Beck feat. Feist
Beck's ever-changing covers band continues on its Skip Spence project with this slow-as-molasses song from the Moby Grape frontman's 1969 solo album, Oar. Beck adds light funk and makes the chorus a group singalong, but between the depressed lyrics and Feist's smoky murmur, Spence's pain shines through. | More »
Ten years ago, Beck paid his first respects to Oar – the 1969 solo album by Moby Grape singer-guitarist Alexander "Skip" Spence – by covering "Halo of Gold" on the tribute compilation, More Oar. This version of "Little Hands," Oar's opening happiness prayer, is the first installment of Beck's remake of the entire LP, with guests Wilco and Feist, for his online Record Club. Beck's vocal is an eerie double of Spence's jaunty-ghost delivery, and the arrangement st... | More »
After covering the Velvet Underground and Nico for his "Record Club," dude takes on Leonard Cohen with help from Devendra Banhart and the guys from MGMT, Little Joy and Wolfmother. It's a predictably ramshackle project, but this tender, ramblin' girl come-on is some impressive slacker overachieving. | More »
Gaga's new tune — a snippet of which she recently debuted on SNL — isn't up to the star's trashy-chic standards: The booming beat feels oppressive, the wordless hook is a little annoying, and on the chorus- "I want your lovin', I want your revenge" — Gaga's emoting takes her into bad-Cher territory. | More »
The Flaming Lips
Silver Trembling Hands
A classic Lips freakout with nods to Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd: screams, harp arpeggios and a bass line that bears down like a speeding trucker while Wayne Coyne sings about a girl who sees scary stuff, except – cue mellow soul-fusion guitar chords – when "she's hiiiii-iiiigh." Like 2009 compressed into 3:59. This story is from the August 20th, 2009 issue of Rolling Stone. | More »
Clipse feat. Kanye West
"Kinda Like A Big Deal"
This seductive cut finds the world's best coke-rap duo crowing cleverly over DJ Khalil's rumbling beat about diamonds, cars and how "it's a blessing to blow a hundred thou in a recession." Kanye nearly outbrags the Clipse, calling himself "the black Marshall meets Jay." | More »
The Flaming Lips
Oklahoma's psychedelic-pop giants team up with local pals Stardeath and White Dwarfs for an arresting reinvention of Madonna's Eighties disco-pop classic. They start out by crafting a dubby haze: a minimal electro beat, some toy-box keyboard plinking and Wayne Coyne giving genuine depth to lines like "Stop playing with my heart/Finish what you start" with his high, earnest falsetto. But brace yourself for the chorus, where the song explodes as the crew unleashes dazzling space-rock ... | More »
Ciara feat. Justin Timberlake
"Love Sex Magic"
Let's hear it for the breakdown! The best part of this techno-funk number is the part where you don't dance: Ciara and JT crooning in silky, intertwined falsettos about "falling in love." The rest of the time, they sound positively bored about this dance-floor hookup – even when Ciara sings, "Show me what's your favorite trick that you want to use on me," she sounds about as sexy as a burlap sack. | More »
"Better Not Together"
"All the time, I was loving you faithfully/And you took my love/And you turned it around on me" sings Justin Timberlake. The cuckold's revenge ballad is a Timberlake specialty, but this newly leaked track is a lesser effort – it's rumored to be an outtake, and sounds it, rather than a teaser from Timberlake's upcoming album, which is due later this year. The neo-soul-flavored production (lotsa Fender Rhodes) fails to grab the attention; Timberlake's falsetto vocals d... | More »