Haim – Falling

Does this mean we’re not hype-proof?… [Video][Website] [7.08] Alfred Soto: I’m a sucker for breathless paranoia, especially when it’s this well syncopated and represents both an advance on a previous single and another reconfiguration of its fascinating parts. Aware of their talent for arrangement, the girls don’t push their modest voices too hard – why […]

Droop-E ft. Nite Jewel & J-Stalin – ‘N the Traffic

Blissed… [Video][Website] [7.17] Rebecca A. Gowns: Now that’s what I call firme.[8] Patrick St. Michel: Droop-E’s is E-40′s son, though from his verse here it’s tough to gauge how much he’s like his pops. What he does have is the ability to blur in with the zoned-out production, which is a fantastic bit of slow-motion […]

Sistar19 – Gone Not Around Any Longer

I can never forget our matching white turtlenecks… [Video][Website] [6.29] Anthony Easton: Charming, sweet confectionery — sort of like Cotton Candy without the stickiness.[5] Patrick St. Michel: This single works because of the lyrics, so get a new tab ready. The song opens a bit like The Mountain Goats “Woke Up New,” with our protagonist […]

Young Jeezy ft. 2 Chainz – RIP

We can use the lyrics of this song to calculate 2 Chainz’s bank balance. Go! [Video][Website] [6.75] Josh Langhoff: DJ Mustard’s from L.A. but he’s shouted out Lil’ Jon in interview, and his “R.I.P.” beat feels like it could slip right into Tommy Boy’s 1999 comp Get Crunk!, where everyone chose dissing over dancing while […]

Casey James – Crying On a Suitcase

Pretty blond hair, pretty bland song. [Video][Website] [4.75] Anthony Easton: American Idol being Nashville Star has maintained its consistency, much as nu-country is similar to old rock. This has some excellent energy, but could stand to be a bit more frantic, and might serve better if it was in first person. [6] Brad Shoup: Country songs […]

Carlos Vives ft. Michel Teló – Como Te Gusta A Tu Cuerpo

Not an internet-based dance craze… YET! [Video][Website] [6.38] Jonathan Bogart: I feared the worst when I saw that featuring, but Vives isn’t going for crossover smash, he’s acknowledging solidarity between Colombian vallenato and Brazilian sertanejo. If I like vallenato better, blame it on my Hispanophone bias; but this is celebratory and rousing, rather than dull […]

Baauer – Harlem Shake

From the soundtrack to every damn social media link you’ve avoided clicking this year… [Video][Website] [4.60]Jonathan Bogart: I have a weakness for the sort of garish, cartoonish dance novelties that make serious appreciators of electronic music feel ill, but even I have my limits. Maybe if there were more than a couple of ideas woven […]

Droideka – Get Hyper

Attack of the one-liners! [Video][Website] [4.00] Anthony Easton: Can I just have a nice cup of a tea and a lie in, instead? [4] Patrick St. Michel: Get an interesting idea, first.[3] Crystal Leww: This sounds like what it is: some 18 year old kid with a laptop making bloop bleep noises using generic wubs and […]

Drake – Started from the Bottom

…Ladies. [Video][Website] [5.00] Alfred Soto: Drake can’t perform a rags-to-riches narrative without undercutting it with his abrasive timbre and obnoxious repetitions; he’s a guy “who don’t do much explainin’.” But he also undercuts it with brevity — Drake doesn’t suffer from knowing it’s the soul of wit. [5] Patrick St. Michel: I come here today […]

Ellie Goulding – Explosions

I just now learned that “Lights” wasn’t particularly big in the UK, and I’m not sure how to cope… [Video][Website] [5.29] Anthony Easton: The angelic choruses read as a cheap effect, as does the mention of ghosts, and the terrible “grace”/”face” rhyme. But I love her voice, and I love how quietly she sings “explosions,” […]