New single reviews: Kacey Musgraves, Madonna, Of Monsters and Men

March has been a busy time for new music, with high-profile acts like Kacey Musgraves, Madonna, and Jason Derulo dropping new music. Which of the current tracks is most worthy of your attention? Read on for reviews of the latest pop singles. All tracks are scored on a 1-10 scale.

“Biscuits,” Kacey Musgraves

For her second record, Musgraves has the difficult task of following up Same Trailer, Different Park, which is simply one of the finest albums released in any genre in the past 20 years. She's wisely choosing to ease fans into the new record with a lead single that she's been performing in concert for more than a year. “Mind your own biscuits, and life will be gravy,” Musgraves sings on the catchy, chant-along chorus. With a banjo as the lead instrument and witty lyrics about staying out of other people's business, Musgraves is keeping it country and keeping her personality at the forefront of her music. Rating: 9

“Ghosttown,” Madonna

Madonna's first single from Rebel Heart, “Living for Love,” fell flat on the charts, failing to enter the Hot 100. That won't happen with the next single, “Ghosttown,” a beauty that has “smash hit” written all over it. The mid-tempo track slowly opens into a powerful chorus in which Madge sings, “When it all falls, when it all falls down / I'll be your fire when the lights go out / When there's no one, no one else around / We'll be two souls in a ghost town.” It's easily the best song on her album. Rating: 8.5

“Crystals,” Of Monsters and Men

The Icelandic alt-pop group behind “Little Talks” and “Mountain Sound” is back with a new track from their upcoming album Beneath the Skin. “Crystals” builds on the band's trademark male-female vocal interplay and tosses in loads of metaphors, like “skies of powdered gold” and “clouds of silver ropes.” This one isn't as immediately catchy as Of Monsters and Men's previous singles, but it sounds like a track that could grow on listeners with repeated listens. Rating: 7

“Want to Want Me,” Jason Derulo

Jason Derulo has carved out an interesting career in the space between pop, R&B and dance. Even though he doesn't seem to have the dedicated army of fans that many pop stars have today – have you ever heard anyone say they were a hardcore Jason Derulo fan? – he keeps managing to score hit singles. He created three Top 10 hits from his Talk Dirty album with the title track, “Wiggle” and “Trumpets,” and his brand new song, the punchy, melodic “Want to Want Me,” could become a hit as well. If pop radio latches on to this one, expect it to fly up the charts. Rating: 8.2

“Lay Me Down,” Sam Smith

After the success of “Stay With Me” and “I'm Not the Only One,” it's dumbfounding that Smith's record label chose to issue yet another slow song as his latest single. “Lay Me Down” is a pleasant vocal ballad, but at this point fans are yearning for something different. The soulful, up-tempo “Money On My Mind” should have been the obvious choice for a single instead. Rating: 6.5