5ingles

The Songs We Can't Escape

COLDPLAY
"Violet Hill"

Is it possible—just maybe—that Chris Martin and his mates aren't on a mission to numb everyone with pro-consumerism ambience and numbing-agent corporate rock? The hard, chops-flashing breakdown halfway through this single hints at heretofore unseen subversion. But only briefly.

LIL WAYNE
"A Milli"

Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails
courtesy of the artist
Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails

The beat that producer Bangladesh conjures up here is hypnotically sparse: booming drums bum rushed by a syrup-slow sample, triggered ad infinitum, of some dude shouting the title. It's so unrelenting, in fact, that one can easily lose track of Wayne's scatterbrained, idiot-savant flow and just tune dude out altogether. He's muttering under the beat, then he's outracing it in a verbal-diarrhea blaze of glory, then he's keeping perfect-if-bored pace. It's as though he's daring us to try to keep up with him; this Carter III single demands that you pay extra attention. Here's a quick quiz to gauge your Weezy comprehension skillz: Why does he compare himself to Bad Boys' Mike Lowery? And what's his stance on "shy chicks"?

NINE INCH NAILS
"Discipline"

Those distorted buzz-saw synthesizers? Awesome. Everything else going on here? Not so much. As first singles go, this is generic as fuck, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the album it precedes—whenever and however it sees release—will suck.

ASHLEE SIMPSON
"Boys"

Kenna and unsung Neptune Chag Hugo whipped up this Gwen Stefani-ish club banger for Jessica's little minx sis. Weirdly, this audience-expanding attempt places Simpson in company with British/Sri Lankan third-world agitator M.I.A., who had a similarly titled song on her last album but has yet to compare her kisses to Kryptonite.

STEREOLAB
"Three Women"

If you think you've heard this particular dreamily breezy Stereolab song before, rest assured—you have. But given spring's florid bloom, isn't it nice to hear it all over again for the 3,127th time, with a slightly different melody and lyrical bent?

 
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