"Sweeter Than Fiction"
Swift does a whirlwind tour of the prom scene in every John Hughes movie, crushing all their highlights into one Eighties-style synth-pop tune. Written for the soundtrack of the film One Chance, about an opera singer, it's her collaboration with fun.'s Jack Antonoff – who throws in a delightful guitar solo straight from Fleetwood Mac's "Gypsy." | More »
This electronic brother duo from the U.K. usually go in for body-jackin' garage beats. Here, they try something even more basic: a straight-up main-room house banger with menacing synths and gauzy vocal samples. It's well made, but the no-frills beat doesn't quite have the duo's usual pumping zing. | More »
The nominal country singer behind "Springsteen" and "Homeboy" doubles down on his hard-rock/hip-hop fixations with a song that opens on an unfuckwithable snarl-rap, ramps into a high-lonesome stadium chorus over a Southern-rock stomp, then feigns a Black Keys garage skronk before barreling into a prog-metal capper. As cultural ambassadorship goes, he could teach Brad Paisley a thing or two. | More »
"Love Is to Die"
Teased in a recent ad for Calvin Klein, this is an unnervingly sexy death-wish weave of droning guitar shimmer, abstract typing-pool rhythms and the salt-caramel-goth harmonies of Theresa Wayman and Jenny Lee Lindberg. Produced by Flood, mixed by Nigel Godrich, it suggests the L.A. quartet's second LP, due in 2014, just may be a killer. | More »
"Meant to Be"
The third TLC-greatest-hits album since the death of the goddess Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes comes with this new Ne-Yo-penned track, which recalls the lilting prettiness and the sweet realism of the group's finest moments, minus the crazysexy drive that made their legend. Like a lot of music today, it's sort of like the Nineties, just not as fun. | More »
"Love Is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix by James Murphy for the DFA)"
James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem unretired from remixing to make this bold 10-minute "Hello Steve Reich Mix" of Bowie's "Love Is Lost." He starts with halting hand claps (inspired by Reich) and prolongs a disjointed mood in the first half, until the keyboard hook from Bowie's "Ashes to Ashes" cues the drop of a minimalist groove that's blue, blue, electric blue. Murphy's coup is to ship Bowie back to Berlin. | More »
Deadmau5 and Jonathan Doyon
Joel Zimmerman and his rodent headpiece can be predictably commercial. But this buzzing electro-house jam breaks into a cool, extended trance build-up before the intro riff zooms back in around the five-minute mark – an unexpected move on first hearing that remains welcome each time after. | More »
Skrillex and Alvin Risk
"Try It Out (Try Harder Mix)"
American dubstep's biggest star teams up with D.C. up-and-comer Risk for a thrilling night drive through a neon city. The skidding FX and slam-dunk bass aren't surprising, but the way they leaven it with chilly keyboards gives it both craft and staying power. | More »
Paris Hilton feat. Lil Wayne
No needless disrespect to Hilton, who has put out listenable and even enjoyable music in the past, but rave-by-numbers tracks like this are often the reason pop music gets a bad rap to begin with. Worst off, sadly, is Wayne, a rapper who once had everything to lose. | More »