The Songs We Can't Escape

AMERIE
"Why R U"

"I can't lose" scans as an odd opening statement for a celebrated diva whose in-turnaround next album has been delayed and held back pretty much constantly for the last of couple years. Re-read, though, it suits the femme-fatale/Fatal Attraction narrative that emerges as "Why" careens methodically through its paces, going for a "1 Thing" vibe without being too obvious about it. Or maybe all the referenced bruising and heartache psychosis is subtext, code for what the music biz has done to her career.

CAPTURED! BY ROBOTS
"Born in the USA"

Amerie
courtesy of the artist
Amerie

Synth-skrunk Brrrruuuuuuce! Because it's not enough for society at large to dislike the Boss's '80s heartland classics—we must actively loathe them.

KID CUDI FEAT. KANYE WEST & COMMON
"Make Her Say"

Make her say "ah," presumably. Anway, no out-and-out losers in this particular equation; it's like the Special Olympics of summer '09 "event rap" singles. Kid Cudi brings enough nightspot-leech oomph to the table to be memorable. Kanye West coins a new term for giving head—"skulliosis"—before backhanding a Rosa Parks reference. For once, Common is actually funny: "They say, 'You be on that conscious tip'/Get your head right, and get up on this conscious dick." Even Lady Gaga—whose insufferable "Poker Face" West gleefully rewires for devil-may-care sportfuckery—comes off pretty well here.

ECSTATIC SUNSHINE
"Turned On"

Something changed sometime between 2006's Freckle Wars and the present; either Ecstatic Sunshine upped their conceptual ante, or my taste settings shifted. The trio's micro-tone jitters, trills, and flicks on "Turned On" are prismatic, extradimensional cat-nip.

ONEIDA
"What's Up, Jackal?"

When presented with this avant-cyborg clusterfuck and asked for comments, wild jackals bristled, cackled, turned tail, and bolted through scrub brush. Hyenas, on the other hand, listened thoughtfully, later queuing up at the merch table for lathe cuts, fafalels, and parasols.

 
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