IN promoting their forthcoming album Drones, alternative rock veterans Muse have released a flurry of singles over the past few weeks. Though Matt Bellamy has never been renowned for his lyrical prowess, the otherwise multi-talented frontman is particularly clumsy on new tracks Mercy and Dead Inside.

Dead Inside’s dramatic intro initially suggests another incursion into the semi-comical territory the trio embraced on their last two records. Surprisingly though, we’re treated to a genuinely emotional vocal melody from Bellamy that almost recalls their classic records from over a decade ago.

Elsewhere, pop superstar Taylor Swift has dramatically re-imagined Bad Blood, a track from her recent album 1989, as a bass-heavy club banger with an expensive music video that resembles a Michael Bay movie. Although it’s titled as being by Taylor Swift, her main contribution to the song is the catchy refrain during the chorus: “Baby, now we’ve got bad blood.”

The two official verses here are actually delivered by rapper Kendrick Lamar, whose pop-tailored lyrics are a far-cry from the powerful topics covered on his recent To Pimp A Butterfly album.

The remix is slightly overshadowed by the massive corresponding video that features a swarm of celebrities. Selena Gomez, Jessica Alba, Ellie Goulding and Cindy Crawford are just some of the female stars who appear as gun-wielding warriors in this Sin City homage.

The blunt feminist message of the video is commendable, with the assortment of characters literally pulling no punches. Regardless, Swift would do well to resist too many of these pop-rap crossovers given her rapid rise as a songwriter in her own right.

Closer to home, Glasgow based indie band Franz Ferdinand’s new collaboration with the legendary Mael brothers of Sparks really hits the right spot. The six-man supergroup, aptly entitled FFS, have started releasing singles over the past few weeks.

Most impressive is Johnny Delusional, which was first unleashed on Later… With Jools Holland last week. This the perfect example of what a collaboration between old and new should sound like, as thumping piano and syncopated guitar lines match the bands’ two distinct vocal styles.

The band ironically allude to this on Collaborations Don’t Work, a bemusing ditty that echoes Supertramp, Queen and The Beatles all at once, but definitely not Franz Ferdinand themselves. We could be set for the most unexpected hit album of the summer.