The first taste of Minaj’s album The Pink Print is like if TLC had punctuated "No Scrubs" with a few dozen rounds of machine-gun fire. The beat is all sumptuous minimalism, the lyrics are all vicious hate: "Bunch of non-mogul-ass niggas frontin' like they got a plan/Boost Mobile ass nigga," she blazes, and the Boost Mobile men of the world pack up their little dicks and skulk back to Mom’s basement. | More »
"Highway to Hell"
In which Bruce and crew run through an AC/DC stone classic with revelatory results. New blood Tom Morello, veteran Nils Lofgren and Springsteen himself all take quick solos, and the Australian audience loses its mind. Never let it be said that Springsteen can't get any crowd anywhere in the world on his side within one perfect riff. | More »
"Hundreds of Ways"
Mr. Bright Eyes drops country signifiers all over this tune from his first record in three years: Sun Studios slap-back rhythm guitar, lap steel, allusions to Carolina rhinestones and Bakersfield cash. But he isn't aiming for outlaw mystique so much as homey Grateful Dead-like equanimity that's rooted in foggy wisdom and sidelong advice. | More »
Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks
This track from Animal Collective yelper Tare's latest side project, with its spacey keyboards and off-kilter harmonies, combines all the least-cloying aspects of his main band into one supercatchy cut. The result is still psychedelic, but the comedown is gentler. | More »
Karen O and Ezra Koenig
This Oscar-nominated acoustic valentine, penned by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O with director Spike Jonze, was pretty cute when Scarlett Johansson sang it in Her. Now it's even cuter: Karen and Koenig of Vampire Weekend bring out the song's full duet poetry, whispering their bliss as if alone in their own lunar love pool. | More »
Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX
Sicker than your average supermodel, Azalea has a licorice-sweet flow on the latest leak from her forever-delayed debut, The New Classic. The Aussie gal deftly handles the ratchet beat while Charli XCX's earworm hook holds it all down. Does it bring '88 back? Well, no. But they can swing on chandeliers with the best of them. | More »
Add Nashville's toughest mega-diva to the list of iPhone-hating celebrities that already includes Arcade Fire and Louis C.K. "C'mon, let's take a picture/The kind you gotta shake," she sings on this slow-build remembrance of simpler times. She evokes snail mail and cassettes with the same heart-hitting wistfulness her country elders devoted to farming, and it kills. | More »
The Hold Steady
"I Hope This Whole Thing Didn't Frighten You"
On this Springsteen-y cut from his band's first LP in four years, Craig Finn revisits the Cityscape Skins, a gang of Minnesota dirtbags awaiting the apocalypse. Electric guitars brawl and soar, so you don't need a lyrics sheet to geek out. But it helps. | More »
The chorus of this semichill, ratchet club jam ("At the end of the night/Girls just wanna have fun") raises two important questions. One: Is J. Lo using the first half of the line the way others might use "at the end of the day," or is it literally only at evening's end that girls realize fun was the goal? Two: Has anyone in history sounded less like they are having fun than Lopez does here? | More »
"Drunk in Love"
On his cover of Beyoncé's recent insta-classic, the Atlanta star trades in steamy vocals for lightning-fast raps. His Auto-Tuned flow blows Jay Z's god-awful verse on the original out of the water. And if Future's pained wails can't come close to Queen Bey, he gets points for originality. | More »