Jason Aldean – Tattoos On This Town

Somehow petite. [Video][Website] [5.33] Alfred Soto: In too many country songs, some by Mr. Aldean himself, the singer hurries towards the uplift. Here the melody lines serve the brawny licks, and the nostalgia is kept in check. A much more deserved crossover than “Dirt Road Anthem.” But it won’t be.[7] Brad Shoup: The snarling, winding […]

Icona Pop – Nights Like This

Sweet. [Video][Website] [6.71] Alfred Soto: From the neo-retro hum of the “Simon Says” keyboards to the triumphalist sentiment, this has got cult classic written all over it. To my ears it comes up short. Thin and repressed, the chorus matches the vocals. [6] Pete Baran: Woo-ooo-oo-ooh. It means nothing but signifies everything in this arms-in-the-air, […]

High Contrast ft. Tiesto & Underworld – The First Note Is Silent

Neat! [Video][Website] [6.00] Hazel Robinson: I love High Contrast, purveyors of high-speed, smiley drum and bass that makes even a great big old goth like me jump around grinning. I like Tiesto and Underworld. This was bound to be immense. What I wasn’t prepared for was how irrepressibly, bouncily gleeful it would be — a […]

Medina – Synd For Dig

Best headgear in a 2011 video? [Video][Website] [7.29] Brad Shoup: Starts as sort of a bitter Hi-NRG update, segues into an awed sweep. The transition is accomplished with a phenomenally restrained sequencer/orchestral section that bears resemblance to “With Every Heatbeat.” If Google Translate is to be believed, the Statistically Improbable Phrase is “look at me […]

Rascal Flatts ft. Natasha Bedingfield – Easy

In which one of our writers becomes a breakfast dish… now available at IHOP! [Video][Website] [3.75] Anthony Easton: Natasha Bedingfield has a good to great voice, and a willingness to understand the rhetoric of whatever she is working with — I think the liquid quality of her performances makes her interesting, and it elevates this […]

Britney Spears – Criminal

The video: Brit’s audition tape for Gossip Girl… [Video][Website] [5.44] Katherine St Asaph: Britney’s in love with a slightly sketchy guy criminal, but Max Martin’s even more in love with traversing the melodic minor scale. This would be much better during Blackout and estranged from its “mama” refrain. At least 33% of Femme Fatale‘s remaining tracks would […]

Sneakbo – The Wave

Promotional consideration provided by… [Video][Website] [6.50] Anthony Easton: Is it “shock the wave” or “show me the wave”? I am a sucker for super-fast flow with weird sounds, and this hits the spot — like a carnival ride, and you yell when the DJ asks you if you want to go faster. I always wanna […]

Justin Bieber – Mistletoe

Not entirely sure we’re the intended audience for this. [Video][Website] [3.67] Katherine St Asaph: O, Jason Mraz, you’re like a fucking fungus / You are the blight that has now infected Bieb. [3] Kat Stevens: This is very sweet! Docked three points for repeatedly saying ‘shorty’ though.[7] Anthony Easton: This seems really early for an Xmas […]

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – AKA… What a Life

I forget which one’s the band name and which one’s the song title… [Video][Website] [4.88] Katherine St Asaph: If you think this single’s optimistic, it’s so insufferable you’d like to shoot down every damn bird chirping about dreams and heroes and rainbows, and it’ll justify all the shit flung over the years at Noel and […]

Charlene Soraia – Wherever You Will Go

So evidently it’s Dodgy Covers Wednesday around here or something. [Video][Website] [1.89] Iain Mew: This song being in the top 5 is a neat gathering together of everything wrong with parts of the UK pop world at present, illustrating as it does 1) A post-”Someone Like You” feeling that being really slow and serious makes […]