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song reviews

The White Stripes

"I've Been Loving You Too Long"

7

Jack and Meg have called it quits, but there's good news: Third Man Records plans to gradually roll out a load of unreleased White Stripes songs. The newest offerings — covers cut in 1997 — prove the Stripes sounded like themselves from the get-go: On Love's druggy ballad "Signed D.C.," Jack moans about addiction over a beat that's minimalist even for Meg. Their take on Otis Redding's "I've Been Loving You Too Long" is livelier: Jack's vocals ar... | More »

The White Stripes

"Signed D.C."

6

Jack and Meg have called it quits, but there's good news: Third Man Records plans to gradually roll out a load of unreleased White Stripes songs. The newest offerings — covers cut in 1997 — prove the Stripes sounded like themselves from the get-go: On Love's druggy ballad "Signed D.C.," Jack moans about addiction over a beat that's minimalist even for Meg. Their take on Otis Redding's "I've Been Loving You Too Long" is livelier: Jack's vocals ar... | More »

July 18, 2011

Red Hot Chili Peppers

"The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie"

6

Click here to listen to Red Hot Chili Peppers' "The Adventures Of Rain Dance Maggie" It's reassuring to realize just how little the Chilis have changed in the five years since their last album—or in the two decades since Blood Sugar Sex Magik, for that matter. So what if guitarist John Frusciante quit (again) during their most recent hiatus? The remaining members seem to be the same lovable goofballs as always. Their big comeback single, from August 30th's I'm ... | More »

July 15, 2011

Blink-182

"Up All Night"

7

It's not exactly the "prog-rock Blink" that guitarist Tom DeLonge teased, but on their first track in six years, the reunited neo-punks do get loopier than ever. The three-and-a-half minute anthem synthesizes the ideas already brewing on the Greatest Hits cut "Not Now": Jagged riffs smash into warbled sci-fi synths, as DeLonge and bassist Mark Hoppus trade glum proverbs — "Everyone lives to tell the tale of how we die alone someday," Hoppus wails — before wrapping it all up i... | More »

July 5, 2011

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

"Same Mistake"

7

One of the past decade’s biggest blog-buzz acts brightens up on their first single in four years, garnishing their guitars with cascading strings and disco-rock rhythms. Alec Ounsworth even smooths out his dying-cat vocals, sounding more like poppy solo Tom Verlaine than quirky Television Verlaine. Listen to "Same Mistake": Related: • Random Notes, Rock's Hottest Photos | More »

June 30, 2011

Drake

"Marvin's Room"

7

Drake loads up on rosé and cognac, drunk-dials his ex and spills his guts over a noirishly spare beat. The result is bummer-rap-as-high- comedy, with Drake offering candid thoughts on his ex’s new BF (he’s not a fan) – and bragging about his busy love life. Listen to "Marvin's Room": Related: • Photos: The Week's Hottest Live Shots | More »

June 29, 2011

Lloyd feat. Lil Wayne and Andre 3000

"Dedication to My Ex (Miss That)"

8

Lloyd's "Dedication to My Ex" could be 2011's "Fuck You" – the crazy catchy, joyfully profane, vaguely retro R&B song that sweeps the internet. Over a slinky, organ-splashed groove that could have come from a Raphael Saadiq album (or Frat Rock!), Lloyd bemoans an unfaithful lady while his backup singers unleash an extremely grandma-unfriendly refrain: "I miss that pussy, that pussy, that pussy, that pussy!" Andre 3000's cameo, packed with slick wordplay and delivered ... | More »

Wilco

"I Might"

8

For their first release since leaving the major label game and hanging their own shingle (what took so long?), Wilco deliver a seven-inch single that sounds like it was knocked out by a garage band, albeit a knowing one. "It's alright/You won't set the kids on fire/Oh I might," sings Jeff Tweedy, like he's having a late night talk to the mirror after some teenagers yelled "Dad rocker!" at him outside the mini-mart. Mikael Jorgensen adds some nasty-sounding Farfisa organ, guitar... | More »

June 28, 2011

Morrissey

"Action Is My Middle Name"

7

The Mozzer recently announced that he has a new album all ready to go – just no label to release it. (Label? What is this, the freaking Nineties?) Morrissey debuted three of the new tracks live on BBC radio. Each song is in the heavy glam-rock mode of his last couple of solo albums, but the clear keeper of the bunch is the brilliantly titled "Action Is My Middle Name," exactly the kind of sardonically obsessive sex rant Morrissey has always done so well. He tries to convince some... | More »

June 24, 2011

Gym Class Heroes feat. Adam Levine

"Stereo Heart"

6

Travie McCoy doesn’t work in a specific genre – unless "crossover" is a genre. And this potential summer smash, cut with his band Gym Class Heroes, highlights his skill at pop that floats between styles. "Stereo Heart" is a little bit hip-hop, a little bit disco, a little bit dark-synthed club music; and, with Adam Levine replacing Bruno Mars on the hook, it’s a lot like Travie’s hit "Billionaire." When Levine croons, "Make me your radio," it also (unintentionally?) ch... | More »

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Song Stories

“Bleeding Love”

Leona Lewis | 2007

In 2008, The X Factor winner Leona Lewis backed up her U.K. singing competition victory with an R&B anthem for the ages: "Bleeding Love," an international hit that became the best-selling song of the year. The track was co-penned by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder (whose radio dominance would continue with songs such as Beyonce's "Halo" and Adele's "Rumour Has It") and solo artist Jesse McCartney, who was inspired by a former girlfriend, Gossip Girl actress Katie Cassidy. Given the song's success, McCartney didn't regret handing over such a personal track: "No, no," he said. "I'm so happy for Leona. She deserves it. There are really no bad feelings."

More Song Stories entries »
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