"Don't Swallow the Cap"
Brooklyn indie-rock sadsters the National are at their best when they remember to inject some rhythmic drama into their poetically moped-out music. And on this track from their upcoming sixth album (due May 21st), the National chunnel through a dark night of the soul like first-rate gloom-raiders. Drummer Bryan Devendorf's taut 4/4 pulse falls somewhere between krautrock and Springsteen's "I'm on Fire," with Aaron and Bryce Dessner's spare, lovely guitar and keyboards glan... | More »
"Girls Love Beyoncé"
Leave it to Drake to burrow into a ladies' anthem like Destiny's Child's "Say My Name" – which provides the chorus moaned here by James Fauntleroy – and discover a gooey, placenta-like sac of male feelings. And to lure you right in behind him: Questioning get-money, fuck-ho's "values" and his fear of commitment, Drizzy is so commanding that when he tells you to speak his name, it just sounds like sex play. | More »
"The Bear and the Maiden"
How's this for codpiece-busting fantasy fulfillment? The quintessential bar band shoulders through a drinking song written for Game of Thrones – with bear-meets-girl lyrics by George R.R. Martin himself. The show's composer, Ramin Djawadi, wrote the music, but it sounds like prime Hold Steady, with wittily observed romantic confusion meeting guitar solos and a beer-sloshing chorus. | More »
The K-pop king returns with another disco-cheese grenade, dropping an I'm-still-too-sexy rap: "Gonna make you sweat/Gonna make you wet/You know who I am/West Side!" In the video, he takes his dickhead playboy shtick to stratospheric levels. (A stink palm? In a library? Impressive.) Learn it or you'll feel pretty lame next time you party over on the West Side. | More »
"Numbers on the Board"
Released the same day as Jay-Z's "Open Letter," this sounds like a pure-basics counterpoint to Jay's grandiose celebrity vitriol. "Thirty-six years of doing dirt like it's Earth Day" is about as autobiographical as Pusha gets. The star is Kanye West's beat, a contusive bass blur with percussion that's like bamboo sticks on a busted radiator. The result is near-perfect no-bullshit hip-hop. | More »
When teaser fragments of "Get Lucky" began morphing across the web, it already sounded like the club anthem of summer. Heard in toto, the first single from the forthcoming LP by EDM godfathers Daft Punk reveals itself, startlingly, as an old-school disco jam. Over a groove recalling "We Are Family," Pharrell sums up club culture in a line – "We're up all night to get lucky" – alongside the signature funky upstrokes of guitarist/dance music guru Nile Rodgers. Then some talk-bo... | More »
"My God Is the Sun"
When last we heard from Queens of the Stone Age, in 2011, they were touring on the deluxe reissue of their almighty first album, where they made sun-warped desert metal speed like a bullet train. No wonder, then, that the first single from ...Like Clockwork, QOTSA's first LP in six years, is the band's most gloriously motorik chug monster since those early days. With guest drummer Dave Grohl pounding away, Josh Homme and Co. deliver vintage Queens rumble. The main riff takes off lik... | More »
"Let's Go Crazy (Reloaded)"
OK, trashing someone else's vintage guitar on Fallon was dickish. $250 for a GA concert ticket raises eyebrows. You may question his new songs. But on this remake of his 1984 synth-rock signature, a promo for his new tour, Prince erases all doubts. Recast as a juke-joint grind that could knock the Black Keys to their knees, it spews Hendrixian napalm, then lurches into a monster jam on Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein." $250? If this is what's on offer, it's a bargain. | More »
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