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song reviews

Young Jeezy feat. Lil Wayne

"Ballin'"

7

Jeezy's last album was called The Recession. On his new single, the recovery is in full swing: "I'm on them Diddys, spendin' dirty money," he raps over a razor-sharp beat. Not to be out-balled, Weezy offers, "So many cars, I'm like, 'Eenie-meenie-minie-moe'/So many colors in the diamonds, kaleidoscope." Listen to "Ballin'": Gallery: The Week's Hottest Live Shots | More »

May 4, 2011

Santigold feat. Karen O

"Go"

7

Hipster siren Santigold has said her new single is about "the new American Dream." If said dream includes Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O getting her Interplanetary Warrior Priestess on over an electro-punk track you can jump-rope to, then America must be doing just fine. Listen to "Go": Gallery: Random Notes, Rock's Hottest Photos | More »

May 2, 2011

Pitbull

"Give Me Everything"

6

Miami rapper Pitbull gets a long way on intensity, chomping down on songs like chew toys. On "Give Me Everything," a Black Eyed Peas-like club-pop cut with a plaintive Ne-Yo chorus, he spits silly rhymes ("If you slip, I'm gonna fall on top of your girl") with five times more conviction than they deserve. Listen to "Give Me Everything": Gallery: Random Notes, Rock's Hottest Photos | More »

April 29, 2011

Cults

"Abducted"

6

This buzzy New York duo take Sixties girl-group pop sounds and wash them out in haunting reverb. Singers Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin sound extra-ghostly on this sugary ode to lost love, trading eerily happy verses about kidnapped hearts. Listen to "Abducted": Gallery: Random Notes, Rock's Hottest Photos | More »

April 27, 2011

Beyonce

"Run the World (Girls)"

7

From "Independent Women" to "Single Ladies," girl power has long been Beyoncé's Topic A, and "Run the World (Girls)" is a blistering return to the theme. She forsakes fashionable sounds — no Eurodisco synths! — to belt over Diplo and Switch's ferocious dancehall beat. The message is party-hearty feminism. But with Gaga, Britney, Katy, Rihanna and Taylor all vying to be the queen of pop, you can bet B isn't looking to share the throne. Listen to "Run the Worl... | More »

April 26, 2011

My Morning Jacket

"Holdin On to Black Metal"

8

"Oh Black Metal you're so misunderstood," Jim James sings on this ode to Lucifer's favorite racket. Putting any actual metal in a song about metal would be way too obvious for these genre-bending Southern boys. So on "Black Metal" — the latest offering from Circuital, due May 31 — they roll out rubbery psychedelic soul complete with steel-wool guitar fuzz, pink-chiffon backup singers and a whacked-out wah-wah horn section — kicking ass with a velvet boot. They reco... | More »

April 25, 2011

Radiohead

"Supercollider"

8

Sorry, Radiohead fans — the band swears the only sequel you're going to get to The King of Limbs is these tunes. Both are superb electro ballads that would have fit King's moodier second half. "Supercollider" is familiar from the group's epochal 2008 tour; the stuttering drums on the new "The Butcher" evoke Prince's "Housequake," while Thom Yorke layers harmonies into a celebration of paranoid dread. Listen to "Supercollider": Photos: Fifteen Years o... | More »

Radiohead

"The Butcher"

8

Sorry, Radiohead fans — the band swears the only sequel you're going to get to The King of Limbs is these tunes. Both are superb electro ballads that would have fit King's moodier second half. "Supercollider" is familiar from the group's epochal 2008 tour; the stuttering drums on the new "The Butcher" evoke Prince's "Housequake," while Thom Yorke layers harmonies into a celebration of paranoid dread. Listen to "The Butcher": Photos: Fifteen Years of Ra... | More »

April 21, 2011

EMA

California

7

EMA — a.k.a. Erika M. Anderson — chants a love-hate letter to the state that's "so fucked it's 5150," complete with crashing piano chords and dirty synth drones. She's like the bastard daughter of Sinéad O'Connor, except twice as crazy and six times as funny. Listen to "California": Gallery: The Week's Hottest Live Shots | More »

April 20, 2011

Justice

Civilization

7

The first single from the French electronic duo's long-awaited second album delivers a high- end baguette beat-down — it's a blistering track, part Daft Punk's "Aerodynamic," part the Who's "Baba O'Riley," and totally over-the-top. Listen to "Civilization": Gallery: Random Notes, Rock's Hottest Photos | More »

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

More Song Stories entries »
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