The Songs We Can't Escape

WILCO
"Black Bull Nova"

Does titling a record Wilco (The Album) qualify as a shark-jump for these Chicago dad-rockers? Dunno, but "Nova" reflects what's now a trend in their career flow: It's that one compositionally adventurous and interesting chestnut on a disc otherwise heaped with offal. Jeff Tweedy's lyrical obliques aren't really of interest here, and the noise coda comes as no surprise, but the point-counterpoint interaction between guitars and pianos definitely intrigues.

THE CLEAN
"Are You Really on Drugs?"

For maximum comedic effect, it helps to imagine a stone-faced Will Ferrell serenading an addled, skull-capped Norm McDonald with this song as the former carries a ladder across a desert landscape, both men clad in ceremonial Indian garb.

EAT SKULL
"Cooking Our Way to Be Happy"

Much has been made of the damaging role gustatory gluttony plays in some lives, but what of cooking's therapeutic qualities? Portland's Eat Skull weigh in by shucking off their usual noise blitz for something that sounds like a cross between Love As Laughter, a field recording from an especially busy kitchen, and a summer camp sing-along.

JADAKISS feat. SWIZZ BEATS & OJ DA JUICEMAN
"Who's Real"

Jada really oughta just become a ghostwriter. Comic-book gangsta couplets like "Guns gon' clap/Packs gon' move/Blood get drawn/Skin gon' bruise" would sound so much more convincing coming from Prodigy or DMX or even Lil Jon—rappers way better at selling menace.

ASHER ROTH
"Lark on My Go-Kart"

You know, when Roth's just fucking around like Eminem in his youth—and not trying to Say Something Meaningful or whatever—he's palatable, enjoyable, even. Will anyone remember him in a year? Possibly not. Hope he's investing that advance wisely.

 
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