Black Kids"I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance with You"
Some of 'em are black, so the name of this Florida blog-famous group isn't as indefensible as I (and probably you) wish it were. The crit-wise conventional wisdom says Kids are A) peaking too early and B)Êaren't ready for prime time yet. I'm not fatally smitten myself, but must concede that they've got a way with a dynamite keyb hook and are fun.
The former Dipset chair/reliable microphone whack-job returns after an overlong absence to perfunctorily not say a whole lot of anything over production—ganked from a Mariah Carey non-hit—so drugged it keeps threatening to nod off, only to jerk itself back into groggy consciousness. This doesn't bode well for the perpetually delayed, title-shuffling follow-up to Killa Season.
Dooney Da' Priest"Pull Your Pants Up"
Corny Southern rap single as public service announcement? Dallas-based MC Dooney takes aim at urban youth who allow their jeans to sink below waist level by equating the fashion practice with criminality, a lack of self-respect, and even "the down-low": "I think it's rude, but some of y'all think it's cool/Walkin' around, showin' your behind to other dudes." If only Dooney's tune wasn't the theme song for the city of Dallas's campaign to outlaw "saggin'"; he might as well commission a Bill Cosby/McGruff remix for all the good it'll do.
Alicia Keys"Like You'll Never See Me Again"
Carpe diem, indeed. This R&B song will win awards, make you miss your honey while he/she/it is within hugging range, and blare during slo-mo news montages of military personnel yet again leaving home for Iraq.
Six Organs of Admittance"Strangled Road"
I understand what scuttled Chavez and Zwan—a lack of upward trajectory and band infighting, respectively—but seriously, has Matt Sweeney resigned himself to a life as guest-sideman-to-the-indie-stars or something? Here he chips in acoustic ax that strengthens a beautifully unsettling, sinister-spiritual duet between Elisa Ambrogio of the Magik Markers and SOOA's Ben Chasney. That's nice and probably pays the rent and all, but Sweeney's meant for bigger things, and he knows it.