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Tuesday, September 6

Mariah Carey - We Belong Together

Mariah CareyR&B / This song is what thrust Mariah back into the public eye--for musical reasons. The song has become one of the most played songs of all time. It is a ballad, a proper ballad, with handclaps, a head-bopping beat and sickly sweet lyrics, but it's the voice that makes this song. Although she is a fully-fledged R&B star now, this is the type of song she always did best. Listen to a clip after the jump.

Posted at 9/06/2005 04:47:00 PM | 0 comments

Bow Wow feat. Ciara - Like You

Bow WowHip-Hop / Bow Wow is all grown up now and hanging out with girls twice his age. He is almost singing, but not quite. Ciara is singing beautifully. It kinda works. What do you think? The bells in the chorus sound like they're being played by a four year-old (a quite talented four year-old).

Posted at 9/06/2005 04:30:00 PM | 0 comments

Kelly Clarkson - Because of You

Kelly ClarksonPop / There is no way to top the pop perfection of 'Since U Been Gone', so Kelly comes out with a ballad, which is probably a good idea. The lyrics are OK (uninspiring), the production is OK (there is an awful key-change near the end), but there is little to lift it above any other pop-ballads out at the moment. Her voice is still wonderful, though, and hearing this makes you want to go straight back to appreciating her masterpiece.

Posted at 9/06/2005 10:14:00 AM | 0 comments

Mariah Carey - Shake It Off

Mariah CareyR&B / Man what a comeback. Mariah, queen of the power-ballad, dodgy-marriage and lousy movie has turned things right around with her new album. She is now an R&B star, with some great production leading to some great tracks. This is one of the highlights of 'The Emancipation of Mimi', a simple, subtle, head-bopping beat, and that voice. While it is easy to put all the kudos on the head of the producers, Mariah knows exactly what she is doing, being one of the biggest-selling female artists of all time. Welcome back. Short clip below.

Posted at 9/06/2005 10:08:00 AM | 0 comments

Kelly Clarkson - Since U Been Gone

Kelly ClarksonPop / You already know how perfect this is. It's not often a pop-song comes around that makes critically acclaimed rockers say things like "I see early retirement staring back at me from the reflection in the pickups on my guitar". This is one of those songs. All your cool indie friends will tell you how it sucks just like everything else in the charts but when it comes on, with that hook that hooks you in about 2 seconds flat, you will see them tapping their foot. Don't be mean to them, they couldn't help it. Listen to it below.

Posted at 9/06/2005 09:55:00 AM | 0 comments

50 Cent feat. Mobb Deep - Outta Control Remix

50 CentHip-Hop / Fiddy is back with this strange remix featuring the once-influential duo, Mobb Deep. The background riff is an electronic, accelerated eastern roll, and starts off as extremely annoying, continues to be annoying, but by the end, you've forgotten all about it. Thick-tongued 50 is still lovable in his way, as are his lyrics (I get the club jumpin, cause I'm sick with flow / You know it's sold out, like wherever I go / I jam packed the show man that's fo' sho'). It's lyrics like that that sells the concert tickets, baby. The video is currently number one in the Billboard charts and I have a feeling that the mp3 will be stuck on repeat on a lot of iPods for a few months. Full track below.

Posted at 9/06/2005 08:51:00 AM | 0 comments

Friday, September 2

Missy Elliott - Lose Control

Missy ElliottHip-Hop / It's not cool not to like everything Missy Elliott does. So we can do this a different way. This track features Fatman Scoop, who has never been more annoying. Does he think shouting 'HERE WE GO NOW, HERE WE GO NOW, JUST THROW YO' HANDS IN THE AIR, JUST THROW YO' HANDS IN THE AIR' for a whole track is rapping? It's not. Retire immediately. Ciara doesn't deserve to be anywhere near this track, being stamped all over by Fatman. I can't even remember if Missy Elliott was in this track or not. Have I sold it to you yet? Listen to the clip below.

Posted at 9/02/2005 09:48:00 AM | 0 comments

Black Eyed Peas - Don't Lie

Black Eyed PeasHip-Hop / It's a bit depressing that this is one of the BEPs most popular songs ever, as it is really just a rehash of their earlier 'Shut Up' with much less interesting beats and weak lyrics ("I lied and I cheated and I lied a little more, and after I did it I don't know what I did it for"). Almost every track on their new album is better than this, including the Timbaland-produced 'My Style' and the overlong 'They Don't Want Music' featuring the late, great James Brown. Check out the clip and see what you think.

Posted at 9/02/2005 09:21:00 AM | 0 comments

The Pussycat Dolls - Don't Cha

The Pussycat DollsPop / I admit that I thought this was going to be yet more crazy semi-pornography on daytime TV (see: Destiny's Child). But this time it's ok, it's cabaret, and actually the video is pretty clean. The song, however, is dirty. And not in a Christina Aguilera "Dirrty" way, but in a "the production is so dirty I don't want it in my ears" way. Busta Rhymes a.k.a. "hired rapper for unknown artists" starts off the song "we about to get it a little hot and sweaty", yeah yeah Busta. Like every track. Then the girls burst in with the amazing line "I know you like me, I know you do, that's why when I come around she's all over you". Watch the video below with the sound off. You'll be hearing it every Friday night anyway. Well, this or that 50 Cent thing.

Posted at 9/02/2005 08:41:00 AM | 0 comments

Kanye West feat. Jamie Foxx - Gold Digger

Kanye WestHip-Hop / Sorry, it's yet another Kanye post, but holy shit this is a good hip-hop song. It's not deep, it's not shallow, it's just rap with Jamie Foxx doing his best Ray Charles impression and some great drums and some great lyrics ("If you aint no punk holla we want want prenup -- WE WANT PRENUP!"). Kanye is paying rent on the best spot in the rap world right now. Listen to gold digger below.

Posted at 9/02/2005 08:15:00 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, September 1

Franz Ferdinand - Do You Want To

Franz FerdinandRock / Did you forget about them? The return of another British act who arrived burning with the flames of hype but who managed to survive. Do You Want To is pop-rock produced perfectly. Indie kids have a new favorite song, but it leaves you wondering about the new album--wasn't the return of Franz supposed to be something bigger than this?

Posted at 9/01/2005 12:06:00 PM | 0 comments

Ms. Dynamite - Judgement Day / Father

Ms. DyanmiteUrban / She's had a kid and is back with one of those annoying albums that may or may not be all about her child. 'Judgement Day' is the first release from her new album, on sale October 3. In her own words: "The song is about taking responsibility for myself and for my actions.”
(Note: That's probably something to do with the baby.)
“I feel like as human beings we're really lazy and we can be very selfish, like 'Fuck it, i'll just do what I want' and not even bother to deal with the consequences. And I'm totally guilty of that myself but I just feel like I've come to a point where I see things differently.”
(Because of the baby.) Anyway, she is releasing a double A-side. 'Father' is dark and filled with angry lyrics about a father who wasn't around, 'Judgement Day' is a more relaxed track. Listen to a long clip of both on her official site.

Posted at 9/01/2005 09:51:00 AM | 0 comments