"Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall"
Chris Martin says Coldplay's upcoming album is influenced by old-school New York graffiti, and in a recent photo the bandmates are dressed in neon chillwear like they just walked off the set of Breakin' 3: A Brit-Pop Odyssey. But the first single doesn't go for the sound of early hip-hop so much as its sense of year-zero possibility. Over a rave-tinged keyboard melody, leavened by producer Brian Eno's rainforest-of-the-soul ambience, Martin sings of kids dancing until morn... | More »
"How to Love"
How to love? Lil Wayne has a theory. You grab an acoustic guitar. You toss in some strings. You rap a little, sing a little, whisper sweet nothings: "I admire your poppin' bottles and dippin'/Just as much as you admire bartendin' and strippin'." This Tha Carter IV single is a casual ground-breaker – the gentlest, most melodic rap ballad since LL Cool J's "I Need Love." Wayne sings prettily – though he uses Auto-Tune, he doesn't sound like the cyborg W... | More »
Romeo Santos — who, in Aventura, fronted the world's most popular Latin band — is a ladykiller with an unearthly falsetto that recalls Aaron Neville's. His debut solo single blends Dominican bachata with R&B — plus coos and come-ons in Spanish and English — with predictably suave results. Listen to "You": Gallery: The Week's Hottest Live Shots | More »
The fuzz-rock revivalists slow down for a pretty, poppy ballad about nursing a broken heart by getting stoned. "Milkshake," released as half of a one-off single, probably would have been all over the radio 20 years ago - and the melody is so sticky-sweet that you almost feel like it could do the same today. Listen to "Milkshake": Gallery: Random Notes, Rock's Hottest Photos | More »
Over a "Sweet Jane" bass line, Alex Turner sings the praises of a girl so awesome that "topless models doing semaphore wave their flags as she walks by and get ignored." Sounds like a catch! The slinky surf-guitar melody is pretty fetching too. Listen to "Reckless Serenade": Gallery: The Week's Hottest Live Shots | More »
DJ Khaled feat. Drake, Rick Ross and Lil Wayne
"I'm On One"
The credits make this sound like a posse cut, but it's unmistakably Drake's party. Over fidgety synths as cold as Toronto in January, he croons about fame's rewards and kvetches about its annoyances ("All that hype don't feel the same next year, boy") - a serviceable stopgap till his next LP. The others keep it brief: Ross makes gangsta clichés sound improbably cool, Weezy fires off half-asleep punch lines and Khaled bellows his name once before vanishing. Lis... | More »
Reeve Carney feat. Bono and the Edge
"Rise Above 1"
Amid the all many disasters that beset the Broadway version of Spider-Man, Bono and the Edge's songs emerge pretty much unscathed by critics. Now that the show has been revised and restaged, this centerpiece anthem of struggle over adversity may become a metaphor for its slog towards redemption. "Rise Above" is a trademark soaring U2 ballad, with the elegant grandeur cranked up to Andrew Lloyd Weber levels. But show tunes need big voices too, and, singing next to Bono on this versi... | More »
"(It) Feels So Good"
Steven Tyler's first official solo single has his doofiest parenthesis-abusing title since "Falling in Love (Is Hard on the Knees)." He uses an Aerosmith-style guitar riff and some chintzy synth drums, but he can't shape them into anything resembling an Aerosmith song – it sounds more like late-period Genesis, circa "I Can't Dance." Even when he honks a harmonica, it's impossible not to notice how offensively wussy the guitars are. "(It) Feels So Good" ends up s... | More »
"It's So Easy"
Buddy Holly was one of the Beatles' biggest influences, a pioneer whose simple tunes and insane two-year hot streak inspired John Lennon and Paul McCartney to start writing their own songs. So it's no shock McCartney contributed to Rave On, a giant sundae of a Holly tribute album (featuring the Black Keys, Kid Rock and others) due out June 28th. What's surprising is how awesomely batshit his performance is. Over bar-band chug-a-lug, with scruffy guitars egging him on, he ... | More »
50 Cent and David Guetta
"Bullshit & Party"
50 Cent goes Eurotrash: The refrain is from Biggie Smalls, but French DJ Guetta's insipid house beat and 50's dull rhymes ("Let's make a toast/To success/You're my guest/I'm your host") could only seem funky in the discothèque of a Riviera budget hotel. Listen to 50 Cent and David Guetta's "Bullshit & Party": Gallery: The Week's Hottest Live Shots | More »