Reviewed: Britney Spears' 'Uber-Disco' New Hit; Avril Lavigne's Introspective 'Goodbye Lullabye' and More

Plus: Stream new music from R.E.M., Lupe Fiasco, Kurt Vile, Elvis Presley, Ellie Goulding, the Script, Timbaland and the Dropkick Murphys

March 8, 2011 10:45 AM ET
Reviewed: Britney Spears' 'Uber-Disco' New Hit; Avril Lavigne's Introspective 'Goodbye Lullabye' and More

In this week's slate of Rolling Stone reviews, Jon Dolan praises Britney Spears' latest single "Till the World Ends," a "ginormously pumping uber-Euro uber-disco" track penned by Ke$ha with Max Martin and Dr. Luke. Will Hermes gives high marks to Kurt Vile's "warmly psychedelic" new album Smoke Ring for My Halo, and says that Elvis Presley is so hot on the new reissue of Elvis Is Back that he could convert a nunnery. Also, Jody Rosen appreciates the subtle sexiness of Ellie Goulding's Lights and the surprising tenderness of Avril Lavigne's Goodbye Lullabye. 


Avril Lavigne - Goodbye Lullabye (stream one song)

Elvis Presley - Elvis Is Back! (Legacy Edition) (stream two songs)

Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring For My Halo (stream one song)

Ellie Goulding - Lights (stream one song)

Lupe Fiasco - Lasers (stream one song)

R.E.M. - Collapse Into Now (stream full album)

Middle Brother - Middle Brother (stream one song)

Darlene Love - The Sound of Love: The Very Best of Darlene (stream two songs)

Tristen - Charlatans At the Garden Gate (stream two songs)

Blaqstarr - Divine (EP) (stream one song)

The Script - Science & Faith (stream one song)

The Dropkick Murphys - Going Out In Style (stream one song)


Britney Spears "Till the World Ends" (stream)

Timbaland featuring Brandy "808" (stream)

LAST WEEK: Radiohead's Funkiest Album, R.E.M.'s Eclectic 'Collapse Into Now' and More

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

More Song Stories entries »