Northern State

Northern State

Extra Golden


"Peace and justice, Obama!" are the only topical English lyrics I can discern, but it's nonetheless clear who this mix of Kenyans and Americans like for 2008. This elastic, frolicsome Benga banger would just cook as stump-speech intro music. Holla back, Barry!

Gang Gang Dance


Sounds like these four have been hitting their copies of Arular and Kala hard lately, as this wispy tune comes off like the proverbial fairy godmother's idealization of an M.I.A. song: perkily busy, fluffily exotic, rapped, not even remotely imposing. Not hatin', just sayin'.

Northern State

"Better Already"

If NYC rap's lady-Beasties can come correct with Elastica-esque power-pop of this caliber, why bother dropping even an occasional joke rhyme they know is extraneous? Build on your strengths and toss the rest, NorthernÊState!

Stat Quo

"Here We Go"

Obie Trice has his moments; Fitty was right place, right time, right drive-by survivor; D12 blows. By now, even Eminem's gotta concede that his is no Midas touch; perhaps his kingmaking ability has gone the way of his rapping skills. Dr. Dre's pensive, surging club beat is the star, an epic crest Stat squanders by telling, not showing.

Britney Spears

"Gimme More"

This skeezy, greedy metaphor for a voracious tabloid press/comeback treasure-trail single—courtesy of producer Danja—will surely grease stripper poles hither and yon while giving God-fearing moms nationwide a particularly nasty case of heartburn. I know Courtney Love is busy prepping her next opus, MySpace-blogging incoherently, and readjusting to clean living, but if homegirl is serious about her whole "I'm an idol to messed-up young white chicks who're household names" deal she oughta make time for a sit-down with Brit-Brit to school her on the facts of life: how to get the kids back from K-Fed, how to at least appear sane/sober in public, etc.