By Rob van Alstyne
By Zach McCormick
By Emily Eveland
By Jack Spencer
By Michael Madden
By Reed Fischer
By Emily Weiss
By Emily Weiss
I Am...Sasha Fierce, this Independent Woman's latest multimedia event, is front-loaded with snoozy ballads one can fast-forward through without remorse; the party really gets going with "Single Ladies." By "Diva," wherein Beyoncé embraces the titular descriptor and equates it to being a hustler, she's gone all buck on us, throwin' 'bows and bustin' sixteens like a street MC: "Hoy you gon' be talkin' shit?/You act like I just got up in it/Been the number-one diva in this game for a minute." I guess hubby Hova's really rubbing off on her, huh?
"Alien in a Garbage Dump"
Eric Copeland's gotta be careful. He's the frontman for NYC fractured-noise trio Black Dice, but his solo recordings are infinitely more interesting. This one takes hip-hop samples and what I'm assuming are snippets of field-recorded conversations and loop-de-loops 'em off into infinity over whatever additional sound sources he's spindled and mutilated into crazy-carnival herky (beef) jerky.
Cheer up, Emil! Turn that frown upside down. Why so bummed? Why the long face? No need to be such a subterranean homesick non-Palin when, like, Obama totally won, bro. The sun might not come out tomorrow, but it will peek a month after next, feel me?
Whenever I spin this one, I imagine some dude in a stained lab coat hunched over heaps of stereo consoles, painstakingly adjusting frequencies, fiddling with dials, and caressing the strings of a modified electric guitar—pasting together an amber din, oblivious to the world burning down outside his studio. But maybe he's just pulling this shit off with a laptop. Anywho: dim-subway-tunnel-on-Ativan gorgeous, this.
Oh, Z-Ro's modest: "Remember me?/I'm the one who did bad in all of my classes/Now what they spend on a house I blow on designer glasses." In terms of content and swagger, this Houston cat isn't especially original, but he's got a post-Nate Dogg singsong flow that refines thug brags into syrupy Southern poetry.