Chamillionaire feat. Slick Rick"Hip-Hop Police"
A Slick Rick guest spot is like a Nate Dogg hook—always more than welcome. But why does this one have to get all tangled up in this lame-o post-Imus "rap oppression" scenario, wherein Chamillionaire's smug defensiveness and hip-hop-forbearers name-dropping feels as rhetorically empty as Bill O'Reilly's racist invective?
The iPod advert gravy train's latest stop is surprisingly, endearingly, pop for an artist who, not so long ago, was foisting accomplished adult-contemp on a Broken Social Scene-besotted audience. Plus, any tune that teaches kids how to count without being too obvious about it warrants automatic props.
Queens of the Stone Age"Sick, Sick, Sick"
One needn't literally buy into Josh Homme's raw, raucous rawk-outs to appreciate their value. The scruffy edges of "Sick, Sick, Sick" come off, well, bubonic on FM radio, even if they don't send one hightailing it to Best Buy (or Lime Wire). Nonetheless, can anyone explain why, exactly, these guys aren't U2-level stars by now? Shouldn't they be outselling Nickelback without breaking a sweat?
Rihanna feat. Jay-Z"Umbrella"
Whether or not there actually was a Rihanna-Hovito-Beyonce love triangle, you know Lady Knowles has just got to hate hearing even a few notes of this now-immortal, eye-rollingly bland robo-single. Seriously, this fluke begs for a random Farnsworth Bentley cameo-cum-promotional-adlib.
Not much of a singer, this tart, and Mr. Oizo's backdrop takes a bleary-eyed, Rubik's Cube-era production path that probably makes even Madonna vomit today. But I do enjoy how Uffie curls up in the music like in a favorite blankie, and the deception at work here: Girl falls in love and can't stop gushing about how wonderful dude is, then dude skips out, then girl's all, "whatever, your loss, I'll just find some other guy," casually undercutting her own disposable enthusiasm.
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