5ingles

The songs we can't escape

Avril Lavigne
Girlfriend
With a punky, energy-drink-slushee manifesto like this, everybody's a winner. Alpha-females-in-training-bras get a back-to-school theme song; overprotective parents can take solace in the ambiguity of the lyric, "Don't you know what I could do to make you feel alright?" while pervs celebrate what's implied; boys can pretend they're the subjects; and Pink's got another teen-pop monolith to reject.

Lil Mama
Lip Gloss
Kiddie-rap's newest, freshest hope for playground double-Dutch glory is all beat and multiplied vocals, forcing the listener to zero in on the codependent relationship between a sassy high schooler and her name-brand makeup. Too skeletal by a long shot—but what do I know? I'm 30, and Voice of the Young People ain't aimed at me.

Plain White Ts
Hey There Delilah
Affable Chi-town guys—one of whom, awkwardly, is actually black—rocket to semi-stardom on back of über-sensitive acoustic/strings ode. Tween girls not named Delilah continue to swoon and MySpace-stream the song. However, a spike in suicides among tween girls named Delilah is reported; more often than not, they occur at Starbucks.

UNK
2 Step
It's difficult to settle on this song's most egregious aspect. Is it the further cultural entrenchment of that fad wherein Southern rap singles arrive shrinkwrapped with near-interchangable "dances" that will be disavowed by practitioners 14 months hence? The gratuitous application of distracting, ectoplasmic cheese to the vocals, via vocoder? The fact that "Grey Goose and yak/Blunt filled wit kush/I'm getting jiggy wit it/Smokin' on that George Bush" is as quotable as this dude gets?

The White Stripes
Icky Thump
The red'n'white color-coordinated sibs/exes stage a mightily titanic Black Sabbath vs. Led Zeppelin throwdown while you, me, and those isolationist jingo-blowhards from the auto garage get taken to histrionic task for anti-immigration racism. Jack White = still an asshole, but now he's a politically relevant asshole.

 
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