When Pete Doherty sings, "A song might deliver me/Straight from the harshness and misery" within the context of this flickering, stringy, enjoyably sloppy tune, the listener is supposed to embrace the lyric as some sort of universal truth—that great music is capable of shepherding us through difficult life transitions and ruts. Of course, we all know what this British rock star's really on about: rock as distraction from smack, tabloid infamy, and on-and-off again romance with Kate Moss.
Nicole Scherzinger feat. T.I.
"Whatever U Like"
Producer/blacksmith Polow Da Don hammers the lead Pussycat Doll's limited, leaden vocals into a dizzying 24-carat-gold latticework that makes her wet 'n' pliable-toy-for-you gambit—"Boy, you want my body/Wanna ride it like a Harley/Once or twice around the block"—sound as deliciously lustful as Scherzinger appears visually and more alluring than it probably deserves to. And, um, T.I. shows up too, for some reason.
Beanie Siegel feat. R. Kelly
"All the Above"
I don't believe this eternal Roc-a-Fella farm teamer when he insists that "Money ain't a thing," and neither should you. Kells is in typical top form and steals the show, of course, with the aid of a blustering, booming beat from the Runners. It could have been worse—this setup could've been handed to Memphis Bleek.
Cocky, vaguely catchy, and annoying, Nurses are like the lovechildren of the Blood Brothers and OK Go!: They exist to make you want to listen to anything else, just to erase their gross aftertaste. A tip: Wife-beating is never funny, even as an "ironic" joke.
"Tiny Heart and Clever Hand"
Does by-and-for-lesbians romantic synth-pop get any dreamier and honest than this? French expat Melanie Valera's got a real knack for diagramming intimacy without exploiting it, here intermingling twinkling keyboards and multi-tracked sweet nothings into something you'll find swoonsome—no matter your sexual orientation.