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    Erik Hassle - "Pathetic"

    In the catacombs of pop culture, it's easy to lose sight of that fact that George Michael was a) once a gigantic, global star and b) that he wrote some phenomenal, soulful pop tunes.

    Some might take it as a back-handed compliment to consider Erik Hassle's SOHN-produced new single "Pathetic" a spiritual successor to some of Michael's biggest hits, but it is a credit to one of pop's most intriguing emergent (or re-emergent) talents that he is able to pick unexpected points of influence and refract them through his own considerable talents. For good measure, there's a sprinkling of Prince's purple specter here and there, but Hassle remains the star of the show (with ample help from some of SOHN's finest and most accessible production to date). An excellent second step to build on excellent return single "Talk About It."—Jon Tanners