The Songs We Can't Escape

BECK
"Orphans"

You know, I'm liking this tune a lot more than anything offa Guero or The Information—and producer Danger Mouse might know Mr. Hansen even better than he knows himself—but why can't the Beckster just get back to making lo-fi funny-dada rock by himself with a 4-track? Hooray for progress, but in Beck's case I think he's hit a ceiling with regard to what pricey studios and collaborators can add to his sound. "When you grow old, your heart dies" has rarely seemed quite so true a John Hughes aphorism.

CAM'RON
"My Aura"

Had an epiphany while revisiting Purple Haze the other week: Cam's at his peak while maintaining a thoroughly detached tone and piling on lotsa nonsense syllables, just for the fuck of it. Happily, "My Aura" marks something of a return to that style—love the football puns, the Black Power swerve, couplets like "Drop coupes/Not roofs/Ock shoot/Pop troops." Killa!

GROWING
"Wrong Ride"

Have these guys always sounded like a less deranged, more harmonious Black Dice, or was I just not paying close enough attention when their previous promos landed on my doorstep? Whatever: They've certainly got my attention with All the Way's fractured chill-out-tent ambient.

JEAN GRAE & 9TH WONDER
"Don't Rush Me"

9th Wonder could've easily handed this bumping, soulful beat off to Mary J. Blige; she'd have straight killed it with one of her self-affirmation sermons. Jean puts the track to far better use, sharply articulating her dedication to authorial craft and nailing how it feels to drift from your 20s into your 30s: "Age is a motherfucker/I find myself staring at the little kids, thinking I could beat 'em like a stepmother."

RESTIFORM BODIES
"Consumer Culture Wave"

Kick your internet/iPod/iPhone addiction by having as much sex as possible. That's what this chart-rap mocking "banger" advocates, but this reuniting trio of Anticon undie heads pull it off with a lot more panache than I did.

 
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