"Like a Rocket Man"
David Bowie is no stranger to songs about space, drugs or spooky girls – but he tops himself with "Like a Rocket Man." It's one of the great bonus tracks added to the deluxe version of his latest album; it's a slinky guitar shuffle where he quotes Taxi Driver ("I'm God's lonely man") and chases a go-to girl named Little Wendy Cocaine. Finally: Bowie steals his rocketman concept back from Elton John. | More »
"Feel My Pain"
The indie singer-songwriter's new EP is titled it's a big world out there (and i am scared), and this lovely, Spartan track – just droll fingerpicking, mush-mouthed intimacy and bedroom drum-machine patter – makes Vile's pain cave feel like the International House of Backrubs. | More »
Community actor Donald Glover returns as his surprisingly good rap alias, Childish Gambino, for a few minutes of Frank Ocean-ic R&B minimals – falsetto loveman action over last-call jazz piano and a molasses beat. It's luxuriantly vibey psych soul – so vibey it feels more like an intriguing demo than a finished song. | More »
Will.i.am feat. Miley Cyrus, French Montana and Wiz Khalifa
"Now everybody trippin' like they poppin' 'molly'/Up in the club is where you find me," Miley raps over a throbby beat, finding her level as an MC. As hip-hop summits go, it's not exactly Yalta, but as dumpy, decadent inanity goes, it's an undeniable spectacle. | More »
The summit of beauty and love – and Gaga was her name. Her space-disco ode to the planet of sex sounds even more like Madonna than you'd expect, especially "Papa Don't Preach," chanting, "Goddess of love, take me to your leader!" But give Gaga credit for restraint: She waits three whole minutes for the Uranus joke. | More »
"Sweeter Than Fiction"
Swift does a whirlwind tour of the prom scene in every John Hughes movie, crushing all their highlights into one Eighties-style synth-pop tune. Written for the soundtrack of the film One Chance, about an opera singer, it's her collaboration with fun.'s Jack Antonoff – who throws in a delightful guitar solo straight from Fleetwood Mac's "Gypsy." | More »
This electronic brother duo from the U.K. usually go in for body-jackin' garage beats. Here, they try something even more basic: a straight-up main-room house banger with menacing synths and gauzy vocal samples. It's well made, but the no-frills beat doesn't quite have the duo's usual pumping zing. | More »
The nominal country singer behind "Springsteen" and "Homeboy" doubles down on his hard-rock/hip-hop fixations with a song that opens on an unfuckwithable snarl-rap, ramps into a high-lonesome stadium chorus over a Southern-rock stomp, then feigns a Black Keys garage skronk before barreling into a prog-metal capper. As cultural ambassadorship goes, he could teach Brad Paisley a thing or two. | More »
"Love Is to Die"
Teased in a recent ad for Calvin Klein, this is an unnervingly sexy death-wish weave of droning guitar shimmer, abstract typing-pool rhythms and the salt-caramel-goth harmonies of Theresa Wayman and Jenny Lee Lindberg. Produced by Flood, mixed by Nigel Godrich, it suggests the L.A. quartet's second LP, due in 2014, just may be a killer. | More »
"Meant to Be"
The third TLC-greatest-hits album since the death of the goddess Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes comes with this new Ne-Yo-penned track, which recalls the lilting prettiness and the sweet realism of the group's finest moments, minus the crazysexy drive that made their legend. Like a lot of music today, it's sort of like the Nineties, just not as fun. | More »