"Do It Like a Dude"
Jessie J is no girly girl — she's a Brit newcomer who wears her hat low and often avoids pants. The 22-year-old already has a sugary hit on her resume (she co-penned Miley's "Party in the U.S.A."), but on her debut single she her stomps her way across the pond, presumably with tongue in cheek: "Do It Like a Dude" finds her grabbing her crotch and dropping MF-bombs over rock riffs while calling her girls "sugar" and throwing in a brawling pop chorus. Fierce! Listen to "Do It L... | More »
"When You Wake Up"
On this seven-inch single, Bethany Cosentino keeps up her hook-packed surf-pop revival with an artfully artless sketch of doomed puppy love: "Tell me you love me/Even if you don't/I need to hear it." Listen to "When You Wake Up": The 50 Best Songs of 2010: Number 20 — Best Coast, "Boyfriend" | More »
Dom feat. Gucci Mane
"Living in America (Remix)"
On this unlikely collaboration, indie-pop band Dom slow their patriotic original while Atlanta MC Gucci Mane drawls hypnotically and turns "Brett Favre!" into a club chant. Only in America. Listen to "Living in America (Remix)": Gallery: Keep up with rock's hottest photos in Random Notes | More »
"Oh My Heart"
Even more than the brightly rocking "Discoverer," the newest glimpse at the upcoming Collapse Into Now finds R.E.M. in classic mode, employing a soft melody and a magnolia mandolin that cuts against an accordion. The lyrics suggest that the character from the 2008 Katrina lament "Houston" is coming back to New Orleans to start again — fitting, since "Oh My Heart" is about R.E.M. building something new from what they already know. "It's sweet and it's sad and it's true," S... | More »
La Gold Dust Woman's first new music in a decade is a glimpse of In Your Dreams, a collaboration with Eurythmics' synth-pop scientist Dave Stewart. (It's due in May.) "Come on, it's time to go upstairs" she begins over clipped Eighties drum thwaps and a witchy shroud of electronics, which give way to backward beats and a glassy guitar line. Her voice is strong and the come-on is inviting — at least until it evolves into something far more complicated. Romance is like... | More »
Timbaland and Missy Elliott
"Take Ur Clothes Off"
Click to listen to Timbaland and Missy Elliott's "Take Ur Clothes Off" How have we made it through so many years without a new Missy and Timbaland song? The first giveaway in the Timbaland Thursdays series (the producer's version of G.O.O.D. Fridays) is also the pair's first track together since 2008's "Shake Your Pom Pom." "Take Ur Clothes Off" sounds like classic Missy-Timbo: All buzzy propulsion (powered by heavy low-end and burbling percussion), bawdy exhortations ("... | More »
"Thunder on the Mountain"
Click to hear Wanda Jackson's "Thunder On The Mountain" Bob Dylan himself suggested that the rockabilly queen record this blues shuffle from Modern Times. Jackson — who tackled "Thunder on the Mountain" for her upcoming, Jack White-produced album — sends the song back to 1958, sounding like she isn't a day over 21. With rollicking piano and White's squealing guitars, it's a sock-hop jam that name-drops Jerry Lee instead of Alicia Keys. Gallery: Random Notes,... | More »
Kanye West and Jay-Z
Click to listen to Kanye West and Jay-Z's "H.A.M." The first release from Kanye and Jay-Z's Watch the Throne starts out big — twitchy synths giving way to spooky opera ululating — and then gets humungous, with a choir booming over what sounds like a dozen symphony orchestras. You expect God, or Gandalf, to come striding out of the mist. Instead, we get two stars out to prove they're "hard as a motherfucker": 'Ye tells life itself to suck his dick, while Jay s... | More »
"Hold it Against Me"
Click to listen to Britney Spears' "Hold It Against Me" "Hold it Against Me" is prime Britney, packed with aggressive electro jitters, a Euro-cheese riff that's strangely close to AC/DC's "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap," and a weird breakdown where Brit moans, blows kisses, and snaps her gum. The first single from her upcoming seventh album, the song (co-produced by Max Martin and Dr. Luke) recalls the synth-gloom ambience of Britney's 2007 gem, Blackout, possibly the most ... | More »