va a Cambiar,” a collaboration with Arcangel; and blissed out on “Una Nena,” a bizarre but not unpleasant disco-esque number with Daddy Yankee.

Steve Gullick

JON HOPKINS the British singer-songwriter has released “Immunity.”

Jon Hopkins

IMMUNITY

“Immunity” (Domino), the fourth album by the British jack-of-many-trades Jon Hopkins, cleaves neatly into two halves. The first four songs are striking, stirringly beautiful techno numbers. Full-bodied and emotional, without a hint of clinical remove, they’re unlike most of what Mr. Hopkins has done to date. Halfway through the album comes the elegiac “Abandon Window,” with its obvious debt to Brian Eno’s “Ambient 1: Music for Airports,” and Mr. Hopkins’s mood changes. (Mr. Hopkins worked with Mr. Eno on Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends,” but don’t hold that against him.) The album’s second half emphasizes ambience and texture, making for songs that are slow, contemplative and nourishing.

UMLE/Fonovisa

AMÉRICA SIERRA explores styles on her new album, “El Amor Manda.”

América Sierra

EL AMOR MANDA

As the sultry-voiced singer on the springy hit “Inténtalo,” by the tribal guarachero pioneers 3BallMTY, América Sierra helped springboard an upstart group and sound into something approaching Latin pop ubiquity. On “El Amor Manda” (Latin Power/Fonovisa/Universal Latino), she’s openly juggling allegiances. Many of the best tracks here — “Cupido Vuelve,” “Quiero Bailar a k a Dama Tu Amor” — are produced by members of 3BallMTY and also Toy Selectah, who’s been responsible for tribal guarachero’s quick global spread. Sometimes Ms. Sierra is in the pocket, and sometimes she tries to outsing the beats, which is a mistake. Maybe she has different goals, though: on the cover and in the album booklet are several pictures of her holding an acoustic guitar, indicating that Ms. Sierra might prefer to be more a folk singer, as she is here on “Alguien” and “Ya No Sé Quién Soy.” But whether she likes it or not, Ms. Sierra is part of the sound of tomorrow, and these songs sound like yesteryear.

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