On 2007's Our Love to Admire, New York's doomy New Wavers abandoned taut goth punk in favor of bigger, more expansive art rock. Chastened, the band is back to its old voodoo on a new single. "Lights" is like six Joy Division slow songs played at once, beginning with a crawling riff that could have been recorded in Dracula's wine cellar, and building to groove euphoria. Paul Banks reanimates Ian Curtis as the world's worst boyfriend. "Maybe I like to stray," he moans. "It... | More »
Conceived as an answer to Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind," this ode to West Coast ladies is gleefully over-the-top — a thumping, synthy summer anthem that screams, "This is a summer anthem!" Snoop Dogg's lyrics are marginally better than Perry's lines about "Sippin' on gin and juice/Laying under the palm trees," and you can bet your SPF 80 that the buoyant tune (co-penned by Dr. Luke and Max Martin) will lodge itself in millions of skulls. | More »
This M.I.A.-approved noise-pop band lives up to months of buzz with its debut single: Mixing angelic vocals with grinding synths and scorched bass, it's a body-shaker that sounds like a choir girl showing up to a street fight with a howitzer and a holster full of lasers. Danceable lasers. | More »
Christopher Mercer is a Leeds producer convinced dubstep can be ecstatic as well as stoned-somber. "Woo Boost" was one hot example. This joint with Dirty Projectors main diva Amber Coffman — a pro-forma r&b come-on set to an awesome, gut-rumbling bass pulse — is another. And here's betting his work on M.I.A.'s new set will keep the beat engorged. | More »
"Can't Be Tamed"
Miley Cyrus: America's teen sweetheart, or God's gift to vice-squad sting operations? The Hannah Montana gal goes for a grown-up club sound, with Rihanna-style robot-disco thump and boy-crazy AutoTune vocals about how hot she is. She boasts, "I always get a 10, 'cause I'm built like that." If she gets a 10, what does he get — 15 to 20? It's no "Party in the USA" or "See You Again," but the chorus packs plenty of electro-fizz pizzazz. | More »
"Plundered My Soul"
The whole idea of an unreleased tune from the Exile on Main Street sessions is like hearing somebody dug up video footage of Jesus skateboarding. The Stones have always been circumspect to a fault when it comes to digging around in their vaults — even their Rarities 1971-2003 compilation offered barely a scrap that fans didn't already own. But "Plundered My Soul" is an intact song, a relatively together Exile outtake that chugs along in the torn-and-frayed R&B mode of "Tumbling Dic... | More »
The Black Keys re-teamed with Danger Mouse to cut the first single off their new record — and they've never sounded tighter or funkier. Drummer Patrick Carney pounds the skins like a drugged-up Keith Moon, and Dan Auerbach cranks out a spiky riff that's laced with Hendrix-style guitar effects. 'Tighten Up' is definitely psychedelic, but these guys still have a thing for the blues: Auerbach yelps, 'Sick for days . . . I'm aching now,' with the raw intensity... | More »
"...And the World Laughs With You"
A couple of years back, L.A. hip-hop surrealist Flying Lotus remixed Radiohead's "Reckoner" into an alluring funereal ooze. On the marquee track from his forthcoming Cosmogramma, he has Thom Yorke's distracted falsetto sounding even more resplendently ghostly. Gnashing dub-step grind gives way to a soft, pensive throb as Yorke pines, "I need to know you're out there," like he's languidly floating SOS signals from an emotional ice station | More »
LCD Soundsystem's cranky mastermind, James Murphy, is known for skewering his own hipster demographic — see 2002's music-snob-lampooning single, "Losing My Edge." But the dance-rock hero has never done it with the fierceness and catchiness he brings to "Drunk Girls," the first single from LCD's new album. It's Murphy's tightest, most accessible track yet — a four-minute disco party that brings together chugging guitar riffs, hand claps and shrieks, plus a rocket-p... | More »
"Skinny Little Bitch"
The Nineties are so hot right now, it's no surprise that Courtney Love is staggering back to the spotlight with a 'Get off my lawn' rant aimed at younger rock chicks. 'Skinny Little Bitch' is so 1996 it hurts — Courtney tries to replicate Garbage circa 'Stupid Girl,' with the rhythm section lurching like Nirvana's 'Dive' and a melody nicked from Sonny and Cher's 'The Beat Goes On.' Her voice is wobbly, but she holds it togethe... | More »
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