Dr. Dre feat. Jay-Z

"Under Pressure"

"I should be ducking these clubs/Tiger Woods" is such a corny setup/punch line gimme that Kanye and Drake are kicking themselves with their $1,000 loafers for not thinking of it first. Also, exploding "Trans Europe Express" into a rotating, 300-piece chandelier beat is the sort of concept that's almost worth waiting a decade-plus for.

Travis McCoy feat. Bruno Mars


This is more or less the heir apparent to Sublime's "Santeria" or whatever Jack Johnson standards make you want to punch yourself in the skull until you lose consciousness, right? And yet it's so damned ingratiating and dorm-staircase sappy, you know? It's like a beagle wearing a Ralph Lauren polo that won't stop following you around everywhere so eventually you just cave it and take it home with you.

Father Sound

"Tide Pool"

In the future, everyone will have "tilted-equilibrium Boards of Canada" presets installed, gratis, on their synthesizer rigs. Guess what? The future is now, and it doesn't sound half bad if you're insomniatic or so stoned that watching paint dry for a half-hour totally makes sense.

Travis Garland


More like, I believe that Perez Hilton believes Travis Garland believes in himself enough that Hilton will be able to parlay both of their beliefs into a serious payday at some point down the line. But if you're at home staging a YouTube adaptation of Marvel's first Secret Wars series, you could do worse than "Believe" for the unlicensed theme song. (Note: This is a horrible idea.)

Soft Pieces


The growl has teeth in the maw of this beast. Thirty-three minutes is a long, long time to chew over and begin to digest what sound like afterburner blasts, chainsaw surges, and the smooth scrape of fresh skateboard wheels making contact with the bottom of an empty swimming pool.

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