Will.i.am draws up the perfect nü-Britney blueprint: a squelchy thumper that's light on singing and heavy on hilarious directives barked in an English accent: "You want a Maserati?/You better work, bitch." Blasts of clubby synths do most of the work, while Britney winks at the world, turning the word "governor" over in her mouth like it's a caviar-coated Cheeto. | More »
"Shot at the Night"
The Killers continue into the fantasia of Eighties pop-rock soundtracks, dripping with hair spray, swaddled in the fog of dry ice. Produced by M83 for a greatest-hits package, "Night" sounds solid alone but will seem slight next to "Mr. Brightside" – but then again, what doesn't? | More »
Pusha T feat. Kendrick Lamar
After years of awkward reinventions, "Nosetalgia" finds Pusha T in something like classic form: mellow but menacing, tracing his coke-dealer creation myth from cold streets back to a baby's crib. After exploding on Big Sean's "Control," Lamar slows to second gear, and together they creep. | More »
Katy B has a warm, searching voice and a knack for undercutting infectious club grooves with late-night realism. "I lost my friends, I check my phone," she sings. The woozy, tuneful house track pushes her into someone's arms, but you imagine the morning after might not be too sweet. | More »
Clocking in at nearly eight minutes, promoted via two different videos (one theatrical, one interactive), produced by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem with backing vocals by none other than David Bowie himself, the first single from the Arcade Fire's seismically anticipated new album is event-listening of the first order. And yet "Reflektor" interrogates the very idea of event-listening. "We fell in love/Alone on a stage/In the reflective age/If this is heaven/I don't know what it... | More »
Macca's latest sounds old, title notwithstanding, but in the best way. A Beatlesque pop confection with tasty production by retro-modernist Mark Ronson, "New" rides along on a bouncy harpsichord-flavored melody line and a touch of brass that recalls "Got to Get You Into My Life." The song sinks its hooks in almost instantly, before McCartney goes out on some goofy-sweet scat singing that will probably linger on your palate all day. | More »
Marshall Mathers returns in rabid, pop-hook-baiting form. With both Dr. Dre and Rick Rubin on board, this metal-rap rant conjures License to Ill-era Beasties – even biting the "Kick it!" from "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)" – to celebrate old-school hip-hop, with shoutouts to new-school labelmate Kendrick Lamar, triple-entendre punch lines and a mob-chant chorus. Yeah: I guess we did miss him. | More »
"Love Is Colder Than Death"
Wry romantic travails have always ranked high on the former Luna frontman's musical priorities: "Are you dark? Or are you fair? Do you sit on stone for a chair?" he asks on this solo single. His gift for dusky guitars also remains thankfully intact. | More »