Released on a limited-edition 12-inch single, "Ego" gives a taste of three great experimenters: underwater grooves (Burial), webs of acoustic instruments (Four Tet) and fidgety beats (Yorke). It's a dance-floor come-on by a dude who may over-think his morning oatmeal: "The daydreamers, the dope smokers, the loose talkers," Yorke sings, apparently listing his competition, "I bet they just throw themselves at you." As DJ supergroups go, promising indeed. Listen to "Ego": The... | More »
The last leak from Dre's eternally forthcoming Detox was "I Need a Doctor," a hard-rocker featuring Eminem that made Dre's return seem not just imminent but urgent. With "Chillin' " (as yet unconfirmed for Detox), Dre returns to his laaaaaid-back comfort zone (à la late-2010's "Kush"). Riding a percolating groove, it's serviceably succulent loungin'-in-the-club funk. But, c'mon, Dre. "Kush"? "Chillin' "? We get it. You like to relax. But could yo... | More »
"You Are a Tourist"
Death Cab frontman Ben Gibbard made his name as an indie-rock anti-charismatic – a gawky master of melancholy. But on the first single from the band's eighth album, he tries out a new role: self-help guru. "When there's a burning in your heart. . . . /Build it bigger than the sun/Let it grow," he sings. The advice floats over a buoyant yet muscular groove, and ringing guitars push toward the arena-friendly rock of Coldplay and U2. The "inspirational" message feels flat –... | More »
"Brick By Brick"
The first taste of the Brit band's fourth LP, this oddly meat-and-potatoes rocker finds Alex Turner rhyming "rock & roll" with "steal your soul" over simple riffs. His Jim Morrison impression later in the song is only a minor improvement. Listen to "Brick By Brick": Gallery: Random Notes, Rock's Hottest Photos | More »
Teen dream Ferreira isn't bugged by being "not a girl, not yet a woman." Her latest synth-pop confection bounces like a Stacey Q jam — and big-ups both nooky and the Almighty: "I pity the fools who realize too late/Love, sex and God are great." Listen to "Sex Rules": Gallery: The Week's Hottest Live Shots | More »
What are these Baltimore art-school punk kids on? A creative roll, for one thing. "Easy Peasy" is nearly six minutes of mayhem, mixing up King Crimson-style riffs, African soukous beats and New Wave synths, while Molly Siegel steals the show with her David Byrne-meets-Bikini Kill howl. Listen to "Easy Peasy": Gallery: Random Notes, Rock's Hottest Photos | More »
"Codes and Keys"
This new ballad (heard here in a live, solo-piano version) proudly bites Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." Ben Gibbard follows minor falls and major lifts to the cold and broken refrain, "We are a-live" — sounding both fragile and optimistic. Listen to "Codes and Keys": Gallery: The Week's Hottest Live Shots | More »
You might expect the first studio leak from this group of well-established indie rockers to be one part aggro-daydream (Helium frontwoman Mary Timony) to two parts rocket thrust (Sleater-Kinney's Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss) with a taste of garage-pop sugar (the Minders' keyboardist Rebecca Cole). Actually, "Glass Tambourine" — half of a seven-inch vinyl single due out on Record Store Day, April 16th — sounds like some wicked 1960s acid-rock yard-sale discovery, wi... | More »
It's as if they never left. "Sad Song" — the lead single from Move Like This, the Cars' first studio album in 24 years — opens with a rolling-machine groove that sparkles like 1978's "My Best Friend's Girl" with a fresh coat of chrome. But the Cars — especially singer-guitarist Ric Ocasek — were a deceptively dark ride, with a bleak undertow in Ocasek's songwriting and the band's sleek, noirish minimalism. "Too many clowns saying everythin... | More »
Matching the young-adult tumult of Kelly Clarkson with the wind-swept angst of Florence and the Machine, Perri's 2010 smash hit "Jar of Hearts" was bad-boyfriend-crushing piano pop — the kind of thing that you crank as you decide which local cliff to jump off when your high school love dumps you for a Cheerio. Her newest blast of feelings-napalm is a ballad that starts out placid and folky, then picks up intensity and volume, as grand melodic swooshes (and timpani!) imply romantic ... | More »
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