Mick Jagger and Dave Grohl, "Eazy Sleazy"
It's coming up on midnight, and "Saturday Night Live" is creaking to a close. But wait, there's one final sketch thrown in for good measure. And that sketch might very well be a rendition of "Eazy Sleazy," the new pandemic-is-almost-over song. It's almost funny. Almost. Is it supposed to be funny?
Did we really need a trip back through the past year-plus of quirky lockdown activities, or a reminder of how crappy pandemic life has been? Zoom meetings. Learning to cook. Gaining weight. Booze. "Way too much TV/ It's lobotomizing me," Jagger sings in one verse. In another, he laments "Looking at the graphs with a magnifying glass/ Cancel all the tours/ Football's fake applause." It goes on and on.
Nothing like a barbecue set to a soundtrack of whack-a-doo conspiracy theories — no matter how ironically intended — and reminders of mass death.
Satire, sure. A solid enough tune. Jagger and Grohl apparently didn't learn from Van Morrison and Eric Clapton's anti-lockdown tune, "Stand and Deliver," which backfired and was ridiculed back in December. But that was no earworm — and neither is "Eazy Sleazy," with lyrics that could have been pulled from any one of a jillion rambling, cranky COVID-19 diaries.
Christie D'zurilla, Los Angeles Times
Sharon Van Etten, "Epic Ten" (Rough Trade)
Back in 2010, Van Etten was finding her way as a solo artist with "Epic." The original set has been reissued with a second volume that features Van Etten's admirers covering her songs. It's an impressive list, starting with Big Red Machine (Aaron Dessner of the National and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver), who dive into the strummy "A Crime."
It's a model mini-tribute. Standouts include Shamir's transformation of "Dsharpg" into a fully realized pop song, Lucinda Williams' drawing out "Save Yourself" into an accusatory blues, and Courtney Barnett and Vagabon turning up the volume on "Don't Do It" as a ragged Neil Young-style jam.
Dan Deluca, Philadelphia Inquirer
• Eric Church, "Soul"
• Dinosaur Jr., "Sweep It Into Space"
• Tom Jones, "Surrounded by Time"
• Todd Snider, "First Agnostic Church of Hope and Wonder"