There's gotta be a reason that these U.K. ladies give U.S. bloggers wood, but I'm sure as hell not hearing it in this single. Did Lady Sovereign start a beef with Girls Aloud? If not, she totally should. Beefs are bullshit, usually, but any beef—even, say, the 50 vs. Kanye beef—is more interesting than what's going on here. No compliments.
STEPHEN MALKMUS AND THE JICKS
"Real Emotional Trash"
Promos aren't out, no, but run the title through a Google search and you'll come across this title track from the Malk's fourth opus, due early March. Really, it's just nifty, grade-A flameout/near-psych/classic-rawk Steve, you know, kicking up dust devils, channeling his idols, etc. What the world needs now—and that's certainly intended as a compliment. Also: Janet Weiss from Sleater-Kinney plays drums in this band now, which kicks everything up a few notches even if you haven't heard the results (when you do, you'll flip out).
To us, she'll always be the Me-Era ingénue on the front of whichever cassette included her "Locomotion" cover, frizzy hair spilling out of an air-conditioned hat, plastic smile in place. We still can't believe she had a half-decent comeback earlier this decade. Wow, "Wow"—lightning doesn't strike three times, does it? Isn't it about time for a Madonna biopic? They could slip this onto the OST and everyone would swear it was a Sean Penn-era single that never charted—which could be a compliment, I suppose.
THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS
"Adventures in Solitude"
Just when you thought indie rock couldn't be any less inspiring, these Canadian exports turn the volume down further still. How is it that five or six years ago, Carl Newman and his pickup supergroup were so fantastic and funny and dynamic? What happened? Too many compliments?
"Make 'Em Pop"
Remember when the Chemical Brothers were new on the international scene and they were just the shit? Just mad kinetic and stimulating and a little dangerous and exciting? Hmmm? This is sort of like that, just on crank and not quite as overwhelming. That's a compliment, yes.
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