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21 Feb 2020

The Weeknd: “After Hours”

The Weeknd’s epochs can be clearly defined as pre- and post-“Can’t Feel My Face.” The mysterious character of his mixtape trilogy cut an enigmatic figure lurking seedy club and hotel corridors, and producer Max Martin transformed him into a radio-friendly Kids’ Choice Award nominee, a progression that led to an eventual rebirth as a Daft Punk-retrofitted Starboy. He straddled the line on his last EP, My Dear Melancholy, but there has always been an explicit conflict between the volatile, shapeless R&B of his breakthrough and the sophisti-pop of his star turn.

The Weeknd did it Martin’s way on the upbeat, incandescent “Blinding Lights,” an obvious contender for Top 40 radio charts. Now he’s reverting back to old habits for “After Hours,” the title track from his upcoming album. Well, sort of—while the track is moody, long, and somewhat restless, it is never as spellbinding as his old work nor as advanced as his newer material. Co-produced by the Weeknd, Trilogy mastermind Illangelo, frequent collaborator DeHeala, and singer-songwriter Mario Winans, the song opens with his old signature style—falsetto, echoes, and recurrent tones—until suddenly it erupts into dance production. “I turned into the man I used to be,” he sings, but the transformation is incomplete, and he seems stuck halfway.

While the song’s dark atmospherics are reminiscent of the Weeknd’s early music, there is a noticeable thematic shift: “After Hours” is an apology for who he was and a vow to change. It is a remorseful pivot away from unapologetic hedonism. “I was running away from facin’ reality/Wastin’ all of my time on living my fantasies,” he sings. This is the Weeknd at his most repentant and cliche, willing to give it all up just to hold her close. The irony is that the man he’s apologizing for is the same emotionally abusive low-life featured on the album’s lead single, “Heartless.” It seems these shifts in the Weeknd’s mood are as inevitable as the phases of the moon he prowls under.

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18 Feb 2020

Complicated Blastomycosis of the Skull Base Presenting as Otitis Media

Blastomyces dermatitidis is a fungus endemic to the Mississippi, Ohio, and St Lawrence River regions of the United States and Canada.1 Although pulmonary infection is its most common clinical manifestation, B dermatitidis can disseminate secondarily to any organ. We describe a case of complicated skull base osteomyelitis caused by B dermatitidis presenting as treatment-refractory otitis media.

Original Article

17 Feb 2020

Bad Bunny & Sech: “Ignorantes”

It seems crazy that it took this long to get a Bad Bunny and Sech collab. “Ignorantes” is a reggaetón romantico Arnold Palmer; Sech’s sweetness perfectly contrasts with the bite of Bad Bunny’s AutoTune croon. The Valentine’s Day ballad is credited to Panamanian producer Dimelo Flow, who was behind Sech’s world-conquering smash “Otro Trago,” and who has become an artist in his own right since signing to Interscope late last year. “Ignorantes” is essentially “Otro Trago pt. II,” only slightly boosting the BPM on the dembow riddim as Bad Bunny and Sech similarly lament a breakup and wallow in self-pity (“La soledad no me asusta, pero dormir solo no me gusta”).

Over a sparse beat bolstered by well-placed hype man harmonies, the duo glosses over fights and dwells on the good times, like wearing your lover’s hoodie post-coitus, or waking up to their kisses. Yet, el conejo malo also sounds downright despondent, and though he may not be known for the sharpest diction, here it seems like he can barely get the words out. As he wails “pero qué rico cuando chingamo,” it’s clear he misses the booty—a lot. “Ignorantes” finds the duo at their most self-reflective; this isn’t either artist’s first song about a failed relationship, but it’s a rare urbano example of shouldering the blame without embracing the shittiness that led to the collapse (“Soy Peor,” anyone?). This newfound self-reflexiveness expressed in the song combined with the music video, a celebratory display of next-level futuristic fits and r and mixed race couples, reminds us that bah boni is a different kind of urbano artist.

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