The Songs We Can't Escape

FEFE DOBSON
"I Want You"

Sometimes it's best to go Occam's razor; just get to the damned point then bounce, pat yourself on the back, treat yourself to a celebratory milkshake or cocktail. "I Want You" is as plain and direct as a gunshot to the temple, with elastic pop-rock riffs and tambourines and adlibs that drive the message home with next to no ceremony in 129 seconds.

QUEEN LATIFAH FEAT. MARY J. BLIGE
"People"

Who knew the Queen could, like, still spit fire? Like Will Smith, Ice Cube, and Ice-T, Latifah made such a smooth transition from top-selling '80s rapper to R&B diva/Hollywood royalty that it's easy to forget that she was an LL Cool J contemporary, once. But damn, "People" is wicked, the kind of walking-a-line-of-acrimony soul banger that feels simultaneously specific and universalized. The strident rhymes can go toe to toe with any prime-time MC ballin' today: "The bad ones discourage, the good ones motivate/The weak shall perish, the haters gonna show they hate."

GLASSER
"Apply"

Transportive, tantalizingly tribal, and likely to induce an involuntary hiccup fit if the listener isn't careful. Not sure whether I'm more psyched for a Glasser full-length or a Glasser remix LP.

AUBREY O'DAY
"Party All the Time"

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Eddie Murphy's original didn't drop "bitch" even once, right? Then again, in the Reagan era, being famous was about ability and accomplishments—raunchy standup and box-office blockbusters, in Murphy's case—not being part of a nothing girl-group, bragging about one's bisexuality, and having salacious jpgs of one's self splashed all over the internet. Still, you know, this is fun.

RADIOHEAD
"Harry Patch (In Memorium)"

So Radiohead are an EP band, for now, and I'm okay with that; they're hardly the only critical darlings who'd prove more digestible in smaller does. And I'd gladly take short-players consisting of Thom Yorke's lit Lord Fauntleroy mewl drowning in Jonny Greenwood's lush, orchestral string arrangements (i.e. "Patch") over 50-minute avant-pop "statements" any day of the week.

 
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