Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our readers. We’ll be on holidays for the next week or so and returning early 2012. Thanks for reading us this year.

T-Pain ft. Lil Wayne – Bang Bang Pow Pow

Nothing says holiday cheer like T-Wayne… [Video][Website] [6.50] Jonathan Bogart: I love how pissed-off T-Pain sounds; with the Auto-Tune, it sounds a bit like that old childhood lark of speaking directly into an oscillating fan. The two of them seem to have switched personas; here Wayne’s the one being laid-back and sly, while Pain goes […]

Sleigh Bells – Born to Lose

We’ve slyly chosen an Xmas-themed band for today… [Video][Website] [6.57] Iain Mew: I was almost starting to wonder if this was a new, different Sleigh Bells and then CLANGCLANGCLANG. The compressed noise overload is still effective but limited (and limiting), and if there’s much else here to get anything out of they’re making it very […]

Leona Lewis – Hurt

Yep, this really is a cover of the Xtina song… [Video][Website] [5.29] Anthony Easton: When did “Hurt” become the new “Hallelujah”? Also, why are my favourite songs about BDSM being co-opted by middle of the road pop stars? Which X-Factor star is going to perform Lady Godiva’s “Operation” next? [5] Iain Mew: The spooky piano owes […]

Cher Lloyd ft. Mic Righteous, Dot Rotten & Ghetts – Dub on the Track

Dubstep is over. Brostep lives. Long live brostep. [Video][Website] [6.43] Katherine St Asaph: “I’m the kind of girl to put dub on the track” translated: “I am a girl in pop music.” But if every girl in pop music had Cher’s snap, pop music would be more awesome.[6] Anthony Easton: Dub on the track — […]

Danny Fernandes ft. Josh Ramsay & Belly – Hit Me Up

We are hungry for the great 90s boyband revival single. This isn’t it, though. [Video][Website] [4.40] Brad Shoup: Josh Ramsay’s work on the chorus punches things into *NSYNC territory: the self-sufficient joy of singing, the power of the moral high ground (the enraged scream is a scary-nice touch). But it can’t mitigate the awful shaming […]

Shakira – Je l’aime a mourir (Lo quiero a morir)

Europe-devouring bilingual ballad o’clock! [Video][Website] [5.67] Jonathan Bogart: One of my favorite things about Shakira has always been her wide view of popular music, her willingness to borrow from anywhere and to allow odd juxtapositions in order to construct her post-national vision of pop. That she would pluck Francis Cabrel’s great ballad from the dustbin […]

CREEP ft. Holly Miranda – Animals

…Gloomy side down.

Kathleen Edwards – Sidecar

Sunny side up…

Stooshe – Betty Woz Gone

“Pottymouth pop,” and yet, listener for listener, Skrillex is probably responsible for the most swearing on the BBC Sound of 2012 poll… [Video][Website] [7.33] Katherine St Asaph: There are five things you should know about Stooshe. Their name may or may not have two capital S’s (here, I follow the “eschew obnoxious and unnecessary capitalization” rule.) They’re […]