"Born This Way"
Click to listen to Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" "Don't be a drag/Just be a queen," Lady Gaga chants in this instant-classic club anthem, over the Eurodisco beats of producers Fernando Garibay and DJ White Shadow. She shouts to the gays, lesbians, bis, disabled, and monsters of all races, with the hilariously dippy line: "You're black, white, beige, chola descent/You're Lebanese, you're Orient!" Gallery: Lady Gaga's Best Looks Despite the obvious tip of the cap ... | More »
The first fruit (and title track) from Helplessness Blues, the Seattle folk-rockers' upcoming second album, this begins with frontman Robin Pecknold sounding like a troubled Joni Mitchell and ends with him sounding like a utopian Graham Nash. Pecknold wrestles with life's meaning over vigorous acoustic strumming before excusing himself: "I'll get back to you someday soon," he keens, "you will see." Near the three-minute mark, those trademark harmonies explode amid electric guit... | More »
"Cut Me Out"
New York electro-pop duo Amanda Warner and Peter Wade mix warm synth beats with a soaring chorus that sounds like what birds must be thinking. The fantastically bespectacled Warner manages the impossible: Gearheads and hipsters swoon. Listen to "Cut Me Out": Gallery: Random Notes, Rock's Hottest Photos | More »
Nicki Minaj feat. Lil Wayne
Weezy leaps on the craziest track from his protégé's Pink Friday LP, an alter-ego spaz-out set over little more than bowed bass and skeletal percussion. Supplanting Eminem's bilious verses on the original version, Wayne sounds breathless, cackling, drunk on his new freedom. He boasts cleverly ("Life is a puzzle/Jigsaw/All I do is win/My name should be Victor") and rhymes the chorus, "Rahr! Rahr!/Like a dungeon dragon!" with — what else? — "Foie gras!/I hear... | More »
This scuzz-loving English blues-punk duo were on hiatus while singer Alison Mosshart howled alongside Jack White in the Dead Weather. Now they're back with bad vibes to burn and an even freakier new sound. On "Satellite," corrosive guitar skronk rolls out over a wickedly loping dub-reggae groove as Mosshart, singer-guitarist Jamie Hince and a spooky goth-gospel choir turn lyrics about a bootycall thwarted by crappy cellphone service into an S.O.S. from hell. Listen to "Satellite": ... | More »
"Mine Smell Like Honey"
R.E.M. have found a new way to move forward: Sound like an awesome R.E.M. tribute band. "Mine Smell Like Honey" is all Monster-style guitar rumble, with a chorus straight outta Life's Rich Pageant and Michael Stipe belting, "Dig a hole!/Dig it deeper, deeper!" Listen to "Mine Smell Like Honey": Photos: R.E.M. Through the Years | More »
"When the Night Was Young"
From How to Become Clairvoyant, Robertson's first album since 1998, this pretty, wistful reminiscence finds the former Band man longing for the days when he hung out with "card sharks and grifters" and thought he could change the world. Listen to "When the Night Was Young": The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time: Number 78, Robbie Robertson | More »
"Under Cover of Darkness"
Click to Listen to The Strokes' "Under Cover of Darkness" The lead single from the first new Strokes record in five years barrels into the bar with "Return to Form" written on its forehead. "Under Cover of Darkness" (set to be released February 9th on the band's website) takes the basic elements of their sound, breaks it down, builds it back up and expands it: the skinny-tie boogie bounce of "Last Nite," wave after wave of cute and sharp interlocking guitar, and a grand, gapin... | More »