Well, it looks like my blurbs for last week's singles roundup somehow didn't make it to the editor, so here you go. Enjoy.Chris Brown ft. Juelz Santana, "Run It"
Two reasons why "Run It" stands out from most minimal rap tracks: 1) the subtle fluidity with which it moves in and out of the unexpectedly swooning bridge, and 2) the lyrical shout-outs to both the Ying-Yang Twins and, erm, the Waitresses. Yup. Pretty Ricky - "Your Body"
So I'm thinking that the chord structure of this song is to current hip-hop-inflected R&B what "I've Got Rhythm" was to bebop: a useful template. That is, the fact that it sounds like several other hits isn't a shortcoming; rather, it creates the opportunity for participatory intertextuality, as the listener can sneak in a breathy
"we belong together" or swap all the "yes-suh!"s with "shorr-day!"s. Also, the group's vocal harmonies, while vaguely irritating on "Grind with Me," actually serve them well here. My Chemical Romance - "The Ghost of You"
I'm not sure this song actually works
, exactly, but I find it sort of fascinating nonetheless, from the creeping, smoky-nightclub feel of the verses (which totally fits with the eyeliner) to the way dude's cracked voice swoops into oblivion on "could I? should I?" There's a smart sense of dynamics here, too. Foo Fighters - "D.O.A."
I've been listening to Lindsay Lohan's "First" a lot lately and still marveling at its delicious swaggering riffs -- which makes me sad that an actual veteran rock band can't manage anything nearly as punchy and memorable. Maybe that's an unfair comparison, since Grohl and friends certainly aren't aiming for bubblegum, but too much of "D.O.A." just sounds half-assed. Nickelback - "Photograph"
I haven't seen the video, but let me imagine: Chad Kroeger is thumbing through a dusty old box of snapshots in the attic, and when the camera zooms in on the frame, the figures previously lost to the cobwebs of memory suddenly come to life! Later, the band stands on a cliff somewhere and emotes. As for the song itself, I don't expect a Sontag treatise, but this is full of unusually dumb couplets delivered in
Kroeger's resolute clenched-throat growl. Competent but ultimately foolish. Young Jeezy ft. Akon, "Soul Survivor"
There's a nice counterpoint here between Akon's dippy, Muppet-ish croon and Jeezy's gruff delivery, but I'm not sure there's much else to recommend it.