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People Music Critic
04/24/2014 at 02:00 PM EDT
Summer is around the corner, but it's a selection of mainly slower songs that are currently playing nonstop for PEOPLE music critic Chuck Arnold.
Feeling a little nostalgic, he's been opting for some old-school Cyndi Lauper, Diana Ross and Hall and Oates. But when it comes to the newer stuff, tracks by Coldplay, Justin Timberlake
, London Grammar and Dierks Bentley are on regular rotation.
Check out nine essential songs to have on repeat right now:
1. Cyndi Lauper – "Money Changes Everything"
The opener of her classic debut, She's So Unusual
, still struts and stomps on the new 30th-anniversary reissue.
2. Dierks Bentley – "Drunk on a Plane" Riser
's new single provides a surefire country buzz, with Bentley playing the jilted groom on this rowdy, alcohol-fueled flight.
3. The Hold Steady – "I Hope This Whole Thing Didn't Frighten You"
Kicking off Teeth Dreams
, these indie dudes cut their choppers into this Replacements-esque rocker.
4. London Grammar – "Flickers"
This slow-burning standout off their debut, If You Wait
, puts you in a trip-hop trance.
5. Coldplay – "Magic"
Chris Martin may be going through a breakup
, but damn, the man can still make you believe in love's bewitching powers on the haunting first single from Ghost Stories
, due May 19.
6. Jhene Aiko – "The Worst"
The bitter sweetest of kiss-offs, this nuzzles up to your neck as it cuts you deep, making it the smoothest slow jam on the R&B charts now.
7. Justin Timberlake – "Not a Bad Thing"
This time last year it was "Mirrors." Now JT is back with another perfect theme for spring romance from his 20/20 Experience
8. Hall and Oates – "Sara Smile"
Since these blue-eyed-soul men got inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 10, I've been digging into their oldies, best of all, this sad-eyed 1976 ballad.
9. Diana Ross – "Love Hangover"
Having recently turned 70, Miss Ross was never better than on this 1976 soul-disco hit that I'll never get over.